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Member Since 06 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active May 23 2017 01:23 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Pottery Back To A Sideline

23 May 2017 - 08:31 AM

Nerd's comments above are REALLY spot on.  Clay is clay.  Business is business.  The two can sometimes meet and play nicely.  Sometimes not.


A somewhat related reading list for artists that we share with the ceramic majors all the time at the college :


1)  Art and Fear   -David Bayless and Ted Orland

2)  The Outliers   -Malcolm Gladwell

3)  Writings on multiple intelligences   -Howard Gardner


1) What is maybe holding you back from success?

2) Sometimes 'circumstances' play a very important role. 

3) What are you inherently 'good at' and what are you less suited to do?






In Topic: Pottery Back To A Sideline

22 May 2017 - 05:13 PM

I can relate greatly with Mark's comments above.   It was MUCH easier "back in the day" to get it all off the ground.  I too did "street selling" situations.... no hassles at all.  Worrying about insurance and getting sued...... nope..... people just didn't DO that very often back then.  Building a fuel kiln on a property with home-made pipe burners (with no safeties) and hard bricks scrounged from old industrial boilers was no big deal.  Energy costs for things like natural gas and propane were pretty darn cheap.  Shipping costs for clay and glaze materials were low too.....because gasoline was cheap.  The "back to the garden" hippie movement had people thinking about 'crafts' of all sorts in a very positive light... and people bought a lot of that.  There were very FEW brick and mortar craft galleries in towns (and no internet)... so the traveling craft fair circuit was a very good way to sell with very low overhead (it is pretty much a 'dead horse' now except for the biggies).  Craft fairs were first and foremost "SALES events".... not entertainment events.


Starting out I always had two (plus) full time jobs.  One to make sure the wolf was kept away from the door until the pottery biz worked ... and the one plus was making and selling pots.  Eventually the non-clay job disappeared,.... but it was YEARS of doing that before it happened.  Then I decided that I wanted to so some teaching...... and I again had just about 2 full time jobs:   full time studio work... and part-time teaching most semesters.  After 11 years of that and a bit of 'burn out' on teaching.... I went back to full time in the studio only (which is really 2 full time jobs itself) for many years.  And then one day I got asked to fill in for a friend who was injured and could not teach her classes that year.   I had no intention of returning to teaching when I said "yes" I'd cover for her.  That was 21 years ago and I am still at NHIA teaching close to a full time load and working in the studio full time too.


It has been a long, long, tough road.  There were some LEAN times in there and a lot of soul searching.  I wouldn't change a thing.





In Topic: Silicon Carbide in glazes

22 May 2017 - 11:39 AM

... look under "Chemical Vendor Order List" to find 20 micron (625mesh?) silicon @ $8/lb


When I've had students do research on this technique, the fine-ness of the SiC was of HUGE import to the potential success they found.  The typically available mesh sizes at most "pottery suppliers" was far too coarse.. and got the "big bubbles" mess.





In Topic: Designing A New Studio

22 May 2017 - 11:33 AM

My vacuum is my best idea and I wish I had it 40 years ago.

You can find my detailed post on that system off you use the search function on CAD.


This is great stuff.





In Topic: Designing A New Studio

22 May 2017 - 07:40 AM

The "standard" order for addressing industrial-type ventilation control issues is:


1.  Local pickup ventilation


2.  General dilution ventilation


3.  Air filtration


You address the issues in that order........ unless one of the steps is impossible to accomplish due to the contaminant source.


A ceiling fan , if you mean one of those big propeller style things that is intended to circulate air from the ceiling area down toward the floor area, is about the worst choice for any kind of 'environmental comfort' issue.  For heating and cooling you want to have a low velocity air movements in the space as possible. 


For actual VENTILATION systems (like local pickup) you DO want air movement........ out of the breathing zone.


Note that active air filtration is always the LAST choice, not the first.