Best way to contact me is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ceramics is a fun, muddy, wet and dirty business, which means that I do not usually answer emails, phone calls, texts, FB messages or tweets very quickly. Please be patient. If I am in a high production time of year, usually from September-December, also known as Xmas Hell, add a few days.
The Naked Leaf
- Cups, Teapots, etc. -
1126 Kensington Road NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
TEL : 403-283-3555
EMAIL -- WEBSITE
How long did it take you to make that? - For my typical faceted mugs/bowls with sprigs and a handle I spend about a combined hour per mug, between throwing it on the wheel, decorating and glazing.
- My faceted tea-pots take about 3 hours each.
- The work that is completely covered in sprigs like my Indiegogo mugs or my Steampunk Gear Mugs, the RusTeaPots, and my larger works are totally variable but the mugs average about 3 hours total.
- Below is a short stop motion animation I did with the help of my son Alex showing the construction process of the TrespassersEye Cthulhu Mugs.
Do you carve all of those decorations yourself? - Yes, I carve original designs and make a mold from that carving. The mold is then used to create sprigs which are applied to the pottery.
Your mugs/bowls/etc. are all cast from a single mold right? - No, everything I make is traditionally thrown on the potters wheel, then the handles and sprig decorations are added after as seen in the video above.
Why is your work so expensive? - Its not actually expensive when compared to other artists or when you consider the time put into each piece. I've been producing work since before I graduated from the Alberta College of Art in 1990, I started making pottery when I was 16, that was over 30 years ago. If you've been doing something for over 30 years, 25+ years professionally, and are really good at it, wouldn't you want to be paid a commensurate price for your work.
I can buy a mug for $5 at Walmart, why would I spend $30 on one of your mugs? - Yes, people have actually said this to me many times.
- *heavy sarcasm alert* Yeah . . . sure . . . those two mugs are exactly alike, I shall only charge $5 a mug from now on. *sarcasm over* (no, my mugs are still $30)
- Walmart, and other similar stores ,sell mostly MACHINE-MADE, impersonal, utilitarian, disposable items by the thousands. I make one-of-a-kind, personal, HAND-MADE, unique and opulent pieces that people love and take care of.
-My mugs are also twice the size, bad-ass, and if you attend a business meeting with one of my mugs, you win the meeting!
Why does it take 4-6 weeks or longer, to make a single mug? - It may only take a combined time of an hour (plus firing time) to make a regular mug but I may be working on something else when you order it. The next time I make mugs/bowls/etc. I will make your mug/bowl/etc. too.
- The general progression of ceramic construction is this;
CONSTRUCTION (1-40 hours per item)
DRYING TIME (1-5 days depending on size or complexity)
BISQUE FIRING (1 day)
GLAZING (1-4+ hours depending on size or complexity)
GLAZE FIRING (1 day)
- If you want a custom design mug add a week, custom design sprig add 2-3 weeks. Do you want multiples or a different glaze color, add time. Change your mind for any part of the commission and the clock starts again.
- The kiln is also only fired when its full otherwise its a waste of energy and not economically sound. So unless I either have about 25 beer mugs, 40 coffee/tea cups, 6 tea-pots or a combination of that then the firing waits. This happens for both bisque and glaze firings.
- Every now and again things happen, from drying issues, warping, broken sprig molds, ideas not working, kiln fractures, supplier issues, power outages, clumsiness and many other things. This all adds time to the process and if something doesn't work its on me to fix it.
- In addition I am usually working for multiple customers making multiple items. Everthing is created in turn, and no I cannot make it faster for you at Xmas. (Xmas order deadline is October 1st)
Can you make a matching set? - Yes, but please be aware that my style is such that no two items will match exactly. There will be deviation but it will be a set.
- Sprig decorations will always match but height/width will vary slightly
Can you turn my logo/design idea into a sprig decoration? - Yes, there is an extra charge for this and it will take another 2-3 weeks to make a mold before I can use it on your commission.
- Some designs may be either too complex or detailed to properly transfer to a smaller design, any changes are always verified with the customer at every step.
Can I cancel an order? - Yes, with conditions. If an order is cancelled after payment, 25% of the total is non-refundable. If work has started on the project, then 50% of the total is non-refundable.
Do you Wholesale your work? - Yes, only to existing businesses and in sufficient quantities to warrant an order, usually about $500 minimum. I will not wholesale items to individuals, only registered businesses.
Do you Consign your work? - No, after 25 years in this industry I have had my consignment work rented, donated, stolen, broken/destroyed and used, all without my knowledge or any compensation. This did not happen at one business but multiple businesses across the country and internationally. If you want my work, you can pay for it, like any shop would pay for their stock.
