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Stephen

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  1. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Hulk in Kilnsitter stopped firing, witness cone not bent   
    I would also add that you might consider using a cone pack with one cone below target and one cone above target to help zero in.  
  2. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from preeta in Pit-firing pottery and bisqueing   
    are you going this route because you can't afford a kiln or because that's where your interest lies?  
  3. Like
    Stephen reacted to liambesaw in Do show in pouring rain or bail?   
    Guessing you haven't been to folklife lol
  4. Like
    Stephen reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Do show in pouring rain or bail?   
    That's not terrible. I count my break even point to be booth+all expenses +wholesale value of all pots sold. Assuming your wholesale value pays you something and you didn't have overnight travel costs, you're clear. It beats a zero day, and you're still building.
  5. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from shawnhar in Tow behind trailer for shows   
    In my humble opinion I would just do a few local shows first before you make investments beyond the studio and booth. Go slow, you can lose you a$$ really quickly doing a few back to back out of town  bust.
    I know plenty of people here make thousands and thousands of dollars at their shows and am not in the least trying to dispute that. These are potters though that have spent years, sometimes decades building up their show schedules. There are many, many shows where you will make no where near this kind of money, I mean not even close and that's where it gets real tricky real fast because expenses can get out of hand and its very easy to start justifying spending money because you think of it as an investment in your future. 
    I think there is a lot to be said for bootstrapping an art business. If you can't grow it from it's own revenue then the focus can be on building that revenue but trading in cars and buying other things beyond the basic studio and booth itself can really be a recipe for disaster. Hotels and travel expenses at a show you end up doing under 2 grand at will be a complete mess. You will end up working for less than minimum wage at the show and by the time you total everything up you would have been better off staying at home and just taking a hammer to 75-100 good pots.
     
  6. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rose Risco in opinions about BIGCERAMICSTORE   
    I can't tell from your post if you think it has shipped or not. My guess is that they just drop-ship the wheels and if that is correct then the order would be shipped directly from Shimpo. You might call shimpo directly and see if they can help?  
    As a recommendation, If you decide/have to cancel, we have bought a few big ticket items from Clay-King in the last few years and they are great. Bailey's and Sheffield also have given us good customer service and all three of these are well know pottery supply house.  dozen years ago we bought several large multi thousand dollar purchases from bigceramicstore but as Mark pointed out, it is under new ownership.
    Good luck!
  7. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from potteryfan in I want to start making these but....   
    My partner has pushed her mugs to $28 that she sells at a monthly show if they have hand painted artwork but our dipped mugs are still $20 (thinking about pushing to $22). Since she doesn't want to have a mug factory they sell through fine. 
    Online seems to not provide much action for many potters unless you drum up the business so you might have to box them up and take them to some arts and/or craft shows to sell more than one here and there. Maybe see if a local farmers market allows pottery and give that a try. 
    Go for it!
  8. Like
    Stephen reacted to LeeU in Best way to create a website?   
    Well dang!! That'll teach me to check my Dashboard Settings more often than "never"!! THANKS--it took all of 5 seconds and  my site is now https and it was indeed at no charge.    I also just updated my URL on my profile, that is displayed at the bottom of our posts, here, so that should come up correctly the next time I have anything to say.  
  9. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from LeeU in Best way to create a website?   
    Hey happy to help, should have just found and posted those two links earlier and skipped the other post because I think in the end this discussion probably confused more than helped. My best advice is to research multiple sources and put in the time to truly understand how the internet works from a site and user point of view and then use it to your advantage. Online direct sales is just one aspect of leveraging a website to help you grow and manage your business. Be doubtful of paragraphs like the one I wrote below and try to find several trusted sources saying the same thing. Also try not to think that your spouse, friend or cousin's son, that has a couple of WordPress sites or even a hand coded one, as knowing everything about tech, he/she might but they might not. Try to learn it yourself. Lots of books, tutorials and articles that cover it all in detail and nothing bad can come from knowledge even if you use it sparingly.     
    I will say to anyone reading this thread that without a lock on your website page it is not completely secure for your users to use and anyone that that tells you different is wrong. It is that simple. It does not matter if your site is sitting on a secure server in the pentagon with a team of the best security guys in the world taking care of it and it doesn't matter if your site does not have any data entry. There are degrees of risk of course but stealing credit card numbers is not by a long shot the only risk to your users anymore and this is why Google has essentially disrupted the entire world with this new policy and I am positive that decision was not made lightly. They are tired of the argument and tired of trying to convince people that run websites to do the right thing and secure all the sites properly and I think they concluded running off your users would make it happen. 
