Dog Days

Here's one for the OAQ's (Occasionally Asked Questions) list: why are there so many cat items at Off Center Ceramics and so few dogs?

I always tell people it's because dog owners get plenty of love and affection from their pets. They don't have to sublimate the need for attention in pottery like owners of other pets, like, say... at which point my cat-loving wife kicks me in the ankle.

But the truth is, dogs (and dog-owners) are extremely breed specific. They don't want a dog bowl, they want a dachshund, or weimaraner, or Belgian shepherd. I once saw a craft fair booth devoted to dog Christmas ornaments that covered every breed in the AKC-they filled the entire 10-by-10 foot space. I just don't have that kind of room in my booth.

That's not to say I never paint dog pots. I've done samoyeds and Chesapekes, Gordon retrievers and dachshunds. I'm currently working on a set of husky bowls and a black lab cookie jar. But you won't see any of them in my booth. They're all special orders. Someone came to my booth or visited my website and said "Why don't you ever do dogs?"

Okay, maybe a More-Than-Occasionally Asked Question.

If you'd like your favorite pooch on some of our functional stoneware pottery, it's easy enough to place your order. Choose the size and style of the pot you'd like--plates, large bowls, pie dishes or cookie jars all work well. (I've also done urns for the cremains of late lamented best friends.) Get a good picture--or several pictures--of puppy, then phone, e-mail, or visit our Saturday Market booth. We'll be happy to discuss size, price and delivery times.

But hurry: it's a dog eat dog world out here.