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Everything posted by oly

  1. I'd like to keep this specific, because I'm trying to draw comparisons between different countries' postage costs and it's not always easy to comprehend the complicated price lists and offerings. Specifically, I'm trying to gain an understanding of how customers in other countries may view my postal charges against their own. Perhaps this will help you do the same? So, if anyone kindly wishes to contribute, the parameters I'm setting are... a 6" x 6" x 6" card box containing a single pottery item (like a small mug), total package weight being between 500 and 750 grams. I have only included signed-for services assuming all our pottery is handmade and priceless (though if forced to put a price on it we'd probably say between 30 and 60 bucks ). Here in the UK if I take my 6" x 6" x 6" package to the local Post Office it will cost to send by Royal Mail... UK address to UK address 2nd Class (2-3 day) signed for with £50 compensation for loss or damage... £3.95 ($5.03) 1st Class (1 day) signed for with £50 compensation for loss or damage... £4.45 ($5.67) Guaranteed Next Day by 1pm with (up to) £500 compensation for loss or damage... £8.60 ($10.95) UK address to Europe (any address) Tracked & Signed (3-5 working days) with £50 compensation for loss or damage... £11.60 ($14.77) UK address to USA (any address) Tracked & Signed (5-7 working days) with £50 compensation for loss or damage... £15.15 (US$19.29) (CAD$ 25.70) • I've worked exchange rate at 8 Dec 2018... £1 = $1.27 • Note all delivery times are estimates except for the UK Guaranteed Next Day service.
  2. Well this is partly why I am trying to get information together, because within certain limits International need not be too difficult – sure there can be size and weight constraints if one wants to keep it manageable. To give an idea, from UK to N. America, Tracked & Signed (5-7 working days) with £250 compensation for loss or damage up to 10" x 10" x15" is £23.50 (US$30) (CAD$ 39). That could take a nice 10" decorative jug or vase with plenty of protective padding. So, if one knew there was or could establish, a market abroad and work is valuable/desirable enough to justify the postage cost, it gives some parameters to work to. Anything above that size (here in UK) means other methods and can get too pricey and also tricky with insurance.
  3. Understood but the shipping costs do become a concern when trying to ship (and advertise) a mug abroad where the shipping might equal or even exceed the cost of the mug. If one can get the shipping cost to appear fair or equal to domestic shipping cost within the country your selling into, then a customer can make a judgement based on the aesthetics of the pot, unswayed by shipping costs. I guess the size of the markets makes a big difference, I'm keen to sell into North America with a population of 400 million, and so I really want my shipping costs to look as reasonable as possible. I guess selling into our UK market of 60 million may not be such a draw to American potters?
  4. Many thanks, I'm hoping potters in different countries may be interested to list the costs they have to pay to send their small items domestically and abroad. Min above got the idea. The reason for the comparative figures is to understand how customers further afield view one's delivery costs compared with what they pay to receive domestically sent packages. For example, from Min's figures, compared with those I listed, it appears it will cost twice as much to send a 6" x6" x 6" parcel from one coast of Canada to the to the other and three times as much to send it from West Canada to the UK as to send the same package from the UK to any part of Canada or the USA. That is pretty surprising, and also tells me that my postage cost to Canada will be viewed by Canadian customers as extremely reasonable, and that UK customers are likely to view a Canadian potter's postal charge as extremely high. That seems rather unfair on the Canadian potter would would like to sell their work into the UK or other countries. I'd love to hear from an Australian, NZ or SA potter with their postal costs?
  5. I'd be really interesting to see the figures for the 6" x 6" x 6" package 500g – 750g? USPS v UPS, if possible with / without the discount?
  6. That is really interesting, makes UK to USA any address Tracked & Signed (5-7 working days) with £50 compensation for loss or damage look extremely good value... £15.15 ($19.29 US) (CAD $25.70)
  7. The clear glaze cone 6 I am making right now calls for: soda feltspar 70 bentonite 3 lithium carb 3 dolomite 7 zinc oxide 5 quartz (or flint) 12 unfortunately, just realised I don't have any lithium carbonate, can I substitute it with Barium Carbonate which I do have, or a bit more of one of the other ingredients and still get transparent glaze???
  8. I've been considering to do a full time course here in the UK which is a very practical and skills-based course, it's a BA course but of course there would be students with different levels of ability. I was just thinking that (as I'd be paying for it) there might be alternative courses in other parts of the world (US, NZ, AUS, Europe?) to compare and consider. I'd really appreciate any suggestions. Another option might be some sort of internship with a pottery? The thing is, I want to be developing my own work (not wedging someone else's clay!) The main criteria, I think... 1. top, top, experienced potters/ceramicists tutors who really know their craft (including the course leader) 2. range of skilled visiting potters 3. challenging syllabus that allows the student to invent / develop their own style of work 3. chance to experience of different firing techniques 4. students would have access to their own wheel/equipment whenever needed 5. ideally a qualification at the end of it 6. any length, from one term to two years or even more 7. easy/reasonable costs to live nearby 8. other students around to give some sort of social aspect (ie not studying by oneself all the time) 9. course accepts of mature students Really appreciate any ideas/feedback
  9. Looking at recipes with tin oxide and green chrome oxide that give a raspberry red colour. Hoping someone could briefly explain how this results in red and if there's anything particular to watch out for if I experiment with this? Also, what I'm looking for is a translucent or semi-translucent, very, very pale blue that breaks reddish in oxidising kiln at cone 7/8.
