Bringing Help Into The Studio | Carol Long | Episode 894

Carol Long | Episode 894

Born in 1965, Carol Long was raised on a farm in Stafford County, Kansas. She draws influence from plant and animal life. With joy, whimsy and beauty as her goal, her work continues to evolve as she experiments with new ways of expressing these qualities of her surroundings. She enjoys learning from other contemporary artists while keeping an eye on historical ceramics.


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How do you know when it’s time to hire?

Oh, that is a good question. Well, my hands were giving out so I needed to address that and also I felt like I was good enough that I could support another family if we worked hard. So not only do I have to make money but you have to make enough money to support them also.

How does the productivity go up when you bring other people into the studio?

It goes up more than…it’s like the parts are more as a whole than as they are as individuals. So with people having their own tasks they learn ways to make that more efficient. Whereas me as a single person in the studio, I have to do everything and I have to figure out how to do everything and so I am constantly flipping back and forth. Whereas if you have a task you are responsible for you have that more streamlined.

You said that you found more room for creativity.


Tell us about that. 

I had a lot more time because the tedious things that didn’t take any thought. Well, they all take thought. You are not required to make decisions when you are doing the glazing. The glazing is pretty much decided with the surface design when it’s wet. So when it goes to Ava and she has to glaze it, those decisions are made. She doesn’t have to make those creative decisions. So with those tedious jobs covered I am doing all the creative work, over and over and over so when you get into that flow of being creative it just brings on more creativity and it just explodes.

The team that you have brought in, how do you bring their creativity to the forefront or is that necessary?

Well I did want Mark and Bambi as young people coming out of college, one of my goals was that they would grow. And so Linda, their instructor was very life oriented. When they left her department they would be able to function as an artist. Well I needed to help them in my studio to do that same thing. So any input that they had, and they were quite energetic people, was appreciated. I loved their input. And they were also working on their own work.

What makes a good working environment? What did you do to make it work?

I think you should pray. Mark and Bambi were extraordinary in my studio. I think they were the personality as far as the joy….let’s back up. Let’s say joy. That’s what makes a good studio environment. And that’s what they brought. They were fun and they were joyful and I fed off that.

How do you compensate your employees? Is it hourly? Is it piecework? Is it percentages? How do you go about that process?

Hourly. Mark and Bambi were hourly but I tried to make sure that their work experience was a good one. When we would travel…they had to do all the work when we traveled but I made sure they they had everything that they needed and everything that they wanted when they traveled so it was a great experience.


The Complete Pattern Directory by Elizabeth Wilhide 

Interaction of Color by Josef Albers


Instagram: @carollongpottery

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