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Callie Beller Diesel

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About Callie Beller Diesel

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  • 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. Callie Beller Diesel

    What’s on your workbench?

    @Rae Reich type an @ and then begin typing the person's screen name. A drop down menu will appear, and you can just click on the right one.
  2. Callie Beller Diesel

    1st show this Sat, kinda freaking out

    Yay! That's an awesome first time out.
  3. Thanks Mark! Sometimes I do words good. And I’m kind of living that reality myself at the moment. The process takes longer than I’d like, but it has had its rewards.
  4. Callie Beller Diesel

    What’s on your workbench?

    I got some mugs out of the kiln last Monday. I am making more mugs this week. Because mugs.
  5. I think maybe not enough is said about small shows being good in the beginning, particularly if you have not experience running other businesses. They teach you lessons that can be scaled into larger shows, and as you find your sweet spot of what sells and to whom, they allow you to build up enough capital to grow your business. They allow you to learn about all the hats you have to wear, and about professionalism. They teach you how to be answerable to only yourself, how to build schedules, how to forecast stock needs and project income. They allow you to experiment with your branding and find what works, and what doesn't. If any given show doesn't work out, you are out the time and effort, definitely. But you don't loose your shirt, generally, on a $150 table, and even learning that something doesn't work is at least a step towards finding what does.
  6. Callie Beller Diesel

    1st show this Sat, kinda freaking out

    If you have a smartphone and a Staples nearby, you have time to get a Square set up to take your own credit card payments. The online account takes about 15 minutes to get sorted out (including time spent fumbling around finding your bank account information), and Staples sells the swipe unit for $10, which Square will credit back to your account when you get your account set up. The chip reader is worth purchasing if you really get into this. In terms of deciding on the seconds: If you can't decide on a specific item, don't put it out yet. If you come across as desperate for sales by putting out items you don't think are adequate, it makes it that much harder to not talk down your own work and loose sales that way. Hang onto them if you must, and once you feel more confident in your abilities, you'll find you're much more able to make a more dispassionate decision about them. Think about the story I told about the guy commenting about my "crooked" bowl: It would have been impossible to process that without an emotional meltdown if I hadn't been confident about the piece. If you're already feeling self conscious about your work, you aren't able to say to yourself " that person didn't buy it because it just wasn't their taste," rather than saying to yourself "I'm not selling things because my stuff sucks." Set yourself up for success and leave them at home.
  7. Callie Beller Diesel

    How can I fix a crazed pot

    Crazing is caused by a mismatch in the shrinkage rates of the glaze and the clay body underneath it. Refiring won’t help, I’m afraid. Unless the urn is for food use, which if I recall this specific one is NOT, the crazing doesn’t need to be considered a flaw. If the jar is for burial, crazing can be embraced as aesthetically desirable.
  8. I try to work clean, because I hate doing the Big Clean. If you break the big jobs down into small bits you do as you go, it's not so overwhelming. I don't deal well with visual clutter that reads as a mess. I'm not a total neat freak or anything, but I don't like seeing a million unfinished tasks in front of me when I come into my studio. Surfaces are wiped pretty frequently to keep the dust down, and mopping gets done after trimming and glaze days. Hands are cleaned in a bucket before being wiped with a towel, tools are rinsed in a bucket after the throwing sessions and the major messes are wiped as they're made. I have to be really careful of dust, because my studio is in he basement, and I don't want the bad stuff getting sucked all through the house by the adjacent furnace.
  9. Callie Beller Diesel

    Staining Amaco versa clay #20 Body

    I think perhaps that the amount of porosity you want in your ocarinas can be achieved by brushing or spraying a light coat of clear glaze over the outside of the piece, leaving the inside unglazed. Or alternately, a light spray of soda ash or other flux dissolved in water. Something with just enough flux to brighten the colours of the agate ware up, but not enough to seal the piece completely. And don't be afraid of terra sig. It's easy and pretty fun to make, if you're a fan of the sort of kids' science experiments you can do at home. Marcia Selsor has a most excellent method that involves a pop bottle. If you're using stains to colour sig made in this fashion, be sure to add the stain after you decant your sig. The particles are relatively heavy and will wind up in the bottom layer that you discard. https://www.marciaselsorstudio.com/how-to-make-terra-sigillatta.html
  10. Callie Beller Diesel

