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Callie Beller Diesel

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Callie Beller Diesel last won the day on September 12

Callie Beller Diesel had the most liked content!

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About Callie Beller Diesel

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 11/14/1976

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

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  1. I'm going to share some numbers because the "how much SHOULD I be making" question I think plagues a lot of people, myself included. If you're bummed about your sales on a given day, it can be a real head job to watch your friends who make jewelry or barn wood signs clear thousands of dollars on the same day you did $200. (keep in mind, that jeweller spent a whole lot more money making her stock than you did. She's out cash money, you're out time. Our materials are incredibly cheap by comparison.) I'll start with a high-overhead show that I did at Christmas for the last 2 years. (I won't be going back to it this year.) 2015: gross take, $2540. My net, I'd have to do a bunch of digging through receipts, but if it was similar to the following year, I would have kept about 1200 before taxes (which I didn't earn enough money in the year to have to pay.) 2016: gross take, $1279. Net, $200. There were a large number of extenuating circumstances on this one, and I was not the only vendor who had markedly lower numbers over the previous year. These included an economy that was through the floor last year, with a 10% unemployment rate in the province. There were other organizational issues with this show that I found troublesome, and they seem to be persisting. I won't be going back to this show, unless they get them sorted out. The high overhead show involved out of town travel (4 hour drive) for 3 nights, which I offset by staying with family instead of in a hotel, and travelling back immediately after the show was done. I work alone, unless I can bribe a family member into spotting me off for an hour or so to go get food. This show was expensive not just because of the booth fee ($1000 for a 10x10), but because it required a lighting setup that I didn't own previously and a more sophisticated look than my outdoor booth. Both took a few tries to get right. It required a business license for a different city (it's the only city in my province that requires it) By contrast, one of my lowest overhead shows is a farmer's market I do throughout the summer. Booth fee is $48/day, they set up the table, I bring my tent, weights, stock and table dressings. One hour drive one way, 7:30 am setup and 2 pm tear down. I allow myself to buy lunch occasionally, but generally I brown bag it because I can. Average expenses per day, including booth, lunch, square fees and gas are about $65. 2015: 5 days worked total over the summer, gross $775. (Daily average $155) 2016: 9 days worked total, gross $2052 ( Daily average $228) 2017: 12 days worked total, gross $4480. (Daily average $373) 2017 also saw me with a lot of orders that came out of being at this market, some of which are included in the gross total because they were picked up at the market. I give a rough estimate of $1000 worth of work, including a wholesale order for 30 mugs, that I got from putting in face time every Saturday morning, that isn't included in this total. So sorry about the essay, but there really are a lot of factors that affect one's numbers, but if you track yourself against yourself, it's very satisfying to see when and where growth happens. My numbers are nowhere near what Mark's or Mea's are, but both of those two have been in business *a lot* longer than I have, even though I think Mea and I have made pottery for a similar amount of time. I'm putting mine out there as a business beginner, even though I'm kind of embarrassed by some of them, because I see a lot of other people having the same questions. I spent a lot of time in the last 3 years being very frustrated with my numbers, until I really stopped looking at my friends' businesses, and tracked my own numbers against themselves. No, it isn't happening as fast as I want it to, but it is happening .
  2. Hmmmm. If I go to Metchosin, I can have both! added: I did "clay camp" in minus 30C last January. There is no inappropriate weather, only inappropriate clothing.
  3. Stoneware Limit Study

    It's a bit slumped, and I wonder if it's on the edge of bloating.
  4. Shimpo wheels, advice needed

    When my wheel was brand new (a lot of years ago) the aluminum wheelhead shed that black stuff for a long time. I think it's just some form of oxidation. It didn't affect my clay at all, and at the time I was working with a clay that I would have noticed something like that.
  5. New Forum

    Has anyone noticed if the number of "likes" possible in a day still has a cap?
  6. Forgot to add the favourite part: opening a fresh bag of clay and getting a hit of that soft, musty smell we all love. This is closely followed by throwing. Wet clay is the best!
  7. Pres, I'm with you on the glazing. Least favourite job of all. I also dislike doing anything with plaster moulds. The nature of of that sort of work tends to be too precise from start to finish, and I don't have the patience for it. It's too much work for not enough payoff.
  8. Very elementary

    If you're working from phone photos, you can also email the image to yourself at the lowest resolution option.
  9. Very elementary

    If you're looking to make a master to make a mould from, then yes, sealing your current sculpture with acrylic is likely your best bet if it's already dried. Baking it in the oven won't turn clay into ceramic, or make it more durable at all. You need hotter temps than your oven can generate. Mould masters can be made out of plaster, as Ann mentioned, but you can also use wet clay, and in fact that may have been easier to release from the mould. At this point, I'm guessing that's more of a "for next time" piece of information. You can also use things like plasticine, so that there's some give if you have undercuts.
  10. Mixing glazes again.

    I tend to mix largest ingredient to smallest, just because that's the way most of my recipes are written out. Clay tends to be in the top 2-3 ingredients for most things that I mix. I slake everything for at least an hour before I sieve twice. I don't know that it matters greatly, as it all gets pretty well combined in the end. That said, I know there's a couple of ingeredients that need to be treated specifically or they don't suspend properly. Bentonite for sure, but I can't remember some of the others. Maybe someone else can chime in on those?
  11. stove top heat difusser question

    My cousin married a man from Morocco, and tagines (as a dish) are a pretty integral part of their diet. She asked me about making a couple of tagine pots because the traditional ones that are made of earthenware do tend to crack over time, with regular use. Her in-laws just tend to view this as simply the way of the world, and they expect them to fail eventually. You just go get a new one when it happens, and they're not typically very expensive. If you want yours to be durable, definitely look into the micaceous clay and flame ware.
  12. Any way to fire him horizontally? Maybe some clay props to support the head? Kind of like using wasters.
  13. Uh, have you seen the type-A hyperfocus work that is Peter Pincus? Granted, it's with mould making and not carving, but that man's work makes my brain box twitch. I'd want to write about Eva Zeisel. I'm not sure I can narrow down the questions list. She had such an interesting life, and combined such incredible grace into such ordinary forms. If I manage to get even a fraction of that essence into my own work by the time I die, I might have done okay.
  14. Saving your hands.

    I just stick both the needle tool and the "flexible ribbon of death" in a wad of clay on the side of the wheel deck so they're both upright. I use what's handy, I suppose. I have never ever heard a metal rib called that, but having laid open my thumb cleaning that sucker off about twice in my life, I have to heartily agree with that particular moniker. I've had scalp wounds that have bled less! Taught me pretty fast to scrape the clay off on the side of the bucket.
  15. I don't think there's a style of pottery that I don't think has a place in the world somewhere. That place may or may not be in MY house, however. I've been sifting through my brain, trying to think of an overall style I don't like as a whole category, and I can't, particularly. There always seems to be someone's work who is an exception. I even have some good friends that own a paint-your-own place, and I went with some family one afternoon, and decorated a travel mug. It felt weird to only be working on one piece, but it was good for entertainment, which I think is mostly the purpose of those places. I find overall, I dislike bad proportions, uncomfortable handles and a lack of attention to detail in finishing. If something is left crude or unfinished, I think it needs to be done as a conscious decision, not just as an accident or because the artist was careless or lazy. (Edit: think slab plates with rough edges and the canvas texture still left on.) And I think as a cousin to those face jugs, if one more person asks me if I can make them one of those yarn bowls where it's a face, and the yarn gets threaded out the nostril, I'm gonna scream! Grossgrossgrossgrossgross!!