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Chris Throws Pots

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  1. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from liambesaw in New Angle Grinder for Kiln Shelf Cleanup - Paddle or Slide Switch?   
    I use high alumina shelves in a community studio with lots of beginners learning how to glaze so kiln wash is a must for us. 
  2. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Stephen in Waterslide decal paper   
    Respectfully, it's not a nightmare and you are not out of luck. It's an inconvenience, pretty typical of doing business in any sector. Bel was selling sheets at roughly $1 per page. Fired On sells at roughly $3 per page. If you consider how many decals you can fit onto a single sheet (unless you are printing very large/full sheet decals), the cost increase to produce each piece is negligible. The potential savings using another manufacturer's paper is simply not worth the risk of legal trouble. Production costs increase in all types of businesses all the time.
  3. Like
    Chris Throws Pots reacted to neilestrick in The Big Ceramics Store, shop with caution   
    Personally, I do not like this thread, as BCS doesn't have a presence here to defend themselves, nor is this the place to have that discussion IMO. There are places to voice your grievances- the review sites- which are available for anyone to see if they are thinking about doing business with just about any company.
    IMO, if you want good customer service, then buy locally, or at least from a reputable company where you can talk to a human being, not an online-only company. It is very difficult for brick-and-mortar folks to compete with the online-only retailers. We are expected to give the same low prices and free shipping and squeak by on the same small margins, yet also provide excellent customer service and tech support, which takes time and money.  It's a race to the bottom.
  4. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from GEP in Designing A New Studio   
    The organization I work for is in the process of retrofitting a warehouse space into community art studios including a clay studio. The HVAC contractor who designed the air exchange system for our new facility thankfully had some personal and professional experience in clay studios, and designed a system using the mitigation of silica dust exposure as the highest priority. Clean incoming air will be delivered from the ceiling and move down toward the floor in a curtain (no swirling or circulating). Exiting air will be pulled from floor level, so any dust that is produced will be whisked away without traveling past the mouths and noses of studio participants. We will of course be using frequent mopping as our first line of defense.
     
    The process has got me thinking about how to improve the air quality in my home studio. Right now I have very little air movement. This is better than lots of circulating air, but still not great. It can be pretty stale/musty in my studio (located in my unfinished basement). I have a three-pane ground-level window in my studio. My plan is to remove one of the panes and attach two blowers (like the blowers used in electric kiln vents) into the window frame (one blowing in, one blowing out) and run dryer tubing off the blowers. I'll position the incoming air tube on the ceiling, pointed down, and the outgoing air tube at floor level. It won't be the prettiest system, but I'll be the only one who has to look at it.
     
    WoogiesPlace, perhaps some version of this floor-level exhaust will be helpful for your studio build. 
  5. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Marcia Selsor in Designing A New Studio   
    The organization I work for is in the process of retrofitting a warehouse space into community art studios including a clay studio. The HVAC contractor who designed the air exchange system for our new facility thankfully had some personal and professional experience in clay studios, and designed a system using the mitigation of silica dust exposure as the highest priority. Clean incoming air will be delivered from the ceiling and move down toward the floor in a curtain (no swirling or circulating). Exiting air will be pulled from floor level, so any dust that is produced will be whisked away without traveling past the mouths and noses of studio participants. We will of course be using frequent mopping as our first line of defense.
     
    The process has got me thinking about how to improve the air quality in my home studio. Right now I have very little air movement. This is better than lots of circulating air, but still not great. It can be pretty stale/musty in my studio (located in my unfinished basement). I have a three-pane ground-level window in my studio. My plan is to remove one of the panes and attach two blowers (like the blowers used in electric kiln vents) into the window frame (one blowing in, one blowing out) and run dryer tubing off the blowers. I'll position the incoming air tube on the ceiling, pointed down, and the outgoing air tube at floor level. It won't be the prettiest system, but I'll be the only one who has to look at it.
     
