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Everything posted by Mesi

  1. Thanks everyone for your replies! I really appreciate the suggestions. My partner and I normally only do shows within like a 40 mile radius of home, and nothing near as big as this one, that's why we're a little high strung about it. I think we've decided for now to just stick with our general liability insurance, even though it doesn't protect our ware, and in the event that some catastrophe befalls it we'll cross that bridge then (you know,by weeping mostly). Sounds like everything else is just such a gamble as to whether it would be covered anyway. Eep, big shows!
  2. That was supposed to be "B :" not a sunglass smiley. Lol
  3. Help!! Is there any way to do this? I've spoken to a dozen different people this week trying to find a way to insure my pottery while travelling to a show 600 miles away. The closest thing to a solution that anyone could come up with that covers us while in transit was a general business insurance policy, which is A) waaayyyy to expensive for something we really only need for this show, and only insures the cost of materials that went into the work. Does anyone know of anything better?
  4. Okay, so 4 or so firings later, and I'm still no closer to solving this mystery. Everything is still attached correctly. I even uninstalled the duct and used a shorter more direct route from kiln to vent. Seems to stank up my house even when there is no wind. Holding a match over the lid holes, I do see the flame being pulled in a bit, and when I go outside there is a lit of air being blown out the vent. Anybody have any other suggestions? Do I just call skutt and try to troubleshoot? At this point I'm really frustrated because I spent $400 and got this thing, and my house still smells like death by cancer. :/
  5. All the peephole plugs were in. I'll try checking with a match when I get home (kiln is off now, but the vent is still running). I guess it could be the wind interfering with it. I dont remember what the weather was like when I first noticed the problem. Another thought- does how the kiln is packed make a difference in the vent's functionality?
  6. So... Many.... Egg separators.... Closely followed by spoon rests. Third runner up are (oddly specific )mugs with trees on them. Any kind of mug. Any kind of tree. People around here have been losing their minds for all three of these items lately.
  7. Haha, my in studio dehumidifier is named "the professor" because we set him up in front of ware to dry it, so it looks like he's standing up in front of a class. We took it a step further and gave him a mustache and monocle too... Lol Certain finished ceramic pieces get names too, but they're never flattering. there was sonofab*tch the flower pot, and dumb little brother the traveler mug...
  8. I installed a skutt envirovent 2 several months ago to help deal with fumes when firing (especially wax resist). My studio is in my basement and as I've transitioned to being a full time potter, I'm firing 2 or 3 days a week. The fumes were definitely shortening my life. Lol Vent worked perfectly until about a week ago when I started noticing fumes again. And tonight the smell was so bad it woke me from a dead sleep to open all the windows (even though its snowing with 60mph wind). So, I'm sitting in my living room at 2am in a parka and bunny slippers hoping someone has some experience troubleshooting these vents. -outside there is still warm air actively blowing from the vent -ducting is still attached at plenum cup,the joint between the first piece of duct house and the extension, and up at the motor -checked the holes in kiln floor and lid after I first noticed the smell last week and none were obstructed. Plenum cup seated correctly around the floor holes -the two half shelves on the kiln floor are raised up and spaced with a gap between them. I did notice that my lid doesn't seem to really seal when closed. The gap seems to be where two bricks are a little lower than the others, but we're Talking like 1mm difference maybe. The kiln hasnt been moved or bumped though, so I don't see how that could have been a recent development, and like I said, the vent has worked fine for over a month. Any thoughts or suggestions on what to check?
  9. Less than thirty days until I quit my day job and do this full time!!!

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. ChenowethArts


      That is inspiring! "Hitch your wagon to a star".

    3. Evelyne Schoenmann
    4. oldlady


      now less than 2 weeks!!!!

  10. burning the candle at both ends...

    1. Babs


      Stay centred!

