Category Archives: Art and Business

Experimenting with Ping.fm to update websites

Trying out Ping.fm to update Facebook, Twitter and WordPress blog from 1 site. Plan to use this to update our Kiwanis service websites too.

Update: Ping.fm is a free service that seems to work quite well. All my updates can be made from 1 location and that will save me a little time in the future.

Now…back to the pottery studio!

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Almost too hot to fire the kilns!

The last 3 weeks in North Texas have been scorchers! Daily brownouts occur because everyone is using their ac systems at full blast. I’ve hesitated on doing bisque and final firings because the large kilns draw 50+ amps at max and I don’t know if that will interfere with the home ac system. If the brownouts cause the kiln to fire slowly, then it could take all day and half the night to just do a bisque firing! I think I will wait until the temperatures cool down a bit. In the meantime, greenware is filling the shelves.

Fred Sweet is doing some work in our studio and producing some really great designs. His attention to detail on his pots certainly encourages me to spend that little bit extra on each piece to get the most out of it. With my main job (software support) taking up so much time lately, I haven’t been able to get out into the studio as much so I’m hoping to get these computer projects wrapped up so I can make more pots!

Although we have a website (www.kregelpottery.com), we’re thinking of creating a separate FaceBook page just for our pottery work. We have a twitter account @kregelpottery with almost 350 friends, and I have a personal twitter account @mkregel that I use to post mostly art stuff that is not necessarily pottery related, but more about the business of art. So far, I have about 1040 followers on that account! Cool stuff!

We’re looking for shows to participate in this Fall.
We’ll post the events here.
Marshall

While it was snowing…Again!

Ok, this time Mother Nature hit Dallas with a major snowstorm, which I believe, has beaten records going back over 30 years. Our front yard has 7 or 8 inches of snow and it is still coming down this evening. It was a good day to spend in the studio making pottey.
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In the pictures, you can see some of the plates I’m working on for a special project. Got 3 of them completed today but am making the next ones a little differently. These are time-consuming to do and look pretty cool when they are done. But I think I will flare the sides on the next ones and make them look more like a platter than a plate. These oughta match the candlesticks quite nicely! Am anxious to get all the sets fired next week and see how they turn out.

A long year and it’s not over yet!

I spent a good bit of the last year working on the idea behind my ArtBiz101 project, talking with people and getting ideas for the website. The book part of the project has been completed and gone through the first editing. With a few changes, it will be ready to post soon. Parts of this book will be posted on the website in the form of articles about the business of art.
Another year-long project just ended last week with a very successful Kiwanis convention held in Rockwall, Texas. I spent a lot of time working on booths and displays for the convention in support of the Rockwall Kiwanis Club. Am glad it’s over but I miss the excitement of working with such a cool group of people who put their heart and soul into making this convention one of the best Texas-Oklahoma District conventions ever.
Besides editing video for the ArtBiz101 project, I’m editing video from interviews I’ve done with WWII veterans that I have met around the country in the past few years. Some of the stories I’ve heard are absolutely amazing! So far, I’ve got 66 interviews completed and these come from all over the U.S. and parts of Canada.
Although I do contract software support for the State of Tennessee, they haven’t had any additional projects for me to work on lately. But, that could change on a moments notice and I could end up back in Tennessee for long weeks. Even when I’m on the road, I get a lot of work done on the websites in the evenings while sitting in hotel rooms. Hooray for modern technology and WiFi!
Lastly, Connie and I are putting our pottery studio to work this fall and will be creating a few new lines of work which we plan to market through our website (KregelPottery.com) and through some local stores. These new lines will be nothing like the work we’ve done in the past but we will continue using colored slips and clear glazes rather than keep buckets of colored glazes sitting in our cramped studio.
Marshall

Mixing art and business, left-brain…right-brain or no-brainer?

Marshall Kregel making coffee mugs Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of experience starting new companies. Some have been successful, some not. While I worked for the past 25 years doing technical support on computer software, my passion was pottery and my dream was having my own pottery studio somewhere in the New Mexico mountains. Reality bites (or bytes if you want to be left-brained about this). I can’t leave my computer business and my pottery studio at home is really cramped.
Also along the way, I’ve met some of the most incredibly gifted artists in all sorts of media but I’ve also noticed that a lot of these great artists are having a tough time making ends meet. So I’ve started a new business that, for me, mixes my passion for art with my 25 years of experience running a company. My new business is ArtBiz101 and it will be a (mostly) free source of information for artists, or anyone, starting a new company. It will be very heavy in personal interviews of people who have “been there, done that” either successfully, or with a lot of trial and error.
The interviews have been a lot of fun. I get to meet cool artists and get some good stories too.
The new website kicks off June 1st so it does not have much up there yet, but check it out over the next few weeks. The link is ArtBiz101.Com
Marshall