Dee Hunt | Episode 876
Dee Hunt is a retired lady in her 60’s who found clay some 20 years ago when she worked in the commercial world. Making pots became Dee’s way of keeping sane! Now those working days are over and Dee can devote her days to being in her studio. Dee hand builds with stoneware clay and makes unusual and contemporary vessels for both home and garden. Dee’s inspiration comes from her environment… the textures and colours she uses are indicative of the agricultural and coastal landscape where Dee lives.
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What are some of the things that you do to make yourself available to be known?
Well I think when you go to a show the first thing that you’ve got to put on the back burner is any concept of being shy. Because you are in control of how much you speak to the customers and if you stand at the back of your stand and don’t engage with people that come on to the stand unless they start talking to you, you’re very much on the back (thought) . I don’t think customers don’t have to necessarily have to know you, but I do think they have to like you. They have to understand the maker to a certain extent. So you have to be prepared to put yourself out there and start talking.
So you are saying be likeable.
Yes, engage with them. You smile. You make a joke even if it’s at your own expense. People like that.
So you are saying be accessible, be available.
Yes, be accessible. And if they really start to talk about your work and they want to know more about it then be as descriptive as you want to be about how you make your stuff.
Do you have a pocketful of questions that you like to ask people to initiate conversations?
I wouldn’t say that I have stock questions that I ask because it will depend on who appears in front of me. But I think from my old job, it’s wise to ask open questions. Even be daring and if somebody is really serious and looking at your stuff just say, What do you think of my work? Don’t say, Do you like it? because that is going to be a yes or a no. That’s going to be a conversation stopper. Or ask them what is it that interests them about ceramics. Open questions where you can get them to give you more.
What makes someone trustworthy in such a short exchange?
I think that’s a difficult one. I think that is something that gets built up over time. I’ve got some customers that are repeat customers that I’ve known for some years now and the question is easy to answer when it comes to them because it’s the old rules of business really, which are if you have promised to do something, do it. If you have promised to have something ready for them by a certain time, make sure you hit that deadline. If you’ve promised you’d let them know something then make sure that you let them know. There’s just those old fashioned symbols of being reliable, really, I think. The key to most good business is effective communication.
What do you like to do for a day off?
We’ve got some fantastic coastline here in Norfolk and when all the tourists have gone away at the end of the summer and we get to this time of the year and going into the winter it’s great to visit one of the deserted beaches and just go for a lovely long walk without anybody in sight and enjoy the wildness of the countryside and the coastline here.