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Chris Campbell

Member Since 07 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 03:16 PM

#125876 Qotw: The Power Grid Has Gone Down In Your Area A...

Posted by Chris Campbell on Yesterday, 10:38 AM

I would build a small wood kiln/ pizza oven ...
can you imagine how much more money you would make from pizza than you would from pots!!

#125799 Mason Color Vs Us Pigment?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 25 April 2017 - 08:52 PM

I cannot answer in terms of the difference in the two companies since I have only used Mason ... but I do know another colored clay artist who uses US Pigments for specific colors that Mason does not have and he seems happy with the results.

As to pricing ... it is weird. Two different clay suppliers will have the same Mason stain for sale at wildly different pricing.
I have NO idea why, so it always pays to shop around.

As to why I have stayed with Mason ... have never yet had any problem caused by them.

I have however suffered self inflicted problems over the years and have called them for help and have been totally impressed.
This is a company that sells color by the ton ... yet their lab people treated my five pound issue with total respect and helpfulness.
Got a customer for life that way.

#125653 Studio Clean Up Question ( Wheel Throwing )

Posted by Chris Campbell on 21 April 2017 - 09:02 PM

On a side note ...
some people throw with lots of water and some people use less ... the main thing is not to let the water stand in puddles inside the pot or around the base ... sponge down your work area more often if you use lots of water ... work quickly.
I've seen good potters who work both ways ... granted you don't want to drown the pot ... but you also might enjoy the feel of a slick surface.

#125443 Disappointing Glaze Firing - Help?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 17 April 2017 - 09:16 AM

It sounds like your kiln milght have fired unevenly ... next time put a set of guide/witness cones on each layer of shelves.
Some electric kilns fire almost a Cone cooler on the bottom or top shelf.

I highly recommend the book "Clay, a studio handbook" by Vince Pitelka.
It addresses most pottery issues and has a hundred pages on glazing and firing.
It is worth every penny.
  • Min likes this

#125141 Newbie Question Bisque

Posted by Chris Campbell on 09 April 2017 - 02:02 PM

Welcome aboard!


As with most things in clay, these questions will get you a wide variety of answers ...


Yes, its a good idea to prop open the kiln lid on an unvented kiln to release vapor and fumes ... its good if you can, but not to panic if you cannot.


Heat and time are crucial elements of firing.  "Heatwork" is a combination of heat over time.

Fast firing gets you to a certain temperature quickly but firing more slowly gets you to the proper heatwork.


So if you are just running some bisque you need quickly it might be OK to just jam up the temp.

BUT ... if you are doing glaze firings or a series of tests, fast firing will not give you the best results.

Most likely glazes will be underfired and greenware pieces might not survive the shock.

  • dAO likes this

#125021 What's Your Wholesale Rate?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 07 April 2017 - 03:51 PM

Wholesale pricing is YOUR price ... not any percentage of The Gallery's price.

You calculate your costs to make the item, give yourself some profit and that is your wholesale price.
The Gallery either buys it or doesn't.
Once it has left your hands, they price it so they can make a profit.

If many Galleries tell you your wholesale price is too high, then you need to find ways to make the item in a more profitable manner ... either make them quicker or make more of them or streamline your process. Lowering your price below your costs is not the way to survive.

#124201 Using Slip Soaked Yarn

Posted by Chris Campbell on 23 March 2017 - 10:08 AM

Can you post some images of the look you are aiming for?

I have done this process with yarn, string and lace with porcelain and regular clay. The results are fragile by nature since you are burning away the interior support system and leaving a hollow tube.

One way it is more successful is if you soak the string or yarn in slip then lay it on the surface of a pot as decoration. Multiple layers of slip sometimes result in a loss of definition ... you lose the pattern you wanted to see under the smooth surface of slip.

#123986 Atlanta, Ga, Sept 11-15, 2017, Colored Clay Workshop

Posted by Chris Campbell on 18 March 2017 - 10:59 AM

Registration now OPEN for Atlanta September 11-15, 2017



A lot of interested potters missed out on attending my May workshop which quickly went to waiting list ... so ... I would highly recommend moving quickly on this one.


I will be teaching how to color clay, how to easily create secondary colors, how to use the resulting colors in pottery, patterns, canes,  surface decoration and slips.

There will be ample opportunity for one on one tutoring in all aspects of making and using colored clays.


Atlanta is easy to get to, there is a large selection of hotels nearby and the Arts Center is well equipped, fun and friendly.

Enrollment is limited so as to guarantee a personal learning experience for all attendees.

I hope to meet many of you there.


Attached Files

#123937 Lesson #541

Posted by Chris Campbell on 17 March 2017 - 04:54 PM

How about setting a full wareboard down on the driveway behind a car?

#123817 Advice Needed! Cone 06 Clay With Cone 6 Glaze - Yikes!

Posted by Chris Campbell on 15 March 2017 - 08:23 PM

You are not being obnoxious at all ... ask away!!

Think of it like a cake ... you put the batter in a pan and bake it at 120 degrees instead of 350.
No matter how long you bake that mix it is never gonna be a fluffy cake.
If you cover it with icing it it still won't be a fluffy cake.
If you bake it again, it will only be a harder, drier tougher lump of icky batter.
Best to throw it out and start again.

#123795 Advice Needed! Cone 06 Clay With Cone 6 Glaze - Yikes!

Posted by Chris Campbell on 15 March 2017 - 01:15 PM

Sure you could, but at this point you are wasting time and energy. They are not going to look any better ... maybe just shiny.
Time to take it as a lesson learned and move on. :- )
Your next pieces will certainly be 100% better.

#123780 Tea Pots

Posted by Chris Campbell on 15 March 2017 - 10:01 AM

The best way to keep tea leaves out of the cup is to position the spout higher up the body of the teapot ... that way the heavier tea leaves don't get out until the pot is nearly empty.
As to the holes ... if they worked the way the 'catching tea leaves' theory says they should, they would plug up the spout and the tea would not pour at all.

#123729 Can Unglazed Pieces Touch In Cone 6 Firing?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 14 March 2017 - 09:17 AM

I agree with Neil ... you cannot stack them on each other or lean them against each other because they will stick to each other.
You could however load them with their sides just touching.... theoretically by the time they get melting hot they will have shrunk somewhat and not be touching at all.
That said, I would not do it. I would leave just a bit between them.

#123676 Web Site Building And Marketing

Posted by Chris Campbell on 13 March 2017 - 11:16 AM

Your target buyer for pottery is likely a woman, 35 - 45 years old.

What lures that person in and what does that person care about the most?


I doubt she cares that much about you having a gmail account since she likely has one too.

I would bet she cares about what the pottery says about her, if it gives her a good feeling about herself.

She cares about price point but not to the exclusion of taste or style ... look what she pays for coffee!


I think she wants to buy it easily and enjoy the experience.

#123424 Silica Dust Exposure

Posted by Chris Campbell on 08 March 2017 - 02:05 PM

A typical pottery studio is not a silica dust health hazard site all the time.

Silica dust is controlled by wet moping floors, sponging clean the tabletops, washing tools.
There are times when silica dust is airborne but that is mostly if you are mixing dry clay or sanding or mixing glazes.

So if the studio floors and tables are clean and you are not doing anything that generates dust, you are fine.

Some people with health or breathing concerns for themselves or their families install air cleaners to make double sure.

You have to buy the proper breathing masks for safety . . I think there have been several threads on this topic so you should be able to easily search it on this forum.