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#110420 Trouble With Red

Posted by Pugaboo on 21 July 2016 - 03:38 PM

I wanted to give an update on my glaze testing for those of you following this thread.

I sent off 2 cups to be tested made according to their instructions. It cost me with shipping both ways $66.
$18 testing fee for each cup =$36
And $30 shipping ($15 each way)
I could have saved the return shipping by not having them sent back but I want to keep them in the studio for my records.

I used a combination of Coyote Glazes in:
Buttercup Yellow, Orange, Red Orange and Desert Sage on one cup
And the same glazes with a layer of Amaco Zinc Free Clear over them on the other.

Since I was combining several glazes I wanted to test to make sure the glazes were food safe after firing. The clear I did out of curiosity to see if putting clear over another glaze changes anything. It did not, both tested exactly the same which I find interesting. Locally I have talked with other potters and been told that if you put a clear over a non food safe glaze it automatically makes it safe, in this instance both pieces tested the same the clear on top made no difference.

I had the pieces tests for Cadmium. The regulations state anything under .5mg/l is acceptable. Mine came back testing at Less Than <0.01mg/l. So they are testing way below the required limits. If was a relief to see that as you all know from my previous posts I was really stressing over this. For record keeping I put cones 5, 6 and 7 on each shelf in the kiln when I fired the test cups. I marked the cones and in my log book where the cups were positioned in the kiln. I have placed the used cones and official lab report inside the test cups as well as writing in sharpie on the outside the date and test results on each cup. I hope I never need them but it's nice to know I had them tested.

Things I would do differently next time;
I would send 6 cups with different glazes and skip the clear over the top test since that question has been answered my satisfaction. 6 cups is the most I can fit in the size flat rate priority mail box I used and would cut down on the shipping costs per cup.
Even though all of my glazes state they are lead free I would probably go ahead and test for Cadmium and Lead just so I have it on file.

Things I am planning to change OR have already changed due to discovering Encapsulated Cadmium:
All of my drinking vessels, pitchers, most bowls, and large serving bowls will have either a white or a food safe Temmoku interior. That doesn't mean I won't have color on my pieces, I am just redesigning as much as I can to keep the feel of the piece but removing these glazes from food contact areas where I can. This can be difficult at times since I use a lot of Underglazes in my design work. The way some manufacturers seem to go out of their way to make it difficult to find out what they have in their stuff has me researching and downloading MSDS sheets whenever I can find them. I have already starting mixing and using my own colored slips for background colors rather than using commercial Underglazes. I have ordered additional glaze mixing materials and plan to start making and testing my own glazes. As I get these to the point I can get satisfactory results I will send them off to be tested, I can't even begin to say how much peace of mind doing so has given me.

I hope this helps answer some of the questions some of you might have in this subject. Getting your own stuff tested is the only way to know for sure.


#109763 Qotw: What Form Do You Use To Experiment On A New Aesthetic?

Posted by Pugaboo on 06 July 2016 - 10:10 AM

I use a multi step approach.

I start with small items like pendants or ornaments and then move up to small dipping size bowls, then a small plate then I'll do a mug of a box depending on the final form I intend to use the technique on.

I hate wasting stuff so that's why I start with pendants or ornaments since those can be sold even if they are one offs. The dipping bowls allow me to see if it works on a concave form. The plate lets me know it works on a larger format. The mug I adjust it to be 3 dimensional with handles. The box I adjust for lid openings and handles as well as 3 dimensional.

I almost always have a handful of ornament or pendant tests in every kiln load. Right now I am still experimenting with silkscreening on pottery. I hope to have a more complicated perfected sample utilizing 6 different screens to make a completed design before too long. I have found that silkscreening my logo on the bottom works great and allows me to add it at any time up to glaze firing without having to add an additional firing for a transfer. That's a huge time and energy saver for me. Testing and tweaking is a valuable thing the logo only came about because I wanted to see how much detail I could get from my silkscreen and then wanted to see if I could screen all the way up to the glaze step.


