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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

    HELP! Cone 5 glaze firing going over 16 hours now!

    I find my relays stay on towards the top end of my cone 6-7 firings, so no clicking sounds. Firing by colour is surprisingly accurate, and might be your best indicator at the moment of how hot things got. You won't know for sure until you are able to open it. I know this comes too late, but next time you might want to set your limit timer for an hour longer than your usual firing time.
  2. still haven't had a chance to make any cone 10 stuff but I'll get there. Maybe we can go in the spring for a change?

    1. Callie Beller Diesel

      Callie Beller Diesel

      It would save freezing our butts off. 

    2. terrim8


      wouldn't it be great if that actually worked?  (butt freezing) Like that "cool sculpting" you see advertised all over the place :o

    3. Callie Beller Diesel

      Callie Beller Diesel

      But then we couldn't get all ragey about the guilt tactics that diet manufacturers and health clubs use this time of year!

  3. Callie Beller Diesel

    Makin a living with electric kilns at cone 6?

    I'm making my living out of a 7 cu ft electric in my back yard. I do about half as much weight as Mea does, but I'm still building my business: I'm only in 3 1/2 years at this point. I was originally trained at cone 10, but I was obliged to learn cone six chemistry because of availability. In my area, gas kilns that you build yourself are regulated under the same section of the building code as industrial boilers and tar sands equipment. This didn't mean much until a couple of industrial accidents meant that code enforcement for custom built gas heated appliances got pretty draconian across the board, and certain pieces of equipment, like burners, are now only sold to you if you have a gas fitters ticket. (Good for workers, but a PIA for potters.) The upshot of this is, you can't build your own gas kiln anymore, and the pre-built gas kilns that come already certified are not a purchase someone who's building a business with no bank loan can afford right off the hop. Think $2000 for an electric vs $10,000 for the gas. Gas kilns now are only in arts centres, colleges and residencies that have the budgets for them. So all but the older potters in my area that have been grandfathered in are making a living out of electric kilns. I decided when I made my permanent switch that rather than bemoan the loss of the surfaces you get in gas reduction, I'd embrace brighter colours and learning more glaze chemistry. Electric firings are definitely much easier than gas, but I'm personally finding cone six glaze chemistry is more interesting at this point. I'm playing more with how glazes really react and using different fluxes to draw things out of the clay body beneath than I did before. I still try and go to Medalta once a year to fire the salt and soda kilns though, because I still love the surfaces you get with those firing methods. They're different aesthetics, but I love them both.
  4. Callie Beller Diesel

    Reputation for selling cheap pottery

    There have been a lot of much older threads revived just this week, so don't feel like this is an unusual thing at all! I'm curious now what @shawnhar's thoughts are on his original post are. Pricing for anyone is an ongoing discussion, and especially for beginners, it's a complicated thing. It's compounded for beginners, because when *exactly* do you decide you're not a beginner anymore? It's not a function of pure time, because not everyone makes things at the same rate. Is it after a specific number of pots? Probably not that either, because some people are able to improve their work with fewer iterations. (I know I needed to make a lot more pots than the students I started with to achieve a similar level of technical competency.) Regardless of your level of expertise, there's always the question of how do you measure the level of quality of your own work and place yourself within the marketplace?
  5. I think it’s one of those things that you can get started with a few small things for simple projects, but the more you learn and want to specialize, the more you wind up spending. That can be said about a lot of activities that can be either a hobby or a job.
  6. Callie Beller Diesel

    Hate sieving glaze? DIY rotary sieve

    I like Liam’s method as a relatively low tech, less specialty equipment soloution to the problem. Glaze day usually doesn’t sneak up on me as a surprise, so weighing my ingredients out and allowing them to slake overnight and sieving the next day is actually a more efficient use of my time. 20 minutes of hands on work including cleanup to prep a glaze makes more sense than standing over 7kg of materials with a drill mixer in hand for 80 minutes. I think I know one potter in person that owns a wall mounted blunger that they can walk away from while it works. All the other ones I’ve encountered are in institutions.
  7. Callie Beller Diesel

    Gluing Pieces Before Glazing

    If you're dead set on not re-bisquing, you can still use the paper clay patch but you'll have to treat the piece as a once fire and go very slowly up to temp in the kiln. I'd suggest spraying your glaze on as well, as water from the glaze will re-wet the paper clay patch, and it could fall off.
  8. It is more than possible to make clay things on a shoestring. A box of clay and some simple tools might not even add up to $100. I have a friend who handbuilt in her kitchen for years, and earned some very good money as a side gig. She managed a kiln for $500 and her dad did the install. She spent more money on booth fees than studio setup, I think. She did get a slab roller last year though, and bought some of those fancy pastry rolling pins for pattern making, and finally moved into her basement.
  9. Callie Beller Diesel

    Hate sieving glaze? DIY rotary sieve

    I have also seen people mount their 3-5 gallon glaze bucket to a Giffen grip and just hold a large stiff house paint brush stationary while the wheel spins. I've also seen some spectacular accidents when the bucket was just perched on the wheelhead without some sort of security measures. So make sure that bucket won't shift if you're going to try this!
  10. Callie Beller Diesel

    Closing studio

    Nope. Sorry. Strict no sales policy on the public part of the forums, guys. However if anyone wants to share a link with a forum friend who has expressed interest via DM, that is entirely between you
  11. I’ve really just accumulated things slowly over time. The first space I had that wasn’t rented or in school was a large laundry room in a rented house that had my brand new Brent C that was $1600 CAD (knock 30% of that price if you want the US equivalent), and a heavy wooden 2 1/2’ square display plinth that I dumpster dived for from behind a coffee house that I painted and covered in canvas. I still use as my wedging table, although now there’s a patio paver on top of it instead of canvas. I think I bought $200 CAD worth of clay and glaze supplies, and it was cheap because I was firing cone 10 and the materials for that are stupid cheap. At the time, I was transporting work to get it fired. I had plywood bats that I’d made in the wood shop in school for the cost of the plywood, and a kit full of the usual small tools. In my current studio, the purchases have included $50 for paint and some lighting, $300 for my current wire shelving and maybe another $150 for the wall mounted brackets and boards. My work table was free. I’ve picked up a lot of other pieces and dry chemicals from other potters selling stuff because they were moving that it’s hard to keep track. The kiln was $500 and the install, including building the patio slab it’s on and the electrician was about $2300. The patio slab was most of that. My studio has grown over time, usually in increments of $100-200. It’s been a matter of make some stuff with the things you have, and then upgrade with the proceeds of your sales. The biggest 2 purchases were the wheel and the patio slab, and they were purchased 15 years apart.
  12. Callie Beller Diesel

    Slip- Engobe Study

    Anecdotally, I don't think the temperature affecting casting slip rheology is information that's entirely lost: it's just not showing up here, or maybe isn't well documented if the documenters in question don't live somewhere cold. I have a friend who owns a paint your own pottery place who began casting her own figures to save money. Because of some space concerns, at one point she was casting in her unheated garage before the weather really warmed up in the spring, and was having a lot of trouble. She consulted with a local expert who told her about the temperature thing.
  13. Callie Beller Diesel

    I "glaze" fired instead of bisque...

    In this instance, since you have time to remake it, do that. If you want to play around with the overfired pieces after your deadline, it could be an exploration of what you can make happen with your materials.
  14. Callie Beller Diesel

    temp for opening kiln?

    If you have a cone sitter, you just have to lift the latch to turn it back on, and lower it again very gently. But definitely set the timer.

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