    WoogiesPlace, perhaps some version of this floor-level exhaust will be helpful for your studio build. 
  6. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Tarantara in Any Tricks For Getting Stuck Bat Pins Out?   
    I cross-threaded one of the bat pin holes on my Soldner S50. Trying to remove the pin by force ended up tearing the cap part off the bat pin, resulting in a little dagger protruding from my wheelhead. I ended up bringing it to a machine shop where they ground the metal spike flush and drilled two new threaded holes. Maybe the best clay-related $50 I've ever spent.  
  7. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Lincoln Mayne in Looking For A Controlled Thick Drip Glaze   
    Howdy Lincoln. Welcome!
     
    Controlled drips, huh...
     
    What glazes are you currently using? All the drippy work I've ever made relied on heavy application of glaze, plenty of space for the drips to roll, and crossed fingers until unloading time. I work at ^6 and have been able to get most glazes to move with a heavy enough application. Sometimes they even move when I don't want them too! I'd start with what you already have and see how much control you can harness.
     
    Bonus: For some drippy glaze eye candy check out work by Branan Mercer and Steph Galli.
  8. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from KamauOyekunle in Instagram   
    *To the Admin: This topic could probably also be posted in the In The Studio or Potter's Council section of the forum, but due to my use of Instagram for business I've started it here. If it should live somewhere else, please move it.
     
    Hi All,
     
    Who's using Instagram as part of their clay life? For me, it's been a really helpful, monetarily beneficial, and FUN tool. It's helped me connect with fellow artists and customers, and it's played a large role in building my brand. I've had a great experience with the tool, and I figured I'd share. For those using the forum who don't have Instagram on their radar, it is now.
     
    In short, Instagram is a photo sharing application that allows user to upload, edit and share photos with the Instagram community at large, or (by using the private profile option) specific users who have been granted permission. The application also allows users to "filter" photos to make them look like they've been Photoshopped. Users can include a caption when they upload a photo, as well as hashtagged terms (ie #pottery #ceramics #puppies #tacotuesday) to make photos easy to locate using the application's search feature. Users "Follow" other users to subscribe to their photos; the homescreen is populated by the most recent uploads from all the users one follows. Users can "Like" and/or leave comments on photos. The application is available for iOS and Android and is primarily used on smartphones and tablets; recently a view-only version became available for folks using a traditional notebook/desktop browser. 
     
    Mixed in with all the users posting pictures of their kittens, babies, hipster parties, adventures with bacon, etc is a large community of ceramic artists sharing pictures of their daily process and their pots. I open Instagram on my phone and scroll through my homescreen feed a few times a day, and I'll be greeted by pictures uploaded from folks like Adam Field, Michael Kline, Alex Matisse, Birdie Boone, Brett Kern, Justin Rothshank... The pictures are visually fun to look at, and give a look into the life of the artist and process behind the work.
     
    For me, Instagram has been a versatile tool, and a source of both give and take. I get inspired by posts made by others, and others (hopefully) get inspired by posts I make. Through comments left on photos, I have gotten a lot of quick troubleshooting support and have provided a lot of this as well. I have found potters who's work I've begun collecting, and I have received a good bit of business from customers who find me via Instagram then connect to my website. It's also a great tool for promoting an event or an Etsy sale code. 
     
    If you're not on Instagram, give it a try. Whether for business, pleasure or both, a lot of us are already posting daily, sharing images of our studios, processes, firings, pots and lives. If you decide to take the plunge, here's my shortlist of 20 clay-related must-follow accounts to get you started:
    @adamfieldpottery
    @alexmatisse
    @archie_bray
    @ayumihorie
    @btotheb
    @brettkernart
    @chris_throws_pots (shamelessly, me)
    @dougpeltzmanpottery
    @el_ceramica
    @forrestmiddleton
    @jrothshank
    @kilngod
    @klineola
    @kylecarpenterpottery
    @lornameadenpottery
    @lyonclay
    @pdxceramics
    @shinygbird
    @stvdiobrooklyn 
    @williambakerpottery
     
    Cheers,
     
    Chris
     
     
  9. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from terrim8 in Instagram   
    *To the Admin: This topic could probably also be posted in the In The Studio or Potter's Council section of the forum, but due to my use of Instagram for business I've started it here. If it should live somewhere else, please move it.
     
