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About Gabby

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    New Potter

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  1. I'll take a stab at this, Lee. The things that make the second maybe more appealing to a woman than a man might be: 1) A flat rather than bowl-like shape makes a collection of rings, pins, and earrings less likely to end up in a tangled heap at the bottom. No one cares if keys and coins end up in a heap. 2) The lacy-type appearance of the decoration of the second might be more a woman's choice than a man's. Looking at colors, my first thought was of my dropping my son off at college and realizing it was way, way hotter than I had expected. I asked him whether he thought I should pick him up a few cooler t-shirts at Target before I left him off. He said yes but added, "Mommy, please get neutral colors. Boys my age will be wearing mostly neutral colors." Having written this, I called my husband over to ask which he liked better and why. He said he liked the top better. He said he didn't like the "bumpy fence-type thing "on the bottom one, while the top one looks "rustically elegant."
  2. Shawnhar, might you be selling yourself a little short now? You have been working on this for only one month and you can see your improvement during that time. Perhaps no one will buy a pot of yours just because it has your name on it. I am guessing that is true of lots of very fine potters! People buy their things because they see them and just love them! I have bought lots of people's work in clay, always because I love the piece and never because of the name of the potter. Have you gone to some craft shows near you to get an idea of what people are doing locally and the prices they charge?
  3. Gabby

    Glaze test question

    My way of testing is to make a cylinder without a base, like the outside of a can, and brush on different glazes at 12 o'clock, 2,4,6, and so forth. As the glazes will look different on different clays, it is easy enough to test appearance and runny-ness in one swoop. I would assume they would run differently on different clays.
  4. Gabby

    Choosing clay types

    My local supplier too has fired samples of each clay they sell. What you can't tell from those samples is how they feel on the hand or how they handle in hand building or on the wheel. But the people at the store can help with that. I am glad clay is so inexpensive. If you get a bag and just hate it, you are out $11 or so.
  5. This is an intriguing question that I too find difficult to answer. As I do not sell work, I am guided only by my taste and don't think in terms of masculine or feminine or what might have broad or targeted appeal. I am female. I like simple forms that are not delicate and definitely not tall and thin. Some of what I do is, in fact, fairly squat. (My favorite dog is the English Bull). But then, I have made pieces in which I have carved in an image of a specific female orangutan about to have a birthday and will soon do a sturdy mug for a friend with either a carved in or painted version of her Newfie-mix. Is that feminine work then?
  6. Gabby

    Unusual Questions

    If you go in Seattle to Seattle Pottery Supply, they have a selection of bisque-fired white but not porcelain ware similar to what paint-your-own places offer. You can paint them at home, using glazes you can also get at SPS, and bring them back for firing, provided they know the glazes you have used are suitable for the object. Alternatively, if it must be porcelain, you can buy a bag of porcelain clay there for maybe 12 dollars for 20 pounds. You can also buy one of their bisque plates to use as a mold. At home roll out some porcelain with a rolling pin like you were rolling out cookie dough. Place your plate upside down on it and cut around. Flip the whole thing over and let it sit overnight or longer. until it can come up out of the plate without sticking or losing its shape. This might work for your lunch plates.
  7. Gabby

    Copied Images

    I think people no longer understand what they are allowed to photograph and what not, which images they can use in their own work (like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa) and what not, what they can copy and sell as their own and what not, and generally what it means for something to be, or not be, in the public domain. I used to participate on an art site in which people often posed questions like: "Can I copy paintings of Superman (or Totoro or Clark Gable or whoever) and sell it?" People just don't know.
  8. Gabby

    Copied Images

    What a strange time we live in. To use photos to promote an event from artists that are not exhibiting there seems a very deceptive practice even if it were not illegal. But what was the Etsy shop planning to do that was listing another artist's items? What if someone had actually ordered the item? Was the shop then going to buy it from mother-in-law and then resell it?
  9. Gabby


    I recently bought a new wheel for between $800 and $900 after looking at both used and new ones. What I found where I live was that used wheels with a one-year or no warranty were over-priced relative to new wheels with a ten year warranty. The warranty is valuable to me, because I am not the handy sort who can trouble shoot and fix mechanical objects myself.
  10. You might want to take yourself on a field trip to some plant nurseries and garden stores and see what they have as well as walking around a neighborhood with nice homes that have plants in planters in the front yard. This would give you a sense of shapes and sizes that work for planting and also how to differentiate yourself positively from what is out there. As others have suggested, there isn't much point in reproducing what people can buy inexpensively in the way of imports at a home and garden warehouse store.
  11. Gabby

    Centering 50lbs on a VL Whisper?

    Shawnhar, if you have not yet seen this video, I am certain you will enjoy it.
  12. Here are two possibilities, though they may have been addressed here before: 1. Do you have favorite shapes or forms now in your work? If you do, how have these favorites changed over time? (What made me think of this was the current discussion of throwing huge planter pots, because I can see that is of great interest to some and of no interest to me- neither the very, very large nor the very small and light). 2. Do you keep a sketchbook in support of your work? If so, what is your practice- how do you use it?
  13. Until about ten years ago, I usually played oldies as background to almost anything I was doing- work, leisure reading, driving, anything. Then I got a bulldog puppy who, when she napped, snored like a 300 pound guy. Bullies sleep a lot, and one can hear it throughout the house. It was a beautiful sound. I used to say she was the Pavarotti of snoring. She was beautiful to look at also. Since she died, I don't play music as background to anything other than driving. I prefer listening to the sounds of my old house, the street noise, the birds, and even the planes I can hear from inside. My neighborhood is really quiet even though the homes aren't very far apart, so it is centering to hear the same sounds that have surrounded me these 30 plus years in this house.
  14. Gabby

    1st pots in 30 years

    I think they look very nice for first pots in thirty years. You'll only get better from here. I always think it is a shame to throw something away that someone might actually use, but I totally understand your not wanting your worst work to be in circulation when you are thinking of becoming a potter who sells high quality work. A solution for you might be not to sign your warm-up pots. Then if your wife sells them for $10 or $20, it won't matter for your professional reputation.
  15. I have a little two-room studio in my basement. I have my wheel, two work tables, a couple of portable wedging boards, and shelves in one room. The second room had, prior to our buying the house thirty years ago, been a canning room. That is where I keep my glazes and clay and where pots dry. I don't have a kiln and probably never will. I cannot wire or ventilate adequately for that, and don't have the space for an out building. I take things to a kiln in an industrial area about twenty minutes from home. It is probably in the forties down in the studio right now, with no heat and little insulation. In fact there is a very big crack under the door to the outside. I feel very, very lucky to have this space- any space at all for this.

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