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Chris Campbell

Member Since 07 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 01:52 PM

#96034 Cut, Spiral Bit Warped In Kiln

Posted by Chris Campbell on 19 November 2015 - 02:50 PM

It is a beautiful design and if you want to stay with it I would suggest reversing your firing schedule.

Keep that big, main vertical vee shaped slice you cut out, wax any sides that touch the bowl and the sides of the bowl that touch it .. put it back in place during drying and firing for support. Since it is waxed it should not stick and since it is all dried together it should shrink at the right speed. Dry slowly.
Make your first firing the cone 5-6 without glaze... That way you can support it.
Then remove the support piece and glaze your bowl with a low firing glaze 05-06.
Not guaranteeing this will work, but worth a try before you give up on the design.

#95735 Could Someone Help A Mama?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 12 November 2015 - 02:21 PM

There is a yahoo site called potter barter where you might find good used equipment ... Also check Craig's list as many people buy the equipment then lose interest. Many here have scored great equipment at low prices that way.

I don't specifically know that wheel, but there are many good solid reliable brands to choose from ... if you should find a used one for sale just ask about it here again.

Also, check the frequently asked questions part of the equipment area and follow the Ceramic Arts Daily link on the top bar of this page ... there is always a ton of info there.

Good luck!

#95690 Pendant

Posted by Chris Campbell on 11 November 2015 - 02:21 PM

I agree with Callie ... You should be fine with a clay slip.
Send a pix when they get done!

#95613 Setting Up And Basic Tools For The Total Beginner

Posted by Chris Campbell on 10 November 2015 - 11:07 AM

Just my opinion here ...

You are somewhat putting the cart ahead of the horse ... : - ) ... Because learning to throw is much easier in person then from videos, I would save your money right now to put towards your spring classes so maybe you can take more of them.

Buy a basic beginner pack of tools and explore your clay. Start with making some pinch pots, feel what the clay will and won't do. Grab a handful of clay and make a bowl without patting it smooth. Make small boxes. Make bowls using your hands and an old bowl you have around. Use the inside of it and the outside. Try making a few tiles.

Every time you do this you will be learning about clay and it will help you when you first sit down at the wheel. Just PLAY until you can get to a throwing class.

Every time you don't like what you make just recycle the clay ... Easy to just wrap it in a damp towel, put in plastic bag until soft again.

Welcome and good luck ... AND ... No worries, we like beginners here!

#95517 "i Covered Expenses ....."

Posted by Chris Campbell on 08 November 2015 - 07:55 PM

.... Totally agree Stephen ... And there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying pottery as a sideline.

The hard part is making pottery a viable source of income. It is so hard to find your niche, explore your voice and find your market.
I do not have the answer to making pottery a more profitable endeavor ... Wish I did.

The advice I offer year after year is to tell potters to walk through retail store China departments ... Look what they are getting for machine made goods!!! Price accordingly.
.... They even put flaws in the work to make them look hand made!!! Don't apologize for anything!

#95391 "i Covered Expenses ....."

Posted by Chris Campbell on 06 November 2015 - 05:48 PM

You are right Stephen ... Blogs like these should not be a barrier ... but, I don't believe it was meant to be one.

There are so few places to get the truth about the whole crafts market.
Everybody who stands to make a buck off an artist's dream will line right up and do it ... without batting an eye will take your money year after year. They are filling space ... Be it a booth or a Gallery shelf or a sales website.
So what I think this post is saying is be honest with yourself. Add up your true costs and figure out what is really going on. Then you can decide what road to go down.
Good information can help you decide whether it is worth your while to sit in the hot sun for two days, or pay to post items or give 50% commission to a Gallery or pay a monthly fee to a group site.

#95376 "i Covered Expenses ....."

Posted by Chris Campbell on 06 November 2015 - 11:57 AM

I found this blog that might interest anyone considering or doing Craft Shows.


#95199 Etiquette For Community Studio, Suggestions Plz!

Posted by Chris Campbell on 03 November 2015 - 11:25 AM

Everyone who has ever worked in a community studio feels your pain!

Some people just don't think to clean up after themselves ... they assume there is someone else who is paid to do the unpleasant work.


The one I used to work in had a mandatory training session ... you could not use the studio without going through the process.


For your system you might need the training session plus an agreement that states what you will do and what you expect from them. They initial and sign each one. That way no one can say they did not know they were supposed to clean up after themselves.

'One of' users are unusual for a community studio in my area ... I don't know if they are the problem or not, but Membership might encourage more rule compliance.

Hope others have some better ideas ... Good Luck!

#95151 The Great Pottery Throw Down

Posted by Chris Campbell on 02 November 2015 - 05:07 PM

I also applied to the 'Great British Pottery Throw Down programme' by Love Productions and can proudly say I got all the way through to the filming day at a lovely pottery in London!! Whaahoo! we had a great time and the film crew were lovely, but we were sworn to secrecy so cannot let too much out. I did n't quite make it to the last ten but still, I'll be glued to the box on Tuesday nights at 9 BBC2 - can't wait. :)

CONGRATS ... No matter how far you got ... Cannot wait to see this show.

John ... You would not worry about the 'drama' if you were watching the British baking show ... Which is still in the quarter finals here ... the respect and low key friendship of the various participants is a total 180 from our back biting. In baking and pottery the results are fairly self evident ... It works or it doesn't.

#95009 Surface Treatment In Sculptural Pieces

Posted by Chris Campbell on 30 October 2015 - 07:15 PM

Well, I was going to spray paint parts of some of my Christmas ornaments this year. If the snooty academics make fun of you on the playground, I got your back!

Just admitting you make Christmas Ornaments can get you banished from the "Real" room ...
Look at me, all rebel and stuff. Wanting to eat, and live indoors for the winter! Clearly I need to turn in my secret decoder ring and my art club membership.

