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Member Since 21 May 2011
Offline Last Active Feb 02 2016 11:57 AM

Topics I've Started

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! 




Icheon Master - How Does He Do That? Kim Seong-Tae

11 January 2016 - 06:19 PM

Last night when insomnia raged, about 2AM, I found a video of the Icheon masters right here, on this site, and I fell down that rabbit hole for about an hour. Of all of the potters, this potters work fascinated me the most. He is carving away layers, and it seems like he had at least 3 or 4 layers of color on his work. I am thinking this is slip??? I'd love to know what it is. It is an achingly beautiful piece of pottery. 





Need Handle Help

10 January 2016 - 06:47 AM

Just made a dozen mugs. I learned to make them with this handle tool, but I really didn't like them so I bought a handheld extruded (not the tiny one) and use one or two of the dies that came with it. But my handles don't come out of it solid all of the time. There are bubbles or gaps and I have to redo them. Or when I'm putting them on, even though I've allowed them to firm up a bit, when I'm attaching the top part, the bottom is wobbling all over, pulling the top off, etc., or doesn't feel totally smooth all the way down, like it feels bumpy in places. Off with it again, start over.

I can do a nice looking handle but it takes me forever. I'd love suggestions or videos to show how to load the extruder, smooth out the handles, firm them up and attach. Thanks!!!

How Do You Keep Production Work Interesting

07 January 2016 - 03:50 AM

Hi all,

I have a potter friend who had to make 500 mugs in a week or so - I can't even imagine!! Not just the amount of work, but how to keep yourself from going nuts making the same mug over and over and over.....? And 500 handles??  I find handles so fidgety. How do you not keep from getting bored if you make the same thing over and over? 


I'm starting to get a lot more urn orders, and if I end up with pottery as my retirement career, I'd love some advice as to how to keep it interesting and fresh. Just the thought of making 500 mugs makes me shudder - do you find interest in each one? Do you keep interested by making sure they are the same? Or is this a time where you can just let your mind go?


I guess I'm interested in the mental part of this. I love to make new things, my ADD brain gets excited by the new and  shiny, and it seems as though those who make a living at this often make similar things thousands of times a year. What do you do to keep it interesting?


Thanks for any thoughts,


Quick Christmas Gifts!

19 December 2015 - 08:34 AM

Hi all,
I've run out of time and run out of steam and need to make some quick Christmas gifts for my husband's family: his brother and wife, his two sisters and husbands. I need to be able to bisque tomorrow, so NO mugs! I'm so tired of mugs. I have some bird feeder ideas, but it has to be something I can trim right after throwing. Any ideas much appreciated!

BTW, they are all picky and expect expensive gifts, so as much as I'd love to give them a spoon holder, I can't. :)