Professional Needed

So not only do potters need to know how to use clay and manipulate it into fabulous forms, a functional potter must also know how to make these forms work right.  AND then there’s the glazing – that takes even more to learn.  Once we learn to make and decorate, off to the kilns to learn even more about how different temperature changes can effect the glaze.  Subtle changes in cooling the kiln or heating the kiln can make all the difference.  But I’m not done!  Now once you get something worthy out of the kiln, potters need to know how to market – and there’s a whole art to that I won’t get into – but I must say, photographing the work to look as good, if not better, in image than in person is another learning curve and essential to marketing.  This is where others may step in to help – and unless you know a really good photographer willing to give you a hand, the process could cost alot of money!

So I try to take my own shots.  This is one learning curve I have not even begun to climb – and it shows.  My photos suck.  I made a light box that hangs from the ceiling and holds 3 lights for brightness and is covered with a white plastic table cloth  to ‘diffuse’ the light.  I also have a grey backdrop.  My camera has a setting for white balance and I do use it.  Here are the results:


Too Blue!

Too Yellow!

Too Yellow!

As you can see, white balance in my set-up doesn’t seem to do it. No matter what I do, I get a variety of results that do not seem to be the colors of my pots:

Too Blue, again.

Too Blue, again.

Too Yellow!

Too Yellow!

Not to mention the fact that my camera is always a bit skewed and just a hair blurry….

I use a Canon PowerShot S2IS.

Without the backdrop, light, etc, here is a shot of the table with some of my firing results:

Table of pots

Table of pots


  1. Susie Campbell · September 17, 2009

    Boy is it ever great to see your work from your studio! Have your classes started yet?

    what kind of bulbs are you using for the lights for your lightbox? Can you change them to change the color of the light?

    • pincupottery · September 17, 2009

      Lights for the lightbox are the new power-saving bulbs – I used John Glick’s page as my jump-off point for learning to make a lightbox and then followed one of his blog commentators, Jennifer Everett, for the light advice. Her photos look good. I don’t know what my deal is… I think it takes practice, like everything else! Scroll down to the bottom of the linked blog to see her photos and read about her solution.
      Thanks for looking at the blog, by the way. And classes begin next week!

  2. Matt Katz · July 30, 2009

    My name is Matt Katz and I write Slipcast Blog ( I am collecting a master list of ceramics blogs. I have added your blog to my list, Please check it out. If you know of a blog that I have missed. Please let me know.
    Love your blog,

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