#109683 Ceramic Pendant Necklace

Posted by Pugaboo on 01 July 2016 - 08:02 PM

You can also poke a hole in it and use a jump ring and bail, it's what I do. Have some of the glue on bails but have never tried them.


#109671 Ceramics Basics - Help!

Posted by Pugaboo on 01 July 2016 - 03:37 PM

A baby potter. Oh boy! Lol sorry we have all been where you are and it gets less confusing as you learn the language and tools involved. I would suggest the library books as well, it will fill in your vocabulary and also help you direct your creative journey by figuring out what type stuff intrigues you.

More direct... If you don't have the manual for your kiln and controller go to the maufacturers website and download them. Read them, Google the words you don't know then read them again. You will be amazed at how fast you pick up the lingo. Depending on your controller it might have preprogrammed settings to help get you started. What type kiln and controller do you have?

Cone 6 is 2232-2269, approximately, this is where the heat work comes in to play. If you fire your kiln to 2232, which is a cone 6 (for me anyway, again it varies a few degrees depending on the kiln load and ramp rate) and your controller registers the top temp as 2232 BUT when you open the kiln the Orton Cone 6 you have on your kiln shelf isn't bent all the way it means you didn't get enough HEATWORK to reach cone 6. Or if you open it and the cone is a little collapsed blob you have gotten too much HEATWORK. Does that kind of explain it a bit?

Cones are made to react to the heat work inside the kiln and will begin to melt causing them to bend if you reach the correct temperature in a certain amount of time (this involves the ramp rate during the final firing segment which is so many degrees over so many minutes). Look up Orton Cones and read up on how they work and that will tell you a lot. It's not as scary as it seems a lot of potters use their digital controller to control the firing schedule and use the cones to verify that the work was actually fired to the correct temperature. I usually only put 1 Orton cone on the center shelf of my kiln for each firing UNLESS I am trying to test something then I will put 3 cones in each shelf in the kiln: a cone 5, 6 and 7. This will tell me that on THIS shelf the temperature and heat work reached a particular temperature by how much the cones have bent. You use a 5 to tell you tell you if it's getting close but not quite to the temperature you want, cone 6 is the cone you are looking to bend perfectly and the cone 7 will tell you if it got too hot and over fired.

Welcome and you have just begun a most exciting journey!

#109585 Qotw: Are We Potters Crazy?

Posted by Pugaboo on 28 June 2016 - 09:38 PM

Silly question to ask a potter: "why make your own when you can easily buy it?"
They so don't get the point.

Yes potters are crazy but it's the best kind of crazy. Pug people are crazy too. Add pug and pottery craziness together and I guess I'm doubly crazy and I wouldn't had it any other way.


#109584 Online Marketplaces Vs Your Own Website

Posted by Pugaboo on 28 June 2016 - 09:29 PM

If you have your own domain you can also use the ETSY MINI shop code and have it embedded on one of your website pages or blog that shows thumbnails of your etsy shop items and when someone clicks on an image they go straight to your etsy shop where they can buy it. I have both of my etsy shops this way on my own domain site. This way you put YOUR domain on all your advertising, have your brand information out there and then also get a nice compact easy to set up shopping page. The inventory is whatever you have on etsy and it automatically updates it as you update your etsy shop.


#109308 Qotw: Would You Laugh At Me If I Told You That I Am Using A Gg?

Posted by Pugaboo on 24 June 2016 - 08:46 AM

Hmmmm.... I don't have a GG maybe I should get one I'm feeling left out! lol Think I am developing GG envy.

