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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. I think that having a cohesive look to your booth is definitely a good idea, but as others have noted, it’s not really practical to change your glazes quite that frequently. That said, I usually only sell gravy boats and Christmas ornaments between the start of October and the end of December. It’s the only time folks are looking for those items, and they’re worth having, but not too many people are thinking about heavy sauces during the summer.
  2. I don’t, but I worked too many years as a cashier. Cushioning helps everything from the ankles up.
  3. The importance of good, properly cushioned shoes and a closed cell foam mat to stand on can not be understated.
  4. Notice that Mailchimp calls the people on you list "Contacts" now, instead of "Subscribers." This is because they're really trying to integrate all your email AND social media contacts into one neat, easy, one stop shop for all your internet marketing needs (cue 1950's hand model moves). I think in a lot of instances, it's offering more functionality than tiny businesses like a lot of us here need, but it does leave room to grow. (Their new expanded business model is not without privacy issues, but that might be another long post altogether. That's what's at the heart of their falling out with Shopify.) Mailchimp doesn't want you to delete your contacts entirely, in part because they can still charge you for archived contacts, and in part because they want to be able to use the demographic information from everyone possible to create duplicate audiences for any ad campaigns you might build on Facebook and Instagram. If you're not running ads, it's probably not worth worrying about archiving folks on your list, if you want to weed people out. A cynical part of me says the only reason they allow you to delete subscribers at all is that under Europe's GDPR laws, you have to be able to completely delete someone's stored data history at their request.
  5. All of the things you use in your booth have the ability to subtly suggest the quality level of your pieces. I wouldn't use carpet to cover anything other than the floor. I'd stick to a fabric that doesn't wrinkle if you want to disguise the foam core, if that's the material you choose.
  6. If the glaze in question doesn’t show drips on application, Liam’s suggestion of just touching up the marks with a fingertip or a brush is your best bet.
  7. For inexpensive items, size matters. Perceived value comes in to play a little. 2 lbs of clay makes a soup bowl, which for me is definitely in the $30 (+/- $5) range. I make little multi-use dishes, mini cups, Christmas ornaments etc in the $10-15 range. All things I can knock out in a hurry with minimal effort, and are essentially kiln filler. These items I don't wholesale or consign ever: they're just something I have to be able to offer something at that price point while selling in person. Edit: small things like this are always worth having. They defintely have a way of padding your sales.
  8. I've used both red and blue, and they burn out just fine. The blue is more visible, I find.
  9. If you mix the red and white clays together, it will not stop the iron in the red clay from coming through your glazes. If you mix kaolin to your red clay it won’t do anything to the colour. As a fellow red clay user, your best options are indeed to either add a layer of white slip/engobe, or to embrace the way the colour of the clay comes through the glazes. It can create some beautiful effects. You describe pieces popping off when you applied kaolin slip to your piece, and that the places where it stayed it was yellowish. Did you apply the slip to bisque and then glaze over top, or did you apply the slip to the piece while it was leather hard? With many slip recipes, or even just straight kaolin, when you apply it will affect how well it sticks to the piece. Leather hard is the best stage usually. The yellowish colour of the slip after firing could be that the layer of slip was too thin and the iron from the red clay was coming through that too. It could be a kaolin that naturally contains things like iron or titanium that will make things less white. Do you know what kind of kaolin it is? What does it say on the bag it comes in?
  10. At this point, If you need a very thick slip the consistency of plaster and have no powdered clay to adjust your existing batch, I’d just slake down some of your greenware and not add any flocculant or deflocculant. Keep the water level low. There comes a point where if you’ve added too many things to adjust your consistency, you’re better off starting from scratch.
  11. That actually depends on your state, not mine :). Different States are now allowed to require that out of state internet sellers charge tax on sales in the state. Does your state do this? I don't know. I'd have to look this up, and do my due dilligence as a seller so I don't get nailed. (Interestingly enough, Etsy is supposed to have it set up so that taxes are collected according to the buyer's state to make it easier on small sellers. Unfortunately, it's not fully compliant yet. Apparantly it's taking some time to impliment it all.) Because I was looking this up today, I know that if I want to ship to another province, as long as I have a website that isn't directed at a specific locality, I don't have to collect tax. Hypothetically, if I do facebook ads that are targeted to Vancouver in advance of doing Circle Craft and I get internet sales because of that, then I should technically be charging HST for British Columbia on the internet sales. If someone just happened to find me via organic social media presence and makes a purchase, I don't have to worry about it.
