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#1 scythempress

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 05:08 PM

Hi all, my parents for years operated a ceramic shop. They are long gone but I have found that the stuff has been set aside. It has been in the old place covered in dust for 21 years. I have discovered tons of molds, many were discontinued when we bought them over forty years ago including a much wanted three tier christmas tree mold that my parents made for everyone that lit up with little lite brite type pegs. There are 3 Paragon kilns, one coffee mug size and 2 large. One of the large ones is in sections, the biggest is very old but was working when shutdown for the last time in 1995. The paints appear to be all dried but brushes and cleaning tools are ok. There is much greenware that was poured but never cleaned or fired, but looks good. There are many pieces that were fired but never painted. I am not sure what to do with the stuff. Other than wiring and heating elements what could be bad about the kilns? We have no ceramic shops in the area and I have no idea about what this stuff is worth or who would even want it. Any help would be appreciated



#2 neilestrick

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 05:39 PM

I get calls from people several times a month asking if I want to buy old molds from them (which I don't). They always say they can't find anyone who wants them, including schools, even for free. Unfortunately, slip casting decorative items has gone out of fashion. I would run an ad in Craigslist, and if no one bites, just dispose of the molds.

 

I would also run a Craigslist ad for the kilns. Assuming they are in decent condition, you could get anywhere from $200 to $500 for them. More if they have computer controls, but I'm thinking they probably don't if they are that old. Watch the ads every day for a week or two to see what kilns are selling for in your area. Just be honest that you don't know much about them. They will sell if the price is appropriate and their condition is good.


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#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 05:46 PM

I agree with Neil but some artists doing Pop culture type work would love doll face molds, ducks or who know what. Maybe put them on Craigslist and a grad student nearby may come for them.

Marcia



#4 JustPeachy

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 05:52 PM

..... Unfortunately, slip casting decorative items has gone out of fashion. I would run an ad in Craigslist, and if no one bites, just dispose of the molds.

I beg to differ on this one point. We have 2 places in my town that offer bisque fired pieces for painting. They have school parties, bachelorette parties, BYOB parties, you pay for your desired piece and it includes all the glazes you want to use and the final firing. Now granted, they wanted $40 for a med. sized dinner plate, but they always have customers in there and I saw the soccer moms picking up kid stuff. This place prompted me to get into throwing my own stuff but for most of the populous throwing is not in the cards. Perhaps you should find a store front in an upcoming section of downtown and open for business. PM me if you want the details of the place I'm referring to.



#5 neilestrick

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 06:07 PM

 

..... Unfortunately, slip casting decorative items has gone out of fashion. I would run an ad in Craigslist, and if no one bites, just dispose of the molds.

I beg to differ on this one point. We have 2 places in my town that offer bisque fired pieces for painting. They have school parties, bachelorette parties, BYOB parties, you pay for your desired piece and it includes all the glazes you want to use and the final firing. Now granted, they wanted $40 for a med. sized dinner plate, but they always have customers in there and I saw the soccer moms picking up kid stuff. This place prompted me to get into throwing my own stuff but for most of the populous throwing is not in the cards. Perhaps you should find a store front in an upcoming section of downtown and open for business. PM me if you want the details of the place I'm referring to.

 

 

Most of the paint-your-own places now buy their bisque, rather than casting their own.


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#6 JustPeachy

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 06:37 PM

 

 

..... Unfortunately, slip casting decorative items has gone out of fashion. I would run an ad in Craigslist, and if no one bites, just dispose of the molds.

I beg to differ on this one point. We have 2 places in my town that offer bisque fired pieces for painting. They have school parties, bachelorette parties, BYOB parties, you pay for your desired piece and it includes all the glazes you want to use and the final firing. Now granted, they wanted $40 for a med. sized dinner plate, but they always have customers in there and I saw the soccer moms picking up kid stuff. This place prompted me to get into throwing my own stuff but for most of the populous throwing is not in the cards. Perhaps you should find a store front in an upcoming section of downtown and open for business. PM me if you want the details of the place I'm referring to.

 

 

Most of the paint-your-own places now buy their bisque, rather than casting their own.

 

Sorry, I peeked in the back 'cos that's how I am, I mean seriously, I was scouting out the place after all...they were pouring their own and I did notice a few pieces that were For-Real-Retro, not that I'm giving away my age or anything. That Xmas tree that was mentioned was in abundance. Personally, I think there is a resurgence in this kind of thing. It just wasn't for me because I'm more of a do-it-yourself type gal and I paid for a throwing class at the community college much to my chagrins, but that is another thread.



#7 Biglou13

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 06:48 PM

If you told us where you're from, it might help you.

I think these kind of pottery is making a comeback. I've seen many a person popping In group studio looking for said biz.

To answer you question what you have could be financial liability, but I think with right marketing, you can have viable business. One part green ware/ old school biz model, other part. Paint your own...... Place.
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#8 Mark C.

