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Everything posted by Roberta12

  1. Roberta12

    Question About Fedex

    I had horrendous shipping experiences with the USPS in December. I have had to make numerous claims. So I contacted the local PackCenter. They ship, USPS, FedEx and UPS. They are giving me a 20% discount since I am a business. I do my own packing although for a fee they could do that. They give me a quote for each (usps, fedex, ups) and let me decide how to ship. I have been pretty happy so far this month. I have used FedEx ground this month, and everything is getting there in one piece and in a timely fashion. I wonder if Kinkos is the problem?? Roberta
  2. I chunked out a piece of fire brick when I was replacing an element holder. Any opinions as to which is better.....kiln cement (rather pricey) or kiln mortar? Thanks, Roberta
  3. Roberta12

    Kiln Cement/kiln Mortar

    The chunk of brick that I broke out is right behind the element holder, so I am not eager to take all of that apart. Can I do a "patch job" without taking everything out?? All of the information is very helpful. I was only on page six of PMI so had not yet seen Larry's great article about brick repair! thank you so much for all your advice. I will call and see if I can get either the ITC or phosphate cement. And Yes, I will be very careful around the elements. Thanks John. I am trying to attach a picture..... Roberta
  4. Roberta12

    Kiln Cement/kiln Mortar

    I will check with my "local" supplier, but that is 3-4 hours away and neither of them ship.....so online shopping the way I go......thank you to both of you! r
  5. Roberta12

    Glaze problem pinholes or blisters

    I just recently had a pinhole problem with a glaze that has been very stable. But....I had two boxes of Bee Mix that had gravel in it. I am thinking that there are some organic things that are unable to burn out all the way. I do bisque to 04 and it is a glaze I mixed myself. and have used successfully. I only find the gravel chunks when I am trimming. It's rather frustrating but I have been able to smooth over the holes left by the removal of the gravel, sooooo I am wondering if my little pinhole is a result of the rough stuff in the clay rather than my glaze? Roberta
  6. Ants and wasps. We have every kind of ant imaginable on our own private sand hill. They can find all sorts of ways into the shop (kiln, glazing) I get great joy out of seeing them fry on the lid of the kiln. Really. I do. they get in everything. And the wasps built a mudnest inside my fan for my vent. I thought the fan was going out...we took it apart and Ta Da there was a big mud nest on the blades. Cleaned that off and it was fine. However that is only from April through October. In the cold months it's just the random spider who can't believe his good luck in finding a halfway warm place to hang out!
  7. Thank you for the book referral, John. I will see if our library has it or can get it. Roberta
  8. Oh Just Peachy....even though it's not a reference book, I am reading a children's book right now that is called A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. It's about a young boy in 12th century Korea that is apprenticed to an elderly potter in a village. I find myself just amazed at how hard potters had to work then to have clay, glaze, firing, etc. It really is a wonderful book! great read for potters!
  9. Roberta12

    How's The Weather?

    here in Northwest Colorado (much different from Denver!) it is 30 degrees and falling. But we are heading to Steamboat for First Friday Artwalk and a nice dinner before the storm tomorrow! Wood for the stove, clay in the clay room, hot chocolate and schnapps, let it snow!
  10. High Bridge and Just Peachy, John Baymore has some throwing exercises. He will send them to you if you ask him. I plan on starting back in the studio next week, so I will see what those exercises entail!
  11. Once again, I realize I am not alone in this particular problem. I just had two separate orders arrive with a couple of broken things. And I did actually think about this time of year and the sheer volume that all the delivery services are dealing with. ugh
  12. Roberta12

    How Long Do Your Elements Last?

    Do you use a combination of visual clues (sagging, leaning, laying down elements) and lengthened time for firings to let you know when to replace? Or do you Mea and Neil, simply replace at 100 firings?
  13. I have a question for Mark along these lines. Since you have been making pots for a number of years, how long do you see yourself continuing at this pace??
  14. Roberta12

    B-Mix Question

    I really like a smooth clay. I was getting a nice smooth clay from a place in Denver, but they went out of business. I did not realize it was a clay body they made themselves. so, I have been searching for a great cone 5/6 clay ever since. I have access to both Laguna and Aardvark clays so have tried a number of them. Right now I am using Aardvark's Bee Mix. I do find that I like it a little better than Laguna's. but it is temperamental. I have to dry it slowly, or I get cracks. Sometimes handles crack. Sometimes after drying slowly and firing carefully, it cracks. Hmmm apparently it cracks. I have tried 1/2 and 1/2 , texas white, artic white, whitestone, Bone White, and they just aren't very smooth for throwing. Geez, sounds like I have a problem. Ok, so Marcia, I guess I don't really like Bee mix or B mix all that well because it is just rather temperamental!
  15. Thank you! I like the idea of boxes.....and stickers on my kraft bags.....I always learn something new here. Roberta
  16. Roberta12

