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shawnhar

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  1. shawnhar

    Judge my pots - 3rd batch

    Thanks, that looks very interesting. The crystalline glazes have been pushed way back on the "try this" list due to the high rate of failure and I have no control over the kiln at the studio. Your'e spot on about the clay bodies, of of my big planters cracked in the bisque fire and B-mix5 with no grog is a poor choice for large planters, painful lesson, also, none of the youtube videos say anything about having to be careful when drying large pots, creating stresses and micro fractures that propagate in firing....sigh...so much to learn!
  2. Might be able to get this guy for cheap...
  3. Wow thank you for all the great comments! I hope no one found my rambling diatribe offensive, just trying to describe my reference fame. I don't want to make cheap items, but until I have the skill to command a higher price it is so. Lee, I did not take it that way or mean to imply it Mea and Mark and Sharon, thank you thank you for the experienced info and suggestions, I will not be wasted on me. Sharon that is a great idea about the gallery line, and my pieces are blended into the inventory spread around and it is a high end shop, she won't take clothes unless they are perfect condition and won't accept anything junky. My last 2 planters are waiting to get bisqued and they are decent, far better than any of the other pots I've made so far, if the glaze goes well I might get $50 ea. Made a deal with myself that if I can gross the cost of a wheel, then I'll get one and start putting in a lot more hours. Thanks again everyone!
  4. That is hilarious! Now I really want to sign them that way. Lee, thank you for the honesty, I like that you value the integrity of artisan-ship enough to defend it, it reminds me of guitarists with real talent lamenting the "Brown-eyed Girl" guitar players on every patio doing it for cheap and I get it. But... I am not sure I would ever offer a pot for sale if it didn't meet my internal criteria, at some point, "good enough" will have to suffice. My astrophotography is the same way, anyone that doesn't do it thinks my pics are awesome, but all I see are the flaws. I can't look at pots the same way, there is no time to become good, the only question is can I become "good enough" to eek out a living doing it, can I learn a skill to supplement my SS check, could I pay the bills if I had too. I am not, nor will I ever be an artist, I can't sell myself as one and pretty sure no one will ever pay more for anything I make just because it has my name on it. If I the only way I could make 30k at this was to make terrible $5 bowls all day then guess what I will be doing. I will never be embarrassed by something I made that sold for money, that's the reason I am doing this. The feeling of accomplishment and ownership, pride, meaning, fulfillment, joy, purpose, direction, expression, all that ends after the pot comes out of the kiln and I see the result. That pot is now free from any entanglement to me, if a million people bought a million of my pots for a dollar just to talk about how I'm the worst potter in history, I'm good, reached my goal. Don't get me wrong, I want to be awesome, but the reason you or no one else can hurt my feelings is because this is about money, financial viability, am I/can I be good enough, can I produce enough, do I have what it takes to make this happen. Having said that, "I" am not all about money, not that kind of person, if I were, I'd be a televangelist and scam people out of their money. I want to make an honest living with no deception or shady sales techniques. I want to be proud that people bought my wares, even though nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever meet my internal standards. I will always see the flaws in everything I do.
  5. Thank you Mea and Mark, I value the feedback. I certainly am aware my wife's shop is not a meaningful source of income and I am not looking at it that way. I do not expect any meaningful income from this for 3 years at least, maybe never, but it would be nice if it could pay for it's self while I'm learning.
  6. A bit of backstory: I'm getting close to 50 and had a low level corporate job for the last 15 years. 5 years ago my wife bought a floundering consignment business for 10k and now she makes more than I do. I want to be a potter (or own a studio), but health ins, stock options and 401k will make it REALLY hard to take the leap when/if the time comes. I took pottery in high school, really liked it and a little over a month ago started going to a local studio a few times a week, yesterday I threw a 15lb planter and it looks like a nice medium sized planter. The previous planter same size was broken while waiting to bisque fire and I got to see the cross section, I was pleased with it even though I had to trim it to thickness on the bottom, the other 2 I am confident have a much better cross section. Anyway the point is, I will likely have 3 large planters that would sell immediately for $40 and my wife has been selling my beginner pots already for $5 and $10. Those beginner pots I would not have sold, they are "My Memaw took a pottery class and made this" level, but my wife's argument is I would have thrown away 50 bucks already. The 3 planters will be decent pots I can feel good about putting my name on and were specfically requested by my wife, after this I'm going back to practicing mugs/handles/glazing. - Now, several folks here have expressed thoughts that it is dangerous or foolish to be selling these sub-par pots at low prices, that doing so could undermine my credibility or reputation in the future. Also that I should be throwing everything back in the bucket straight from the wheel if it does not meet standards, this I agree with, sort of, but I have to practice trimming and glazing too, and trust me, I throw and cut entire days. But these glazed beginner pieces, even though they are not up to my standard, can be sold cheap in my wife's consignment shop, rather than becoming landfill. I have not signed a piece yet, I've been putting my initials. My wife keeps telling me they need a signature, that the customers all look on the bottom to see if there is one, but it's not like they are looking for a known name or a local artist, they just want to know that it is made by an individual and not mass manufactured, that it is a unique piece by a single person. I don't understand how this could hurt me. It's not like these people are talking among themselves about the cheap, sub-par pottery they got from me, and no one from galleries or high end shops is going in there and making a mental note of Shawn's cheap pieces. They have to be cheap, it's a consignment shop of used stuff, no one will ever pay $40 for a mug there, even if it was made by a master. When I reach my proficiency goal, I won't be able to sell pieces in her shop, her customers won't buy them at my price. So, I am brand new and don't know what I don't know yet. I do know making junk on purpose to sell cheap is BAD for ME. I get that. What I don't get is why I should make enough money along the way to being a good potter, that I can pay for my studio time, the clay, and make enough to justify buying a wheel for home. Any input greatly appreciated!
  7. shawnhar

