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  1. Like
    Gabby reacted to hitchmss in Faceting tools   
    Like Liam said; there is a confidence in your depth and speed of cut which makes the results look better, than choppy, hesitant ones. Any tool you use to facet, including just a wire in your hands, is going to require a lot of trial and error, and you're gonna slice through some sides of pots until you get the hang of it. IMO a lot of faceted work looks a little choppy/chunky because there is  a lack of fluidity to the marks; when I facet work (which granted, isnt much) I like to manipulate the pot after the faceting; not only does this create more "organic" looking facet lines, but helps to hide any goofy looking marks I made.
    For straight walled cylinders, try to position your hands/arms so that as you work from top to bottom, or bottom to top, that you're keeping the same depth of cut, by moving in the same plane as the pot. If you're sitting, and resting your elbows on your legs, there is a tendency to create curves and not straight lines. The same applies to curved pots, but you need to move in/out with the curvature of your pot. Its kind of a like a dance in some ways; once your body gets into it, and not just your hands/wrists, it becomes almost like an extension of your fingers and not just a tool in your hands. Might help to kind of shake your arms out, and limber up.
  2. Like
    Gabby reacted to Benzine in Would stuff like this sell?   
    I should note, that while it is good to stay away from copyrighted material, there is a huuuuuuge amount of public domain material.  You mentioned dragons.  No one has the rights to the depiction of a dragon.  Specific dragons, yes, but as a creature on its own, nope.  So feel free to make items, with generic dragons, or those that you made up yourself, and you'd be fine.  There are a lot more mythological creatures, where the same is true.    With all that stuff, go nuts!
  3. Like
    Gabby got a reaction from Hulk in What’s on your workbench?   
    Best wishes for a solid recovery for your mother-in-law. Take good care of yourself also.
  4. Like
    Gabby reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Would stuff like this sell?   
    I can’t recommend anyone recreating copyrighted material with the intent to sell. It will eventually lead to legal problems for you should it come to the attention of the copyright holder. Disney takes a very dim view of anyone making unauthorized merch, and actively shuts down a lot of Etsy shops that violate copyright laws.
    If you’re staying within the bounds of the law and creating items that are your own characters, again it’s a matter of putting them in front of people who both like that thing and have the money to buy it. 
  5. Like
    Gabby reacted to Chilly in Glaze technique   
    Transparent or semi-trans glaze, heavy application on legs/feet?
  6. Like
    Gabby got a reaction from liambesaw in What’s on your workbench?   
    Honestly, I saw the photo before reading the words and thought "Someone is making frogs!"
  7. Like
    Gabby reacted to hitchmss in Drying porcelain   
    Between the drywall will help to keep them flat, but it will suck the moisture out quickly, might be too quick, or like others said, sticking to the drywall. Just as a test though, dry a slab with only drwyall underneath, and a couple sheets of newspaper covering the top; newspaper will slow down the drying a little by keeping airflow down. you can also mist the newspaper with a spritz bottle around the perimeter of the slab so the center and perimeter will dry at same rates. Maybe a bag draped over top will dry it a little slower still, and keep it flat.
    How are the slabs cracking? Photos? Could be the perimeter is drying out first, and isnt flexing enough while the center drys and shrinks.
    Ive taken plastic bags and used a rubber rib and a spritz of water on the clay to "press/cover" the slab with plastic. Ive done this on both sides of the slab, which allows me to do different things Ive needed it to. Plastic bags still breath and will allow the slab to dry, but slower. Maybe cover both sides with thin plastic (like kitchen garbage bags), and place in between drywall; drywall keeps em flat, and plastic keeps em from drying out too quick. If the plastic is put on nice and smooth (no wrinkles) it wont leave any texture in your surface, and will peel right off when you need it to.
    Bigger, and thin slabs can be a nuisance no matter what kind of clay.
  8. Like
    Gabby got a reaction from Nicky S in Drying porcelain   
    One thing I found when I hand-built in porcelain is that drying is very tricky and that it needs to be really slow.
    But some porcelains are much easier to work than others. So choice of porcelain is another thing you can experiment with.
