Jump to content


Stephen

Member Since 28 Jan 2013
Offline Last Active Today, 06:16 PM
*****

Topics I've Started

Brick Repair

Today, 02:32 PM

looking at adding a small skutt 818 and it has a broken element and a row of 6 cracked and/or missing bricks on bottom row of bottom ring. I have never replaced bricks before. They are $12 a piece (and it needs 6 of them) and the element is $38 at kilnparts.com. Was going to youtube and surf for instructions.

 

Any advice on this repair?

 

Anyone dealt with kilnparts.com? good price on bricks?


Really Pushing It And Not Having Problems

17 February 2017 - 11:00 PM

Had an out of town show this weekend and was faced with a last load I absolutely wanted to bring. The way it all worked out with drive time the kiln had to be unloaded and packed by 10am. The only way I could accomplish this was to use fast firing setting on my skutt 1027. Medium fire takes 8.5 hours and then 13 hours to cool (thanks to 3" bricks)  below 350 to prop lid and 250 to open lid. I usually let cool to under 200 to prop and 150 to open lid and unload BUT I was pushing everything as I even candled 40 same day handled leather hard mugs for bisque load for 10 hours to get it to this point. Usually rack under plastic for a day after handling then dry for one even when rushing.

 

So to re-cap, 50 mugs, 40 of them handled just as dry enough to work with with and not warp from handling, candled at leather hard (barely) and then cone 5 fast fired glazed with 20 minute hold in 4.5 hours and lid propped at 350, lid opened at 250 and unloaded at 190ish.

 

I didn't lose one mug. No cracks or glaze defects, none.

 

I used to have a 1027 for bisque and a 9cf oval for glazing and could move stuff through working in tandem bisque/glaze. Now with this one small 6.5 kiln there just isn't enough hours in a day to push loads through and add to that the 3" bricks adding hours to cooling it can take almost three days to push a load through.

 

So I'm so tempted to start relying on fast fire glaze and propping at 350 on a regular basis. Cuts 6-7 hours from the process. Was I just lucky or are people just being overly cautious with the more moderate and best practices approach. I've surfed and opinions seem all over the board and I have seen pictures of what is supposed to be evidence but I am wondering if the defects are really more attributable to other issues like glaze fit and the cautious approach just makes those issues less severe. I know I saw the same warnings on candling yet I have not had any issues with doing that either and have now moved 100s through candling 8-10 hours of sometimes almost wet pots without any issues.  

 

I should mention I can't afford a 2nd kiln right now and just paid 3 grand for this one so can't upgrade. Now I wish I had bought 2 used ones but can't undo that decision :-) 


Youtube Video Potters

27 January 2017 - 12:12 PM

Hey how about some of you guys who know who's who take a look at the youtube potters line up and throw out a few names of ones you've both heard of and respect their work.

 

If one makes south 20 bucks an hour it is just really, really, hard for a LOT of people to have any money at all left at the end of a month just surviving. For these guys youtube really is it regardless of whether its the best way or not. If someone is just starting out they have no idea who too listen too.

 

I'll start:

 

I mentioned Simon Leach in another thread and I have watched so many of his videos. He and his brothers, father, mother and fairly famous grandfather have been in pottery forever and he has posted tons of great instructional videos. He is a professional potter making his living from pottery as both a studio potter and workshop instructor.  


Wholesale Marketing Materials

10 January 2017 - 08:12 PM

For a marketing piece I am sending out to a few hundred gift shops I had originally planned a 9 x 12 envelope with a full sheet flyer, letter of intro and an order sheet.

 

I am now re-thinking it to be a color tri-fold brochure with a couple of product examples prompting a visit to my website or call for a product presentation.

 

I was hoping someone here my provide some feedback on any mailings they've done and what the piece consisted of and response rates.

 

I am also trying to decide if I am going to just mail all at once or stagger them by a week sending maybe a 100 each week. Mae Rae suggested in another post that any marketing needs to happen by early February before first half of year budgets are committed so I can't drag it out too long. 

 

 


Wholesale Minimums

05 January 2017 - 08:42 PM

I live in a large metro and want to expand wholesale. It works for me. I would rather ratchet back doing so many shows and build wholesale to fill the void. My production times are improving to the point that it pencils out for me even at 50%. My main wholesale is specialty mugs and the wholesale price is $12. My hiccup is the time it takes to fool around with orders of just a few mugs. I would much rather have a 20 mug minimum. That's a $240 hit plus shipping. This would produce a $35-40 shipping to most shops in my area. There are three additional very large metros within 3 hours of me so if I get interest I figure I can keep expanding my reach until I have the amount of wholesale to meet my needs.

 

I am planning a marketing piece to generate interest and I really do want to pick up accounts so I don't want to be out of the ball park of the small gift/craft shops I will be pitching to. I could try it and see if I get interest with such terms and adjust but I would rather not misfire as this marketing effort, as small as it is, is still a big expense for my little studio and I don't want to waste the money or time pitching unrealistic terms.

 

So I thought I would ask you guys for input.