    Staining Amaco versa clay #20 Body

    You mentioned wanting to experiment with terra sig. Colouring that, rather than your clay body might give you the colour response you’re looking for while keeping the porosity of the clay.
  11. Callie Beller Diesel

    1st show this Sat, kinda freaking out

    A server’s cash apron that doesn’t leave your body is much more secure than a cash box.
  12. Callie Beller Diesel

    1st show this Sat, kinda freaking out

    Your setup is a good one for your first market, although enough can not be said about the importance of good tent weights. As long as there's no storms or high winds, a tent like that is fine for a first go-round to see if fairs are the kind of things you like to do. If you like them, you can upgrade later. I would suggest that you don't have a seconds selection at all if you're feeling self conscious about your firsts. You will find that a lot of the buying public has no idea whatsoever about ceramic process, but they will buy something they like the look and feel of. People are valuing imperfect and handmade things right now, even if they don't know (or particularly care) about how it was made. They are looking at your pots with different eyes, and have been taught to value different things. Different doesn't mean better or worse: it means different. There will be a lot of people that will tell you "nice work." Say thank you when they do this. If you aren't accustomed to compliments, the level of them you're about to get can feel weird. It can either be a really needed ego boost, or trigger some serious imposter syndrome attacks. Try and aim for the former. It's a lot more fun! You also asked about others' first show experience. Mine was a pretty drastic rollercoaster. It was a one day Night Market that I had carefully scoped out a couple of months before to see if people going to it, and if they were actually shopping. (they were). I had rented a tent from the organizer that was up to city code, so they were in charge of setting it up and weighting it properly, thank goodness. I arrived early for setup, being all anxious and unfamiliar, and wanting to give myself lots of time. We were to unload our gear into our space, and then park our vehicles as quickly as possible. As soon as I'd unloaded my cardboard boxes full of pots and other gear onto the pavement under my tent, the heavens opened in a magnificent torrential show of what Nature is capable of! The storm lasted about 15-20 minutes, ruining my boxes with all the water that flowed from the centre of the road, through my booth and into the gutters behind. My BF who was helping me got soaked to the skin and had to have her hubby bring dry clothes. But onwards and upwards, because we are professionals! After that, the night was pretty chilly, but everyone came out anyways. Most people were very complimentary, but I had one guy. He decided that since his friend had taken a pottery class, her stuff was far superior to mine, and told me that "whoever made this bowl didn't make it very even." It was wheel thrown and faceted. He didn't realize I was the artist, and that I thought his analysis was was kind of funny with its abject lack of knowledge, so I just gave him enough rope to hang himself with. The friend caught on much faster that I was the maker, was totally mortified by his behaviour, and she hustled him out of my booth when I asked if they'd had a chance to check out the rest of the show. I made $250 that night, which I was enormously proud of, and had to pack my remaining stock up into my reusable grocery bags that were fortunately in the van for a change. It was pretty fun!
  13. Callie Beller Diesel

    Calcining Cobalt Carbonate

    Soren, I'm sorry, I'm late to the party. Others have supplied the answers I would have to your question. With regards to the intensity of colour you're getting compared to Chris: it should be noted that Chris works with porcelain. Translucency will be a factor.
  14. Callie Beller Diesel

    Calcining Cobalt Carbonate

    If you're looking to save money, a body stain will be cheaper than using either oxide or carbonate.
  15. Callie Beller Diesel

    Need help choosing clay for Paper clay

    You definitely need to mix your fibre with some kind of slip and let it dry out. Wedging is a no-go. Adding the pulp will add strength to the unfired piece, so I think it's a good idea from a structural point of view. Denice is right: do a small experiment with the paper clay. It is possible to get detail with paper clay, but it does require a slight adjustment in your working methods. Additive methods tend to work better than carving. Carving can be done, but your metal tools will get dull and the fibre will leave marks as it gets pulled out, so there's more cleanup if you want a smoother look.

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