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Chris Campbell

Member Since 07 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 09:05 PM

#64492 Another Sales Technique ... Maybe?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 15 August 2014 - 10:16 AM

I just read this in a book ....don't know if it works but it sounds good.

Whenever a client asks about a piece, you find some way to get it and hold it ... Don't pass it back to them. According to the book, this increases their need to have it because they think you don't want to let it go.

Somebody's gotta try this and see!

#64369 New Hampshire Institute Of Art Anagama Build - Images

Posted by Chris Campbell on 12 August 2014 - 08:28 PM

Well Benzine, I've yet to see an image of him working!
He must be part of "management" now ... Supervisor material for sure.

#64186 Tenmoku Leaf Bowl Question

Posted by Chris Campbell on 08 August 2014 - 11:02 PM

When using fresh leaves there is always a problem as they dry ... they either shrink or lift off the surface or you have to push them too hard etc.


One way to avoid this problem is to soak the green leaves in a bleach/water mixture. This dissolves the green of the leaf leaving only the skeleton and veins. They are much more pliable and can be easily soaked in other colorants and glazes. The pattern stays as delicate as the one on the pot you like.


Each type of leaf demands a different time in solution ... thin, soft leaves dissolve much faster than thicker, tougher ones ... so just stay near the mix and get ready to rinse them off for use. You can keep them on a damp towel until ready to use. The one in the image looks like it ripped a bit, but even that helps the pattern.

#63998 Poppies In London

Posted by Chris Campbell on 06 August 2014 - 10:04 AM

What do you all think of that amazing installation of ... CERAMIC ... hand made by humans ... Poppies around the Tower of London?


Isn't it wonderful that potters making them are the center of attention.


#63789 Is Kiln Wash Necessary?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 03 August 2014 - 08:26 PM

Kiln wash is not necessary until the unexpected happens!
If you are of the personality to be super careful and use stilts and cookies then you can forget kiln wash.
BUT ... If you are going to push limits and test glazes then you should use it.
I use it because my best intentions tend to go south when I am harried and busy.

#63787 Why Is Our Work Better Than Imported Work?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 03 August 2014 - 08:21 PM

>made from certified non-toxic clay rather than hand dug clay and dirt.

What on earth is non toxic clay??
My state, North Carolina, is about 98% clay but I have never heard this term.

#63761 Why Is Our Work Better Than Imported Work?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 03 August 2014 - 03:07 PM

Well, let's say someone decides they are going to climb an oak tree ... reads a book and watches some videos of others climbing trees ... then does so.

He/she has climbed a tree and can say he/she is a tree climber.


Now, you who have climbed many trees can appreciate the joy of the first climb, but you also appreciate the nuances of a better toe hold, a surer way to balance your weight, an easier way to move around the tree, a more graceful way to get down.


Doesn't mean the other person's experience is less real, just that with experience a climber finds many trees to climb and several ways to explore and refine the process.


So yes, if you are making safe functional wares to the best of your current ability, are happy with your progress and are able to sell it ... so can afford to advance your career ... that is the best news ever.  It means you can look forward to many years, decades even,  of digging into the medium and finding your own way with clay.


For myself ... when I look at a pot critically,  I look at the execution, the form, the glaze ... test the weight and the balance. That is what matters, not how long the potter  has been potting.


That said, there is nothing as wonderful as the liveliness of a pot created by a sure hand.

#63733 Why Is Our Work Better Than Imported Work?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 02 August 2014 - 10:16 PM

> And sorry if it offends but, generating good pottery doesn't have to take a decade or even a single class to accomplish - welcome to 2014 - and if it is taking a decade, that might be cause for concern. <

I am not offended at all, but must respectfully disagree. I think good potters work gets better as time goes on and a decade barely starts the journey.
Also, do not know how anyone could get the knowledge they need without taking instruction. Even watching videos of accomplished artists working is a "class" of some kind. They took the time out of their lives to present information to others therefore that is teaching 2014 style.

#63655 Top 20 Potters From Ceramics History

Posted by Chris Campbell on 01 August 2014 - 11:55 AM

There probably is no one potter by name here ...

But I think the story of the European quest for a porcelain clay body would be very interesting for this age group. It has everything from weird alchemists, kidnapping and holding prisoner of them by kings, hostage takings, recipe stealing and accidental burning down of wood and stone buildings where they were trying to fire hot kilns.

Most kids would never suspect that a pottery tale could be so adventure filled.

#63351 Facebook Page For Colored Clay

Posted by Chris Campbell on 27 July 2014 - 03:48 PM

I hope this is an appropriate posting as there is no commercial value ....


At the request of former students I have created a color in clay page of facebook.

