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Mark C.

Member Since 09 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 07:21 PM

#118219 Mahavir Feldspar

Posted by Mark C. on Today, 11:59 AM

Laguna has gone thru so many spars in the last 40 years-when you find one you like buy it in large quantity so when its gone it will not affect you.

#118197 When Opportunity And Preparedness Collide=Best Show Of My Life

Posted by Mark C. on Today, 02:41 AM

Let me set the stage

I have done shows since 1973.

I have done a show in another state consecutively for 24 years now .The show has a winter and spring show-that’s 48 shows in this town. I missed one spring show due to having 3 bones removed from my wrist so that’s 47 shows in a row.

This town is about 2400 miles from my house round trip.

This has been a great show for me over the years as my customer base grew to epic proportions. This place also has a tourist traveler component as well as locals. For example at last weekends show I have pots heading to many European countries –to Australia and Japan as well as to many states all over the US including Alaska.

This is one of the shows I get to keep my booth space so I was in one spot for decades-not the best spot just a good spot. Double booth with open corner and space behind for storage-it’s a pricey show. Booth cost $1200 for this layout.

I made a choice a few years ago to start slowing my show schedule down. This show is the furthest away although it’s my best it’s just a long ways. I used to drive there in two days and return in two days. It’s a three-day show so I was gone 1 week. Now I take 8 days to do this show. The show is a bit spendy with all the hotels and traveling and its my hardest to do as far as rules –setup and take down. I flew a sign one year ago saying its one of my last shows –this sign was up last spring as well.

This December show I put up a sign saying it’s my last show there. After 2 days of explaining why it was my last I took down the sign and Sunday most customers knew I was not coming back. Some came several days in a row.

I had customers almost in tears and also very angry with me, the full gamut of emotions.

I always take tons of stock but as it was my last show in this location I really doubled down on packing the van full.

I knew the show would rock as sales where always heading up there for me.

We had a line for most parts of 3 days. I take help and I mean a people person who folks love to chat with. His nametag was Professional Pot Wrapper.

I had 806 customers at this show. I was able to keep the stock flowing on the shelves until the last day. 500 spoon rests and 260 sponge holders sold.

Bowls mugs you name got wrapped and packed. It was a feeding frenzy.

I run a double booth and have 6 rack sections in this space-the booth is a corner so you can walk through.

I will never in my life have a show like this one, I feel like I have peaked. It is sad to leave those loyal customers behind but I need to slow down a tad. That’s almost 5000 miles a year on my van I will not have to drive. I get back 16 days of my year-sure the money is great but sometimes its not about money and this is that time. My show total was a crazy number that was more than my house and land cost back in 1973.

I’m setting up my 38th year local pottery sale booth in my small hometown that runs daily until Xmas eve this week and will think back for many years about the best show of my life that just occurred last weekend.


Attached Files

#118127 6.5 Earthquake Hits My Car Kiln Early Am

Posted by Mark C. on 08 December 2016 - 09:21 PM

I was awake when the 6.5 earthquake hit early this am.It was a long slow roller of a quake.

My car kiln was 1/2 loaded with greenware about 2 to 3 feet high-3 shelves deep. After my morning coffee (1st things first) I went out to inspect the kiln. Amazingly it was all intact.

kiln gods are smiling on me still.

I have lots lots of pots to quakes and it always a surprise when you do not.


#118036 Qotw: Are There Redundant Things In Your Studio?

Posted by Mark C. on 07 December 2016 - 12:09 PM

New heater 2 years ago

new kitchen 10 years ago

new hardwood floors 5 years ago.

I only have one last room in house to redo


You know the saying -He who finishes everything dies

#117789 Inconsistent Clay?

Posted by Mark C. on 04 December 2016 - 12:42 AM

The cream test is when you have a hot cup of black coffee put a teasoon of clay into it and stir
This may be enough for a good cup or of you like it whiter try another teaspoon and stir into coffee

#117576 I'm Never Wedging Clay Again!

Posted by Mark C. on 30 November 2016 - 10:18 PM

I,m sorry but you do not have a messy or dirty studio

#117481 Qotw: What Is The Coolest And Most Helpful Thingy You Have In Your Studio?

Posted by Mark C. on 29 November 2016 - 11:16 AM

My 300 stack cd player that fills the studio and kiln area with tunes. I have volume controls at several locations. The unit is in the house . I could not spend all that time in studio without the tuns always going.By far my best non clay tool.

