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Member Since 28 Jan 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:58 AM

#62731 Current Opinions On Best Mobile Credit Card Options

Posted by Stephen on 18 July 2014 - 04:58 PM

Our PayPal here account works a little differently than above. When a card is swiped the money goes to our business PayPal account. We can transfer that money to our bank account, spend it directly using the PayPal account with PayPal checkout online or an added a debit card. We declined the debit card and just move the money to our bank account. You may be able to have it go automatically, I'm not sure but definitely with a click when your logged in. Also does a lot of customer management for credit and cash purchases and generates tax reports and such.


I have not used Square but I have heard that the money may well get to your bank a day or so faster with Square but with PayPal there is a way to have instant access to some or all of that money.  So as usual there are pros and cons top both services.


Another reason we chose PayPal is that you can actually talk to a person if you need to and I hear it is hard to get that level of service with Square.


I see a lot of postings around where folks like to setup both of these services and then run cards based on their particular circumstances and to have a backup if there is a problem.

#62476 Non-Legal Ways To Address Copying Issue

Posted by Stephen on 15 July 2014 - 11:17 AM

Sounds like you have not actually sat down and had a really direct conversation with your studio mate on this issue. I get that you resisted offering help and then really said "no" but have you actually spent some time discussing this with her. I am trying to see your side and I understand you feel violated but I'm not sure I see a solution that will not require some compromise on your part as well.


You have a paper clay process that you use on some of your work that took you a long time to perfect. She is at a stage where she feels she needs to use a paper clay process on an aspect of her work. She asked you for your help and you declined because it took you a long time to develop your process, fair enough. At this point she started experimenting on her own and you feel she is mimicking your process.


Is she doing this by observing you do it or just looking at your finished work? Are you positive she is not doing her own R&D?


What do you want her to do exactly? As Babs suggested, maybe ask for a meeting between you and her and a neutral person from the studio and lay out your case and try and convince her you are right and she should not use your process on her work. ( I like the wine suggestion :))


She's doing this because she feels she needs to for her work and she likely feels it is OK. She is probably not going to stop and you are just going to get more and more angry. A straight up conversation about it would at least clear the air and you both would come away knowing how the other feels about the situation and that's half way toward a solution right there. Perhaps there is a compromise that can be worked out. One key thing is that this not about you and its not about her, its about both of you and the solution has to work for both of you.


I would also suggest standing back a little and truly try to evaluate your work and make sure your feelings are justified. Is this a process that you personally came up with and is truly unique or one that is common that just took a lot of time and research to connect the dots and learn how to do. There are a lot of very cool processes out there that have been around for eons and just being the first to adapt them in a studio or geographic area does not mean other artist shouldn't pursue them as well.


I guess I am saying make sure you are not trying to assume ownership of a process that is not yours. 


Whatever you do, don't spend wonderful studio time being angry and try not to mess up her time as well.

#61093 10 Cool Trends In Contemporary Ceramics

Posted by Stephen on 18 June 2014 - 11:46 AM

I looked up a number of the artist and enjoyed looking at other work they have done, maybe some of you would like some of their other work.


Some of these artist simply work with clay as a medium and have not and probably will never will work on making beautiful dinnerware or other functional pottery. I like all kinds of ceramic art as well as beautifully crafted functional ware but I think there is such little synergy between the work in this article and functional ware that it is extremely hard to compare them. 


Plenty of room for both.

#59964 Does Any One Else Miss This Nutcase?

Posted by Stephen on 04 June 2014 - 11:19 AM

Hi Bob, I certainly was not offended at all. I think Colby just got a bit emotional is all.


I do think Colby makes some strong arguments that once you move away from mimicking forms or expressions loosely or with exactness then you hit a place in art where stirred emotions or intent starts to weigh in.


Almost anyone can take up a potters wheel, pick up a paint brush or start carving sculptures and with enough instruction and enough hours practice become pretty damned accomplished. I get that the ones that stick with traditional forms and work within the confines of a familiar range (a vase looks like a vase) are the ones you like and assign value to BUT that work is just part of what's out there and those that are not making traditional vases, painting realistic landscapes or carving lifelike bust are creating really meaningful work that is really worth the 'work' you mentioned earlier to try and understand.


I do hope you come across something at some point that drives the point home because I think it will be an Aha moment for you, it was for me.


I'm going to leave it at that as well and I hope I also did not offend anyone.

#57997 How Much Pots Would A Potter Pot If A Potter Could Pot Pots?

Posted by Stephen on 06 May 2014 - 12:18 PM

20 pots a day, five days a week at $30 average per pot is $156,000 worth of pottery a year. I would offer that for a good potter the issue is marketing not production.  

#57766 Converting A Lehman Glaze Mixer

Posted by Stephen on 02 May 2014 - 11:04 AM

I would be happy to convert it for you. Just send it to me and I will send you back my drill mixer.

#57639 Banding Wheel To Throw Light Pottery?

Posted by Stephen on 30 April 2014 - 11:28 AM

I guess I am missing the point. If a 6 year old is interested in pottery and his dad wants to encourage this, why not start him off with pottery equipment and tools instead ad hoc stuff? Banding wheels are not for throwing pots and it just seems he is going to probably spend most of his time annoyed with the equipment and likely lose interest in the whole thing.

#55624 Check Your Tools

Posted by Stephen on 28 March 2014 - 10:28 AM

Ya know, I would say try and think of recycled clay as a bonus and just go with the flow when it does not work out. At the end of the day you're reclaiming all that can be reclaimed and keeping waste to a minimum and that's really what its all about, right?


Maybe just hold it to the side and use it when you are experimenting with a new form or use it up making a round of new garden pots for your personal use.


