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Mark C.

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Mark C. last won the day on September 23

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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.
  1. The BUSINESS of Pottery

    I think these days one would have to slowly work at pottery as a sideline and either have another job (for money ) or a supporting partner to get you thru the lean start up years. Having a day job would be key. Also the love of ceramics would also be key as you noted and I would agree that this is far far not an easy way to make money.I feel its got to be more love for clay than desire to make money to make it work. I think risk is in all business and the pottery one has more than usual. I think Mea's point on how you spend money also has huge merits in the equation . Enough on this, this am I have our annual apple juicing day this morning-25 folks show up and we juice all of our and the neighbors apples as well as what folks bring. It usually a half day deal. Last year it was 120 gallons -this year it may be 30 gallons as its a light year. I need to light the bisque kiln as well.
  2. The BUSINESS of Pottery

    Tyler I think markets vary so much area to area. They also change over time. I never thought or have said it will be easy . I know from my past few years in various states selling that at least in some parts of the western US the market for handmade goods in improving rapidly. My local outlet yesterday said europeans are buy pottery to take home something that she has never seen in the past 15 years at her shop.I have test to have a down show this year compared to last year and last year was my best ever year. I think in many areas this will not be the case but for us out west thats what I have seen. My friend (another high end potter) has seen some downturn at his shows so all experiences are so different and really each person will experience a different outcome. I like many streams of income from ceramics (wholesale -consignment -direct -and shows are just one form. All shows will change over time they can go away -get better -get worse -or tank. Just their nature. My next show has lots of JUNK in it (always has past 25 years) but handmade still jumps out and sells well there. This will be my next show I drop as I scale back as its 1,000 miles from my house.
  3. I have the means and had a studio assistant for over 25 years now -its handles-interior glazing and some help with baby pots as well as most all of the hot dip waxing (I do the liquid wax on footed forms)
  4. one last note Make sure your glaze is the right gravity before adding this as it will make the bucket appear thicker .
  5. Kiln Install on Deck

    The freeze thaw cycle is what will work on cement board-I think you will get many seasons from it before it fails.Just get the thicker board as it comes in many thicknesses.
  6. The BUSINESS of Pottery

    My advice is to start to throw in series-working up to larger numbers.Most only want to make a few items then drift off to something else.I think discipline is key if this life is for you. Production seems to be a dirty word but thats the name of the game in functional wares .Sure you can make a few pots and ask a lot but that market is very small compared to what people want to use every day in their lives.
  7. A few tips on Magma use-I mix some up and keep in in a sealed container. Its looks and feels like snot.The small amount of copper keeps it from going bad. I make it with HOT water. It mixes in glazes best with warm water.You can add it to say a small amount of hot water then into the cold water in a glaze bucket once it diluted. Just make sure your glaze is already not top thin to add water to. I often heat a little glaze in an old pan and add this to that if the gravity is already right.Then it dissolves well and add that back into larger batch.
  8. The best way to find shows is go look at the show and talk to other potters about the show.This takes time but pays off.
  9. If I recall those instructions are on the big ceramic store web site. If not I can post them
  10. The BUSINESS of Pottery

    This is the true -about as condensed as you can get it.Its spot on. (It is easy to be successful at ceramics. All it takes is a lot of really hard work, some serious persistence keeping at it despite a lot of setbacks, and a decent plan to guide you thru those setbacks. Then, in a bunch of years,.... you'll see that it is "simple". )
  11. The BUSINESS of Pottery

    Chris is right Never been a better time to have a quality handmade product to sell.The business of functional wares has never been better. My sales are all up the past years. Very few folks making an effort to fill my shoes so the market has space for many others. The planning is key. I also say take a class -U-tube is not a class. In ceramics the personal learning -asking questions and hands on education is key Plan on it taking at least 5 -10 years to gain traction.
  12. Kiln brick question

    The thing about determining common fireplace bricks is they are not named stamped on sides and are more irregular in dimension and are much lower duty temp wise and should only be used in cooler chimney areas-they are also a bit more porous looking.You can see them at lumber and building material supply stores.
  13. They do not but the public often participates in the parades as we sponsor workshops for mask and animal costume making.
  14. What if there was a show where people came to listen to music or dance or be in a parade or buy hand made goods or just hang to have a good time-Where there was a celebration of life with all creatures with an all species day parade. Where the next day was a Samba parade with dancers and drums. You could get good food or just sit on the grass. Where the entertainment was non-stop and the energy was on high. How about a show that’s fits that description and has been going on for 44 years and is a big part of this community where I happen to live. This gathering is what is known as the North Country Fair and just happened last weekend in Arcata Ca. This year’s event was spectacular. Of course I have a tainted view as I’m on the board that puts this on and have sold my wares there for 44 years. If you are lucky enough to be in this area on the 3rd full weekend in September come to the north country fair as you will not see an event like this anywhere else on this planet. (Remember me to one who lives there) Bob Dylan http://www.madriverunion.com/the-hum-the-north-country-fair/