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Everything posted by shawnhar

  1. shawnhar

    Studio Photography

    Callie that mug makes me want a cupcake
  2. shawnhar

    Bailey Pro Xl vs Shimpo Vl Whisper

    I think you'd be fine with either wheel. I wanted a Whisper but ended up with a used Bailey a couple of months ago and so far I like it just as well as the Shimpo at the studio.
  3. 8 months in and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface but I'm getting much better at centering, opening, pulling and shaping. I'm still not purposeful in a way that demonstrates mastery, I might shape 3 or 4 times or realize it's thick at the bottom and have to pull and shape again, still get the wobbly rim and have to trim it , etc... and I haven't mastered the smooth transition of the super efficient "centering/opening/pulling" technique that I saw in a utube vid that I can't find now; it was one fluid step from centering through first pull and I often get a wobble when opening, but I've it done successfully a few times. I read that mugs are pretty much 70% of your sales as a production potter so that is where 70% of my effort is going, and I feel like it has definitely paid off in the quality of my mugs. Iv'e tried to absorb all the feedback you have already given here, like thinner and rounded rims, handle shapes, etc.. and the video is a good representation of where I'm at as far as ability, technique and speed. Anyway... I'm looking for hardcore "I don't care if you like me" feedback. The forum is filled with nice people (which is a good thing!) but I don't want nice, I want critical feedback that I can use to improve my skill. I want to be better, and I would like you, to tell me what I'm doing wrong, or what I should work on to reach my goal of being a production potter. I am at the point where bad habits might become muscle memory if I don't change them now and I plan on making a thousand mugs next year, so I am looking for input that will help me be a professional, so any critique and/or advice from someone that's been doing this longer than me will be very valuable to me. I appreciate your consideration, now let the flaming commence...
  4. Thanks Stephen, I signed up for the 4 Saturdays leading up to xmas so I have 3 more to go this one is only open 3 hours, figured it might be a good toe dipper, I need some experience. I had 100 mugs and over 100 other pieces, making more mugs today as I'm off work due to IT issues. I do plan to do regular shows, as many as I can get in next year, my wife is selling her store and is going to work with me to try and make pottery a reality, we hope to do a bunch of shows and explore other avenues of selling, my current goal is to sell 12k in 2019.
  5. Awesome feedback guys! Liam I have only recorded myself a few times, I meant to do it more often but never got around to it. I agree It is really helpful to watch yourself 3rd person. Mark that is really intresting, I am going to skip the rib on some of my next batch and see how they turn out. I could throw 50 mugs in 3 hours if I had all the clay balls ready and was making one shape, but the handles would take MUCH longer! My goal was 40 mugs a week next year but I realized my studio (aka, my bathroom) is not big enough to support that volume of production, well maybe, if I did'nt make anything else, only mugs, maybe. -I'm going to try using a large sponge for finger slop and try throwing with a sponge in my hand to see if I can avoid the towel and the bucket more. - I'll have to look into getting some small bats and will look up ur your old posts! - You make a 2# mug? Good grief that thing must be more like a beer stein, lol. Gabby thanks for the suggestion of stretching, gotta keep the body in shape! - Dangit now I want to practice throwing a 3 pull 3 pound cylinder but I don't have time right now, after xmas... challenge accepted! Mea thanks for the hockey puck tip, using it right now and it's working great! You are spot on about being intentional, I would say that is my biggest weakness right now. Changing the shape, you got me....I just changed my mind mid throw and decided it need to be the other shape, "unsure and indecisive about shaping" is exactly right. I'm still experimenting a little, not every time I throw but I'm not trying to make exactly the same shape every time either, I'm trying to put tons of varience into my mugs bowls and vases because I don't know what sells so it's hard for me to nail down a specific shape and make it on purpose, feels like everything is just a market test to see if it will sell, if so then, great, make more of "those". I see that is kind of backwards, the correct path is "make 20 of these, on purpose", if they don't sell, don't make more, but if they do you can make more because you made those on purpose. Thanks Mark, the large sponge is a good tip, just threw 9 mugs and it helped, added a clean water bucket and dry with towel, bam! I do need to watch it letting go of the piece gently, happens when I'm trying to rush the process. I kind of have to wire off my mugs right now so I can put them on ware boards, don't have any bats to use like that, the ones I do have are 12" and take up too much space. I thought he almost lost it at the 59 second mark but recovered, then the same thing happened next piece, and the next, that wheel is spinning super fast! I can't throw that dry or fast without torquing the clay and losing it. I think I need another thousand under my belt, lol. Watching that video made me try to go faster and I lost 2. Rae I am all over that 12" cylinder practice after xmas Clark I agree about releasing too fast, will work on that, nice tip on the ring pressure when opening, I'll give that a try. Neil thanks for the insight on posture, I have one of those "reminder belts" for my back and haven't been wearing it. I got into the habit of really leaning in like that when centering started getting easier, I'll work on keeping my back straight and mindfulness of what I'm doing. Had a great sales day at the Farmer's Market, at least to me, sold 17 mugs and a few other things, 350 in sales was well above what I hoped for considering the venue and rain. Next day was open house sale at the studio and I sold all my seconds mugs for 5 bucks so I ended up doing over 450 for the weekend, a milestone for me for sure!
  6. Is it normal to hear a low volume very slight hum when the kiln is not firing? It sounds like a transformer, if you know what that sounds like. I am testing after wiring everything myself and paranoia strikes deep, there's something happening here, what it is, isn't exactly clear. Am I being overly cautious or should a kiln be completely silent when not firing?
  7. Thanks Mark, I feel the same way about teaching anything and appreciate you taking the time to watch the vid and give feeback. You know, looking back at the video it does seem like I spend a lot of time going to the water bucket. I did a session of 50 mugs in one day to practice speed a while back, and I ended up with a buch of "boogers" from where I had not cleaned off my hands, or the tools, so I changed my steps to include a lot more cleaning, trying to avoid that. I have noticed I need to spend less time creating slip if there is enough wet area to spread what slip is alreay there to the rest of the pot, and I do see less time in the water bucket as more efficient, just haven;t gotten there yet. I had not thought of using the needle tool instead of the stick for the bottom but I will incorprate that into my next session! I have seen vidoes of people using right angle V shaped trimming tools used to do both at the same time and planned on making some from old hacksaw blades. - "Not a rib guy" is a pretty intresting statement, I'm curious if that is a product of years of use and realizing you didn't/no longer need it or more of a "end result is the same" and abandoning it to save time. - Do you wire/remove your mugs from the wheel or leave them on the bat? It seems like what kind of bat would be irrelevant if you wire them off and put on a ware board. Thanks liambesaw, I have tried the 1st pull palm thing but ran into problems with the clay drying out too fast and creating a ton of torque on my palm so not able to complete the pull. I have seen different clays be able to resist that torque more than others, or stay slippery longer, which is very much the reason I keep moving to less grog/more plastic clays. - I got a ton of S cracks trying to throw off the hump, which I'm sure is due to my newbness, but if I wanted to have 100 mugs for the farmer's market I was just going to have to do what worked before. Throwing off the hump is high on my list of things to master, as one of my hopeful mainstays is little 4 oz ramikens sold for cheap, my wife sold the heck out of them at 5 bucks and I could really crank those things out if throwing off the hump.
  8. I have my TC offset to compensate quite a bit, even though it is a new thermocouple (less than 10 glaze firings) and I am wondering what will happen when I get new elements. I think I have at least a dozen or so firings out of the current elements but I think they will need to be replaced in a couple of months as I plan to start firing twice a week now that i have the glaze fire worked out. Does the TC offset change with new elements?
  9. shawnhar

