a minimal modern handmade ceramics studio by shelley martin. portland oregon usa.
recent photos i posted to my @vitrifiedstudio instagram feed
A few more orders shipped out
Studio visitor. I was thinking he might go in as the garage door was open, but he wasn’t interested in doing pottery today.
A few of this week’s orders. Feel free to ask me about sizing or details of these if you are working on your order design.
Recently shipped orders.
I’m just going to keep making these until they start to feel useful to people. Here is the size xs with my most popular stamps and fonts. This one is fired and glazed. I already noticed I have the stamp code for the small butterfly wrong. Time to make another!
I have reactivated the sepia colored image add-on. We spent a few months researching full color decal printers and right now it just doesn’t seem worth it to invest in one. But I still have the ability to do sepia colored custom image decals, and I am interested in doing more of these. The listing is active, it’s in the add-on section. I am also running a flash sale on the urns, as it has been a slow month so far otherwise. I am excited to get started back on the decals and I am interested to see what my customers come up with for their images.
The morning light is always so much better on my patio than the afternoon light. These were taken in the afternoon light. I have 3 batches of orders finishing up and shipping now or soon.
I’m still trying these out, but here is another actual size urn with my stamps on it. I am going to keep working on these, making them clear and easy to understand. This is a size extra small with my most popular stamps and fonts on it. I did one last week on a size medium wide. I think I need to do one in each shape and size, and then fire them and photograph them and turn it into a graphic for within my custom order listings. I think it will help people as they design their own custom urns.
Current batch of orders shipping. I love how different these all are. I am starting sorting the orders for the next batch, reviewing the order notes and sorting the orders by size shape and clay type. I make them all in batches, so I can keep the efficiency of doing production pottery, but every order is customized so we do have to track all of the customizations, changes, and keep every customer up to date on their order progress. When I first started making the urns I would just make and ship them, but now I aim to contact each customer at least once and sometimes twice with updates and communication. Time to start the next batch of custom orders and get these 40 finished orders packed and out the door.
I’m wrapping up this month’s vitrifiedstudio Etsy flash sale today. We are in the final hours of 25% off custom items and 40% off ready made items. I am just shy of my monthly sales goal so I have this flash sale running.
I made this font size mock up on a MW urn pretty quickly for a customer who was working on designing their urn and needed more info on the font sizes. I think I can make a better version of this, and maybe make one in a smaller size too. I also need to fire it first so the shrinkage can be seen. But it’s a good first step, I will try again soon to make a more clear version on clay that isn’t so wet and sticky.
I have a new glaze I will be adding to my glaze palette. It’s a warm grey, like a light grey/brown / taupe? I had this grey as an option called Seattle grey about 8 years ago but I couldn’t get the glaze to be 100% successful, it was often crawling off the surface. So I mixed the glaze with a much more stable grey, and it finally is successful so far all of the time. I think I should call it taupe, but I am not exactly sure if that is what it is to other people.
A few more of the latest batch of orders
This weekends orders, I think I will post these in two parts as it was a pretty large batch of orders. I always try to photograph the ones that seem to be a little different than ones I have made before.
For my custom urns, I know sometimes there are mistakes with the orders so I have a full satisfaction guarantee policy. Sometimes I make mistakes on the order, sometimes there are small blemishes from the handmade process that bother the customers, sometimes the customers make a mistake when ordering because these purchases are the hardest thing to order on one of the hardest days of their lives. Sometimes the post man makes a mistake, and sometimes the custom design just doesn’t look good once it has been made. Whatever the reason, I am happy to remake. Here is an urn that we made a month ago, and just remade again. I am happy to have had a chance to make it again, we fixed a type-o on the quote, and simultaneously adjusted the font selection. Before the urn felt a little busy with such a large font on the back, and now it feels just right with this perfect remake. I am grateful to my customers to have the chance to make them a perfect forever vessel.
A new etsy milestone! 8000 sales. It’s been a crazy last few years, and I am perpetually feeling behind. My goal was to try to slow down a little this summer and focus on some special projects, so hopefully that can start now too. My next goal is to hit 10,000 etsy sales by sometime next year and there is a corresponding etsy all time revenue amount that I am aiming hard for also. I know some people hate the business side of running an art/craft business, but for me it is one of my favorite parts to set goals, calculate the most effective ways to achieve them, and then push hard to get there.
Some batches are full of my dark brown stoneware urns, like this one. I try make the dark clay orders all at once so I can limit contamination into the lighter clays. I also added the brown color palette as an option to all of my listings so I am getting more variation with the orders. I would love to do some of my XL and larger urns out of this clay too.
I have a few of these utensil holders/ vases left and I just marked them down for a flash sale for this week in my Etsy shop. I should probably re-photograph them as the listing photos don’t do them justice. Also the ready made mugs and urns also on the same flash sale.
A short trip to the coast to attempt to relax and recharge before jumping back into a busy summer. We brought a stomach bug with us though.
A few more of this week’s orders. I think the stamp and font choices on the first are just perfect. It’s the sh1 heart with the f1 font and the smaller forever loved stamp on a size medium. It’s the bone white glaze with the dove grey glaze in text on the porcelain clay.