When I first started talking about selling my pottery as a business some people warned me about custom orders. Most suggested I don’t do it.

However, I’ve learned that it’s often best for me to follow my instincts. I felt optimistic and positive about taking a custom order so when the request came up I said, “Yes!” Really though, custom pieces weren’t that scary of a concept to me, I figured that if didn’t work out, I’d just stop doing it. I took my first custom order right after the Vancouver One Of A Kind Show and so far I’ve been having a great time.

What has helped keep my experience on a positive note is that I sort out the details right from the first conversation, the Big Ones first:

• The glaze colours you see on my pottery are the glazes I use. I may or may not be able to veer too far away from this palette.
• I can usually have something made from beginning to end in 4 weeks, give or take, depending on the design, glazing and number of pieces.
• I promise to amaze you with my talent.

Custom orders have made me push my boundaries and they’ve opened my mind to new designs. It’s been exciting not just for me but also for the clients. We work together and they get to be part of the design process. It’s fun seeing an idea come to life for both of us.

For one person I glazed a Dragonfly Mug white instead of my usual clear. I loved how it turned out (as did she) and I started making more. They’ve been a big hit at the shows.

One of my very first customers asked me if I could make plates. I was truthful, I hadn’t made any before but I would do my best. I got to work and I love how they are turning out, so much so that I have it on my list to make a set for myself. Best of all, he likes them too!

I’ve recently been working on a completely new design that I’m really happy with. It came about from someone asking me to do something “more” with a glaze. I was like, “Umm… ok.” I got an idea, ran with it and I can’t wait for my next firing. I’ll post pictures here first!

I have a whole new line of pots forming in part because I decided to say, “Yes!” to custom orders. My design skills, my pottery skills, my business – myself – are evolving, and it’s exhilarating.

Have you been thinking you might like some custom Mena Dragonfly pottery? I’d love to hear all about it.