For more than ten years I supported my studio making Ornaments for Christmas and Souvenirs all year long ... caught a lot of disrespect for doing 'girly' things ... paying bills and keeping the lights on was girly stuff. It got pretty real when imports destroyed the whole market for hand made ornaments!

#94987 Surface Treatment In Sculptural Pieces

Posted by Chris Campbell on 30 October 2015 - 09:56 AM

Well, I was going to spray paint parts of some of my Christmas ornaments this year. If the snooty academics make fun of you on the playground, I got your back!

Just admitting you make Christmas Ornaments can get you banished from the "Real" room ...

#94920 Surface Treatment In Sculptural Pieces

Posted by Chris Campbell on 28 October 2015 - 12:33 PM

There will always be approval and disapproval of anything you try ...
I think the key here is for you to approve of the process, own it and don't apologize for it.

#94756 Prices?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 25 October 2015 - 12:23 PM



I like to compare what other people are pricing similar items in my region. Mark C and i had a conversation about how people will pay higher prices in the midwest vs the east coast. I would also compare the quality of my work and the experience of the potter/ firing technique as well. If lets say, a 40 yr vet is making the same style bowl as mine, but I am a 4 year vet and they fire wood vs elec ox I would price mine significantly less even if it's the same form. But under pricing will kill your business and other potters.

I have to disagree here on looking to veteran potters for pricing guidelines.
This is a personal 'red button' for me ... so sorry, bear this in mind.

In my opinion .... One of the reasons the price of good pottery stays so LOW compared to other crafted forms is the reluctance of many experienced potters to raise their prices to reflect the added value of talent and experience. It is simple to name great potters who are still getting beginner prices because they hold beliefs about the basic worth of pottery. Also, many of them have secondary incomes or pensions. Many believe no one would pay more so they never try.

Also, why on earth would wood firing automatically be priced higher??

So, NO ... Calculate your own costs, assess the quality of your workmanship, check out comparable work in Galleries in your area ... then, read Mea's blog for guidance on the pricing process ... then, price for profit. It is not your problem if someone else does not realize their work is worth more than they are asking.


So you don't think a new potter should consider that their work may not be priced as high as a vet? I am having a hard time understanding your reasoning behind it.  If you could please explain your point more so I can understand what our differences are that would be great. I feel like our statements are very alike. .  


I do not think potters should be "price gouging" based on experience either, but generally a potter with 1-4 years experience should not be pricing their mugs at $34 each (unless of course, they are exceptionally) .  But I would find it completely acceptable to pay that for a few potters I know.  When considering prices, I would be foolish to look at one potter to compare your work and prices, I am suggesting looking at the work of many (as you stated in your final sentence). But a general idea of what market pays for that sort of item is a great place to start.  (and that goes with looking at many. I am studying real estate and I just finished a chapter on home pricing market analysis etc. I think its reasonable to consider when buying/ selling anything) 


And when I mention firing method, I did not say "automatically" price it up.  But it's a consideration due to labor time for that piece and expense to make it.  It costs significantly more to fire an item in a wood kiln (assuming we are being reasonable about size of kiln etc)  3-5 Cords of wood and possibly 2 weeks of loading, firing, and unloading, scraping etc.  I am not suggesting a new potter put a poorly crafted mug in a wood kiln and price it higher.  


I feel like my entire description of how to price work, is mirrored in your last sentence.  I even explained how under pricing hurts others.  



RON - Good luck!! 



OK ... I will try to explain it better ... but bear in mind that this is my opinion only ... I can assure you that many people disagree with me on this. : - )


I know many excellent potters who produce work that is well balanced, beautiful in shape, thoughtful in design and downright gorgeously glazed ... but priced at the same level of ordinary work.  I am not comparing years of experience because years are meaningless  ... I am talking about beautifully executed work.


If they are not pricing higher than average, how is a consumer to recognize the fact that there is a VALUE associated with good pottery?

How else will they learn the value of thoughtful, well crafted work if the excellent pieces are not set apart by price?


So take that four years of experience potter ... say they have worked very hard for those four years and are making respectable work. Should they have to stay at a low price just because "X" doesn't charge more? Or, should they just move them aside and work their way up that $$ ladder?


When I first expressed these thoughts about twenty years ago I was met with a storm of $#@#$$$# ... but, I have noticed that now many potters pricing higher and perhaps we will even garner much due respect in the Fine Craft Art world.


As to wood firing ... potters are more in love with round and brown wood firing than shoppers are.


And ... I totally agree with TallTayl ... nobody cares how long it took to make or how difficult it was ... if they did care, cross stitching and lace making would bring in millions.

#94724 Do You Use Cone Packs In An Electric Kiln?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 24 October 2015 - 03:39 PM

I use self supporting cones ... That way I can sneak individual ones into small spots.

#94641 Chris Campbell On Today's Ceramics Art Daily!

Posted by Chris Campbell on 22 October 2015 - 09:45 AM

Really cool bowl. It reminded me of a napkin floating down and freezing just as it touches the table. It's very beautiful. So delicate and colorful. Thanks. I might one day want to try this. Can it be done with bee mix 5?

I've never used B mix so cannot comment on its range.

Making work from colored paper clay was an experiment ... have not done it again as the paper fibers tended to pull and distort the patterns. The most interesting discovery was that the finished patterned pieces had three distinct images ... one on each side and a third inside the piece.

Finding this out led to other tests ... for instance, I could see how a slab roller pulled unevenly at both sides of the clay by studying these patterns of color. My Bailey pulls harder on the top than the bottom by a significant degree. Makes a good case for flipping the slab and rolling again. It does not catch up, but gets more even.