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Chris Campbell

Member Since 07 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:25 PM

Topics I've Started

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

15 July 2014 - 09:26 AM

I am posting this for my friend Antoinette who is currently teaching in South Africa.

This is a whole new way of taking a workshop ... A month long course that covers porcelain from pinch pots, to hand building, to throwing and firing.

E-course: Understanding and working Porcelain by Antoinette Badenhorst
August 4, 2014 until September 11, 2014

Registration for Understanding Porcelain e-course:

Image Envy ...

11 July 2014 - 10:53 AM

I don't know if the Internet makes my life better or worse!! :unsure:

All those gorgeous images posted to facebook of 'my work' ... well, no not my work, but it should be mine.


Just this morning my clay pal Alisa Clausen posted images of her Italian style villas going into the kiln and DRAT .. they should have been mine. How does she get the idea to go so playfully into the form? Why do mine end up looking like houses instead of fun? Hey, I'm a fun person! :P


Then Marcia posts images of Antonella Cimatti's forms and I wonder why can't I be that perfect and controlled? Why do my pieces go off in directions all by themselves instead of staying perfectly done? I could be that controlled! :angry:


Then Tony Clennell posts images of his paintings on thin sheets of clay ... hey I could do that! Why do I make my sheets most square-ish when they could be free form all over the place? Maybe I should try painting on thin sheets of paper clay.


All these super talented people making me crazy almost every morning. Colors and forms and styles ...I want to do everything they are doing without actually stealing their ideas.


But then I remember the advice I gave my daughter in middle school ... "you can't keep up with everyone kiddo, so pick one and go for it if you need to."  I guess there is pottery you make and pottery you buy.


Also, Marcia posted an image of someone who turned old car tires into light fixtures ... hey, why didn't I think of hanging smelly old rubber tires up on my ceiling???

Wheel Throwing Colored Clay

07 July 2014 - 02:53 PM

I have been updating my website today in order to add a tutorial on how to throw Skinner blended colored clay.




I am not a quick thrower anymore since I seldom use my wheel for anything other than making support forms for my work.

But ... I have been so fortunate to have workshop hosts and attendees who are great throwers offer to try some experiments for me. The results are so inspiring I feel a definite tug towards the wheel again.


Thanks so much to Tony Clennell and Mike Lalone for the throwing and to Heidi McKenzie for taking a zillion pictures during my recent workshop and then actually sending them to me ... Yeah!! :D Thanks to them all I have been able to add a lot of teaching content to the site.


If anyone has any other tutorials they would like to see there, let me know and I will do it if I have images.


... and yes, someday I will get around to doing the video that everyone is bugging me to do. :ph34r: :D

Kiln Troubleshooting Help Please

08 June 2014 - 11:38 AM

I have two Skutt 1227 kilns. They were professionally installed using the guidelines of the electrical requirements in the operating manual.

They have 60 Amps breakers at the kiln where they can be shut off, and in the main panel in the house ( in image above the blue switches).

The wire size is 6 and the run is about 30 feet long between kiln and main breaker.

One kiln is drawing about 48 -50 and the other 50 - 51.


It seems like we have done everything right, but the breaker in the house gets very hot. When we pulled it on Friday it was fried. We have also had issues with the breakers on the wall behind the kiln and have replaced those.


So ... we are having the breakers in the house replaced but is there something else we should be checking?? I cannot believe the breakers should be getting that hot during firing especially since everything appears to be within specs. What are we missing??

Craft Shows... Tips For Success

07 June 2014 - 11:08 AM

It's summer which means a time for craft fairs ... time also to share some tips for success.


ENGAGE your customers. "hi" "welcome" "nice day" good morning" "good afternoon" :D


DO NOT SIT ... yes, I know the little tootsies get tired but when is the last time you walked in a good store and saw the staff sitting?


The very act of standing up when someone comes in your booth is aggressive and will scare them off. However, if you are already standing you are meeting on the same level.


DO NOT CHAT with other neighboring artists, or on the phone, or with personal friends who dropped by to visit, not to BUY. It is also NOT the time to read your book or newspaper, check your facebook page, text your friends ... look up, smile, engage.


It is amazing how many artists get someone to help them in the booth then spend the whole show chatting together instead of selling.


Bizarre as this might seem, you are going to have to talk to people about your work. No hiding. The crowds are not monsters but simply folks who want to see crafts and the people who make them. A smile goes a long, long way.


"How's the show going?" ... fabulous, thanks.

"Enjoying the weather?" .... yes it is hot/cold/rainy/chilly, but this is a great place to be.

"You must be getting tired." ... nope, I am having a great time.

"Selling much?" .... yes I am ... its been a great day.

"Do you make all this yourself?" ... yes, I do. Which pieces do you like best?

"I'll be back." ... Great, enjoy the rest of the show!


It is sad to see artists at a show killing their own sales, then blaming the venue for a "bad show". Sure there are times and places where anyone would be hard pressed to make great sales but you can always up your personal sales by being the one who tries. Being the booth people actually do go back to because you stood out.


Let's get some more tips from veterans ....