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Artist Spotlight: Sharpe Pots

Artist Spotlight: Sharpe Pots

Lois Sharpe, Virginia Beach, VA

Lois has been a potter for more that 20 years, working from her home studio in Durham NC. She and her husband recently moved to Virginia Beach VA to be near grand babies. She opened her new studio and continues to make pottery. Lois consciously works to keep her pottery fresh and feels her passion for this medium is reflected in the finished pieces.

Describe Your Work:
I want my work to be fun and functional. Both wheel thrown and hand built. I am now using earthen ware fired hotter than usual. I am firing this clay HOT. High fired earthenware???? Crazy right! This type of pottery has been widespread in Europe for many years, it is just now gaining popularity here in US. Traditionally when fired this clay remains very porous and makes the excellent flower pots we all know and love (use). But fired hotter it becomes much denser and less absorbent making pottery that is both functional and beautiful. I have done a lot of research and testing, I feel confident in my work. I make my own glazes and love them being unique to me. It also saves on my carbon footprint! Much less energy used to fire it. Slab trays are extremely popular, most with ocean themed sprigged creatures, crabs. turtles, octopus, sand dollars. Most of my work has a reticulating glaze that cracks and crawls giving a look of a sandy beach, which blends perfectly with my sea creatures.

How did you get started in the crafts business?
I took my first pottery class is 1977, I have never stopped making pots. 20 years later I left my nursing position to pursue my passion for clay. I have been operating Sharpe Pots studio since 1998, loving every minute in my studio.

How long have you been wholesaling?
Since 1999

What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?
IndieMe, researching the web and choosing a store I think will be a good fit, then emails and sending samples.

What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?
90% wholesale 10% retail

How has IndieMe helped your business?
I have been with IndieMe since they first came into being as Wholesalecrafts.com. After a 3 year hiatus for surgery and moving from NC to VA, I was anxious to return to IndieMe, to reestablish with my old accounts and get new ones. IndieMe & before it Wholesalecrafts.com has been a very effective tool for me.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?
Always good craftsmanship! Good design and beautiful work.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?
Let the artist know what you want, new ideas are always welcome, Can we customize something for you? Also let us know if something does not work, feedback is appreciated.

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