#2 may just be my car kilns wheels but thats all I have for rolling as studio is to small for carts.

#117330 Decal Work Lusters And Fuming

Posted by Mark C. on 27 November 2016 - 07:15 PM

There has beed a few posts on these subjects lately

Here's some of all three from my archives -this porcelain slip work was done in 1974 thru1976

The Chamberlain's is salt fired and fumed-one of a kind

The sailing ship is on a washed out celedon  glaze with cobalt decal-its a one of a few I did in 1976 for a art show-I was an ocean guy way back then as well-Did I mention my 6 month sailing trip on a schooner around the horn?? to settle in California from Nashua New Hampshire?

The old crow is a whiskey flask with gold luster-I made about a dozen of these and sold most of them -I still have 4.


Now many may ask what about the lawsuits from old crow  bottle as i used one of their bottles and after the 30 year litigation I had to sell all my belongings

except for a small electric test kiln which I had in my backpack for a few years getting back on my feet. Once I moved into a dump with power I slowly made more old crow flasks and was able to slowing get back into the ceramic business. The rest is history

speaking of history somewhere in my stuff I have old unused decals from those early 70s years like these. The ships I did for the 4th of July 1976 show as it was our 200th anniversary for you youngsters who recall that date.

The decals and luster where all in the cone 017 range

The fuming was done in a salt kiln at collage- dull red color range on cool down, Back then as it was before digital pyrometers where around.

At this time I was throwing like crazy and in school learning as many techniques as I could get my hands on.Mold making and casting was just one of them.

Attached Files

#117318 Is Cone 6 Practical For Domestic Ware In The Uk?

Posted by Mark C. on 27 November 2016 - 04:20 PM

(There must surely be a source somewhere in the UK - cone 6 is pretty popular now, as a concept at least!)

​I'm shocked that cone 6 hobby craze has not spread to the UK.

Is hobby ceramics still cone 06-08? In UK .Are Paint your own shops still around there??Or slip making shops?

I know ceramics on the manufacturing level got shipped to China (trent/Stokes area)

I'm curious about. the hobby side over there?

I met a english fed ex driver who migrated here to US after his job in ceramics at Trent/Stokes went to Asia.

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#117274 Centering Pot For Trimming With Laser Light

Posted by Mark C. on 26 November 2016 - 10:00 PM

If you hold your phone in one hand and the laser in the other you can see that the clay is not getting centered. May have to hire a professional to get that job done .

#117264 Centering Pot For Trimming With Laser Light

Posted by Mark C. on 26 November 2016 - 09:05 PM

I have a lazer pointer and it will not center pots.But our cat used to love playing with the light.


Sometimes old school rules apply


How about a new phone app for centering? would you pay for that?Nerd you paying attention as this could be a whole new market

#117231 Test Tiles In Empty Kiln

Posted by Mark C. on 26 November 2016 - 12:47 PM

Empty kilns can fire quicker and cool quicker -this can make your glazes look different than a slow full load.

#117195 Firing A ^ 5 / 6 Clay To Only ^ 02

Posted by Mark C. on 26 November 2016 - 02:32 AM

You could put new elements in the old kilns and start vitrifying your clay -it would be much stronger -less weeping issues and hold up better in use .

#117150 Temperature Regulator Not Working

Posted by Mark C. on 25 November 2016 - 01:51 PM

(Place your cones so they're visible and turn off when lead cone is touching toes. I wouldn't fire on temp alone)

yes use cones not this device-its only a guide-cones are more accurate .

#116976 Making A Line Of Work- Start With A Forms List

Posted by Mark C. on 23 November 2016 - 11:20 AM

On another note a home office is also needed-it can be a small space but I need a word program a computer with a printer/copier and a  cup of coffee.

The great news on this space is -its just like your studio space all a write off in square footage  in .

terms as a percentage of whatever covered space you have.

For an example lets say you have a small house and for this example your studio and home are totaling 1000 square feet the studio and home office are 30% of that thousand square feet. Your write off against things like heat and taxes and homeowners insurance  all utilities like garbage and phone would be 30%.

I just am throwing this in there for you folks who have a business in clay. This does not apply to hobbyists who do not sell work or have a business.

It also means bookkeeping-lots of record keeping.

Back to the forms list-I make these in rotation depending on whats needed. I make a list of needs at the end of a art show and work from that unless one or more outlet request certain forms which I make as needed.I tend to have a van full of all the forms all the time and work on filling any holes in that stock .