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  1. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to neilestrick in Can I stack porcelain in the kiln?   
    I don't think $300 is at all unreasonable for a gas kiln firing of that size. Considering that someone could fit $5000 worth of pots in it, it's a pretty good deal.
    Cone 6 porcelain will behave just like cone 10. It gets close to its melting point, gets soft, warps, etc. I wouldn't stack anything.
  2. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to neilestrick in Bisque 04 and Glaze 5 Firing Schedule Feedback   
    The pre-programmed cone fire profiles work very well. No reason for using custom schedules, especially in bisque, unless you're looking for some specific result.
  3. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to neilestrick in Need help with which Thermocouples to get for L&L JD230   
    The spacers are needed if you use the protection tubes, as the tubes have a collar that stick out on the outside of the kiln. If you use the tubes, you'll have to drill out larger holes for them.
    Do not set the kiln on the ground, even on cement board. Get it up on cinder blocks set so there is air flow between the kiln and the floor. Take the time to get everything set well, so the floor doesn't rock at all. A rocking floor means that it could flex and crack. Or a new kiln stand is $87.
  4. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Dick White in Turquoise Lithium glazes - issue with crawling   
    If you want a nice glossy turquoise, here is one that I and an associate at my studio developed, derived from Val's (Cushing) Turquoise from years ago that became non-functional in recent times because of the material changes in Custer Feldspar and Gerstley Borate. We did some initial brute force adjustments with glaze chem software, but the color changed. After running several Currie grids, we learned that the turquoise color in this glaze is extremely sensitive to the silica level. After further experimentation, this recipe has the turquoise color and is stable with the both lemon test and a month in the dishwasher.
    DJ's Turquoise
    EPK - 7.7
    Gerstley - 16.8
    Custer - 27.3
    Silica - 36.6
    Whiting - 8.8
    Dolomite - 2.8
    Bentonite - 1
    Copper carb - 3
  5. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Min in Turquoise Lithium glazes - issue with crawling   
    @Dick White, thanks for posting your recipe. Any chance you have a picture of it on white clay?
  6. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to neilestrick in Other community ceramic studios hit hard by Covid-19?   
    I restarted classes at my studio today. I'm not sure if I'm excited about that or not, but at least things are moving forward. It was a lot less freaky than I expected it to be. I had to remove 2 wheels and one large table from my studio, but enough students decided to delay coming back that I didn't have to schedule another class to handle the load. Some aren't comfortable with being in groups yet, and others had schedule changes since we last met. They'll all be back at some point, though. The studio is nice and roomy now with 6 feet between wheels, and it's kinda nice. A definite waste of square footage when paying rent, though. After we finish up this current session I'll have to lower my class sizes from 10 to 7, which means I'll have to add another class to maintain numbers, but even that will fall slightly short. I'll go from having a possible 40 students down to 35. But 35 students is still a good number for me. My goal for the next 6 months is simply to maintain enough students to pay the bills, which shouldn't be a problem. Any kilns sales or repairs will be gravy.
    Kiln sales have started to pick up again, but kiln repairs are almost nonexistent right now. I've got a couple of jobs waiting in the wings, but they're not ready for me yet. L&L says they've been selling a lot of small 18x18 kilns, as people don't have access to the studios they usually fire at and want to get the cheapest kiln they can for home. In 5 years the market will be flooded with used kilns that haven't been fired for 4 years.
    The best news is that unemployment came through for me after two months of waiting before I could even apply. So that's a big worry of my mind, as unemployment will cover my bills from being closed for almost 3 months.
    Things are definitely getting better, but I'm not convinced it's going to continue. I'm going to plan for having to close again at some point before the end of the year. People need to keep doing the things they're supposed to do to keep safe, but so many people are getting lazy about it.
  7. Like
    Roberta12 got a reaction from Min in Best clay and glaze for pie pans and pie birds?   
    Another place to go to get answers to your clay questions would be the clay manufacturer.   If it is the Rocky Mountain Clay CT3 that is listed on Amazon, it says lowfire.  You might want to check further.  I have called the clay companies several times over the years.  My questions have ranged from is this clay safe for ovenware and why did I have 4 boxes of clay that had big chunks of rocks in it and things like that.  Laguna and Aardvark are wonderful folks to work with.  Rocky Mountain clay is distributed from Stoneleaf pottery in Denver.  They are also awesome people if you have questions.  