I really dislike it when people add me to a group or page without my permission, so I thought I would invite all of you ...

'in person' ... sort of ... :P :D :lol:


I hope this page will become a resource for all who work with color in earthen clays and slips as well as those who want to learn more.
It will be a workspace/lounge where we can share information, provide critiques in a constructive manner so we all learn and hopefully widen the field of people involved.


See you there

#63349 Online E Course/august 4-Sept. 11/ 'understanding Porcelain'

Posted by Chris Campbell on 27 July 2014 - 11:47 AM

I have not taken the course but Antoinette is a friend and we have talked a lot about the content and presentation. She is an excellent thrower and a very caring teacher.
You watch the classes live online, then you can access them as often as you want for ... I think ... Two months after the class is done. She also has a private Facebook page where students can get even more feedback and help.
For $159 ... I don't think you can beat it.

#63315 Critique My Work - Anyone? - I Want To Send You A Bowl.

Posted by Chris Campbell on 26 July 2014 - 03:55 PM

I want to make sure you are also aware of the Ceramic Arts Daily link at the top left on this forum. If you go there you will find a lot of throwing videos, articles and advice ... All free.

At this point in your throwing life you will get a lot of good feedback from posting images of your newly thrown work cut in half. People who throw can look at it and know what happened ... and tell you what you are doing right or wrong. The bare clay does not lie because there is nowhere to hide!

I never weigh clay so someone else will have to answer that. Not that you shouldn't weigh it ... Just that it is not in my nature to want to.

#63299 Critique My Work - Anyone? - I Want To Send You A Bowl.

Posted by Chris Campbell on 26 July 2014 - 12:14 PM

Joseph ... Congratulations on wanting to progress and looking for feedback.

A good technique for checking your progress is to throw cylinders then slice them in half vertically ... You will instantly see if the bottoms and walls are even. You will see areas where you have left clay behind. Then throw ten more and slit them ... Look for where you are doing well and not so well. You should not leave this exercise until you can throw a cylinder at least twelve inches tall with even sides, top to bottom. Once you can do this other shapes will fall into place much easier.

Somewhere here John Baymore posted a regimen he gives his students to improve their throwing skills ... I can't find it but many have used it and liked it.

#63185 How Do You Deal With Injuries?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 24 July 2014 - 11:03 AM

I am by no stretch of the imagination a medical professional ... -_- ... but that never stops anyone does it?


What I would recommend since you are young and at the start of your career is that you find a way with clay that involves several different kinds of activities rather than just the constant repetitive motions of throwing, trimming etc. Try some handbuilding, or different techniques of decorating ... just some ways to give your wrist a rest from the stress of staying in one horizontal, elevated position.


If you can vary your wrist activity several times a day you might get more time before discomfort starts.

#63133 What Are You Working On?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 23 July 2014 - 07:23 PM

I was persuaded to make my own prizes for my Lady Captain's Day at the Golf Club and it's now 2 weeks away! This needed 17 prizes of varying 'values'. I've been 'playing' with clay for the last couple of years, but haven't got beyond the - 'gifts for friends and family' stage, so this has really focused me and I waiver between feeling v proud of my work so far and mortified at the prospect of the glazing going wrong and not having prizes for this big day!!! have enough pieces made and need to do one more bisque fire (small kiln!!!) to ensure I have spares for when the glazing is not acceptable or breakages.

I have some test pieces ready (underglazes, oxides etc) and now need to fire them and then use a matt and shiny transparent on each to help me decide how to finish the prize items. As I haven't mastered glazing, this is potentially where the plan goes pear-shaped! Dip, pour, spray, brush on? Glaze tongs or finger grips? Wax bottoms or wipe? Oxides under or over base glaze? While I've made quite a lot of pieces over the past 2 years, I haven't yet got to a position of confidence with colouring and glazing.

So......tomorrow is final bisque fire day and a good clean up in the studio. Then I have Saturday & Sunday clear and must bite the bullet and decorate the first few pieces - oxide brushed on & wiped back on one, sprayed on another and underglaze painted into carved areas on a third, then transparent glaze over, but dip, pour, spray? Decision, decisions - it's making me nervous just posting this. Brush on has been the most consistently successful transparent glaze to date, but I don't have glossy brush on and haven't yet tried the matt. Also I WANT to develop my dipping, pouring, spraying skills and get right away from brush on glaze. Perhaps this project isn't the time to be brave...or perhaps it is? In case you're wondering...I DON'T have a back up plan! If I think about it and have the time, I'll post some pics - successful or otherwise, of the finished items. Wish me luck!


As Mario Andretti once said ... if everything appears to be under control, you are not going fast enough!!


Good Luck!! :D