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Mark C.

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About Mark C.

  • Rank
    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.

    ^04 for dinnerware?

    Earthenware vs Stoneware-I have found all my earthen ware did not last very long-meaning it broke easy over time. Just about all my cone 06 stuff is long gone now. Not true with high fired clays. I am using my cone 10 stoneware dinner set every day since 1976. A few chips on the feet but still ticking along.My earthen ware that is alive for the 70s is hanging on the wall not in use.
  2. For me starting out was I like working in clay (1970s) which morphed into selling pots which morphed into a living (1980s). The business side came along with all that. It was not a plan at all it just happened as I liked working with clay. I made the business side work well along that path. Not at the start but along the way.. Keeping costs down has been in blood from day one not because of a plan but because I had no money to start with.Keeping the money became the plan as I went. If I started today and bought it all at the start it would never pencil out. Its slow process.
  3. I was a starving potter for over a decade-so just plan on that and then the tide will turn. traveling to outside shows open the economic door for me-as well as keep my local sales going.
  4. (One of the side benefits of the exercise was that learned to be able to plan ahead for new projects. As I became more experienced and I amassed a quantitative knowledge base that allowed me to switch to the "Mark C. approach". ) Thanks for the kudos I used to think about such things 3 decades ago but since I'm using things like 3,000#s of Kingman feldspar I bought from the mine in 1981-I soon realized that the calculations are just not worth it for me. If I was staring out clean today then this would all be easy but I'm using things every week I bought many decades ago at unknown costs.for example a ton of greatly borate when they said it was going away or g-200-long gone or Kona F4 or Albany slip(many have never heard of that I'm sure these days) I'm more concerned if my body will make another 10 tons of pots than what that may cost me money wise. One thing I should add is a type A workaholic attitude is key to making this pottery gig work so well.Its hard to fit that into the cost equation 
  5. I have been at this 45 years and you can spend lots of time wondering about just those things or you can make and sell pots and do more fun things. I mix up 420 grams (almost 1 # of cobalt oxide) in my black glaze every month or every other and I never think about the costs.Life is short and the tedium you mentioned is just not going to slow me down with a thought about it. For me it works like this, buy 10 tons of clay a year along with any needed glaze materials-make and sell that. At the end of year figure a cost during taxes of profit /loss and then pay my taxes and do it again-thats about as close I want to think about it. As I mentioned many times buy in large quantities to keep costs low and buy with other potters when you can.Its more about getting the materials at lower costs -buying when prices are low say like cobalt was cheap just a year ago and now its sky high .I bought 20 #s when it was cheap-most materials are like that. If you want to really get to figuring go to Mea's web site Good Elephant Pottery as she has done the most keeping track of anyone I know. I can figure it all out or well go fishing lets see let me think about that as I get the boat ready and leave to be on the water.
  6. Thank you for sending me the info on the E-Bay wheel, the man who bought my kick wheel was looking for one.  I imagine this one will go for a much higher price it is in Kansas City,   it has a big ceramics community.  The man who bought my wheel had just got a new job with the FBI in  Homeland Security.  He probably travels back and forth  to KC with his new job.   I'll let him know,  he might have a friend that wants one also.   The model of my wheel is a Brent C,  I can see how you would want a CX if you were a massive thrower.  Model C has plenty of power for me.    Denice

  7. There has been lots of questions on belts and foot pedal adjustment on Brent/Amaco equipment lately. I have answered most of them. This page I posted below answers most of them. I'm hoping this will help those in the future with questions-a moderator could pin it in at the top. https://www.amaco.com/equipment_how_tos
  8. Mark C.

    Wheel Quit Working

    Brent motors from Brent are way overpriced. You have two options as Neil said find the specs on the motor plate and then find a similar motor with the same mounting bracket or one that you can adapt. This is a key point Option two just need to take it to an electric motor repair shop and they can find you a replacement .
  9. Yes many of my glazes run and a good foot ring catches them.Its also my signature style of foot. A solid strong foot is something most pots need. learning to make a good strong solid non chip foot is a key deal. I spent a year working with a mentee on her foot style.Most just ignore the foot or half -a--one or do not have one.Good feet are part of good pots.All that said I have a few forms that I do not have feet on. I used to 40 years ago foot everything . In my temp range of cone 11 porcelain many glazes are moving and they fill that foot space above the foot. My pie plates for example are flat bottomed but still have the side edge foot that catches glazes. If you are working in cone 06 runny glazes will not be an issue but a good foot on a pot will always look better.
  10. You need to absorb all the knowledge you can from wherever you can find it. I suggest multiple sources.College art programs vary widely from learning to open jars of glaze jars (thats about all you will learn) to a more hands on approach of making things from scratch like kilns and glazes and molds. Good programs are hard to find .Meanwhile while learning all you can across the spectrum of ceramics -spend endless hours learning to throw well. Start with easy to throw stoneware clay .Learn gas firing, electric firing ,raku firing ,all firing. Learn to make glazes fire kilns and all the while hone those throwing skills-the local art center is just a start, as you will will need more knowledge in the long run.Work for a potter or two if you can find that work. Learn other skills like plumbing and electrical and building as those will make it easier on your later even if clay turns sour.These skills all come in handy for potters. Its not a simple life and its as lucrative as you want to make it.It just takes more time and work to get going than most want to put in to it.Its really not for everyone. If its your passion-its not work and you will go far. If you ask how long it will take well it may not be for you. good luck Mark I have posted a lot of threads over the years on how to make it work-Use the search at the top of the main page to find posts . Good luck
  11. Mark C.

    How to open Venco wheel

    Babs I have done the white pointers (great whites) in Guadalupe Island Mexico in 2005 in cages.Been there done that.Plus the water was 100 foot visibility . Seen my share of whale sharks as well but pets is ground zero for that. And that wheel needs to be fixed.
  12. Mark C.

    How to open Venco wheel

    Hey I can fix it this fall bring it up to Bali-I'll be there diving for two weeks.I'll bring my industrial can opener. Or if you like you can set me up to dive with the whale sharks and I will come to your place after the Bali gig.
  13. Mark C.

    Wide Range firing clay bodies

    Now I'm assuming these are all white clay bodies like porcelain? Next you will say that giant soccer nation of cutter out in the desert is hosting the next world cup . Ok they cannot be iron bearing clays right?
  14. Mark C.

    Wide Range firing clay bodies

    Are you are saying 1% absorption rate at cone 4-10 thought that whole range. And the maturing temp is the whole range as well.Meaning its just as strong throughout that range?Just really hard to think the EU has something that the rest of world has not come across in ceramics? Asia really has us all beat by centuries and the EU sneaked ahead in just the past 15-20 years? Next world cup will hosted by Eskimos in Alaska I hear in 2030. I'm having hard time wrapping around this really all all joking aside
  15. Mark C.

    Wide Range firing clay bodies

    Most of the clays with wide ranges of temps are going to weep at many of those temps.At least thats what I have found to be true. I'm sure there is an optimum temp and below that its maybe working but not well and above that the same may be true and at some point bloating/slumping will come into play. I have only been around of two such bodies in past 45 years and that stated range was really not true unless you made non-functional wares from it. Speaking of non -functional wares its does not matter much at all as long as it holds together . One of the hardest parts is finding glazes that work and will not weep in a clay that is not mature. For functional wares it easier to use a clay at the temp you want to fire to and where the glazes fits well and the product do not weep or the glazes do not cause problems.

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