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Mouten Keramik

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About Mouten Keramik

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    http://www.moutenkeramik.dk

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    Denmark
  1. Thanks for the responses! The thing is, I've never seen a downdraft venting system applied to any kiln at the potters I've visited. I'm not sure where I would even order a commercial grade downdraft kiln venting. I'll ask the main Danish supplier (thihi) what they usually recommend, but I cannot find a product that would surffice in their Catalogue. Dick: Good point about the air supply! My neighbour is actually a potter as well, whom I visited yesterday. He had a powerful vent for when he sprayed on glaze (but none for the kiln), which required the door to be opened slightly, so new air could enter. If the ventilation was turned on, before the door was opened, it couldn't be opened - powerful stuff! Safety first! New solution to the problem: there's a large wooden shed with a door and a window, behind our carport in the driveway. There's already a CEE outlet which is required for the kiln I've purchased. Maybe it would be best to use the kiln there? The shed is not heated, but it is quite solid. How well does a kiln perform in cold environments? It gets below 0 degrees centigrade during winter. I know the the gasses and fumes would still be present, but it is easier to ventilate naturally, and isn't beneath our living room floor. EDIT: I've found the following recommendation from a british supplier: "Electric kilns, unlike gas or oil, produce no fumes, it is only the products of combustion and volatilisation from clays and glazes that may produce emissions. Harmful fumes are mostly generated at low levels, there will be traces of a variety of materials and smoke arising from combustion of carbonaceous materials. We quote from "The Electric Kiln" by Harry Fraser published by A & C Black: "...the hazard is lowered on account of the air dilution factor of that fraction (of noxious fumes) which escapes from the kiln and it is probable that the concentration of noxious gases in an unventilated room will be of similar hazard to that encountered walking down a busy high street." Certain materials, for example ceramic transfers and lustres can produce more harmful fumes, the manufacturers of these materials will advise on specific hazards but the volume of any toxic emissions is so small that air dilution will render them safe." From that text it sounds like I don't even need a ventilation system? The basement room I plan on using in has two small windows that can be opened, and is about 17 m2 / 183 ft2. The oven is a 70 liters / 18 gal in size.
  2. Thanks for the advice to both of you. Dick: As far as I can tell the Dayton blower you provided a link for, is basically the motor that goes into a cooker hood - it has around the same suction power as well. I guess one could find a used cooking hood motor and use that for the venting system. I've also looked a bit on used suction systems from hair salons - they are about the same size, and the arms provide some flexibility in terms of kiln placement. I can get a motor and two arms for about $350 which is fairly cheap.
  3. So me and the wife finally moved into our new (old) house, which has a decent amount of spacious basement for a studio I'm in the process of figuring out where to put everything and how to setup the necessities. One of these is ventilation of the brand new toploaded electric kiln. I was contemplating what the best solution to the venting problem is, since it can get quite expensive, and as far as I know, none of the Kiln distributors in my area offer the downdraft solution (also I feel bad drilling holes in my brand new kiln). So far I think the best budget solution is to get an old vacuumer and make a custom wide nossle for it. The vacuumer would need to be outside, and a hole would need to be installed somwhere in the basement, but that seems quite managable. Can any of you see potential downsides to this solution, other than the need to haul the vacuumer outside, and turning it on, when I fire the kiln? Is there a better budget solution? Thanks in advance.
  4. I think everyone runs into the know-it-all customer type, that you mention. I run into them rarely, but when I do, I just nod a long, which in my experience makes them go away faster. They do leave me depressed, however, but usually not longer than until the next customer shows up.
  5. What I like to do, when setting up a booth, is to create consistence through color. It makes a booth a lot easier on the eye to a customer who is new to your products. It can be quite the challenge if you, like me, like to try different things all the time. Usually it works out though, and I've begun to stay within some limits in terms of color, as well as style. Height can really bring a lot of presentation to your pieces, making the ones you're most proud of stand out. Here's a picture from my latest stall (which was acutally smaller than promise, so everything couldn't quite fit ).
  6. So far I've yet to experience customers (potential or real) ask for a discount. My hope is that they realize my prices are already low compared to the level of craftsmanship that go into the pieces. I know, however, that there would be a lot more haggling taking place, if I attended events that wasn't specifically aimed towards people seeking craftsmanship.
