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About GEP

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    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

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    Silver Spring, MD
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    biking, jogging, cooking and eating, veggie gardening, baseball (Orioles)

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  1. The 460 can do flat surfaces too, if I hold it perpendicular to the pot surface and scrape lightly. I hold the tool with the blade more parallel to the pot when I want to slice away large amounts of clay, then switch to the more perpendicular angle when I am nearly done and want to slow down for some fine tuning of the shape. I think most trimming tools can be used at both of these angles.
  2. I've just used the triangle-shaped 120. I've never tried the others, but maybe somebody else here has. The squarer ones do seem similar to one end of the Sherrill Do-All, so I imagine they could be used that way. I've never used a Do-All but they get lots of love here on the forum.
  3. I agree with @Joseph F that most potters use one favorite tool for most things. My favorite is a Dolan 460 for its uncomplicated shape, and the corners on the blade come in handy too. You can find a free video on my website, on the "school" page, that shows you how I use it. I also like to reach for a skinnier tool at times, like a Dolan 420, when trimming out a small space, like the inside of a small and tall foot ring. I also agre with @Tyler Miller that the rest of my trimming tools are not for trimming, I use them to make decorative surface textures.
  4. Bottom Depth Tool

    Unlike wood, a leatherhard pot can easily be pierced with a needle tool to measure the thickness. The tool looks very useful for wood, but too complicated for pots.
  5. Highwater clay users

    Thanks, glazenerd. I'm quoting the relevant comments from the other thread that led to your emailing them. That way, if someone from Highwater Clay reads this thread, they can see that discussion too.
  6. Thank you, glazenerd. Critiquing and questioning is not inherently bad, but speculation making conclusions without the full picture is bad. Can you do the forum a favor ... post the email you sent them in the thread titled "Highwater Clay Users" that oldlady started? Then post any response you get? It belongs there more than here in this thread about mold. And to me, oldlady is the only one having a legit problem with her clay, so any answers found should be for her.
  7. If you feel confident that something needs to be tested, will you contact them yourself? Edit to add: I'm a little uncomfortable with this forum broadly blaming the manufacturer for a variety of anecdotal problems (which to some appear to be normal occurences rather than problems, and when a large sample of Hghwater clay users love the clays and have no complaints), without bringing the concerns directly to them and letting them respond.
  8. Mold will grow anywhere that has moisture and something for the mold to eat, including in houses with no pottery studio. And it won't grow when those two things aren't present. So the mold in your studio doesn't automatically cause mold to grow elsewhere in your house. You should be more vigilant about not spreading dust into your living space. Dust will easily travel without you trying. There should be a door between your pottery space and your living space. And use dedicated studio shoes, that you put on and take off inside your studio. My studio is in my basement, and I leave the shoes at the bottom of the stairs. Dust and the summer mold never reaches the first floor. Even when the mold gets smelly I don't smell it from the first floor.
  9. One more thing I just thought of, which comes in handy often. Sometimes it's easy to guess that the person in your booth is also a potter, based on how they inspect your pots or something they say. "You must be a potter" is a great conversation starter, and I genuinely like hearing them talk about their work and their path. Other potters are great customers!
  10. I haven't had mold like that on the bottoms of my pots, but I do get moldy smells in my throwing water and recycling bucket during the summer months. Mold is generally not considered a big deal in a pottery studio. Hard to avoid with all the moist materials. 36 hours to leatherhard means your environment in very humid, so the mold is not surprising. I wouldn't worry about it!
  11. Stick blender for making slip. I use a silicone spatula for scraping out my bucket of throwing water and sludge into the recycle bucket. I use a bamboo rice paddle to scoop the recycled clay slop out of the recycle bucket and onto plaster batts for drying out.
  12. This is the counterpart to my last suggested QoTW. Describe a day from your ceramics life that left you thinking "that was a bad day." We've all had them. Here's your chance to vent. Or confess. And others can commiserate, or forgive.
  13. I spend most of my booth time sitting, but I use a high stool so I am still close to eye level with most customers. I have problem feet which probably wouldn't tolerate standing all day. I just bought a cushion my chair, so now my backside will be comfortable too. Combining decorative and functional in one booth is tricky business. I wouldn't do it. What sells the best is a cohesive body of work that you really love to make. In all of my years of art fairs, I've never seen a mixed booth having good sales. Imperfect pieces are saved for my annual Open Studio. They don't come with me to shows. I meet lots of new people at every show, and I want to make a good first impression. My Open Studio guests are people who already know me and my work. They deserve to get the bargains, and in that context they're not going to wonder if I understand the word "quality."
  14. I wrote a blog post about my approach to salesmanship. http://www.goodelephant.com/blog/the-art-festival-plan-part-4 If you don't want to read the whole thing, it can be summed up as this: Make every person who enters your booth feel like they are welcome to stay as long as they want without buying anything. Also consider that salesmanship is not your problem. There are so many factors that determine sales. You might be prcing your work incorrectly, or you might be choosing bad shows.
  15. I used cone packs in every firing when my kilns were new. Three per kiln load, bottom, middle, and top. Once I got to know how the kiln fires, and how to load it correctly, I found the digital controller alone to be very reliable. These days I only use cone packs right after I've changed the elements and thermocouples, just to make sure the new parts are working and I didn't screw anything up. If the cone packs in that first firing turn out as expected, I go back to relying on the controller.