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Chris Campbell

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Everything posted by Chris Campbell

  1. I saw this posting on another forum this morning and I asked for permission from amanda@howlingzoe.com to re-post it here. I think this contains a lot of knowledge that would be very useful to our Members. Thanks Amanda. As I've worked with non profits and small businesses for the past 15 years, I understand that there is a very steep education curve for online presence, and that the industry is full of snake oil salesmen and the road to a website is very confusing. But content management systems were built solely to stop that from happening. And open source content management systems (CMS) really don't give you a single reason not to use them. WordPress, with 20 MILLION users, is the perfect CMS for anyone because of its simplicity and price (free). A website has three parts: the domain (the name people use to get to your site). This costs 10$ a year and I would recommend NameCheap.com as a domain registrar, or GoDaddy if you don't have an issue w their politics or advertising. Hosting: the computer where your website lives. The domain points to this. Hosting costs vary mostly based on how big your website will be (Storage) and how many will visit (bandwidth) and very little else. There is no free hosting worth investing in. Anywhere. Hosting should not be expensive, however, and places like Page.ly are PERFECT. Its idiotproof, WordPress and Email only hosting. They people who run it are lovely and stand behind the product. If you don't go with Page.ly, look for hosts with something called "Cpanel". Its a very easy to understand control panel. I avoid GoDaddy because its very confusing to use, even for advanced developers, but particularly for beginners. The website itself: this is the site, full of HTML or ASP or PHP pages or WordPress, etc. In 2010, I consider it malpractice for Web Developers to not include a CMS in a site they develop for someone. A CMS is what allows people to control their own website so they don't need "webmasters". Either way, you need all three parts for a website to work. There are a zillion themes for WordPress, and even the theme it comes with, twenty-ten, is pretty awesome and would work well for anyone. Since most of you will want to add Ecommerce, I highly advise you using the "Phpurchase" plugin over Shopp or WP-Ecommerce, both of which are clunky and hard to use. This can connect simply to Google Checkout, Paypal or a real payment gateway. The beauty of WordPress is that it makes it very easy for you to maintain your own website. Because its internet based, if something happens to your computer you can still edit and access your site. Because its open source, there are 8 gazillion people in the world that can help you with it. Just twitter a question about WordPress or post in the forums. There are a million plugins and themes to enhance your site, 99.9 of them are free. There are WordCamps and WordPress meetups in every town (wordcamp.org and meetup.com) to help you learn how to use WordPress. Unlike conferences, these are free or at most, $35. WordPress already has a great deal of SEO capability built into it and plug ins to help superboost it. I have taken the time to post this information with no benefit to myself whatsoever purely for the benefit of learning. I am highly involved in the WordPress community ( a non paying gig) and often teach WordPress for free. I believe strongly that WordPress helps create a level playing field for small businesses and non profits.
  2. I have a question for the more tech savvy among us ... I would like to run a short campaign asking people to take a selfie with my wares and post it ... but where to post them is the question. I have a Facebook colored clay group, or could start a new page just for this ... have never used Instagram. All opinions welcome.
  3. Chris Campbell

    Narrowing it down_things to make

    We are so lucky to be potters ... the world of clay is incredibly huge ... you could spend three lifetimes and not cover it all. And ... weirdly, the more you know the less you know and the more there is to discover, so set your sights on discovery and the rest will follow. ITS FUN!!! ... ooops, that’s a secret ... I forgot ... Muggles all over will be annoyed to hear that artists have fun. We’ll have no more of that!
  4. Chris Campbell

    Narrowing it down_things to make

    Biggest first question is ... “ How long have you been working with clay?” Which leads to question number two ... “ How many different things have you tried?” One way you can make the kind of “narrowing down” choice you are talking about is by opening up to any area of clay that catches your fancy. Try it all and you will find something that grabs YOU ... a form technique or style that feels comfortable. Then you can focus and refine. I’ve noticed that many new potters want to monetize their work before they have had any of the fun of exploring. They hold their work up to public pricing way too early in their journey. Why miss the huge Galaxy of options that the clay world presents? Mostly, I suspect, because people around them ask more about making money than they do about the joy of learning to be good at something. Resist and explore.
  5. For me it is not pride or ego ... it is in my nature. I simply cannot sell a pot I believe to be a ‘second’ at any price. I have learned that for me ... a ‘second’ is a second before bisque. Nothing in a firing is going to save it. No glaze or decoration is going to do magic. No raku voodoo is going to hide it. So I don’t bisque it. No piece is so precious it cannot be made again. Set your own standards on what is a second for you, then live with it.
  6. Well, it depends. Are you going for a single sale or a repeat customer? It’s bad enough when your early ‘good’ work comes back to haunt you ... cannot imagine how horrible it would be to meet a second in the hands of a potter I admire.
  7. There used to be a long haired dog around Penland ... many, many people have made brushes from his tail hair ... you just had to rub and the dog shed hair. I guess he is semi famous!
  8. Chris Campbell

