Sunday, February 10, 2013

Packing Work

Here in the studio, we are making large numbers of items that will eventually all be shipped out. One way that we stay organized is packing units ahead of time. This keeps the studio uncluttered and makes shipping time a breeze.

We start by gathering our materials for packing. We use a half inch masking tape, packing tape, bubble wrap, cardboard separators, and labels in this process.

Each piece gets wrapped in bubble wrap that is secured with masking tape. We used to use packing tape for this, but we found it frustrating to open. The masking tape is so much easier on our customers!

The shot glasses are sold in sets of four, so they are bundled together with a cardboard separator keeping them in place. The bundle is held together by either packing tape of plastic wrap. Since I (Lisa) cannot seem to make that stretch wrap work at all, I use packing tape. On the outside of each bundle, we put a label.

Our labels clearly state who we are, what items are inside, and we include a QR code that leads to our website. I make sure to buy permanent labels - the removable ones fall off if exposed to variable temperatures. The square ones are great! I got them from Avery and they are backed with silver so they are opaque. I just run them through my printer when I need them.

We use totes and bins to store the pieces until they are shipped. Each of these bins holds 25 sets of shot glasses. When we pack these to ship out, there is at least 2 inches of peanuts between the items and the side of the box. When there are multiple units in a box, we use sheets of cardboard to separate them from each other. 
We use new, 200 pound test boxes and we stock about 30 different sizes. When we order boxes, we make sure we have a box on hand that will work for any item we ship.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Coming Soon!

Recently, as we worked on one skully cup after another, an image popped into my head. 
The image was not a piece of pottery, but a tool.

I grabbed Alex, gave him an idea of what I needed, and he went to work. The man is a great woodworker, too! Within an hour, he had a prototype tool made. The first one needed some tweaking, but after a couple of tries, we ended up with a tool - a wooden press mold of sorts - that helped us create the first trays for our skully cups. 

I love the pillowy nature of the trays! 
We scaled the tool up to make trays for lowballs and highballs, too. 
These will all be sold for the first time beginning February 10, at 7pm, on

These all came to be as a result of that meditative way of working that we've been talking about. While my hands went through the repetitive task of throwing cups, my mind was free to both wander and wonder, stumbling over the answer to the question of trays.