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Mark C.

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About Mark C.

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 03/15/1953

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  • Location
    Near Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest
  • Interests
    Diving-underwater photo-salvage diving-dive Travel
    Extreme offshore tuna fishing off north coast of Ca.

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  1. Mark C.

    Re - glazing a fired peice.

    Warming the piece slightly helps dry the glaze-and yes hair spray will hold it (never used it) just do not touch it. Also two applications is what I usually do as glaze over glaze is super thin and it takes two coats. Another thing is do not put this platter on the top or bottom of kiln to avoid thermo shock.
  2. Mark C.

    Selling Large Work vs Small Work

    Its much harder to make a living at selling just large work as you have found out already. Having some large high end works mixed with smalls is much easier. I know some people entering this market who thought that they only wanted to sell high end work (but I'd rather focus on making less work but work of higher quality) When you do this as you already know you must fine the right venues for this to really work as they are less around and spread out across the nation. This path for large work to decorators will would work but it will take some time focusing in on the speciality market. I have a potter friend who sells giant vases covered in lusters (gold silver etc) and sells to Las Vegas hotels and the like.(these are really gaudy pieces) Its a small specialty market and he had to branch out back to craft shows selling smaller works to stay alive.Its the nature of easier to sell smalls than large. He was you takes a few large ones to shows and they do sell now and then but its the smalls that puts food on the table. After looking at your web site I suggest working on your booth a bit.Your work is very detailed and demands higher prices so the booth should also look very professional and clean. I'm not a fan of tables draped in fabrics and A Frame displays. Some nicer display would help you I think. With the detail work the booth should be super clean (white cloth and very light woods colors) Please take this suggestion as a suggestion and not a dig.
  3. You could try amaco's bisque fix but that crack in my brain is going to open more not less due to the form. Whats to loose?? trying
  4. Pres its like this every other week on Glaze day and sometimes every week if I took a few weeks and just threw without firing. Its my last fire of this year, only thing left is sell the pots myself and take them to my outlets every week. It go time in my business until the 25th then its as Mea says time to put my feet up -right now I'm waiting for a cortisone shot in my thumb.Seems all this clay work can mess with your body -who knew as one person said recently?
  5. Mark C.

    Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

    Yes I seal them with high heat tape from a heating/furnace supply.It hold up for a decade. That newer probe has about 45 fires on it as it was replaced it last year. I tend to go thru one ever 10-15 years .I'm slowing down now and only fire the kilns about 22-24 glaze fires a year with the same amounts of bisque fires as well. It used to be 35 fires a year and that went thru them faster. I'm a production potter not a school.so they fire a bit less. My photos show two different probes and the new one has a longer inner tube and wire when it came back from Axner that the way they repaired it. Seems every time its bit different- maybe I have lived thru a few tech repair guys-well I know I have.Its a bit more out there but as its in the door of my 35 cubic car kiln . The stack is always about 4-5 inches away so it safe. And since I'm the only one loading its never an issue.One of the plus sides on not a school deal-more control on all fronts. My kilns are not grounded and have zero wiring other than meters.Both are Natural draft with no power burners.
  6. I checked into that-my discount is 40% now with UPS .paypal was less as I accidentally signed up for it a few years ago and it was a bit of a hassle to get it switched back to what I have now as it was less a deal than what I have. I must add I hate paypal fees.They get you coming and going. I do ship in the flat rate USPS boxes-usualy tools/power and clay to Hawaii when kiln building or doing workshops-thats the cheapest to Hawaii. As all UPS is airfreight to there.
  7. Mark C.

