Greg Daly | Episode 388
Greg Daly lives in Australia. His career spans over 40 years. He is a thrower at heart and has a passion for the glazed surface. His current focus is lustre glazes, which give a unique surface and wide spectrum of colours that evokes the vivid hues and atmospheric qualities seen in the Australian landscape. Greg is nearing his 100th solo exhibition, has written three books on glazing and lustre and his work has been acquired by over 80 public collections throughout Australia and 15 other countries.
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Do you think it’s wrong for artists to want to be found?
No. I think it helps them spur them on. Look, to be an artist there has to be a bit of ego but it’s how that ego is there, it can drive you becasue you are seeing things that other’s don’t see. You want to bring those into fruition so you want people to see that.
Do you feel like it would be wrong for an artist to want to be rewarded for their work? In other words, to be paid well for their work?
I think we all would like to be paid well for what we do, but reality doesn’t always do that. I think when some artists are paid extraordinary amounts there is something there that is a bit not right. But on the other hand you are getting people who are doing absolutely beautiful domestic work that you just want to use and they are just barely making it and we want to say: Hey everyone, look at this work. It’s extraordinary, it’s a delight, it’s beautiful to use. I think those people need to be rewarded a lot better than they are.
If you were to be asked by a young potter, How should I price my work? what would you say to that person?
That has been a question I have been asked many times. It’s not easy. I have always worked on pricing with what I would be prepared to pay for something out of my pocket. Not by credit card but cold cash. I find that tends to give you a good realistic balance. I would also ask a second and third opinion to get a realistic take on what the work is. So put down what you think it is valued at, don’t take into the time because when you are doing it for the first time it will take a lot longer to throw a cup than it will ten years down the track. First time might take you ten minutes, next time might take you a minute. That is not a part of it, it is what you think the piece is valued at. Then get others to price it for you and get their opinion.
When you ask for other people’s opinions are you trying to get the opinion of complete strangers or are you trying to get the opinion of people that you regard highly?
I think both. I think both seem important. Somebody completely out of left field and also people who you admire and respect. Asking them for guidance and their opinions is important.
When do you think a person is ready to start selling their work?
Oh, I can’t answer that. That is a hard question. I think when you sell be prepared that you can never come down on price. When you put a price on something the next time you make it the price can go up but it cannever come down because I have seen so often people put prices on stuff, they sell two or three of it and then they realize they have over-priced it and the people who bought that from that show or where ever they go back and see the same object at half the price, they will never buy that person’s work again. Be prepared, start low and you can always go up, but you can never come back on price.
My last question for you is: What is the perfect day for Greg Daly?
Oh, I pause because I can think of different aspects. Of course being in my studio. Of course playing with kilns and making and all that. Another perfect day is to get in a car and drive. I love driving and I like cars and listening to Salmon of Doubt as I drive. I do a lot of driving and I love listening to book tapes. But a perfect day is just to be in my studio and also these days my son,who is a geologist,has been doing ceramics, we have been having some really interesting interactions together. We talk about firing and glazes and having that time with John to hear his take on what is happening with those materials, I think that is a pretty good day.
There is a quote, The ones who can see the invisible can do the impossible. I just loved that quote as a student and I have always drifted back to it and I have always tried to live by that.
How do you see the invisible?
Being quiet. Using your intuition. Standing back. There is a chapter in a book on Seeing and Knowing and it is about quieting the mind and to really look at something, don’t think about it, don’t intellectualize on it, but just to be and look at it quietly and see what emanates and radiates from it.