  7. Most of the job for the staff at the communal studio I attend is cleaning. While attendees are expected to clean up after themselves, the staff handles negleted areas, flat surfaces etc. While our manager makes a habit of letting people know that there is no sanding of bisque ware unless done under an exhaust device, most of the experienced users are also kind enough to let the newbies know. While regulations can go some way, in my experience it really is up to the users to enforce them, for it to work. Dust is a serious health risk, and everybody should be able to agree that sanding bisque ware is a no-no if not done with the proper equipment.
  8. I too used to have a garden of shame, but I decided it was time to cut it down, in order for new things to grow - or in other words, I needed the space for other stuff. Certain family members tried to steal the lumber, but I managed to steal it back. The thought of my trees of shame taking root in other people's gardens is too much to bear. I would rather they took some of the prime trees instead.
  9. Thanks a lot! I'll share it with my kouhai's taking ceramic classes in Japan.
  10. The name I chose for my business "Mouten Keramik" is made up of my first name spelled out phonetically as a Japanese person would say it, and the word for ceramics in my native language. I use the kanji (japanese characters) for "saying politely" and "Heaven"/"Svarga" as a stamp on my pots (the characters spells out "Mouten"). The thought was that it was a good representation of the humility you have to approach the field of ceramics with, if you want to master it. The name felt natural to me, but actually sounds kind of awkward when you bark it out in Danish. Atleast it stands out.
  11. I've found that your studio setup dosen't have to be expensive, if you want professional results. Like you I dreaded the investment in Varitone backdrops etc. When I found that I simply couldnt afford it, i decided to go the DIY route. Here's an (admittedly bad) picture of my setup: With which I'm able to produce these results with a little editing: My studio consists of (Take into account that these are Danish prices, and could possibly be found much cheaper in the US or elsewhere): -White semi glossed wrapping paper for a backdrop - $8 -Ikea lamp with a good bulb able to produce white light - $25 -Light diffuser for lamp made of greaseproof paper and cardboard - $2? -Tripod - $40 -Shadow diffuser, again made with greaseproof paper and cardboard - $2 Total $77 The one place I wouldn't skimp is the camera. While most compact cameras take decent pictures, getting a DSLR has really improved my pictures (the one at the top is taken with the entry-level Nikon D3200).
  12. For me, it's mostly a problem when i throw clay with grog - volcanic grog especially. I do the knuckle-pull when throwing, so if there's any grog lying on the wheel head, my knuckle is pretty disposed. Like PRankin I find that my hands constantly drying out to be a bigger bother.
  13. Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. Like you Mark C., I'm not crazy about obfuscating the photos with other objects - but maybe one of the photos could show measurements. I was actually thinking that maybe perspective and blank space could be used to make size more apparent. The picture in the original post is actually og a 22 cm tall vase. And thanks for the suggestion about description, Amy. I find it a bit difficult to write something about each piece. I'll probably try to focus a bit more on story-telling and describing the process behind each piece. I'll ask the wife and see if she is willing, Clayhouse
  14. My wife has been telling me for the past couple of photo shoots that she thinks it would be difficult to gauge the size of the pieces being a stranger having only the photos as a reference. While I also provide basic measurements (height and width), I feel she has a good point, and want to find a clever way to make size more apparent in the photos of my pieces. So far I haven't got much experience selling my pieces, but the couple of markets I did attended, made it apparent that people like the things I make, and are willing to spend the price I'm asking. I'm trying to beef up my digital presence, and sell my pieces online. This is why the point above is important. Ceramics is something that you really need to hold in your hands in order to decide whether or not you like it. This cannot be done in the digital space, but I want to make an effort and offer my customers something that comes as close to it as possible. Do you guys have any tips on how to make size apparent in photos? (Oh, and I attached a picture, just to show you how I usually do things)
  15. So the first piece came out of the kiln yesterday. I'm somewhat satisfied with the results so far. The colors are as sharply defined as I could possibly have hoped. Next time I'll use gosh on the rim as well, and glaze the interior of the pot with something a lot darker. The shape isn't that exciting, so I'll have to work on that going forward. The other piece I mentioned in the last post went into a million pieces during the bisque firing. Furthermore I fell off my bike, and hurt my hand, so I won't be throwing anything before next week atleast Oh, and yeah, when I wrote about throwing with one hand, I of course meant during the bellying out of the cylinder, having applied the sodium silicate.
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