    Hi All,
     
    Who's using Instagram as part of their clay life? For me, it's been a really helpful, monetarily beneficial, and FUN tool. It's helped me connect with fellow artists and customers, and it's played a large role in building my brand. I've had a great experience with the tool, and I figured I'd share. For those using the forum who don't have Instagram on their radar, it is now.
     
    In short, Instagram is a photo sharing application that allows user to upload, edit and share photos with the Instagram community at large, or (by using the private profile option) specific users who have been granted permission. The application also allows users to "filter" photos to make them look like they've been Photoshopped. Users can include a caption when they upload a photo, as well as hashtagged terms (ie #pottery #ceramics #puppies #tacotuesday) to make photos easy to locate using the application's search feature. Users "Follow" other users to subscribe to their photos; the homescreen is populated by the most recent uploads from all the users one follows. Users can "Like" and/or leave comments on photos. The application is available for iOS and Android and is primarily used on smartphones and tablets; recently a view-only version became available for folks using a traditional notebook/desktop browser. 
     
    Mixed in with all the users posting pictures of their kittens, babies, hipster parties, adventures with bacon, etc is a large community of ceramic artists sharing pictures of their daily process and their pots. I open Instagram on my phone and scroll through my homescreen feed a few times a day, and I'll be greeted by pictures uploaded from folks like Adam Field, Michael Kline, Alex Matisse, Birdie Boone, Brett Kern, Justin Rothshank... The pictures are visually fun to look at, and give a look into the life of the artist and process behind the work.
     
    For me, Instagram has been a versatile tool, and a source of both give and take. I get inspired by posts made by others, and others (hopefully) get inspired by posts I make. Through comments left on photos, I have gotten a lot of quick troubleshooting support and have provided a lot of this as well. I have found potters who's work I've begun collecting, and I have received a good bit of business from customers who find me via Instagram then connect to my website. It's also a great tool for promoting an event or an Etsy sale code. 
     
    If you're not on Instagram, give it a try. Whether for business, pleasure or both, a lot of us are already posting daily, sharing images of our studios, processes, firings, pots and lives. If you decide to take the plunge, here's my shortlist of 20 clay-related must-follow accounts to get you started:
    @adamfieldpottery
    @alexmatisse
    @archie_bray
    @ayumihorie
    @btotheb
    @brettkernart
    @chris_throws_pots (shamelessly, me)
    @dougpeltzmanpottery
    @el_ceramica
    @forrestmiddleton
    @jrothshank
    @kilngod
    @klineola
    @kylecarpenterpottery
    @lornameadenpottery
    @lyonclay
    @pdxceramics
    @shinygbird
    @stvdiobrooklyn 
    @williambakerpottery
     
    Cheers,
     
    Chris
     
     
  10. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from spwhalen123 in Oxide Wash   
    Hi Sean,
     
    I keep a few oxide washes mixed at my studio. As mentioned above, the percentage of oxide is a matter of preference and aesthetic. I generally add about a tablespoon of RIO or BIO for every 6-8oz of water. I will often add a small amount - maybe a 1/2 teaspoon - of vee gum to help help suspend the oxide in the water and thicken the mixture up a bit.
     
    For cobalt oxide, a trick I've picked up is to use potently brewed green tea rather than water. The thought being the acidity of the green tea helps to bring out the desired blue. I'm not sure if it really has any effect, but it sure smells nice. I tend not to use vee gum in the cobalt wash.
     
