Wednesday, August 20, 2014

So how do you sign your pots?

One of my students bought a plate from me last week. He said he really liked it, but why do I not sign my pots? I said that I do sign my pots, but I choose to use a chop mark as opposed to scrawling my really long signature all over the bottom of a piece. I usually put the mark on the bottom or near the bottom, sometimes I put it beside the bottom of handle attachment points, and sometimes I put it in a more visible spot, as with the two pictures below. I thought he was done with the topic, but this week he came back and said that the reason he, and possibly other students, buy my work is because I made it and in 10 years, he may not remember who the heck make that plate if all he had to go on was some little chop mark. I used to sign my work with a dull pencil, but I wanted something easier and smaller I explained and so I made myself this little stamp. It is unique to me, no other potter that I know of signs with a similar mark. I have never really had an issue with this method, most of the people that buy my work are unknown to me and they are not buying it because I made it (I'm not that famous yet) but because they like the piece. And I guess that is what it should be all about. It should be about the pot, not the potter so much.

So how do you sign your pots? with a flourish? a chop? or nothing at all?


  1. Wow, I've missed almost a year of your blog while I've been on hiatus. One of my first ceramics book was a tome of potter marks, used to identify pottery. It seemed to be more for identifying antiques, but I am in love with the idea. I sign the bottoms with my first name and year identifier, but I've been playing with the idea of using chops because they are a beautiful addition to a pot. My uncle, a production potter, warned me against adding the year because he had experienced shoppers demanding a discounted price on a pot if it wasn't made in the current year.

    I can't wait to read what you've been up to. I love what I've seen thus far!

    1. Well, I can't say I have been up to anything exciting in the past year. I did move back into my condo last month. I guess that is new and exciting (for me anyway). My life, as always, really just revolves around making pots in the studio and waiting to get back into the studio after a week of non clay work. There may be some exciting news by the end of May, but I don't want to count my chickens, as they say, until they have hatched. When I know more on that topic, I will certainly post it on the blog right away.