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Member Since 06 Apr 2010
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#82492 Qotw: Are You A Thrower Or A Hand Builder?

Posted by JBaymore on Yesterday, 09:25 AM

Most people think of me as a thrower........... but my overall work is about 50%/50%.  At most, that might be 60% thrown.


As to music.......... love just about EVERYTHING (former musician).  Never was an "either / or" situation with the Beatles and the Stones for me.





#82306 General Liability Insurance

Posted by JBaymore on 23 May 2015 - 03:04 PM

You can usually get something like $2,000,000 of combined product liability, show liability, studio premises liability, and studio equipment and tools loss coverage for less than $900 a year with places like the Potters Council, ACC, and CERF+. Makes the $300,000 for $300 not look so good. 


$300 a year for $300,000 is $1 for $1000 of coverage.  $900 a year for $2,000,000 is $1 for $2222 of coverage.


If for example (god forbid), a large heavy display of pots at a fair falls on a toddler.......... and the child is severely injured and in the hospital for any amount of time........ $300,000 is not going to go all that far.  Add in a suit for any "pain and suffering", loss of future abilities or whatever, and other such stuff.... and the total can likely go up pretty fast (plus the 'take' for the lawyer's part).  There are lots of other such "accident" scenarios you can come up with. 


In this regard... also think about your CAR insurance these days for another place that likely a lot of folks are 'under-insured'.  The typical car insurance policy an awful lot of people take is a coverage of $20,000 / $50,000.  These days....... with many cars costing huge bucks and medical costs astronomical...... that kind of coverage does not go far.  Even $100,000 / $300,000 is not all that much.  (Now if you are driving from or to a craft fair with that car in an accident,...... and the car is not listed for some fraction of business use........ I'm thinking that the insurance company is going to want to 'walk away' from that if they can.)


Morality issues aside here... some of this also depends on what exactly you are protecting.  For some potters who have lots of assets from a working spouse, a different job, family money, or an incredibly successful pottery business...... the more you have... the more you are a "target".  And the more you stand to immediately lose.  If you have a big home, lots of cash in the bank, and so on....... unless you are doing business as an LLC... all of that is potentially "at risk" from your pottery business should something BAD happen.


Some people argue that having lots of insurance is ALSO making yourself a "target".  But in that case ..... if the arrow happens to hit the bulls-eye........ you do HAVE insurance.


If you 'have nothing' then you can say well....... they can't take anything from me because I don't have anything.  But they CAN take stuff.  Your future earnings.  You can be working the rest of your life to pay off that "oops".  So that is not really a valid argument on this subject.  


Decent insurance is just a "cost of doing business" these days.  And is deductible on your taxes.





#82290 Instructions For Uploading Images To The Gallery

Posted by JBaymore on 23 May 2015 - 10:14 AM

Judy.... THANKS for the kind contribution to the CAD forums. 





#82284 Refiring Glaze - Food Safe?

Posted by JBaymore on 23 May 2015 - 08:48 AM

My take on this is ...... if you have to ask.... don't sell it.


"Right on" about the concerns about the "it is patched" aspect.


The problem with selling pieces that you indicate are "decorative" or "not for food use" (but look like they COULD be) is that the instructions at BEST only go with the first purchaser.  Hang tags get lost, pieces get given as gifts.  Memories fade.  Stuff gets inherited.  Pieces go to thrift shops and flea markets.  The INFO does not go with it.


There is a reason that the FDA requires FIRED ON documentation for lead glazed pieces that are "decorative only".


Make another one...... it'll be better and you'll sleep easier.  And it won't come back to bite you later.  Or "bite" anyone else.





#81869 Qotw: What Would You Have Wished To Become If Not A Potter?

Posted by JBaymore on 18 May 2015 - 10:07 AM

I was blessed with a high school that had a heavy art program available.  Even though I had a decent understanding of science and math, I spent a lot of my time in the art room and even got one of the small arts awards at HS graduation.  But as a male of my generation... one did not go off to college to be an artist... one went to study for a REAL profession.  So I headed off to become a marine biologist.


