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Callie Beller Diesel

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Everything posted by Callie Beller Diesel

  1. Callie Beller Diesel

    first craft fair WWYD?

    We actually just returned the ones we stole in college to the back of the same establishment we liberated them from once we got some more grown up soloutions.
  2. If you know anything at all about Native American culture, you know that a 19 year old white girl running around Coachella in a feathered headdress is like dressing up as a "sexy decorated war veteran" and going to a Remembrance Day ceremony. It's super disrespectful, and it's in really bad taste. There's always going to be someone who says "hey, I don't mind looking at that," or "what's the big deal? It was meant as a compliment!" but if it's your culture and your tradition, you know more about it than an outsider. If someone says "hey, the way you're doing that is not okay!" as an outsider to that culture, you need to heed that. You don't get to tell someone else what they should or shouldn't be offended by if you have less knowledge on the subject. As an outsider to a culture, you may be well meaning as an individual, but many things have been done with good intentions that had catastrophic outcomes for the people on the receiving end. There are some really big holdover attitudes from British colonialism to just assume that another culture's artworks, religion and traditions all carry equal weight within that culture, or that the weight placed on those things are somehow analogous to how we behave in our own. In a lot of cases, it's not true, and I think that's where white folks tend to get frustrated and confused. We lack important, accurate information, and it's a serious effort to track that information down because there's a lot less in depth information recorded about other cultures than the dominant one. So we do dumb things in the name of trying to learn about something that wind up being hurtful. But what about artistic growth and cross-cultural influence? What about all the cross pollination that happened between China, Japan and Korea in terms of celadon development? What about blue and white ware's influence on middle Eastern ceramics? How about a more modern phenomena of European Christian missionaries going to Japan and teaching the locals about knitting, a handcraft they hadn't developed themselves yet? Japanese knitting patterns are now some of the most interesting and challenging out there, and the colours used in the yarn choices of Japanese knitting designers definitely shows a distinct sensibility from European choices. That kind of cultural borrowing is totally okay, because no one places a religious or spiritual value on knitting. There are some interesting cultural traditions around knitting design, but the motifs that are traditional in different areas generally don't have a deeply emotional/spiritual significance attached to them. There is an active conversation being had between the two cultures. Or, in the ceramic cases above, there were some shared cultural points (Zen Buddhism throughout Asia) where people were starting from, and then taking the techniques in their own directions. So I suppose I think cultural inspiration is possible to do responsibly, but you have to be willing to put a LOT of work into the research and learning part in order to be properly informed. I think it's best to had some direct, meaningful contact with that culture. It ought to mean something to you personally, and not just be a cool subject you learned about in school or in a book. I think you also have to not look at the specific motifs or techniques that are being used, but look at what the artists that use them are looking at and being inspired by. You have to be able to continue the conversation that's being had in that area with your own voice and contribute something intelligent to that conversation. Otherwise, it's like Liam says and you're just profiting off someone else's ideas, which isn't cool.
  3. Callie Beller Diesel

    Slip reclaim

    I just offloaded a few buckets of reclaim to a friend who needed to repair his cob pizza oven. It was win-win.
  4. Callie Beller Diesel

    New Potter

    I started young, but I think I'm the exception more than the rule in that. Don't let age stop you, definitely take the class, and buy the equipment if you love doing it. And welcome!
  5. Callie Beller Diesel


    There was a thread a while back that addressed the obfuscatory language used in a lot of academic artists' statements, and I can't find it. We had fun trying to translate. Anyways. Here's a link from the Globe and Mail opinions that I thought was applicable. https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/lets-stop-pretending-academic-artspeak-reflects-actual-research/article36785084/?mc_cid=ff1e3e039d&mc_eid=1d64d860e9
  6. Callie Beller Diesel

    first craft fair WWYD?

    This time of year you can't go too wrong with Christmas ornaments or mugs. If shows aren't going to be something you're doing a lot of, I wouldn't go too nuts in terms of building displays or spending money on it at this point. Others have already made good suggestions. I'd add a cash apron to your list of supplies, along with a $50 float. An apron is more secure because your money is always on you, and they're compact, which can be an important consideration if you just have a table space. Some sort of dollar store price stickers are handy, too. Business cards are a nice-to-have, if you think you might want to do this more in the future. Some of your pricing will depend on where you are, but as a rule it's a good starting point to figure out what the going rate in your area is for various pots, and put yourself in line with that. You won't make too many sales if you're asking way more than the going rate, and it isn't professional to undercut prices. I believe even if you're only ever going to do a show or two, you should still behave professionally, because it does matter. It protects you and your reputation, and it's a courtesy to your customers and your peers.
  7. Callie Beller Diesel

    What’s on your workbench?

    Here’s how the gravy boat redesign turned out.
  8. Callie Beller Diesel

    overnight warm up?