    Cheers,
     
    Chris
  11. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Min in Etiquette For Community Studio, Suggestions Plz!   
    dirtbabe,
     
    You don't currently have studio monitors, but could you? I run a community clay studio that averages about 45 monthly renters and 40 adult students per month, with Friday night drop-ins, afterschool programming through the local school system, and other random programming scattered in. We probably average 150 different individuals accessing the studio any given month. Getting everyone to pull their own weight and clean up after themselves is one of a list of constant challenges the studio faces.
     
    There have been lots of good suggestions so far in the thread about the specifics relating to this piece of equipment, that kind of clay, etc, but for my studio, the most important piece in keeping things clean, organized and functional is my team of Studio Assistants. Each of these individuals hosts the studio for a consistent, weekly 4 hour chunk of time when studio members come in to practice/produce. All studio access for renters and students is contained to open studio hours hosted by a Studio Assistant. There are about 30 open studio hours per week... some mornings, some afternoons, lots of weekend time and a couple of late night shifts. The Studio Assistant arrangement is a work trade. They give their time in exchange for a set of keys for 24 hour access (outside of classes), a a large shelf space, a discount on clay, and most importantly the learning opportunities.
     
    For each shift I assign the Studio Assistant tasks such as loading/unloading kilns, mixing glazes, pugging clay and cleaning/organizational projects. In addition to this assigned work, there is a closing checklist that Studio Assistants complete to make sure the studio is always left in good shape. Ultimately Studio Assistants are responsible for leaving the studio clean. Often times Studio Assistants have to remind renters and students to clean up after themselves... a "you missed a spot" kind of thing. The Studio Assistants who are less comfortable with confrontation end up cleaning up after renters and students... and quickly become much more comfortable with confrontation. 
     
    Without the Studio Assistants our space would turn into a heap very quickly. I could cover the place in signs about studio procedures and expectations, but without someone monitoring the space the signs would be ignored... people like making messes, not cleaning them up.
     
    Oh... and prior to working in the studio, members must sign a form that spells out what they can expect of the studio and what the studio can expect of them. That way, if someone does blow off their responsibilities we have a signed agreement form them stating they'll follow the rules.
     
    Ultimately, if you can take on some studio monitors and limit the hours of studio access to times when the space is hosted by a monitor your studio will stay in much better shape.
  12. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from florence w in Etiquette For Community Studio, Suggestions Plz!   
    dirtbabe,
     
    You don't currently have studio monitors, but could you? I run a community clay studio that averages about 45 monthly renters and 40 adult students per month, with Friday night drop-ins, afterschool programming through the local school system, and other random programming scattered in. We probably average 150 different individuals accessing the studio any given month. Getting everyone to pull their own weight and clean up after themselves is one of a list of constant challenges the studio faces.
     
    There have been lots of good suggestions so far in the thread about the specifics relating to this piece of equipment, that kind of clay, etc, but for my studio, the most important piece in keeping things clean, organized and functional is my team of Studio Assistants. Each of these individuals hosts the studio for a consistent, weekly 4 hour chunk of time when studio members come in to practice/produce. All studio access for renters and students is contained to open studio hours hosted by a Studio Assistant. There are about 30 open studio hours per week... some mornings, some afternoons, lots of weekend time and a couple of late night shifts. The Studio Assistant arrangement is a work trade. They give their time in exchange for a set of keys for 24 hour access (outside of classes), a a large shelf space, a discount on clay, and most importantly the learning opportunities.
     
    For each shift I assign the Studio Assistant tasks such as loading/unloading kilns, mixing glazes, pugging clay and cleaning/organizational projects. In addition to this assigned work, there is a closing checklist that Studio Assistants complete to make sure the studio is always left in good shape. Ultimately Studio Assistants are responsible for leaving the studio clean. Often times Studio Assistants have to remind renters and students to clean up after themselves... a "you missed a spot" kind of thing. The Studio Assistants who are less comfortable with confrontation end up cleaning up after renters and students... and quickly become much more comfortable with confrontation. 
     