  10. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from LeeU in Best way to create a website?   
    Hi Lee, I just surfed on WIx and they have enabled it for everyone for free. I'm sure they use the group behind that link I sent, most of the host do. You do have to go over and turn it on though.
    I found this and the link below.
    At Wix we are committed to protecting your and your user's data. Therefore, we are making it easy and free for your site to become HTTPS.
    https://support.wix.com/en/article/enabling-https-for-your-wix-site
  11. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Best way to create a website?   
    i think weeebly also offers for free, apparently it used to be an upgrade but now you just need to configure.
    https://community.weebly.com/t5/Domains/Unable-to-enable-SSL-on-my-site/m-p/89126#M8958
  12. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Best way to create a website?   
    Hi Lee, I just surfed on WIx and they have enabled it for everyone for free. I'm sure they use the group behind that link I sent, most of the host do. You do have to go over and turn it on though.
    I found this and the link below.
    At Wix we are committed to protecting your and your user's data. Therefore, we are making it easy and free for your site to become HTTPS.
    https://support.wix.com/en/article/enabling-https-for-your-wix-site
  13. Like
    Stephen reacted to LeeU in Best way to create a website?   
    Well good golly miz molly....I do believe, Stephen, it was your long-ago explanation of https vs http and SSL cert need vs not need  that I have probably mangled with my poor  understanding of the whole thing. I am fairly sure tho that  an SSL cert with  WIX  pro and a Pay Pal cart is not necessary--they do the protection, as far as anything can really be protected in cyberworld.  The big issue, though, as noted, is customer perception--and if visitors think their info is not safe on a site, even if it is,  they will just leave. I just don't like feeling manipulated into buying something because the seller has everyone scared and that will negatively affect my sales. I guess paying up is probably unavoidable now that "not secure" and "do you want to contune" are out there like a highway billboards in neon. (Assuming that the good website generators are not going to let someone put in a $9 cert instead of their $80 one. ) 
  14. Like
    Stephen reacted to Mark C. in Best way to create a website?   
    I think in many web based sites like Weebly or wix you can build a shopping cart site-It will cost some $$$ to host .
    I have avoided that like the plaque myself on the net-I ship tons of orders with the credit card info over the phone and everything else based through e-mail. 
    I have NEVER had any issues in all the years  with Weebly with my simple info site that Gep turned me on long ago.Never paid a dime, never had a bot take it over. Once I dreamed Godzilla broke some pottery if that counts.
    I never want a shopping cart-I pack and send  enough without one.
    Just having a phone line is enough stupidy with calls like do you sell clay, do you teach kids ,do you buy natural clay I dug up,Do you fire clay,when are you quiting pottery-all these have been  in recent phone calls. An active web sales seems frought with issues and security is lower on the list- than sheeer stupidity. Lets see. Opps I pushed the buy a huge mug but wanted a small mug. My cat hit the key to buy the vase- The color was blue and what I got is green (colorblindness-seen my share)well you get it kitties-issues
    I find it getting worse out there not better.
     
  15. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from DirtRoads in Best way to create a website?   
    Hi Mea, I really beat it all up already in my post and at some point I'm just arguing and I don't want to that here. I'm just some unnamed, self proclaimed expert so ignore me if ya want. Besides if your not running a server it will get taken care of for ya at some point. This board is about a different world for me but like I said I'm happy to give anyone an opinion for what its worth if your struggling with a particular point. As far as the community contribution I have already written several long detailed post and it's all in there, that's my take on it.
    Callie, I hear ya. but have no idea where to point you. I've been doing this for thirty years, started out writing desktop apps in the 80's and worked through about 60 hours of IT courses for the degree and with the exception of the year I tried to make it as a potter, have just spent 8-10 hours 5-6 days a week doing all of this. For 10 years I was the managing partner for a small communications company in Redmond WA and opened an ISP when I shifted to the net in 96-97 and I was working with version 1.0 for much of our software and we had to write a bunch of our stuff because  so much of this didn't even exist . These days I just try to keep pace as things have changed and try to stay relevant and make a living. I would just study the subject and maybe take a few basic community college entry level courses. Maybe get a basic hosting package with a cpanel and set the whole thing up yourself using that. 
    For whats its worth to secure your site all you have to do is go get a free cert or buy a cheap one and ask you host to install it and presto all your pages will have a nice lock and no crappy insecure message greeting all your users. Your host might have some deal or even do it for free if you ask them.
