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Mark C.

Member Since 09 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 01:16 AM

#82455 Community Challenge #2

Posted by Mark C. on Yesterday, 01:21 AM

(Mark, I used a kiln that does not have a controller on it...another mistake)

Paul I have 5 kilns which two are electric and none )of the 5)have controllers so I do not know if they would have helped but they never have done a thing for me yet?

I'm still out of control-thats why I moved out of house at 15 years old-I hated controllers.

If that F-1 got into kiln does that mean the spy pugs where out?

Good thing it was tumble stacked as it still looks tumble stacked even after the F-1 hit.


#82392 Qotw: What Would You Have Wished To Become If Not A Potter?

Posted by Mark C. on 25 May 2015 - 10:57 AM

Are you a workaholic

Of course I am.

And yes most all these other skills are good for being a potter-you can fix or make or mend things-you can analize and trouble shoot as well.

My guess is 98% of all income was thru selling pottery in my life.


#82210 Does Moving In Social Media Circles Support Your Clay Career?

Posted by Mark C. on 22 May 2015 - 01:15 AM


(Mark: I'am happy for you that you sell your ceramics outside social media with no problems. Are you going to fairs often?)


After doing shows for over 40 years one develops a large customer base at the same shows. This base builds over time.People want to add to what they have as well as new customers find you. I have about a 40% return base at most shows with some over 50% like my local two shows I have done for over 40 years.

No amount of social media will do this for me at this stage in my career.

When I was in my 20's 30,s 40,s and 50,s I averaged 12 shows a year plus as I have always mentioned I have some wholesale and consignment outlets.

Now I'm down to 7 shows per year- (4 are out of state,Ca) all I have done repeatedly for many many decades so my customer base is big.

As I have downsized (not doing a petaculair show somewhere) I walked away from large customers bases-this has happened in Denver and San Francisco area as I gave up my show in those areas as well as few others.

I still get orders from customers from those areas.

My plan is to get to 5 shows per year very soon.

What I have also found is many shows after a long term go sideways usually with a NEW director who re-envents the wheel.

That is a big issue these days for myself and fellow profesionals in this field.Its what my peers all talk about these days.

As a V.P. board member who puts on a local art show the past 43 years I have some backside knowledge as well about what it takes for shows.

I also will not put up with change that I know will hurt sales or wreck shows or is greedy.

I can afford to be picky at this point in my career.I cannot think for one moment what I might get out of taking the time to promote myself on social media. I'd rather spend that time here on this forum helping others from pitfalls I have already fallen into or making pots.

After doing production pottery for so long the selling of it really is the easy part for me at this point. Keeping all my outlets constantly supplied is the harder part as I only take on what I can do well. I have learned this over a long learning curve.

In my area shops and galleries cannot find funtional potters work to sell anymore as no one is replacing the older potters now retiring.

Seems young folks do not want to work that hard  anymore or thats my guess. Maybe they are to busy with facebook or twitter to make pots?

The real secret is that people pay me to make pots in my studio when ever I want to go work there-now thats a dream  I had at 18 thats come true. It was not always this easy but after the first 10 lean years its been great. Now I want to go there a bit less as I have many interests.


#80870 Space Plates

Posted by Mark C. on 05 May 2015 - 08:48 PM

I had no idea when shooting those fish folks would comment on the space plate on end of table. These two came out of separate kilns one day apart. Both are cone 10 reduction fired on porcelain and are about 10 inch. Each has three glazes with a slight overlap.

Glazes where poured (with a funnel pitcher) and a ear syringe is how I applied my white glaze

These glazes like it a bit cool and unreduced to work best so I put them in my cold spots.

I have been doing these for a very long time on certain forms

I'm in deep space most of the time so they seem a nice fit for me. 




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#80753 Ceramic Fish Fresh Caught Today

Posted by Mark C. on 04 May 2015 - 09:21 PM

I unloaded some fish today

I took some junker photos with I-phone as someone wished to see them.

I string them with stainless 19 gauge wire on backs

The 4th photo shows the hanger holes-I put on the backs-If i'm insecure with the hangers I add glaze to attachment as sen with black glaze in 4th photo

All fish are curved somewhat which is hard to see in photos-that way you can place the hangers and they look more real-I use newspaper and it burns out as well as clay supports like on that Angler fish

My reds came out great today as you can see on some functional forms

These fish are schooling for a 3 day show in a few days-they hang on some pro-panels

Halibut -trigger fish -long nose butterfly-seahorse-orca-clownfish-angel fish-great white shark- deep water angler fish

I have been lucky enough to see most of these live underwater while scuba diving of from my boat. I have photos all underwater of most all except the deepwater angler who lives very deep

I have only seen Orca from boats and shore. 

I used to make them as realistic as possiable -now i just have fun glazing them wild

I only take them to shows I know they sell at which is not everywhere (like in AZ.)