    If you are making work that people will use with food, you want to make certain what you are making is safe for people!   Good for you for starting the conversation!!
  8. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to DirtRoads in Pottery Sales - strange days   
    Closed 6 weeks  March 16 to April 23. 
    Missed Canton MS Flea Market (7.5% of yearly sales)
    Sales slump of 33.34% at retail locaion for 2020, compared to 2019
    May Sales Down 10% 2020, compared to 2019
    41% decrease in total sales (Canton plus storefront)  for 2020
    The first time since opening storefront July 2011, that I've seen a slump in sales.
    A downward trend BUT the May numbers are encouraging.   There are still customers out there.    I was happy with only a 10% decrease for May.  I've heard repeatedly, that a lot of boutiques in my area have a limited amount of product.    I took off that six weeks and made a lot of pottery and filled in my fragrance line, making a lot of candles.        This past week, I got a group of 3 RVer's from Florida heading out West.   That was the first I've seen this year.    Two weeks ago, there was a senior golf tournament at Pearl River Resort and that brought in a few good shoppers.   Today 3 shoppers came over from Tuscaloosa, Alabama ... so customers are starting to move about
    I'm seeing Christmas gift purchases now so I'm projecting a pretty good 4th quarter.    Not as good as 2019, but good.   If possible, you need to find a location to get some of those 4th quarter sales.    I've heard at least 20 customers say "they want American made gifts", "nothing that has those gold "Made in China" tags.   I've been questioned on my jewelry but it hasn't reflected in sales.  I've replied honestly that I don't know of a U.S. made source for jewelry findings like simulated pearls.   Most of my jewelry is assembled here.   
    If you are dependent on pottery for personal income, you are going to need to get your product in front of customers.   The paradigm has shifted.    And you will probably have to shift something in your distribution.
    I've decided to downsize.  I enjoyed that 6 weeks off way too much.  Right now I'm operating with 0 employees but one is coming back this week.
  9. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Babs in Can Manufactured Raw Clay Decompose Safely?   
    Or crumble it and encorporate into top soil..in sandy soil this can have water holding  and wetting benefits.
    Dry clay, mask on .
  10. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to neilestrick in Christmas Shows?   
    I think we're going to see a lot of spikes in infection rates in about 3 weeks.
    The one show I had hopes of happening this year, a studio tour in northern Wisconsin in October, is strongly considering cancelling. They're going to wait a couple of week and see how things go with everything starting to open back up, but it doesn't look promising. I won't have any hard feelings if they do cancel, though.
    My shop reopens on Tuesday, and I'm freaking out a bit. I'm working on getting my classes sorted out and down to 7 wheels per class, which will give us good spacing in the studio and room to move without being on top of each other. Masks will be required, of course. The difficult part will be limiting my contact with the students, as I often need to jump in and get my hands on their clay to fix problems, especially with the beginners. They're going to have to suffer through the learning process more than in the past. My biggest worry is if a students tests positive for Covid, because then I have to close again for two weeks since I will have been exposed. 
    Some friends of mine own an organic farm, and they are not setting up at the big farmers market they usually do. Instead they're taking orders and having people pick up from their truck outside the market. Their CSA is going strong, so I think they're doing okay over all.
  11. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to DirtRoads in Christmas Shows?   
    Must be this one?  https://www.firstmondaycanton.com/
    Yeah they are having an event May 28 to May 30.  Two of my friends have permanent booths there.   And a lot of booths are inside too.   
    My area has rescheduled this event   June 27th        https://www.kicks96news.com/local/square-affair-vendor-applications-being-accepted
    I think some shows are going to come back this summer, with restrictions.   Of course some states and areas are going to prohibit them.  I'm advisor to two large events, one at end of July and the other one in October.   And the plan now is to go ahead.  They are definitely not waiting on a vaccine.  I'm questioning the July event ... it's huge (not naming it here because there is already a lot of controversy.)   But I think it will happen.   One person on the board  said "they can't stop us, this is private property".  I rolled my eyes and said "almost everything is on private property."   I'm not a health expert, only there as a marketing advisor.    Shockingly, there are a lot of event goers that don't seem to care.    I'm still floundered that only about 55% of Americans are going to get the vaccine.     General attitude here is that older consumers are very concerned.    Younger, not nearly so much.   I won't go into some of the comments I've heard ............
