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Mark C.

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Everything posted by Mark C.

  1. I'm not saying you cannot throw porcelain big its just takes more skill at throwing. I just threw some stoneware after only working with Porcelain for many years and it practically threw itself. Those stoneware pots are for a salt fire next month.
  2. Doc You have it right about stoneware being easier to throw . Porcelain is denser tighter particle size. Its stronger but harder to work with. Coating with porcelain slip is a compromise as stated by others as the glaze is not exactly the same as a pure porcelain body (most likely offgassing). Porcelain has no iron in it . If you want large pots go ahead and coat them,I'm sure they will work good enough.
  3. I'll try to take some photos in coming weeks of my buttons and gaskets as I'm fibering a old oval electric at my workshop on Molokai before its killed with salt.
  4. Peter Pugger VPM 20SS

    The cost between the VMSS 9 and the VMSS 20 is about 500$ and the capacity is so much larger . Its resale will fit more users as well.
  5. Chimney Entrance Reduction

    Flue exits work best if they mimic a Venturi for the same effects-that is they speed up the flue gas. In Lou Nils Books the art of firing he outlines this really well and I have used his double Venturi in my salt kiln stack-it has the flue Venturi and another one part way up the stack. Lots books are more modern thinking than the older Olsen . Both will make your stack draw better but Lots will make it even more so. The down side is do not make the flue to small-if its to big its easy to add bricks to make it smaller later.
  6. The upstairs is going to be a killer over time as Joseph mentioned. I'm not a fan of clay in the house for the dust issues brought up.Stairs will get old fast. Mea works in the basement which is better than the upstairs by a long shot. The garage is about 1000% better solution -You just need to figure the heat issue out.You can move all your garage items into the bonus room then your garage is a clay studio. The floor is wrong the ventilation is wrong the dust issue is wrong. In the garage all this is almost non issue. Just change your shoes and do not wear them into house. My 2 cents .
  7. Dropped off work at 5 outlets yesterday-only two more to cover before the tropics-I'm taking the lead that Pres started.

    1. Marcia Selsor

      Marcia Selsor

      by this time of winter I am envious. My arms are aching from the snow shoveling. Enjoy the Tropics.



  8. This will be later in March- after the 3rd-Dates still up in the air. Will be converting an large oval electric to a salt kiln. Element and all electrics are ripped out.Its the last use for this old kiln. Will coat with fiber and spray with my coating . Shelve the bottom with mullite. Up in the air on updraft or downdraft as ceramic materials are far and few between on this sleepy Island of 5,000.I favor down drafts but have no bricks for the stack-Most l.ikely cut a hole in lid. and use a piece of stove pipe is we can find one. Should get some fires out of this before it self destructs. Plan on one salt fire while on Island myself.Last time I did this the results where great. I'll fill in the dates when I know them. markC
  9. Glazing interior of cruets

    (A question for anyone: Stoneware clay fired to cone 6 vitrifies, correct?) is this cone 6 clay? if yes then it may or may not. I would glaze all interiors made for liquids period. Better product better results. stronger better if glazed on all sides.
  10. May want to wear your flip flops to this event.
  11. Fundraiser for Molokai Arts Center March 3rd-30$ entry covers choice of soup (5 to choose from) salad.dinner roll and you get to choose a ceramic bowl to keep. Their is also a silent auction on donated items big and small. This is the 8th annual to support the Molokai Arts center The event is at the beautiful Molokai Community heath center located at 30 Oki Place in Kaunakatai town. On Molokai ,Hi ant questions call Kanoelani R Dudoit volunteer coordinator 808-213-1179 I'll be there as well Mark C looking forward to it. I'm taking over some work(bowls) to give to cause myself
  12. Peter Pugger VPM 20SS