    Public Studio Vs. Lone Ranger

    Just Peachy, I also started at a Community College studio. It was a great place to get started. I learned a lot! However, just as you are experiencing, not everyone wants to be part of the community, or is respectful of other work. Contaminated glazes, poor firings, too many people with access to the kiln (opening the kiln at say...oh 800 degrees) broken pieces....all these things contributed to my move to set up a small studio at my home. I sincerely miss the interaction between potters. The easy flow of ideas, the collaboration that can occur. So, I create my own opportunities for that. Empty Bowl fundraisers, workshops, and I love Clay Lovers idea of working with a friend for a day or two. It can be done! I also applaud Norm's efforts to create a well run studio for many! But Just Peachy? You might be happier at a place where you can have time to explore your own path. Or at least until you can find a facility that better meets your needs. Roberta
  17. Roberta12

    Firing Too Dark/uneven

    That is brilliant Chris!! Never thought of that. Thanks!
  18. Roberta12

    Firing Too Dark/uneven

    I agree, because I have done that myself. Too thin of an application, and bingo! It's brown.
  19. This has been an interesting discussion. I retired from my job a year ago, and jumped into small business ownership after that. I wanted to have my own pottery business because I wanted to get better at my craft, and if you are making pots, you have to have someplace to put them! So I sell them. I am not a production potter by any means. I am deliberate (read slow) and enjoy that process. Here in our county they have a small business incubator that lined me up with a helper from the Small Business Development Center. One of the first questions he asked me was...."what do you want to do with your business?" I have thought about that a lot the last year. And it has changed even in the last year. Brian, you have all this really great advice from people who have been doing this a lot longer than me! (6 years as a potter, 1 year as a pottery) But I will put my little bit in there......just enjoy what you do. I mean really enjoy it. Best of luck to you Brian, Roberta
  20. Roberta12

    Potters Hands

    I am definitely trying the vinegar. That is a new one for me. I live in cold, dry, high altitude, Colorado. so in the winter despite lotions and balms, I get cracks on the joints of my fingers, and by the nails, I have started using brush on super glue in those cracks and it worked great to give them time to heal!
  21. Celia, Thank you for your post which generated a great deal of discussion! I started mixing my own glazes because I wanted to know what was in the glaze I wanted to learn more about glaze chemistry I wanted to explore the variations on color it was cheaper I sort of have space for the storage of chemicals I read a lot of books on glazes/chemistry/etc. And with that became pretty horrified at how nonchalant my previous studio mates were concerning glazes and their use. I continue to learn more and more about what sort of glazes I want to be mixing. Apparently that is what draws me to pottery. I learn something new every single day. But if you don't have room for the dry chemicals (or buckets of glaze) and don't have access to someone to mentor you or don't have the educational resources, commercial glazes would be the best way to go until you do! I would also like to take a really good glaze workshop. There is just simply so much to learn. but that is what makes this craft so fascinating!
  22. Roberta12


    and Matt? I LOVE the TV lamp!
  23. Roberta12


    Mea, when I read your article previously, I did come up with a hang tag for a non ceramic item that I sell a lot of. It was such a great idea! It explains the process and tells a bit about me. People love it. I do some little tent cards for my pots, but I think I will follow your lead and make up tags for my pots. So many times people ask what this is for or that is for. I have always thought it better to let the customer decide, but perhaps a nudge is a better idea. BTW I make my own hang tags, designed it on Publisher, print them on the HP printer, cut with my trusty paper cutter and punch holes myself. But I have recently ordered some things from Vista Print, so may be going that direction for a "bio" card. Thank you so much for sharing! I appreciate this forum and all I have learned from all of you.
  24. Bingo! Even with something as simple as a bowl, which has a million uses, people seem to need to be told what it's for. I can't count how many times someone has come into m y booth and said 'That's a beautiful bowl, but I just don't know what I'd use it for.' Food, maybe?!? Of course, as soon as you say 'ice cream bowl', they say 'I don't like ice cream'! How about salsa? 'I thought you said it was for ice cream'. AAAAAUUUUUUGH! hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha I have met these people tooooo!!! Sometimes I tell them it's for oatmeal. sometimes applesauce. or catfood. hahahahahaha
  25. Roberta12

    Knitting Bowls

    Yes, I agree with all above. I make knitting bowls all the time. And I do throw them much thicker than I would a regular bowl. And I dry them upside down and wait until leather hard to cut them. I have had problems with warping in the kiln but it is usually if I am using an extremely smooth clay (b-mix or porcelain). I would post a pic, but not quite sure which icon to choose for that. May I say Min? that those are some really great looking knitting bowls!! I love your colors and the shape of them.

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