This weekend I had a visitor to the house, David Roberts (http://www.davidroberts-ceramics.com/) who is recognised as being responsible for reintroducing Raku into general popularity, both in the UK and the US, particularly "Naked Raku".
I love his work and bought a piece (see above). Meeting him, and his lovely wife, Jan, was a pleasure. He was exactly the sort of slightly larger than life character you would expect from someone who had spent 25 years building his craft.
But, as interestingly for me, is the way he has built his brand image and on line persona. The way he is "recognised" and "has been described as" everywhere you look on line is testament to his work in this area. It is not entirely clear who he is recognised by!
That does not detract at all from his work. My point, and indeed the thought that struck me, is the importance of building up a brand and a perceived image. It is interesting that he does not attend any shows or fairs, selling only through galleries He now has galleries lining up to buy his work (not to take it on consignment). That is testament to the quality of his made product, both physical and brand development.