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Mark C.

Spoonrests or Top Ramen

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Mark C.    1,797

There was some interest in spoon rest production on another thread so I shot some photos of a run today.

 

You may or may not want to make these. If you want to pay off your house or buy a new car or put your kid thru collage these are just what to make-If they are below you then skip to the top ramen for dinner staving artist post.

 

Get your bats ready-I throw on small plaster ones on wareboards I carry out to the sun to dry like the old Japanese village throwing movies (ok some of you do not know about these films where whole villages make pottery- check them out)

 

The plaster dries out the bottoms so they release and dry very quickly.

 

The main thing is plenty of bats.

 

First get the softest pug of clay you can find or soften one up the softer the better.

 

This soft clay will make throwing them faster and easier.

 

Cut it into 48 pieces-It helps to have a wire with only one handle to pull thru the pug at the bottom (old timer trick) cut the pug down the middle center of the top to bottom- then each side once-then into thirds on the side-that equals 48 pieces-see photo

 

Next center one and before you spread it out cut a drip line and foot with wood tool-then lay it out sideways. These are no trimmers so get that foot right.

 

See photos

 

Stop wheel pull spout move on to next one

 

Etc etc.

 

Carry out to sun and dry-I like to sponge the bottoms while still soft enough to work just as soon as they are firm enough to remove without distorting them.

 

When you get this down it will take less than 1 hour for itall.

 

After drying

 

Board or bat them up in piles of 4-5 high and bisque them

 

I hot dip wax them and production glaze them with tongs- (nextweek) we can cover that.

 

These will sell better at a low price point-if you ask to much no need to make this many.

I display them in piles on two higher pedestals so folks can find their special one.

 

Mark

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INYA    4

I love your posts ;)

 

How to pay the house 1/50

 

 

 

and looking forward to th next chapter about the waxing (please write about the mixture I would like to star but don`t know what material to use)

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TJR    359

Hey, Mark;

Once again, thanks for sharing! I saw those things in your other pictures and wondered how they were made. I don't have a pug mill-I am thinking about 3/4 of a pound of clay for each? Does that sound about right?

I could stand to pay off the house.

Tom [TJR]

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Mark C.    1,797

Tom

one 25# pug divided by 48 is .52-so thats about a tad over 1/2# each 3/4#s is way to much clay

Again I sell these for 5$ each-I price them at 4.70 and round off the tax wherever I travel with them so they are 5$ each-at that price they fly off the pedestals. Find your price point in your own area -if they are slow selling the price is to high.</div><div>Often folks want to leave the show with an item and find these then add another piece or two from my booth.

They are fast and easy to make-I pack them about 50 fired ones to a clay box.I do track them as far as how many I sell at a given show so I can always take more than I need.

Big 3 day shows I go thru over 300 of them-do the math and one sees the beauty of them

small sleepy shows maybe a 100 of them sell.

The items that sell best with them are lotion bottles ,sponge holders,soap dishes. I tend to show all these small items near one another.

Mark

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atanzey    6

Mark - do you have bat pin recesses in your plaster bats, or do you put them down with clay? I really want to go to plaster bats, but my one-and-only plaster experience (a wedging table) was not happy. I'm trying to convince myself it would be better next time.

 

Alice

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Mark C.    1,797

No pins -I just throw a wet centered slab of clay down with some groves cut into it. Pin holes wear out to fast-I pour my own bats.

Mark

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~janie    8

What a good idea. The house is paid for, but the Suburban has 317,000 miles on it, all on the same engine, transmission, and rear end.

 

So I am looking for things like this to make and sell for little money. Want to sell big things for big money, too, but not so many people have big moneys.

It all adds up.

 

What kind of clay do you use? No way I could put them out in the sun, tho. Our sun would bake them, pronto!

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Mark C.    1,797

I use Dave's Porcelain for 99% of my production. The sun on the Texas coast is hotter so they will dry inside just fine.

 

 

Mark

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yedrow    8

Products like this are great kiln stuffers. Another good item is a ring holder; basically a spoon rest without a 'spout' and a stem in the middle. Another good thing about spoon rests is that they give beginning potters practice on spouts!

