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Marcia Selsor

What Do You Get Out Of This Forum Interaction?

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There are many platforms with various stages of potters and ceramic artists online and on Facebook. We have a little community here with some very helpful dialogue, tech assistance, moral support. What have you gotten from this forum that you feel has been the most valuable? Please explain how something has helped, turned on a light bulb, inspired and pushed you forward. 

 

Marcia

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The most valuable info I have gotten is answers to glazing problems. I have gotten answers to questions I did not know I had.

 

Actually, there is a nugget of info in almost every single thread. During a thread, someone will mention something, off the cuff, and it will be of value to me. It may not immediately be useful, but it will be something I did not know you could do with or to clay.

 

So far, the most valuable piece of info gleaned was a statement that said "Layer gloss glaze over matte glaze for special layering effects".

 

My perspective is of a Newbie - it is all valuable.

Carolyn Dorr, Amy Eberhardt and cam like this

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I come here every morning, with my first cup of coffee, when my brain is still coming together. I get all the above mentioned things for the forum. I read most every post , since there a kernels of wisdom in the unexpected place. A lot of times, I put out a question when I just can't decide which way to go on something. Usually I get back other's experiences that help be move forward in one direction or the other.

I consider this Forum very helpful to my business and my development as an artist.

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I get a wealth of practical information, and at no charge, thank you very much! For me, I love hearing from/about people from all over the place and at so many levels of expertise and varied interests.  Being a bit reclusive, the sense of connectedness is a plus. How wonderful to be on the receiving end of the wisdom of so many people (especially some of you heavy-hitters...what a gift! ). Add to that the humor and even sad or tragic circumstances that are shared, and the interaction goes way, way beyond clay. Basically, this has pushed me forward, in a most healing and healthy way, when such an impetus was sorely needed. Obviously I am not just talking about Potters Council, but must include other forums as well.   

Carolyn Dorr and Marcia Selsor like this

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I get pleasure from the  information given is such an honest direct manner. I like the way everyone on this forum takes time to think about the question posed. Yes the info is free, but the reat thing is that it is given freely!

Like Claylover, I am amazed  how little ahas come in unexpected posts.

Hope it never stops.

A solitary potter, this forum is a great way to keep up with the ceramic world..

Early mornig ritual and sometimes afternoon if too weary to do anything but read MArk's full on accomplishments :D

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I feel exactly the same as Babs, sometimes I find so much information I feel like a newbie.   I also feel safe on this forum, I know if I post an answer that is wrong that other posters will handle it in a civilized way or ignore it.  Denice

Carolyn Dorr and cam like this

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i will never write a book, i have nobody to leave my studio and equipment, i will not have made an impression on the clay world when i am gone.  maybe something i have said will matter to someone here.  those little "likes" are nice to see.

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Old Lady, 

I have had private conversations with you. Next time I am in your neighborhood, I am going to visit.

I think you contribute quite a bit to this forum and I thank you for it. I wish you had a different call name. Yours makes me feel disrespectful.

 

Marcia

Babs likes this

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This place is rapidly becoming my second home! Being a complete novice, it is reassuring to have to have so many voices of experience around me. I know that if I've painted myself into a corner, there are plenty of folks, day or night, to rescue me out of that corner. Y'all give me courage to try new things, to reach beyond my comfort zone, to be [dare I say it?] adventurous! :lol:

 

I especially love the fact that I'm never made to feel like a complete nitwit! The experienced people here know what it was like just starting out, full of questions, full of doubts. Some may privately roll their eyes and think "what a newb" but I've never gotten that vibe in responses to questions I post, just a genuine feeling of helpful folks nurturing me along. Thank you for that! It means more to me than any of you may ever know! :wub:

cam and Chris Campbell like this

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I've been doing this for years and still consider myself a newbie. So much to learn. I love it here, great advise and never felt beneath anyone.  I learn more just reading others posts.  It's that ahhhhhhhh moment. 

