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About GEP

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    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Silver Spring, MD
  • Interests
    biking, jogging, cooking and eating, veggie gardening, baseball (Orioles)

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  1. Managing your time

    I just met the second person who only knew of my work through Instagram. She didn't want to buy anything, just wanted to take pictures of my work. Then she showered me with a few too many compliments. You could say that's Instagram in a nutshell: pictures and compliments. The first person I met this way, whom I mentioned above, was a college student with a $20 budget to spend. Which isn't nothing, but it's not my main target audience either. Both of these are a good illustration of the value of social media attention in the real world.
  2. That's a good looking operation. Congrats! I especially appreciate the part about making the checkout and pickup process easy for the customers. These days customers are very savvy about good and efficient service. I've seen a lot of festival artists who check out process is painfully slow. It impacts the experience negatively. Especially if the process is slow because the artist is talking too much :-) "You're a really mediocre potter. But a brilliant marketer ... I suppose." Too many artists waste their energy on ego and envy. It only hurts themselves.
  3. Managing your time

    I let myself spend an hour or so online every morning. I check and reply to emails, catch up on the forum, browse facebook, instagram, and reddit. Then I put the iPad down and go to work. I have another iPad in the studio (old and slow) so I do check emails and the forum a few times throughout the day. I make one post to instagram per work day, usually at quitting time. I post to facebook less often than instagram, often its the exact same post I just made on Instagram. I write blog posts maybe once a month, but only when I have something to write about. I don't pressure myself to write otherwise. When I publish a blog post, I announce it on facebook and readers come pouring in. Does it lead to sales? Marginally. I've only met one customer so far who only heard of me through instagram. I meet a lot of blog readers at shows, but honestly they tend not to be big spenders or not buying at all. That's not why I keep a blog so that's ok. I've written this plenty of times on the forum before, and email list is far more powerful than any social media message. Email subscribers are a totally different level of "follower" compared to a social media follower. For every show I write a well-branded email announcement. I consider this indispensible and clearly correlates to sales. Whereas I could easily live without any social media. It's not just the email, it's how I interact with customers when they are standing in front of me that leads to sales. Social media cannot match that. Social media probably works a lot better for those who sell primarily online. I don't, and don't want to. Pottery doesn't lend itself to being shipped. My customers need to visit me in person, therefore the far reach of social media doesn't have much value for me.
  4. Describe a day from your ceramics life that left you thinking "this was a really good day."
  5. If you could go back and start your ceramics journey from the beginning, would you do anything different this time?
  6. The new TCs will be shiny metal. The old ones will be black and crusty and lumpy and flaky. When they fail its because they have crumbled apart. Pls do post a photo of new and old. That will be useful to everyone.
  7. If you have never replaced your thermocouples, it's probably time for new ones. In my experience, thermocuples last a little bit longer than elements, but not twice as long. It's efficient to replace them at the same time everytime, while you've got the controller box open. You don't need to replace the relays unless they are obviously giving you trouble. My 13 yr old kiln is still on its original relays.
  8. If your cups are intended for coffee, in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee (10-15 minutes) it really doesn't matter if the walls are thin or thick, glazed or unglazed. A narrow top vs a wide top will help a little, but again the difference doesn't matter much. The best way to reduce thermal conduction is to make a vessel with two walls, and a space of air between the walls. That might go against your wish to make "light" cups.
  9. @Marcia Selsor Links to the Ceramic Arts Network and ICAN have been added to the top menu bar. Thanks for the suggestion!
  10. Mixing glazes again.

    If the correct amount of water is part of your recipe (and it boggles my mind when I see or hear of potters who just eyeball the water amount) then you can go ahead a use it right away even if the consistency hasn't settled yet. It's just easier when the glaze has fully hydrated and the consistency looks and feels right.
  11. Mixing glazes again.

    I prefer to use them a day later, because some particles take longer to hydrate and the consistency will settle down by the next day. However, just like Mark, there are plenty of times when I use them the same day, because production demands don't allow time to wait. Doesn't seem to affect the final result, but it does cause more insecurity until you unload the fired pieces. So waiting one day frees you of some worry.
  12. Terms Of Use

    Marcia, when I clicked on your warnings, they contained this notation: "mistakenly flagged herself while deleting a duplicate post." It looks like you somehow flagged yourself? Then an admin (probably Sherman, his account is labelled "Guest" now because he's no longer with ACerS) added this notation so we would know it was nothing. If they are dated 2010, this is from the infancy days of the forum, when we were all trying to learn how to use it. They were probably hidden or deleted, but when we upgraded to new software last month, many settings didn't translate well. I deleted them again. Hopefully they won't resurface anymore!
  13. A message from Alice (oldlady) regarding Terry (Pugaboo)
    "Terry Buffington, known to us as the vibrant Pugaboo, lost her husband on October 4 to a serious illness.  He had been ill and hospitalized for several weeks.  I know Terry would be glad to hear from her forum "family".  I am sure we all feel part of her loss and would like to express those feelings to her."

    1. Show previous comments  7 more
    2. Chilly


      So sorry to hear this sad news Terry, all our thoughts are with you.


    3. Joseph F

      Joseph F

      *hug* thoughts with you.

    4. Denice


      Sending lots of hugs your way I am sorry you are having to go through this.    Denice

  14. Funny how many words they used to describe crazing, without using the word "crazing." Meanwhile to us potters, it's a fairly common thing. Anyhow, the fact that the bowl has survived for so long does merit some value. And I like that something simple was deemed worthy, rather than something garish and frou frou.
  15. Jen, since we still can't "like" a post made by an admin, just want to say, "I LIKE IT!" Edit: And now we can "like" admin posts too. It keeps getting better.