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PRankin

Feeling Like A Complete Potter

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I'm sitting in front of my brand new kiln enjoying watching the temperature rise and listening to the controller clicking during its inaugural firing. Its an Olympic Medallion Artist Series 18x18 inch unit with a Bartlett V6-CF controller and is nestled in my garage where the electrician installed a 220 line last week. I ordered it from Clay-King and it was delivered in 3 days.

 

I was very dependent on the local community college's studio with unlimited time, free clay, use of wheels and especially firing but due to damage and theft of some of my work by the students I decided to purchase my own kiln. I've had my own wheel for about a year and a half and have been shuttling my work to the school but that was always a pain so now I feel like a complete independent potter with all of my own equipment and on my own schedule. This is very exciting and I can't wait to put in a real bisque load tomorrow or the next day.

 

When the semester starts in September I will continue to use the college's facilities because I enjoy working in the group setting with other seniors (and its free) and I help the students but I'll be more wary of where my work is, less trusting and not so dependent on them because I HAVE MY OWN KILN.

 

Paul

oldlady, Patat, Pres and 10 others like this

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Congratulations.  I think you can look forward to making a big advance with your work, though there may be some growing pains.  Having input into the whole process is a really big deal.

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Congratulations.  I'm still in the process of getting my kiln situation figured out.  I will be happy, when I have one at home.  Transporting greenware, is a bit of a hassle.  

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It's a great feeling......independence!

I remember my test firing, dashing between the house and the garage every half hour to check temperatures, mistiming the start so I was up half the night waiting for it to switch off. It's taken a few months but I'm now feeling quite relaxed about the whole process.

I still go to the community studio. I enjoy the chat, the ideas bouncing around, the knowledgeable potters who are happy to let you pick their brains.............and the lovely glazes!

Many happy firings to you, Paul.

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Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments. The first firing went as expected. I spent most of the time sitting nearby in the shade hovering, reading and watching the temp go up then down. It was a nice learning experience getting to know my kiln. I loaded it this morning with greenware but I won't be able to do the bisque firing until tomorrow when I can be home all day.

 

Paul

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Well, it seems like I spoke too soon. I've just received notification that my local studio is closing down. Falling member numbers have made it unsustainable, so we've been give a couple of months to finish work, etc then Southport Ceramics Studio is no more.

 

What now? I already talk to myself!

 

Fortunately for me this site has lots of ideas and helpful folk who are happy to advise.

Thank you all.

Sally

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Well, it seems like I spoke too soon. I've just received notification that my local studio is closing down. Falling member numbers have made it unsustainable, so we've been give a couple of months to finish work, etc then Southport Ceramics Studio is no more.

 

What now? I already talk to myself!

 

Fortunately for me this site has lots of ideas and helpful folk who are happy to advise.

Thank you all.

Sally

 

**Dis-like**  

 

:(   

 

If you campaigned/advertised for more members is there a chance it could stay open?  Move to another location.  Facilities like this seem to be rare in the UK.  Such a shame when they close.

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You're right, Chilly, closures are happening far too often. The studio was actually set up 3 years ago by tutors from the local college who were made redundant when the ceramics course was scrapped.

 

It has had quite a high profile in the town but new members still haven't come in. It isn't for lack of trying. The latest news is that they are moving to a smaller place in the city 30 miles from me, and concentrating on artists and graduates. It isn't clear yet what is happening but they have promised to keep current members informed. I'm not a graduate.....or an artist for that matter, so I probably won't be moving with them.

 

Sorry for hijacking your post, Paul. I just wanted to reply to Chilly's comment.

Good to hear your new kiln is working its magic.

Sally

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lost another post.  gotta hit that black box that says POST.

 

sally, if the whole thing is moving, maybe you could get some of the studio's equipment or extra glazes or something they don't want to bother to take 30 miles.  could be a silver lining in this gloomy cloud.

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Sally, I'm sorry about your studio closing. Its funny you mentioned it but for the last few weeks I've been working by myself at home and find that I'm very good company and have very interesting conversations with myself. I do miss the college studio though and I'm looking forward to it opening in September so I'll have it both ways.

 

Paul

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That thought had crossed my mind, oldlady, especially as they're moving to a smaller place.

 

Plus........I could put the money saved on fees towards a small wheel. Yes, I am looking at the positives.

 

Sally

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Sounds like it's time to start your own studio, you can start out simple with purchasing a kiln.  In the U.S. they have small kilns that can be plugged into your regular house hold wiring, I'm not sure what is available in England.  I filled my kiln with slab, coiled or pinch pots for many years before I got a wheel.  Denice

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Plus........I could put the money saved on fees towards a small wheel. Yes, I am looking at the positives.

 

Sally

 

When my two local evening classes closed, I looked at going further afield.  The cost of fuel, time to get there, and class fees easily pays for the firing of my own kiln.  Then, the year I had the birthday I was dreading, I found the over 50 group and realised 50 wasn't so bad after all.

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