One of the things I do use is an extruder and sometimes get looks from other potters when I say I use one. I make boxes and other hollow forms A LOT. I can roll out, cut and assemble a boxes 6 side but if I can pull 4 of those walls in the extruder and just add the other 2. Imagine the amount of time savings in that! I have also begun making my own extruder plates to get the shapes and sizes of pulls I want. I use it to pull mug blanks, boxes of varying sizes and shapes, handles, feet, footrings, coils, etc. I am getting ready to make a plate for a cracker tray that I am also hoping can be used as the basis for a soap dish. Still testing that out. An extruder doesn't make a completed product for you it simply speeds up the process to make the products you do. IMO

I have a wheel but have discovered with my spinal issues I can't do production on it only have fun for very short periods of time. It's one of the reasons I use the extruder as much as I do since some of the same forms can be made on each. I have a slab roller and it's probably the most important piece of equipment in my studio. But them all the potters around here either have one or have access to use one so nobody blinks an eye at that.


#108817 How Do You Price Your Work?

Posted by Pugaboo on 15 June 2016 - 09:00 PM

I agree, what the market will bear. But even that is hard because I have an online market that bears one price and a local that might bear another. Since people shop ALL ways now, festivals, shops, galleries, and online I have spent some time this year attempting to find the sweet spot for all of them that will keep the prices as consistent as possible between all the various venues and still enough that I make a profit. That's been quite the challenge since the percentages taken vary from 0% to 40% depending on the venue. I am also looking into getting more into wholesale prices this next year so have to start figuring that in as well at 50% of the retail price.

I haven't being selling pots long enough to have it figured out so have been using my past art sales as a base starting point and tweaking from there. Just when I think I got it figured another type of venue pops up and I have to re- evaluate my pricing structure. That doesn't mean I dramatically change any of my prices since that isn't good either. It just means that at my quarterly review I will look over all my records and try and figure out what needs tweaking. If I find I am too far off part way through a year I will change the product enough to be able to do so without it seeming shocking. Example is last year and this early spring I offered necklaces at a local shop with beaded chains during my review realized the time to do the beading was most of the cost and I was losing. So starting this summer I am offering just the pendants for the same price as last year and they can add their own chain. It's a test to see if that will work or not.


#108794 Qotw: What Is Your Biggest Safety Fault?

Posted by Pugaboo on 15 June 2016 - 02:32 PM

I was a very good potter this morning and put the mask next to my kiln to use for those last minute touch ups. The next step will be to remember to put it on! Lol


#108637 Website Development, What Do You Use?

Posted by Pugaboo on 13 June 2016 - 03:11 PM

My website is:


It's got the linking pages to my etsy shops as well as eBay though I don't have much on eBay right now it's turned into more of a seasonal sales tool for me as opposed to etsy which I get a sale every week from. I have all different kinds of stuff on my website but mostly Pugs. I am still adding more of my pottery here, lately I've been focusing mostly on my etsy shops and perfecting the look of my photos for new listings. It also has my blog, though I haven't blogged anything new in a year. YIKES! Just can't find the time to do it all.


#108279 Graybeards 1St Sale

Posted by Pugaboo on 06 June 2016 - 08:26 PM


Chin up old man! You did the hardest thing... You decided to give it a try and followed through. CONGRATS on surviving your first show. Shows are hit or miss, I always do a review of the year and decide which shows have potential to do again, which are definites and which are run the other way as fast as I can. Look at it this way you got that last one taken care of and out of the way.

As others have said chalk this one up to a learning experience. What did you learn? ( other than not to do that event again). Things you might not consider a learning part of your experience:
1) how did you prepare for the show? What would you do differently the next time?
2) how did set up go for the show? What would you do differently.
3) how did your display work? What would you like to improve or change?
4) how was tear down? How can this be improved?
5) how did putting everything back away at home go? Is there a way to streamline or improve this?
6) what did people say about your pottery? Write down some of these as you will forget. Most you can toss but there are usually some gems in the bunch to help you improve your sales pitch and set up, not necessarily your pottery mind you just how you present it to the world.
7) did you notice any particular pieces or colors getting more attention than others? One of the hardest things to learn is to take what you know sells at shows and leave the stuff (that you may LOVE) at home because it's just going to get damaged and not sell. Find another venue for these pieces.

