You know you’re a potter if….

1. You are doing the laundry and emptying out your jean pockets and they are filled with clay dust.

2. You are on the way to a weekend craft show, after just unloading your still hot kiln, packing the pots in newspaper and loading them into the back of your 1990 Ford Ranger. You are going 75 miles an hour down the highway trying to make it on time and you notice flames coming from the back of the truck.

3. You consider making ceramic earrings because the jeweler next you in the last show had a line that spilled over into your booth where you sold 3 cups.

4. You consider making your next show the local flea market so you can save the jury fee.

5. If you cry during the Ghost throwing scene.

6. You think that taking Sundays off is a decadent guilty pleasure.

7. You come home after a weekend show with $1,000 and think you are rich.( Before you realize that you had a $500 jury fee, $67.00 in sales tax, $50 in gas to get there, $150 for the motel, $50 for food, and had to donate something for the auction.)

8. You take a job as an adjunct instructor and actually believe that they are going to try to get you on full-time.
9. You consider taking a part-time job at McDonald’s so you can have a steady source of food.

10. You consider copyrighting your “new” cup design and actually believe you will make money.

11. You think using an electric wheel is selling out.

12. You open your kiln a bit early, because you can’t wait to see the work and your leather gloves start smoking and then catch on fire.

13. You check clayart on your cell phone, the first thing in the morning and then 5 more times that day.

14. If you have all the Ceramics Monthly’s from 1954, all in the labeled boxes, and in order.

15. If, while considering buying an Ipod, you think, I would only have to sell 7 more cups…

16. If you think that wedging is morally superior to a deairing pugmill.

17. If, after 30 years of being a potter, (living the dream) working 6 days a week, 12 -16 hours a day, no health insurance, no paid vacations, and no savings account, you suddenly realize you will have to live on social security. Unfortunately, you haven’t put anything in to it!

18. If you hurt your shoulder and realize you can’t afford surgery not only because you have no insurance but because you can’t afford to take 6 weeks off with no income in order to recover.

19. You spend your one day off a week, addressing show announcements, updating your mailing list and taking photos of your work so you can meet the deadline for the next show.

20. You eat peanut butter sandwiches more than 5 days a week.

21. You sleep in the bed of your truck at shows to save money.

22. You get excited about NCECA’s vendors area.

23. You are actually choosing a lecture entitled “Cones and the Dynamics of Heatwork”.

24. Your Youtube history has more than 100 pottery videos.

25. Your tool box is so full it won’t close.

26. You own 4 pin tools and think that is ok.

27. You get excited about natural sponges.

28. You think wedging is a substitute for a health club.

29. If someone asks you to be in a recipe exchange in mid-November and you send a glaze recipe while everyone else sends in turkey recipes.

30. If you think that buying store bought clay or glaze is selling out.

31. If Bernard Leach’s Potter’s Book is number 1 on your reading list.

32. If you think that the cheese ball at an opening could be “dinner”.

33. If it occurs to you while drinking a beer with your friends that you could recycle your beer bottle in a glaze.
34. If after doing your taxes, you consider getting a real minimum wage job .

35. If while listening to a story on NPR about the cause of homelessness and poverty, you realize that they are talking about you.

36. If you have used the word “eutectic” in a sentence.

37. You need to choose between buying clay and buying gas.

38. You have been to more than 20 potlucks in a year.

39. You ask your mom to buy some of your pots this month.

40. You are afraid of cristobalite.

41. You take a day off from potting to throw bowls for Empty Bowls.

42. You have 5 old broken down kilns in your backyard up on cinderblocks, and you insist you are going to make them into soda kilns someday. (not to mention 4 old cars on cinderblocks, and a washer on the porch.)

43. You look at your pants in the morning and consider wearing them again since they will get dirty in 5 minutes anyway.

44. You think the phrase “nice ash” is funny.

45. You have 20 five gallons buckets filled with slip that you have to recycle.

46. You open a bag of old clay and think that rotten egg smell means it is good.

47. You consider peeing in your clay to make it more plastic.

48. You consider making a glaze from your recently deceased pet.

49. You look on-line for human ash glaze recipes.

50. You compile a list of 50 ways "You know you’re a potter if…"

Copyright , John Britt


Vicki Hamilton said…
I laughed at nearly every one of these! Thanks John.
Me too! I'm still giggling! I DO own 4 pin tools it IS OK!
Anonymous said…
now I know, how to recognize a potter !!
so funny
Diane Puckett said…
John, did you make that pot in the photo?
John Britt said…
Yes Diane. Soda fired. Think it is in the book.
Linda Fahey said…
the genius of a mad potter !
Anonymous said…
I own at least 20 needle tools, you only have to run out once
Robin Wolf said…
51. You have figured out how to cook a recipe for "oxblood" in the kiln, and "beef stew" on the kiln, all at the same time!
John Britt said…
I will have to work on that.
This list is awesome! Love it! :)
Lori Watts said…
...if you make less than the average fast food server and people still tell you that you're "living the dream."
PS. They are right.
Daphne Vega said…
Ahhhh, I think I'm going to pin this list to my studio door!
Emily Reason said…
from this list, I've learned that I am a sell out. My income taxes don't usually amount to much, but I KNOW that as a self-employed person I pay social security TWICE.
Cambria Pottery said…
Very recognizable but I am fortunate to have universal health care. Living the dream in Canada
mikpo said…
You know you're a potter if you read this list to the last depressing item. Oh well, what else are you going to do? Make pots!

I knew of a potter who did take pots from his kiln a little too hot, to get to a show (in NM, of course) on time, and they were wrapped in newspaper, and Oh la la, the bed of the truck on route broke out in flames. No sht! Be careful.