I had one elective open up in my STEM-type schedule.  I took Ceramics 1.  When I touched clay I felt like I was "home":  By the end of that semester my major was changed to BFA ceramics.  My parents accepted this move gracefully (Thanks mom and dad!).  Only AFTER I got involved in clay did I find out that my family had a long history in the ceramics industry in the Trenton, NJ area..... having been working in many positions at both the Mercer and the Cook potteries there back into the mid 1800s.  And one of my relatives was the KILN FOREMAN at one of the potteries (and I gravitated toward kiln design/building.) 


So I was home.  The rest on that front is history.


The music business, not science, almost derailed the clay career.  Even as a kid I was a professional musician (drummer) from the age of 13.... when I held a liquor commission waiver so that I could be playing in clubs that were serving alcohol.  The 'college band' I was eventually playing with (Clear Sky) went from a fun way to make some extra money to being VERY successful....... and that opportunity deserved some serious attention.  So I did.  It was a good ride... great experiences.... and met and played with a lot of great musicians.  But the music business and being on the road was not easy... and eventually the group decided to 'pack it in' (just as we were gaining record label focus).  Knowing the lifestyle....... if I'd have stayed with it... I likely would not be around today B) .  I still have the master tape reels of the studio recording sessions, and have transferred (and remixed via Audigy) some cuts to digital "for old times sake".


Those that were at the Providence NCECA conference "Potter's Jam" saw/heard me playing for the first time since I came off the road with "Clear Sky" in 1972.  While I certainly lost a lot... the hands and feet 'remembered' after about 1/2 hour of playing.  (I had a blast playing that night at NCECA for about 3 hours.  Old memories.) 


Sometimes when I am watching something like a Palladia concert on HD TV...... I really miss the high-level music.  And the sense of 'connection' from the stage that happens when you have a large audience engaged.  Sometimes I see people I've known in the biz who still are playing. .... and that brings back fond memories too. 


But all-in-all...... glad I've stuck with clay.  This too has been a GREAT ride.





#81773 Glaze Testing

Posted by JBaymore on 16 May 2015 - 03:00 PM

In case you are not familiar with this resource.......







#81766 Mug Sizes

Posted by JBaymore on 16 May 2015 - 11:42 AM

You must be in a gravity well of some sort. 


I know....... Giorgio A. Tsoukalos says, "ALIENS!"  :ph34r:  ;)





#81757 Mug Sizes

Posted by JBaymore on 16 May 2015 - 09:21 AM


  • Tall mugs (12oz+) = 1.6oz


Wow........ a 12 oz. mug out of one point six ounces of clay!  Amazing throwing.  ;)  :P  :lol:  





#81412 What Do You Get Out Of This Forum Interaction?

Posted by JBaymore on 12 May 2015 - 11:15 AM

Welcome to the community, islandawg.





#81208 A Blast From The Past

Posted by JBaymore on 10 May 2015 - 10:11 AM

A quick "happy" story from the last NCECA......


I'm at my college's table in the non-profit section of the trade show hall.  In the distance I see one of our former grads walking toward the table.  Haven't seen her in a while.  Because I follow what is happening out in the clay world... I already know that she had just received a teaching position at a college.  She walks up and I extend my hand for a shake... give a slight bow (yeah........the Japanese stuff just comes out sometimes) and simply say, "Professor." 


A nice moment for both of us.





#81010 How Common Are Exclusivity Clauses? (Long)

Posted by JBaymore on 07 May 2015 - 10:14 AM

What's the best way to make money in the crafts field?


Make it OFF OF the craft artists.


If they were saying they wanted "exclusivity" from ME, I'd immediately be asking what THEY were going to give me IN ADDITION to that whey already gave me without the exclusivity agreement.


