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Stephen

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  1. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from LeeU in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    point taken! I should have said unintentionally heavy. 
  2. Like
    Stephen reacted to LeeU in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    And yet, I go out of my way to make small bowls that often weigh well over a pound...and are only 4-7" and do not have pretty feet!  I mean, they are real clunkers! And I submit are not junk!  So there.  LOL  


  3. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    Well said! I've always felt that as long as a new potter only sells professional pots then their pots will be as good as anyones. Might take a lot more potting to get 50 great pots and more complicated forms might be elusive but no excuse for a bad pot being for sale no matter how long you have been potting. I thought I understood this and have always been hard (or so I thought) on my inventory, but I recently grabbed a box and removed about 30 mugs and tumblers from the rack. My partner thought I was going a little overboard but they all some subtle flaws that got by me, not perfectly round mouths, handle a bit off-center, a small glaze defect etc... I couldn't believe they had made the 'cut' to begin with ... yet many were really nice (I'm having coffee out of one right now and its a nice mug, one of my new favorites).
    Now I'm kind of back to square one on this 'seeing' a pot as you put it. I'm not really sure how 'perfect' I want my work to be. Sure I hate to lose inventory but its more than that. I'm not trying to mimic machine made pottery at all but rather make an alternative artisan made option.  Its obviously easy to closely examine each pot and toss it if it's not perfect and a poorly thrown or too heavy pot is obviously junk but how far should that go before you are kind of missing the point of hand made and just throwing out nice work?   
  4. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    Well said! I've always felt that as long as a new potter only sells professional pots then their pots will be as good as anyones. Might take a lot more potting to get 50 great pots and more complicated forms might be elusive but no excuse for a bad pot being for sale no matter how long you have been potting. I thought I understood this and have always been hard (or so I thought) on my inventory, but I recently grabbed a box and removed about 30 mugs and tumblers from the rack. My partner thought I was going a little overboard but they all some subtle flaws that got by me, not perfectly round mouths, handle a bit off-center, a small glaze defect etc... I couldn't believe they had made the 'cut' to begin with ... yet many were really nice (I'm having coffee out of one right now and its a nice mug, one of my new favorites).
    Now I'm kind of back to square one on this 'seeing' a pot as you put it. I'm not really sure how 'perfect' I want my work to be. Sure I hate to lose inventory but its more than that. I'm not trying to mimic machine made pottery at all but rather make an alternative artisan made option.  Its obviously easy to closely examine each pot and toss it if it's not perfect and a poorly thrown or too heavy pot is obviously junk but how far should that go before you are kind of missing the point of hand made and just throwing out nice work?   
  5. Like
    Stephen reacted to Min in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    Throwing out another thought regarding the pricing issue, the question of narcissism or naivety. I think it takes years to actually “see” a pot. It has often been brought up how many of us wish we could take back pots from friends / family / public that we made in our early years of clay. At the time I’m sure we all thought our work was great, pots sold or were appreciated as gifts which in turn validates the work. What I think this can lead to is less experienced potters basing their prices according to what they see other potters pricing at. In their eyes the quality of their mugs etc is comparable to the more experienced potters work therefore priced comparably. Is this narcissism or inexperience? Does it matter?
  6. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    One thing I would add is that it really does matter WHERE you are selling your pots. I don't mean geo region but whether if it's a fine art show/fair or local market. The customers are much more likely to be both discerning and will to pay higher $ at the former but at a small local show or market, not so much. I think full time versus side gig also factors in.
  7. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    ha ha, shows you can do research to prove almost anything.
    I guess with me it comes down to personal versus business though. As a person I am working hard to constantly grow and improve as an artisan and hope people who buy my work like and enjoy owning it.
    ...As a business my work is the absolute best and everyone should own it.   
  8. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Benzine in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    yeah narcissistic people are often more successful because the bang their own drum and ask for more and often simply asking for more gets more and touting greatness will often translate into others thinking you are great.
  9. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Benzine in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    yeah narcissistic people are often more successful because the bang their own drum and ask for more and often simply asking for more gets more and touting greatness will often translate into others thinking you are great.
  10. Like
    Stephen reacted to Joseph Fireborn in Reputation for selling cheap pottery   
    I just read this entire thread. Good to see that you sold all types of pots at all types of prices @shawnhar . I have posted my opinions on this before, but I believe that work should be priced higher as you gain skill and your craft improves until a point that your new gains in skill don't make enough of a difference to justify price changes without an increase in demand. If all of the sudden you make leaps and bounds again then prices should move up again if there is demand for the new skill gained aesthetically. 
    My first mugs/yunomi were 20-25$, however, my new mugs/yunomi are $40-50. Selling my new work for the same price as my old work would be absolutely foolish as the work is more desired and takes more time. I also think that is a very important factor in pricing. If you can make pots quickly then you can afford to price them lower, but only if there is enough of a demand for them at that price.
    I started pottery in 2014, so this will be my 5th year anniversary coming up.
    This year is going to be the first time in my pottery journey that I am going to try to make pots and sell pots for profit long term. In the past, I have just made a spurt of pots as a progression milestone and sold them to see what the demand was like for that type of design/aesthetic. So far I have been successful with my aesthetic choices and progressions that have allowed me to continue raising prices. Another thing that I believe should be a factor in your work is how unique the type of work you make is. If no one else is doing similar things to what you are doing then again you can charge more for your work. There is a good reason that potters continue to advance their work and narrow down their aesthetic. It's that uniqueness that allows them to gain market demand and increase prices because of that demand until they can supply the right amount of pots for the right amount of buyers. In the end, I don't think pricing is that difficult, if you have enough eyes going over your pots for sale then you will quickly be able to raise and lower prices until you find a sweet spot that you are happy with physically. 
    John Baymore always said something like: Sell 1000 pots for 1$, 10 for $100, or 1 for $1000. The choice is yours.
    The option is available to do any of those things, which choice you decide to do is totally up to you and how hard you work and the design choices that you make along the way.
     
