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Member Since 08 Apr 2010
Online Last Active Today, 05:20 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Another Sales Technique ... Maybe?

Today, 11:58 AM

I've used the "sunlight" maneuver too, and agree that it works. For me it works best when it's a wood-fired pot, and the customer is learning what "wood-fired" means for the first time. It's also related to the "mail me a check" method that Mark C. talked about ... you are letting the customer know you trust them not to steal the pot.

In Topic: Soooo, Stupid Question, But How Do I Use This Pugmill?

18 August 2014 - 05:12 PM

As far as the regulator goes, is it just supposed to sit on top of it's space on the barrel, or is the plastic plate supposed to be secured somehow?

I have a Bluebird 440, which I bought secondhand.

There should be a black rubber gasket around the bottom of the clear plastic plate. According to the manual, it should be enough to create a tight seal when the vacuum is turned on. If yours did not come with a a gasket, you might be able to buy one from Bluebird.

For me the gasket does not work, because the pugmill has some (I believe) limescale buildup on the lip of the barrel, the surface is not smooth enough to make a seal with the gasket. The person I bought it from said she would put a coil of clay around the lip of the barrel, in order to create a tight seal. If your gasket is missing or does not work, this would be a quick solution for you, if you only plan to use it a few times before selling it. In my case I wanted a more permanent solution, so I made a homemade gasket with silicone caulk. I wrapped the top of the barrel, and the plastic plate, with Glad Press-n-Seal wrap, squeezed a bead of caulk on the lip of the barrel, set the plastic plate on top, then waited a few days for the caulk to cure. Then I peeled off the Press-n-Seal wrap, and now I have a dry caulk gasket that makes a nice tight seal and lasts for a few years.

And the valve that the pump is attached to, should this be closed (can't see the hole) or open? I know sounds pretty basic but I'm not real sure exactly how this confounded contraption functions. And does something go on the top side of this valve? The hose to the compressor is on the bottom side, but wanted to make sure I'm not missing something.

Closed. And as far as I know, nothing goes on top of the valve. I don't think you are missing anything.

Lastly, the little lever attached to the spring in the chamber under where the regulator sits: what is the function of this? What position should it be in during use? When I turned on the pugmill I could see that the auger was hitting it as it rotated and flicking. Is it supposed to do this, or is some messed up/misaligned?

The spring-loaded lever will constantly open and close while the pugmill is on. I believe its function is to keep the opening that leads to the vacuum chamber from getting clogged with clay. I don't know if the auger is supposed to hit it, I've never opened up my pugmill that far.

Lastly, when I got the pugmill I called Bluebird (970-484-3243) and they mailed me the manual. They would probably answer questions on phone too.

In Topic: Another Sales Technique ... Maybe?

17 August 2014 - 07:31 PM

wow dirtroads ... thanks for trying it and reporting what happened! The story made me giggle too. And thanks Chris for the idea. Now I want to try it.

In Topic: Very Powerful Sales Tool

14 August 2014 - 08:18 PM

I experienced this from the customer side ... I wanted to buy a pot from a potter who did not accept cards, and I did not have my checkbook. No problem, they handed me an invoice with an address to send my check, and the pot. I was so humbled by the trust, I mailed out the check as soon as I got home.

I've never run into the situation as a seller, where a customer has forgotten their purse, but in my experience I have definitely met some customers who I would have trusted with an invoice.

In Topic: Advice For A Home Studio

13 August 2014 - 08:33 AM

I agree that you should hold off on buying a kiln until you are sure you're not going to move for a while. Kilns are a real pain to move! And installation involves some expense, so try to do that only once. In the meantime, find a community art center where you can pay for kiln access for now, that also provides you with glazes. If you live in a metropolitan area, it shouldn't be too hard to find.


Also work in a home basement, so I try hard to keep clay out of the drain. I did manage to clog the drain in my early days of having this studio, by mopping the floor and dumping the dirty mop water down the sink. Now, when I mop the floor, the dirty water gets dumped in the yard. And I now wash off my hands and tools in my throwing water bucket, then when my hands are almost clean I finish washing them in the sink. When all of my towels are dirty, I take them to a local laundromat. I have not had another drain clog in a dozen years.


I was a designer for 20 years before I became a full-time potter. You're right, pottery is a great antidote for staring at a computer all day. And making pots for your own aesthetic goals and principles is a great antidote for working with clients :-)