If there was a written CONTRACT that was signed BEFORE this "exclusivity" idea..... then the only way they can add that is to have all parties (willingly) sign a NEW contract.  And I believe that they cannot void the OLD contract without the agreement of the parties involved unless there was a clause in THAT original contract that said they can amend the contract from their end at any time without such agreement (read the fine print).


Smells like last weeks fish wrappers.





#80942 Kaolin V. Calcined Kaolin

Posted by JBaymore on 06 May 2015 - 03:51 PM

Calcining a clay is accomplished by bringing it up to a temperature at which the chemically combined water in the clay crystal is driven off.  (around at least red heat.... approx. 1000 F.) Thus the theoretical formula for kaolin .... Al2O3 . 2 SiO2 . 2 H2O  ....... becomes ...... Al2O3 . 2 SiO2


The reason for calcining clay is mainly to reduce wet to fired shrinkage.  So this allows a high percentage of clay in a glaze recipe that is intended to use on a bisque form.  Subbing some calcined kaolin for all or part of a problematic glaze recipe is the common use.


If you use the same weight of calcined kaolin as is specified for the non-calcined kaolin in the recipe... you will be supplying MORE alumina and silica in the FIRED glaze melt.  This is because you will no longer be weighing out the water weight that is present in the non-calcined kaolin when mixing the batch.


To adjust to keep it the same alumina and silica in the fired glaze... you have to subtract the weight that is coming from water in the clay crystals when using calcined kaolin instead.  Easy with glaze calc software.


Hope that helps.





#80464 What Do You Call Yourself? Artist,potter,ceramist,sculptor,hobbyist,wanna Be?

Posted by JBaymore on 30 April 2015 - 07:47 PM


Malcolm Gladwell said 10,000 hours.


And the stuff he wrote about "special circumstances" usually fitting into the picture of "outliers" is also VERY instructive.  Anyone here on CAD who has not read that Gladwell book (along with "Art and Fear") ....should invest the time.





#80276 Does Moving In Social Media Circles Support Your Clay Career?

Posted by JBaymore on 28 April 2015 - 11:37 AM

A long story……….


Relative to most potters, I was an early adopter of computer technology. (Yeah...there's a serious "geek" side to me :ph34r:  .  In case you hadn't noticed   :lol:  .) 


My first encounter was with a mainframe and punch cards as a undergrad "back in the day" in a required COMP SCI course.  Moving ahead a few years........ I built my first home computer from a kit.  I remember the excitement when I upgraded it to 16 K of RAM memory (yes, that was a K, not a M or a G!)  While I was already a ceramic artist at that time...... at first I was mainly utilizing it for amateur (ham) radio applications (Yeah..... KA1HLI callsign, General Class).


I was already teaching glaze calculation courses and other ceramic science-side courses at MassArt way back then.  The repetitive math calculations and data lookup involved in doing Seger Molecular Calculations were a "natural" for letting a computer do the work...so that the ceramist could use the information generated to make decisions... not spend lots of time doing math. 


So I set out to write a computerized glaze calc program for the cheap home computers known as the Sinclair ZX-81 and the Timex Sinclair. Those computers were available at a price that POTTERS could actually afford back then.  The issue with this project  was that all of this had to be accomplished in 16K of RAM.  That required writing a lot of the program in Z-80 machine code.... a time consuming and difficult language. Some of it was also written in a sub-set of BASIC.


Hal McWhinnie and I conversed on basic concepts of glaze calc software development that we both had been exploring......... he had such stuff running on a mainframe at his university (the luxury of RAM!).  I wanted it to "reach the streets" for the average potter to access.  Long story..... and lots of programming later……. I was selling a program called "Glaze Calc" for the Sinclair and Timex computers by about 1980-81 (ads in CM classifieds).