  12. I'm learning all this because I've had to apply for a GST number, which means I have to collect (and remit) Federal Goods and Services Tax. It's 5% on anything considered non-essential. I live in a province that does not have an additional sales tax, but if, for instance, I wanted to go to a show in the province next door, I'd have to apply to also collect the HST (Harmonised Sales Tax), which is GST plus the provincial rate, which can vary. If I'm collecting these taxes, then I can claim back the taxes I pay in the course of doing my business. So if I'm buying materials, I'll be charged GST at the till, but because I have a GST number, I can get the amount I paid back on that quarterly when I remit what I've collected. I can also use the pre tax amount I pay for those same materials as an income tax deduction.
  13. I asked my accountant about the logistics of doing this in Canada, just for kicks. She mentioned, amongst other things, that if I am in a position of having to collect sales tax in a province I don't live in, I can also claim back all sales tax I pay in that province for the trip to get to the show. So the tax on the booth fee, the meals, the gas, hotel, etc. I can claim back, as long as I'm collecting sales tax. Does something like that apply in the various states? added: The Province and the Feds here both tend to take a pretty dim view of you not collecting and remitting taxes when you're supposed to. If you get busted here, you owe them all taxes you should have been collecting, plus interest. Not sure how your authorities deal with such matters though.
  14. I am a believer that all things are possible under the right set of circumstances. It's up to you wether you think you can meet those conditions, or build up to that point, or not. About 2 years ago in late August/early September, there was a designer that came through the farmer's market I work looking for a potter who worked in red clay. She was looking to outfit a restaraunt for an early November start date. She came armed with some inspiration images she'd pulled from Pinterest that were of some extremely amateur slab built plates that would never in a million years stand up to industrial use. She wanted original designs, and needed dishes that numbered in the tens of thousands, expected a 6 week turnaround time, and wanted delivery smack in the middle of Christmas show season. She offered an amount that would be comparable to my take for my Christmas season for this endeavour, but I would have had to give up all my Christmas shows in order to meet it. She saw nothing at all unreasonable with her expectations. No one at that venue was willing or able to take a project like that on. So if this set of expectations is what is normal for the restaraunt industry, an artisinal potter would have to do a few things in order to meet that. First, you'd have to be willing and able to educate any client like this about what is and isn't possible with the material if they want original, never-made-before designs. You'd have to educate them about time frames and durability if they still want original designs after that conversation. If they don't want completely bespoke designs after that first conversation, then you could then concievably pull out your stable of existing glazes that have been properly tested in combination with your clay(s) to use in combination with some forms that you have in your existing lexicon. You'd have to have enough people/equipment/skill to deliver all of these pieces on time, for a cost effective price. Personally, I'd need a pug mill, a jigger/jolly setup, a studio assistant and at least another 10 cu ft kiln to pull off what she wanted. I would have needed a business line of credit to purchase the equipment and hire an unskilled person. The money from that contract would have paid off the line of credit, and if there had been more restaraunts wanting similar setups, I would have been well positioned to take on futher contracts of that nature. Those orders would have come from much farther afield than my home province though, because we've been in the midst of a recession here for a couple of years. So like I said, a lot depends on circumstances. If a coffee shop wanted 100 mugs bowls and sandwitch plates, that I could swing.
  15. If anyone needs further frame of reference, I think I earned about $300 on my first night market. It was 7 hours in the cold and the pouring rain. I don't think paying yourself an hourly rate in the fashion you're talking about is a useful metric for any self employed person who's just starting out. The primary reason for this is that you can't pay yourself money you haven't earned over and above your expenses yet. Mea's already pointed out her formula for figuring out how much per hour she earned, which is a really awesome metric for looking at where you made your most profit. This can help you direct your future efforts in places that will give you your best return on your time and energy. But this method is figuring out what you earned (past tense), rather than what to arbitrarially pay yourself. It's working back from a point. If you're looking for an hourly wage to use in a pricing formula, that's not a really useful method in our situations either. If you figure that as a beginner you can make 10 mugs/hour(random number there), but a more intermediate person is making 20-30 mugs an hour because they've become more efficient and better at what they do, then the intermediate person is being paid the same wage for more work. The person making 100 mugs in a day(Mark C, cough cough) is really getting hosed if they use that formula! Not the way we want to rationalize things. If you're looking for pricing methodologies, I can link to a couple of threads if you'd like. There have been some good ones over the years here.
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