    Without the Studio Assistants our space would turn into a heap very quickly. I could cover the place in signs about studio procedures and expectations, but without someone monitoring the space the signs would be ignored... people like making messes, not cleaning them up.
     
    Oh... and prior to working in the studio, members must sign a form that spells out what they can expect of the studio and what the studio can expect of them. That way, if someone does blow off their responsibilities we have a signed agreement form them stating they'll follow the rules.
     
    Ultimately, if you can take on some studio monitors and limit the hours of studio access to times when the space is hosted by a monitor your studio will stay in much better shape.
  13. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from bciskepottery in Etiquette For Community Studio, Suggestions Plz!   
    dirtbabe,
     
    You don't currently have studio monitors, but could you? I run a community clay studio that averages about 45 monthly renters and 40 adult students per month, with Friday night drop-ins, afterschool programming through the local school system, and other random programming scattered in. We probably average 150 different individuals accessing the studio any given month. Getting everyone to pull their own weight and clean up after themselves is one of a list of constant challenges the studio faces.
     
    There have been lots of good suggestions so far in the thread about the specifics relating to this piece of equipment, that kind of clay, etc, but for my studio, the most important piece in keeping things clean, organized and functional is my team of Studio Assistants. Each of these individuals hosts the studio for a consistent, weekly 4 hour chunk of time when studio members come in to practice/produce. All studio access for renters and students is contained to open studio hours hosted by a Studio Assistant. There are about 30 open studio hours per week... some mornings, some afternoons, lots of weekend time and a couple of late night shifts. The Studio Assistant arrangement is a work trade. They give their time in exchange for a set of keys for 24 hour access (outside of classes), a a large shelf space, a discount on clay, and most importantly the learning opportunities.
     
    For each shift I assign the Studio Assistant tasks such as loading/unloading kilns, mixing glazes, pugging clay and cleaning/organizational projects. In addition to this assigned work, there is a closing checklist that Studio Assistants complete to make sure the studio is always left in good shape. Ultimately Studio Assistants are responsible for leaving the studio clean. Often times Studio Assistants have to remind renters and students to clean up after themselves... a "you missed a spot" kind of thing. The Studio Assistants who are less comfortable with confrontation end up cleaning up after renters and students... and quickly become much more comfortable with confrontation. 
     
    Without the Studio Assistants our space would turn into a heap very quickly. I could cover the place in signs about studio procedures and expectations, but without someone monitoring the space the signs would be ignored... people like making messes, not cleaning them up.
     
    Oh... and prior to working in the studio, members must sign a form that spells out what they can expect of the studio and what the studio can expect of them. That way, if someone does blow off their responsibilities we have a signed agreement form them stating they'll follow the rules.
     
    Ultimately, if you can take on some studio monitors and limit the hours of studio access to times when the space is hosted by a monitor your studio will stay in much better shape.
  14. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from GEP in Etiquette For Community Studio, Suggestions Plz!   
    dirtbabe,
     
    You don't currently have studio monitors, but could you? I run a community clay studio that averages about 45 monthly renters and 40 adult students per month, with Friday night drop-ins, afterschool programming through the local school system, and other random programming scattered in. We probably average 150 different individuals accessing the studio any given month. Getting everyone to pull their own weight and clean up after themselves is one of a list of constant challenges the studio faces.
     
    There have been lots of good suggestions so far in the thread about the specifics relating to this piece of equipment, that kind of clay, etc, but for my studio, the most important piece in keeping things clean, organized and functional is my team of Studio Assistants. Each of these individuals hosts the studio for a consistent, weekly 4 hour chunk of time when studio members come in to practice/produce. All studio access for renters and students is contained to open studio hours hosted by a Studio Assistant. There are about 30 open studio hours per week... some mornings, some afternoons, lots of weekend time and a couple of late night shifts. The Studio Assistant arrangement is a work trade. They give their time in exchange for a set of keys for 24 hour access (outside of classes), a a large shelf space, a discount on clay, and most importantly the learning opportunities.
     