How does ordering wholesale work? - Until I get the wholesale order website up, orders are made directly to me through the CONTACT FORM. Payment is handled on a 50% down and 50% on delivery basis and work does not proceed on ANY project until the downpayment is paid.
- IMPORTANT - If an order is cancelled after payment, 25% of the total estimate is non-refundable. If work has started on the project, then the full downpayment (50% of the total estimate) is non-refundable.
How fast can I get my order? - If what you want is in stock, then right away, depending on your location and shipping methods. All my in-stock product is usually listed HERE.
- If the product you require is not in stock or its a custom commission then it could take upto 3-6 months, without any delays. Check the Private Commissions Info above for details, then multiply that estimate by however many things you ordered.
The factory in china/local supplier/importer can get mugs for me at a fraction of your cost, why should I order from you? - My work is handmade and more personal than any supplier can get or factory can make. Factory produced items are machine made, common and unremarkable pieces. Most factories require a minimum order in the hundreds of units, if not thousands. You also get to support ther local economy, presumably which you are also part of. Turnaround time for most factories is 1-3 years with a high, unadvertised cost in development.
Why are you only making limited editions? - I do not describe myself as a production potter. I cannot sit and make the same thing a hundred times a day, I would go nuts.The best I can do is to make the same thing about 10-25 times then I am done with it. The more complex, the less there will be.
Will you be making more Cthulhu Mugs? - I have an idea in my head for one more design, a red clay pint glass beaker style Cthulhu beer label thing. I want to clear everything else on my plate first so this will not be produced until Spring 2015, then I'll probably put it down for a while.
- I will also be designing some other limited edition non-Cthulhu mugs too.
I never received my perk from the campaign, where is it? - Not everything has been distributed yet, and quite a few things, mostly mugs and cookie jars are still in process. All the smaller beads have been sent, and half the Cthulhu pendants and bottles are waiting to be mailed. For more detailed info on what has been shipped and how the campaign helped, go to my BLOG HERE.
- If you have contributed to the Indiegogo campaign and your delivery address has changed please
FILL OUT THE FORM HERE.
Do you teach classes? - Yes, I used to teach a regular evening class at the Alberta College of Art & Design in basic wheelthrowing. Classes ran from September-December and January-April every school year. Go bug them here if you want them to hire me again at the ACAD CONTINUING EDUCATION DEPARTMENT.
- I also teach for other organizations and when teaching is confirmed I usually post updates HERE and on my FACEBOOK PAGE HERE.
Do you teach individuals? - Yes, I will teach basic and advanced techniques 1-2 individuals at a time in my studio for three hour sessions at the cost of $50 for one person or $70 for two. Firing and glaze fees are a further cost.
Will you do demos? - Yes, I am available to teach demos of my signature sprigging and faceting techniques from January-October. My fee schedule is $650 for a full day (more than 4 hours) or $360 for a half day (less than 4 hours) plus travel & accomodation (if necessary).
WTF is Xmas Hell? - Xmas Hell is the period that starts in September every year and runs until Xmas Eve. This is the busiest time for potters as we get multiple requests, above our usual production, for our regular stock and custom orders that increase as the period progresses.
- The closer to Xmas you get the more irrational and bizzare the requests get.
Actual Xmas Hell Requests
Can I get six mugs with my company logo on them by the weekend? Well, since its Wednesday and Xmas day is Saturday, no. Why not, don't you want to earn some money? Um, I'm sorry its just not physically possible and I'm finishing up work for other clients that ordered months ago. Right, you're just lazy?
Hey! Would you like to display your artwork during an event sponsored by a local brewery? Your artwork will be displayed on pedestals during the event, we aren't selling anything for you but it would be great exposure! Do you mean would I like to take a day out of my busiest time of the year to dress your function with my pottery that I cannot sell when hundreds of people are milling about it while drinking beer? Um . . .
Please ship one of your custom cookie jars to me asap with this phrase on it. I also think the price is too high but I'm willing to pay half the price. I need it delivered in two weeks, shipping's free right? - Honestly, I didn't even answer this request, their email was added to my spam filter. :-/
I need a last minute Xmas gift, do you have a tea-pot with matching sugar bowl, creamer and four mugs on hand? No, sorry, all my stock has been delivered to my retailers and galleries this year. Are you sure, can you check your stock please? Well its Xmas Eve and I'm at a dinner function across town. Can you drive back to your studio and check for me then drop off the pottery? *I hang up phone, block caller*
This is why I no longer publish my phone number.
Can you teach a friend and I how to make pottery, glaze and fire it before Xmas? No, sorry, its 20 days until Xmas and I'm neck deep in commissions.
Hey, did you ever . . .? - Don't even start, Hollywood is not reality, you should know that by now. Except for Community, which is totally awesome!! ;-)