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DMCosta

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Charging For Studio Time

    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.
  4. Etsy Sale Confusion

    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.
  5. Etsy Sale Confusion

    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.
  6. 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???
  7. Kiln Not Reaching Temperature

    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
  8. 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
  9. Vendor Fee Doubled

    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!
  10. Hi All, So I went to apply for the Vineyard Art/Craft event that I participated in last year and I noticed the fee more than doubled since last year. Last year it was $60 for one day for a 10 x 10, this year it's $125 for the same exact event. These events are rain or shine, no refunds due to inclement weather etc. I feel sort of annoyed. I wanted to do a few of these events this year because I found the one last year to be some what successful. However now at a doubled fee, it's limiting, and I obviously have to sell more product in order to turn a profit. With that said, finding good craft/art sale events on Long Island is quite tough. Also, as we all know, regardless of it's somewhat success last year, these events can always be hit or miss year to year. I emailed the organizer to politely ask why the fee has risen so much...I'm waiting for a response. What would you do? Still do these events or not? ~Dianna
  11. This is an interesting thread. I think for me replacing a broken item depends on what type of item it is. For example, a mug I may replace but a large higher priced high end bowl, maybe not; or maybe I'd discount the item. It also varies on the tone of the customer. There was this spoof on tv not long ago where hidden camera had a cashier in a coffee shop "accidentally" give back to much money to the customer. The first cashier was super friendly and just about every customer honestly gave back the extra money "accidentally" give to them. The second cashier was noticable rude and many people did not give back the extra money simply because of the cashiers tone. So I feel with a situation like this, it's kind of similar. I believe as people and potters we are more willing to help customers out if something gets broken if their approach is correct. If people expect a hand-out or acuse us of poor craftmanship that doesn't make us less willing to meet the customer halfway.
  12. Slab Roller Recommendations

    Thank you all for the great insight! You've given me a lot to consider, and I'm SUPER excited to finally purchase a slab roller because a lot of my work is derived from slabs. I'll be in touch when I have it in my studio and working...
  13. Hi All, I'm considering purchasing a slab roller. I am eyeing the Shimpo mini slab tabletop roller. It makes 16x24 inch slabs. I have my own studio with a small kiln so I think that size will work. Anyone own this or have any slab roller recommendations? ~Dianna
  14. Hi Blue, just a heads up I'm a Full-Time ceramics teacher in a public school and have been for over a decade. If you need help or questions answered don't hesitate to ask. You can contact me here or directly through my e mail, DiannaMCosta@aol.com. Good Luck! ~Dianna
  15. That's all really great info. I was under the assumption I'd have to forgo doing ceramics throughout the entire duration of pregnancy. Luckily in my studio, I already have my chemicals and sharp tools key locked in a metal cabinet because I teach some kids clay classes over the summer.
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