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Joseph Fireborn

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Everything posted by Joseph Fireborn

  1. Confusing Glaze Result

    So I have been working with a glaze for a long time and I stopped using it for a while and I have since spent some time going back to it. I did a test run and fired it and it came out a completely different color, a pastey yellow. So I thought okay, maybe I just did something wrong. I mixed another batch up and fired it side by side with several other tests just to be certain. The clay body is Red Rock covered with a black slip. In the past, this has came out a nice grey. My other test was Standard 365 and HW Brownstone, both also covered in the same black slip. Everything was fired on the same shelf, right beside each other, glaze batch was applied in the same exact manner, and the slip batch was all the same. Fired with cones to verify temps as well. Again the red rock base with the black slip over came out pastey yellow. The brownstone and the porcelain came out as the redrock used to come out, a light greyish hue. Now I am really confused. I am not doing anything different between the application and in the past, the red rock has come out exactly the same as the other two bodies do. I have a yunomi in my gallery of this exact result. So I am guessing that Highwater must have sourced a new material supplier or the old one ran out? All I know is it is now directly affecting my glaze? I can't be for certain, but I can't think of any other logical reasons for this sudden change. At first, I thought it was something I was doing, but after this test, I am confident that it isn't anything I am doing as the other bodies produce the exact result that the red rock used to produce. Does anyone have any other ideas? I guess I am just going to finish using my red rock and just finally convert to using 100% porcelain all the time. I don't want to throw highwater under the bus here as I like their clays a lot, but I am tired of the quality control issues I keep having with them. I get bags that are too hard to use and bags that I have to dry out. I really enjoyed their clay bodies in the past, but I feel like something is wrong somewhere. I understand that the bags won't always be the same, but still what in the world is going on when glazes are completely coming out differently than a few months ago. I bought these boxes of red rock when I started potting again this spring, so it was different box and batch from the ones where I got the grey result.
  2. Copied Images

    That was the crazy part. It was something she sells for 35 dollars which is very high priced for what it is. But the other seller was selling it for 8.50. I have no idea what the plan was. I guess make it as close as they could to the original.
  3. Confusing Glaze Result

    Just some pictures for comparison. Old Red Rock Results: A cup I kept(left) vs the cup(right) that I just pulled out today. Same techniques as before: Porcelain base: I mean I am not unhappy with the result of the porcelain. It is rather beautiful itself, I just am so confused at how it can be so darn different. Anyways, I guess it doesn't really matter. I am firing an old redrock pot and a new redrock pot right now, so we can look at that result tomorrow sometime, although I don't expect to see any difference. I think one of the chemicals in the clay was changed or something, I don't mean as in a new formulation, but as they changed suppliers of a chemical, which I mean happens if you get a better deal. But I think whatever that chemical is, has a drastic effect on this glaze. Thanks for all your ideas and thoughts. It really isn't worth worrying about anymore. I think it just sums up my decision to go back to porcelain and stay there. I enjoy throwing it more than stoneware anyways, and I have less glaze issues single firing it over stoneware(occasional bloating, or pinholes). So c'est la vie stoneware!
  4. Confusing Glaze Result

    I haven't done this! I will try it soon.
  5. Confusing Glaze Result

    That is good info. I wonder if I just got a bad batch or I'm crazy. Both are possible. I really can't explain or figure out why all of the sudden something I did many many times I can't get on the base body but I can on every other body.
  6. Copied Images

    This is rampant. I was helping my mother in law with her etsy shop the other day and she called me saying she needed help with a lady who was listing her items in their shop. The exact same picture, the exact same title, and the exact same description. How does etsy not even catch that? Anyways she contacted the seller and the seller instantly removed the item, but still, what in the world is happening to people. I agree with Mea here, using other peoples work and not your craftspeople's work, going to be one horrible show.
  7. Can anyone identify this clay body or glaze?

    Red Rock from Highwater clays would look exactly like this with a white glaze like that.
  8. IMG_1625.JPG

    Nice.thanks for the close-up. really nice stamp. I like the verticle marks in the stamp that break up the horizontal throwing marks.
  9. Platter

    From the album Detail Shots

  10. IMG_1625.JPG

    Is the stamped area just a square? I can't see it, but it makes the pots visually curious. Nice work.
  11. What is the best pot you have ever made? + pictures if you have them.
  12. Dry wood ash on glazes

    That is the paste, which is technically a glaze, just very pasty instead of wet and fluid. Like if you put your hands in the batch it wouldn't run through your fingers. I don't usually bisque pots unless I am using a particular glaze that I find needs bisque. I single fire almost all my work. I think you should continue experimenting with the sprinkling stuff. The pot is a real gem.
  13. Dry wood ash on glazes

