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Member Since 28 Jun 2010
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#87963 Changes In Glaze And Clay Over The Last 30 Years

Posted by bciskepottery on 29 June 2015 - 05:15 AM

Here are links to technical info from two sites, Baltimore Clayworks and Highwater Clays, that discuss some of the recent changes . . . Other sites may have similar info.





#87949 Recipes From Britt's Mid Range Glazes In .xml Format.

Posted by bciskepottery on 28 June 2015 - 08:36 PM

Sounds like a terrific summer job opportunity for a neighborhood junior or senior high school student. "Look, Mom. He's paying me to work on the computer!"

#87541 Pug Mills :)

Posted by bciskepottery on 20 June 2015 - 06:33 PM

Probably a couple ways to look at this for your situation.

If you are only thinking of only recovering clay, then you would need to recover an equivalent of about 174 boxes (50 lbs each) to hit break even. That is assuming you buy at a bulk rate of about 30 cents per pound for mid-range stoneware. To recoup $2,615, you'd need to recover about 8,700 lbs of clay. In that sense, clay is cheap and that is a lot of reclaim. Add to that your cost of labor for time spent reclaiming.

For your work (high volume production), where it might become more interesting is the potential of using the pug as an extruder -- notice the special deal for the tile extruder die. If you can reclaim and pug to a form that does not require re-rolling on the slab roller, you are saving labor and possibly increasing productivity. Not sure how many $$$ of product you aim to get from a box of clay; but look at the 174 boxes of reclaim clay not as clay, but as items made. Let's say your goal is $500 of gross sales from a box of clay; recovering 174 boxes equates to about $87,000 in sales -- sales you are missing now because it is potential scrap being tossed. Against the sale potential, the investment looks rather affordable -- especially if your are doing production volumes. In that sense, the addition of a pug to not only recover clay but also produce product can make this more interesting to your operations. And, if you make lots of flatware, you could have custom dies made to suit your product line, thereby growing productivity.

Disclaimer -- I was really bad in economics. So, I apologize for any faults in logic.

#87526 Insuring Equipment?

Posted by bciskepottery on 20 June 2015 - 03:18 PM

First, check with your homeowners insurance company to see what your coverage encompasses.  However, and there is always the however, if your kiln, wheel, equipment, inventory is for your business, your homeowners insurance may not cover it.  I have a separate business owners policy that covers my pottery studio equipment and materials and inventory (as well as coverage for fairs, events).  Same company as my homeowners.  $325 year.  Covers replacement of studio equipment and inventory (less deductible).  Insurance policy is deductible as a business expense. 

#87344 Writing With Mayco's Designer Liner Over Glaze?

Posted by bciskepottery on 17 June 2015 - 09:42 PM


Probably all you'll want to know . . .

#87190 Question: Mixing Porcelain And Stoneware For Slip Casting

Posted by bciskepottery on 15 June 2015 - 11:29 AM

Cassius has a tendency to bloat when fired over cone 5. Outgassing can also be hard on the elements.

A friend slaked Cassius down to a slip and applied it on stoneware and fired it to Cone 10 (natural gas/reduction) with no issues. Going with a dark clay as a slip is a good alternative; plus you get more choices on colorful line glazes on a white interior than with black clay.

#87056 Engaging Children - Special Pricing

Posted by bciskepottery on 13 June 2015 - 05:55 AM

Here is an update from Carter . . . the photos of kids with their mugs are priceless.


#86951 Qotw: How Important Is Membership To Ceramic Associations To You?

Posted by bciskepottery on 11 June 2015 - 02:32 PM

One reason I sell online is that I sell specialized ceramic. I am a vegan and I want to fuel that market with my ware. It is a growing market and I really love being able to give vegans something that they can enjoy and share with friends.

I'd look for events that cater to vegans and vegan lifestyles. In the spring, I do a number of garden and flower shows because I make ikebana and other vases. Those events have the audience I am trying to reach (and, most times, I will be the only potter there selling wares . . . can't ask for a better set up.)

#86950 Qotw: How Important Is Membership To Ceramic Associations To You?

Posted by bciskepottery on 11 June 2015 - 02:27 PM

Do we have a section here in the forum or CAD where we can find up coming shows?

Various magazines, such as Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated, Clay Times, Studio Potter, all have listings of upcoming shows that a person can apply to. You can also try the on-line services mentioned above. Some are also listed in the events forum on this site.

Hard part is differentiating between juried shows/competitions for exhibition of an item vs. juried fairs for selling.

#86913 Tools And Studio Design

Posted by bciskepottery on 10 June 2015 - 06:09 PM

Attached File  bucket.png   221.55KB   0 downloads

I use one of these in a 5 gallon bucket. Available at Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, etc.

#86566 Engaging Children - Special Pricing

Posted by bciskepottery on 05 June 2015 - 06:00 AM

My wife makes/sells rag dolls (Raggedy Ann, Raggedy Andy, and others); at fairs, kids buying with their own money get discount. She has also been known to help a young buyer out if they are a bit short.

#86565 Engaging Children - Special Pricing

Posted by bciskepottery on 05 June 2015 - 05:58 AM

He offers mini-mugs for sale -- kids can buy them for half price.  The idea being if you get kids to appreciate hand made early on, they will continue that appreciation for their whole life.


#84729 Life Expectancy Of Ceramics

Posted by bciskepottery on 31 May 2015 - 07:51 PM

The real question is when they find them will they be great pots or lesser wares?

Without being able to see the ones not available/unearthed, how can you tell? Many of the pots in museums we hold so dearly as "great" may have been the discards and throw-aways. One man's/woman's shard pile is another man's/woman's treasure.

#83693 Drying Bowls - Rim Up Or Rim Down

Posted by bciskepottery on 29 May 2015 - 06:51 PM

Does anyone have an idea why a crack would develop in a foot ring on a bowl?  The crack didn't show until it was glaze fired. 


Can you post a picture?  That would help diagnose the problem. 

#82411 Large Flat Pieces Cracking During Glaze Firing

Posted by bciskepottery on 25 May 2015 - 03:37 PM

You should be okay using sand during the glaze firing, too. Just make sure you leave some space between the sand and where your glaze starts. The vent should not be moving the sand around during the firing. Options to using sand include clay cookies allow the platter to sit above the kiln shelf, clay slats, or clay coils. But the key is to get the platter/flat item above the shelf so it cools evenly. The kiln shelf retains heat and cools more slowly as it is thicker than your pottery (except for sculpture). Allowing the item to cool above the shelf minimizes the chance for uneven cooling and cracking.