    For each shift I assign the Studio Assistant tasks such as loading/unloading kilns, mixing glazes, pugging clay and cleaning/organizational projects. In addition to this assigned work, there is a closing checklist that Studio Assistants complete to make sure the studio is always left in good shape. Ultimately Studio Assistants are responsible for leaving the studio clean. Often times Studio Assistants have to remind renters and students to clean up after themselves... a "you missed a spot" kind of thing. The Studio Assistants who are less comfortable with confrontation end up cleaning up after renters and students... and quickly become much more comfortable with confrontation. 
     
    Without the Studio Assistants our space would turn into a heap very quickly. I could cover the place in signs about studio procedures and expectations, but without someone monitoring the space the signs would be ignored... people like making messes, not cleaning them up.
     
    Oh... and prior to working in the studio, members must sign a form that spells out what they can expect of the studio and what the studio can expect of them. That way, if someone does blow off their responsibilities we have a signed agreement form them stating they'll follow the rules.
     
    Ultimately, if you can take on some studio monitors and limit the hours of studio access to times when the space is hosted by a monitor your studio will stay in much better shape.
  15. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Karen B in Is Kiln Wash Necessary?   
    Nicolesy,
     
    I run a community clay studio, and in this arena kiln wash is a must. The problem is that given the frequency of our firings, our shelves warp quickly. I'd like to flip our shelves every 2 months to combat the warping, but grinding off the kiln wash leaves them with less-than-flat surfaces. So essentially I'd be trading warping issues for surface craters. And if the shelves aren't ground down pre-flip, the kiln wash flakes, glaze drips, etc will fall into the pots below. I'm between a rock and a hard place, and end up dealing with warped shelves until it's bad enough I just need to buy new ones for the studio.
     
    I have a few shelves for my own personal use which I've skipped the kiln wash and have marked the sides A and B with iron oxide wash. I keep a log and alternate which side is fired facing up. When I get my own kiln, this is how I will fire. No kiln wash on the majority of shelves, alternating the sides to prevent wapring. I will keep a couple with wash for glaze tests, etc.
     
    If you know your glazes, keep a log of firing times to predict element health, and are mindful of your relays, my opinion is that it's worth the risks of firing sans wash. And I'd encourage flipping them regularly. Certainly all mishaps can't be avoided, but the more exact your practices can be (and it sounds like you have pretty exact practices) the better risk management you'll have.
     
    Good luck and congrats on the new kiln!
     
    C
  16. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from nicolesy in Is Kiln Wash Necessary?   
    Nicolesy,
     
    I run a community clay studio, and in this arena kiln wash is a must. The problem is that given the frequency of our firings, our shelves warp quickly. I'd like to flip our shelves every 2 months to combat the warping, but grinding off the kiln wash leaves them with less-than-flat surfaces. So essentially I'd be trading warping issues for surface craters. And if the shelves aren't ground down pre-flip, the kiln wash flakes, glaze drips, etc will fall into the pots below. I'm between a rock and a hard place, and end up dealing with warped shelves until it's bad enough I just need to buy new ones for the studio.
     
    I have a few shelves for my own personal use which I've skipped the kiln wash and have marked the sides A and B with iron oxide wash. I keep a log and alternate which side is fired facing up. When I get my own kiln, this is how I will fire. No kiln wash on the majority of shelves, alternating the sides to prevent wapring. I will keep a couple with wash for glaze tests, etc.
     
    If you know your glazes, keep a log of firing times to predict element health, and are mindful of your relays, my opinion is that it's worth the risks of firing sans wash. And I'd encourage flipping them regularly. Certainly all mishaps can't be avoided, but the more exact your practices can be (and it sounds like you have pretty exact practices) the better risk management you'll have.
     
    Good luck and congrats on the new kiln!
     