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 01:17 AM

I our area those shops are all long gone-then came the paint your own and now those two are all long gone.

Molds show up on Criags list and never sell-I suggest giving them away to whomever bites for free. The old kiln have some low value-the glazes (paints you say) are more problematic as most back then are leaded.

This stuff is more a liability issue for you unless retro is hot in your area-do you live in So Ho? It may go fast there?Eastern Tennessee seems to also be a hot spot for molds-either way free to anyone that will take them is the only way most get rid of them.

Another route is to find a place that grinds road bed materials ( we have one down the street) and they grind all ceramics/clay/sanatary wares? etc for free.

Mark


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#9 DirtRoads

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 10:55 AM

I've seen a couple of those paint yourself places in my area and i've seen several come and go.    Can't think of one that has been around more than 3 years.  There was one in a prime location in a larger city that was around a couple of years but closed about a year ago.  I do think that the paint it yourself places have made a comeback.   I've seen do it yourself jewelry businesses around and about a month ago a local gift shop starting running a paint yourself tin business.  But ...... I ran the numbers on that type of business.  Very very difficult to make that type of business work.    Almost not doable if you are paying for a commercial store front.     Too many down times between events.    If you did it part time, just on the weekends, or added that to an existing profitable business, it might be a nice addition.  

 

You don't really seem to have much interest in it.  To make any type of business work, in most cases, you have to put your heart and soul into it.  Not to mention enough cash to make it until the cash flow ebbs in.  (I've always seen 3 years as a minimum  average time limit for profitability).  While you did get some things free, you would most certainly have to invest to open a business.    Just the electrical work to hook up kilns in a commercial setting would cost you a couple thousand.   Most codes don't allow DYI to work on commercial electricals.    And other costs would be involved as well.

 

I think ... sell that stuff, get what can and take the money and run.



#10 scythempress

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 09:35 PM

Wow did not know so much had changed. So how is this done today? Let's say as intricate as some of the molds we have are, how do you make it today, surely not on a potters wheel



#11 TJR

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:32 PM

Wow did not know so much had changed. So how is this done today? Let's say as intricate as some of the molds we have are, how do you make it today, surely not on a potters wheel

Imported from China.

TJR.



#12 Chilly

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 07:35 AM

A friend has a shed (or three) full of moulds and is constantly busy casting for the ladies at the local "over 50's clubs".  They paint with acrylics or glaze.  They absolutely love everything from bowls and vases, tea-pots, christmas trees, ornate statues right through to dogs with their leg in the air!

 

If scythempress were in the UK I'd send my friend round with a van.


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#13 Stephen

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:36 PM

I did some research on the industry a few years ago and a relative is in an industry that sells to them and as an industry they are still very much alive with about 2500 studios around the world. They are really cheap to open, require no actual ceramic or pottery skill and as such they are very popular retirement businesses. Although I found some run as regular pottery studios with a 'paint your own' as a add-on component, most seemed to be stand alone and were really not pottery studios.

 

I came away from the research feeling that for one to be successful the owner/op needed to be the bulk of the payroll, actually know pottery and most importantly do their own slip casting as well as be a very good at direct marketing. As mentioned above the primary revenue stream seemed to be events such as children's birthday parties, wedding bridal showers, retirement group events and the like. My guess is that folks that buy the ware that customers use for painting from a supplier would have a difficult time having the whole thing pencil out long term. That with needing a premium location would just come too close to exceeding the potential revenue in all but the best locations.

 

So maybe you could consider re-opening a shop if you find that interesting and you have a lot of the equipment already.

Here is a link I had in my notes:

 

www.potteryconsultant.com

 

From your post though I got the impression that you really just want to know if the equipment has value and I think the answer is not really very much. The kilns are likely not modern enough and likely have been used too heavily to be worth more than a few hundred to an entry level potter looking for something cheap to get started with and used molds, as said have no real value.

 

One reason is Chinese imports displacing their use but another is that production molds have a limited life and can only be used so many times before detail starts fading. It is then that you either make another one from a 'master' or re-order if they are commercial. Your molds are likely at various stages in the process and replacement may be difficult if they are no longer made. If you have the masters then I would venture to guess the value would increase but you would need to find that market and make sure they know you have the masters.

 

Good luck with it all,



#14 Alicebridal

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 09:31 PM

If you told us where you're from, it might help you.



#15 vmiller

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 08:45 AM

I see a couple ads a week on craigslist for people that have thousands of molds for sale and they never seem to get rid of them.  Sometimes they will even list it in the free ads.  There are a bunch of paint your own places around here and some seem to do very well, but like others have said, they buy the bisque ware.  If you had the time, you might be able to find a few molds that people would like/use (doll parts seem to be still popular etc.)

 

Kilns do sell on craigslist here, but usually not for more than about 300 each unless they are digital or in great shape.






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