It can be the littlest things, like how you box items, or how you have your sales set up, or even your price tags. Look at EVERYTHING, figure out what worked and what didn't and use this show as a jumping off point. I've been doing shows for almost 30 years and I still do this review after each one.

In the few years I've been doing pottery (was fine art paintings and photography before) I changed my layout pretty much everytime EXCEPT for this last show, I did the same for everything since I think I have it the way I want.. Oh no wait... I want to change my tablecloths to be more tailored rather than draped. But happily since my tables configuration is now optimal I can focus on this and not worry about changing the tables and needing new cloths if I do.

You will an old pro at this in no time and giving pointers to the newbies and wondering how quickly you got to where you are.

  • GEP likes this

#108038 New Business Name

Posted by Pugaboo on 02 June 2016 - 08:23 PM

You might keep it simple, Horner Ceramcis. You could sign your pots with a stylized HC.

Mine was set years and years ago when I first started selling my Pug art, so Pugaboo was born. I use it EVERYWHERE, If you Google, Pugaboo, chances are you will find some form of me. I started out with Pugaboo Boutique, liked the way it sounded and looked and recently also started using Pugaboo Pottery for my ehem pottery only shop. Lol

So you don't HAVE to use your own name, just pick something that sings to you, inspires you or gets you out of bed and KEEP to it. I love, adore, am enslaved, by my Pugs and can't ever imagine not having at least one running my life. You can also go with something that you like the abbreviation of or one that even looks cool when signed.

Just some ideas to get you thinking. Good luck and let us know what you come up with!


#107812 Rubber Stamps

Posted by Pugaboo on 30 May 2016 - 05:31 PM

I second the use of cornstarch, it's what I use as I find oil and cooking messy and WD 40 gives me migraines. You will learn as you do this when the opportune time is to impress the clay.

#107753 Rubber Stamps

Posted by Pugaboo on 29 May 2016 - 08:07 PM

The simple answer is yes. The detailed answer is, some of them, but you have to pick your patterns as some won't work. If they are in a rigid support you are limited in use unless you can pull them off so they are flexible. Try some out and you will quickly learn what to look for in those that work.


#107605 Giving Shoppers A Sense Of Scale

Posted by Pugaboo on 26 May 2016 - 05:03 PM

LeeU - I have the spoon, fruit and tea bag in there as scale indicators rather than using a coin or a ruler. 3 of something looks better than one, a single slice looks lonely sitting in the plate. Also, I don't eat Kiwi and the props are from my weeks grocery shopping. 😄 Don't forget this is the lifestyle image the listing will also have the pieces shot on white with no props. The purpose of this image is to show the items in a real world situation.

Okay 3rd and final attempt here! I'm fairly happy with attempt 2s images but tweaking them can always hopefully make them better and if not I like attempt 2s images enough to fall back and use them.

I put in a burlap placemat in lieu of a tablecloth.😠 I changed the silverware from my personal hand wrought pieces to some cheap generic Dollar Store ones that I use at festivals to show people the purpose of a spoonrest. I used orange sections rather than slices 😏... Not sure about this as I think the colors of the sliced orange are prettier and I like the round shapes better as well. 😜 I brought up another light and stand from the studio as well as another piece to use as a reflector to get some better fill light on the side of the mug. I switched out the plate to one that doesn't have as much glaze breaking as the other one. I'm using a pistachio shino glaze since I like the way is breaks and moves bringing up Browns to compliment the Temmoku glaze in the border as well as the laser transfer pattern. I am putting the place setting image here but will add it and another to the gallery as well.

It's been a process let me tell you! I've spent about 20 hours on it this week researching, tweaking, gathering, shopping, setting up, photographing, editing, etc but I am hoping now that I have done the leg work it will be quicker and maybe just maybe increase my sales and exposure online. I also hope that by sharing the process here that others that are thinking of trying online selling might be able to learn from my mistakes and get a leg up as well.

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