All are saltwater species as I'm a saltwater guy.These will go with my tuna and a few others I have already. I have yet to make a freshwater fish

Last photo is from  old 2004 booth in Washington state-shows how I display them 



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#80679 Caternary Arch Brick Kiln Firing Unevenly- Help!

Posted by Mark C. on 03 May 2015 - 11:50 PM

One of the things to consider is how the heat flows thru a kiln-where it can it will try to exit the fastest. Really a good design makes that flow stay in the kiln and move thru the load. The bag walls move the heat up and keeps it from going out the flue so to even the fire you need to consider flow and how its gets out.


#80666 Kiln Over Fired , First Time Using A Kiln

Posted by Mark C. on 03 May 2015 - 07:49 PM

I have a few thoughts-make sure you are using the junior cones right?

place cone so rod is in middle-I never pay attention to where the numbers are. Also my supports are not washed but that is a good idea.

Next fire use a large cone (same cone # as the junior sitter cone) on the middle peep on same level as sited so you can see it and know what temp it is fired to. 

You will have to pay attention to this next fire so you can turn it off if its getting away from you. A digital pyrometer is also a great idea so you know small changes.


#80601 Coating For High Fire Surfaces

Posted by Mark C. on 02 May 2015 - 08:34 PM

Repair or used for protecting in high heat locations on soft or hard brick or fiber (use thinned on fiber)


I posted this recipe a few years back but the liquid Coloidal Silica was hard to find for most.

I found a good source for it here in gallons.(I have no affialation-but have been a long time patron-west coast based in Portland,Or)



The mixture is made up of Coloidal Silica (from high- temp) and milled zircon-I get mine from Laguna/axner.

You put a small amount of the liquid silica in a disposable container and add milled Zircon untill the consistency of thin cream-you can brush roll or spray this.It will not brush well onto dry surfaces so spray them with a mister first.

The liquid will absorb a large amount of milled Zircon so have plenty.

Make small batches untill you learn how to mix it.

Keep in mine to take precuations as you will need a mask and gloves.

The mixure works best on slightly damp surfaces (except for hard brick). Thinner coatings work best-it air dries well and will go off so do not leave the container open to air.

I have used this for many years in fire boxes on hard and soft brick-it does not get affected by flame or heat.I like it in fireboxes.

Just a side note as the formula has silica in it it does not work well in salt where salt attacks it.

It coats fiber very well-it will add a hard skin to fiber so keep it thinner during application as if it gets thick it will fall off as it will have its own weight.

I orginally got this from a glass blower who rigidzed his fiber in glory holes for glass blowing.


#80580 Back Aches And Wheels

Posted by Mark C. on 02 May 2015 - 03:36 PM

As one who has spent a lifetime at a wheel as a funtional studio potter.I can say that raising the wheel some and the right chair help a lot. My wheel is up about 6 inches with brent booties but any PVC pipe support will do the same. Or blocks of wood. The stool will also make a huge difference-mine is adjsutable up and down as well as fount to back tilt with back support.I'm just under 6 foot tall.


#80317 City Studio: Firing Work?

Posted by Mark C. on 28 April 2015 - 08:06 PM

A Small gas reduction gas kiln would not produce much of anything but the smell of the wax burning off-your smoker produces more smells.


#80140 Community Challenge #1

Posted by Mark C. on 26 April 2015 - 08:31 PM

I had no plans of taking the time for another project -that said my (landscape with clouds square plate) that came out of last glaze kiln fits the bill


sorry about the poor photo.


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#80126 Some Restrictions On Posting To Stop Spam?

Posted by Mark C. on 26 April 2015 - 03:19 PM

Here's an idea

#79965 Is There Any Way To Give Stoneware White Clay The Look And Feel Of Terracotta?

Posted by Mark C. on 23 April 2015 - 08:36 PM

The one I use the most in studio is an 5000 gram max electronic Ohaus that I bought on sale from Bailey but the one I use in the house which works just as well is the 8000 gram my weight  I got on amazon-there are many types but this one turns out is plenty accurate.You can get them for much less as well.For $34 its great for most applications.These new electronic scales hit me a few years back like a ton of bricks while reading about them here on this forum. I had been cave maning with my triple beam  for over 35 years and these scales have saved me so much time.  They also make a 7000 gram for less. 

http://www.amazon.co...=my weigh scale


this one also look fine


#79788 The Dirtiest Job In Ceramics

Posted by Mark C. on 21 April 2015 - 11:32 AM

After a 10-hour glaze day yesterday I reminded me of what makes me want a shower the most.


Throwing pots

Making clay

Making glaze

Cleaning the studio

Or glazing wares

For me its glaze day-that’s when I get the most love for a shower.


Ps wood firing is another level for sure



#79749 Travertine Tile

Posted by Mark C. on 20 April 2015 - 09:22 PM

Save some for when your break and need replacing-use the rest for another stone tile job. One will cone up.


My guess and its only a guess on what I have seen and experimented with is your stone will not be happy with cone 4.

You can test a chunk to be sure in your next fire.