  11. Like
    Stephen reacted to terrim8 in Reputation for selling cheap pottery   
    Seems like a lot people are struggling with this topic right now. Elon is trying to figure out how to make his Model 3 less expensive. Apple is realizing that $1000 is a bit much for a cell phone.  Heath Ceramics has an outlet in Sausalito with seconds at a lower price.  Wish I had their problems!
    I haven't got the energy to sell 1000 pots for $1!  So its try to make things well, try to make them attractive and try to figure out the market as I go.
  12. Like
    Stephen reacted to Rae Reich in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    I think you're right to intuit that overhead heat "clearances" might be different from the sides and floor, due to heat rising. Do you have a little wall thermometer to put, during a firing, where you want the shelf?
    Possible that overhead clearances were never calculated by the kiln company because they assumed that nobody in their right mind would want to put anything above it?  
  13. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich 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.
     
  14. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich 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.
     
  15. Like
    Stephen reacted to Bill Kielb in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    I find that minimum guidelines are just that. You should do what you are comfortable with based on experience, recommendations and the amount of risk you can tolerate.
    Personally I have restored buildings damaged by fire so I tend to be very cautious not to add any fuel to an area that has any elevated risk of fire after seeing the near irreversible damage a fire often does to a business or residence.
    just my experience, though, best of luck - stay safe
  16. Like
    Stephen reacted to Bill Kielb in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    I always try and follow the simple effective rule don’t use combustible stuff in a non ncombustible area. It has served me well for many years especially building various buildings. Wire shelves definitely  accumulate less dust, so there is that.
  17. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Electric quote seem fair?   
    Hope you find someone reasonable and ya know if at the end of the day you can't then you just pay the extra dough and move on, right?
    I think it comes down to matching the right person to the job.
    In my opinion electricians or electrical companies that view small residential or commercial work not worth the time should not do those types of jobs, period. I just take it badly to be told my job doesn't matter so its a crappy bid and take it or leave it situation with most companies I called.  Both guys that do work by the hour came out just did the work and they had the basic parts they needed on the truck (this is real basic stuff for an electric truck). They were both also knocking down some other hourly jobs that same day. I got the impression that this was bread and butter work for them. It wan't inexperience that caused them to take small hourly repairs and mods but just part of there routine. Both also do large jobs but I guess this filled the downtime. The hourly rate should be derived from ALL the cost that goes into doing a job and the point of the first hour usually being $50-$100 higher is supposed to cover travel and down time specific to that job.
    The half angry, double bid response to small jobs they don't want to do seems unneeded and kind of crappy to me anyway. If it's not a job you do please just tell me you don't want the job so I can move on. As a customer deserve both a fair price and professional approach to the work that I am hiring out and that includes mundane work like adding a plug.. 
  18. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    Thanks guys! 
    I guess I knew it was a bad idea and was trying to convince myself it was fine.
    That extruder 2x4 pressure treated 2x4 board is 23" away from kiln and kilns are 19" at closest point. 
    Pres you brought up the over-fire temp and that really grabbed me because we have had several post lately of folks that over-fired by accident. The post and answers all seemed geared toward the pottery being ruined and kiln being damaged. I hope some folks see your answer on this post because that is a great point to make so everyone understands it is never OK without lots of fore thought to leave a kiln just firing until you think it will end.  It sounds like even following best min practices like Neil mentions above, you are not remotely safe if the kiln just continues getting hotter and hotter for hours on end. 
    When I installed the three kilns I made sure they  were at least 18" from anything combustible,  plastic 24" but not 4-5 feet? Not even possible with the space we have and 3 kilns. The electrical receptacles would still be exposed if I blanket the area with cement board (which this post may cause me to consider :-) 
    We never ever trust it to turn off to the point of getting up a 3-4 in the morning if we for some reason have to fire when the complete time would be then. Me I don't trust timers or anything else over just physically seeing the kiln power down. We just don't fire if we can't do this no pottery need trumps this.
     
