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Everything posted by GEP

  1. There’s a teeny population of knowledgable customers who appreciate the amount of work involved, and the historical relevance. Most of them are potters who have tried it themselves. It doesn’t necessarily translate to them buying wood-fired pots. Everybody else doesn’t care. Wood-fired pots can be compelling and desirable, or not. Just like all other pots. I’ve never heard of anyone frowning on it. Most people, if you take the time to explain it, find it impressive. Edit: I should add that it depends on your region. There are regions (eg western North Carolina) where there are a lot more people who appreciate and buy wood-fired pots.
  2. In my area, there is a wood pallet supplier that will give its old worn-out pallets to wood-firers for free. This is wood that has served a long industrial life and is otherwise heading for a landfill, unless a potter gives it one last ride through a wood kiln. Environmentally speaking I think it’s a plus. The pallets need to be busted up, but the wood is already in long flat pieces, and very dry from age. I personally think that wood-firing is less healthy for you, the potter. After a wood-firing, my lungs and throat feel like I’ve smoked a whole pack of cigarettes.
  3. The next thing I would try is to make and apply your glaze thinner. Maybe do a “line blend” of sorts where you have 5 small pots with increasingly thicker glaze application, ranging from very thin to very thick. See if there is a noticable result. Right now your time/temperature variations are yielding results that don’t have a noticeable pattern.
  4. Hghwater Little Loafers. It looks and feels very smooth, but still throws well. It’s not bright white, more of an eggshell white.
  5. I agree with what Callie said, plus in order to make the rim get smaller as the wall grows, it takes a lot more pressure from your outside hand than you might think. Your inside hand should not be applying much pressure outward at all, it is mostly there for support and to help keep the wall centered.
  6. My ceramics education was not formal. It consisted of informal recreational classes, plus some excellent workshops, lots of reading, plus the most important element which is years and years of hands-on experience and practice. It can be done, but it certainly takes a lot longer than 4 years. And you need to put together your own "curriculum" so to speak, and research where to get the training you want. Even advanced topics like kiln-building and fuel firing can be learned this way, if you search for it. On the plus side, it's a lot cheaper than college tuition. You can also be working full-time while you do it. I recently gave a throwing demo at a local community college. The classroom and facilities were beautiful! I was a little envious, and wished I could have learned in a setting like that. But at the same time, Mark mentioned this above too, if you get a college ceramics education, you are still short of the years and years of hands-on experience and practice that it takes to realize your goals. So condensing all the education into 4 years doesn't get you there any faster. I have a college degree in design, and I would not trade that educational experience for anything. It transformed me from a talented but naive/immature high-schooler into an adult who could navigate the professional world. This is not something you can teach yourself. It takes role models and a lot of guidance.
  7. If these are your first sales ever, the answer is "produce and pack as much as you can." The answer is different for everyone, and there's no way to know the right answer when you're just starting out. The answers will reveal themselves over time. Good luck and enjoy yourself!
  8. Oh ok, I didn't know that. I have a popup that I only use once about once a year. The roof came attached and I don’t think it comes off.
  9. I do a three day show that can get very windy. We still need tents in case of rain, and so we can zip down our spaces at night. When the wind is really gusty, artists will take off their roofs and just leave the frame and walls. This is another advantage of the Light Dome and Trimlines. The roofs unhook and come right off. The roof of a pop-up is attached to the frame. You can get them off, but you have to permanenetly damage your tent.
  10. I use an inexpensive immersion heater, the kind that is meant to heat up one cup of water for coffee or tea. In winter months my throwing water will be ice cold in the morning, The water will be nice and hot in about 15 minutes. The water will reach room temperature again by the time I finish throwing, but at least it won’t be ice cold. No danger of leaving it plugged in. Mine is developing some crud but it still works. https://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Instant-Electric-Immersion-Heater/dp/B01M0Q84BR/
