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Everything posted by PotterPutter

  1. PotterPutter


    Instagram is great for newer potters, but established potters might not find much value in it if they already have successful sales channels. I don't sell in person, yet, so most of my sales are online and most of my customers come through Instagram. I definitely spend a lot of time working my Instagram account, but right now I have the time to do that (a day job that can be very slow at times) and I have gotten enough benefits from it to continue. When I start to do more shows, take on wholesalers and stockists, etc. my sources of revenue will change and my time on Instagram will go down. I think that it's a bit of an either/or situation - sell in person OR online. It's difficult to do both, especially if you are a one person business. If you want to sell online though, Instagram can be priceless in terms of reaching an audience and turning them into buyers. One thing I didn't expect is that so many other potters would purchase my work, even though I still buy pottery and mostly online, and there is a huge community of potters on IG that are potential buyers. Mea, I'm one of those Instagrammers that bought a pot from that show and I adore it. :) I figured your profit was low after their commission - definitely charge more if you do that show again! Your work is amazing.
  2. PotterPutter

    Advice for 1st glaze firing?

    I have that kiln and fire my Cone 6 glazes to Cone 5 with a 15 minute hold. Works perfectly. The school I used to fire my work at had huge Skutt kilns, and my results are identical. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I let the kiln cool naturally, so it’s faster than the larger kiln but it has not made a difference in my results compared to the larger kilns. Good luck!
  3. What a funny question for me to find here since I own a frame shop. At first, I thought I was in the wrong forum. Strangely, easel backs are a little more complicated than they seem. Rae is correct. You want your rabbet (the area the glass sits in) to be at least 1/4" deep - the person using this may want to use a mat so giving a little extra room is always best. It needs to be deep enough to hold the glass, mat, photo, backing and easel back if inserting that into the opening. You can purchase easel backs online, or from some local frame shops. You might want to give one a visit to get some in person advice - most of us are pretty nice and happy to help. Look at some you have at home, or pop over to a shop and check out the construction of their photo frames. The easel back can either be inserted into the rabbet, or attached to the back of the frame. If the frame is more than an inch or so wide, you'll want to order a larger easel back and then cut it to size, leaving the "kickstand" longer to compensate for the width of the frame. You'll need to figure out a way to keep the contents inside the frame... this is much easier with wood frames since we can use screws and nails. You also need to make your opening 8 1/8" by 10 1/8" so and 8x10 piece of glass and photo will fit inside. The front of the rabbet should be 1/4 inch wide. It's much easier to be this specific with wood frames, so just a guideline of course!
  4. PotterPutter

    Porcelain lids

    Hi all! I usually work with stoneware, but have switched to porcelain for a while. I’d like to make some lidded vessels but I’m concerned about the lids sticking. They stick on my stoneware pots, but a tap on a table usually pops them right off. I’ve read that sticking is more likely when firing porcelain vessels with the lid in place. Any tips on preventing/minimizing this? I use Forbes wax resist - is this enough or do I need to use/add alumina and if so, how to I do that? Can I add it to the wax, or mix with water and brush on top of the wax? Thanks!
  5. PotterPutter

    Porcelain lids

    I’m a label-maker junkie, but can see myself ignoring the label. Making it a different color is a great idea. Thank you!!
  6. PotterPutter

    Porcelain lids

    Thank you! Most of my pots have flat bottoms, so that’s a lot of surface area to worry about. Great tip. I wouldn’t have thought of that.
  7. PotterPutter

    Table Top Wheels

    I use a Speedball Artista exclusively and love it. (Tiny studio, tiny wheel.) It works great.
  8. PotterPutter

    Firing Bisque in Computerized Kiln

    Neil, normally I would NEVER question you because you’re awesome, but I wanted to make sure you said that correctly. I have always been told that bisque should be slow, even if pots are bone dry, and also a one hour preheat is best practice. I exploded some bone dry pots when I didn’t do a preheat once. I also fire at medium speed for my glaze firings. So for me, it’s slow bisque and medium glaze. Sorry, just wanted to make sure!!
  9. I might be oversimplifying this, but isn't the groundwork for bloating created when the bisque temp is too low? @plumcreative, what Cone are you bisque firing to? I use 266 almost exclusively and haven't had any problems. I bisque to Cone 04 and glaze Cone 5.5. I have fired to ^6 and re-glazed and re-fired pieces up to 3 times without any issues.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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...
  18. 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!
  19. 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!!
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.

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