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Member Since 28 Jan 2013
Offline Last Active Today, 11:13 AM

#68726 How Quickly Do You Get Rid Of Failures?

Posted by Stephen on 27 October 2014 - 01:17 PM

I've never actually had a pot not come out spot on but I suppose I might have to smash the first one that doesn't work out. ;)

#68283 Well Said

Posted by Stephen on 21 October 2014 - 11:22 AM

I would think having this on their Facebook page, website or hanging in their booth at an art fair is meant is to either reinforce the attitude or create it and I would not find it out of place at all.  Handmade pottery is a niche market sold mostly to those that appreciate it for what it is and the backstory of the artist is certainly part of what it is.


Doing a blog is also a way to accentuate that the pottery is made by a real person. I think one of the reasons that good potters seemed to have done fine through the down turn is that potters enjoy a nice slice of the art/crafts market as many of their buyers might have turned it down a notch on other types of artwork but kept buying pottery because its both decorative and functional. It's/We're special ;-)


Look if I sold pizzas It would be because I was passionate about pizza and they would be made with nothing but the best and most expensive ingredients and my pitch would need to essentially be "come buy a really expensive pizza from me". While I agree with Carl that a perfectly fine mug can be had at target for a fraction of what most potters charge for a mug, I disagree that they are not better, I think they are better in almost every way. However they do not hold coffee any better than a machined mug and if your potential customer does not know the sentiment above then hey it might sway them your way by getting them to read it and maybe open their wallet. Not everyone at the fair, on the Facebook page or website has come over to our side so we have to entice/encourage them to stay and buy something.


If this had been called delusional in another area of the forum I might not have responded but Phill posted it in business so I had to challenge his view and hopefully get him to re-think his opposition to using such blurps. In order to sell art I think it is so important that modesty and the need to sound a certain way needs to be well thought out because selling pottery is selling and this blurp on a facebook page I would see as something toward that goal. I think either Mea Rhee or Chris Campbell pointed out in one post how much it mattered to be in an upbeat mood at the worst of shows or what little sales you are getting will dissipate.            


I think another great place for something like this is on the bag or box that a customer takes with a purchase because they may well be giving it to someone and we should be trying to market to that person as well because they too may be new to what we do. 

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#68176 Well Said

Posted by Stephen on 19 October 2014 - 03:59 PM

I'll bite. In what way? It struck me as a good sentiment.

#68108 Every Once In A While,

Posted by Stephen on 18 October 2014 - 05:23 PM

now you guys have 2 wheels, fantastic! Congrads on the great find.

#67847 Fast Drying Tiles

Posted by Stephen on 15 October 2014 - 11:39 AM

and there ya go, $550 bucks and ya have a 2x2 foot fast tile drying system for tiles :-)




or possibly 2 $35 seedling heating mats:




still cheaper, a DIY option. 2 18' rope lights are $25 and if 100 degrees is applied to each side of the drywall it might just dry in a 24 hour cycle.



#67606 Setting An Electric Kiln Outside

Posted by Stephen on 11 October 2014 - 11:54 AM

Yeah you cannot pull an owner permit for building or electrical and let anyone else do the work. Marks idea does sounds much better than a tarp.

#66619 Banding Wheels

Posted by Stephen on 25 September 2014 - 02:25 PM

Thanks again everyone.


I went with the Darice stainless steel sculpture turntable. We do have a 12" Shimpo and it is certainly a great choice. I wanted to try a cheaper alternative since I us having a few more of these in the studio at different workstations.


The Darice has a stainless steel top and cast iron base.  It's supposed to be in on Monday so I will update this post once I check it out.

#65211 Electric Kilns Now Described In Cubic Feet, Why?

Posted by Stephen on 27 August 2014 - 01:10 PM

It also helps for bragging rights.


If ya say "I spent the week loading and firing my 200 cubic foot anagama kiln." it just sounds better than "I spent the week  loading and firing the big kiln."

#64068 Please Help Me Choose Between These 3 Kilns

Posted by Stephen on 06 August 2014 - 05:59 PM

hey small loads mean you fire more often ;-)

#64005 Why Is Our Work Better Than Imported Work?

Posted by Stephen on 06 August 2014 - 10:28 AM

I get that a well rounded technical knowledge of all things pottery is helpful in understanding and correcting errors but I think it is a lot more than that in the long run.


Understanding the Raku process as well as the many other possible processes and approaches, regardless of whether you employ them provides competence of craft. It opens up choices and options at each point in the process. The more knowledge, the more techniques mastered, the broader the approach can be to getting where one wants as an artisan (or artist if that's your thing).


Doing a piece a certain way because you think that will bring out the best in a piece is a lot different than doing the piece the only way you know how.


I think that holds true even if the latter turns out to be a wonderful piece.  

#63845 Why Is Our Work Better Than Imported Work?

Posted by Stephen on 04 August 2014 - 01:16 PM

The one thing that stands out to me when defining experience by number of years is that it is really all over the board how much experience that is. I think there are very serious people that work in their studios regularly, even daily, accumulating less experience over 5, even 10 years than a new, really dedicated, full timer working really hard might put in in a year or two. 


It also seems to really matter what the objectives are as that is going to really shape the experience accumulated.

#63662 Top 20 Potters From Ceramics History

Posted by Stephen on 01 August 2014 - 12:54 PM

John Mason might make some peoples list of top 20.

#63561 Air Release Mold Dies

Posted by Stephen on 30 July 2014 - 10:34 AM

Thanks again Mark for the input, was greatly appreciated. A shout out to George Ullrich at Sheffield Pottery, he helped me source Ceramical on the west coast so I was able to go with it without having to pay three times the cost.


Shipping 1 or 2 50lb bags around the country can sure get expensive.

#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.