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Tracking Other Peoples Pottery in Kiln

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I keep track of my own stuff by taking a picture of each shelf as I load it with my phone and putting labels on the picture.

In your case, could you have your clients write their name on the bottom or a number associated with them in underglaze pencil to make it easier.

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Each item I fire has a 4 character ID:  first character is a letter (representing the year), the second, third, and fourth characters are item number.  The four character code is logged in a book with description and other notes.  The characters are made with either brush work or stamp using a ceramic "ink" made from equal (volume) amounts of red iron oxide and manganese dioxide, but underglaze works just fine. 



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My friends who own a paint-your-own shop has the following system in place:

When the customer purchases their bisque to paint, a sheet is filled out with the customer'sfull  name and contact information, and which piece of bisque they've purchased (eg small cat figurine). The hours spent painting the piece are also recorded here. Once the piece has been painted, the sheet is flipped over, and some kind of descriptor is added by a staff member as to how the piece was decorated. For instance, if the piece was painted by a child, the descriptor might read "kid painted, yellow, orange and pink predominant," or "Cheshire Cat inspired with purple and black."  Customers are encouraged to initial their work with underglaze, to reduce possible confusion. Pieces are stored with their paperwork before firing, and the sheets of the works in a given kiln are attached to a clipboard with the kiln number on it. When pieces come out of the kiln, the customers are notified that their pieces are ready, and the paperwork goes back with the piece on the storage shelf until it's picked up and the studio hours are paid for.

Hope that helps!

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