Using the Time You’ve Got | Debra Oliva | Episode 194

Debra Oliva | Episode 194

Debra Oliva

Debra Oliva 11Originally from Illinois, Debra Oliva earned a BFA from Northern Illinois University. After a decade working in the printing industry Debra began exploring ceramics. She has worked as a full time artist for 24 years. She creates utilitarian ware and vessel forms from unglazed colored clays, celebrating form and surface through the use of color, texture and pattern.

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What is the most important tool in your tool chest for ceramics?

Well right now I have just discovered the Bat-Mate. It is a rubber fabric disc that you wet and put on your wheel head so your bats that have big holes do not slide all over the place.

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What do you like most in the creating process? Do you like the forming, the glazing, the firing? And why?

With the work I am doing now I would say it is the assembly of more complex pieces. I like to put the parts together and make the piece work.

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What is the most important marketing that you have done for your business?

I have enjoyed your webinars and it kind of motivated me to get going on the marketing part. I have now been looking at the website and Facebook and Instagram and I try to get myself to learn a little bit about those things at least once a week. I use Facebook to connect with artists that I don’t know. for sharing other people’s work and for sharing my own work.

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What has been your best sales outlet?

Right now I sell primarily through galleries and they do a pretty good job in selling just about everything I can produce. But I realize that the internet is a big boon for artists to show and market their work and  I want to be a part of that.

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Are galleries going to go extinct?

Not every one wants to buy online, they want to see and feel the ceramics before they buy. Galleries give artists a service. It is another place to sell our work. I think they are important and I think the good ones will make it.

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What is the best way to approach a gallery?

I have heard some gallery owners say, don’t send me anything. I will find artists I want to put in my gallery. So I think you just take a chance, send them a post card, or you send them a CD with some images on it, you direct them to your Facebook page, something like that.

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What is your next big dream?

I am living the dream I think. My next big dream is to keep doing what I am doing, and do it better.

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Book Cover

Physics for Poets

Instagram: @DebraOlivaCeramics

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