    You will like the machine after you use it awhile . The factory is about 3 hours from me and I toured it once. They have made these for over 3 decades and have constantly improved the products. I think you can deal direct with them-or at least they drop ship it to you.
  13. yep- synthetic chamois work the same only cheaper.
  14. Everyone has there own ways of business especially in the business of art fairs Mine has evolved over a 35+-year career in shows Some of this will not apply but a few may help if you are thinking about taking your wares on the road Every rack I have breaks down flat for packing-I originally made my own funky racks but now these are about the 7th generation racks made by professional wood workers-most are silver maple with birch plywood with strong backs glue on front-they nest in fan flat on edge. If you are starting out think 10x10 booth as most are that size. Start with what ever you can-door skins with fabric covers can work. It does not need to be the cats meow at first. Now I have enough racks in all sizes to do a double booth or a booth and a half or whatever comes along-I carry two canopies at all times in a space case on van roof-but one is enough-white tops shed the best light I feel on wares. For a sales table mine is a solid wood table which does not fold up-I put my bag box under it and it has a drawer for all that stuff you need now and then for shows-clips pens ,cards-tape-glue-new brain. It fits in my van load well. I use a portable cash register that I will add the current tax rate-as I always add tax to product. Some have tax built in price I do not.It's your choice. This makes cash sales a snap-I use a wireless nurit 8000 forcredit cards. Update for 2017-2018 (Iuse a square and a mini iPad) Shop your merchant services for the best rates and add ALL the fees to compare apples to apples. After my 1st 20 years of crawling in and out out trucks I got a extra long 1 ton van and that has helped my back-If you are starting out a VW is fine- just consider your back when you are young. Nuff said on that I always carry extra bags and a few towels for rain. As well as a box of wood shims for all the uneven ground you will be in. If you are doing a lot of street fairs on pavement a small box of kitty litter for oilspots will some day save you. As well as wood sticks to keep my box bottoms dry in rain and some white tarps to wrap them. I also use a poly polypropylene rug from an oriental market to cover street at shows. It rolls up is light and does not hold any waterever. These are harder to run down and are very cheap. I use paper bags for pots, as customers have to take custody for them, as they are not plastic bags that they swing around like a bag of fruit-plasticbags kill pots I have found. I cannot say how many broken pots come back afterthey rebagged them in a plastic bag s over the years. On that subject my rule is when a person breaks a pot in booth I ask them to buy something of same value or pay me ½ for it-they always buy another pot and feel they are getting something-I feel its more than fair and so do they in an already bad situation. The faster you clean it up the better-nothing other than Godzilla gets folks moving away like smashed ceramics. As far as packing I use banana boxes and apple boxes forpots-I learned long ago that you can pack a whole layer of mugs with zero paperas long as they are tight-then add one layer of paper and put the next layer of mugs right on top. I have been doing this with most forms for 25 plus yearswith very little breakage. The whole trick is tight packing. It is true with auto packing so if you hit the brakes it’s all tight. I have a metal cage in van but you can use say a piece of plywood in your car keeping the load from killing you in a crash by coming forward. I have known potters who have died from no cage when the load got themin a wreck. -Ok safety tips done Just consider this some. Some other thoughts are get to show early and check out yourspace Think about your neighbors-be considerate as we are all in this together. You know the bumper sticker (mean people suck)-You will be next to them for 2-3 days. Talk out border issues before setting up next to the ball toss booth. Talk to promoter about relocating away from the ball toss booth before setting up. Set up on time and stay for whole show no matter what happens unless there is a death in the family or you die on the spot. Do not read books paper in booth-remember you paid to be here and this period is your sales time you can read all day on Monday? What matters most is your sales opportunity is only during these show hours. Keep involved and chipper-bad attitude is downer-Move stuff around be friendly dust whatever keeps you fresh. I always pack a lunch so I can eat in or behind booth so I'm not waiting in a 30-foot food line while sales leave my empty booth. Have some drinks handy cold or warm . All this is common sense but trust me I have seen some weird stuff at shows. It goes without saying do not bring your dog ,chicken, snake or cat to show which I have all seen in neighbors booths.Really it was a sick chicken ! I never try to sell my pots-only answer questions about use-making -firing -washing etc-pots sell themselves. Everyone evolves his or her own manners on this. I use umbrellas and sunscreen as I'm fair skinned (a realbummer)-Do not get fried in sun-it will not help sales. Try to sell the stuff you have not the items you do not have like an order for a left handed double handled Uncle George custom name mug. At pack out consider you neighbors as well-move youcar/stuff if its blocking folks. We all want to be elsewhere now. Work as a professional it will come back to you. Take what will apply for you out of this. My show experiencehas been great overall for me after all these years I try to return every year to the shows that work for me-I have a large customer base in many western states and return customers are over 40 % of what I do-It can work for you to. Heres some various booth shots as well as my newer van before the dealer crashed it. Mark
  15. I have said this more than a few times as a functional potter to try and spread out your income sources. As time goes by your situation can change and having various income source points helps as some fade away or others change. This year during tax time mine are roughly as follows-it changes slightly year to year but this is a rough estimate for 2015 Wholesale 15% Fairs in state 20% Fairs out of state 40% Consignment 30% I realize these do not total 100% but they are rough enough for you to get the picture. The thing I like is no one stream is enough to really affects me all that much. I can choose to pick up more of this or that as change happens. For me I’m getting tired of traveling with a 1-ton van of pots so much. I used to do over 20 K miles a year for decade’s on the van now its less than 10k (the van is used only for business and is parked between shows) So I’m cutting back on some shows hence my show income will shift. I can choose to make it up or let it go. In my case I’m letting it go. Or I’m thinking I will-it really has not worked out yet. I have had a mix for 40 years now and like most things about it. Having a check come in the mail from others selling my work is refreshing just as it is to return from a far-flung show with a bag of money. I had given up wholesale for about 20 plus years and have brought it back into the mix.I have cut it back 5% since 2014 numbers If your starting out consider more than just a few income source points –in the long run this diversity will help you. One last note as this has been well covered by Mea’s posts. I make more money with my wares at art shows than the other sources but that said if you just limit yourself to this one income in the long run you will have missed some business connections that later in life can help you. This I have seen with other potters when they aged and only did shows in their career and now wished they had other sources to fall back on. Those sources at one time courted them but they turned them down and now wish they had a few.
  16. Peter Pugger VPM 20SS

