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Everything posted by PotterPutter

  1. PotterPutter

    a quick question about Fire

    I start mine at different times. It's a small 2.5 cubic foot kiln and costs less than $3 in electricity to fire. Do you have a large kiln that you fire frequently?
  2. Music via Alexa. I can tell her to play whatever I'm in the mood for without having to touch anything. Very helpful during throwing.
  3. PotterPutter

    1st pots in 30 years

    I have a kiln at home now, but for the first year I took greenware to the arts center where I took classes. I wrapped them in bubble wrap and boxed them. No mishaps, but it was definitely nice to stop doing that.
  4. PotterPutter

    1st pots in 30 years

    I started two years ago, taking a class one day a week. I really loved it so I bought a wheel to throw at home and then glazed during class time. I have a part-time pottery business and a full-time job in an unrelated field, and built my pottery biz just working one day a week and the odd hour here and there before or after work. With the skill level you already have, you can definitely progress quickly working one day a week. If this is something you want to do full time, do what you can now and build a following and customer base until you are ready to make this your main occupation. It can be done!
  5. PotterPutter

    Instagram or Facebook or ??? What?

    Thanks, Stephen! I’ve tried a lot of different art forms, but took to pottery pretty quickly. I only have one day a week to work on it - your figures are just about right. My pieces usually sell for $30-95 and I have a pretty loyal customer base. About 80% of my sales are typically to previous buyers and the other 20% to new buyers. I need to figure out how to convert more IG followers into customers. I’m working on building this business so I can do it full time in about a year. I’ll probably have to do wholesale at that point, as well as art festivals, to make my target income. I’m not sure my online sales will be enough. I’m so grateful for every single sale! We’re all so lucky to be able to do this, whether as a hobby or full time profession - or somewhere in between.
  6. PotterPutter

    Instagram or Facebook or ??? What?

    I make pottery part time, threw my first pot 2 years ago and started selling 18 months ago. I’ve sold about 300 pieces on Etsy and my own website in that time. I would guess that at least 80% of my Etsy sales are to my Instagram followers, and for my website that number is close to 100%. I announce shop updates on IG, which drives traffic to my website and Etsy shop. For now, I only sell online so that’s why IG is so valuable to me - it’s the only marketing I do. I’m @huskmilkpottery if you want to take a peek at my account.
  7. PotterPutter

    Instagram or Facebook or ??? What?

    Terrific description, Callie! I’ll add that it’s also a good way to connect with potential stockists, and also gain exposure by customers and large accounts sharing your work with their followers - Ceramic Review, Etsy, Skutt Kilns, etc. Entire businesses were born on Instagram - Florian Gadsby and Jono Smart to name two who have rabid fans and sell out almost immediately after listing work for sale - Jono hundreds of pieces at a time. They are two extreme examples of Instagram success stories, but there is room for everyone on IG. I can’t think of any other platform that acts as a personal diary, marketing tool, learning tool, and ego boost like IG.
  8. PotterPutter

    Instagram or Facebook or ??? What?

    Yappy, do you use Instagram? It is so much better than Facebook and there is a huge ceramics community (makers and buyers) that is really amazing. I never used IG until I started making pottery about 2 years ago and I adore it. It has been a wonderful experience so far...
  9. PotterPutter

    Shopping for My First Kiln

    Yappy, the plug/receptacle info is on pages 45-46 of the user manual. The KM818 uses a 6-50 plug and the KM818-30A uses a 6-30. Make sure you show both of those pages to your electrician - it has other information they will need to know. I have the KM818-30A and it’s terrific!
  10. PotterPutter

    Art Fairs with Ceramics

    I'm glad you bumped this post. I'm doing my first show in a few months so this was a great read for me. Thanks!!
  11. PotterPutter

    Propper shelf size?

    2 inches between the shelves and the kiln walls seems like a lot to me. I use 15” shelves in my 16” kiln.
  12. PotterPutter

    If one of your students....

