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Member Since 15 Feb 2013
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#122790 Qotw: Are You Throwing Wearing Bling Bling?

Posted by Pugaboo on 23 February 2017 - 05:24 AM

I wear a simple gold wedding band and it never comes off... not even sure if it CAN at this point. It doesn't cause trouble most of the time, every once in a while I will be forming a piece that I have 3 fingers inside of and 2 out and the band presses against and makes a little mark.

I do wear a Fitbit unless I am throwing or handbuilding tall enclosed forms where the thing would drag along the side and cause havoc.

I wear several silver hoops at all times in my ears but so far have not stuck my head inside any pieces so they've not been a problem.

I design and wear necklaces and chunkier bracelets but not in the studio, those I only put on as I leave the house. I'm a walking billboard for those and have had people buy the piece I am wearing right off me. Weird but true.... ooo how pretty, thank you I make them... really? Can I buy? Sure go to bla bla site I have a bunch there.... no can I by THIS ONE.... umm sure? I've been wearing it and all... oh I don't care I have to have it..... ummmm okay.... Sale! The strangest things that happen.

Oh and I wear a silver ankle bracelet with a Pug on it, put it on when my first Pug died, have only taken it off for medical procedures since then. She was always at my ankle and she still is.


#122366 2 Questions?

Posted by Pugaboo on 15 February 2017 - 05:21 PM

My current festival range is $50-$150 for a 10x10 space, with a majority falling at $75.

Most of my festivals are 1 day events, all are local. For me at this point in my life traveling long distances and being away from home overnight just isn't possible. I have found I really like the 1 day events, if it's nice not too hot no chance of rain I don't even put up a canopy. I use an ez-up when I do use one and I weigh it down really well.

I kind of have a formula that I use to decide whether I return to a festival after the first time. My examples are all for 1 day local festivals which means no hotels, bring a bag lunch from home, only a couple gallons of gas at most, free parking, can walk there from home, etc. My only expenses are fees, materials and what I pay myself. If I make less than $250 I won't do it again. If I make $250-$350 I will give it another shot, this is especially true if there are other factors like weather that I think contributed to the low amount. When I reach $350 it goes into the lets try this again and see if my sales increase as people learn to look for me there. Anything over $500 is a definite do again. When I reach the $1000 mark it's skipping home clapping my hands in glee hugging the festival promoting on the way out. I have had a few $1000+ one day shows but around here with the average attendance of less than 3000 people I usually do between $500 and $750. I have had a couple that even though the sales were low, under $300, but I did get a large custom order from, that was delivered and paid for later, that I will do again since the custom order shows that there IS money to be had at the venue.

You have to kind of decide for yourself what your comfort level is and what amount makes it worth it for you to do it.


#122261 How Much Should I Have Made For My First Art Show?

Posted by Pugaboo on 13 February 2017 - 08:49 PM

Agree with everything said already. Every new festival is a new animal, you will have to learn which each location needs.

At a festival I do group stuff together by kind and also by color. Meaning baskets of mini dishes, spoon rests, mug display, etc. Then in another display it's stuff that is glazed to go together plates, mugs, bowls, as well as a Spoon rest, mug etc. This way people can see MUGS, if that is all they are looking for but I also give them a chance to see a full color line of items together so if they are looking for blue, or floral they can see how the pieces look together. The baskets I scatter throughout the tent starting at the front and all the way to the back. People make their own "sets" as they progress through the tent if a set if what they are looking for.

Sometimes I will get asked if I will give a discount if someone buys a whole set of mugs, tray, spoons, mini dishes, etc together. I usually say yes unless they are rude in the asking.. like I'm going to need a discount if I buy all this together. Ummm then the answer is no my prices are as marked. If on the other hand they say oh wow I love this and this and this, would it be possible to get a discount if I buy all of this? Then it's sure, let me help you find all the pieces that go together.

As a festival artist you learn to go loaded for bear, bringing more than you could possibly expect to sell, so that when that DOES happen you are prepared. You never know but at that particular show the only thing that might sell at all is wizzygigs and if you only brought 2 you are in trouble. If you have done the show a few times you can start to get an idea, I have sold 14 wizzygigs the past 3 times I did this show so I will pack 20 hoping for an increase in popularity.


#122255 How Much Do You Charge For A Mug?

Posted by Pugaboo on 13 February 2017 - 05:55 PM

I've got mine priced at 12oz -$22 and 20oz - $30 and I have the most expensive mugs around here. I just don't like making mugs and decided if I was going to have to make them I would get a price I could live with for them... they still sell at these prices and sometimes at festivals I think, Yay I sold a dozen mugs.... then sigh I sold a dozen mugs now i gotta make more before next weekend.

