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Member Since 28 Jan 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:45 AM

Topics I've Started


15 April 2015 - 01:29 PM

Ok I am going to just flat out go for gold here and see if someone will give me the benefit of their tax prowess. I've been doing my own personal taxes for a few years and approached 2014 with little fanfare and, unfortunately, too little research and had to call a timeout last night and get an extension because I started questioning the way I was doing it.  


Our LLC was formed in 2011 for a pottery related business idea that never got off the ground. I kept it active and up to date since my partner planned to become a full time potter soon. In 2013 she quit her job and we began organizing, testing and preparing to work the show circuit.


The transition from a 15 year hobby in a garagio to a studio pottery intending to provide full time salaries took about 18 months and about $11k in 2013 and about $7k above revenue in 2014 in additional supplies and equipment. I also built a 300' finished out studio on our property for 14k (materials) from summer 2013-summer 2014. 


If your still reading I appreciate it, there is a question planned ;-)


So to summarize I have a 4 year LLC, with no revenue the first 3 years (2011, 2012, 2013) and $7k losses in 2014 and startup cost from 2013 of $25k. The 7 grand in losses from 2014 I know I can take all at once because about 5k would qualify as section 179 equipment that I can take all at once and the rest is ordinary expenses resulting in end of the year inventory.


My questions regards the 11k supplies and equipment from 2013, the 14k building and the original pottery equipment we had prior to the business. 


Original equipment:

Most of this original equipment (about 15k worth) was bought new from 2005-2009. It is my understanding that I can assign a market value to this equipment at startup and depreciate it (figured I would check classifieds). I think depreciation for studio equipment is 7 years as a catch all classification under the depreciation table. 


2013 Equipment & misc startup tools and supplies:

The 2013 equipment was bought and placed into service in 2013 but we had no revenue and I didn't file a schedule C in 2013 so I think I need to depreciate the entire 11k from 2013, equipment and supplies, over the 5 year startup depreciation  provision for depreciation.   


Studio Building:

The building spanned both 2013 and 2014 and I am unsure where it falls on the depreciation charts. I have seen anywhere from 5 years to 40 years on depreciating this around the net and can't seem to nail the right place on the IRS site. It is a finished out and heated space that is 100% pottery. I also used the 500' garage almost exclusively as a glaze/kiln/finishing studio so I was going to take the percentage of house cost on that. We spread out into about 400' foot of additional house space but figured I would not take this space as those 2 rooms are used for other activities here and there so its not 100%



I am having trouble distinguishing between incidental equipment and equipment that needs to be depreciated. Pottery kilns, wheels, slab roller, pug mill, mixer and such are a no brainer but what about the extruder dies? some of the larger hand tools? What do you guys take right away and what to you depreciate?    


As a side note I also bought a new travel trailer in 2014 for shows. We also use this for ordinary camping so I am only planning on taking the camping fees and mileage for the truck. I don't think I can actually write off any of the purchase cost of this trailer for the business, right?  


So for you tax experts, any red flags in what I've said? Anyone know what the number of years I need to spread out taking the studio building? Could the studio building's 300 feet just be added to the house and I take it with the 500' garagio? can the garagio be taken even up with the rest of the house or is it considered 'lesser' space? 


I know the gut check advice is to go get a tax accountant and I am seriously thinking of going back to my accountant that did non pottery business taxes for years, but I am hesitant to do so. 


It's not really the money but the knowledge I worry about missing. I have used accountants for decades and they add a layer of insulation from the process and frankly they have to spend time to come up to speed on pottery as well so its good for me to know it too. In the early days of a previous business I did taxes myself and I think it helped a lot with my decision making as we expanded.


Anyway I appreciate any initial reactions from you guys.



Thickening Glaze By Removing Water From Surface

01 April 2015 - 12:47 PM

I sometimes add too much water when doing the final mixing on a new 10k batch of glaze and realize I need to thicken the glaze after I test fire.


I have always let the batch sit for a few days and then use a small cup to pull off the clean water from the surface. This water is almost always very clear. I remove usually more than I need to and then re-mix, adding back a little until I hit the consistency I need. Is this OK?