    I have sprinkled dry ash onto my glazes in cone 6 electric. The results are mixed, it just depends on the glaze and how it reacts to additional flux and silica that the wood ash adds. I personally have found better results from making a "paste". I have made a paste out of wood ash. These paste have a slight bit of clay added and a slight amount of a feldspar of some kind, but the majority of the paste is ash(70-90%). The reason I call it a paste and not a glaze is because it isn't liquid form. I apply it with a natural sponge to the pot by dapping it on. It looks something like this after being applied. As you can see it is very chunky. I don't sieve the wood ash. I take it directly from my fireplace, put it in a 5 gallon bucket and scoop out the amount I need and add it to a small glaze container. I found that when you sieve the ash and wash it, you might as well just use commercial glaze ingredients. It takes away all the variability. The result looks something like this: A lot of my work is using wood ash paste now as I found applying it this way sort of duplicates the way ash is probably applied in a wood kiln. It isn't a uniform application, it sticks and clumps and builds up in certain places. Again this is all theory as I haven't fired wood before, but I have looked at a lot of wood-fired pots in person and it appears this is what happens. Of course, I want to say that I am not trying to replicate wood firings at all, but just to get some surfaces that I adore in my electric kiln. There is just something about the randomness of ash that I really appreciate, each tree is unique and thus each batch of ash paste is different. The pot you posted above is very nice in the glaze and I think the ash definitely did it justice. How was it fired? What kind of kiln?
  14. Bonsai pots in use

    I like the moss. I have been thinking about growing it as well. I want to use it in my seed start mix with worm castings and compost too. I figure if I get it right I can create a seed mix that never needs to be fertilized from seed till in the ground. Of course, it is also beautiful to put over the roots of a bonsai.
  15. Choosing a name

    @LeeU I definitely think it is important to put a little bit of yourself in the work, and if it isn't something obvious then maybe a little explanation is okay. Isn't that why galleries require artist statements anyways? I think it probably is. We don't get artist statements that get read online usually, so it's best that we put a snippet of them in our product description. I could be very wrong about all this as I don't have a ton of experience with online sales of pottery. I have sold a high percentage of the total number of what I listed in a relatively quick period of time, so I guess that counts for something, but I don't have 1000's of sales to really have valid data about my ideas. It is probably also just as important to leave most of our ego out of the product as well. Let it speak for itself too, so its a balance between too much and too little.
  16. Choosing a name

    You can message me if you like, but I really don't think it is necessary. I always try to explain to people, you don't sell products by talking about the features. A lot of people think you sell products talking about the benefits, but I think this is wrong too. I believe you sell products by evoking emotion first, then talking about the benefits. Look at all the best sales companies in the world. - Apple's entire brand is based on emotion. They make you feel like you are awesome for having their products, heck everything statistically about their product is completely inferior to the price they are asking, yet they charge almost 100% more for stuff. They are masters at making you feel emotionally connected and inspired by their marketing. Heck, most of their ads don't even say anything about specs or the actual product, they just pump you full of emotions and say: iPhone X. - Coke does this as well. All of their commercials don't say, coke tastes great, coke is the best, coke is this, what they do is show you people having a blast drinking a coke, making memories, or kissing for the first time. They invoke emotions. I could go on and on but you get the point. When your selling ceramics online, you don't have much to go on. It is a picture of a cup, you can't pick it up and hold it, you can't see it in the sunlight and in the dark, you can't turn it to see the angle, so what can you do? Well, you can say it holds x amount, is blue and is food safe... But so is every single other blue mug on Etsy. So you need to do something different and I went with trying to evoke a little bit of emotion in my description. I didn't even do a very good job with "crackle that feels amazing in your hand." In one of the previous items that I sold it wrote something along the lines of: "Every morning I discover something new about the piece and it reminds me to approach my day with an open mind and to look for unique moments..." Of course, some people don't care about this crap, but some people do, particularly people buying my type of work. Another thing I do is write something like, "The surfaces of my work remind you that you are holding a cup, that you are drinking from a cup, it becomes something you think about each time you pick it up, and it reminds you to enjoy every little moment of your morning tea or coffee." Again, this isn't for everyone, but I am using anything I can to get a sale, and I also really feel this way about my surfaces. It goes directly with the choosing glaze post that Min made. To me, the surface is everything, because when you reach to pick it up, if it doesn't feel like you expect it to, then you pay attention to what you're doing, and that itself is very special. It is like kissing your spouse or your son on the head, its such a natural thing we take it for granted, but sometimes it's nice to be reminded of how special a kiss is. Anyways, so just think about why you make your work, and put a little bit of your heart into it, particularly if your selling online, because you're competing against the masses and you gotta be different. EDIT: wabi sabi : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi
  17. Detail Shots

