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Mark C.

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About Mark C.

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 03/15/1953

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Near Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest
  • Interests
    Diving-underwater photo-salvage diving-dive Travel
    Extreme offshore tuna fishing off north coast of Ca.
  1. The top piece looks classy the bottom one looks like a beginner piece. Seems obvious to me.
  2. I make my living with small stuff-under $50 mostly.I find folks like to buy smaller items and they add up.. Sure they can buy over 100$ items at my booth but most do not. They want mugs and glasses and sponge holders over the big dollar items.
  3. new saggar and obvara pieces

    Great work-good weather is always a bonus as well.
  4. The best advice I can give is practice your craft-throw until thats something you can do almost with your eyes closed. Learn to be efficient in motion and moving things the least . Work towards an efficient space for working in-work flow should control the layout if you get that chance. learn about glazes and firing until they are mastered at the same time you are learning to master production throwing I did not start out with this in mind as you are doing-it just happened to me. I never count pots made say in a kiln load as a total-yes I know I have 100 sponge holders in a fire or 150 mugs but never a total. I'm not wired that way-I really do not want to know. I most likely would say wow thats crazy if I counted all those pots. All I do is keep track of the tons per year used and I peaked a few years ago at production and income and am slowing down on a planned schedule slow down.I have no plan that takes me to zero pottery as I like the medium so much. I can say I see day when I'm just making pots for fun not money. I have been fortune enough in life to do something that I really enjoyed and never felt was work until later in life. It has been a bit hard on the body but its been very good for me in terms of a living.It takes a long time to gain traction and good work helps that move ahead faster. Today we unloaded two glaze kilns and packed that into near 10 banana boxes and a few other smaller boxes.My van can hold 75-80 boxes Today I counted up my sponge holders made and priced in boxes of 100 and I have 3 in back stock(300) and started a new box today from two kiln loads -I'm still make them at 50-100 a week. I have 150 spoonrests and need 350 more for a summer show.I like to have those small stuffers in every load or I feel I'm wasting space . I am a space efficient person and wasting kiln space goes against my grain. Start working in series say 12 of this or that at time -trim the same way.It will all fit together.Time is on your side.
  5. (I would advise you that selling your work in a low-end consignment shop is not going to lead to a meaningful income. This is the only real issue I see in what you're currently doing. Starting out there is fine, but you should strive to move up and out of that level. ) I agree with this 100% The only issue with selling them is seeing them later in life-but this may never happen. My mother died and this beginner pots came back to me-I kept a few to keep me humble. I think you need to sign all your work as a matter or professionalism . I thought after 8 years (5 at university) and 3 on my own I was a good potter-looking back at the work I was way off base.It was functional but really was still beginner work.I just saw some at a friends/famliy 90th birthday party. The forms where ok but they all had issues. I would keep your day job for some time while doing clay.
  6. Nightmare in a box with a on off switch. Good thing its fan cooled Looks like a steep learning curve
  7. Two glaze fires unloading on Friday

    show on Mothers day weekend coming up

  8. Glaze test question

    Tests are always better with both horizontal and vertical flows. Ir shows the true range of what can happen s well as look like. The question of will the clay type affect the runny qualities of glaze and the answer is it can very much or not at all so testing is the way to find out.
  9. Firing Pots With Lids

    In ceramics there are a thousands ways for it to go bad. Just a bump in the road really Here is story about lids My 2nd or 3rd year in ceramics at university I was working as the kiln tec and loading and firing many kilns as a work study student. (it was early 70s) My instructor /mentor asked me to retire a large lidded for off his. I handled it with kid gloves loaded it low in kind so as it would not crack in top early heat. I at that time did not think about retires not shrinking but actually expanding as they are preshrunk already. I deck a shelve over the lidded for with fumes to spare (my usual mode of loading glaze fires . The pot expanded and the lid top stuck to shelve above with glaze and stayed there. I ruined that pot and learned about expansion of refires all in one swift lesson. When loading retire allow room for expansion as they get bigger when hot and cool to same size . School of hard knocks-the best lessons are learned there.
  10. For me my work is gender free meaning its for everyone . A few things I have noticed is what glaze colors different genders like. Many a customer (one last week at the studio) has asked if men or women like this glaze or that glaze color.In a general sense men seem to like browns more than women .As to all forms all I can add as you get older you want lighter wares in the kitchen. Older folks like pots that are lighter especially dinnerware. Some forms sell better to women like vases but men buy them a gifts as well.In a general sense I sell more pottery to women buyers than men for sure.Thats always been the case.
  11. The biggest drawback I see is an all electric oxidation firing program. I feel for students especially the level you are talking about you should provide another type of firing as a choice-weather it be raku or reduction -salt/ soda just something else to vary the work.
  12. Wow an electric car kiln-thats a new one for me.Electric rates must be cheap in England? I would think gas would be way cheaper to run.
  13. Copied Images

    At shows it used to be folks always asked about taking photos of my work nowadays I see folks taking photos of everything including my work without a word.Sign of the times- My thought is -you do not know where the photos go and to what purpose . China knock offs used to be the thing now it may be to put on instagram?Or try to copy form at home-who knows I do know it will take a few decades to get the look right I'm not uptight about it-lifes to short
  14. (I am curious as to what others think about discussing specific suppliers in the Forums ( things like customer service, products/wheels, and qualities/flaws with commercial clays/glaze) ---positive or negative, is it a useful thing or not so much???? ) Yes this is useful but may fall in the doing business area-hopefully a mod can chine in and say We have spoken in the past about many businesses. I do know we cannot say whats on sale where but in a general business talk about flaws or qualities that exchange is helpful to all.
  15. Firing Pots With Lids

    Lids in my mind need to be fired on the pots. In many atmospheres like gas /wood/salt /soda the pot can warp and the lid holds that in check .The same can be true in oxidation(electric kilns). The best outcomes is they fit after the fire . When you fire them separately you run the risk that they will not fit well. The learning process and yes its a learning process is how to wax them -how to glaze them and how to make your seat in the first place so they can separate easily .Using alumina hydrate on the lip or lid is the way to do it with porcelain. Another skill is learning how to remove a lid thats stuck.If its not glazed together you can hold onto the lid and with spice of wood(I use a large piece of bamboo) you gently tap the pot around in. circle . If this does not work I have frozen the piece and then use hot water on the pot (not the lid) to expand the pot and that usually pots the lid free. All these are for non glazed (no glaze runs) issues-if the glaze has fuzed them you have to use diamond grinders with a dremil tool or a combination of torture until you get it off and your chances of breakage are vey high.Use the Chris Idea of a top shelve pot. Leraning to make seats and lids is a skill just as glazing and firing them is as well.99.9% of all my lids in my over 40 year career are fired on the pot.

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