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Everything posted by LeeU

  1. "Small fee"---no problem, if it's fair & square. However the gouging I see going on with the high fees attached to so many services is outrageous. I believe if states force small business to collect taxes from Internet sales, while the states will see money coming down the pike the little guy will just be further shoved aside by the amazonians. It's a bigger isssue than just the states' economies and burdonsome accounting and paperwork--it really does get into the shaping of business practices that may strangle what is left of entreprenurial small business.
  2. LeeU


    Here is the link to tht thread Click on the "Dispose, smash etc. title to get to the discussion.
  3. LeeU

    Glaze Ingredient Storage

    Well, I can only speak to how Sterlite vs. Rubbermaid works for Mr. Chewy. The Rubbermaid storage bin is not pictured, because it is totally intact. This bears no relationship to the storage of ceramics materials, unless you might store said ceramics materials on your porch in an environment favored by Mr. Chewy. In that case, go with Rubbermaid--and maybe coat it with hot pepper sauce.
  4. New Hampshire's state motto: Live Free or Die. We don't "do" taxes!!! (of course, we don't require motorcycle helmets either, so there is the "die" risk as part of the mix.
  5. Opps--thanks Neil-I need to be more careful with terminology---luster-like , crystalline-like, shino-like etc. are not the same as the correctly formulated products or processes. Great example as to why I rarely offer technical info LOL.
  6. I use commercial mid-fire glazes that produce lovely lustres.(ex. dark gold, satin/pearl, silver). I start with simply following the directions and then experiment/test, experiment and test. Generally, in my electric kiln, the standard application produces what I expect. And the variations (fewer layers, more layers etc. over/under something) for some pieces have been wonderful surprises-fortunately I like surprises-I don't employ much technical control/informed chemistry.
  7. LeeU

    What are your favourite business tools?

    I am beginning to appreciate the common sense of making the burgundy plate rather than the self-preferred yellow bowls, and absolutely believe I can get behind that without selling my soul. My best business tool, which I applied to my fist biz, Shoestring Graphics Plus, and then to an array of non-profit human services (to design, fund, market and sustain specialized programs, you essentially have to develop and maintain a small business, including an astute application of census stats), is SCORE, with its tentacles of affiliations and resources, which are invaluable, being free. And that!! I no longer experience or dread abject conditions for myself, but I know first hand how hard and fast the other shoe can drop, so I devote a portion of my clay/art efforts to support individuals and organizations in the struggle against poverty and its affects. I'm not striving for a profitable clay business, but I do intend to break even soon, so my studio is self-supporting. E-mail marketing and the "fusion" approach to social media is intriguing-I suspect that is my next big project, now that I finally figured out how to make a website LOL. Again, I have to thank SCORE for the webinars and workshops that lay it all out so simply, and the mentors who are there for you, as much as you want.
  8. KILN OPENING: Language of Clay and Fire with Ken Matsuzaki and Randy Johnston Sunday, June 17, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT) New Hampshire Institute of Art - Sharon Arts Center Campus 457 NH Route 123 Sharon, NH 03458 View map Results of a two week workshop, fired in the Fushigigama in NH.
  9. Sparked by my intention to make a clay toy for an event, how about a question about making clay toys? And for those who have made them, pics please and some comments about their construction.
  10. From back to front, left to right--my entire collection to date. The penquin is by Liz Fletcher, NH, the miniture porcelain collored clay, crafted in the neriage technique is by Karen Orsillo, NH; the slip trailed little vase is by Maureen Mills and my all-time-favorite coffee mug is by Steve Zoldak, both of NH; the two mini jars are by Joseph Painted Bear, PA. My previous art budget went into paintings, but now I am setting aside some spendoolies for my next few acquisitions, from clay people who have been/are active on this site. Oh, and I forgot--I have a lovely porcelain water pipe by Ray Aldridge (who used to be on here).
  11. Well, you, and your expertise, will surely be missed. Glad you blog!!
  12. Psyched...the NH Potters Guild (of which I am a member) is invited to participate in an August event at the Gallery at Well Sweep. They  want clay art specifically in the form of toys and musical instruments. I'm planning on 2 toys and a rattle. 

  13. I have made a section on my Pinterest Clay board on Kilns & Firing, specific to the anagama kiln that John Baymore "made happen" for the New Hampshire Intute of Art. Check it out https://www.pinterest.com/LeeUstinich/clay-kilns-and-firing/fushigigama-nhia-wonder-kiln-at-sharon-art-center-/

    1. Joseph Fireborn

      Joseph Fireborn

      Thanks for the link.

