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Mark C.

Member Since 09 Jan 2012
Online Last Active Today, 01:24 AM

#88134 1960's Rebuild Gas Kiln Firing Troubles

Posted by Mark C. on 01 July 2015 - 03:31 PM


yesterdays unload-

heres how I stack the top of my updraft.This slows down the exhaust .

You can see the shelve in middle up near flue in the close up shot.

The cones have been removed if you are wondering already.


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#88133 Building A Shed For 7' Tall Gas Kiln

Posted by Mark C. on 01 July 2015 - 03:27 PM


This is what my small kiln updraft roof with flue looks like-you can see the steel rod that slides the piece of kiln shelve to make an air tight seal when closed-this is also the way to control reduction.



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#88109 Changes In Studio Pottery Glazes Over The Last 40 Years

Posted by Mark C. on 30 June 2015 - 10:27 AM

In the past 40 plus years my glazes have changed somewhat. I started with snappy stoneware glazes-most where shiny many where earth tones with a few matts.
That was the 70's . In the middle 80's I switched to 100% porcelain as they sold better and what sold best was shiny snappy glazes.I have stuck with that trend (the ones that sell well)the past 30 years.
I used to only use one or two glazes per piece. I still do a few simple glaze colors but as time has gone by my glazing has turned more to complex many glazes per pot-up to 5 on one piece.. These pieces sell well. There are still folks who like simple glazing and I cover there needs as well. Glazes like celadon only sell well for me if they have about 2-3 other colors with them on the same piece.
This subject brings to bear current color trends or for me street smarts on color and sales.

One point I would like to add is that in diffeent areas of the country different colors sell better. Say when I go to the desert southwest vs the Pacific northwestI glaze accordingly. You learn this color shift from sales and that takes years to learn just like kiln building and throwing and glaze making and firing.Cermics takes so long to get all the factors mastered before ones life runs out.
For me glazes evolve over time with sales -for example I had a bucket of Orbie mixed up for years with very little use or sales .
I started to use it in a complex 4-5 glaze setup called landscape on wares and it took of on sales. Now I use alot of it.
But in another 5 years it will be something else that I'm doing thats just the progression og glaze use. I still offer my cutomers most glazes that I have used in my dinnerware as these have stood up to decades of use and sales.
I'm using 15-18 buckets now . Yesterday I glazed two loads in 10 hours-today its firing day-time to throw some pots.

#88038 Building A Shed For 7' Tall Gas Kiln

Posted by Mark C. on 30 June 2015 - 12:25 AM

Just ask Greg about the damber setup on that kiln-he should address this easy as he made it.

#88033 Members With Etsy Stores?

Posted by Mark C. on 29 June 2015 - 10:59 PM

You can do 6 figures without all that shipping via Etsy by a mix of marketing-I know this to be true in my own life of selling pots.It's a lot of work that I will not sugar coat.Making pottery for a living will take a toll on your body-I know this from over 40 years of moving clay around by the ton and I mean lots of tons.
I wholesale a bit and consign a bit(same palces for 30 plus years) and do a bit of shows-direct marketing-shows are the most profit (as Mea Rae has already spelled out in another post)I;m down to 7 this year.
I'm not an etey fan as machine made anything is the norm now and hand made items in walmart do not do well.

#88032 "would You Be Willing To Accept Less For It?"

Posted by Mark C. on 29 June 2015 - 10:50 PM

I just say its reasonably priced and most agree and move on with the purchase-no need to overthink it.

#88021 Joining Before Or After Firing.

Posted by Mark C. on 29 June 2015 - 08:10 PM

When you get to the store check put the thingy and then figure shrinkage and make your thingy to fit the other thingy.

#87972 Stuff Your Bisque

Posted by Mark C. on 29 June 2015 - 09:51 AM

Pray for no earth tremors
Hope you're not wasting space by having nothing stashed in the rim to rim bowls!!

they are stuffed full of smalls.

#87952 Stuff Your Bisque

Posted by Mark C. on 28 June 2015 - 09:11 PM

This ones about as full as I can get it.


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#87944 Members With Etsy Stores?

Posted by Mark C. on 28 June 2015 - 07:11 PM

It does take a fair amount of time to photograph and edit the pics, but practice is starting to make me a little more efficient. I try to make myself feel better about the time by thinking how much more time it would take to pack and drag the pieces to shows

all that time with photos and edits per pice how about wholesailing?

#87933 Building A Shed For 7' Tall Gas Kiln

Posted by Mark C. on 28 June 2015 - 03:20 PM

roberta, if you are in northern california, and Mark is in northern california, why not set up a visit to his studio in the Arcata area?  (then you can tell us all about our favorite gas firing potter.)
Mark, when you DO retire, not for a long time, why not leave everything in place and offer tours to traveling potters?  bet there would be lots of us.

I have way to much stuff ever to think about getting rid of it. I never plan on undoing my ceramic part and it will always be in place.Kilns will stay and my wife will deal with it. Our estate is going to my nephews unless my wife sells the place to another potter if she needs the $. The trouble with that is you see this all the time in the ads of CM as the boomers retire and try to sell to other potters which these days are less and less.
Hey if anyone is in my area (as its only on the way to Redwood national park) I'm sure a quick tour would be no problem.Just give me aheads up.

#87866 1960's Rebuild Gas Kiln Firing Troubles

Posted by Mark C. on 27 June 2015 - 04:04 PM

I meant photos before closing the door for firing not now.
On my updraft I pack the top tight and put a busted 1/3 kiln shelve about 2 inches from flue/roof to slow exit flames
Putting your larger pots which are usually looser in top may not work well unless you can deck over them with a shelve.
I assume you are doing reduction firing?
if so put your damper in now(1800 degres) until a flame comes out flue.
Where are you located? as phone call may work well now.

Here is photo of my 12 cubic and how its stacked-my flue is in middle and about 6x6 with 6 small burners-the burners are not as nice as yours.

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#87793 Vent Not Turned On During Bisque

Posted by Mark C. on 26 June 2015 - 10:09 AM

I just finised a bisque last night in an electric with no vent. I never have had a vent in any electric as kilns are outside. I only bisque in them.My clay is porcelain.

#87772 Pug Mills :)

Posted by Mark C. on 26 June 2015 - 12:17 AM

The de-airing vacuum pump is a must as it means no air bubbles or pockets in your clay -just like the clay you buy new in bags. Get the de-airing version

Like heavy truck without power steering on a 4,000 mile drive=you will wish you had it after the first few miles.


#87644 Lessons From Another Potter

Posted by Mark C. on 22 June 2015 - 02:49 PM

I would say after examining your story I would suggest-

 hanging it up.