About handling demand.

Posted on Jan 4, 2015

Hope all of you are well. And your hounds too. And families and friends and the bunny that lives under your porch too. Hope we all are well. It is a New Year! The year of the sheep (or goat or ram). Maybe I should make cups with Greyhounds and Sheep together? Maybe get the other things done first, eh?

Sarah Regan Snavely Greyhound bowl

I’ve been making like crazy. I made a series of bowls – that topic could make an entire blog post. Various shapes and sizes. Decorated them with swathes of color and Greyhounds. Most of them ran during the glaze firing. Disappointment/learning experience. Feel like its back to the drawing board with the bowls. Maybe I’ll take some photos of the runny glazes and you can tell me what you think. I liked the way the glaze ran in the one pictured. Fired too hot? Glaze not correct consistency?

In the works Memory Box with sleeping Greyhound Sarah Regan Snavely

I’ve also been making memory boxes. I have to figure out a better way to handle the request for boxes. Right now I try to respond to everyone then keep the emails in a designated folder. This system seems inadequate. On one hand, I wish I could keep the memory boxes always available in my online shop. I can’t seem to get far enough ahead to make this happen. I made three times the number boxes in 2014 than I did in 2013.

In the works Sleeping Greyhound sculpture Sarah Regan Snavely

On the other hand, I could take orders for the boxes. I am resisting this since I know how the ceramic medium is – special orders love to spontaneously combust. Okay… maybe not combust, but crack, get funky glaze problems, etc. There are many, many things that can go wrong in the studio and kiln. Special orders seem to bring out these problems. This means the safe way to tackle custom work is to make an extra or two – which takes more time.

And then how to make the ordering process with all of the different box sizes and designs, figure positions and glaze surfaces clear?

Also, I make in batches – think donuts. I make of batch of donuts (memory boxes or mugs or bowls). So if the order was for two memory boxes and seven mugs it might be months before that order would be ready to go (factoring in the drying/firing/glazing processes). Orders should go out promptly.

In the works Sleeping Greyhound sculptures Sarah Regan Snavely

I could mostly solve this by making the boxes and figures available separately. But I like the box with the figure on top. I could make both ways, I guess.

So these are the things that I think about when making boxes. How can they be better? Because these dogs are important to us.

Poor Spoo is ill glaucoma

After losing Winchester in October, The Spoo became ill in the middle of November. He’d been kind of off – you know how this is – blood work is good, tests came back negative, etc. Still something wasn’t right. Then his right eye started acting all wrong. Multiple trips to the vet. We needed a specialist. Our regular vet suggested the nearest clinic – in Loveland, Colorado.

Map from Bowman to Loveland

Spoo and I went to get his diagnosis. Primary glaucoma. Spoo lost an eye and has drops for the keeper. Sorry Spoo I should have figured it out sooner. The thought of losing him… heartbreaking. He’s doing great now. Acting like he’s years younger. Best Christmas present ever.

Love these dogs.


  1. Louise Gagné
    January 4, 2015

    Happy 2015 to you, your human and canine family! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I look forward to seeing more of your wonderful work.

    • Sarah Regan Snavely
      January 4, 2015

      Thank you! Love that technology makes sharing so easy and that there are other dog/art lovers out there who understand. Happy 2015!

  2. Robin Willoughby
    January 4, 2015

    Oh SARAH!!!
    YES!!!! The taking of orders is like a plague!
    Or at least comes with a plague….
    Almost every big order I have taken has had problems.
    Glaze runs, bisque cracks, something else in the kiln explodes….shattering your piece, or worst…you made a bad glaze or decoration mistake. Often- 3rd times the charm.
    Recently I took an order for a teapot…..never the easiest thing to make….and moved ahead with it promptly. I made a horrible mistake in the coloring because she wanted the greyhounds to be black….. I should have done tests but I got cocky….and it looked like s**t…..so I reglazed, fired again and it looked worse. Sheesh……Start over and then…crapola man….we moved across the country……and I had no studio….(it’s still not done) and I couldn’t move any further and My customer lost faith and canceled the order. I had to refund money because she paid ahead…..
    I still have a bunch of orders out there….sigh….hopefully VERY soon I’ll get them all done….
    And then the new year of Gatherings begins!!!!
    I love you. Send pics of all the glaze messes!!!!
    PS….lots of room in SC

    • Sarah Regan Snavely
      January 5, 2015

      “Comes with a plague” I love it! (The comment not the plague…!)

      Ceramics is so challenging! That’s why we love it, right? LOL! Posted pics of successful/failed bowls. Let me know what you think.

      How’s the progression of the cold? Hard to throw pots when you’re sneezing. You’ll be throwing pots in your new studio in no time!

  3. betsy browder
    January 6, 2015

    What a huge dilemma about orders and the doomed to cause trouble promises!!! How about this idea. What if everyone who wanted to buy a box sent $250 to you, and then we would have a drawing for the order in which we get to select something. You make boxes as you can, and then post to the “pre-paid” folks in order of the numbers we drew. It cold be one box per customer until all have received their boxes!! I would send $$ in a heartbeat to get on a list and get a turn to select something when my turn came up.
    I love the things of yours that I have and would very much like to add to the collection. My first choice would actually be bigger… like one of your head /neck studies (Do we call those “busts” when they are dogs?)

    CHEERS and the best new year EVER to you and yours human and otherwise!
    Betsy & 3 whippets, a minpin, and a tortoise


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