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Long before I was directed to CAC and Potter's Council, I sought out other people who are interested in clay via Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.  There were times that I felt like I was yelling into a great void and hearing nothing but an echo.  The forum changed that as a central place to actually lurk and participate in conversations with new friends, peers, scholars, and seriously experienced artists.  So many social media outlets include people who are interested in nothing but collecting and pointing to the number of friends or followers they have.  There may be some of those here, but there is a large group here on the forum who take the time to engage those friends and followers.

 

I draw inspiration from people who call themselves newbies and stand in awe of the contributions of those I would classify as masters.  As others have already written, the level of advice that flows from these posts may vary widely but there seems to be something to gain from every conversation.

 

For me, this is where the creative part of my day begins...OK, full disclosure: it begins after the first cup of coffee is ready :)

 

-Paul

cam, Joy pots and Amy Eberhardt like this

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I just started typing something entirely too verbose :)

I get to learn stuff about a topic I think is one of the best things on Earth. Sharing information with others helps them, and me with my own understanding and communication skills.

Other people here like clay as much as I do.

I can be a part of a virtual clay community and still be at home with my hyper kids:)

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I've been entwined with this forum thru my journey with clay. Joined as naive.... By the passage of days, browsing thru various articles, interactions, the informative knowledge I gathered here is immense. It provided me various ways out to overcome my difficulties working with clay, glazes and overall process.

 

There are accomplished potters here who are well acquainted with terms, but a self-taught person like me just getting to know the term was accepting a lot... I laugh at times, mere looking back i hardly knew lot many generic terms example "Mishima,Molding,obvara ",which this forum made me understand .Further to add getting engaged with this forum, i was able to to get my first wheel with hands full of sugestions around,what more could i have asked for.

 

Still miles to go ..but the inspiration i get from here is nonetheless mesmerising which keep making me come back to clay.Salute and thank you to every member of this forum.

 

 

Best Wishes!!

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 I enjoy the opportunity to answer questions and share the clay knowledge that is banging around in my head.

 

I learn a lot. We have extremely knowledgeable people here and at least once a week some post sets me off on a research tangent.

 

i get constant confirmation of the wealth of hidden talent there is in the pottery world. People you never see in magazines or shows are producing amazing work and we get to see some of it here. Others have a depth of technical knowledge they have never had an audience for.

 

Which brings me to my wish for the future ... to get more of this talent involved in this clay conversation. Invite every potter you meet to drop in and lurk ... then hopefully one day they will start to post and then they might fill in the information area, post some pictures in their gallery .... that will be wonderful for all of us.

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I, too, am a solitary potter.  I have to quote ChenowethArts to express myself without creating a 1000-word essay.

 

"I draw inspiration from people who call themselves newbies and stand in awe of the contributions of those I would classify as masters.  As others have already written, the level of advice that flows from these posts may vary widely but there seems to be something to gain from every conversation."

 

My thanks to all of you for the wealth of information and instruction you have given me.

ChenowethArts and Carolyn Dorr like this

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Like Amy, I love that I can ask any question, even though it sounds really stupid, but still have a real, interesting and complete answer by so many different experienced potters.
When I can, I try to help but being only a beginner, I mostly learn from others. In a few years, I hope I could be giving advices too!
I mostly ask technical questions, but I like reading the business related topics. Seeing everybody's topics on the forum, there is always a poitn where I will come across an idea, or an issue, something that never crossed my mind before but is actually of importance for a professional potter.
I feel that facebook groups are more about auto-promotion and I don't see what the point is. This forum is more reliable, people are not here to sell their products to the others, but to share their knowledge.
I respect and appreciate that kind of philosophy.

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I will echo what many others of you have already stated, that this forum seems to be a comfortable place for potters of all experience levels to share their knowledge and questions and ideas.  I've been reading this for a while to get information especially about things you can't find so easily in books.  You can find a teacher in any corner of the world, since everyone has some small piece to share with others.  I also enjoy reading the personal aspect you all add to the discussions.  