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Bobg    4

Mark,

 

Yes, they do sell fast. I make quite a few of them when I have time and they do sell quickly. I also sell them for $5.00. My brother sells them for that much and he has orders from gift shops and such. One time they wanted to know if he would do 500 of them, he did, but said he wouldn't do another order that big. Took too much time away from other items he can make more money on. The photo is one that I made.

 

Bobg

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clay lover    133

Mark, thanks you for your generous sharing of info. I appreciate the time and thought you were willing to spend on showing us this.

 

I think it is important to get proficient at your small things, otherwise they cost more to make than you get.

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DAY    8

Here's another "quickie" that helps pay the bills. I call it the "whatever" dish - spoon rest, powder room soap dish, ring rest, what ever.I cut a couple dozen per slab, with a 4" cookie cutter, form them on plaster hump molds. Wholesale for $60/dozen.

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Bobg    4

Day,

 

Good looking dishes. Can you tell me how you do the dish in the lower left? What do you use to color the leaf.

 

Bobg

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Joanie    0

Here's another "quickie" that helps pay the bills. I call it the "whatever" dish - spoon rest, powder room soap dish, ring rest, what ever.I cut a couple dozen per slab, with a 4" cookie cutter, form them on plaster hump molds. Wholesale for $60/dozen.

 

 

 

VERY nice!

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These are great---and just what I need to make when I transition my studio back to throwing after I've been glazing for a month! Thanks also for posting your selling price. My family members tell me my prices are too low, but I want people to own my pieces. Schlepping them from event to event isn't my idea of a good time. I think it's nice to have smaller pieces so people on a tight budget can take something home and enjoy it.

 

I've just started pairing up my extruded soap dishes with a really nice locally made soap, and I've donated the first 6 sets to a fundraiser auction with a starting price of $10. We'll see tomorrow how people like them----fingers crossed!

 

Again, thanks for sharing the spoon rests. I'll be adding them to my next project list.

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Mark C.    1,797

These are great---and just what I need to make when I transition my studio back to throwing after I've been glazing for a month! Thanks also for posting your selling price. My family members tell me my prices are too low, but I want people to own my pieces. Schlepping them from event to event isn't my idea of a good time. I think it's nice to have smaller pieces so people on a tight budget can take something home and enjoy it.

 

I've just started pairing up my extruded soap dishes with a really nice locally made soap, and I've donated the first 6 sets to a fundraiser auction with a starting price of $10. We'll see tomorrow how people like them----fingers crossed!

 

Again, thanks for sharing the spoon rests. I'll be adding them to my next project list.

 

 

Extruded soap dishes are also in my small stuff thats sells-mine are 9$ plus tax-they sell ok but nothing like spoonrests . Soap dish's sell good at my gallery outlets as they are next to hand made soaps.

Mark

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trina    20

Keep meaning to reply to this post for ages, thank you for sharing your spoon rest ideas with us.... great post! T

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DAY    8

Day,

 

Good looking dishes. Can you tell me how you do the dish in the lower left? What do you use to color the leaf.

 

Bobg

 

leaf colors are Brooklyn Red slip, rutile, iron oxide. Green is mason stains & ball clay on Standard 266.

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LilyT    1

Yes, thank you for taking the time and sharing all the detail and

intricacies to consider while making these! They are wonderful,

and it's nice to know people express their appreciation by buying.

 

I'm curious about your firing costs if you don't mind

sharing about that? For my converted electric kiln it takes 2 gal

propane ($8) to bisque fire about a 3 cu ft space. About

6 gal ($24) to go to ^5 and firedown to 1500F, roughly 8 gal to

^10 plus scrap wood though. It would probably be more efficient in

a bigger kiln. especially if I could complete 48 pots in less than an

hour! If you have ideas about efficiency I'm sure we could all benefit

from hearing about it :-).

 

-Lily

 

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Mark C.    1,797

After losing a lot of typing as this program logs you out in about 2 seconds-my patience is being tested again as it almost always is on this site due to poor software.

 

Am I the only one who thinks this program needs upgrading??

 

As a frequent poster I hope the powers that be get this fixed,as I am tired of doing it all in word and pasting-I post a lot on other boards with none of these issues a anywhere else but here-come on guys and gals fix this.