    C
  17. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from ChenowethArts in Decal Help Please!   
    To determine compatibility with laser printers, look up the MSDS sheet for the toner cartridge the specific model uses. Some laser printers use polymers as the main pigment ingredient. These won't work. Others use iron, listed as ingredients beginning with the prefix "ferr." This what to look for. The HP I have uses 45% iron in the toner pigment.
  18. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Karen B in Wooden Handles.......   
    Hi ayjay,
     
    I'm entirely unsure as to how to treat a wooden handle, but given your project I thought I'd share this:
    http://walterslowinskipottery.weebly.com/teapots-with-branch-handles.html
     
    I stumbled upon an exhibition of Walter's branch handle teapots while visiting family in Southern Vermont and was blown away. He may share some wisdom via email. Otherwise, just enjoy the eye candy.
     
    C
  19. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Lauren46 in Incentives To Shoppers?   
    I have offered two freebies. One is to help get people into my booth checking out my work. The other is to build a returning customer base and to cultivate referrals.
     
    Freebie #1: Fresh Lemon Water
    I made a water crock for a 3 gallon jug to sit in/on. Wood fired to cone 10, salt, with a garden hose hookup spigot for dispensing water. It's a piece I'm quite proud of. It, a stack of small disposable cups, and a small handwritten sign encouraging people to help themselves sit on the corner of one of my tables at most shows I do. It brings a lot of traffic to my booth, especially on hot days. Some people are just thirsty, but for others, it's a great icebreaker to get them looking, asking questions, and buying.
     
    Freebie #2: Screen Printed Ad Card
    Last year I screen printed a run of 5"x7" cards to give away at shows. One side featured an image of a bottle I'd thrown (Photoshopped down into two colors) and the other side had my contact info, website, Instagam handle and a list of shows I'd be participating in throughout the summer and fall. One side was essentially an expanded business card, the other a small piece of original art. I got a lot of positive feedback about the cards last year and I'm planning on a new run with a new image for this year.


  20. Like
    Chris Throws Pots reacted to ChenowethArts in Signing Inside Of Foot Ring?   
    I agree with the footer/frame idea. To me and all of my fans (both of them ) this is like a seren'dipitous-plus to the piece that says, "you cared enough to pay attention to something that not everyone will see".
    -Paul
  21. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Rebekah Krieger in Raku Burner Question   
    Thanks schism and Marcia,
    I confirmed with Ward that Rectorseal is the right product. I'm all sealed and ready to fire on Monday.
    C
  22. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Babs in Incentives To Shoppers?   
    I have offered two freebies. One is to help get people into my booth checking out my work. The other is to build a returning customer base and to cultivate referrals.
     
    Freebie #1: Fresh Lemon Water
    I made a water crock for a 3 gallon jug to sit in/on. Wood fired to cone 10, salt, with a garden hose hookup spigot for dispensing water. It's a piece I'm quite proud of. It, a stack of small disposable cups, and a small handwritten sign encouraging people to help themselves sit on the corner of one of my tables at most shows I do. It brings a lot of traffic to my booth, especially on hot days. Some people are just thirsty, but for others, it's a great icebreaker to get them looking, asking questions, and buying.
     
    Freebie #2: Screen Printed Ad Card
    Last year I screen printed a run of 5"x7" cards to give away at shows. One side featured an image of a bottle I'd thrown (Photoshopped down into two colors) and the other side had my contact info, website, Instagam handle and a list of shows I'd be participating in throughout the summer and fall. One side was essentially an expanded business card, the other a small piece of original art. I got a lot of positive feedback about the cards last year and I'm planning on a new run with a new image for this year.


  23. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Babs in How Do You Sit At Your Wheel.   
    Hi Babs and All,
     
    After years of taking slams on my snowboard and skateboard, and 20ish years of sleeping on my stomach, I started making pots. It was the perfect storm of low back issues. For a few years I just dealt with the aches and pains. Four years ago, a particularly bad fall on my snowboard landed me in a chiropractor's office having lost almost all movement of my neck. A few weeks of pretty intense massage+electrostim+adjustment and I was back on snow wth full range of motion in my neck. Phew.
     