    My store reopened April 23.   I'll post results at month's end.   
  12. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Argh!! Giffin grip gripe, anyone else have issues?   
    I borrowed a friend’s Giffen grip once and had a lot of problems using it because the point I needed the holder pads to be on to centre the pot was also the point I needed to trim on. I gave it back. I didn’t like it even a little bit, although I liked the idea of what it was supposed to do. At the time, I tended to pull too quickly in the beginning stages and the rims didn’t have the same centre point as the shoulder or the foot. It took me about an afternoon or two after that to get the hang of tap centring, and I usually don’t come by manual skills like that easily. 
    That said, if I get to the point where I do Mark or Mea’s quantity of production, I’ll buy one in a heartbeat and re-learn a skill. I happened to meet half of the couple that runs the Giffen company in the hotel lobby last year at NCECA. She was an absolute heartwarming delight to talk to, and based on that I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to them and ask questions. They stand by their stuff. 
  13. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Mark C. in Throwing pots is easy if Cats can do it so can you   
    I'm not on instagram but as you said folks have posted my work there.
    I was sent that cat clip from a friend-
  14. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Mark C. in Throwing pots is easy if Cats can do it so can you   
    I may hire one of these guys soon
  15. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to GEP in A rant about customer service   
    “The situation with the other potter definitely surprised me in how she handled it. I would have seriously considered purchasing other items from her had it been handled differently. ”
    This is a direct quote from the customer in the above story. The potter might think she benefited herself by keeping the money and leaving the customer high and dry, but really she lost a potential repeat customer. 
    This is a crucial point that others here have pointed to as well: happy customers equal repeat customers. Imagine trying to keep a pottery business afloat if your customers will only buy your work once. Finding a brand new customer for every single pot? It’s not sustainable. On the other hand, if you make customers happy enough to come back to you for more, your task of selling becomes so much easier. Happy customers also refer their friends to you. The above customer contacted me because another good, steady customer recommended me. 
    Gratitude and integrity go a long, long way. 
  16. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Ceramics taught thru the web at university   
    I had to take a year off my studio courses when I was in college becasue I gave myself a persistent case of tendonitis during my summer job. I took all my outstanding Art History, English and Humanities requirements for my degree in one year. It gave me 2 years of nothing but studio courses to focus on, and a lighter course load. It upped my grades across the board, and eased the stress a whole lot.
  17. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to oldlady in A rant about customer service   
    i once ordered a beautiful pot from a potter in hawaii.   it arrived and i did not even take the box out of the mailman's hand.  he shook it and we both heard the shattered pieces.   i got my money back from the post office and once the box was opened it appeared one page of newspaper was the only packing inside the box.   the potter's name was IDIOT!
  18. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Mark C. in A rant about customer service   
    A potter (well some people are just clueless) potters are no exception-I knew one who took visa's at art show sand never sent the pots-I call them crooks-they are in all fields-they are a disservice to all of us. 
    I always send the replacement (has happened twice in 40 years)  no charge .
    I like happy customers
    lately I have been including a extra in item large orders as a gift -like a soap dish or a sponge holder.
    I have found if you treat folks well that get really loyal to you and your work.
    I have 3 boxes for UPS outgoing today as Tuesday is my usual ship out day.
    USPS is a nightmare for service issues-I know that upfront . Try to use them as little as possiable-especally now that UPS has a flat rate shipping  service for small boxes.
    Mug to anywhere is $13-they have 4 sizes (based on cubic inches) weight is not important.
  19. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Stephen in Earrings   
    Porcelain might be a bit more durable as long as you fire it to maturity.
