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Callie Beller Diesel

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About Callie Beller Diesel

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 11/14/1976

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Interests
    Soda fire, all things reduction, and a little bit of glass.

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  1. Selling at a Craft Show - Techniques

    Ask open questions: instead of asking someone if they’re looking for something (which can be answered with a yes or a no), ask them what they’re looking for, or who they’re shopping for today, and then help them find a piece. (Help solve problems). I also will invite people to touch things in my booth, to give them a chance to enjoy the tactility of the pieces. (If people hold things, it can give them a sense of ownership.)
  2. I have various sizes of wire whisks for slip and glaze mixing. It’s actually a lot faster to loosen up a hard-panned glaze with a whisk than with a drill and paint mixing bit. I have a plastic pastry scraper that helps scrape down buckets, too.
  3. Me - Teach a Class??!

    Keep in mind that because you are a beginner yourself, you're able to put yourself in their shoes quite well. You know what's frustrating, you know where you're tripping up, and how to solve some of those problems. You are in a position to be a good guide, from that point of view. You will find that teaching is also a fantastic way to learn, yourself. There will always be someone who is better at this than you are. There will always be people who aren't as good as you are, too. Chilly already gave good advice about being honest, and offering what you're able to offer. Try it and see what happens!
  4. Hmmm. I think the only two things I spent MORE than $100 on were my wheel and kiln. So much of our craft is skill, and many of our tools are super low-tech. That do all trimming tool is totally where it's at: I think I went through 3 of them this year, even after sharpening them with a chainsaw file. I wore them down pretty good. I picked up a banding wheel and a mug tree from a potter who retired 3 years ago, and those were pretty good deals. I didn't think I'd use the banding wheel as much as I do. That little red rib from Sherril is also pretty cool. It gets used to finish a lot of pots after trimming, and the smooth feet are such a nice detail. Also, no sanding sharp bits off the bottom of pots, which is always good.
  5. Handy Techniques

    Have a small studio where everything has to do double duty? The heavy duty wire racks for kitchens that are strong enough to hold a lot of cans are good for ware racks, and a whole 6’ shelf covered in a sheet can be used for reclaiming a 5 gallon bucket of slip. I got the idea from chicken wire based reclaim beds. (I’ll try and add a photo in a day or so).
  6. I think you're maybe getting too hung up on glaze calc numbers. Coe is a starting point, and not always helpful. Neither glazes or clay expand or contract in a linear fashion, particularly if there's something like lithium in the mix. You'll have a glaze that fits like a glove, but the numbers will say that it shouldn't be. You don't have to match exactly the Coe of the glaze and the clay body, although having them close can sometimes help. Stop getting hung up on numbers, and just test something to get a starting point. Also, not all clay bodies are meant for production pottery and the avoidance of crazing or shivering. Aesthetics, ease of use for sculpture or teaching purposes, price and material availability are also factors when manufacturers come up with a clay recipe.
  7. What's your Mug?

    I have 3 that I return to on the regular. The little green guy is by Connie Pike, and she and her husband Bob are mentors of mine. It's the right size if I've made a pot of tea, as opposed to right in the cup. I can refill it, and it's always hot. The white one is a woodfired celadon item from Sean Kuntz, and I have a strange relationship with it. Again, it's the right size, but the fact that it's so precise makes my brain twitch a bit. The handle takes a bit to get used to. It's tactile and beautifully proportioned on the pot, but it takes a bit to find a comfortable position to hold it in. The brown one is one I got out of the soda in Medicine Hat last January. I showed the pretty side, but it's got a really nice thumb spot opposite. This is the one I go to if I'm making the tea right in the cup, as it's a bit larger. Because I made it, it fits my hand just right. I tend to build in fidget spots between the handle and the body, a thumb spot on the belly, and there's an indent on the bottom where I put my mark that also holds a thumb or finger comfortably.
  8. Keep them in supplies, and try not to notice too much what they're doing. They need to form their own opinions on what they're doing. They shouldn't be trying to work for my praise, or in fear of my disapproval.
  9. Artspeak

