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Member Since 21 May 2011
Offline Last Active Apr 23 2016 07:09 PM

Topics I've Started

Anyone Know Who Did This Awesome Pot?

17 April 2016 - 07:01 AM

I found it on Pinterest and it referred me here, but it's not a direct link. :(


Would Low Firing Give Me Much Better Colors?

10 April 2016 - 06:58 PM


I have been trying to get really vivid colors like Michael Kifer does or a woman on Instagram Charity Hofert does for a few years now. I can get kind of vivid colors, sometimes,  using underglazes with a clear glaze over, but since I'm firing to Cone  5, they aren't reliable - sometimes the colors are faded. 


Would using low fire clay give me considerably better colors? And if so, why? Why do colors "burn" out at higher cones? Thanks in advance,


Need To Step Up Production

06 April 2016 - 07:15 AM

Good morning,

I'm very thrilled to say that I've really begun to get more orders for some of my pottery, one form in particular. This comes in different sizes and can also be customized. I'm running into a few problems that I hope I can get some help with.


First is that I still work full time. I am planning for the next school year to be my last - I am switching careers and hope to work at my other job for 20 hours a week, giving me more time for pottery. The other issue is that I am still in my basement - I need my husband's help to get out of the basement and he hasn't been very helpful in making a room in my big barn. I could make a big room in the barn - it has electric and plumbing, but no sink, which I would have to put in. We have a lot of land, so I could make a dry well. I've talked about the basement before, and it's just unworkable - it's dark, it is one room so all the pottery dust gets on my clothes and storage, and pumping the water out up and out would be an issue.


I do have a studio I use for metalsmithing that I can use, but it has no plumbing, so that would have to be solved, I could also put a dry well in there, and move my jewelry. But it's not that big - 16 by 24 or so. Not a lot of room for storage, but I could put a loft above. I also go to a studio for lessons/throwing one night a week, but that is nowhere near enough time for me to make all I need to do. 


I also need to step into a more production mode. My hope is to have about 10 pieces ordered to make each day and each piece has a lid. At the rate I throw them, it takes me at least 1/2 hour to throw, then there's trimming, glazing, etc. A friend of mine suggested I start slip casting them, but is that really handmade? I'm sure there's a whole new learning curve to that also, plus the purchase of molds. I don't even know how long the pieces have to sit in the molds. 


Another issue is keeping track of orders. I have a three to four week turnaround time, with lots of personalization and color choices, etc. I am good with computers, but Excel challenged. Any ideas??


So things have to change. I need to step this up if I want to retire from my job now and do this for a living. I would appreciate any advice pertaining to this at this time,



Does Anyone Recognize This Low Fire Glaze?

17 February 2016 - 03:38 PM

Hi all,
I used this a few years ago and can't find my notes. (What else is new?) I know/think it was a low fire paint on glaze, but I'm not sure. Anyone recognize this?

Thanks in advance for any help,
Nancy Attached File  image.jpeg   66.69KB   3 downloads

Business Advice Aka How Not To Eat Cat Food For Dinner

14 January 2016 - 11:30 AM

I put this on a thread I had started, but decided to start another one in the business section. I have some business questions.


I can retire in one year, with a crappy pension. My husband has a good pension, but if he dies before me, it goes with him and I eat cat food. I have to be practical, but I also have to take a good look at my lifestyle, the time I now have to make things and my health.


I took a year sabbatical two years ago: I was happy and healthy, lost 20 pounds and was busy every day making stuff. Since going back to work, I only create on the weekends and breaks. I leave my house in the dark, around 6:30, and get home around 5PM in the dark this time of year. Ugh. I have no energy to go to either my art or jewelry studio. I try, but I just can't get myself motivated to make things after an 11 hour day. (I'm not 45 anymore!) 


I do understand what hitchmss said in the other thread: to make up the money between my salary and what my pension will be I will have to make a lot of stuff I don't care about. Even production work, which is why I asked about how to keep it interesting last week. But when I think of getting up every morning, into my car, to live my life by the school bell (and I'm on my lunch now, taxpayers, so don't worry!) and then compare that to making some things each day that I'm not crazy about, it seems to be an easy choice. 


I will have health insurance for life at the price I pay for it now if I retire next year, so that is a plus. I love to teach, so I can see myself teaching eventually, except for three things: I live in a very unpopulated area, there is already an excellent pottery teacher in our area (my teacher!) and I would need several more years of doing this every day to be good enough to teach. (I do plan to move to a more civilized area when I sell my home.) I do know I can teach, as I have taught for 25 years and have taught my daughter and her friends both jewelry making and how to throw on a wheel and was surprised by how similar it is to teaching anything else. They seemed to really pick it up, and do well, although that may because they are all artists in college for art. 


How would you go about making a plan?? How much to make, what to make, where to sell it, shows, etc? I do realize much of this is has been out there already, and is also individual and trial and error, but any knowledge you may have gleaned about essentials to make this work would be much appreciated!