  11. Water based clay isn’t the right material for the work you’re describing anyways, because it shrinks and cracks, is fussy about timimg, and has limitations for the forms it can hold. Modeling clay (or oil-based clay) is a much better choice for you. It’s pricey per pound compared to water-based clay, but a small amount goes a long way. When you have successfully molded a master, you can smush it down and use it again and again. Chavant looks like a good choice, but you can also look into Protolina which is a little cheaper. I don’t know of any safety precautions when it comes to oil-based clays. Decades ago it used to contain some toxic materials, but modern versions have eliminated all of that. Polymer clays (plastic-based clay) would also work for you, but as you noted it is quite a bit more expensive than oil-based.
  12. I agree with @liambesaw, but put the test tile on a cookie made of a known cone 10 clay, just in case.
  13. There are some pop-up tents that are actually quite heavy duty. So maybe the show is trying not to exclude those. Maybe they are using the brand name EZ UP because they are so common and generally flimsy (even the best EZ UPs are not great). They probably mean that term to apply to any canopy of that grade, the ones that cost less than $500. Those heavy duty pop-ups are just as expensive as a Lite Dome or Trimline. And because they don’t break down into separate pieces, they are really heavy. You need to be brawny enough to use them.
  14. In windy condition, the high end tents (Lite Dome, Trimline) can become kites too. But overall they are reliably sturdy whereas pop up tents are made by many different manufacturers and come in a wide range of quality. Every tent needs proper weights to avoid becoming a kite. But cheap tents can still twist and crumple even when properly weighted. Should you buy a high end tent now? If you are having good success at art fairs, and feel commited to doing them regularly for many years, then yes. If you are still not sure about that, then rent it this time and keep working towards discovering whether you want to do this long term. Edit: I would not try to sneak a pop up into a show that says “no pop ups.” Shows these days are getting much savvier about rules and rules enforcement. Which is overall a good thing. Shows that have a good handle on this tend to be of higher quality. Ignoring rules can get you banned from a good show.
  15. Cup: The Intimate Object XIV presented by Charlie Cummings Gallery October 6-November 2, 2018 Visit the show in person: 2040 NW 6th St, Gainesville, FL 32609 Visit the show online. The show website goes live at 12 noon ET on October 6: http://charliecummingsgallery.com I am pleased and honored to have five mugs (shown here) included in this show. Here is the complete roster of potters: Senta Achée, Kristine Aguilar, Araceli Adams, Mindy Andrews, Noni Armony, Mark Arnold, Dawn Atkin, JoAnn F Axford, Posey Bacopoulos, Noel Bailey, Marian Baker, Mariana Baquero, Brett Beasley, Eric Beavers, Ashley Bevington, Molly Anne Bishop, Beth Bolgla, David Bolton, Eric Botbyl, Helle Bovbjerg, Lakyn Bowman, Jessica A Brandl, Nathan Bray, Kaitlyn Brennan, Julie Burstein, Laurie Caffery, Rebecca Campbell, Dawn Candy, Benjamin Carter, Neil Celani, Pedro and Naomi Centeno, Chris Chaney, Michael Chappell, Anne-Laure Charlier, Ian Childers, Adriana Christianson, Mark Chuck, Mike Cinelli, Bede Clark, Craig Clifford, Allison Cochran, Jenn Cole, Martha Cook, Christy Culp, Carolanne Currier, Harris Deller, Nick DeVries, Maria Dondero, Paul Donnelly, Rachel Donner, Barbara Donovan, Doug Dotson, Gillian Doty, Adrienne Eliades, Carole Epp, Machiko Erhard, Allee Etheridge, Michelle Ettrick, Shaun Fera, Susan Filley, Alexandra FitzGerald, Brock Flamion, Tommy Frank, Linda Ge, Mike Gesiakowski, Daniel Gillberg, Irina Gladun, Mark Goertzen, James Gottuso, Jennifer Graff, Rebecca Grant, Seth Green, Sharon Greenwood, Martha Grover, Adam Gruetzmacher, Guillermo Guardia, Annemiek Hammelink, Rain Harris, Wesley Harvey, Eric Heerspink, Tiffany Hilton, Lynne Hobaica, Barbara Hoffman, Noelle Hoover, Meredith Host, Samantha Hostert, HungryMunchy, Walter Hyleck, Matthew Hyleck, Paul Ide, En Iwamura, Mike Jabbur, Kirk Jackson, Jordan Jones, James Kelly, Robert Kibler, Ashley Kim, Margaret Kinkeade, Jason Kishell, Jim Klingman, Rob Kolhouse, Lucien Koonce, Tim Kowalczyk, Karin Kraemer, Yoonjee Kwak, Dick Lehman, Brenda Lichman, Ann Lindell, Carol Long, Renee LoPresti, Louise Lovelace, Scott Lykens, Robin MacKay, Shaun Mallonga, Abby Rose Mandel, Abby Rose Marcotte, Virginia Marsh, Tameria Martinez, William McComb, Paul McCoy, Mynthia McDaniel, Linda McFarling, Susan McHenry, Andrew McIntyre, Dean McRaine, Lorna Meaden, Melissa Mencini, Sam Mendez, Linda Mercer, Dennis Meiners, Christopher Melia, Branan Mercer, Didem Mert, Brooke Millecchia, Catie Miller, Nikki Mizak, Reiko Miyagi, Joe Molinaro, Stephen Mullins, Ryan Myers, Mark Nafziger, Kelsey Nagy, CJ Niehaus, Sarah Nikitopoulos, Nate Nixdorf, Lindsay Oesterritter, Kyounghwa Oh, Debra Oliva, Åsa Olofsson, Alex Olson, Stephanie Osser, Elizabeth Paley, Jessica Palmer, Gillian Parke, Ronan Peterson, Mary Philpott, Teresa Pietsch, Sarah Pike, Sarah Piper, Ashley Polkinghorn, Brenda Quinn, Fredi Rahn, Jeremy Randall, Beau Raymond, Dow Redcorn, Natalie Reed-Goehl, Kyle Rees, Juliana Rempel, Don Reynolds, Mea Rhee, Barry Rhodes, Tilla Rodemann, Lora Rust, Eileen Sackman, Masa Sasaki, Adrian