  10. Never used plaster of paris before, but I made some posh plaster bats using proper potters' plaster they're and inch and a half thick and about 15" wide, threw a platter on one a week after I made it and at least a fortnight later still waiting for it to "pop off". It has been damp and cold here, I've put the whole thing into boiler cupboard for occasional hour (until plaster was nice and warm) and even on top of the kiln for a bit too. Clay is still only leather hard, about right for scraffito decorating. In desperation I did try running a wire underneath but it's too hard for that now. Just keep waiting? Don't laugh if I've done it wrong!
  11. Yes I'm sure you're right, a combination of inexperience using plaster and the very cold damp weather – the gods were against me. Thankfully, I've got through it and know a bit more now
  12. I like this! I just holding my platters by the rims with my finger tips, which mean quite a bit of touching-in later (though it does allow for really good control of the plate through the glaze). Been thinking of making some kind of tools that would hold the rims –like spiky fingers – and that staple remover, is just the sort of thing, though I might need larger ones I think. I like the horizontal in and out method as it should give exact even coverage as every part of the bisque is in the glaze for same amount of time.
  13. This is the platter decorated I was pretty desperate to get it off the bat to get working on it!
  14. Yes you are right, I have thrown them away
  15. Yay! Stuck in a warmer place and it started to come away at last, here's some pics to show it worked
  16. I think the potter's plaster might be extra fine, I'm not sure of the difference tbh.
  17. Neil, this is what i'm wondering now, if the bat was actually dry when I started using it. The weather's a bit better now but it was very damp and cold for some time (typical England!)
  18. Found a glaze I'd like to try on Alisa Clausen's flickr page and wondered if I can substitute something for the Woolastonite which I don't have? Also, this is a cone 6 recipe but it looks to me like it'd go up to cone 8/9 which is where I fire – anyone think not? , Alisa's WoDo White: 49 Nepheline Syenite 25 Dolomite 6 Wollastonite 20 Ball Clay
  19. Maths never my strong point, so a bit confused about shrinkage (I really shouldn't be) but when I threw some mugs recently I thought I'd sized them correctly wet but they ended up too big, they did not shrink enough... So, if my stoneware clay has a shrinkage rate of say 12%, if I made my pot 114mm high x 114mm wide, I'd end up with a pot approx 100mm x 100mm – is that right? Also, how much shrinkage should one expect at bisque (say 1050 degrees C) and how much between bisque and fully fired?
  20. Update - all good so far, platter is off bat, trimmed and drying with rim covered! Base is thinner than I wanted (should have used more clay) but fingers crossed it's on its way I followed Min's instructions work perfectly
  21. Do you throw platters...? Tuesday 12 Sept I've just thrown a charger/platter/big flat bowl using about 6lb of white earthenware, total diameter 14" includes a 2" rim all around flat base prob 1" thick will be turned, removing 1lb+ of clay to give a shallow foot (prob with an inner and central foot for extra support in kiln). This will be a decorative display piece so weight does not matter, in fact in this instance the heavier the better really. It's been ribbed so nice smooth finish and I've wired through the base with a twisted cut off wire. It's sitting on the throwing bat which is marine ply, I wasn't intending to move it off that until it is leather hard+. Current atmosphere is a shaded room, cool room temperature. I don't normally make these, but I need to decorate it at leather hard stage and fire it for a gallery exhibition that will be setting up in 2 weeks' time My question: what's best way of drying this so that it doesn't crack through rushing it, but still have it ready to decorate, preferably in a week's time?
  22. I've got a whisper T (design has changed a little since I got mine). It is great wheel but I primarily bought it because it is very shallow back to front and so fitted by arrow utility room/studio. It works perfectly and is extremely quiet (like virtually silent) and powerful. It has a modest amount of space for water bowls/tools. The legs on mine are adjustable height, but I still have had to pack it with wooden blocks to get it to the height I prefer (I am 6' + unlike average Japanese thrower). It is surprisingly heavy to move (a good thing mostly). The legs can be removed to turn it into a sort of bench-top wheel which I guess could useful in a teaching situation. I do know of a potter who allowed so much slip to build up regularly in the splashpan that it seeped down the drive shaft and ruined the electronics (it was mended). Like most of the Jap wheels it has silly little buttons but they work okay. The RK55, when I looked at it, did not have adjustable legs, but if like me you need to pack it up any wheel with wood or bricks then that doesn't really matter. It is lighter and easier to move and hence transport. I think it is a little bit deeper so not so good in a confined space like my studio. Yes it is belt drive but so are very many wheels (indeed before modern electronics I think most wheels used some sort of belt or pulley). I actually think this can be an advantage because it means the motor is separated from the main drive shaft. It is a quiet wheel, a little bit more noise than the Whisper but by no means a problem (even teaching I don't think it would be a problem). If I was choosing again I wouldn't hesitate to get the cute little RK55 and poss the only reason apart from space not to get it would be if you wanted to throw massive pots or needed the strongest wheel for professional use. I do find an adjustable height seat useful, to save my back. I'd also consider looking at makes Rohde and Roderveld which are both made in Europe, Germany or nearby countries I think. Keramik Kraft gave me a good deal on a kiln and very easy to deal with (they speak English etc) prob worth a look for comparing prices.
  23. Min, thanks so much this information gives me the best chance of getting this right first time which would be wonderful. I do use bat pins now but no problem, I will do as you suggest and set the bat on clay. Brilliant!
  24. I guess by the time the platter gets to the wheel it must be okay to adjust its position on the foam to get it 'perfectly' centred for trimming? The clay should be firm enough to take a little mild adjustment by lifting and moving it a bit? I'd have to lift it by its rim, perhaps with help of some foam-covered lengths of batten to spread load?
  25. Min – that is brilliant so glad now I asked! My wife has found an old flat cushion with a piece of foam that could be perfect I will build it up a little as necessary. I wonder do you trim base with it just resting on the foam/wood bat or do you also add a larger bat so rim edge is supported somewhat?

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