Jump to content

Mark C.

Member Since 09 Jan 2012
Online Last Active Today, 09:14 PM

#66979 Sponge Holders

Posted by Mark C. on Yesterday, 08:53 PM

Yes with a jig-its a small square box from 1/4 inch plywood I made -open at top and bottom box and you use a wire cutter (mud tools) to cut both sides at once-I cut 35 today after a few minutes in the sun to firm up.

Put box over them on the bats and cut -let dry till firm relaese them and sponge edges.

These are all over the planet by now-I know mine are in Australia and europe as well as Africa and New Zealand and Japan

A Japanese potter saw mine and sent me one he knocked off a bit more elaborate with a panda on it.

If you are looking for smalls check out my spoonrest thread fron years back these also bring in spare $$$



#66957 Sponge Holders

Posted by Mark C. on Yesterday, 05:28 PM

I throw all small pots on small plaster bats and only wet sponge the bottoms of no -trimmers

I do not use a credit card except to take money from customers.



PS do not stack stuff on your electric like in this photo.

#66891 Sponge Holders

Posted by Mark C. on 29 September 2014 - 09:41 PM

This ones for Babs who asked for a photo of these-the mug photo will have to wait.

As to your questions

I can stuff 86  into a square small box. You see this wholesale order about $1,300 (includes some other forms as well). I take 1000 miles to a show this weekend and pass off to another potter who is at show and he takes them another 500 miles home and the gallery owner picks them up as well as his order at his studio and drives them about 150 miles north to Near a famous spot on the California coast callers Hearst Castle. The fellow we sell to has a gallery in a tiny town nearby on highway 1.

so I can get 86 in a small 15x15x15 box 

Now back to these they all have neoprene self stick bottoms so they do not slide around or scratch . I jig cut them with a small wooden box and a large bow cutter Sherrial mud tool .

I tend to make about 25-30 at a time.I sell lots of them along with other smalls in my booth.Most potters do not work with massive volumes of smalls much especially after so many years but If you want to make a good living smalls are another successful tool and they work for me.These sell almost as good as spoon rests .

Heres some before boxing up today. I take  150 to this next show this coming weekend.

Thanks for the Ginger cookie recipe.I will be making cookies for my trip in a few days.Its one of the things I do connected to shows.The cookies are not for customers but for me.

My electric is in background and I just looked at my log-Its been fired 8 times to c08 this year as I hardly ever fire electric compared to my gas kilns


Attached Thumbnails

  • sponge.jpg

#66885 My 41St Annual Local Show

Posted by Mark C. on 29 September 2014 - 06:27 PM

Just did my local show a weekend ago . It was my 41st annual  Northcountry Fair as its been going 41 years now. The weather was great. Its a two day with most sales always on the Saturday. This show often is weather dependent and the weather was stellar so the crowd was huge on Saturday. It was my 2nd best show there in those 41 years. There were about twice as many potters this year than the past few years.Its great to have a good show only 5 -6 miles away.

I will add that I'm also on the fairs non -profit board (VP) and have a fair amount of planning time in as well these days-Its always good to give back to the community and this fair is just such an event.

I'm hoping the fair at least broke even we shall see at the next meeting.


#66853 My Mug Will Be On National Tv Next Week On Cnn

Posted by Mark C. on 29 September 2014 - 10:26 AM

Not my face

But one of my mugs-not just a mug but my jumbo mug a 34ozer

You can see it on CNN on Mike Rowes new season opener  show (somebodys gotta do it) October 8th at 9PM

Check your local listings for exact show times

My friend has a Baggel shop where I sell mugs as well.


The story is Mike came up to our sleepy county to film 4 segments at some small busiesses in Humboldt County.

he started at 6.30 am at the Los Bagels and needed the largest cup of cofffe they had-the owner Dennis gave him one of my 34 oz mugs full-he drank 2 in 1 hour. I have no idea what they will edit out out but I'm told the mug is in the show-it will go fast as he is working the front counter with that mug in hand-look for it.

Dennis also plugged my business but I'm sure they will snip that out

This bagel shop is one our best run business and I'm there at least once a week dropping off mugs or getting a bite.


He is just a regular guy by the way-again never met him but was told.

They shot a segment at a chocolate manufacture our famous goat cheese spot and a art glass recycle business

We have some great small businesses around here.



PS I do not expect any business from this just as when my pottery was in a local movie as well-its just another aspect of potting so long around here.

#66821 My First Show!

Posted by Mark C. on 29 September 2014 - 01:44 AM

Sponge holders rock for me I make at least 60 a week. Right now a box of 86 are going to a gallery wholesale,

and I have 3 boxes of 60 each heading to a show coming weekend show. Last weekend I sold at least 60.I put sponge neoprene on my bottoms so they are no skid. I also jig cut mine-I posted this demo a few years back if I recall?

They are just one more item that works well It all adds up. mugs I make in 7 sizes 3/4# #1,1 1/41 1/2# and# 2# as well as soup and motion mugs.

