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Stephen

Member Since 28 Jan 2013
Offline Last Active Sep 27 2016 11:16 PM
*****

Posts I've Made

In Topic: New Business Promotion

27 September 2016 - 07:23 AM

Most of my sales are online, as I am too busy to participate in shows and fairs unfortunately. It takes time to do it right, build a responsive client base, and get noticed. But the key is an updated site no matter what you choose, or all of them!

Hi Sydney,

 

Would you mind sharing how many orders you get in an average month?


In Topic: Multiple Clay Explosions In Bisque

26 September 2016 - 09:21 AM

wow, only had one piece explode in the 7 years I have been doing pottery. My sister in-law had carved a head once that exploded because she didn't hollow it out but that's it and we (two) of us are production so a lot of pottery. We use porcelain and let everything sit for a few days getting bone dry and bisque, no candling but I am on an electronic.

 

My 2 cents though is If you have not had this problem I wouldn't start fussing with your routine that has stood the test of time, that will drive you crazy and seems like it would be unlikely to be the problem if your stuff is bone dry when you put it in. If you change something external and it makes what's really happening not occur then you are going to doom yourself to some odd routine. There was a poster on here I recall that solved a similar problem by some month long completely unnecessary drying routine and she is now convinced that pottery is THAT fussy. It is fussy but not fussy. I vote for the new sitter being screwed up. Can you take it back? 


In Topic: Do You Like....?

25 September 2016 - 09:43 AM

I am noticing more and more that the loose and fun stuff tends to sell the fastest but without the tight matching stuff sales would really suffer. I work on doing a mix and like both. But I don't have that many forms and do a lot of mugs and tumblers and those are easy to do this way. One of the reasons I love making and selling pottery is that pottery lovers are all drawn to different types of pottery and that makes it so much fun and interesting.

 

I do keep everything very functional but like LeeU I am trying to leave some handmade look and feel to my work. I don't always do the last rib work to smooth the surface and remove every non functional blemish. I also often leave the trim lines for some surface character under the glaze. I also have found myself less and less throwing to gauge or using profile tools and that makes them a little less structured and more fun. 

 

I also am really working on establishing a good medium weight. I don't like heavy pottery and I don't like super light (feels machined to me and I think others). My mentor told me when I started throwing that what I was going for was my initial thought when I picked up a pottery piece being no surprise and 'just what I expected'. After a few seconds the brain adjusts and a heavy mug doesn't feel that heavy and a light mug feels heavier BUT when you first pick it up that initial reaction is the sweet spot. Off topic but weight was mentioned by a few :-) 

 

Anyway make for yourself to your own tastes and there will be plenty of pottery lovers who agree and to the ones that don't, 'hey, they are not your audience' and some other potter will please them. BUT if I didn't like making mugs I still would or I would starve.


In Topic: The Only Absolutely True Rule For Potters. Pay Attention To This

21 September 2016 - 03:12 PM

Whenever I use a tool it is just for that moment only and then when I am done with it I know for a fact I will never ever need that tool again so I just toss it indiscriminately wherever I happen to be standing and move on to something else important, like looking for the last tool I thought I would never ever need again. 


In Topic: Tips On Using Porcelain

21 September 2016 - 09:32 AM

I started this wonderful Journey working with porcelain from day one because my partner, an experienced potter was using it exclusively and I guess as Mark says I know the ins and outs of our clay after 5-6 years now of working with it. I have a mixer and for a while made our own porcelain from scratch and while it was mostly fine we did have some cracking issues but we don't have cracking to any extent with the supply house brand we now use .

 

I was reading this thread and all the wonderful advice and plan to try some of all the great tips tips above to see if I notice a difference. Not knowing any better I just grab a bag of supply house pugged (or my re-pugged) porcelain and weigh out my throwing balls, lightly wedge (very little) and go to work. I admittedly throw too wet and I am working on that because I am tired of water all over the place during and after my daily throwing sessions. I'm getting faster these days so I guess that makes up for it and when I was slow (er) and things went to crap I just figured I needed to get better and faster  B)

 

I do put my daily mugs in a bun rack over night to slow the first drying off the bat (I know I leave them on the bat as I got tired of warped mugs - throwing to wet ) and again back in the rack for a day after handles but that's the only thing I do.

 

Not slamming all the great tips though and like I said I am going to try some of them, starting with weighing out tomorrows clay and letting it sit overnight. This has another benefit as I can get to my morning session that much faster every morning and I am curious if the feel of throwing will change.