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Nancy S.

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Everything posted by Nancy S.

  1. Greetings, all! It's Springtime here in PA, so I'm working on the cleaning/reorganizing of my small "studio" (a corner of an outbuilding). My previous set-up sort of worked, but I feel that it could be vastly improved upon. So! Tell me how your workspaces are set up if they work out well for you. Is there an arrangement that seems to work better than others? Also, I have space for shelves (which I plan to install this season) on the wall. Any suggestions on shelving? Also also, I personally don't keep my glazes in the studio (since it's unheated/uncooled), but for tools and bats and other doodads, does anyone have any awesome suggestions on keeping everything organized? I have sooo many little things and am struggling with keeping them handy enough to use but organized enough to keep them out of the way when I don't need them. (Incidentally, I have an old dresser that's missing a drawer and I am seriously considering converting it to a pottery tool chest...)
  2. Nancy S.

    Vector Images

    If you have a program and aren't sure how to use a feature, try looking on YouTube for tutorials. I go there quite a bit when I'm stuck on a Photoshop thing. :-)
  3. Nancy S.

    Pottery For New Baby

    A coworker of mine became a grandmother for the first time. I made a little keepsake box for the baby girl so that her parents can keep her first lost tooth, first haircut, etc. but when she's old enough she can use it for jewelry or whatnot.
  4. Nancy S.

    Creating Product Lines / Over Time

    If you're planning to sell on Etsy, check out their seller's guides. I don't sell a lot there, since I don't have a lot of extra to sell; but I have the occasional sale, usually around the holiday. It just depends on what people want at the time...if you have more to offer you'll sell more. Tyler is totally right, too! I keep a lot because some things have flaws that don't make them saleable, or I really like it or need it. Pricing is always tricky on Etsy, since you're dealing with a national audience. What easily sells for $50 in California or Boston or New York won't be purchased by someone in most of the country for more than $30. But priced too low, it won't sell because people think it's cheaply made and low quality. Plus you need to figure out shipping fees ahead of time, a whole 'nother pain. :-) If you make what you love to make, that beauty and sincerity will come through in the work and make it appealing to others. Check out what successful Etsy sellers do: great descriptions, clear policies, good photos. And good luck!!
  5. Nancy S.

    Embracing Wetness

    Sure do! I haven't found the "one" (clay wise) that I'd like to use exclusively, so I make notes about each as I work with 50-100 lbs. Eventually I'll figure out which works best for what I want to do...
  6. Nancy S.

    Cute Fox Bowl Wip (As Requested)

    Adorable! I envy your skill... thanks for sharing this!!
  7. Being self-taught, I always used to think that the "pro" potters didn't make mistakes or have certain problems. Watching a live demo made me understand that they DO, but online videos and such just don't show them. I'm not such a screwup after all! :-)
  8. Of course! Last year and this year, my family and coworkers are getting pottery gifts. I asked what they want, generally, though this year they'll have a choice from a pile of stuff. One coworker has even commissioned cookie jars (and paid nicely for them). As a hobby potter who needs the practice, I use the 'gift pieces' as a way to improve my technique and test glazes. Last year I made 10 bowls for centerpieces (work meeting) and got a new paying client out of it to boot. It works for me!
  9. Heck yeah! What good is it to be a potter that makes dishes if you can't make your own dishes? That's like the cobbler's kids running around with no shoes.
  10. Neil and oldlady are right. Commercially available pots/saucers are treated so they aren't as dusty as plain bisque ware or as porous.
  11. Nancy S.

    Rehydrating Old Glazes

    Question on sieving - should I run the reconstituted glaze through 80 or 100 mesh? I have some commercial glazes that have dried up. When should Epsom salts be added, and how much??
  12. Brilliant, Pugaboo! I will try the bottle trick. :-) You all have lovely sponge holders.
  13. Nancy S.

