I have been collecting pottery for over twenty years. This span of time
has allowed me to collect a large number of pots. The first pieces
acquired were from the Arts and Crafts era that included examples
of Rookwood, Weller, Hampshire, and Van Briggle. My collecting
direction changed after meeting Vivika and Otto Heino in 1984. The
passion became the search for the best studio pots I could find and
afford. Pieces by such artists as Laura Andreson, Karl Martz, and
Harding Black sat upon my shelves and on any other open space.
Collecting just five years ago entailed travel, much letter writing,
and many dollars in phone bills. Serious collecting took
much time and energy. Nothing was at your fingertips. Requests
for photos were many and the mail system was never quick enough
for the crazed pottery buyer.
The internet has altered collecting in a major and positive manner.
Images are almost instant. Questions are answered in a flash rather than
days. Payment can be made by e-mailing a credit or debit card number.
One can view hundreds of pots with almost lightning speed. Travel is
reduced to a fraction of what it was before the e-commerce arrived.
Collecting is even more fun and more interesting.
E-commerce is the best thing that has happened to collectors and also
is the best thing to happen to potters--potters that will utilize the
interenet and who are becoming computer literate. Doors are opening
and potters who take the effort to walk through these digital doors
have a great opportunity for success and profit. I truly think that
clay artists unwilling to to become part of the interenet world
will be this century's version of the long gone village blacksmith.
Father Anthony and Kurt Wild are examples of clay artists that found
success on the internet. These two potters are friends of mine and I am
certain that the internet and sound use of the internet made their
names known to many collectors around the country. I was able to move
images and information to collector from Maine to California. Dozens
of potential buyers were reached quickly with ease. The decision
to buy was made easier for collectors contacted.
The internet is very real. The internet is powerful. The internet is
here to stay!! I urge all potters to make the internet their major
sales and marketing tool. The world of buyers and collectors
are really just an e-mail away.