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About DMCosta

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  1. Hi Everyone, My high school students made life-size clay busts using low-fire cone 06 earthenware clay. I'm not new to ceramics but I have never fired a bust. We hollowed them inside out well and created some surface marks with forks inside the sculpture to help. They are currently bone dry and have been in the bone dry stage for at least two weeks and I intend on bisque-firing them this week. Any suggestions or tips for bisque-firing them in the kiln? Thanks, ~Dianna
  2. Hi, thanks for the recommenations. The studio told me the pieces had to be fired to cone 6, but you're right that's mid-fire not high fire. I'll have to contact them and double check the exact type of clay we were given. Maybe I need to give the Amaco Potters Choice glazes another try? I used them about five years ago but maybe they've improved. I appreciate the advice ~Dianna
  3. Hi Everyone, Anyone have a good pre-made high fire (cone 6) store bought glaze line that they like a lot? My students made a high fire wheel pieces on a field trip and I need to purchase a few glazes for them to finish them. The school currently only stocks low fire clay and low fire glazes. In the past I've used the AMACO Potters choice glazes and haven't loved them. Thank you for your help! ~Dianna
  4. Hi Everyone, I've dove into uncharted territory and started making clay self-portrait busts. I'm excited about it-and I know a little about it such as the armature usage. HoweverI need help with the properly sculpting the face and where to add and remove clay for accuracy. I've watched some you tube videos and I've learned a bit but I'd love to use a book. Anyone have any recommendations on a book to how to sculpt the face properly? I've also tried finding some local portrait bust workshops but haven't had any luck because I'd need a one day workshop because of my busy life. Thank you! ~Dianna
  5. Hi Everyone, I recently moved and left behind my awesome ceramic studio that I had up and running from my detached garage. I'm settled in my new house, and REALLY want to set up my studio again in my now attached garage. (which is the only garage I now have) Previously, I had my kiln enclosed and vented in my detached garage working space. Can I do the same with an attached garage or should I be concerned about fire hazard and residual fume issues considering my space would now be connected to the house itself? With this garage being attached to my house I wanted to be as safe as possible with my decisions. I have seen other potters put their kiln in their attached garage but I wasn't sure about it. If I were to set up a separate location such as a shed etc. for my kiln, I'd have to run the 220V line through the entire length of house and to the outdoor shed. I'm hoping this isn't necessary. I appreciate your advice! ~Dianna
  6. Hi All, I am making medium-large sized (at least two foot tall) self-portrait clay figures with my high school ceramic students. We are about 60% complete thus far in the construction. We have hands, feet, and heads mostly left to construct and assemble. This project is difficult and has a lot of issues that can arise. My questions are these: Does anyone have any experience in making larger sized figured? If so, any recommendations? How about clay hands and shoes/feet? How can they get constructed? I saw a good youtube demo on hand constuction but not a whole lot on feet or shoes. Any tips for drying and bisque- firing these sculptures? I think getting these sculptures into the kiln when bone dry is going to be tough. We are using cone 06 low fire clay. Advice is greatly appreciated! ~Dianna
  7. Hi all, I wanted to make some ceramic pendant jewelry with a few of my students this summer. Instead of making the loop attachment on the top of the pendant out of clay, I wanted to do it using a metal or wire. My idea was to create the pendant, insert the metal loop fitting, then bisque and glaze fire it. So here's my question: Does anyone know of any fireproof metal loops or wire that can survive the kiln firings? Thanks, ~Dianna
  8. I have mixed feelings about this situation. In part I totally get wanting to allow your friends to use the materials and space freely. On the other head, the overhead on pottery is very high. If you are loosing money from your wallet to support their firings and glazing etc. then that's where I would draw the line. I understand it may be hard to say 'well you need to pay this much per hour' etc. but I feel the longer it goes on without a structured guideline, the harder it will be to tell them later on that you are deciding to charge now. I converted my detached garage into a ceramic studio and I teach classes occasionally over the summer there and I get it. My friends have asked to do a 'wine and design' clay party but I never went for it. No one ever said 'What would the cost be?' They were clearly expecting it to be free.
  9. Thank you all for your very sound and helpful Input on my Etsy problem. I have only conversated with her via Etsy and I decided to not offer a refund. It turned out more reasonable than I thought. I would just have given a full refund. She left a 4 out of 5 star review warming customers that this listing was for '1 mug' not a 'set of 4' and that was that. If I had a storefront and wasnt dealing with high priced return shipping I would have just given a refund. I had enough other great reviews to float the one not perfect one from her. I have since then fixed any listings like that one to avoid any other confusion.
  10. Yes it's not ideal that there were photographs includes of 4 mugs, and only two were available to be sold individually-my bad. I really relied on 'common sense' with this but obviously shouldn't have. Who thinks that four handmade mugs are $20 totally???? I suppose I can offer her a refund of the products themselves which is $40, but if offer her a refund of everything paid then I loose $20 shipping myself. I'm definitely not going to give her my phone number though, even though I understand communication would be clearer that way.
  11. I have a woman that recently purchased two handmade mugs from me which were listed at $20 a mug plus shipping. In the first line of the description I stated 'mugs are sold individually, select quantity when ordering'. She selected a quantity of '2'-so I shipped her two mugs. She just contacted me stating she 'thought she purchased two sets of 4 mugs at $20 a set. That's right-she thought she was getting a set of 4 mugs for $20!!! The reason she thought this was because when I first listed the item I did have 4 of them, so two of the etsy pictures show 4 mugs. However, as I said I DID state 'sold individually' very clearly. I'm trying to brainstorm on how to make this customer happy but I have no idea. I offered to make her more at similar cost, she's not interested. She lives in CA, I live in NY so shipping is quite expensive as well. I don't want a bad Etsy review from her but I'm also not willing to make a bunch more mugs for little or no money. Any suggestions???
  12. Hi Neil, so I had an 04 and 05 cone in there, the 04 barely melted and 05 a tad bit more. I did program the kiln to 04 directly before firing it as opposed to just running the same firing as last time. I didn't hit review but maybe I can still do that? I have the kiln repair coming again on Thursday, I hope this can get figured out as I have been totally stagnant in production for weeks and it's super frustrating. Thank you for your help! ~Dianna
  13. I have an electric Skutt Kilnmaster computerized kiln. A few weeks ago my kiln completely stopped increasing in temperature. I called a knowledgable kiln technician, she came, she replaced both relays, test fired, and everything seemed good. She also tested the volts and 220 line, all was good. Last night I bisque fired my clay to 04 and when I checked it out today the reached temperature said 1225 degrees and "completed" but the pieces are underfired, and 1225 is not the correct 04 temperature. Also my 04 internal cone didn't melt. Now I'm frustrated because I need my kiln working and it seems as though it's not reaching the proper cone temperature. Does anyone have any clue what could be going on with my kiln or suggestions for me to recify this issue? ~Dianna
  14. I appreciate the input everyone! Well, let me first add that I have definitely paid $125 or more a day for an event but I guess I was just completely shocked that it doubled within a year. It's not that I'm un-willing to pay it, it's just higher risk now. Although I did pretty well last year, I can't say the same for all the vendors. I saw a few vendors last year make very few sales, fellow potters included. I did e mailed the organizer about it and she said the only reason it was increasing was the insurance. I think I'm going to do the one in June, and hope for the best!
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