    TC Offset and new elements?

    Thanks Neil, guess I won't worry about the elements for a while. I have no idea how many times they were fired when I got the kiln but they looked really good and still do.
  10. shawnhar

    TC Offset and new elements?

    I read somewhere you only get 50 (ish) glaze firings out of a set of elements, is that inaccurate? At twice a week that would be over 100 in a year, plus the bisque. I am not seeing increase in firing time really, I think 9 minutes is probably within the variance and the last 2 were exactly the same
  11. I screwed up the glaze on my big bowls and need to start over, but the previous attempts at the studio yielded poor results after re-glazing. I had scrubbed those off with a sponge under running water, then let dry for days before dipping again. Any tips or tricks to removing glaze and starting over after you have dipped a piece in glaze the 1st time?
  12. Make sense Steven, the ones I washed off were not the same color as the rest of my bisque ware and I kind of thought the same thing. There has to be "some" residual glaze within the piece even after ardent washing right?
  13. Thanks all! I have noticed my pieces are taking a lot longer to dry at the studio lately since it turned cooler and there are no doors open and fans running.
  14. The glaze appeared to have come out thin and had small blisters. Maybe I should have dipped them longer than normal, or they got contaminated with studio dust and I didn't clean them sufficiently. I do live in a humid area.
  15. shawnhar

    TC Offset and new elements?

    Thanks Johnny, that makes sense!
  16. I like the bottom and want to reproduce it, how do you think it was done?
  17. shawnhar

    how is this glaze pattern made?

