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Chris Campbell

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About Chris Campbell

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    clay stained since 1988

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    Raleigh, NC

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  1. Why did my plates split ?

    While I agree the number one issue is likely too fast drying ... the rims fighting the rest of the plate ... I would also be looking at what method you are using to get the leaf impression and at what stage you are applying that pressure to the plate. Looks like one crack is right up the central vein of the leaf.
  2. Bonsai pots

    Many of you might know Mark Issenberg of Lookout Mountain Pottery. He is a very serious bonsai container maker and grows his own trees as well. Follow the “bonsai” link to see some of his pots. http://lookoutmountainpottery.com/
  3. NCECA

    I will be there ... I missed last year so will have to double up on looking at Pottery and potters!
  4. Great advice in Mea’s blog. Not everyone is good at booth sales but I believe everyone can be taught to do it better. Smile ... it works wonders, makes you feel good and makes browsers feel welcome. Stand ... nothing more off putting than the salesperson jumping up and coming towards you. Speak ... not kidding ... have had lots of potters not even speak to me when I entered their booth space. Just a “Hello””Nice day!””Welcome” works to break the ice. Welcome folks then leave them alone to look but stay aware in case they have a question. Dont ask any questions they can answer with “no” ... or “just looking”.
  5. Best Cone 6 Porcelain?

    There is no such thing as “anti craze”glazes. Sorry, but just as there are no jeans designed to fit all sizes, glazes need to fit the clay they are put on. Put size 2 jeans on a size 10 person and something has to give. Tell people which clay you are using and they might be able to recommend a glaze.
  6. If you do pots for a living, some days are horrible ... uninspired, tired, crabby ... you still have work to produce, so you get your tush into the studio and slog through. You have to push yourself and convince yourself that you are making good work even though it does not feel like it. Sometimes you leave at night thinking you should just heave everything and save yourself a world of grief. Then, the next day dawns and you feel good and you want to work but ... ugh ... what is waiting from yesterday? ... and there it is and it’s fine and every once in a while it is more the fine, it is excellent and you gotta wonder “where did I pull that from ?” ... so that becomes a very good day because sometime yesterday you crossed a bridge and made it to the other side.
  7. So true ... I should I have said, my friends at that time ... not my current contemporaries ... chin deep in Art careers. One person who sticks out from that time was one whose parents actually supported the decision to go to the big Art college and flunked out first year. I was flabbergasted that they could throw that chance away.
  8. Unfortunately my basic decisions were made by a sixteen year old! anyhow ... in thinking about this over time ... my first thoughts were to regret no formal training etc, ... but yesterday it hit me that every contemporary of mine who did get the art classes and/or went to Art College is no longer or never persued an art career. So maybe that sixteen year old who wasn’t so clueless after all ... well, yeah she was, but I will give her a pass anyhow.
  9. Locally Made-get on the bandwagon

    This is a topic that comes under the umbrella of "Great Advice". Mark’s original idea was excellent. The more people stare at machines, the more they need Handmade objects. ... as to Etsy ... I do not sell there but a lot of excellent potters do ... they actually get sales in direct competition with mass production. Bravo to them for doing the work! As for firing my kiln, using clay or imported products ... as far back in written history as you can go, we humans have been creators and traders.
  10. Christmas Ornaments

    Nancylee ... no need to slink away! ... so sorry if I came across wrong ... did not mean to offend. I think it is important to look at market trends and make the best decisions I can from what is happening. Imports as such were not my problem ... people no longer buying my product because they did not see the value in paying more was the key. Face to face I could still sell them but that was not enough volume to make my efforts worthwhile ... it was extremely labor intensive. I think that the tide is somewhat turning in that people ( with enough income ) are returning to handmade and putting value on a face to face experience.
  11. Christmas Ornaments

    China does not have the corner on cheap labor or mass production .... and the ornaments were not crap. If you needed to buy ten or twelve for co-workers or family, they were a good deal. Most were fairly well made. If a Gallery owner could mark them up 200% and still come in under my wholesale price, that is their bills paid and the shop stays open. Most of my Galleries were 'Mom & Pop' level ... some had even mortgaged their homes to stay open. They did what the customers dictated, what they had to do. I have no problem with that.
  12. Christmas Ornaments

    I agree ... it's a cycle I caught the end of ... I do not blame Galleries for opting into healthier profit margins and I can't blame people for choosing flashier ornaments. I am happy to hear that folks are still buying hand made ones somewhere.
  13. Christmas Ornaments

    Lots! I loved being part of so many Holiday and family traditions ... people would start asking in June what the ornament would be this year ... I learned so much about colored clay, pattern making, production, time management, glazes, marketing ... would not trade that experience for anything. This of course was in the olden days before inexpensive imported ornaments. The year before imports I sold over 5,000 ... the year after imports I got orders for about 600 ... the next year under 50.
  14. Christmas Ornaments

    Thanks ... I made over 4,000 ornaments every year for about ten years ... so I did pick up some shortcuts .... eventually.
  15. Christmas Ornaments

    A quick tip when using cookie cutters ... put a sheet of dry cleaner plastic on the clay slab and then cut the shapes through it. This makes sure your clay doesn't stick to the cutter and smoothes the edges of the ornaments so you don't have to clean them.

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