  19. Like
    Stephen reacted to Denice in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    When I sheet rocked my kiln room I left it off of the opposite wall from my kilns and put shelves between the studs and a thin piece of wood to keep the stilts from tipping out.   We also cover the walls around the kiln with concrete board.   Denice
  20. Like
    Stephen reacted to hitchmss in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    I think code in our area is a minimum 18" from any combustible material for a kiln. I agree that with heat rising, your gonna want more clearance above, than say to a floor beneath.
    Metal shelves is the answer here; Either a full shelving unit from the floor up, or fashion some brackets to hold the shelves. I buy a lot of the chrome/stainless wire "metro" style shelving units off C-list quite regularly. They come in all kinds of depths from 12"-36", and widths from 24"-60". As far as your shelf brackets, dont get the cheap, flimsy brackets that cost less than $2 from the hardware store; your're gonna be putting a lot of weight (if you have kiln posts like I do) on these shelves. Amazon carries some very economical, but very solid brackets made for free floating counters. Hardware stores will have them too, but at a cost of $15 or more.
    If you have any welding experience, some 1" x 3/16" flat stock can be turned into some brackets in the matter of minutes, for pennies compared to manufactured ones. You'll have to figure out a way to affix the  metal shelving unit to the brackets though. Lots of easy options for that though.
  21. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    Thanks guys! 
    I guess I knew it was a bad idea and was trying to convince myself it was fine.
    That extruder 2x4 pressure treated 2x4 board is 23" away from kiln and kilns are 19" at closest point. 
    Pres you brought up the over-fire temp and that really grabbed me because we have had several post lately of folks that over-fired by accident. The post and answers all seemed geared toward the pottery being ruined and kiln being damaged. I hope some folks see your answer on this post because that is a great point to make so everyone understands it is never OK without lots of fore thought to leave a kiln just firing until you think it will end.  It sounds like even following best min practices like Neil mentions above, you are not remotely safe if the kiln just continues getting hotter and hotter for hours on end. 
    When I installed the three kilns I made sure they  were at least 18" from anything combustible,  plastic 24" but not 4-5 feet? Not even possible with the space we have and 3 kilns. The electrical receptacles would still be exposed if I blanket the area with cement board (which this post may cause me to consider :-) 
    We never ever trust it to turn off to the point of getting up a 3-4 in the morning if we for some reason have to fire when the complete time would be then. Me I don't trust timers or anything else over just physically seeing the kiln power down. We just don't fire if we can't do this no pottery need trumps this.
     
  22. Like
    Stephen reacted to Mark C. in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    I have had a electric kiln keep firing once-no timer on it ,it had a stuck sitter rod. Back then it was on my back porch.The setback was enough from the wall not to be a problem. It can happen .
    The wire rack is the best fix. Stilts on the ground is no way to store and work with them.
  23. Like
    Stephen reacted to neilestrick in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    Definitely do not use wood shelves there. Metal brackets with cement board shelves would work great, or get one of those bolt-together all metal floor units. Ideally, your kiln should be at least 16 inches from the wall. Because those shelves are above the kiln, and heat rises, they should be even further away, like at least a couple feet. Like Pres said, the wood will dry out over time, lowering its flash point.
  24. Like
    Stephen reacted to Dale pots in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    Stephen, just don't use wood shelves & your problem is solved. Go get metal shelves.
  25. Like
    Stephen reacted to Pres in shelf on wall next to kiln   
    Might help, but then again, I have had an overfire in the studio where the ambient temperature near the kiln . . . within 4 feet was 500F. Only happened once, but all I would have needed. 
    However, you may find yourself within limits when you look at the following chart.
    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/fuels-ignition-temperatures-d_171.html
    So yes, you should be alright. My biggest concern is the effect on the wood over time.
     
    best,
    Pres
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