 

Rant over

 

(This above discussion moved to the "Business" section) - JBaymore

Lily

 

As far as efficiency my gas bill which I rarely ever dissect was 139$ last month-April 20 thru May 18th-That bill reflects one bisque and one glaze in my 35 cubic foot downdraft car kiln and one glaze firein my 12 cubic foot updraft.

 

This was a very slow firing period as I was just getting to speed after wrist surgery. Now I’m firing a bisque and glaze every week-past 3weeks with a little kiln glaze load as well-The bill which should come soon Iwill post the amount-They read meter during early past of a glaze fire so it’s a mixed bag.

 

I always think gas is cheap even when my bill is 400$ as it takes just a few pots to cover it really. Work efficiently in every part of ceramics comes with 39 years of doing it full time-learning to always have more work than will fit into fire is key as well as stacking small pots into other pots tumble stacking in the bisque and firing the nooks and crannies every firehelps. These shelves (advancers) give my an extra 1 to 2 feet of stacking space every glaze fire as well-As I fire a lot they pay for them selves very quickly even at 200$ apiece.

 

Heres my 2 weeks ago glaze fire as well as today’s spoon rundone by my assistant-she throws them slower than me but they are nicer thanmine.

 

Mark

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LilyT    1

 

...

 

 

 

As far as efficiency my gas bill which I rarely ever dissect was 139$ last month-April 20 thru May 18th-That bill reflects one bisque and one glaze in my 35 cubic foot downdraft car kiln and one glaze firein my 12 cubic foot updraft.

 

This was a very slow firing period as I was just getting to speed after wrist surgery. Now I’m firing a bisque and glaze every week-past 3weeks with a little kiln glaze load as well-The bill which should come soon Iwill post the amount-They read meter during early past of a glaze fire so it’s a mixed bag.

 

I always think gas is cheap even when my bill is 400$ as it takes just a few pots to cover it really. Work efficiently in every part of ceramics comes with 39 years of doing it full time-learning to always have more work than will fit into fire is key as well as stacking small pots into other pots tumble stacking in the bisque and firing the nooks and crannies every firehelps. These shelves (advancers) give my an extra 1 to 2 feet of stacking space every glaze fire as well-As I fire a lot they pay for them selves very quickly even at 200$ apiece.

 

Heres my 2 weeks ago glaze fire as well as today’s spoon rundone by my assistant-she throws them slower than me but they are nicer thanmine.

 

Mark

 

 

 

Hi, Mark, I was just thinking "I wonder what editing problem Mark was seeing, while typing in

my response, and I lost the page, lol."

 

Anyhow, thanks for sharing your numbers and thoughts about firing costs! That's

really very effective. I also like the way you think about how it only takes a few

pieces to cover the entire firing costs. In my day job, I also like to think about

where the breakeven point is every month, and then think about everything else

that comes in as net income. It's psychologically more appealing.

 

Your glaze fire picture is glorious. And all those pretty spoonrests. I love

the look of glazed items, but a plethora of greenware or bisqueware is also

so appealing, I can just sit and look at the forms for hours. I've sometimes

wondered whether people would buy bisqueware...

 

Good to know that you're recovering from wrist surgery, was that due

to doing pottery? I know a lot of people with carpal tunnel and back

injuries from clay work.

 

Lily

 

 

 

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JBaymore    1,432

Work efficiently in every part of ceramics comes with 39 years of doing it full time-learning........

 

There is the key. NOTHING takes the place of experience and education in ANY field.

 

 

These shelves (advancers) give my an extra 1 to 2 feet of stacking space every glaze fire as well-As I fire a lot they pay for them selves very quickly even at 200$ apiece.

 

In addition to the additional physical stacking space, the use of what are known as "low termal mass refractories" saves you on firing costs. My 3/4 " thick 18" x 18" traditional silicon carbide shelves are HEAVY. My 1/2" thick nitride bonded ones are much lighter. My 1/4" thick Advancers are featherweight!

 

A good part of the heat energy used in periodic kilns (they type we fire) to bring them up to temperature is used to heat the kiln structure and the kiln furniture...... not the wares themselves. Less weight on silicon carbide (type) shelving material in the kiln means less energy is used to heat the shelves. (This is why industry uses ceramic fiber kilns and low mass furniture.... plus when you add in the concept of continuous kilns........ a HUGE energy usage savings.)

 

A win/win. More space and less heat energy used.

 

best,

 

.......................john

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