  9. Like
    Gabby reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    I’ll argue that the first article shows correlation, but doesn’t prove causation. I don’t think it looks deep enough at the whole structure that supports those results, and it seems to be reinforcing a lot of toxic myths about artists.    The big failing I find is that the artists they’re talking about weren’t presenting their work: others (dealers, representatives, auction houses and galleries) were doing it on their behalf or posthumously when the works commanded those outrageous prices.    Value has been created in these instances  by people other than the artist, or the inflated values, anyways. The people creating that artificial value have built it in part by playing up romantic notions about artists needing to be “visionary” and “iconoclastic” and “misunderstood.” No one wants to hear about the artist that put in a solid work day, went home to their happy marriage and family and paid all his or her bills on time. They want to idolize the tortured drama of someone’s disfunctional, womanizing, substance abusing mental breakdown that resulted in a stint in debtor’s prison because it makes a much more interesting story.    If you’re talking about making your own money and setting your own prices and not the Art world doing it for you, confidence or even arrogance plays a part in that. I don’t think that a disregard for the feelings of others or the need to be the center of the universe does, which is the more clinical definition of narcissism. It probably could be argued that it could work, but it’s not a good system if you want to be a healthy human being who makes art (or pottery), and has return customers.   
  10. Like
    Gabby reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in QotW: Space wise can you afford to have a slab roller?   
    I have a 12x12 room and I don’t slab build a whole lot, so in my case it’s a hard pass. I have to be pretty deliberate about what I have in that space, and it’s part of the reason I’m such a fan of low tech soloutions for most things.  I got no room to get complicated!
  11. Like
    Gabby reacted to GEP in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I think it’s ok to talk to exhibitors while they’re working, but only with discretion and sensitivity. Between seasoned festival artists, there is a culture of how we behave in other artist’s booths, i.e. with great respect that our first objective is to sell. So if you are aspiring to be a festival artist, you might as well start learning/practicing this culture. Of course, never get between an artist and a customer. Boy do I hate it when aspiring potters want to talk my ear off, blocking my view of the rest of the booth while customers come and go. But if the booth is quiet and you present yourself profesionally and with respect, I’m happy to talk to you. Have your questions ready, things that require short answers. Your whole approach should convey “I know why you’re here and I won’t waste your time.”
    I disagree that I might not know if a show is going well or not. I always know. I agree that I have my party face on for the most part, but I can distinguish between a customer and an inquiring artist, and treat them individually. Say if I’m having a bad show, I can keep a brave face for customers, but if a artist asks how it’s going, I’ll be honest. 
    One question to never ask ... don’t ask for a sales amount in terms of dollars. The exact dollar amount is none of your business, and irrelevant to you anyways. Professionals understand that, so if you ask that question, you are conveying that your understanding of things is very shallow, and your mindset is nowhere close to being ready for this. When I get asked about sales, my answers come in adjectives. Amazing, good, average, disappointing, etc. Apply the adjective to your own expectations and experiences with selling. The only artists with whom I will share dollar amounts are the ones who I have known for a long time and have developed a lot of trust and respect. 
    I do not want to be offered food or drinks afterwards. That’s asking me for more time, compared to finding me at a quiet moment in my booth. Once a show is over, I do not want to be social anymore. Though I will gladly take your email questions afterwards, as long as you are not expecting me to write long form essay answers, or expecting me to become your mentor on an ongoing basis.
    Between festival artists, when we are in another artist’s booth chatting, and a customer walks in, it is perfectly normal to stop talking in the middle of a sentence, and exit with a small hand wave. Knowing you can come back and finish the conversation later. Or, if the artist across the aisle is in my booth talking, and a customer walks into their booth, I’ll point so the artist can go back. Again, the conversation might stop in the middle of a sentence. 
  12. Like
    Gabby reacted to hitchmss in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I would agree with this. I should have been a little more specific; If Im busy Ill chat a little bit, but will generally hand you a card and tell you to call me later. If Im free though, I do like to chat.
  13. Like
    Gabby reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I am probably alone in this, but I advise against talking to an artist while they’re at a show. 
    1) You have to be “on” and positive while you’re selling, and in that frame of mind, everything can be “great!” If someone is trying to preserve an upbeat sensibility, they may choose to frame things more optimistically. 