    Many clay people and artists in general can work odd hours, and some people who are blessed with enough space to do so will incorporate a couch somewhere away from the dust. Sleeping there isn’t usually the primary or even secondary intended purpose of the space, but it could be done in a pinch. It’s a nice-to-have, not a must-have.
  9. Callie Beller Diesel

    Difficulty applying an ice crackle glaze

    .25% cobalt carbonate will give your glaze a lovely soft blue colour. Which isn't so lovely if that's not what you were going for. To my knowledge, it doesn't work as a preservative. I have used both hairspray and laundry starch to overspray glazed pieces back in the days when I was still transporting all my work. Both help, but it isn't a total fix to the problem. You still have to handle everything carefully. Hairspray is cheaper than laundry starch.
  10. Callie Beller Diesel

    Glazing a mortar and pestle

    I think as long as the clay is fired to maturity and has the lowest porosity you can manage, it should be ok. After all, they sell mortar and pestle sets that are made from stone or volcanic rock that are likely more porous than mature clay. If you're grinding things, they work better if they're not a glassy glazed surface.
  11. I'm in the stage where I'm questioning which pots need feet. I don't know that putting feet on something is a bad habit, I think it's just an aesthetic/ time choice. I personally prefer a footed bowl, but as long as the bottom is finished and given some consideration in terms of the overall design, the lack of one doesn't indicate a bad habit. I was forever and always being told I threw too fast while still in school. Now it's considered "efficient use of time."
  12. Callie Beller Diesel

    Release agents

    No. It might add some “flavour” in the reclaim bucket, but nothing that won’t burn out in the kiln. I would suggest using cornstarch, though. The oil can sometimes vacuum things down a bit, especially if you’re using a smooth plastic item as your mold.
  13. Callie Beller Diesel

    First Employee

    I will certainly agree that fully understanding the labour code in your area is important as a business owner. Not everyone is a good fit for every job, and knowing when and how to end a working relationship legally protects both you and your employee. Setting out clear expectations for employees and offering training to get them to that point is part and parcel of being a boss.
  14. Callie Beller Diesel

    Reclaimed clay

    Bone dry scrap will slake faster, for sure, but even clay fresh out of the bag will turn to mush if left in water overnight. I don't have time or space to lay out trimmings to dry out, but I will dry out bigger pieces. You do have to make sure there's no lumps left in the slurry if you're breaking down trimmings, because the teeny bits just don't wedge out.
  15. Callie Beller Diesel

    Slip Casting - need help please

    Try this. It’s not a video, but it’s from a reliable source https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/daily/ceramic-supplies/pottery-clay/how-to-make-casting-slip-clay-body/
  16. Callie Beller Diesel

    Why is glaze blue

    If you put that over a red clay body or slip, the effect will be more pronounced. Usually if you’re using titanium as an opacifer, you get a white or a cream that would look innocuous enough alone, but would react interestingly with other glazes, or as you’ve found, react with the clay underneath. If you think this look is something you’d like to play with but want a whiter white, try a 50/50 split of titanium and zircopax. If you just want a flat white, use either tin or zircopax. Also, if you’re going to be testing various shades of white, make some test pots to do it on. Standard test tiles are too small to give you an accurate representation of what will happen on an actual piece, and things like this crop up as surprises.
  17. Callie Beller Diesel

    What’s on your workbench?

    Right now? What isn’t on my workbench!
  18. Callie Beller Diesel

    Giffin grip

    If your pot is flying off the wheel, there are a few things that could be happening. 1) did you dampen the wheel head, and push the pot down gently once it’s centred so that the piece vacuums down a bit before you put the clay wads in place? 2) is the pot a little on the dry side? They’re easier to knock loose if the rim of the piece is a bit beyond leather hard. If the pot is pretty dry, it can also suck enough moisture out of the clay wads and make them shift. 3) is your tool dull, leading you to push too hard on the piece, or are you trying to take off too much at once? A sharp tool with a light touch is easier on your work and on your body. 4) are you keeping your off hand on top of the pot and applying downward pressure while supporting your dominant hand holding the trimming tool? This trick prevents a lot of high speed pot launches. Proper bracing is just as important during trimming as it is during centering. As others have mentioned, trimming is yet another skill to practice and master when learning to make pots. It definitely makes that Giffen grip look really tempting, but the price point is definitely a factor. My job is my pottery, but I’m not at the point where I’m doing Mea or Mark’s level of volume, and I don’t own a GG yet. I trimmed 50 pots on Saturday just tap centering. It took me about 4 hours, including stretch breaks. Full disclosure: I did borrow a friend’s GG to try, and I found I I don’t like using one. Your struggles are normal, and we’ve all been there. Keep at it!
  19. Callie Beller Diesel

    Reclaimed clay

    You need to keep the stuff out of your throwing bucket and your splash pan. Add it back in to the trimmings and other bits, and mix to a smooth slurry with a paint mixing bit and a corded drill. I use Plainsman too, and if you use this method, you shouldn’t have any issues with reclaim.
  20. I use my right index finger, backed with the ring and pointer of the same hand to push down, and then draw the clay towards myself to open. This method was taught to me by someone who studied ergonomics and kinesiology before becoming a potter. He said that using your muscles in this method was a stronger, more stable pull. This method can be used on smaller pots, and then scaled up by adding the left hand on top of the right for heavier weights of clay.
  21. Callie Beller Diesel

    Terri’s Earthy Rusty Yarn bowl

    More results from the first raku firing n
  22. Callie Beller Diesel

    Terri’s Earthy Rusty Yarn bowl

    It's your piece @terrim8. I'm not going to tell you what to do with it.
  23. Callie Beller Diesel

    "Try Me!" it said..

    A fully functioning miniature wheel made by a member of Workshop Studios
  24. Callie Beller Diesel

    applying slip for stencil decoration

    I did see one guy cut out a stencil he used extensively out of a 2” stack of tightly clamped newspaper with a coping saw... Cricuts come in varying levels of capabilities. They’re used by scrapbookers pretty extensively.
  25. Callie Beller Diesel


    Just so you know, Skyler promptly appropriated this as his own.

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