Carolyn Dorr likes this

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'Invite every potter you know to drop in and lurk......then hopefully one day they will start to post...' -Chris

 

'I feel that facebook groups are more about auto-promotion and I don't see what the point is. This forum is more reliable, people are not here to sell their products to the others, but to share their knowledge.  I respect and appreciate that kind of philosophy.' -Judith B.

 

My experience of joining.... and rationale for staying.... exactly!!

Irene

Marcia Selsor likes this

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There are so many of us clay people in all different parts of the world, that it is wonderful to be able to come together as "community"  I am not always able to attend a workshop or have someone close who can show me how to do something, but I can come to this forum, and post a question, and get so many responses, many times with pictures!!  I am grateful for that!

 

Roberta

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I had to lurk for two weeks as a ghost,as my computer is in the shop. Could not comment, could not look at visuals.

I don't like brown pottery, as I like to decorate. i do have a brown glaze that I use sometimes. The stuff always sells.

Mark Cortnoy said; "you have to cover your bases."Which means that it's OK to have a variety of colours even though you aren't particularly invested in them.Now I am starting to like brown..just a bit. ..a tiny bit.

That was good advice from Mark.

Callie Beller Diesel and Babs like this

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It is great that each of us at every level of experience always has something to learn from other members of this group AND is able to share with, help and advise each other up and down the ladder as well. I appreciate that everyone is open and honest and bring their personalities to the forums.

 

Paul

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Old Lady, 

I have had private conversations with you. Next time I am in your neighborhood, I am going to visit.

I think you contribute quite a bit to this forum and I thank you for it. I wish you had a different call name. Yours makes me feel disrespectful.

 

Marcia

 

I like to think of this one maybe more from the Japanese viewpoint.  Unlike in America, age, and the wisdom that comes from a long life, is very much respected there.  So in a somewhat literal translation/interpretation, the term "old lady" could actually be seen as a honorific term of respect.  :)

 

best,

 

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

drmyrtle and Surubee like this

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This forum accounts for 90% of my financial success.  Specific advice I've gotten here:

 

- Buy a good kiln.  I now have 2 L&L quad pro kilns and 1 lesser kiln for bisque only.   Purchased from Neil on the forums.  The first year I floundered around with one large miserable kiln and 2 small miserable kilns.  I learned here that even though a kiln may fire to Cone 10 ... it won't  necessarily do it consistently.  I fire Cone 5/6 now with no issues at all.   Set of quad elements last me 2.5 years ... about 400 firings.     I had so many kiln issues my first year I considered getting out of pottery.  Everything I know about kilns has been learned here.

 

- Advancer shelves.   I would have never known about these.  An extra row of pottery of firing .... $80 x 5 = $400/week= an extra $20K a year.

 

- Forums prompted me to increase prices 10-15%.  Last year that was an extra $15k in profits.   I'm still squeaking prices up.

 

- Recently add drywall and bats to my drying process based on posts to my question.

 

- Learned about the Square reader and program here.  Good bye rip off contracts!!  I estimated this saved me about $2500.  My monthly fees were killing me. 

 

- Learned a lot about the art field, education, and distribution.  Even though I'm not in the gallery market, I like seeing what the academicians have to say about the field.  I'm registering this information and not sure I'll ever go that direction but maybe I will influence someone else to do so.   Example I was fascinated to read that Marcia did a solo exhibition.   I want to learn more about this side of the business.  I've been exposed to a lot ... Chris's clay layering.  All the Japanese ideology, wood firings, soda firings ... things I would have never heard of. 

 

- I'm ordering 2 DVD's on different hand building techniques, offered by Potter's Counsel.

 

- Will be getting a POWER slab roller in the future.

 

I read each post carefully and would like to thank every contributor on this forum.   I haven't listed everything but appreciate all. 

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