So after 37 years in the photo industry ... that's right I started in 1981 ... here I am making plans to get out.
Back before 1981 I ran my own ceramics business, making fine art pieces and selling them through galleries and the Festival Of The Arts in Laguna Beach. Why did I ever get into the photo industry in the first place? Well if anyone remembers 1980 was a recessional year and with the downturn in the economy you had to decide between eating, filling your car with gas, and a place to sleep ... no room for fine art. Photography was the other art thing that I was doing having to photograph my work to send to galleries. So I went looking for a photo retail job throughout Orange County and the last place I tried, Cornell's Camera in Mission Viejo, hired me on the spot. With that I shut down my business and went and worked in the photo industry. Besides working retail for the first twelve years, there was being a manufacturers rep, which grew into being a distributor for two photo high end lighting companies from Germany. Finally landing as being sales director for a little company in Seattle. Lots of travel, and lots of eating antacids.
I've had enough.
So I went out and bought myself a kiln, a wheel, dug out all of my old ceramic tools and started working up designs. I am like a little kid again. I'm in the beginning stages of designing my website, my chop (for signing what I do) and have been playing with taking samples through the process and getting my techniques honed. I'll be documenting my travels in getting this off the ground and trying to show what starting a ceramic business is like for anyone who wants to follow.