    Cracks In Bisqued Pieces

    Pictures ... pictures ... it is 100% easier to analyze a problem with images. Most cracks are classics and once seen can be easily explained.
  9. Due to a too long wait list, I will be teaching a second session of colored clay techniques. Spots in this second class are filling fast, so don’t delay! LEARN ABOUT COLORED CLAY - Aug 2-6, 2018 We will be at the lovely Sugar Maples Center for Creative Arts in the Catskills mountains of NY State. CALL their office directly to get your spot. (518) 263-2001 or go online: https://www.catskillmtn.org/…/ar…/sugar-maples/courses.html… Jump start your adventure of discovery with Color in Clay!
  10. Chris Campbell

    Porcelain Clay Bodies

    You don’t need to go to porcelain to get lovely lighter clay bodies. While I love porcelain, it does have a learning curve and can be frustrating to anyone used to a friendlier clay. Many clays are warm, creamy and light while still being user friendly. Just a thought.
  11. Chris Campbell

    Jet black smooth nerikomi clay or velvets?

    You are so welcome! The teaching area of my website is a busy place .. it’s hard to find reliable information on colored clays.
  12. I still say you should completely stir up the slip and probably sieve it to make sure it is totally blended before using it for slip casting. Your piece could have been lacking enough clay to keep it solid. Anything that settles would be missing and the thing that settles best is clay. I could be wrong, but for a well cast piece to melt that kiln would have had to run for a longer time and it would have been noticibly HOT on the outside. You would have know that thing was too hot just by observation, no?
  13. I think it could be one of two things. Your kiln over fired which you should know from the witness cones (hopefully). Your slip was compromised ... I think if you did not stir it well enough you left the clay on the bottom of the container ... so, the form you made did not have enough strength to get through the high firing. Everything mostly survives bisque ... the test is really the high fire.
  14. Chris Campbell

    Reputation for selling cheap pottery

    Apply this to other things ... is a good painting worth less because someone else sells theirs for cheap in a garage parking lot? Does crafted furniture suffer because you can get cheap sets at the local hardware chain? How about great cooking? Fine hotels? Designer clothing? My pet peeve has always been that the great potters don’t move UP ... vacate the low price area ... and widen our price ranges. I should never be able to buy a piece of excellently crafted work in the same price range as a beginner efforts ... but ... sadly I can. The price range is not nearly wide enough to make people appreciate the difference.
  15. Chris Campbell

    Copied Images

    I see other images there that do not seem right ... can they just pull images off the Internet??
  16. I agree with Neil that some just clean off easier ... like black ... while other dye the clay .. like greens and blues. Getting a sharp clean line is one of those ... it all depends ... things. There are probably two dozen basic ways to this with a hundred optional ways to each. if you could post a picture of the kind of image you are trying it would help.
  17. Chris Campbell

    1st pots in 30 years

    You are making reasonable looking pots for where you are right now. Are they good, bad, excellent, terrible? ... you are too new at this to have that judgement say anything about your potential. That said ... remember what you said about needing the ‘zen’ part? Relaxation, meditation, looking inward? Try to enjoy this phase of learning. Throw with the intention of pleasing yourself by pushing your boundaries and seeing what happens. Forget about the glazing ... you can learn that next. Throw, split, appraise, recycle, throw again until you look at a pot and know it is good ... not just good enough to sell, unsigned, to someone. There is NO replacement for the time spent on the seat of your pants throwing pots ... enjoy!
  18. Chris Campbell

    Jet black smooth nerikomi clay or velvets?

    Jet black Mason stain at about 5-6% ... good, solid black. It will take you about 15 minutes to mix it into any clay body and you will have it forever if you store it right. http://www.ccpottery.com/how_to_color_clay_with_maso.html
  19. Chris Campbell

    Crazy requests

    Mark ... I had this exact kind of experience ... it went on for months until I finally asked a caller where they were getting my name from. It turns out that Google was listing me on their directory as a Pottery resource ... if you Googled “Pottery Raleigh” my info popped up ...I was listed on Google maps ... everywhere. I went in and changed my profile listing and the calls stopped. Sorry, this was last year and I can’t quite remember how I changed it but it worked.
  20. Chris Campbell

    Majolica

    Questions- What clay are you using? What would you paint the background pictures with? What glaze are you using? What product will you be using to paint over the glaze? What Cone are you firing to? What look are you trying to achieve? Do you have a picture?
  21. I would suggest you also ask this question on a polymer clay since they might be more likely to use some kind of food safe sealants. Obviously you could only use air dried clay bowls for dry foods such as chips or crackers so you could easily wipe them clean.
  22. Chris Campbell

    are these engobes ?

    Amaco sells colored engobes. Five or six different colors. In my little world, engobe is just another name for a slip.
  23. I’m thinking this too ... I bisque to Cone 010 and the work is very fragile at that stage. But, I have never had any break just because I glazed them. They are almost acting like greenware.
  24. I hope to meet up with some of you at NCECA in Pittsburgh this week. I will be placing my earrings around the venue .... if you find a pair be sure to take a pix of them on your ears and post on Instagram #earshow2018. SORRY ... the image is so huge and I can’t find a way to size it!
  25. This sounds quite strange. Can you post pictures?
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