    Once my neck issue was triaged and dealt with, my chiropractor suggested we address some of the other spinal issues I'd been living with, primarily low back pain. Music to my ears. My work in clay had grown into a fullblown passion and small business, and simultaneously I'd begun coaching snowboarding... there were many nights where I couldn't stand up straight or walk without intense pain. I was 25 years old and terrified that I was going to have to give up the activities I was best at, and that made me feel the best while doing them.
     
    I recognize this thread is about body positioning at the wheel, so I'll fast forward about two years, to the afternoon my chiropractor came to watch me throw to help better figure out solutions for my improved but ever-nagging low back pain. After about a minute of watching he voiced disbelief over how bad of an ergonomical nightmare making wheelthrown pottery is... or at least can be.
     
    Two more years later I have gone from two chiropractic adjustments monthly, to one or two tuneups annually. I still deal with some low back pain, particularly when I get sloppy, but for the most part I live and play quite comfortably. Here's my list of fixes/preventative measures for taking care of your back while throwing:
     
    1. ELEVATE. Raise your wheel and your seat. I have found that my body likes my wheelhead to be a few inches higher than my seat. In this configuration, I have had to learn to rely more on my hands and arms while centering rather than using leverage from my back, so I tend to throw softer clay than what I had been. Ideally, my stool is just shorter than standing height and my wheel is way up on cinder blocks. This is how I keep my wheel at home. Most often I'm throwing at work where the set up is lower than this (6.5" lift using Pacifica's leg extension kit), but the wheelhead being higher than the seat is the most important part.
     
    2. POSTURE. Sit with your pelvis pulled forward to keep it in line with your spine. Once you hunch, you pelvis shifts back and the the spine is unsupported... like the rim of a plate that's been pulled out too far from the base. If it's hanging way out there in no man's land, it's probably going to warp under stress.
     
    3. ENGAGE YOUR CORE. This one is probably the hardest to keep up with, but treat throwing like an ab workout. Just as you would tighten your core muscles to do a crunch, do this on the wheel. Keep your core muscles engaged the whole time you're seated at the wheel. A little trick to help is to envision touching your belly button to your spine. This will help every aspect of your life, especially getting ready for beach season.
     
    4. PROP THE BACK LEGS OF YOUR STOOL. Put a ware board or two under the back legs of your stool to help make steps 2 & 3 easier. I have a length of 4×4 board that I sank 1" deep holes into for the back legs of my stool to sit in.
     
    5. STRETCH. FREQUENTLY. Before you sit down, stretch out. Take breaks to stand up, stretch out and keep your body loose. Do a cool down stretch.
     
    Take care of your back. You only get one.
     
    C
  24. Like
    Chris Throws Pots reacted to Pres in I Need A Tutorial On Applying Iron Oxide To Bisqueware   
    I often just use a damp sponge as others have said. However, if I intend to have greater contrast, I will hit some of the higher areas with sandpaper.
  25. Like
    Chris Throws Pots got a reaction from Pres in I Need A Tutorial On Applying Iron Oxide To Bisqueware   
    Hi HBLB,
    I have the same advice as the folks at the college, but with a couple additions.
    -Brush or sponge it on thick. Don't cake it on, but apply liberally.
    -Let it sit for a few. Allow the bisque time to absorb the water in your wash and for the iron to begin staining your piece.
    -Wipe the wash away with a sponge, but make sure not to remove all the oxide. If you want the oxide to show up in the texture, make sure to leave some of it in the texture. Start with a clean sponge. Wring it out as much as possible... I've had the best luck using a sponge that is just the slightest bit damp. Rinse, wring, wipe, repeat as needed.
    Good luck and post results!
    Chris
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