Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Mudhole Pottery Cup

Good photos are so important.  Here's a case where a great photo resulted in a sale.  Etsy's StudioPotterArchive team did a feature about Mudhole Pottery, Adam Knoche's Etsy store.

I read the feature and did what I recommend you do:  I followed links to his shop and checked out his listings.

The attractive photo for this cup caught my attention.  The algae stained wooden bench captured and drew out the color of the green ash glaze build-up on the surface of the cup.  Artistic photography helped market the cup because it drew my attention to a sweet detail.  The thoughtful marketing photo was the deal sealer for me.

Photo by Adam Knoche
This illustrates my point.  On Etsy you have two opportunities to make a connection with someone viewing your work:  Visually through photos and descriptively through writing.  A seller has to make an effort in both areas to have the best chance of connecting with a willing buyer.  Even a willing buyer will wander away unconvinced if the quality of the listing is poor.   

That said, there have been times when I've seen work I've previously admired in photos and been disappointed because the piece didn't live up to the great photo work.  That's not the case here. 

I generally prefer a cup without a handle, but I really like the shape and position of the handle on this cup. The form is strong and purposely designed, yet it is by no means tight. The gentle slumping and casual out-of-round rim gives the piece a relaxed and comfortable appearance and feel.  Adam recessed the foot of the cup by tapping it in during the trimming process, allowing it to sit on a ring rather than a flat bottom. Everything adds up to an attractive and visually well balanced cup.

Wood firing can produce wonderful colors. When I look at the glaze on this cup I see deep chocolate browns, metallic blacks and dark iron blushes with specks of green. As a potter I can admire how he forced an almost magical reduction atmosphere during the cooling process. 

Take an opportunity to visit Adam Knoche's Mudhole Pottery Etsy shop.  He can also be found at  I hope you discover something you'll enjoy!


  1. Troy, I think you've found your niche with these pottery reviews. I really enjoy them and your thoughtful observations.

    (Blogger ate my first comment. Hope this doesn't show up twice!)

  2. Nice pot and photo, too. I'm sticking with the "Ceramics Monthly" style photos for my work, tho...

  3. Thank you for the comment Cynthia, I prefer a gallery style photo myself. But sometimes a photo with background noise can add color and feeling to what would otherwise be too sterile for some peoples tastes.

  4. Wow. What a great description. It makes me want to go make a cup of green tea. I too enjoy cooking with or drinking from handmade pottery. I like my pieces to be a little bit imperfect or just a little bit crooked. That cup with the handle looks like it could be an artifact from a Myan city or from or from the Anasazi.