In 1984 I co-chaired a panel (with the late Pat Doran from BU) at the Boston NCECA conference called “Computers in the Studio”.  What a task to do what today is simple… like arrange large screen projection of computer images!  We covered business uses, digital control of electric kilns, and I shared a demo of the glaze calc idea.  The presentation was well attended…… but most people thought we were NUTS.  The general feeling was that there is no room for THAT kind of technology in the ceramics studio.  One reviewer in the NCECA Journal said as much.  We were WAY ahead of our time with this.  But it planted a seed.


At that NCECA presentation (and in subsequent articles) I postulated the creation of an ONLINE “Potters Information Center”, a centralized location that ceramists could go to for information on clay, glazes, kilns and such.  People could (AMAZING!!!) log onto this resource from home…… and exchange information with other potters. 


Here are copies of two articles from that time period.  One in Ceramics Monthly and one from the NCECA Journal:   http://www.johnbaymore.com/page80.html




Well……. soon thereafter we had the appearance of the online Glazebase resource and then the beginning of what became CLAYART.  What we might now call (primitive) “Social Media” and computer use finally started to catch on with potters.


I was asked to be the online “Kiln Answer Man” for an early online “social” type site called CraftWEB.  Did that for a year or so.  That gig resulted in other opportunities.  I’ve had a personal pottery website for a long time… can’t remember when I got the domain name (JohnBaymore.com) first registered.  I get sales and leads of various sorts from that website.


I was quite involved with reading and posting on CLAYART eary on…… but the nature of the postings tended to get abusive and harsh at times… and the text only “Listserve” technology was getting outdated very quickly.  I was looking for something more up-to-date and user friendly.


And then I ended up HERE! 


As a college professor……. I have to LIVE with online communications. Everything from grading to course communications are done online these days.  Most of the scheduling for the ancient technology anagama firing s we have done are ALL done via email and communications via the college’s Facebook page.  I have a course specific (restricted access) educational blog that is used for my “History of Japanese Ceramics” 400 level art history course that I teach, which is “social media” for the class members. 


Because I am online so much for that function…… I can check the “social media” kinds of stuff very frequently as a “side job”.  As a Mod for the CAD forums… that also causes me to deliberately check the computer frequently just about every day.  And I do a lot of writing for my teaching and consulting work… so I can be at a computer a lot when I am not up to my elbows in clay (and sometimes when I AM getting clay on the keybord).


Because of my high international involvement at this point…… a lot of the opportunities and things that I have done (and will do) are tightly tied to being “fluent” with computers and being “online” and having an online presence.  Being able to (very basically) write in a different language helps too (Japanese) with international opportunities.  I get constant requests for information, for doing consulting jobs, for shows, and for workshops via the online presences of various sources.  Enough that I can’t do them all and still “have a life” and keep up with existing commitments.


At the moment… my website just experienced a total crash of the servers it is hosted upon.  Hacked badly.  All of their websites down.    They have an older version of my site “up” at the moment.  I have to find the time now to go and FIX that and get the site updated.  That will take many hours of my time.  But I feel that is worth the eventual returns.


I also have a page on Facebook….. but it is ONLY for pottery related stuff……. I do not post personal “family” stuff on such sites (crazy to get that kind of personal stuff “out there”).  I try to update that regularly (BTW……lots of photos there).  I participate in a few other art and food related forums now.  No Instagram as of yet.  I WON’T TWITTER!!!!! 


I have had an Etsy shop set up since about 2009 I think…..… but have yet to put anything on it to sell.  I am not sure if that venue is a “smart move” given my market positioning and the nature of my work (I’m watching the few “higher end” ceramic sellers there carefully to see what is happening with them.)  Direct sales from direct communications seem to work for me at the moment.


So…… there you have it.  Yes….. social media and all of its related permutations have been very important to my career since about 1975.





#80184 Chemistry Book Recommendation ?

Posted by JBaymore on 27 April 2015 - 11:44 AM

oh..... you ARE reading another language.  ;)