  14. It is a priority for me to surround and indulge myself with items/activities that bring me pleasure (other than people)----be it fresh flowers, great music, little collectables, making great mushroom soup-whatever. Usually "working" in any capacity is quite satisfying, but sometimes I go inert and the "juices" seem to dry up. Metaphorically, that indicates a lack of hydration & a need to overcome the perverse, self-defeating struggle to resist the intake of sufficient water. When it's hard to force it down, it's important to sip slowly until the self begins to reopen. So, I have this posted on my studio wall, and I just do what it says. I then get some meditative breathing (energy work/heart breaths) going. A few sessions of staring at the wall (over days, weeks, whatever it takes) and eventually I'll get twitchy/thirsty enough to start doing something-anything--in the studio, as other people have mentioned--ex. cleaning, organizing, reclaiming clay. That will lead fairly quickly to picking up a hunk of clay and getting back in gear. I guess that is a ritual. It clears my mind---calms the static--- and eventually gooses the neurotransmitters to squash the inertia and reboot the "get on with it" system. Who knows? Works for me, strange as it may seem. I think it's in the vein of "energy breeds energy", as GEP/Mea sez, or "You can act your way into right thinking, but you can't think your way into right acting". "Act as if." "Walk the talk." "Easy does it, but do it." , and so forth.
  15. I was the Spotter for Modernage Labs in NYC in the late '60s, spotting high quality mural prints for the museums and lottsa other cool stuff (& silver prints). Still have some discarded (or so they thought LOL) prints of historic photos of subjects like Jack Johnson (boxer), pics by "Weegee", right after he died, and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. The night crew was me, my x-hubby--he was a developer/printer extrordinaire--and a United Nations assortment of Chinese, Armenians, Polish, Germans, etc. Lemme tell ya---the bring-a-dish parties on the 4-12 shift were awesome! So was the bootleg Chinese whiskey, at 200 proof. My "ex" ended up losing a quarter of a lung due in part to the formaldehyde (and the insane amount of roach spray we were subject to in our little downtown NY apartments). Wow--Johnny-did you spark some memories!
  16. Well, it seems I have a new PT job: learning how to put together my own web site, plus the associated links, buttons, tools, text, etc. etc. that goes with "marketing" via certain selected social media portals. I am learning SEO terminology, copyright law, best practices for e-mail, privacy/security measures, table top product photography, color theory, eye tracking in an "F" pattern), recommended point sizes for text, the use of <H> to leverage which crumbs the spiders might pick up while trolling for Google ranking factors, time-intensive review of a comprehensive array of resources...I could go on...and on...and on. It's a lot of freakin' work! The good news is I find the process and the control of it exciting and satisfying. It suits my nature and I am good at making detailed trackers so I have truly useful running to do lists, spreadsheets for inventory and finances, and I am not buying any software assists. My store is on my site, so I am not using anything like Etsy or Shopify. The bad news is I have limited real-life website development experience and rely solely on resources such as community forums, webinars, free small business advisers, savvy friends, and support techs to progress. SO..............since y'all are part of such a large and expert group of artists, many with robust online presence, I have a few questions: (1) what are a few UNCOMMON (not likely to be readily known from the standard instructions/tips that are out there) things you wish you had known before building your own web site ; (2) what are a few things you did or learned that really HELPED you when building your site, and; (3) what are some CRUCIAL tips from your experience with linking your web site to social media outlets? Also, if you spent any MONEY that you either really regret or are very happy you did, describe that. (I am happy I bought a camera and a simple table top photo set up and stopped trying to gerryrig the whole process of making decent images.) THANKS in advance.
  17. If anyone is interested, I wrote a piece for my website, with photos, on how I developed my (highly successful, I am told) logo from a porcelain wood fired box I made. It is titled Flower and Ash and is located in the About drop down menu.
  18. Crocs!!! Classic clogs w/back strap. Luciously comfortable, long lasting, inexpensive (go for the sales). I paid a little more and scored myself a Limited Edition of Jackson Pollack Studio clogs--how very artsy of me LOL
  19. Be sure to upload some photos of your work for us to enjoy once you get going!
  20. P.S. You can link to my Pinterest from my website and I have many nice Clay boards. 

  21. LeeU

    Gosh its pretty soap dish1.jpg

    I used up my "likes", so "thumbs up".
  22. Hedgehogs--octopi--hedgehogs--
  23. Please know upfront that I am not meaning to sound cavalier or unprofessional, and that I take my work and what skills I have seriously. However, I also go with what I like, adjust as I choose in order to evolve, give thoughtful consideration of feedback from others, and yet, ultimately, I don't care all that much what anyone else thinks. My artist statement is WYSIWYG. When I retired and went back to clay work, I spent a fair bit of inner energy grieving over "where I might have been, what I might have been making" had I been able to enter the field after my training (top flight ceramics dept./top flight art school) and worked to develop a serious career in ceramics. After working thorugh that and shaking it off, and confronting the realities/some limitations of my world today, I concentrated on cultivating an attitude of gratitude for the luxury of being able to just go with the flow as the spirit moves me. What super-charged me to get back in the game, even in the shallow end of the pool, was meeting John Baymore & some of his colleagues, & getting to fire (2x now!) in the Fushigigama anagama he/his students built. He directed me to this Forums site, which is a solid blessing. Everything everyone posted above is applicable and valuable, so no need to say the same things some other way--it's all pertinent to the journey of finding one's way and expressing with clay some aspect of one's self.
  24. No advice, but welcome and best wishes--sounds like an ambitious, but do-able way to spend the summer in a productive way to further your skills with clay and glazing. Selling and marketing is a whole other ball game and takes lots of work, and may needs lots of information as to good strategies and techniques for selling (at least in the U.S. commerce strutures, generally). The ceramic village environemnt sounds wonderful!
  25. To accentuate texture I like to only partially glaze with color, and leave the rest either unglazed or w/just a light clear. This is a commercial matte/elec. ^6. (It's a card/letter holder for a desk top.)

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