Folks really like a variety

spoonrest are another that fills the small stuff void. So many potters just do not bother with these everyday items-they all add to the bowls and covered jars plates and platters.

sounds like the show was a learning curve and worked out great.

Babs I can post a photo for but need a 10% per piece export fee if thats fair?Or you could keep me in ginger cookies they where super in New Zealand so Aus must also have great ones as well-maybe a few cases shipped slow boat.


#66392 Brent Wheel Controller Problems.

Posted by Mark C. on 19 September 2014 - 06:33 PM

(Amaco's customer service is truly great, they went the extra mile.)


This alone is what Brents are all about


Real people who work on these wheels right here on this continent .Not the run around-no support of some lesser brands


#65954 Competition?

Posted by Mark C. on 10 September 2014 - 05:03 PM

Only one local potter who maybe is a competetitor and only at my two local shows as we share the the same pie of customers

It's direct

he is a friend and I have zero issues with it-our work is very different but both are funtional


At all other shows I never even look at others work much yet alone pricing-I do not care what they sell it for these days.I stopping looking at  others pricing about 20 years ago . 

I think its good to have a choice for the public.

My whole model is reasonable pricing for great snappy glazes on forms that function well.I want to sell in volumes as I go a LONG ways to market so I need to sell a lot. I want the customer to be able to buy the pots and return next year foir more. They remember me and always come back. I will add my prices are slowly edging up as my production and volume drops.So far I have not hit the (its to expensive for me price points)

I have always had a strong sense of the transaction of selling my work needs to work for both parties-if its to high price then its not working as I sell less and do not return-if its to cheap I run out.Its always a balance-good value works for me.





never felt any competetion mostly as I always come thru steady with product-others tend to flake.



#65708 What Is Your Favorite Source Of Information? You Tubes, Magazines, Internet,...

Posted by Mark C. on 06 September 2014 - 03:59 PM

School of hard knocks.

#65567 Is Is Possible To Calcine Your Own Kaolin?

Posted by Mark C. on 03 September 2014 - 05:32 PM

I have a great cake recipe that uses 30% calcined EPK

the rest is high fire clay and finished with sprinkeled bakers flour then painted with colorants

Bake at 2380 for 12 hours- cool 18 hours

serve warm


#65503 Is Is Possible To Calcine Your Own Kaolin?

Posted by Mark C. on 02 September 2014 - 05:20 PM

The bowl can be green or whatever form you fire it it can be greenware.


#65366 Trouble With Dried Out Glaze

Posted by Mark C. on 29 August 2014 - 10:49 PM

The cheap thrift store blenders are one of my favorite shop items.

They work great for zinc and other stubborn materials like your glaze.


#65232 Cost Of Replacing Elements

Posted by Mark C. on 27 August 2014 - 03:47 PM

I just plugged in my 1227 specs to Skutts web site and each element was $50

Labor cost is whatever I want to pay myself?Thats my own answer for my own kiln.

I pasted the element page for my model below.

looks like 300$ for the whole set of 6.

$135 seems steep?


Neil will answer this one for you as far as labor


Parts Listing for KM-1227 240V/1PH Elements 4 1370 1370_web.jpg 280,1227 CENTER ELEMENT/240 $50.00 2 1368 1368_web.jpg 280,1227 TOP & BTM ELEM/240V $50.00

#64952 Do You Donate Your Work For A Worthy Cause?

Posted by Mark C. on 23 August 2014 - 11:25 AM

Never in all my years has any pottery gift (donation) come back as a sale due to promotion.Yes its mentioned ether in print or while being sold but all I get is a advertising right off.

One needs to draw a line early as this will get out of hand fast

Like TRJ said he does not supports the womens golf assosication and draws a line at the tee off-I find after 10 or so requests I get teed off myself.

I used to do the bowls are all empty - but now I let others make the bowls as this is such a widespread cause now they get more than they can use as everyone makes them around here-especially our local art center.

I have my own personal favorites-and I support those as they what I care about.I also volunteer at a few events every year.


#64897 Do You Donate Your Work For A Worthy Cause?

Posted by Mark C. on 22 August 2014 - 10:08 AM

OK this is a hot topic for me-I just gave a pot yesterday

I get asked via letters and phone calls e-mails for about 15-20 causes per year

I used to give to way to many now its just the ones I care about (my regulars) and a few others.Totaling about 6 now.

Most send nice notes as follow up on the work.

I now say I have reached my limit for the year -1st call 1st served.

The Zoo keepers of America just mailed me a letter asking about pots for fund raising for our local zoo.I reycled it -I am not a lock up the animals fan.


I read a read a great piece on the reasons for not doing this and will look for it-some reasons I recall are it dilutes your works value and makes auctioning at low value change ones perception of work.


One thing is constant the requests keep rolling in.

I feel like telling them ask a bank  for a donation they have the money-why bother an artist


TJR I'll send the greater ball mill association of North America your way for donations now that I know your the man for the spinning jar thing.



One last note-you only get the value of the material for a tax right off unless you give them a card and call it advertising as they print a list of stuff-then you get full value