  11. Also, on the dehumidifier thing, I use one sometimes, but it can dry stuff out FAST (including eyes and lips, haha). So if you leave it on and you're out of the studio for a day you can come back a pile of ware that's too dry to work with anymore. :/
  12. I've tried a LOT of mops and I find that the replaceable sponge mops are the best. They hold up well and clean out easily. The rope mop was a clay-caked disaster. I got the floor squeegee from Home Depot or Lowes. 18 inch squeegee head on like a mop handle.
  13. 1. What type of utility sink will be sufficient-will "plastic" hold up? Mine's plastic and it holds up fine. I've got a trap in there as well to catch all the clay goobers. 3. About how much room should I leave around the kiln in a separate room for stacking, maintenance, etc. 18 inches I think is what most manufacturers recommend. Due to space constraints my kiln is in the same room as the studio itself, i just close the door and stay out when firing. 4. I'm building a 4x8 studio table. Any suggestion as to a material for the top? I am considering hardboard. But would a Formica-like product be better. I am concerned about moisture and warping. hardboard is probably going to absorb water and deteriorate. I've got an ancient formica-top dining table right now, and its fabulously easy to clean. I took and covered 4x4 drywall sheets in canvas duck for when we're doing clay work (take them off and lean them against the wall when we're glazing so we can just wipe off the formica). 5. Cleaning floors: I know damp mopping is best but should I vacuum up the dust first with a shop vac? If not, wouldn't I just be pushing around mud even if I rinse frequently? You'll regret shop vac-ing. Sooo much dust in the air. We throw water on the floor (concrete with epoxy over) and scrub with a mop, squeegie it into a puddle and soak up the puddle. Our studio gets FILTHY (My business partner says my carving has a "blast radius") and even at its worst 2 or 3 rinse and squeegie sessions get it sparkling. 6. I plan on painting the concrete floor with appropriate paint. Should I leave the kiln area unpainted? Ours is painted and it's been fine.
  14. Haha yes! We totally do this in my studio. The first favorite glaze combo we made was "artsy glaze number 5" (5 being completely arbitrarily chosen). And now any glaze combo involving Amaco's Oatmeal is "Artsy glaze #___". We've also got "Galaxy" and "Alien cat" (long story...)
  15. This post has perfect timing! I JUST set up an instagram account for my ceramics! And super thank you for the list of users to follow, its really inspirational! @mesireeceramicsstudio (shameless plug)
  16. Ive had good luck with deep firebrick, olive speckle (but apply thick, or else it is the most unappetizing color), sienna speckle. Midnight I've had mixed results with. No bad results per se, but not always what I am looking for. I think thickness, temp, amount of water added all affect that glaze more than the others. Ironstone is almost always appealing as long as it's thick enough. Under the right conditions it can also produce a really awesome red flash on your pots. I tend to notice it more on the insides of pots, maybe because the heat is getting held longer? They're al fun glazes, but I definitely recommend making your own test tiles both of the glaze itself, and the way it will mix when layered with other glazes. My layering results have been spectacular, but they rarely line up with Amaco's layering example sheets.
  17. off topic again, but type "do a barrel roll" into Google.
  18. Please, allow me a moment to ooze jealousy all over your giant, wonderful kiln. I really love seeing pictures of the ways people load their kilns- its a great education!
  19. Not that I've seen, but I'm not the expert on that sort of thing. My guess would be that you simply didn't apply the glaze thick enough. Once you apply what you think is enough, put on like 2 more sloppy coats. I've never seen too much glaze with these.
  20. I adore my potters choice glazes. I've got tons of them. You have to apply THICK. I've never seen any of them go on too thick, but its easy to go too thin. I fire mine to cone 6 and they turn out great. Under-fired they look muddy, and I once had a load get over-fired (guessing about cone 7) and they all looked muddy and had a brownish tint to them. I've got: -Olive speckle -sienna speckle -ironstone -iron lustre -blue rutile -midnight blue -tourmaline -temmoku -indigo float -frosted melon -deep firebrick -seaweed maybe some others I've forgotten. I'm a glaze impulse buyer. You get some suprising results by layering, and in my experience, nto always what the amaco test pages show. And I second layering with other glazes. My all-time favorite glaze is now a layer of amaco sahara oatmeal over ironstone. Looks like ancient jasper, but it turns out right every time
  21. Yeah, the tent makes me crazy, and it WAS going to be the first thing I bought with my show earnings, but then the kiln gods said $%*& you! And my kiln died. So now all my fundraising is going toward that. :wacko:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/wacko.gif"> I really like the idea that they have to come in (forced browsing!) to pay, but heres a question for everyone-- So, there isn't any electricity, and since I can't afford a non cow-print tent, obviously a generator and lights are out of my price range. So how to I utilize my booth space so that people are encouraged to come in and look around, but so that everything can still be seen? Or is there no good solution to that? It's not dark under the awning, but it still doesnt show off the glazes very well. I hate to ditch a tent altogether because I feel like I'll either bake in the sun or guarantee that I get poured on...
  22. *raises hand* I'm reading! Yeah, I am still having fun doing it, its a really interesting challenge for me. I do have some stuff in baskets, but I never thought about putting stuff like my spoon rests or egg separators in baskets. Might help de-clutter my display as well. Also on my agenda? Get a tent that isn't cowprint. It was free, and everyone laughs and says "well, at least it's eye catching!", but I'm beginning to suspect it's undermining my legitimacy as a craftsperson. lol
  23. That's why I keep posting this. I don't figure most people aren't terribly interested, but for posterity sake, it's good to hear these things. I know I appreciate show wisdom from people. This past weekend I did a larger market the next town over, and know what? I made out almost exactly the same as the weekend before when no one showed up and it snowed! (except, of course, that I paid 4 times as much to get in). Basically, I spent all day getting snubbed by a really big crowd instead of a small to moderate crowd. The lesson? Definitely scope out a venue before committing to it. It was totally not my key demographic (who wears stilettos to a farmers market, honestly?!) But the good news is that the next day when I went to grab some groceries at the farmers market I had been at previously, I was stopped by a bunch of people who recognized me and were disappointed I wasn't there with a booth. Maybe there is something to be said for just getting people used to seeing you. My layout was better this time around though, I think I'll try this setup again. I put 2 6ft tables out in the very front of my tent half shelves on top of them and with my chairs behind. Inside the tent was just for me and my partner, and a third banquet table that we had setup with all of our packaging materials. I hung all my windchimes and hanging pots on the front of the tent too, and mostly just stood behind. I feel like it created enough separation between us and the marketgoers, so they didn't feel trapped, but we were present to answer questions. It also put all the shiny pretty glazes out in the light where they are best viewed. So, lots learned once again. I've got a 2 week hiatus now before my next show, thank goodness. All the early mornings and loading, unloading, and setup are brutal.
  24. As I said above, you can't get to the elements in my kiln. They're encased totally. Kiln is a Nova18, a brand that has been discontinued since the early 80s as far as I can tell. No manufacturer to contact.
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