     
     
     
  16. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Bill Kielb in Best way to create a website?   
    Google has taken things further in the last year and requires ssl and a lock on all pages, forms or not and shows 'not secure'  if its not there. SSL means all transport between your browser and the site is encrypted end to end and that is signified with the 'https://' rather than 'http'. If the site is https:// but still shows the 'not secure' then there is a problem with the security certificate used to secure the site or mixed content. Mixed content is if there are calls from the page being viewed that has an insecure non encrypted link (http) such as an image, script or ccs etc. GEP is partially correct in a sense that ssl encryption is needed for any page with data entry such as customer setup and of course if someone is entering credit card information, to keep the information from being transported as plain text that Liams man in the middle can trap and use. Google took it further than that because hackers can also gain access to an image file and change the image to get a user to click on it and enter a copycat site that is there to rip you off or manage to inject and execute scripting code that for instance might downloads on your computer and transmit everything you type (think banking passwords and such) to a thief.
    I have been working on a old web application written in 2003 for the last few days and will continue for likely a few more trying to get locks on every page regardless of content to satisfy Chrome and get rid of the 'not secure' chrome tag. The site was written back when no-one used ssl for anything but pages with data entry like GEP is saying. It is a pain in the rear but with 50% of the net using chrome we have no choice because a percentage of our customers will see that 'not secure' notation and leave. We rely on a user coming to our app on a regular basis throughout the month and using our services so losing a customer might mean losing hundreds of jobs next year, and every year after, so it adds up. 
    Me, if I were you I would go to WIX and Weebly and see what you need to do to get your site to be fully secure via ssl and a 'lock' showing with every major browser on every page. All of us that do this for a living are doing this.
    Lee, no disrespect to the folks that said that the primary reason is money but they are wrong. There are some additional things like extra special green bar across the screen and such that I think are money oriented but having a basic lock with a valid ssl cert has nothing to do with trying to soak website owners. You can go to this link for a free ssl cert that will get you there if your provider does not already provide one. These are used by a lot of ISPs because they are free and work fine. I use them in a pinch if I screw up on a renewal because I can get this in minutes and secure the site but then I buy cheap $9 ones from places like Comodo and replace it because these free ones have to be renewed (at least on this site) every 90 days but if you are doing one site it might be fine and free.
    https://www.sslforfree.com/
  17. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from LeeU in Best way to create a website?   
    I assume you mean the one that makes a user specifically click to say go to the site anyway? Yeah that one you can't ignore. It means that your site is SSL 'https://' and there is a problem with that SSL, Usually it is an expired  SSL cert or the name on the cert is not on the cert registration for the domain being typed to get there. That thing is worded so harsh that really only the website owner would click the 'go to it anyway' link and honestly it has given me pause when it comes up on a site I'm working on.
  18. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from LeeU in Best way to create a website?   
    Google has taken things further in the last year and requires ssl and a lock on all pages, forms or not and shows 'not secure'  if its not there. SSL means all transport between your browser and the site is encrypted end to end and that is signified with the 'https://' rather than 'http'. If the site is https:// but still shows the 'not secure' then there is a problem with the security certificate used to secure the site or mixed content. Mixed content is if there are calls from the page being viewed that has an insecure non encrypted link (http) such as an image, script or ccs etc. GEP is partially correct in a sense that ssl encryption is needed for any page with data entry such as customer setup and of course if someone is entering credit card information, to keep the information from being transported as plain text that Liams man in the middle can trap and use. Google took it further than that because hackers can also gain access to an image file and change the image to get a user to click on it and enter a copycat site that is there to rip you off or manage to inject and execute scripting code that for instance might downloads on your computer and transmit everything you type (think banking passwords and such) to a thief.
    I have been working on a old web application written in 2003 for the last few days and will continue for likely a few more trying to get locks on every page regardless of content to satisfy Chrome and get rid of the 'not secure' chrome tag. The site was written back when no-one used ssl for anything but pages with data entry like GEP is saying. It is a pain in the rear but with 50% of the net using chrome we have no choice because a percentage of our customers will see that 'not secure' notation and leave. We rely on a user coming to our app on a regular basis throughout the month and using our services so losing a customer might mean losing hundreds of jobs next year, and every year after, so it adds up. 
    Me, if I were you I would go to WIX and Weebly and see what you need to do to get your site to be fully secure via ssl and a 'lock' showing with every major browser on every page. All of us that do this for a living are doing this.