    I think your response was perfect. You put her in her place without being rude and what you said is absolutely true. I would see how she is going forward and if you want to kick her out, kick her out. Personally, I have no use for people like that and your other students would probably appreciate her absence.
  13. PotterPutter

    pieces warping during glaze firing

    About yarn bowls... I don't think a hole in the side is useful to a knitter. I had the same idea to just cut a hole for the yarn to go through because I don't like a big swirly cut out. However, if you just have a hole the bowl always has to stay with whatever they are knitting, and a lot of knitters like to take their projects with them. They usually don't want to take the bowl as well.
  14. PotterPutter

    Advice on purchase of a wheel

    I have been using a Speedball Artista for almost two years in my home studio and I love it. It's portable, sturdy and almost silent. I paid about $400 for it new. I started out as a hobbyist and it quickly turned into a part-time job. So far, the wheel has kept up with me.
  15. Don't discount the power of social media - it is a completely different world now than for potters starting out 10, 20, 30 years ago. There are new potters, who after 1-3 years in the business, snag features in magazine, books, etc. and sell out almost immediately upon releasing work for sale online - hundreds of pots at a time. If they can do it, so can you.
  16. PotterPutter

    The Starter Wheel

    I have a Speedball Artista and love it. I have a very small home studio and needed something portable. It is heavy, solid and smooth and a great beginner's wheel. Personally, I wouldn't call it a kids' wheel - it is great wheel for a beginner, hobby potter and I have started a nice, part-time business with it. Now, when I have a larger studio, I will get a larger wheel and will happily use my Speedball as back up.
  17. PotterPutter

    Kiln Install on Deck

    My kiln is on a rolling stand, with about 8 inches of space between the bottom of the kiln and the floor. I do have a wood floor, so I have two layers of cement board on the floor extending 2 feet from the kiln in all directions. My studio is in my house, which I obviously don’t want to burn down, so I also put a small fan on the floor which blows underneath the kiln and keeps the floor perfectly cool.
  18. PotterPutter

    Charging For Prop Wares

    I loaned a few pieces to Etsy for them to use on Instagram. Someone in their office ended up buying one of the pieces and the second was returned. I would go for it. Unless the pieces they want to borrow are worth a fortune, it's worth the risk. Sounds like great exposure.
  19. I am going to be re-glazing some pieces and refiring them. I need a thicker application of glaze to get the color I want. I normally glaze fire on medium speed in electric to Cone 5, which takes about 8.5 hours. Can I refire to Cone 5 at fast speed this time, or should I stick with medium? Thanks!!
  20. PotterPutter

    Re-Glazing - Firing Speed?

    I have reglazed only part of a pot without any problems. I ended up refiring at medium speed and everything turned out great. Next time though, I will probably fire slower - don't want to tempt fate. I actually did a third glaze fire too and loved the results. This ^6 glazes looked more like ^10 with richer colors and the glaze looked like it was a part of the pot rather than on the pot. It's not something I would do on an ongoing basis but it was fun to experiment.
  21. PotterPutter

    Re-Glazing - Firing Speed?

    Thank you, Marcia!
  22. PotterPutter

    Drop What You're Doing

    NHK is fantastic. I saw a 15 minute show on hagi yaki Saturday and it was the best 15 minutes of my day.
  23. I have my kiln on two layers of hardi-board over a wood floor. I also put a small 6" fan on the floor to keep the air moving under the kiln. The cement board barely gets above room temperature while the kiln is firing.
  24. The article in the original post makes my skin crawl, but the discussion that follows has been great.
  25. PotterPutter

    Is This Kiln Too Small?

    Moonlight - I have done the very same thing over the past year. Took a pottery class a one ago and was hooked! I set up a tiny studio in a spare bedroom, starting with a wheel - the Speedball Artista. I love it. I usually make smaller pieces 1-2.5 pounds, and it is small enough to move out of the way when I need to fire my kiln. (Did I mention my studio is tiny?) One year in, I got to the point where I needed a kiln at home. Driving back and forth to the center where I take classes to drop off and pick up my pots during the week was taking up too much time. I have a Skutt KM818-30A and fired it for the first time last weekend with perfect results. I can fit about 30 of my bud vases in it. The advice I received was to get the biggest kiln I could afford, fill every two weeks or so, and accommodate in my space. I have my kiln on wheels, so it is rolled out of the way when not being fired, only about 3 feet or so. If you can, I would get a kiln that operates on 240v. Installation of the circuit was about $650, but completely worth it. I tried to figure out how I could fare with a 120v kiln, but it just wasn't practical for me. You will quickly outgrow a smaller kiln.

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