    Awesome shape on that teapot! I don't use teapots and haven't made one yet, but I saved these pics as a reference to try and emulate. The teapot in our class looks pathetic compared to that one. - Love the godzilla for scale, now I'm jealous, I don't have a godzilla reference type item, ur makin me want to dig around in some storage boxes.
  18. shawnhar

    how is this glaze pattern made?

    OK I see now, Yikes! That's a mighty big rabbit hole...maybe I should put that on the "to try later" list, lol Thanks!
  19. Makin' pencil holders and utensil holders for the farmer's market, hope I can get them bisqued and glazed by Dec 1st... stupid "money" job interfering with my "dream" job, lol. - Mugs are ready to gomugsforfarmersmarket.jpg.c4bd6b160e03c8e4861fe2d6e9ab0622.jpg

    1. LeeU


      Hey--don't knock it. Having a money job to fuel and support your dream job is smart--creativity put into practice throughout your endeavors.   Add business card/letter holders--people love them as gifts for people who have a desk at work or for their retail store card at the cash register.  Trust me on this! B)

    2. shawnhar


      Not knockin it too bad, just wish I could throw a lot more and the job eats up a lot of my time. Thanks for the tip! I had not thought of card holders. I'll try to think of a design for that. 

    3. JohnnyK


      First thing that came to mind for the letter holder...same as sponge holder (cup with slots); for the business card holder,,, smaller cup with most of the front half carved away. Thanks for the suggestion, Lee!

  20. shawnhar

    how is this glaze pattern made?

    Hmmmm...I've looked at a lot of wood ash glazed pots that do not have that pattern. I really like the "tree root" pattern, looks like they dripped glaze down somehow but not sure how they got it to "branch" like that. I like the way the lines break off and connect to nearby lines, any way to get that with cone 6 electric?
  21. shawnhar

    How it's made

    Those have to be hollow right? No way I could have walls that thick survive firing, lol That add on frame thingy would be super easy to add, just roll a thin slab on paper and cut that out with a straight edge and stick it to the pot. (I say super easy but it would be a pita keeping the lines straight when applying) Curved walls are not hard to do with slab built boxes, you just cut arcs instead of 90 degree straight lines, but keeping everything uniform and straight is super hard without a mold. If I were going to try and reproduce that I would have to have a mold, I'm pretty new though and in my 1st hand building class.
  22. Waiting for big bowls to dry so I can trim after work

    1. JohnnyK


      I'm in the same place with my Christmas order. Looking to trim them this afternoon. Rain tomorrow will slow the drying process...should be able to bisque this weekend. How did your 40 cup project wind up?

    2. shawnhar


      All things considered the mugs went well, I think I lost 12, 2 handles popped, a few had tiny cracks and a few had glaze issues. Made more since then and I have a dozen more already bisqued and ready to glaze.

      I have problems with my large bowls getting a tiny little crack in the bottom or warped rims, hoping this set of 6 will not have any issues

  23. shawnhar

    advice/tips on my new kiln :)

    Make a ton of test pieces for glaze firing before trying to fire anything you care about. I had to fire mine 10 times to find the right settings
  24. I don't know if other folks had a tough time learning to fire an electric kiln but I have had a rough go of it. After much testing (some of it asinine) I came to the conclusion that I was overfiring my glazes here at home because my kiln fires too hot at ^5 even with no hold, the 5 was all the way down and the 6 starting to bend, so I did a TC offset of 23f. Bisque fired to 04 brought down the tip of the witness cone just to the shelf after the TC offset of 23f, previous 04 fires had brought it all the way down and slumped. So far so good. Did a Cone 5 med, no hold and all but one of the glazes came out great, no blistering....BUT... The ^5 cone barely bent at the top of the kiln and the one on the bottom does not look like it bent at all. The bottom shelf had a turq pot with blisters, which makes me think I was wrong about the overfiring causing the blisters, so weird, the middle and top turq pots were perfect. I am thinking about doing the same fire, ^5 med but with a 10 minute hold, hoping that will even out the kiln temp and bring down the ^5 cone. Guess I'm just looking for a sanity check, I've ruined so many little pots, sigh... At least I have plenty of filler for the kiln for all these tests, lol. I have mugs that have been fired 5 times.
  25. Babs, I hope to fiddle, one day! Glaze composition is something I have spent no time on yet, I don't have a place to do dry ingredients. - Finally, cone 5 with 17 minute hold, all glazes came out right, 5 cone tip was even with the base. Now I guess I need to find a clay with less absorption. Thanks all!

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