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Callie Beller Diesel

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  1. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Rae Reich in Ergonomics - Detail Work   
    The importance of good, properly cushioned shoes and a closed cell foam mat to stand on can not be understated.
  2. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from GEP in Finding your market   
    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.
  3. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to liambesaw in What’s on your workbench?   
    Got to open the kiln last night, almost everything came out great, which is a blessing for sure.  Started another glaze load last night and hope it's just as dope.
     



  4. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from LeeU in Finding your market   
    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. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to dianen in Ergonomics - Detail Work   
    If anyone is still following this thread, I'm reporting my experience so far with the trestle table. It 's quite nice and does seem to solve the sore upper back issues, but life being what it is, my knees start to complain after standing for too long (by their definition of time). The joys of aging, eh? So, what seems to be working is  alternating between sitting and standing, and taking frequent movement and stretching breaks. Gotta really baby these old bones!
  6. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Min in Firing Schedule for Manual Kiln   
    @natalie.celeste, put a junior cone or bar in the sitter for the cone you want to reach, if the kiln has a timer set it for 12 hours.
    If your ware is over about 1/4" thick or doesn't feel bone dry then you will need to preheat (candle) the ware. Just turn the bottom switch (element) on low and leave it there for approx 6 hours or overnight. Leave the plugs out of the spy holes. The length of time spent on low is something you will have to experiment with over time. To tell if a pot is dry enough to skip the candling put it against your cheek, if it feels cool then it's still damp. Compare how it feels to a pot that you have had sitting around drying for ages.
    Like others have said bisque firing is done at a slower rate than a glaze firing. For bisque, reset the timer to 12 hours if you have one, then all switches on low for 3-4 hours, then med for 3-4 hours then high until the cone bends. Keep an eye on the timer and increase the time is you are getting close to 12 hours and the kiln hasn't finished firing. Place cone packs in front of spy hole(s) and wear eye protection while viewing cones so you don't damage your eyes. Some people fire with the top plug out the entire bisque schedule, some place all plugs back in spy holes after the kiln is a between a dull and cherry red colour inside. (link to kiln firing colour chart below) For glaze firing a couple hours on low and medium then as long as it takes to bring cone 6 down should be a fairly safe schedule. You don't need to preheat (candle) a glaze firing. Just start the kiln when the glazes are dry. Can decrease the time on low and medium after you see how your pots do with this schedule. A lot depends on how large / thick the pots are.
    https://sites.google.com/site/meeneecat/kiln-firing-chart
  7. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to liambesaw in Firing Schedule for Manual Kiln   
    Sorry there isn't really a simple schedule for manual kilns.  Basically you turn it on low for a few hours, on medium for about twice as long and then high until the cone bends.
     
    This is something you're going to have to do and take notes and hone as you get more experience.
  8. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Hulk in QotW: What would your basic tool kit for glazing be?   
    Add scale, dust mask (not a throwaway), graduated cylinder, Epsom salt and/or vinegar, several sizes of kitchen whisk (already mentioned, however, I have one chucked up in my lightweight portable drill - lighter than the 1/2" corded drill + grout mixer), long scraper to check for globs on bucket bottom and particularly the corners, screens/sieves, masking tape, razor blades and utility knife, wax emulsion, map gas torch, assortment of brushes, grout sponges, bucketS, small/purpose cut sponges, patience to wait for stuff to dry, more patience. 
    Haven't been into tongs at all, might give it a go...
  9. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to liambesaw in QotW: What would your basic tool kit for glazing be?   
    Mine is a drill with blunger, a giant whisk, a pouring measuring cup from the dollar store, a turkey baster and a large tiling sponge.  I also occasionally use wax!  No brushes or tongs though, I should probably get some sometime lol 
  10. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Pres in QotW: What would your basic tool kit for glazing be?   
    Hi folks, again no new QotW in the pool so. . . .after last weeks QotW about handbuilding and throwing tool kits lets extend to Glazing.  What would your basic tool kit for glazing be?
    I have been doing a lot of spray glazing of late, and will start off with a pair of dip tongs(for base coat dip glazing), compressor and spray gun. I use a simple one that uses standard quart jars that works really well for my purposes. I would also add a banding wheel, a bucket of water to clean out the sprayer between colors, and a small brush for brush work over glaze. Glazing for me also includes cleanup before loading into the kiln. Include here a potters sponge, a bunch of 1" sponge brushes, a bucket of clean water. I also wax bases of all of my pots before glazing so that would be with an electric skillet and paraffin. 
    What would your glazing kit include?
     
