Sunday, 18 October 2020

In a year of the unexpected I didn’t expect that!

2020 has undoubtedly been the biggest rollercoaster ride of my life as a potter.
The year had started so well and to be honest we felt we were going to fly this year,
turns out nobody was flying!

Then Enter the Dragon!
In August- September the gallery-st-ives  in Tokyo included 23 of my pots in an exhibition in a large department store in Tokyo Japan.
As a kid Japan to me was a world of hi tech toys, Casio calculators and Mazda cars.
I remember my Dad taking a Mazda 626 on a test drive in 1979, it was an amazing car but my dad just couldn’t bring himself to buy a Japanese car!
That was a thing back in those days ( how the World has changed )
In my teenage years I had discovered Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, and began to learn more about the culture and the links with English ceramics.

In Japan pots have to have a use, a function that allows the user a reason as to why they buy a particular pot. Craftsmanship is high on the agenda when choosing such objects and so to have virtually sold out of the 23 pots entered into the exhibition in the Takashimaya dept store has 

proved a huge boost to my confidence and bank balance in these very uncertain times.

I’m sure my Dad would have been proud!

( I know for sure he regretted not buying that Mazda )

To be honest my pots have always been aimed to the end user market

more than the Gallery/collector market and that’s probably why they have sold so well in a department store setting.



But to sell at all, when they were amongst the company of other great potters from England is a great feeling.


I googled the store to find out a bit more about the place
which looks amazing, top class and a retail customers dream!
I’ve always loved retail and big department stores in the UK are facing difficult times but I’m sure they will evolve, because as much as people like buying online, you can’t beat a good old fashioned store to visit that gives you a sense of place, the ethos of the company and its values.
You get a feel for a place and that’s what draws you back

Here it is on Goolge maps
and here's a thing, I was telling my neighbour Derek about it this morning and he was asking me lots of questions about where the store was and it turns out he used to work for Hitachi and spent a fair amount of time in Tokyo and he's actually been in this very store!
So who would have thought it all those years ago when I set up
Barrington Pottery that our pots would be selling in a high class department store in Japan?

Not forgetting our own home grown customers 


Showrooms have always been important to me in setting the scene and making people feel comfortable and relaxed!
Whatever else may be going on in the world, I have always wanted people to stop and feel that our showrooms are somewhere they love to come again and again, which is why we try and lift the level every year.
This year since the reopening of our showroom our customers have I must say been absolutely Brilliant!
Many of them making special journeys to come and buy from us and check if we are going to be ok despite the best efforts of the NT to make it difficult for people to visit us!
( thankfully we seem to have resolved this )

Another customer of ours sent me a picture when he had lunch at the Barrington Boar and recognised our sauce pots in use!
It’s so nice that customers want to interact with us and feel proud when they spot our pots being used.

The Highs and Lows of this year have been difficult to cope with
but we’ve found time work on our cottage a bit and the new boiler
has proved to be a revelation.

So stay warm stay well and should you wish to add to your selection of Barrington Pottery remember the website is open 24/7

Thank You

 



2 comments:

gz said...

Well done!Well deserved.

Anna M. Branner said...

Congratulations Paul. VERY well deserved!

In a year of the unexpected I didn’t expect that!

2020 has undoubtedly been the biggest rollercoaster ride  of my life as a potter. The year had started so well and to be honest we felt we w...