The Doods in Progress
Today I spent a very productive day in the Shed making what I have come to call The Doods.
Like many of my best sellers, The Doods started out not even as an experiment but as a throw away doodle in clay.
The first one wasn't even an incense holder or anything. I think I was going for more of a ring holder vibe.
I even had a naming contest on one of the handmade facebook groups.
The winner was Ringo Ringamajig.
I sold Ringo as a result and thought it was something to explore.
The first set were more of a weird woodland mariachi band than anything else. And I wasn't sure about the colours. I didn't like the green. It was sort of mottled and strange for some reason. Not what I was expecting but heh.
Also I hadn't settled into a design. They were still all sorta different. Which makes listing a pain. But they all sold!
Encouraged by this success I worked on standardising the design. Which I was happy with but I was NOT happy with the colours. I don't know what went wrong with the glazes. They were supposed to be blue and green but they came out this strange brown.
Yet, rather astoundingly, these odd little brown monsters sold out almost immediately.
So I was determined to get the product cycle and colours right. The next batch were 20 jewel toned beauties (a couple still in stock but almost all sold out in less than a month). And that was when I just started calling them The Doods. "I sold two Doods today" I would say to my partner. "Sell any more Doods?" he asks me. "When are you making more Doods, my girlfriend wants one" dood sent me on the Gram the other day.
So today I sat in my shed making Doods. These charming little ceramic incense holders are fairly labour intensive and have several steps in the production process. I also need to make sure the clay isn't too stiff or they crack and won't shape up nicely.
It all starts with balls. Each ball of white clay is 2 ounces. Insert pun about potters needing balls here. No really. I never get sick of puns about balls.
Each ball gets wedged up into a little log. This way I can make sure each ceramic incense holder is going to be about the same height and width. They won't be identical though. It's important to me that all of my handmade ceramics pieces are unique.
Next I make the make pottery form. This is basically a pinch pot with legs. And I make the mushroom stalks to go on the side. By making a large number at once, this lets each piece dry to the right consistency to make attaching the mushrooms, flowers, and "hats" easier.
Next come their little eyes. According to my customers, these Doods' little faces are one of the main reasons why they love them. They have such funny cute little faces.
And finally they get their little hats and my maker's mark put on.
This little army of Doods is all ready for the drying shelf! They will get fired to about 1080 degrees Celsius and then they will be glazed. I like the new colours I have for them and they are also very trendy with the pastel blue and lavender.
Initially I thought these would be a nightmare for shipping with the little mushroom stalk hanging out there, but they are pretty sturdy and they get VERY well packed for mailing.
It's funny how things turn out. To be honest this is pretty indicative of my process. I have always been terrible at drawing and drafting so I do my designing in 3D. Very seldom to I plan pieces out on paper. I can't imagine how The Doods would have looked in 2D. I probably would never have bothered making even one!
These Doods will be in the shop just in time for #valentinesday shopping in a couple of weeks. They make a wonderful #giftforhim, #giftforher, or even to #treatyoself. I will be having a Valentines Day sale later this month and these guys will be about £10 with your discount.