  18. Jar

    From the album Detail Shots

  19. Yunomi

    From the album Detail Shots

  20. Choosing a name

    I think words like this are a huge boost for the long tail search terms. People looking for specific things know these terms. Stuff like: wabi-sabi, contemporary, modern, rustic.
  21. Choosing a name

    When I list things on Etsy I follow a pretty simple rule: Color / Size / Object / Alternate Name So for a mug, I would put: Grey Mug - 12oz Coffee Mug - Medium Coffee Cup - Pottery Mug - Handmade I do the same for Yunomi: Black/Grey Yunomi - 6oz Tea Cup - Rustic Tea Cup You can then go into more detail in the description as Mea said. An example description: (italic's the keywords for an example of how I worked them in) This grey and black yunomi is handmade by me and covered with a beautiful black clay that crackles and feels amazing in your hands. The teacup holds 6oz's and is wonderful to enjoy your morning tea out of every day. The surface is different as you go around the pottery cup and you will find new things about it each time you use it. It is durable and made to last. I hope that you enjoy this cup and find joy exploring its surfaces every day. All of my items are 100% satisfaction guaranteed! If you have any questions please use the contact button to ask. After the description, I always include something like this : • This item is dishwasher safe, microwave safe and food safe.• Measures: a little over 3 inches tall, and 3.5 inches wide at the rim.• Holds 10oz. • Weight: 337g or .75 of a pound. Of course, Etsy has places to list color and then tags to put in other things. Make sure to use all of these the best you can. I wouldn't worry too much about titles being fancy, just describe the object in the most general sense you can, but don't leave out the details. I don't like seeing titles like: "Coffee Mug" With descriptions like: This is a coffee mug made by me, it was fired to cone 6. --- Stuff like that is practically useless, people wonder why they don't sell stuff well on Etsy with that kinda description who would. You can include things like what temp it was fired to or whatever else you want, but I have found they only care about the way it looks, how big it is, and how much it holds. Lastly, I would put as many pictures as you can take. I usually do 4 sides for each pot, a top view, a bottom view, a laying sideways view and a detail shot of the best part of the pot. Anywho, the trick to doing all this is to make your descriptions super generic besides the first sentence or two, so you can copy and paste it and then just change 5-6 words.
  22. Graphite drawing on clay

    Just use amaco underglaze pencils as OldLady said. It works fine.
  23. Choosing Glazes

    We shall see. I don't know if I will be satisfied 100%, but I am at a point where I am more interested in generating income than generating kiln loads full of test. I have some purpose for my pottery now, as before it was just a mug to maybe sell. I have since moved into a new area where I am interested in making utility pots for functions that I personally need daily. I also have a future plan on ways to market my pottery very well in my local area. Of course, this won't come to pass for a few more years, but I am in the process of learning to farm on a small scale, and I can see my vases and bowls at the farmer's markets full of fresh beautiful flowers, fruits, and vegetables. I am also finally going back to work this year after 10 years of health battles. So my need to explore glazes for personal mental health have faded. I won't have the time to spend days researching anymore and I am not sure if I really want to. I guess overall I am pretty satisfied with the results I have achieved in a few years and I am going to focus on making more pots and using fewer glazes. I think it is time to finally go that way. Needless to say, I have no idea if the glaze I plan to use will sell or not. It is pretty far out there in terms of what people in the west are happy to use. I drink and eat out of it every day for the past few months and it is a real experience each time. I have a few other glazes that I have been using for a long time that I will continue to use as well, but I am done developing glazes for some time. Anywho, I am almost derailing this thread here, but I just wanted to respond to your question. I think anyone interested in making glazes should definitely try it, even if you only end up making a few glazes you really enjoy, understanding the chemicals, the materials and the processes that develop certain surfaces is very helpful for your future in pottery. There are not many things as satisfying as being able to troubleshoot your own glazes very quickly just by looking at the recipe and holding the pot in your hand.
  24. Choosing Glazes

    I pick glazes purely on texture or the surface they give. I then test the glaze to see if it holds up. If it does yay(rarely happens), if not then I end up tweaking the amounts and usually it ends up going somewhere completely different. The real trick to glazes isn't finding the perfect single glaze but layering them to get absurd results. Of course, I say this now when I am currently working with a single glaze for all my work, *gasp*. The absolute hardest thing about glazing pottery is not finding a good pretty glaze, there are thousands of great glazes. The issue is finding a great glaze that you like and won't get bored with and that your customers will also like. That I have found is the absolute hardest part of glazing.
  25. A little question about gallery commentary

    Maybe there is an approval period for brand new members to prevent spam or something. I don't remember one when I signed up a few years back, but the forum changed software since then. As far as censorship goes, I have been here for 3 years and I am not affiliated with the site in any way. There is 0 censorship, there is probably more evidence of heated discussions than censorship. Please take a moment to welcome yourself and look around. We are a very vocal group.

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