I was recently asked if this removed some of the glaze material and my response was yeah it does take out some trace amounts that didn't settle but as long as the water being removed is pretty clear it is not enough to matter to a 4 gallon batch of glaze. I only do this the first time I mix and don't do this repeatedly to a batch of glaze over time.

Is this a correct statement?


Should I be using a flocculent if I added to much water and just need to remove some? I am adding specific gravity reading to each of my glazes for when I remake a batch but this occurs the very first time I am making the batch and I don't yet have an established specific gravity reading.

Gloss Going Matt

17 March 2015 - 11:16 AM

OK I am assuming I screwed up although I still wonder how that could happen as careful as I am. I made the recipe listed below first as a 400 gram test batch that came out perfect with just the right surface, fit and break that we were looking for.


The base is transparent and we wanted to take the color down a couple of shades so I made a 10,000 batch and split out 4 small (100 gram equivalent) test batches from that and adjusted the additives a point a shot for two of them and then did a couple with two different mason stains as additives. The goal was to create a small half dozen color palate using this transparent base for a line of hand painted pieces that needs a surface that allows detail to show through but have a color tint instead of just a clear coat on top. 


I was expecting issues with possible clouding with the stains or a trend toward opaque. I did not expect the glaze to go from a high gloss to completely matt. One possibility because my scale tops out before the weighs I need for 10k grams I have to break each measurement in half so it is possible, maybe, I put 30% of one and 10% of something else. This is the only possible mistake I can see and since I am so careful It would surprise me if that's the case.


Can anyone see something else in the recipe that might cause this or have a suggestion of an adjustment that might get me back to gloss? I did use a new bag of frit 3134 but all the other ingredients were on hand and the ball clay was OM4.


 * All test were fired in the same 1cf test kiln with a controller fired ramp to cone 5 with 15 minute hold and controlled cool down to 1200 degress.     


Honey Amber ^6 Oxidation Glaze

Dolomite 20
Frit 3134 20
Flint 20
Spodumene 20
Ball Clay 20


Manganese Dioxide 3
Red Iron Oxide 5

Sealing Hump Molds

21 November 2014 - 01:53 PM

I have a dozen hump molds I made and use on a regular wheel. I have a designated wheel and rack for this process and carefully clean the area up between uses to avoid any contamination.  


My problem is that as I move the molds around between the rack and wheel and throw on it, some small bits of plaster and plaster dust is around the area at the end of my session. Its not a lot but I would like to reduce or eliminate if possible. This weekend I was going to thoroughly clean the molds again to make sure all loose plaster from the making process is truly gone.


The side rim and bottom seem to generate the plaster debris I'm talking about and neither of these surfaces need to be particularly absorbent as the clay doesn't sit on the these surfaces. I figured after that cleaning I would lightly sand and then coat these surfaces with something to make them less prone to flaking.


Fist off does anyone see a problem with this plan and does anyone have a suggestion of what to use to coat the side rim and bottom. I may from time to time hit the rim with the tip of a throwing tool so I don't want to use anything that would cause too much havoc should a piece of it end up in clay and get fired.


I was thinking of brushing on something like diluted Elmer's wood glue. I like the glue idea because it is less likely to flake as a powder if its hit with a metal throwing tool and if a small piece did find its way in I assume it would burn out fine.


Any input would be appreciated. Just started working with molds and followed the best practices outlined here on a CAD posted article.         

Brent Wheel Won't Stay Stopped

19 November 2014 - 12:09 PM

I have a Brent IE-X wheel that's about a year or so old and has seen really very limited use. Yesterday is developed a frustrating problem. When you stop the wheel with the foot peddle it stops for about a full second and then there is a little vibrating hum from the motor and the wheel starts slowly turning in somewhat of a jerky motion. If you press the foot peddle it then runs just fine but I can't come to a stop.


I checked the foot peddle pretty thoroughly and there is not any thing such as dried clay keeping it from coming to a stop and like I said it does stop, completely, for about a full count before starting that creeping forward motion.


Would appreciate any ideas?