    Lee, no disrespect to the folks that said that the primary reason is money but they are wrong. There are some additional things like extra special green bar across the screen and such that I think are money oriented but having a basic lock with a valid ssl cert has nothing to do with trying to soak website owners. You can go to this link for a free ssl cert that will get you there if your provider does not already provide one. These are used by a lot of ISPs because they are free and work fine. I use them in a pinch if I screw up on a renewal because I can get this in minutes and secure the site but then I buy cheap $9 ones from places like Comodo and replace it because these free ones have to be renewed (at least on this site) every 90 days but if you are doing one site it might be fine and free.
    https://www.sslforfree.com/
  19. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from DirtRoads in Best way to create a website?   
    OK, can't seem to let it go.  I put an ISP together back in the mid-late 90's in Seattle so I was around back in the very beginning at the enterprise network level and I ran the show so I have been involved in all of this as it has progressed from dial-up modems and gopher to now and over the past twenty five years I have noticed as the net moved to engulf the whole planet is that technology is something that non technical  users get spoon fed IT knowledge in small chunks from both knowledgeable sources, tech savvy types and folks with just plain wrong information and all of that information tends to just kind of get all mixed together and kind of gels into an 'expert opinion/their opinion' so although there is some right in what they think there is also some really mixed of notions as well and it gets hard to separate fact from fiction for both themselves and anyone listening to them.
    What I said in an earlier reply is not an opinion, it is absolute rock solid fact. It might have been better written and is leaving out a lot of what would be a books worth of details but if you care at all about the subject I would really recommend surfing around on the subject to become familiar with whats true and what is just someone being confused about how this all works.   
  20. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from cbarnes in Studio Floorplan design   
    If this is the forever setup I would do two studios with a catwalk and nice decking between the 2 and an outdoor storage. That's where we were going with ours in the NW on an acre property. I built a 300 ft studio (12x26) for everything but glaze and would make it 14 wide if doing again, it had 2 wheels lots of shelving, recirculating Cink, slab roller and bisque kiln. We used the garage for all glazing and glaze firing. I was going to build another building with a catwalk between them and more decking. Having the kilns out of the work area was great so I recommend considering that. You can also really spread out with glazing and have that area always ready to go.
  21. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Bill Kielb in Why make functional ware?   
    I guess think this whole handmade versus commercial mass produced comparison thing is pointless for customers to go through. If someone is comparing a $5 Walmart mug to a $50 hand thrown one they should just buy the Walmart one. My brother in-law used to buy expensive tailor made suits. Me, I can't wrap my mind around a three-four grand suit but he could and couldn't careless what Men's Warehouse was selling suits for. Same goes for people that buy expensive art tile for a custom project and/or pop for five-ten grand painting for behind the couch. Home depot and Hobby lobby would come in for pennies on the dollar and the tile would be fine and the picture an exact knockoff of an old master but those people don't care and don't look.
    ...but that same person will laugh at a $300 pair of sneakers. 
    To each his own.
  22. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from JohnnyK in Why make functional ware?   
    Art is too complicated in approach for me. It's more project than process. Weighing out 20 balls of clay, putting on some tunes and getting absorbed in the process is a very cool thing to me. It's also satisfying that folks are out there using my pots.
     
  23. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Selling Pottery in the old days   
    1976 was the summer before my Junior year in HS. Too bad I was 15 and didn't know what a great year that was.
    Great booth! I bet that would work just fine today. Saw horses and canvas looks great. I think everyone should  just let their booth evolve, do more of what is working and less of what is not working but not letting yourself get too anal-retentive about it all or bowing to some uptight promoters. Just go sell your wares and enjoy and almost everything else will in time take care of itself.
    I guess my way you lose out on some great shows but you also skip the stress :-) 
  24. Like
    Stephen reacted to Rae Reich in How Much Do You Charge For A Mug?   
    @keith barber, your fairly  thorough elaborate calculations remind me of the efforts to monetize all the work done by a typical wife and mother, usually neglecting to deduct room and board, haha.
    We do it because we love it. The more we love it, the more it shows and the better it pays, imho.
  25. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Babs in Selling Pottery in the old days   
    1976 was the summer before my Junior year in HS. Too bad I was 15 and didn't know what a great year that was.
    Great booth! I bet that would work just fine today. Saw horses and canvas looks great. I think everyone should  just let their booth evolve, do more of what is working and less of what is not working but not letting yourself get too anal-retentive about it all or bowing to some uptight promoters. Just go sell your wares and enjoy and almost everything else will in time take care of itself.
    I guess my way you lose out on some great shows but you also skip the stress :-) 
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