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Member Since 08 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 12:37 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: 21 Century Customer... Perpetual Replacement Of Pottery

15 April 2014 - 09:19 AM

I treat these situations similar to Mark ... within a reasonable amount of time, and given the right circumstances, I will give a free replacement pot. Overall my policy is to have no policy, every case and every customer will be judged individually. My responses will range from "I promise to make this right" to "go away."

I think the 12 year old baking dish most definitely did not require a replacement. There's plenty of ways the owner could have mishandled it during 12 years. I would have offered a discount on a new one too, It think that was a fair solution. I don't know, if I had other customers in my booth, and I sensed that someone might make a scene, I might have given her a new baker too. Just to resolve it as quickly as possible. An angry scene only hurts you, no matter who is right or wrong. The only thing I would have done differently is, when handing her the new baker, say "I hope this resolves the matter. Please never buy my pottery again."

On the other hand, the mug that cracked within one year would get its day in "pottery court." Probably replaced. Although she would have to send the cracked one back first so I could see what happened to it. Did it crack when boiling water was poured in, or did somebody drop it?

I used to make an item that consisted of three parts. One of the parts was delicate and small. On three occasions, customers brought back the fragile part broken. I gave them replacements on the house. One of them started crying. Another one handed me a plate of brownies a few days later. The third one returned to my booth an hour later and bought a $250 platter. So this type of customer service can benefit you in some circumstances. I will add that I stopped making that item, due to its durability flaws.

I recently had an online customer who, although he had bought a good quantity of work, it became clear to me that he did not understand what he was buying, in ways similar to the customer who thinks a 12 year old pot should be replaced. I finally told him "this is your last order." (This is one of the reasons I closed my online store.) My point here is that sometimes it is appropriate and necessary to tell a customer their business is not welcome anymore.

I would speculate this attitude is growing because of the growth of online selling, not because of LL Bean. Online selling implies things are supposed to be convenient, and customers get served while they sit on their couches. LL Bean and REI have had their generous return policies for decades. Actually REI dramatically scaled back its return policy last year, because they finally realized customers were abusing the policy.

In Topic: Ftl Error Message

13 April 2014 - 01:03 PM

"FTL" error code means "Fired Too Long" Perhaps because your elements are dying, the slow program exceeded a time limit that is built into the controller? i.e. when the elements are healthier, the slow program will finish under the time limit. This is just a guess from me .... there are folks on this list who know a lot more about Paragon Kilns, so maybe somebody else could confirm this.

Changing elements is not hard to figure out, but it is labor-intensive. Make sure you have the right tools, and give yourself a whole afternoon to do it. If you can change thermocouples, you can do elements too.

In Topic: Ftl Error Message

13 April 2014 - 10:37 AM

. Normally takes around 9-9½ hours on fast but lately I've noticed it's taking around 10-10½ hours, so definitely slowed down a bit.

I think you need new elements. If they are 18 months old, they've had a good life already.

Yes a multi-meter is an ohm-meter (to measure resistance) and also measures volts and amps. Very handy tool for a kiln owner. When you install the new elements, record the resistance value of the brand new elements. Then over time, you can keep track of how resistance drifts as the elements get older, and the resistance of elements that need replacing. In the future you will have a clear way to answer the question "do I need new elements?"

In Topic: Wheel Issues

08 April 2014 - 10:19 AM

This is all hindsight so you probably cannot take this advice now. But in the future when you receive a delivery in a damaged box, you need to address it immediately. If it came by UPS, the driver is required to stick around while you inspect the contents of the package. You can officially tell the driver that you think the contents may be damaged. The report goes into the UPS system. Then contact the seller right away to let them know it was delivered in a damaged box. That way, if you determine that the wheel is toast, the seller has a clear path for getting reimbursed by UPS.


I think your best option now is to locate a Shimpo repairman who can visit you in person.

In Topic: I Know This Has Been Asked Before, But Maybe More Specific Answers? - Shows

07 April 2014 - 09:45 AM

the only thing that could cause the show to sell out faster is that my mugs are more in the 15-$18 dollar quality range.  My prices are slightly lower than seasoned potters because I have only been throwing for 2 years/

People will not choose your mugs over another potter's mugs because yours are cheaper. But they might if yours are a better value. Also, they will choose your mugs if they are more appealing than the next potter's, or if you are more appealing than the next potter.