    Judge my pots - 3rd batch

    Thanks Rae, it is my image with my equipment. I built an observatory in the backyard, that is the Jellyfish Nebula, a supernova remnant in the constellation Gemini. It is a popular target for amateur astrophotography. It's funny you mention the glaze, I have wondered if/how I could incorporate my love of the night sky with this new endeavor.
  8. shawnhar

    Judge my pots - 3rd batch

    Point taken, but I'm not sure that is the way she would look at it. More like she runs an art show and I am the vendor that never shows up, and somehow costs her money. My other hobby is literally putting money into a black hole, and I don't mean that in an 80's "I don't know what this word means" kind of way, I mean literally.
  9. shawnhar

    Judge my pots - 3rd batch

    My situation is a bit different since I have the sales outlet built in at my wife's shop. She's already sold 2 of those planters, one of them was the cracked bottom. Her argument is, even if I only get 5 bucks out of it, better than throwing away 5 bucks. I've sold 6 out of the 12 kept pots so far, for a grand total of $45 Getting closer to keepers, to me these seem a bit more indicative of early work vs. rank beginner. My walls are getting much better at the bottom and starting to get a feel for glazing. Tried some experimenting with the glazing on these 2, I was worried about the outcome but they turned out way better than I thought
  10. shawnhar

    1st pots in 30 years

    Thanks Rex, I can't believe it's only been a month. The most common comments in the studio are now "nice pot" and "I hate you" (sarcastic of course). Iv'e been able to consistently reach my daily goals and the progress is much faster than I thought it would be. Attached pics of my last 2 glazed pots and last 3 thrown, drying on my shelf in the studio. Very happy with progress to date.
  11. shawnhar

    Judge my pots - 3rd batch

    Great replies everyone! I've made a list of things to work on, like check out other planters for ideas, learn how to make good feet, work on thick bottoms/trimming (this one is probably the toughest at the moment) I had 2 other planters bisqued and plan to try some more interesting glazing with 2 colors and brushed wax. Tomorrow is my full (well, only 8 hours) day and the plan is 2 large planters and 20 mugs to focus on the overall thickness and foot, then use those for glaze practice, and handles (i haven't done a handle in 30 years, lol). I tried 6 on Thurs night and was only able to keep 2, and they were not very good. My throwing class starts on the 30th an I'm really looking forward to some structure. Pres, I like your input on the vase, when I looked at the final I thought the same, actual neck and flare are muted and the strongest line too low, it's heavy on the bottom as well.
  12. shawnhar

    Judge my pots - 3rd batch

    Great feedback everyone! I would never have thought about the shape since I don't do potted plants, and the notch in the foot, good points about the sharp edge and the wall thickness. I know they are pretty bland but my wife said "don't overdo it" and that shino glaze is super boring by it's self. I am still struggling with thick bottoms on everything I throw, i think that's my worst issue right now and they are still thick even after trimming. Gonna make that #1 on the goal list. So what shape could they have been that would have been better? I was actually happy my wife said the middle one looks exactly like every other cheap planter anywhere, since my goal was to "make planters", lol and I was trying to make what a planter looks like in my mind. But what to do? Obviously different glazing but what else?
  13. shawnhar

    Centering 50lbs on a VL Whisper?

    I saw that, really impressive!
  14. How would you rate these pots. Don't hold back, you really can't hurt my feelings. (I know the one has a crack in the bottom) Form, thickness, trimming, glaze application, etc... What would you have done differently? How could they have been better? What can you see wrong or might be wrong?
  15. shawnhar

    Centering 50lbs on a VL Whisper?

    Thanks Mark, Iv'e read that many times and take it to be true. Forming a business model in my head that contains "mug math", where survival means 30 mugs a day, or whatever sells. Big bottle or other things I want to try don't become an option until quota is met.
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