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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Christmas Ornaments

    Thanks ... I made over 4,000 ornaments every year for about ten years ... so I did pick up some shortcuts .... eventually.
  6. 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.
  7. Full disclosure .... I would like to post a piece in the 'Business of Pottery" area of my website offering help on time management. I don't get paid for this at all so hope my asking here is OK. I can write this article from a basic point of view ... I know how to manage my time since I had many years of production work ... but what I am lacking is the current experience of having to balance an active web presence with an active studio presence. I have attended numerous lectures locally and at NCECA in regards to how to use the Internet ... facebook, instagram, tweets, blogs, posts, pinterest, ... and always leave quite baffled on how one can stay this active online and still get any serious production done in the studio. I would opt to choose one or two and do those as well as I could ... but some people claim they can do it all. Also ... how much of this activity results in a consumer's interest that lasts longer than the next click?? Not to sound crass or anything ... but show me the trail to the money$$. How much of this is just noise? Thanks in advance for any input.
  8. Throw it back at the students ... challenge them to choose something in their everyday lives then build it with coils. Could be a car, a computer, a chair, a trash can, a television ... you might be amazed at what they will come up with.
  9. How do we call it in English?

    Is it the wrong video? Looks like underglaze painting on bisque. With colored clay slips you can paint on fabric and transfer it to greenware.
  10. Making sugar savers question

    My best guess would be that you could use any unglazed clay body ... I would probably just bisque fire it so the surface would be porous.
  11. Personally, I have no problem with being called talented. Smile and say thank you to the gene pool. I know lots of people more creative than I am ... more talented than I am ... more original than I am ... more educated than I am ... more experienced than I am ... smarter than I am ... better connected than I am ... just all around more artistic than I am . I also know many will not take that next step ... the one that promises total success or abject failure. F A I L U R E on a visible stage. So ... take a deep bow if a hideous kiln load did not stop you ... if a bad glaze just challenged you ... if an ancient technique intrigued you ... if a hideous craft show did not end you .., if a horrible day of throwing did not make you quit ... if a customers whining did not defeat you ... if your student's entitlement did not get the best of you. Our talent might just be brutish persistence.
  12. crazy quiz

    1 - (a) ... but only if I can also talk on my cell phone, eat my meals and maybe look down my nose at the crowd. 2 - (c) ... duh, obviously I am the best qualified person to hog other artists time, chase paying customer from their booths and comment on what a terrible show it is ... as loudly as I can. 3 - None of the above. So obviously a trick question. If I made my entry fee back it was a good show.
  13. colouring large batches of porcelain

    I use a commercial size Hobart dough mixer, but these might be more expensive than a pug mill. One way to make your job easier is to saturate your clay with stain. By that I mean ... if you want 5% mix your batch at 10 or 15% ... it is very easy to knead in the right amount of white clay to bring the % down ... less clay to store and less times you have to make it.
  14. colouring large batches of porcelain

    My reply would be two questions ... How often do you think you would be doing this? A pug mill is a big investment if all you want to do is color some clay once or twice and I am really not convinced it is the best tool for the job. How many colors? ... Multiple colors means totally cleaning out the mill between each batch ... ugh!