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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. Ideal studio setup

    I think an important thing to do would be to think about your work flow, and how any given piece moves through your studio before it's finished. Think about a work triangle, similar to the way you would want an efficient kitchen set up. I agree about putting as many things as you can on wheels, with the addendum that I would have a look at how smooth the floor surface is, and make sure the wheels or castors you get roll smoothly enough that ware carts won't rattle too much.
  2. I have a varied employment history, stemming from the fact that I didn't know I had ADHD until I was 37. I kept picking things that were uniquely unsuitable for me because they were jobs I thought anyone (ha!) should be able to do, and an art degree in ceramics doesn't make you obviously employable for bloody much. It turns out being self employed plays to my strengths a lot more than being "respectably" employed by someone else. Since graduation, I have: -worked at a scented candle wholesaler in ordering/customer service -run Dean Stark tests on tar sand samples -worked as a security guard for a friend's company for about 6 months -worked as a cashier supervisor at a health food store -packed organic groceries for an online delivery service -worked at Canadian Tire part time for a bit, post first baby -receptionist/physio assistant at a physio clinic -worked at a bespoke glass design work shop doing all kinds of things (Keep in mind, I graduated at 23, and I'm 41 now.) It has been the longest, weirdest journey towards owning my own business, and I can't really recommend it as an efficient learning experience. But everything I did before taught me things that I need now, like bookkeeping and cash outs, how to do custom and bespoke orders and make money doing it, how to cope with working 10-12 hour days, the difference between good and bad customer service, how wholesale works, how net 30/60/90 works, trade shows, dealing with shippers, and that's just what I can think of off the top of my head.
  3. Shopping for My First Kiln

    Two things. 1) I have my kiln in a metal shed outside with no further venting. It works a treat! I don't have brightness issues with my glazes, but I also have a very different palette than dhPotter. You can stalk me through the links in my signature below to get an idea. 2) I found the electrician that did my install through my local clay supplier. I paid him about $500, including parts. Has your supplier got a recommendation or two? Who else do you know with a kiln, and can you get their electrician's name? I know nothing about US rules, but in Canada, kilns have their own section of the electrical code. Because of this, my cousin, who is a journeyman commercial electrician, wouldn't touch my install because he didn't know enough and didn't want to cause a house fire. The guy who did it knew his stuff, and was done in a few hours.
  4. Fill In already fired logo in bowls

    Paper clay always has a subtle texture to it. I'm not sure I'd want to use this on a surface like a plate, where irregular surfaces would be a bad thing. But if it wasn't a plate meant for eating off of, it could work. Min's Fish Sauce recipe will give a smooth, flat surface, and that stuff really does stick to everything.
  5. Raku Rocket - Kiln #3 by Ian Gregory

    Talk to the good peeps at Ceramics Canada for either Kanthal or nichrome wire. I believe they sell it by the foot for projects such as this. And if you want a longer hose for your tiger torch, you might check any welding supply place like Praxair. They'll have good gloves and safety gear, too. Edit: a barbecue tank holds enough for a firing, depending on how cold it is out. And if you let your neighbour put a pinch pot or two in, he might think you're a bit less weird. At least let him know about the smoke from the reduction bins. People get jumpy when they see that much of it in the middle of the city.
  6. ^^^^ example of healthy relationship with failure.^^^^
  7. Art Fairs with Ceramics

    I trip over some of Tom’s old posts, and it hits me in the feels, too. He was in Winnipeg, if he never told you. The original post is from when I was still lurking. I paid attention to the words both you and Mea said about having a simple and easily packed booth when I was designing my own. It saved me a lot of stress. I agree with Neil about the plastic bins: I got caught with cardboard in a downpour once, and was thankful that I had a big bunch of reusable shopping bags that live in my van when it came time to pack up. Went out the next week with some of the sale proceeds and bought some Rubbermaids.
  8. I think you are not meant to be a potter if you can't find a comfortable relationship with constant failure. The learning curve can be so very steep, not only with the material initially, but with all parts of the making process, and beyond into the professional development areas. The best lessons I've had from clay all involve resiliency, and getting up that one time more than I fell.
  9. Trimming Issues

    The sand would shift somewhat under the centrifugal force and not hold the pot steady, especially when you're applying lateral pressure from a trimming tool. The pot would wobble, kind of like when you use clay wads that are too soft. Also, the sand would mark up the pot if it was still damp enough to trim.
  10. If one of your students....

    I think your response was spot on, for all the reasons Pres and Chris already stated. And I think that even if she is on the Autism/Asperger's spectrum somewhere, the strategies involved in dealing with that all involve setting healthy, compassionate and firm boundaries, not accepting inappropriate outbursts, and not feeding them when they do happen. Exactly like what you already did. If you both wish to continue the teaching relationship, (and feel free not to if its not a level of mentorship you're willing to take on after that!) I'd take her aside outside the class so that she isn't taking other student's time, and you're not inadvertently embarrassing her in front of other people. Explain to her that while your classes are geared to set students up to produce a succesful piece, ceramics still has a certain amount of process that's involved. It takes some time to learn, just like playing a musical instrument. She wouldn't expect to play "Stairway to Heaven" the fifth time she picked up a guitar. Glazing is complicated, and she should cut herself some slack, and allow herself some space to learn and do it wrong. But if she has comments or questions, she needs to word them respectfully. Calling you a liar in your own home studio in front of a class full of other people isn't okay, and if she persists, she won't be welcomed back. You need to do this for your students, so that their class time is being respected, as well as for yourself!
  11. Porcelain vs white stoneware coated w/ porcelain

    I agree with Min and Nerd, if you want to put porcelain slip over stoneware. I've done it to get the best glaze fit/colour balance for a favourite celadon of mine, and it works a treat. That said, try throwing some porcelain. It might not be as bad as you think. If you buy a box of porcelain and don't like throwing with it, you're not really out much, and you can say you tried it. If you do like it, well, you have your next clay rabbit hole to go down.
  12. pinholes on glazed bowls

    If the pinholes were in the parts of the kiln that you know were underfired, then chances are good that a bit more heat work was required to smooth them out. Pinholes in this instance are the result of different gasses from the clay and/or glaze being released as part of the chemical reactions that happen at high temperatures. Because glaze is pretty viscous, it needs time to properly release all those gasses and have the resulting bubbles heal over. What was your kiln pack like? if there's only a small amount of difference in the temperatures and heat work between the top and bottom of the kiln (say half a cone or so) the pack may be to blame. Heat rises, even in a small-seeming kiln. To counteract this, you want to have more thermal mass at the top of the kiln than at the bottom. It's a bit counterintuitive, but you want to have your larger objects in the bottom of the kiln, because they tend to be less dense to pack than say, a shelf full of small cups that are all clustered pretty closely.
  13. majolica line shrinking to dashed line

    What are you squeezing out of your bottle? Slip? Glaze? Underglaze? Overglaze? My understanding is that majolica is a white tin-opacified glaze that gets over glaze decoration.
  14. Selling Large Work vs Small Work

    I think if there are pieces that you need to make, you should make them. Just don't stop making the smaller, more bread and butter stuff. If the larger pieces are a different market that tends to move slower, then allow that it may not be your primary income stream. Multiple income streams are a good thing, aren't they? edited to add: make it, take some good images, and look for venues where it might fit.
  15. pieces warping during glaze firing

    If you're using foam, that could be contributing. If you're compressing, it should be on a firm surface, not a soft one.

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