An Experimental Ceramicist | Sean Roberts | Episode 370

Sean Roberts | Episode 370

With a background in chemistry and four years of work experience in science labs, Sean Roberts brings an experimental mindset to his artistic process.  Sean’s work is constantly changing as he develops new tools in his experimentation in the studio.  Sean is deeply fascinated by the underlying randomness in the patterns and structures of nature. Sean’s primary current work is the product of 4 years of experimentation with marbling colored slips.  Colored liquid clays are mixed and poured to create the vast array of patterns.



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You said you are an experimental potter. How do you know when you are not pushing the limits and you have just settled into easy?

Probably when everything works out and you know what’s going to happen. I mean, it’s only experimental if you don’t know what’s going to happen when you are doing it.

How have you been able to keep your love for ceramics as a professional?

That is a great question and it comes down to the fact that I have been able to stay experimental in the way that I have built around this slip-casting, marbling technique. There’s infinite possibilities. I can play with new forms and there is always new color possibilities and new design possibilities.

How has Instagram impacted your sales?

It has definitely lead to quite a few sales of certain series and sales in general. It is hard to track because I have been doing this full time for a year and a half and lots of cups are out there and I have my logo on the bottom and I recognize certain people’s names that are coming to reorder. Instagram is a great venue for testing the market and seeing what people really want. The planetary series and the galaxy series, I rarely have them in stock because when I get time to make a batch of those once a month I will post on Instagram and say they are available on the website and they sell out within a day or so. But it is still not as effective as selling in person. When someone sees them and picks them up they are more likely to sell. My primary sources of income are still the Farmer’s markets and a local shop compared to online, but it’s growing.

What is your Instagram strategy?

So it has evolved over time. Basically at this point I try to have a weekly structure where at the beginning of the week I will post back to work Monday and engaging videos. Then towards the end of the week I ramp to more product placement. So Friday is when I always post my lab products on the website and I try to help people see that there are actually products that you can buy. And then the week-end is sort of random.

What is the best kind of post for you?

People really love bright colors. I don’t know if it’s my followers but whenever I post something with rainbow colors and it’s just a photo, those are the ones that get the most likes. It is also process shots. Process and color: people are really responsive to.



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