    Yes I can advise I have the VPM 30 which is not stainless. I have a friend with a VPM 9 and its to small for most anyone as it holds so little you need to run it thru twice. I have been around two of the VPM 20s Only one was the stales ss model-They are at an art center that I volunteer evey few years and I will be there in about a week as its mid pacific on an Island. They process white clay in one and brown clay in the non ss model. They are a good size machine-I feel the right size for most people. The 30 is the right size for me as I'm a production potter-I just wish it was SS as I work in Porcelain only. The 20SS is as large as they can get into their C&C machine with a solid block of stainless In my view this is the best combo machine on the market and clay has been my life for over 40 years. I will add that I have not been around any of the Bailey Machines only these Peter Puggers and the Shimpos and the Australian luggers and of course the funky bluebirds.
  17. I posted a how to make buttons post a few years ago or at least had a photo of some various homemade types-also make a fiber gasket out of thiner fiber a round piece of fiber-that way your nichrome wire laster longer.
  18. Art Fairs with Ceramics

    Yes he worked with Cardew-I noticed his name in Studio Potter article On Cardew from a list of apprentices. I talked to him about that over the phone and had studio potter mail him that issue as a surprise gift . He had very lucky students I'm sure of that.
  19. Glaze kiln is cooling for an afternoon unload-next glaze will be in late March-big break

  20. Shopping for My First Kiln

    The biggest issue on 110 volt kilns would be that the house outlet you want to use is wired with 15 amp wire (#14)not (#12) 20 amp wire and the user is unaware of this and thinks they have a 20 amp circuit . This mess is more common then you think in the US.The downside is fire as the wire in the wall heats up as its on a 20 amp circuit beaker not the 15 amp breaker the wire is designed for. When it comes to electric kilns the user needs to know all the facts(wire sizes and breaker sizes) before just plugging in or changing outlets within the box in house to make the kiln work. I have had 3-4 electrics in my life and I have never bought a NEW kiln. Of course I do not use them for glaze firing only the occasional bisque (long ago I did do lusters in them) If I was glaze firing then the new controllers would be very appealing and I would get a new kiln. If I ever do it will be a L&L. thru Neil.
  21. Art Fairs with Ceramics

    This old post of mine back in 2012 really hit home-This is also when I connected to TJR who has since passed away-he is missed by all who knew him.Reading his response really made me sad. After reading this old post it all rings very true today.Not one item is old except the visa info which I updated.
  22. Fencing suppliers-garden shops-big box stores-concrete suppliers that sell hog wire and rebar. You can get it so heavy that Godzilla can stand on it without bending. Wire this heavy is usually pricey to ship as it sold in flat form I have no idea how heavy you are looking for. You should find this cheaper offline by a lot.
  23. If you do not want bat pins for whatever reason just use a clay pad or wet cloth (chamois) to hold bats. I throw all my small stuff on plater bats with a clay pad on wheel head.
  24. Farm supply stores? Steel and metal distributors in Calgary(industrial area)
  25. You feel clay is messy and dirty-cannot stand non predictably -failure is beyond you. All reasons to not be a potter

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