I think the price also has a lot to do with your location, big cities and the coasts seem to get more per mug out here in the boonies the prices tend to run lower.


#121967 Novice Firing Question

Posted by Pugaboo on 09 February 2017 - 08:28 AM

Tanvi504 - welcome to the forum.

There are a few issues with your plan and a few ways of getting around them.

Do NOT bisque fire your cone 5 clay to cone 5, your clay will be fully vitrified at that point and it will be impossible to get the white glaze to stick to it. Most Underglazes will remain dull if not covered in a clear glaze and some will burn out at cone 5 if not covered with a clear glaze.

Now for suggestions on how to get you where you want to go...
1) Paint your bone dry piece with a white underglaze
2) Paint your design work on using your underglazes
3) Bisque fire to cone 04
4) Glaze your piece with Amaco HF-9. This is a Zinc free clear that doesn't affect and cause strange things to happen with your underglaze colors. Regular clears can at time do so.
5) Fire your glazed piece to cone 5

Alternative suggestion...
1) bisque fire your piece to cone 04
2) glaze your piece with the white you have chosen
3) use Mayco Stroke n Coat to paint your design. This line of glazes turn glossy at cone 5. This will not work if your white glaze runs AT ALL. If it does it will cause your design work to move as well and possibly ruin it.
4) fire your glazed and painted piece to cone 5

Now I highly recommend making a couple of test pieces and try out both ways to see what turns out best. I hope this helps and good luck let us know how it turns out.


#121799 Hydrometer

Posted by Pugaboo on 05 February 2017 - 09:16 PM

Thank you both!

So here is my current plan after reading all the responses here as well as some glaze books and even manufacturer glaze sheets:

I plan to make up a bunch of small bowls, get the glazes to about where I think they should be using the dip a finger method, use the hydrometer, write that on the bottom of the bowl, fire it, check to see how the glaze has fired, then if needed adjust the glaze, repeat as necessary until I can get a suitable test fire with it, then write that number on the glaze container label.

With pottery there never seems to be a one size fits all kind of rule and I know the answer is always TEST TEST TEST.

Thanks again!
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#121511 Youtube Video Potters

Posted by Pugaboo on 31 January 2017 - 08:07 AM

I know you can gets books from the library on building a foot powered wheel, I think some here have even done so using mostly found items. Raku can be fired in a garbage can, pit firing all you need is some ground and a shovel. Yes I know that is a simplified version but it's possible to do pottery with very little.

The art center here is $35 a month for studio time and $25 for a bag of clay which also covers the cost of glazes and firing. I know several ladies that participate on very limited incomes but love clay so much they make it work. There is even a once a year festival where they can set up and sell their work and make a little money to help pay for the other costs.

All the bells and whistles are great in a studio but the determination to do clay is overcomes everything.


#121386 Choosing An Angle Grinder

Posted by Pugaboo on 28 January 2017 - 05:39 PM

Wow thanks everyone! Lots of great info... thank you for all the extra safety tips I will definitely use them, I am a firm believer in safety first! I think I will get a smaller model so it's easier for me to control and I will try and get one without a lock on switch or if it has one not use it. I am comfortable with power tools but also treat them with respect, loaded gun respect since they can do just as much damage if not used carefully.

My kilns at home I keep kiln washed and know my glazes so other than the once in a blue moon pencil eraser size dot of glaze I only have to do anything with the shelves when the kiln wash starts to flake and chip. Then I go outside, use my mask and a hand tool that looks like a big eraser but has rough stuff on it. It only takes about and hour to remove the old wash and then replace it.

The issue I have now is.... drumroll please....

I got a job. Yup someone actually decided to hire me.

I will be the new Pottery Director at our local art center. I am thrilled to be able to do something I LOVE and actually get paid for it. It's also nice that it is part time so I can still continue growing my own business. I have found I love teaching and it allows me to spend more time doing that as well. I think it will be a good fit, just have to implement some changes to improve it for everyone.

In preparation for taking the job I have gone through and checked what needs work and such. Well quite frankly the kilns are in desperate need. One of the first things I noticed is that their kiln shelves are approaching modern art status. They don't look like they have been kiln washed in years, nor has most of the glaze been removed, I sliced my thumb open just picking one up to see if the other side was any better, there was a jagged glaze blob right on the underside. Sigh that was fun. So anyhow there is no way I am getting them in any kind of shape without a major tool to help me... hence the angle grinder search. Personally if I owned them I would just buy new ones, but then if I owned them they wouldn't be in the shape they are in.

I think I also figured out the reason they are having so much glaze run off their pots and onto their shelves... their thermocouples are shot, or at least that's my opinion. One of them looks more like a broken corroded pipe than a solid round tipped thermocouple and they use the same thermocouples that my kiln uses so I know what they should look like. I have no idea what cone it's actually firing to, I looked for some cones to put in and test with the load of pieces but couldn't find any anywhere, I'll have to bring some from home to get started helping me figure out just what is going on inside that kiln. I won't know for sure until I fire a load with cones in several places throughout the kiln.

