Retirement ends, again

A+R Pottery

I’m on my third retirement. As with the first two, I say retirement sucks.

Ergo, I have hired myself to start my 39th company: A+R Pottery. All of the other companies were either sold to business partners, friends, or, occasionally, employees; given to the people or companies who hired me to create them; or (gasp!) actually kept as income-producing companies, such as Russel Ray Photos and Photographic Art.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art by Russel Ray photos--taking photographs, making art

A+R PotteryA+R Pottery creates custom cactus & succulent pottery for indoor or protected outdoor locations since they will not have drainage holes. I hate drainage holes—I’ve ruined enough carpets and wood tables because of drainage holes!

I make this pottery using floor tiles and pool tiles. With the inherent variance in tiles, even of the same kind and color, I can truly say that each custom pot is one of a kind.

Each custom pot will have a number on it to help indicate that it is a custom creation.

A+R Pottery number

Tiles are “glued” together with silicone sealant. I figure if silicone sealant, being waterproof, is good enough to make large aquariums, it’s good enough for small cactus and succulent pots that sometimes come into contact with water.

The pot corners will be grouted, something that I’m not good at, but with experience I believe I’ll get much better because I am improving from one corner to the next. These first prototype pots could be quite interesting!

A+R Pottery grouted

I have connected the tiles inside the pot with small tile quarter rounds and silicone sealant to provide extra strength and stability. A pot falling apart while one’s not home, completely destroying a prized plant, would not be good. One look at the interior of these pots and it’s pretty obvious that’s not going to happen.

A+R Pottery showing tile quarter rounds for extra strength and stability

Here are five more of the first eight; the other one is still drying.

A+R Pottery, custom cactus and succulent pots for indoors or outdoor protected locations

A+R Pottery, custom cactus and succulent pots for indoors or outdoor protected locations

A+R Pottery, custom cactus and succulent pots for indoors or outdoor protected locations

A+R Pottery, custom cactus and succulent pots for indoors or outdoor protected locations

A+R Pottery, custom cactus and succulent pots for indoors or outdoor protected locations

Except for the round pot, all the others still need grouting. I didn’t do the grouting on the round pot, but that shows me how good I can be.

Whaddayall think? A great way to come out of retirement, yes?

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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41 thoughts on “Retirement ends, again

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Since there is no drainage hole, one doesn’t want to overwater them. Normally, with drainage holes, one waters the plant until water drains out of the hole. One doesn’t want to overwater any plant, so without the drainage hole, the pots need to be for something that doesn’t require a lot of water. For my small cactus and succulents in protected locations, I give them a couple of tablespoons of water once a week, definitely not enough to fill up the pot and cause the plants to drown.

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        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          Already busy. Creating an inventory for all the cactus & succulent show & sales that occur in the next six months. I already sold two pots, one to the roofing company lady who came out to measure my roof today for new gutters, and the other to a lady who stopped to tell me that she just drives by each day to see any new stuff in my landscaping. I was holding a Styled Pot and she liked it. Sold it to her on the spot for $39. Cost me about $8 to make.

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            1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

              Assembly line. The Styled Pottery made with glass lamp shades (the round one here) take about a day for the silicone sealant to dry nice and strong. It’s small, though, so it would be easy to do 20 or 30, or more, per day. The all-tile ones take a lot longer because there are 32 connections using silicone sealant. Theoretically it would take about 32 days for it to dry to maximum strength. However, I’m leaning how to do two to eight connections simultaneously. Now put more pots into the assembly line. The first pot, started 2 weeks ago, is 95% finished. The second pot is 90% finished. The third is 85% finished, etc. So there could be many, many pots being worked on simultaneously, none of them at the same stage of completion.

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                1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

                  Left to right in the assembly line. The one farthest to the right is 95% completed. There’s not much to creating the pots, just time, so a visual check would also easily tell you. Only after they are 100% completed do they get a numbered sticker on the bottom., and I have another Excel spreadsheet in my life that tells me what numbered pots have been completed; date completed; what was done with them (public relations freebies, kept for myself, sold); if given away, to whom; if sold, when and where (Internet order, cactus show, standing out in my front garden with one in my hand when someone drives by, stops, and buys it).

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  1. Eduardo Suré

    Perhaps the literature about the making of the pot and instructions caring for the pot can say the conditions in which it will and will not sweat. My wife gave me a plant which included the manufacturer’s web address: I found their FAQ page very useful.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      These are interior tiles and pool tiles. Interior tiles are used throughout the house, including kitchen, laundry, bathroom, and shower floors, and shower walls. A main purpose of tiles is to prevent water from getting behind them and into the infrastructure. In other words, they are pretty waterproof. In other words, they don’t sweat simply because if they sweated, water would get behind them and into the infrastructure. That would be bad.

      Based on 52 years of experience in real estate, including 17 years of new construction and 45 years of renovation.

      I’ll eventually have a web site and marketing materials, and will be selling online as well, places like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, as well as my own web site.

      This is the 39th company that I have started so all this stuff is nothing new to me. I kept one company (Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos), closed one in December 2016, and either sold the other companies or turned them over to the people or corporations that had hired me to start them. Lots of experience, and from initial reaction, this should be one of the easier startup companies in my portfolio.

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  2. seabluelee

    Good luck with your new business! Your pots look like they will nicely complement cacti and succulents. However, I must disagree with you about retirement. After a career spent chained to a desk as an administrative assistant, I think retirement ROCKS! 🙂

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  3. Photos With Finesse

    Congrats on the new venture! I think it’s a great idea – and leak proof would be a huge selling feature for me! 😀 For those worried about over-watering, we grow succulents in a clear glass bowl, and put in little clay balls (pebble size) that we found at IKEA. (You can find ‘horticultural clay pebbles’ online too.)

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      That’s another way to do it. Some of my cactus/succulent friends fill the bottom half of the pot with rocks and the top with soil and a plant. They also now have pots within pots. The inside pot has drainage holes and the outside pot does not. Unfortunately, all of them that I have found are plastic, and I really don’t like plastic pots.

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  4. Pingback: Going into blogging semi-retirement | Russel Ray Photos

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