I am learning to just go with it when things go wrong as issues just seem to pop up at the most inopportune times, don't let it take away your Zen :-)

#54997 Water In A Studio Without Plumbing: Ideas Needed

Posted by Stephen on 19 March 2014 - 10:33 AM

well if you are making 100 pots a day, every day, and they sell for an average of $30 that's 1.1 million dollars in pottery and one can afford whatever water system they want  :D 

#51445 Consignment, Reasonable Expectations

Posted by Stephen on 31 January 2014 - 12:23 PM

I would chime in that the difference in production work and studio work makes a huge difference.


A hand crafted mug that has a lot of additional detail and time involved might be priced substantially higher as more of an art piece than a production mug that is thrown in a few minutes, trimmed in a few minutes and a couple of minutes of a 2-3 hour glazing session along with a small corner of a kiln (our 9 cf kiln cost about $6-7 to fire by the way). 30 seconds more of bottom sanding an it is ready to go out the door somewhere.


This production mug is still going to be a beautiful handcrafted mug (may well have a little carving or slip work) and gleaned from hours of drawings, testing and other design work by the potter, perfected for production runs and will be priced at say $25 retail. 


A $12.50 split works out OK for the potter and selling direct to the public will earn $15-$17.50. Direct selling through decent size fairs cost about 30-40% in expenses (but you will get some show labor at slightly above min wage out of that :-) and could increase north of 50% if you have a string of show failures and have to eat some additional cost somewhere. Like Mark said, it is going to be a moving target trying to attach direct expenses to individual production items if you make and sell many.


One thing I would warn is not to take more involved artistic studio work that is done on a functional piece of pottery, like a mug, that you invest a lot of time in and then price it like a production piece or you will have trouble making it work.  


Not sure I agree with your pricing based on experience. A subpar mug should not go out and if its a quality mug then why should it not be priced a what is perceived to be the market rate? A famous potter may command much more but you are advocating pricing at well below what I think most folks see the market rate of 20-25 bucks for artisan made handcrafted mugs. I think this is what the artisan market sees as an average price for a nice hand thrown mug (I am assuming your talking about hand thrown mugs and not slab work).


I would argue that the adjustment is made if you're honest about the work and only sell beautiful mugs and trash the rest. This means that a new professional is going to have a much higher failure rate than a seasoned pro and make less because of this. The mugs that hit the market though are all of high quality and priced right. Everyone is served as the market is not depressed and the seasoned pro is realizing some additional perk of his/her years of hard work.    


The business forum moderator, Mea Rhee, did a fantastic hourly earnings project that was published by this sites magazine and Mark C's and others threads offer of lots and lots of details on making a living at this.


Good luck with your first wholesale customer!  

#51132 Photography Isn't Just Pressing A Button

Posted by Stephen on 27 January 2014 - 11:53 AM

What a great thread, getting ready to put this together now and my research is already done :-)


Sorry you got dumped on John. As has been stated repeatedly and I'm sure you already know, there was absolutely nothing but great advise in your post, OP just had a chip on his shoulder.

#48680 Buy Vs. Build (Kiln Dilemma)

Posted by Stephen on 27 December 2013 - 12:17 PM

You let Christmas get in the way of looking at a 30 year old broken kiln you can probably get for next to nothing? Where the heck are your priorities!

#46131 How To Warm Cink Water

Posted by Stephen on 19 November 2013 - 01:59 PM

I think the original poster is talking about a product called the cink, I have one as well and it is a closed recirculating system that filters out the clay. We have a septic system and decided to buy one instead of plumbing so we could be sure that clay does not end up in the septic system. Works very pretty well but the water get really, really cold in an unheated space overnight.

#45754 Gallery Commentary?

Posted by Stephen on 14 November 2013 - 05:33 PM

Your back and forth is exactly my point in saying the gallery comments need be moderated, not censured, but moderated. Either of you could easily weed out the malicious comments before they hit the board. I honestly don't think many want to censure or sanitize anything on this board. It's just a matter of making sure that for that 'one in the bunch' that Phill mentioned, someone has a chance to weed it out so it doesn't junk up the board and frustrate a member and more seriously encourage others to avoid uploading any pictures of their work.

After reading the last two posts though, it certainly seems to me that a separate forum for this would so much better serve the members because the process is obviously very involved and the back and forth you two just did ought to be given a chance to happen when examining someone's work AND it seems so important that the work being commented on needs to have been put forth by the artist for just such commentary.

Obviously it can be argued that by merely uploading the images an artist offered the work for critique. If that's the case then there are going to be so many members here that are never going to show us their work because they do not want this from this forum in this setting. This may have absolutely nothing to do with how they feel about their work but rather they see the process differently and don't see this forum as a place for this to happen. One reason might be that the internet is searchable and many professionals would not want this process to be this transparent to their customers, or potential customers. A scathing exchange might turn the customer against the work and cause the artist to lose a sale or a contract, or many sales and many contracts over a process that they personally didn't ask for and don't want to be a part of.

#45717 Gallery Commentary?

Posted by Stephen on 14 November 2013 - 11:48 AM

It is certainly an art in of itself to be able to provide quality feedback, especially negative feedback without offending. I think the reason the software defaults to admin approval is for another a person representing the organization keeping up the site to make sure that the exchange is civil. There is no getting around the fact that some people enjoy being cruel and the internet coupled with anon identities feeds into that. I have not read any comments by anyone posting here so I am certainly not saying their comments were not spot on. 


This forum is the face of a large non-profit organization that promotes ceramics for everyone, bad, mediocre and skilled professionals alike, sure makes sense to make sure the comments are meaningful and not just mean.