I am also going to have to patch some of the kiln bricks, they haven't been using a shelf on the bottom but placing pots right on the floor, along with the accompanying globs of glaze.

Don't even get me started on the second kiln that's for another day and another question on brick repairs and digital controller repairs.


#121176 Poor Basic Skill Sets, And Their Consequences

Posted by Pugaboo on 24 January 2017 - 09:09 PM

When I took my classes Wheel consisted of basically one session watching the teacher at the wheel and then getting on it and trying myself. Not much instruction, I had no idea about so much and have just been figuring it out myself with help from here, videos, books, etc.

First thing I discovered was I couldn't center for the life of me until I closed my eyes. As soon as I did this the clay TOLD ME what it needed. I find closing my eyes to center the clay also centers me. Puts me in the right frame of mind and more connected to the clay. I tell my students now to listen to their clay it's telling them what it needs. It's funny when they close their eyes and try centering that way for the first time and they go, "OH! I knew exactly what it needed to make it centered!" Such a simple thing yet often overlooked. I only teach basic Wheel as I feel it is my weakest forming method mostly because of back issues. But I try and give them a good foundation to build on as they practice on their own.


#119613 Fired Too Much? Or Not Enough? Help!

Posted by Pugaboo on 01 January 2017 - 05:23 PM

Pug which camera model do you have and is the picture clear?

I have 7 of the Foscam 18910 cameras with one dedicated to just my kilns. I only have to do a slight angle adjustment on the camera to get it to focus on the kiln I am firing.

I am attaching a screenshot from a video I captured using the camera while the kiln was firing one night. I have to turn off the infrared to get it to read the digital display because the heat of the kiln messes with the image which you can see in the second photo. Both images were taken in pitch black only difference is the one you can read has infrared turned off and the 2nd one has infrared turned on.

They are not SUPER fabulous but for the price and capability to see them when away from home they totally worth it. I can see what my husband is doing upstairs while I am working in the studio without having to run up and down all day to check on him. I can check on my Pugs when I am away from home as well as see every door in the building. I have my phone set to send me a warning anytime one of the motion sensors goes off as well. I LOVE love love being able to simply roll over grab my phone or my iPad in the middle of the night to check on the kiln rather than running up and down downstairs repeatedly in my pjs. Sometimes I turn on the speaker and lay there and listen to it clicking away. When I get the flashing CPLT I scoot down, record the readouts, turn it off, throw the shut off switch and scamper back up the stairs to bed.


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#119468 Fired Too Much? Or Not Enough? Help!

Posted by Pugaboo on 30 December 2016 - 08:54 PM

Yep gotcha

I turn off the thingamajig switch.


#118392 Just Dreaming ...

Posted by Pugaboo on 13 December 2016 - 06:20 PM

Dreams are what get you out of bed. Dreams are what get you to make the 100th Spoon rest for the day. Dreams are what get you up at 4am to drive to an art festival and set up your booth. Dreams are what wake you up at 3am to sneak down to the studio and work through that new design you just can't stop thinking about. Dreams are what get you to ignore dinner so you can package up yet another box to ship out due to arrive before Christmas.

What would we do without dreams.

It's the cold as nails spreadsheet of goals and business plan that keep those dreams rooted and not floating away into the ether. Build your dream one day at a time, don't give up but don't jump too far ahead in the game or the whole thing could go poof. I always keep the phrase, "do you want fries with that" running in the back of my mind. It keeps me focused when the dreaming draws me away from the business at hand.


#118302 I'm Trying To Figure Out The Best Way To Make Spoons

Posted by Pugaboo on 11 December 2016 - 08:59 PM

Yep totally glazed and hung to fire. The hole sometimes gets a little sharp from the glaze and hanging but I have a special dremel bit that fits in the hole and easily smooths out and sharp bits.

I should also state I made my own bead racks so was able to make them to my specifications.


#118289 I'm Trying To Figure Out The Best Way To Make Spoons

Posted by Pugaboo on 11 December 2016 - 05:38 PM

Yes the disc makes the bowl of the spoon. I roll the clay, cut a circle, press my thumb in the center to make it as deep or shallow as I want. Score and attach one side to the extruded handle.


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#118286 I'm Trying To Figure Out The Best Way To Make Spoons

Posted by Pugaboo on 11 December 2016 - 05:22 PM

I extrude the handles then roll out a small disc and attach. I shape the bowl of the spoon to suit the purpose intended sometimes deeper sometimes shallower.

Very easy and quick to do.