Last Thursday, I enjoyed listening to ceramic artist Ayumi Horie discuss her work and personal philosophy. She shared several images of her pottery and studio, but what I found the most interesting was how well she had marketed herself over the years.
Horie was one of the first ceramic artists to sell work from a personal website. Even today, few artists sell their work directly to the buyer. She described how the creation and maintenance of the website takes almost as much effort as her pottery. The aesthetic of the website was very important to her. She includes a lot of information about her work, but also has creatively marketed herself using postcard imagery and viral videos.
She also talked about her involvement starting the Handmade for Japan charity. She collaborated with other artists to raise funds for the rebuilding of the Tohoku area of Japan effected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake.
I was fascinated by her talk because I have always wanted to use ceramics in the classroom as a fundraiser to serve a charitable cause. I want to involve students in creating art to serve a larger purpose than function and aesthetics. I've heard a lot about the Empty Bowls campaign, and would like to do something similar in my future classes.
I think the combination of how Horie has used postcards and videos to market herself, could be a great way to advertise for a school charity project. I also like the idea of having students think of creative ways to document their artwork using digital cameras or camcorders.
Personally, I was never confident with ceramic projects throughout grades K-12, but I think I would have been excited to compose a funny photograph or a clever video featuring my pottery. I want to give my future students an opportunity to explore different artistic processes to coincide with a pottery lesson.
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