When I paint an order or even a sample, I love putting a bit of detail on the base or the underside of the piece. When you go gift shopping and pick up anything from a shelf whether its pottery or not, I bet you find yourself turning it over and looking on the other side or underneath don’t you? ????
What do you expect to be there? The price tag, makers stamp or a surprise? I’d wager you see the price sticker and sometimes a makers mark but never anything that makes you laugh, smile or go “ooo” with funny shock (unless the price was outlandish!)
So I do just that… a fun bit or some customers call it “that twiddly bit on the bottom” ! One Christmas I created little handmade fairies from clay and painted sayings or messages underneath the skirts. When on display at craft fairs or in my studio everyone looking at them picked them up for a closer look and ….. yes looked up the fairies skirt….. to read things like “It’s rude to look up my skirt!” or “Should you be looking up here” and instant laughter or giggles or oooo’s were heard. It’s funny to watch happen too.
On other more serious pieces such as plates or items with a flat base to them I’ll paint a little bit of the design which is on the piece on the base beside my makers stamp where there is space. Often customers will ask me to paint a message from them on the piece so if there is room, I’ll paint a little pattern or something beside this, even if its just a tiny heart or flower or a stamp of something.
So, years ago I painted a Camper van mug as a sample for the studio to inspire customers how they could paint one for themselves, right down to flowers on the curtains in the windows of the van on the mug. And I painted a word on the base just because I could. Well this mug is now at home because the shape is not made any more so there was no point in it being at my studio. Last week I was “out having lunch with my friend” on zoom, sharing our lunch time together in lieu of our normal girlie lunch outing. So, there we were in our respective homes and chatting away but I noticed every now and again Hannah was smiling or giggling a bit and I couldn’t figure out why. So I asked her what was making her grin so much, had I something on my face (I was eating salad with a drippy dressing!) or was my hair sticking up – we were on zoom and I had been working all morning dashed to make lunch so I wasn’t late for our zoom meeting – I mean how can you be late for a zoom meeting ???? I didn’t have to get ready or drive to meet her yet I was cutting it fine to get on line on time – our previous lunch date out on zoom I was really late and she got to watch me actually make my lunch as I was so late!!!
Her reply to me asking why she kept giggling was “Groovy man just groovy “ … on the bottom of the mug was painted “Groovy man!” and she kept seeing it when I was drinking my tea causing her to giggle as it filled the screen on our zoom call!
So just goes to show it does work! So do think carefully about what you would like me to paint on the bottom of your mug when ordering one! Oh and the writing I do now is so much neater, in the photo it was done with a writing bottle very quickly many years ago and wasn’t done as a finished piece.