  20. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to neilestrick in Earrings   
    If you're going to glue on posts, leave the backside unglazed and fire them on the shelf like anything else. If you're doing pendant earrings, you can also leave them unglazed on the back, or if you want them glazed all over you have to rig up a method of hanging them. There have been a lot of posts here on the forum about ways to hang small objects in the kiln. If you leave the back unglazed, make sure you're using a well vitrified clay or seal the back so they don't absorb body oils.
  21. Like
    Roberta12 got a reaction from Michaela C in Earrings   
    I glue the ceramic piece to the post with e6000 after the glaze firing.  It is very durable.  I put the earrings in the kiln as "fillers", placed around larger pots. 
  22. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Porcelain decorating slip   
    Do compare your shrinkage rates before you buy a whole bunch though. Not all of them are the same. 
    Also, if you need a really stark white, you could try adding some zircopax to your slip base. 
  23. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Min in Porcelain decorating slip   
    An engobe is going to be harder to fit to bisque clay than a slip going on leatherhard. Slip recipes or claybodies that contains ball clay are not going to be as white as one that doesn't, given the impurities in ball clay. You can add zircopax to compensate for this or use a recipe that doesn't contain ball clay. As for an engobe to use on bisque, have you tried using a white underglaze? 
    Fish Sauce Slip works well for me on wet and leatherhard clay, it's very white as it is but can be made more so by adding up to 10 zircopax. In theory you can use it thinly on bisque too but I've had cracking with it when doing that, none when I used it on wet and leatherhard clay. It can be mixed up thickly to achieve textures if that's something you are interested in also. Bentone MA is expensive, if you need a large amount of slip (to dip pots in) then find the whitest bentonite you can and use double the amount. For brushing amounts I'ld use the Bentone MA.
    I removed the bentonite from the original recipe and replaced it with 1/2 the amount of Bentone MA (aka macaloid) to reduce the specks you get with bentonite.
    Fish Sauce - altered - cone 04 - 10
    43.8 Grolleg 
    15.6 Silica
    23.5 Minspar
    7.8 Pyrophyllite (this is crucial to the recipe)
    4.7 Bentone MA
    0 - 10 zircopax (optional)
    total 95.4 without zircopax 
  24. Like
    Roberta12 got a reaction from Discus in Porcelain decorating slip   
    @DiscusI call this first recipe Porcelain slip.  It was given to me by an art center where I had taken a class.  They take it all the way to cone 10, gas, but assured me it could be used at midfire.  I have tested it on porcelain, speckled stoneware, and dark brown stoneware. Cone 6. Electric.   It is very white.  I don't think it is a slip in the traditional sense, but I use it to create a white background on brown clay.  The glaze people on this forum can tell us why it works as well as it does, or what their concerns would be.    I use it rather on the thin side.   I can put underglaze transfers over it, rice paper decals, or carve through it. Then I put a clear glaze over it.   Maybe it is not what you are looking for, but here it is (this is how the recipe was given to me, in % and cups)  You can also color it with mason stain. I have used this recipe on  both greenware and bisque.  It cracks a little on bisque (because of shrinkage, I suppose) 
    Porcelain Slip
    EPK  50%                    3.5 cups
    Silica 24%                  1 cup
    Potash Feldspar (custer) 26%   1.25 cups
    This is another recipe that I received from Naomi Clement. She wants a very white slip.  If you look at her work on Instagram, any of the white décor is this slip recipe.  But I have not used this one. 
    White Slip
    Grolleg                  34
    OM4                      20
    Custer Spar        27
    Silica                    19
    Add Zircopax   3
  25. Like
    Roberta12 reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Porcelain decorating slip   
    I use a lot of white slip decoration over red stoneware. Although there are slip recipes out there (check Glazy) I have a white stoneware clay body that I buy in dry bags and mix it to slip consistency rather than into a throwing clay. I find white stoneware slip tends to adhere better than porcelain slip. The shrinkage rates of the 2 clays I use closer to each other, so cracking is less of an issue if you’re laying on texture like I do. But whatever slip you wind up using has to be compatible with the clay you’ve got it over, so randomly suggesting white clays is maybe not as helpful as we could be without knowing what stoneware you’re using. 

    If you’re putting a white slip over a darker clay, I find it’s only necessary to have it whiter than the underlying stoneware. The slip will  appear brighter in relation than it does on its own. 
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