    Oxyprobe Axner vs Bailey

    Bill my two probes do not penetrate as far as the one in you one photo-more like your last shot.Here are my two inside oxy probes. I have found that they are so sensitive to flame/draft that they only need to sniff the atmosphere so I keep them back. Also the are less likely to get bumped or crash into wares when door is closed (on my updraft)
  8. So today started like many glaze days except this was the last one this year. The day ended looking like these last two photos.Which is all that bisque ware you see in above post which got glazed and loaded today. The big car kiln was not quite full (last fire of year is a cleanup of whats left) and the little 12 cubic updraft was bait loose as well. This year in firing making terns is ending earlier than it ever has for me. Due to my two month broken arm setback-I ended up with a whole shows extra inventory-Hence no need to make that much more for xmas.I;ll post a year end comparison as usual for my business later in month after things slow down. I closed my retail pottery sale booth for two days (mon_tues) to concentrate on the glazing and firing as well as the usually 18 days this season is just a bit to long for me-I like 15 days selling maximum . So is will reopen on Wednesday and sell everyday thru xmas eve. My workbench will be empty of greenware and bisque ware its only for fired pots that need pricing or sorting or shipping now as the selling season is on and the makings season is over.
  9. This was on my workbench this AM it did not fit the bench and spilled onto many surfaces.At the end of day (5 pm it looked like next post all glazed and loaded in two kiln loads -see next post) I throw a bunch of bowls and size them in groups by measure after bisqued-thats whats going on with these piles of bowls-they where just sized with a ruler. We(my studio assistant and myself) waxed and glazed and I loaded two kilns today-all this bisque ware processed today. Glaze fires in am. She does the hot dip waxing I do the hand waxing on footed forms This is my last two fire this year. see next post on that
  10. I ship about 40-60 boxes a year out with pots and other items. My go to is always UPS-I love the tracking system. The mail (edited - very poor) in comparison -really bad tracking system. Yes I could use my PayPal /ebay but that also is pale in comparison to UPS. A few years ago I sold some photo stuff (lens and camera bodies and underwater housings)for about 8k and sent plenty a box via E-bay but so I know that system well. My mail carriers are always changing and late is the only thing thats constant. I'm a brown fan as it works so well for me at this location in a rural setting. I know my driver the stuff is behind the gate and not on the street or waiting to see if and when the postal carrier will or will not show up.To say the the post office delivery here goes smooth is a far stretch of the truth.Its more like a kite with the string cut on a windy day. No telling whats up with them.I have only had to confront my postmaster 4 times in the last 45 years and its always been we will try harder and I had no idea the carrier would do that. The last postmaster locked himself in his office and the nut patrol had to take him away. Must be a real high pressure job with all those packages and junk mail constantly coming in-who knew that they come everyday without let up. Zero issues with UPS If I ship international which is rare-(last year shipped 4 mugs to New Zealand for 101$ shipping fees.) its usually the post office. I turned down several Canadian orders just to much hassle . I'm not looking for more shipping business -I want less.The idea for me is simplify and the post office does not fit that model for me.From the top down it's not like it used to be. I has a great carrier for 30 plus years and now its a new kid every month making all the learn curve mistakes with our stuff. No thanks on adding pottery to that mix. Rant over on the PO..
  11. Mark C.

    How about an Olympic DD-30?

    How about telling us your production (you pump out 30 cubic feet of work a week or month or two months?)so a size kiln can be determined ? Whats your thought on size of kiln. Let me tell, you a true story about a fellow potter friend. He had a few electrics and was a big end woodworker for a job. He was the most creative person I have known. He wanted a gas kiln so I found him used girl for 6K-he had it shipped and built. kiln room around it hooked to his studio. It was 18 cubic feet. He fired it twice in 5 years as it was way to big for him (even these fires where loose loads) as his clay work was so time consuming making and glazing even a electric 7 cubic kiln took him weeks to glaze (spraying)He has since passed and I will have to find a home for this kiln again.His time spent on each piece was the ideal breaker for such a large kiln. This potter was also my salt kiln partner and a very close friend. I know to question folks a lot more on work flow thru and kiln size before they make these type of mistakes So tell us about your work and how long it takes to get a load together and then we can talk kiln size. lot more factors than just finding a kiln.
  12. Mark C.

    Waxing and dishwashers

    Low fire bodies are notorious for absorbing water. Low vitrification rates and high absorption rates are the norm in these Earthenwares.Most 06 ware have glaze all over them to try and aid in all the above issues. I'll leave this to others to sort out as I left low fire about 45 years ago as just an art clay medium as the functional wares are just to fragile for me.
  13. Last Glaze day of the year for me on Monday-sale is going strong now at my pottery booth-I'm closing two days to glaze and fire-also I do not want to go 18 days this year  selling only 15 maximum selling days from now on.

    1. glazenerd


      I know you have the count but I was curious: how many plates, cups, spoon rest,  etc. do you make a year?

    2. Mark C.

      Mark C.

      I NEVER count  pots-If I did I would have gone crazy years ago. What I can say is I count tons of clay used per year-Its been about 10 the past few years  . This year  its about 7.5 for 2018 . Have not counted exactly  yet but thats my guess.I'm slowing down fast now but that said my guess is a few thousand spoon rests and the same with sponge holders.The rest I do not want to know.

  14. I has a customer request this same item-but I do not do special orders anymore. Good job
  15. The thing about shipping one small item for me is this-yes it cheaper to mail it but I have to take it to a post office personally and that takes time. I live in a rural area (rural route) and I can only mail out anything less than 13 ounces in m y oversize mailbox on the street.Over that 13oz it needs to be taken to a post office. The exception is E-bay items paid for thru their system. which their label. I do not like waiting in line or driving to mail a pot. I use UPS most of the time even for small stuff as my time also fits into that cost evaluation and the USPS sucks up my time.For UPS I Create the label and print it and the discount is up to 40% for my UPS business account.They pick up for free and I know my driver-I can call him if needed and we talk every week.The post office well thats a whole different animal . The tracking is about 100% better with UPS than the poor tracking with USPS. So back to the narrow window of cost only-the USPS cost is more as it takes more time to ship for me.This added time cost tips the scale.I would rather make another pot in the time it takes to drive to the post office.

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