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Mark C.

Member Since 09 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 01:26 AM

Topics I've Started

Brent Controller Woes-Well Not Really

20 January 2017 - 10:10 PM

I had a post about wearing out my 1982 CXC wheel head bearings last fall. I did not mention the controller has had a few hiccups in speed control for about a year or two. It likes to jump around a bit. I have just worked with it for the past years until today.I thought ok I'm fixing it.

I had bought a circuit board a year ago to fix it but ended up using it in another wheel last year so today I took it apart and took some photos.This is the wheel I have used full time since 1982 along with my 1970 model C I bought in High school.

Seems whenever I want a Brent part they never have it in their photos-today was no different. My controller which is original from 1982 (which is written under my deck  when I bolted the new head on a few months ago) it not want to come apart-so after some Dremel grinding I got it all apart and noticed it did not match any of the control box photos on Amaco/Brent website. Alas I will have to call on Monday and order the controller-I did notice for about $50 more you can get a whole new controller vs just the board. Lets see what they say. Most of the new folks there where not born yet when they made this wheel so finding someone who knows what it is is key. I will add that 35 years full time of using this wheel it as held up well.

The motor is about all that left to quit working.I'm going to use stainless screws to reassemble .The steel ones go away after 35 years with rust.

Wholesale-Know Your Limits

11 January 2017 - 07:43 PM

Here’s a story about wholesale from the early 70s

I had an art professor friend that taught art and ceramics as well for a short time at a JC in our area.

He decided to build a kiln (I was one of the crew that later dismantled it) and get a slab roller and start making flat items. He got some samples together then decided to head down to SF wholesale gift show one winter to get some orders. His plan was to hire students to crank out the work.

He took all the orders he could-at that time I think it was over 80K in orders which is 1972 or 3 was no small number. He came home with several years’ worth of orders to do that spring and fall. He hired whomever he could find to crank out wind chimes and X-mass ornaments etc. In about 3 months he had a mental breakdown as there was no way he could ever get the volume of items needed. He sold all the clay stuff bricks slab roller clay etc. and I got the job of taking the kiln down and the bricks away.

Just stating that one needs to know your output before taking orders of anything.

True story

I can tell it now, as he is not on this planet anymore and theirs a great lesson here.

Cambodia Ceramic Villages-Suggestions?

04 January 2017 - 08:58 PM

Anybody have any suggestions as to some pottery villages to visit? As I’m going to Cambodia to visit my sister next month who is living there for 6 months now. We'll have some fancy digs which are in Phnom Penh so we will day trip from there.

I’m interested in visiting some non-tourist pottery villages in this country.I'll have almost 10 days there.

We plan on a few days at Angor Wat as well as a side trip.

Other than the Kampong Chhnang – Khmer Pottery what does anyone suggest?

I know this potter somewhat over the decades but he has not responded to my e-mails



Marcia? John, have you been in this country visiting any ceramic places before?


We will also be in Indonesia for a few weeks on a small Island (Wakatobi National Park) but we plan on spending most of our time their underwater taking photos. We have spent a month on a boat in Indonesia sailing New Guiana to Bali 10 years ago diving so I'm familiar with this area more than Cambodia.

Indonesia is huge and extremely varied.

Looks like Cambodia has at least two ceramic making areas.

Potters Joy Of Christmas Day

23 December 2016 - 10:34 PM

As a functional potter one of the joys is.

After wrapping up thousand’s of pots this fall you get to feel the joy of all the folks who get to unwrap a functional piece of your pottery on Xmas morning.

In my case that’s all over the United States and on many other continents in far-flung countries. Heck I wrapped up 500 spoonrests alone at my AZ show earlier this month alone. Tomorrow morning whether it is a coffee mug or a teapot or a sponge holder I get to feel a small piece of that joy.

They get to get use and become attached to it and make it their own. They will use it every day in many cases.

I always have this feeling on Xmas knowing that my work is being enjoyed by so many. It one of the great joys of being a functional potter whose work is spread so far by so many.

Have a happy Christmas fellow clay nuts.

Last Glaze Fire Of The Year -Shortest Day

21 December 2016 - 02:11 AM

I’m firing my last car kiln glaze fire of the year on Wednesday the shortest day of the year. I’m candling tonight to about 800 degrees. I’ll get it going hard at 4 am so I can get it turned off when I’m not setting up or closing my xmas pottery booth. This is a late fire for me as I’m usually done firing by now.

This will be my 26th glaze fire load in this car kiln this year. It’s a 35 cubic foot kiln. I fired 27 loads last year. I fired 28 glaze loads in my small 12 cubic footer this year which is up by about 10 loads more than last year so I’m not slowing down fast enough I feel. Maybe the two less shows next year will help.

I’ll get this kiln unloaded and in my booth by Friday so I’ll have a few days to sell it to customers. I have been sending a load down every few days now near the end, as well as dropping off pots at 4 outlets every other day as they are selling them now very well and the back stock goes fast.

Its been a great pottery year but I’m feeling a bit burned out about now as this is the way it is every year about now. I had a customer today thank me for having my booth open the past 38 years just before Xmas, which makes me feel they get it sometimes. Good customers always make it seem worthwhile.

This year my local outlets seem to want more pots than normal-I will not know how the sales shake out until early in 2017. The fall has been up for me at most shows. I have this love hate deal with xmas every year. It’s my 38th year of this pottery booth in town and I always about now just want it to be the 25th so it’s over. Only 4 more days. I get a bit sad on the last fire, as the studio will be empty for some weeks ahead during my winter break. Only have a few boxes of pots packed to ship out after Xmas for UPS to customers.

Today is one of my last  for making pottery runs to outlets-only need to go to two today before opening booth for sales


Looks like a trip to Cambodia this winter for us as my sister is there for 6 months and wants us to visit. I have been reading up on the ceramics there and plan to look up a few potteries there. Maybe someone on this forum has been to potteries in Cambodia and can speak about them?