Ben Carter | Episode 219
Ben Carter returns for a third appearance on The Potters Cast. This time he talks about his new book, Mastering The Potter’s Wheel. That isn’t all that we talk about, but it is a big piece of the action. So Enjoy today’s episode with Ben Carter.
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How do you know when your own work is technically good?
Good question. When I make a pot that has the exterior curve that I am interested in, I am often thinking about volume in pots. If I have he exterior curve that I like, like lets say on a pitcher, I want the curve to be right, but I also want it to feel right. So for me when I know something is made well it looks right and it feels right.
We have talked about maturity as a potter, at what point should one be testing the waters for sales?
I feel like whenever you know you have a repeatable process. For instance, if you are a thrower and you want to start selling mugs, once you can make ten mugs, and trim them, put handles on them and glaze them in a way that the next day you could go back and make another ten, that’s when you are ready to go out and try to sell them.
How important is it to develop a marketing plan?
Extremely important. I think it is second only to the technical stuff I just mentioned .Being able to come up with a repeatable process.For me marketing is as integral as the act of selling as anything. The idea that I would just sit in Santa Cruz and make pots and that somehow people would magically find out about those pots, come to Santa Cruz and buy them is just a fool’s errand. That’s never happens. What happens more is I have a body of work that I have come up with a marketing plan for and I go outside of Santa Cruz to sell those pots.
How do you find your target audience?
I actually found Facebook to be really helpful. Granted I had been making and selling pots a long time before Facebook was invented, but when Facebook came around they had insights for my business page. When I looked at my insights I found that my audience was women between the ages of 27-45. When I thought about it it made sense that that’s who would be coming to the site, because that’s also who comes to my workshops. It’s also the people that would enjoy the aesthetic that I make.
How important is the audience’s’ response to your work to your creativity?
It used to not be important at all but I think it’s becoming more and more important. I used to think my creativity was like having a monologue, but now I think of it more like its a dialogue. I have ideas that I want to make the pots about, for instance, food service and building community. But I want them to put the objects out in the world and see if they work.
How important are books reviews to the author?
Extremely important. I am so glad you are asking me this. When a book is sold there will be an opportunity to leave a review for the book. If you go on Amazon and write a short review say about the chapter in my book about back health, what that does is it puts it into the algorithm of Amazon that anyone who is searching for back health and pottery is then going to find it. So you are going to help people that have the same problem that you have and find this book and hopefully find a solution.
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