Tax Time

The tax info for Free Ceramics is about ready to turn in.

As our business grows I keep trying to balance and juggle the various parts of running a business with my family, day job and personal needs (my own art, running, gardening).  Last year I found a great addition to our team- a book keeper! Not only did my quick books go from a 2006 version to 2013, but I will now start tracking the various kinds of income we get in order to know where to put more advertising and energy. Our “Sale of Art” category will now become a long list: Commission, Wholesale, Studio, Online Retail and Clay Club.

I won’t bore you with all the bad luck with computer viruses or my inability to file and keep the piles of paper from taking over our house. I was just sitting here looking at my brand new 2013 version of our business records and looking at the changes dating back to 2005. 2005! While the pottery making and selling 8 years ago was simple compared to now, it is exciting to see how we are growing-on paper. It is exciting to see the changes from that when I was more of hobbyist to the current line of pottery where we have a team working together in a field we all love.

Most of my output into the world of online communication involves work in progress or completed images. Writing about taxes, numbers and the boring paperwork may not be very interesting. But as I think about the pile of plates and bowls I’ll be decorating soon, it’s nice to know that we are improving. (and not just with skills, patience, response to emails, or deadlines…)

I recently spent four days in Houston for NCECA, a ceramic conference where ceramic artists come from all over the nation to share ideas, their stories, their programs and their art with each other. In this crazy online social world we now live in, often I would meet someone and we would say, “It is so nice to put a real face to your name!”

Taxes, these numbers, this time sucking thing we all do this time of year…is a way for us to see on paper how we are doing.  Put a face with the name so to speak. (is that a stretch?  did I want to loop a little NCECA into my tax talk?) Sure, life, income, experiences, it all goes up and down, as do our priorities and dreams. I am looking forward to passing on this tax info and being done with it-and good luck on yours. But in another 8 years I think it will be very interesting to look back at these numbers.


  1. Alya Khan says:

    Just wanted to say “Hi”, and thanks for the link to your blog on FB. I liked your writing and enjoyed reading about your growing business. It is all very exciting and wonderful to see your work and the family and the family business grow. Thanks for sharing and do have a whopper prosperous year!

  2. Sam Dowd says:

    We’ve seen the same change within our business and the tax and income situation. I broke down a few years ago and started having the yearly taxes done by a firm and now we have the best tax dude ever. He loves numbers like I love clay! Jenny keeps track of the estimated quarterly tax payments, something we started doing after having to pay uncle Sam about 5 years ago. One nice thing about those estimated taxes is that you can really see and track what business income you have made in a given quarter. Income has grown steadily in the last 5 years but nobody can yet quit their day job(s).

    It’s good to see how Free Ceramics has grown and you have provided inspiration to us and probably many others across the country. I am envious of your guy’s building in Helena, however. That place is ripe with opportunities for growth and the creative spirit of all who work and play there.

  3. Robert K. Free says:

    A look back from the year 2021 – Wow, 2021. Can you imagine! I thought you were just married in 2005. (-:

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