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GEP last won the day on September 10

GEP had the most liked content!

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About GEP

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    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

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

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  1. The BUSINESS of Pottery

    Tyler makes a good point that should be part of every discussion about running a successful studio. It takes much longer to develop a pottery business than most other small businesses, and you need to have a financial plan for the developmental years. I've said several times on the forum before that I kept my day job for 8 years after I got serious about the pottery business. I recommend this type of plan for everyone who asks. I still see plenty of folks who are impatient and think it can be done more quickly. They get frustrated, or go broke. Mark makes a good point about regions. This is possible in some regions and not in others. I am very fortunate to live where there are many quality venues, within a few hours drive. We have crappy venues too, but they can be avoided. On the subject of profitability, it's not a high income business, but it can be profitable. A lot of this depends on how you manage your personal finances and how much you spend, not on how much you make. I make a modest middle class income but I sock away plenty, invest, and plan to retire early (maybe at age 55, maybe earlier). Technically I could retire now and make it work, but it would be tight financially, and I enjoy what I'm doing too much right now anyways, so not worth it. Anyhow, this means my risk is very low at this point and I would easily survive another recession. For anyone who is scratching their heads at how this is possible, read The Millionaire Next Door. It maps out basically everything I've done with my financial life since my 20s. If you are not willing to live like this, then full time pottery (or being self employed period) is too risky for you. And you don't necessarily have to accept a lifetime of "scraping by" because you want to be a potter.
  2. The BUSINESS of Pottery

    On a regular basis, I meet a young potter who is on the cusp. Their line of work is well developed, their marketing skills are current, they understand the industry. Basically they are doing everything Chris is writing about. The most common hurdle that potters at this stage are struggling with is the volume. It is now dawning on them how many pots it takes to add up to a real income. They are struggling to make their pots fast enough, because their production speed is still too slow. They feel like they can't possibly maintain the pace. I tell them that I can still remember when I had the same view. The answer is to keep cranking out pots, and a few years later you'll be amazed at how much less time and energy each pot takes. You have to slog through that phase. Like John said, after a bunch of years, it's easy! I recently saw a picture of myself from 2006. My arms were so skinny.
  3. To make a reply without quoting someone else's comment, look underneath the last comment and click into the field that says "Reply to this topic ..." This is the same as the old forum, but it looks different now. Quoting and Multi-quoting work the same as before too, but the buttons are in a different place.
  4. new forum, what i dislike

    No worries, Marcia. I'm sure it must have been a big surprise to come home and find the forum looks completely different. Most of the functions work the same, or very similar, to before. The new forum has some handy new features (such as customizable Activity Streams, find Joseph's terrific tutorial on how to use them). Give it some time to get used to everything, I think you'll like it.
  5. new forum, what i dislike

    I assure you that he is. If you go through all of the thoughts/requests/complaints that users have posted about, you'll see that most of them have been addressed. That doesn't mean we're done tinkering. Everyone's thoughts are still welcome.
  6. new forum, what i dislike

    Marcia, it is not really Steve's role to be the "help desk" for individual user questions. Everyone should continue to post their thoughts about the new forum on the forum, in this thread or in other threads. You can also PM a moderator if you want to raise an issue privately. We are paying attention and trying to honor requests. It takes time and we can't always make the changes. We are currently working through some forum-wide issues, but keeping track of the individual requests too.
  7. I once did a wood firing with my students in the pouring rain. "Fun" is not the word I would use to describe it. I know I can't control the weather, but if I had a crystal ball, I would avoid doing this again. http://www.goodelephant.com/blog/the-one-where-it-rained-and-rained And I love the beach!
  8. LeeU, I'm not with my laptop so I can't make a screengrab. Go to Activity>My Activity Streams, then click the stream you want to delete. When that stream appears, look to the right of the stream's title. You'll see a little pencil, trash can, and check mark. Click the trash can. If that doesn't help, hopefully Joseph will come along soon with a screen grab.
  9. The old forum had developed a technical problem that we could not fix because the software version was so old. This is what prompted the upgrade to the latest software version. It was the right thing to do for the long-term health of the forum. We can now get much better tech support from the software maker. Edit to add: ACerS does not make this software, there is a third party provider. Please understand this means we did not design this forum or choose its features. We cannot switch to a different software without risking the loss of the entire archives, and a far more disruptive experience for everyone. We are listening to feedback and making adjustments as we go. We could not have taken your "requests" in advance, and we can't make all the changes that are being requested now. This is the best choice overall, and honestly I think it's working pretty well.
  10. Indie and go fund me efforts

    I have mixed feelings about crowdfunding too, and think it is being viewed as "easy money" which is not a disciplined mentality for running a business. I've seen too many campaigns that involve a purchase that could be saved up for in a year or two if that person's priorities were genuinely in the right place. I gave money to a local pottery facility that had all of their equipment destroyed by a flood. Another local pottery facility was seeking donations simply because they were about to go bankrupt. I chose not to give in this case. Their problems were a lot more complicated than a natural disaster, and money was not going to solve them. I give money to my nephew's high school baseball team every year. Pretty sure all of that money comes from parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
  11. Driving to Chicago for a show this week. Any food suggestions for the northern Chicago suburbs? I will be in the Glencoe area. 

    1. aperhapshand


      Kyoto sushi is really good! http://www.kyotoinwinnetka.com/  -- If you happen to be further north west at any time I always go to Himalayan when I am in the area! http://himalayanrestaurant.com/


    2. GEP


      @aperhapshand Thanks, I love sushi!

  12. New Forum

    @LeeU There are two ways to post a status now. Near the top right, click on "Create" then click "Status" from its drop down menu. Or, you can click on your account in the upper right corner. At the top of your personal Activity feed, there is a field that says "Post a public message on your own feed." Both of these options will result in the same thing. The Status Updates (yours and others) can be seen under the Activity tab. This is where you have lots of options how to view the forum's activity: all activity, just the unread activity, or you can make your own customized stream. There haven't been any new Status Updates in the past few days, which is why you haven't seen any. I'll do one as soon as I finish writing this.
  13. Glaze aftertaste

    @Julie Huebner Overnight is not long enough for a leak test. It can take 3 or 4 days. In the anecdote I mentioned above, "overnight" was the time frame of that particular story, but keep in mind that mug was months old and had probably been soaking up moisture for a long time.
  14. Got it. I agree that GB glazes are spongy and hard to measure for specific gravity. But I like mine too much, no plans to give it up or find an alternative.