    There was a thread a while back that addressed the obfuscatory language used in a lot of academic artists' statements, and I can't find it. We had fun trying to translate. Anyways. Here's a link from the Globe and Mail opinions that I thought was applicable. https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/lets-stop-pretending-academic-artspeak-reflects-actual-research/article36785084/?mc_cid=ff1e3e039d&mc_eid=1d64d860e9
  10. Background noise is actually a concentration aid to those of us non-neural normative folks. (As is chewing gum). Overdrive is my favourite app for audio books, and my library has a pretty good supply, so here's for free fun! Also a fan of iTunes, although it is less free. Super stoked this morning to see that Overdrive automatically checked out Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book from my local library! Been waiting for that one for a while, and it's good timing, because I have to try and make 100 mugs this week. (Yikes!) my current favourite playlist is bluesy and rock-y, with a good steady rythm that I can work steadily to. Beat the Devil's Tattoo- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Push- Matchbox 20 Something's Happening to Me-Arum Rae Savin' Me-Nickleback (don't judge.) Tell That Devil- Jill Andrews Get Away- Paul Otten Over and Over-Three Days Grace River- Bishop Briggs Get Stoned- Hinder Bad Company- Five Finger Death Punch Animal- Badflower No Good-Kaleo Ain't No Easy Way-Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Killin' Floor- Blues Saraceno Hangin' Tree- Blues Saraceno Edit: I actually can't watch tv shows or movies while working, even if I can quote them verbatim. The screen sucks all my attention.
  11. Glaze Question - Strontium Crystal Magic

    Keep in mind that Steven Hill (the author of the common iteration of this glaze) uses it as a base, and sprays a whole bunch of things on top of it. It's magic because of the way it reacts with other glazes, not because it's particularly special by itself. (Although I agree, your tiles look a bit thin.)
  12. I'm not sure I'd change anything. If I had postponed my education until a time when I would have been more mature, and receptive to internalizing the messages in that moment, I wouldn't have had access to the financial resources to do it at all. The resources and tools that I've been using in the last couple of years to my success weren't available when I finished my education. Internet citations on my papers were strictly verboten, as they weren't considered accurate enough. And forums as rich in information and varied life experiences as this one weren't formed yet. Many tools only really came along when I was finally ready to process a lot of the information, in terms of both academic and life experiences, that I'd spent a decade or more gathering. It hasn't always been the easiest journey, and it hasn't always been what I wanted. But it most certainly has been what I needed. In hindsight, I had so much to learn (and still do), I'm not sure it could have happened a lot differently and still have happened. I have no regrets.
  13. Shipping season really?

    I think I would hate packing more if I had to do more of it. The cost of shipping in Canada is markedly higher, to the point where if you're shipping internationally, there are services in most major cities that will take your package across the US border so that they can be sent through USPS for less money. Free shipping isn't as much of a thing here, and I've found it definitely makes some US customers balk. I too, hate packing peanuts, so if I have to obtain them, I do actually shell out a few bucks for the static-free kind. In the last few months I've come across a couple of effective alternative packing methods to The Evil Peanut. A friend of mine bought me a Cathi Jefferson yunomi, and it arrived in a box that was lined with 1" closed-cell insulation board, and padded with newspaper. It was quite secure, and given that it arrived via Canada post, it definitely survived the 4' drop test. It wasn't double boxed. Highly reusable, and it eliminates the static problem and reinforces the cardboard box, but still styrofoam based. Also, I don't know how this holds up with larger shipments. Maybe more styrofoam compartments? I also saw this video a couple of months ago from Ayumie Horie. I don't think it's any less time consuming than packing with peanuts and bubble wrap, but at least it's a lot more recyclable.
  14. satin matte glazes - earthy tones

    Totally what Neil said. I think it's okay to riff off of something you're already making, or alter an existing item slightly if it was a direction you think might be kind of interesting anyways. Ask the client to trust your taste. Presumably they came to you in the first place because they like what you're doing.
  15. satin matte glazes - earthy tones

    That second image is probably shino, and is likely wood fired. You're correct, you're not going to get those directional flame marks without either a LOT of intensive testing and a really good hand with a sprayer, or actual flame. If your client wants something with a bit of that tea ceremony feel to it, I think you have some things close to that wheelhouse already in your Instagram feed. If you use that dark clay, and go with a carved and/or pinched surface so that the greenish glaze breaks and pools, you'll get some of that sensibility. I tagged you in a couple of your posts, so you know what I'm talking about. That particular glaze looks promising. If you want a beige colour, and that's one you're mixing yourself, you might just try removing the current colourant from the base glaze and do some tests with rutile for a beige, or iron for an amber.