    2) This one’s bigger: mostly, while the show is on, you don’t have an accurate view of how the show is actually going. There have been lots of shows where I had a great time and felt really good while things were happening, and when I got home and crunched the numbers, the show wasn’t as successful as previously suspected. Conversely, I’ve been at some shows where vendors get disappointed in the moment, or they’re  in a foul mood for whatever reason and are quite willing to bash the whole thing quite liberally. But again, once you get home and crunch numbers, it turns out it was overall pretty profitable. 
    3) If someone’s busy at a show, talking tips in front of customers is unprofessional, as it takes the vendor’s attention away from their customers. It’s like coming into a shop and hearing the clerks gossiping about the boss. Not cool. 
    If you want the down low from a vendor, if you know them well, ask to meet them after (buy them food if they’re taking time out of their day). If you don’t know them that well or they’re from out of town, ask if they’d be open to a short phone call or email about the subject after the show.
  14. Like
    Gabby reacted to Claymade in Short clay   
    Thanks again to all. Forget the Ivory soap- try the vinegar, wheel water, repugging, new clay (I like this!) I am very grateful for this forum!
  15. Like
    Gabby reacted to Benzine in Short clay   
    If the clay is reclaimed, from throwing, the clay could be short, if the watery slurry from the throwing, is not included with the drier bits.  There are a lot of finer particles in that water, which help with the clay's plasticity. 
    Ivory soap, that's a new one!
    I've heard of vinegar being added to clay, to help with plasticity.  I'm not sure what the soap would do, other than make it smell better.  Though, you could be on to something.  A clay that washes your hands, while you work!
    I joked with my instructor in college, that they should make a clay, with a lotion base, so your hands aren't dried out, when working.
  16. Like
    Gabby reacted to oldlady in Best way to fire flat pieces   
    i have been firing flat things for many years and have learned that is is not as simple as dumping sand on a shelf inside the kiln.
     i use silica sand and a tile setting trowel with pointed teeth to smooth some sand over the center section of a shelf.  some of my pieces stretch from one side to the other across a shelf, much larger than your 10x10 pieces.   half a cup of sand is enough to let the clay slide as it heats and cools.
    the biggest problem you might have is scattering sand all over the shelves below the one you are putting the flat piece on.  i use whole shelves, never half shelves.  i put the sand on the shelf before loading it into the kiln carefully avoiding the thermocouples.   if you put the sand only in the center, leaving about 3 inches around the edges without any sand, you should be able to avoid dropping sand into the work below that shelf.  
    in addition, place the slab down flat and do not slide it.   if you do, you might find a rim of sand stuck to the glaze on the side that you slid.  if you pick it up after putting it on sand, some sand will stick and perhaps fall into something else on the shelf.  
    there are two pieces of blue jean legs that i use to clean up the edges of the shelves, the fabric is sturdy enough to do the job easily.
  17. Like
    Gabby reacted to hitchmss in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    One thing that @Callie Beller Diesel touches on is visiting shows; I think this is very sound advice. One thing you might do while you are at those shows, is to check out the price points of potters with like items to what you make. Make an honest comparison of the quality of your work in regards to what you see there, and see if its selling, and if so, is it like hot cakes? Of course, I wouldnt wait around all day watching one potter (cops might get called), but youll get a good idea of what other folks are interested in if you spend 10-15 minutes checking pots out in a booth. Asking vendors at shows is something I enjoy talking to other potters about, and Ill be honest with my info; generally take everything people will tell you with a good ol' grain.
    This might help you with pricing your work, if you are having any troubles, and it will help you gain an idea of what kind of work, and at what price points the work is selling for. Granted, this changes so widely for each potter, from each show, that its nothing Id bet my whole 401k on, but its a good beginning.
    One last thing, take the attendance figures that shows provide with a big grain of salt. Many shows tout 100-300k people in attendance, and ive been at those shows, where in reality its more like half of that. One time I called a show to ask the director some stats about the show to see if it was worth my drive to St Louis; told me there was 30,000 in attendance every year, and that the artists she polled had sales that hovered between $3-4k......I made $880 for the whole weekend, and MAYBE, maybe saw 300 people....I started counting at one time because there was such little sales. Long story short, some show organizers are in it to make a buck, and they'll tell you what you want to hear. Us production potters with price points averaging between $35-70 need to see a LOT of patrons at each show, so generally higher attendance numbers are better than lower, but it also depends on the crowd....are they more hot dog and beer drinkers, or art collectors?