    best,
    Pres
  11. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Roberta12 in Finding your market   
    Hi and welcome!
    So my brain is looking longingly at your $75 rent plus 20% comission situation at that boutique.  In order to cover your overhead for being in that store (not talking about the rest of your costs or making profit, just the expense of being there), you only need to sell $100 or more of work every month. That's about 3-4 mugs, assuming prices in the $25-30 range. That's one pot a week. That's pretty good! If it were me, barring anything weird like 3 months straight of no sales at all,  I'd try the venue out for a full year. You want to establish your presence there and to take advantage of retail cycles. You're going to earn a lot more in the months of November and December than you will in January and February.
    I think the big question here is how you want to try and market your work. Marketing is different than selling. Marketing is finding the right audience of people who will love your work and want to buy it. Selling is closing that deal. If you want to make sales, you have to do the marketing part first. I have lots of thoughts on this subject, but my lunch break is almost over, so I'm going to write more on this tonight.
  12. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from preeta in Is there any way to "whiten" red clay?   
    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?
  13. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to GEP in Best Glaze Colors for 2019 and Craft Fairs - Holiday Markets   
    No. Developing glaze colors takes way too long to follow the annual trends. 
    Make work that you believe in, not what’s trendy. That’s what sells. 
    People who buy handmade pottery are not the same people who follow annual fashion trends. 
    I endorse the idea of getting rid of the “hodge podge” of glazes and sticking to one or two glazing schemes. Pick the ones you believe in the most. 
  14. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from harleydp in Why make functional ware?   
    ....and then there's at least one j3rk at every show that has to make a crack about the "bowls with all the holes in them" being not very good for soup. And it's always the husband.  
  15. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to GEP in Creating a booth for the first time   
    Nothing wrong with foam core risers! If you cut and construct them cleanly, they will work just fine. You want people to look at your work, and not notice the risers at all. Foam core will also be a lot lighter than wood. When you’ve been doing shows for a while, you start looking for ways to make things lighter. There will always be more than enough heavy lifting to do at shows.
    No matter what you choose to build your risers out of, design them so they pack flat!
    Since your items are small, I would suggest a booth layout that is more like a jeweler’s booth than a potter’s booth. Jewelers don’t need as much display space. They tend to put part of their display across the front of their booth, so passers-by will see the small work close up without needing to enter the booth. 

  16. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Min in Glazing an awkward size/shape   
    One of my favourite glazing tools are staple removers, they just leave 2 tiny snakebite marks on the surface. I would use one staple remover to hold the pot nearly vertical over a catch basin then with your other hand pour the glaze over the pot. I would do each side right after the other to minimize glaze overlaps showing. If you have someone to help it would help if they held the pot while you poured. (and practice with a tray or something to get the rhythm right before doing the pots) Where the glaze goes around the staple remover I just rub the snakebite marks over when the glaze is dry.
    If you do decide to make the dipping glaze up as a brushing glaze then I would just add the CMC (or brushing medium or Magma) to the small amount of glaze needed to glaze these pots and save the rest to use for a dipping glaze. Would save making up 5lbs of brushing glaze when you don't need that much.
     

  17. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Rae Reich in Lowest price pots you sell retail   
    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.
  18. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Marcia Selsor in What’s on your workbench?   
    Getting ready for my exhibition as one of 3 signature artists for our local Art Center Fundraiser; Art in the Beartooths. I have been firing and doing a few re-firings. Making interesting discoveries , at least for me regarding slight differences in temperature for soluble salts.

  19. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from JeffK in Defloculated slip   
    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. 
  20. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Pres in Is there any way to "whiten" red clay?   
    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?
  21. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Roberta12 in Charge Sales Tax separate or include in price?   
    Yes, Colorado requires that out of state businesses pay one of Colorado's numerous sales taxes.  But if I ship out of state, I do not have to pay that states sales tax, unless they require it.  It's all quite layered.  Takes a lot of research to make certain you are compliant.  That is one reason that shows are a bit easier.  All you have to do is learn that locale's rules and regs and you are ok.  
  22. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from liambesaw in Charge Sales Tax separate or include in price?   
    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.
  23. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from moh in Creating work exclusively for chefs   
    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.
     
  24. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Roberta12 in Charge Sales Tax separate or include in price?   
    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.
  25. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Min in QotW: What would your basic tool set be for handbuilding, or throwing?   
    I use pretty much the same basic tools as others but also a section of a metric tape measure. I make all same type pots with lids have a standard size lid, I set the callipers to the measurement for that particular type pot or just use the tape measure. (I find metric is so much easier to measure with than imperial)
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