Sandstrom, Ali Saunders, Gabrielle Schaffner, Pete Scherzer, Matthew Schiemann, Yoko Sekino-Bové, Ryan Schulz, Brandon Schwartz, Brad Schwieger, Nikki Serra, Erin Shayler, Joey Sheehan, Melanie Sherman, Tim Sherman, Takuro Shibata, Mitchell Spain, Zac Spates, Adam Spector, Rebekah Strickland, Mike Stumbras, Chance Taylor, Susan Thomas, Alex Thomure, Alex Thullen, John Tilton, Anne Tilton, James Tingey, Christian Tonsgard, Sandra Torres, C A Traen, Leilani Trinka, Sara Truman, Clovy Tsuchiya, Reiko Uchytil, Carly Van Anglen and David Ferro, Eric Van Eimeren, Lynn Anne Verbeck, Melissa Weiss, Charity White, Philip Wiggs, Stephanie Wilhelm, Bill Wilkey, Tony and Mindy Winchester, Travis Winters, Shumpei Yamaki, Hedy Yang, Meghan Yarnell, Levi Yastrow, Lisa York, Ashley Young, Tony Young, and Caleb Zouhary
  16. I can’t fully explain why this works, I just know that it works. Pack plates into a shipping carton vertically on their edges, not horizontally. In that orientation they can absorb more shock, and the plates won’t transfer shock to each other. Use a rectangular box, so the no matter how the box is put down, the plates are still vertical. If you use a cube shaped box, it’s possible to put it down with the plates horizontal. I don’t think USPS makes flat rate boxes that are big enough for this. Go to Staples or the Container Store for boxes and packing materials. If you think you will be shipping things like this regularly, Uline.com is the best source for bulk supplies. The three different items should be in their own boxes, so none of the boxes is too heavy (plates are heavy!), and so each one has an ideally sized box. Too small and you won’t have enough cushion. Too big and you’re wasting money on shipping costs. It’s hard to say exactly what size boxes you need yet. I would prepare all the items in packing materials, then measure for the right size box. Measure the size of the bundle and add 2 inches to all six sides.
  17. My spool says “20lb.” Not sure you can see this in the photo, but each cutoff wire is two fishing lines twisted together, so it’s thicker and stronger than a single 20lb strand. The twistedness is very useful. It puts little pockets of air between your pot and the batt, so the pot can’t stick itself back on. And you can make interesting patterns on the bottom of your pot.
  18. I wet pull handles from leatherhard mugs, which means the handles are much soggier than the mugs. After I handleize a run of mugs, I cover them with plastic. In about 24 hours, the moisture will have equalized throughout the pot, and they can be uncovered to finish drying safely.
  19. Homemade cutoff wires, made from fishing line and fender washers. Taught to me by the marvelous Nan Rothwell in Charlottesville VA. I love that these can be made to any length of your choosing. Storebought ones are always too long. The first one is for cutting pugs, the second one is for cutting off small pots like mugs, the third one is for everything larger than a mug. They break every so often, but it takes only minutes to make a new one, and that one spool of fishing line will probably last a lifetime.
  20. Anyone who is worried about offending someone, or hurting someone’s feelings, should not be making these decisions. An orientation can be done without any meanness or condescension. Just a straightforward tour and explanation of the rules. An experienced potter will understand why it’s necessary, and will probably appreciate it.
  21. My experience is very similar to Neil and Chris. At the studio where I used to teach, those with little or no clay experience were required to take a class, where they would be under a teacher’s supervision. Those with enough experience who just wanted open studio access, but were new to the studio, had to attend a one-hour meeting with the studio manager at the beginning of the session. Those potters got a tour and a run-down of the rules/procedures. All of the rules were written down in a 3-4 page document, so that people couldn’t argue “I didn’t know that was a rule.”
  22. GEP

    yarn bowl dilemma

    Firing a cone 10 clay to cone 6 is a good avenue to explore. Yarn bowls do not need to be fully vitrified. I think it’s possible the horizontal design of the yarn channel is never going to work, no matter how you fire it. Asking the clay to hold its shape in such a cantilevered position is not working in partnership with the material. The yarn channeled can be redesigned so it doesn’t involve any acrobatic cantilevering. I’ve seen other potters fire their yarn bowls on their rims. They wax the rim to keep it free of glaze. Depending on the design of the yarn channel, an upside down firing might make it easier for the clay to hold its shape.
  23. GEP

    Sulpure free clay

    I have two kilns in my basement in my house. If you understand kiln safety issues, it can be done safely. They need proper electrical circuits, safe distance from walls, and a venting system to carry the kiln exhaust outside. In terms of health and safety, I am far more concerned about keeping clay dust out of my living quarters, than I am worried about the kilns.

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