  18. Like
    Gabby reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in colored slips   
    I just pulled some coloured decorating slip tests out of the kiln this week, so I can share some results about a pink. This is 5% red Mason stain 6021 in a white slip over a red clay body. Half the tile is glazed, half the tile is not. The glaze does contain zinc, but there's some pinholes.  The pinholes are only over the slip on this test, not on any of the other slips I tested.  As a next step, I might try to do a line blend to see if I can get a good colour out of a smaller amount of the stain, especially because that one is pretty expensive. I also wonder if a lower amount of stain would off gas less, and not leave the pinholes.

  19. Like
    Gabby reacted to Babs in Underglaze color   
    What about starting with red and yellow and getting the orange that way...or yellow red and your terra cotta. 
    The grid by MMR is used to mix glazes and also cokorant and some random beautuful glazes can be foubd 
    Greg Daly book Glazes and Glazing techniques"  ISBN 0-86-417502-7 goes into this in detail
  20. Like
    Gabby got a reaction from Rae Reich in 1st "real" show, how did you know when?   
    I agree with Liam.  The pricing of the booths suggests that they aren't aiming to have only elite exhibitors. 
    What exactly are you worried about? Are you worried you won't have enough merchandise? That all the other potters will be better than you? Do you hate crowds? 
    There are a few shows I go to regularly in my vicinity. One is a juried show in July that is not for beginners and costs something like $1800 with fewer than 10,000  expected visitors. Another that is about the size of your show, I would think, draws no elite sort of exhibitors but is a lot of fun with crafts ordinary people can afford to buy, with $15 mugs rather than $40 mugs.
    I assume your wife would go along to staff the booth with you? I don't think doing this alone would be good.
  21. Like
    Gabby got a reaction from Rae Reich in Article out today   
    I don't know in which section of the forum this belongs, but I saw it in LitHub, which is a newsletter I read that flags interesting new writing.
  22. Like
    Gabby got a reaction from Min in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    I am glad you wrote this. I have seen this as a purchaser.
    I think it is a combination of the seller's 1)not having a good eye for the difference in quality between his work and another person's, 2)wishful thinking, and 3)hoping purchasers either don't know the difference in quality or don't value the quality differential enough for that to affect their willingness to pay.
  23. Like
    Gabby got a reaction from Rae Reich in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    I don't sell art, but I have always opted to be genuine rather than strategic in professional and personal dealings and to let the quality of my work speak for me. Maybe I have missed some opportunities by not trying to figure out the rules of the game and to play them, but being myself feels better to me.
    In terms of the story you share, Neil. I think that learning what the appropriate price is for something doesn't really sound either like bragging or selling yourself short. For example, the going price for something in, say, Manhattan, may be higher than the price for the same thing in Des Moines.
    I remember a garage sale we had when I was a kid in LA. We really didn't like avocados, but we had a tree with huge avocados, about three times the size of a normal avocado. We priced them at a nickel, since we had no idea of what they cost in the store.
    All the avocadoes sold right away.
  24. Like
    Gabby got a reaction from Min in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    I am glad you wrote this. I have seen this as a purchaser.
    I think it is a combination of the seller's 1)not having a good eye for the difference in quality between his work and another person's, 2)wishful thinking, and 3)hoping purchasers either don't know the difference in quality or don't value the quality differential enough for that to affect their willingness to pay.
  25. Like
    Gabby reacted to Min in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    Throwing out another thought regarding the pricing issue, the question of narcissism or naivety. I think it takes years to actually “see” a pot. It has often been brought up how many of us wish we could take back pots from friends / family / public that we made in our early years of clay. At the time I’m sure we all thought our work was great, pots sold or were appreciated as gifts which in turn validates the work. What I think this can lead to is less experienced potters basing their prices according to what they see other potters pricing at. In their eyes the quality of their mugs etc is comparable to the more experienced potters work therefore priced comparably. Is this narcissism or inexperience? Does it matter?

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