    Show Us Your Teapots

    Funny you should bring this up! I just finished this here teapot not too long ago: I'm drying it verrrry slooooowly for obvious reasons. The spout really does come up over the top of the lid (barely), it just doesn't look like it from this angle. (This is actually the second time I'm making this teapot. The first time the spout was too short and when it was fired, the lid was fired on the pot accidentally - and not by me!)
  14. Hey all! My first volley of research didn't garner much, so I figured I'd see what the forum has to offer... A friend of mine would like me to make something for her in a bright lime green (see attached photos for examples of the color). Any suggestions for a commercially-available glaze? PLEASE note that I don't mix my own for various reasons, so unless you're going to mix it for me and mail it (an option I'm not averse to if someone is willing), I have to go the commercial route. Any brand is fine, but it needs to be either ^05 or ^6. Suggestions? Thank you all in advance! ...not my personal preference in colors, but it's not going in MY house.
  15. Thanks, everyone! I had thought about underglaze as an alternative option. Question about the Spectrum Lime - is it transparent or opaque? I'm using a darker clay right now, but will likely switch back to a white or buff when this box is gone.
  16. Nancy S.

    Candle Holder

    This might be a good use for Nancy S's (s)crap clay! Indeed!!! (Thankfully there is not a lot - maybe 3-5 pounds.)
  17. Nancy S.

    Bone Head Mistakes

    Yeah, um, I just did that "oh, a tiny bit of this mystery clay shouldn't hurt" bonehead mistake. Now I guess I have a few pounds of scrap clay for plaster cottles or bisque hump/slump molds.
  18. I had this *exact* same issue recently, and I think it might be due to a bit of "mystery clay" (which is likely low-fire, ^04) contaminating my ^6 stuff. Have you been doing any clay mixing lately?
  19. Nancy S.

    Candle Holder

    Just to clarify, do you mean to remove the wax from the ceramic and then use the candle separately in a different holder, or do you mean to put the wax into the pottery where it will stay and be burned in there for an all-in-one thing? If you mean the latter, I'd recommend a type of clay that can handle hotter temperatures without thermal shock. Even soy wax can get rather warm.
  20. Nancy S.

    Setting Up Studio In Basement

    I'm in the same "transporting stuff to and from a kiln that isn't in my house/studio" boat, and have had to do this since 2012. I use plastic bags from the store, plus those produce bags. I wrap each piece (glazed or green) individually in a bag, lightly, and pack the pieces into an old clay box or a large insulated tote bag (the kind with a flat bottom and a plastic panel in the base to keep it flat). Extra bags get wadded around in the spaces so they don't jostle around in the car. Sometimes I can "nest" one bowl in another, if they aren't too fiddly. Then again, my work is pretty sturdy...I don't do super-thin wares, because I'm still a beginner and, y'know, beginners do everything thicker than the pros. So maybe that helps me -- I have maybe had one piece break in transit in the past 3 years and maybe one other that broke because I mishandled it while taking it out of the tote bag. I also only transport about 5-7 pieces, max, at a time. This works for me, because I just go once a week and do a dropoff/pickup over lunch. As for glazed pieces, I don't use any kind of hairspray or starch or anything other than the plastic bags and the only time I've had chipping is when my glaze layer was unnecessarily thick. I just make sure the pieces have completely dried (usually overnight) before I bag them up.
  21. Nancy S.

    Middle Of Kiln Is Overfiring

    What about peepholes? I don't know anything about gare kilns, so I'm just guessing... can you unplug a hole in the middle to keep it from getting too hot? Also, are you using the 'junior' cones in the sitter and the large or self-standing cones on the shelves? Cones made for sitters are made to bend at a different (higher) temp than the bigger ones. Same with the bars.
  22. Nancy S.

    Setting Up Studio In Basement

    Depending on how old your wiring actually is, you may wish to upgrade anyway. I used to live in a house with 60amp service, and we couldn't use the toaster without tripping the circuit! And once you get the electrician there to do the work, you may as well have him wire for a kiln...no sense in paying for a second visit. Good wiring also improves the resale value of your home, and if it's knob and tube now, you may also get a discount on your hazard insurance by upgrading!
  23. Nancy S.

    Clean Merge Line.

    Masking or blue painter's tape? Do you need both lines sharp, or just one? Do you want clay to show between them?
  24. I keep a lot of my own work...why buy dishes when I can make them? I tend to keep the ones with minor cracks on the rim or chips on the bottom, and I often test out glaze combos on these. Sometimes I keep a thing because my husband says he really likes it.
  25. Nancy S.

    Amoco Celadon Glazes

    I had the same issue with Amaco's 'true celadon.' You have to dip it or make sure your layers are even and not too thick. It's tricky.

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