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About GEP

  • Rank
    full time potter / past forum moderator

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  • Location
    Silver Spring, MD
  • Interests
    biking, jogging, cooking and eating, veggie gardening, baseball (Orioles)

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  1. My only issue with the Square store is that sometimes I’ll be trying to work on my store but the website is bugging out and not functioning correctly. If I walk away and come back a few hours later, it’s fine. The buying experience from the customer side has been flawless. I had a few friends also launch Square stores this past year after asking me about mine. I advised them to watch the setup tutorial videos that Square provides. They are short and easy to get through. I found the interface confusing when I tried to figure it out on my own. But after watching the setup tutorials, it all
  2. Just for price comparison purposes, you can build a simple online store on the Square platform for free. You just pay for the credit card processing, which is basically the same cost as any other processor. It’s easy to link to it from your main website.
  3. I like the Bloom collection, and the techniques can certainly be adapted to carving slip off at the leatherhard stage, rather than scratching glaze off at the bisque stage. Slip carved surfaces can also be combined with transparent or translucent glazes, creating more connection with your other styles? You don’t need to take my exact suggestions, I’m only giving examples of how you should be thinking going forward. (how to make this safer or easier, how to create more cohesion, etc).
  4. I do not advocate that everybody has to choose one color scheme, just because I do it. The goal should be that all of your work has enough connective tissue between the individual pieces that a viewer can see one piece, out of context, and know who made it. Mark’s work achieves that even with all the various colors. The connective tissue is there. @rox54, on your website, your work is organized into five different collections. Some of them relate to each other, and some are way out on their own stylewise. I love the mugs pictured on the front page of your website, however I can’t quite d
  5. Would you be willing to tell us what marketing efforts you made during the Christmas season? We could give you feedback that was more specifically tailored to you.
  6. For an L+L kiln that was born in January 2004, the correct TC Offset might be 50 instead of 18. L+L switched to a thinner TC protection tube around that time, so yours might be the older, thicker ones. Anyhow, I agree with @neilestrick that you should reset the kiln to the factory settings, in case the previous owner changed something that maybe worked for them but doesn’t work for you. As for elements failing very young, I’m wondering how you are stacking the kiln? There was a time when I managed to kill two new-ish elements in a row. I had recently purchased cordierite plate setters, an
  7. True for businesses in general, but the nature of a one-person pottery studio does not really present any risk of being sued. There is no “one size fits all” answer to this choice, it all depends on an individual’s priorities,
  8. It isn’t possible to be both an LLC and a sole proprietor. Possibly you meant to say you are a single-member LLC? A sole proprietor reports their business income on their personal tax return. An LLC is a separate entity that files its own tax returns. I file as a sole proprietor, on the advice of my CPA when I became self-employed 20+ years ago. He said I could pay him to prepare one tax return, or two, with no practical difference. He has a “keep it simple” approach.
  9. I have a pretty long list of things I need to make, things that people tried to buy during my holiday sale but were sold out. I told everybody I am taking a couple of months off and I would contact them in March. Every person said “no problem.” Pottery customers are so nice, and they are not “immediate gratification” types. These folks will get 2020 prices for what they’re waiting for, but after that there are definitely some items that will get a price bump.
  10. I’m not changing the TC offset to make the TCs behave differently. I’m doing it because my top and bottom elements wear out faster than the middle elements. The adjustment to the TC offsets keeps the whole kiln more even during the last few firings with old elements. My kilns loads are very consistent in terms of where the shelves are, and what pots are on them. Firing a line of work for sale is very different from firing community studio pots, where every load is different and therefore difficult to compare one load to another. So I can see a difference.
  11. I’m not applying for (or paying for) any spring shows. I am open to possible summer shows, but want to see how the landscape looks in March or so before making any decisions. I have more confidence about fall shows, but again I’m going to wait and see how things look in the spring. Until then, I’m taking a couple of months off, then I’ll do some “home delivery” and “small pots online” sales in the spring.
  12. My experience with thermocouples tells me that while they technically last longer than an element, it’s not that much longer, and they get less accurate every time you fire. The digital controller compensates for the loss of element strength, but it does not compensate for the thermocouple wear. When my elements are near the end, I have an alternate firing program that adds a few degrees to the top of the firing, and I will also adjust thermocouple offsets, because the three zones wear differently and need different offsets. This keeps the witness cones happy. In other words, when the elements
  13. I’ve been in studio deep clean mode this week. I usually do this before my annual holiday sale. But since I didn’t have people coming inside this year, I did it after the sale, and had more time to do a more thorough job.
  14. Once firing while using somebody else's kiln is tricky. Bisque firing everything first solves/prevents a lot of problems for the kiln owner. Asking them to skip the bisque firing for you is asking for a lot. They may not want to do it, and that would be their right. Make sure to talk about this with the kiln owner before you hand them an un-bisqued pot with glaze on it. If they are loading a large volume of pots into glaze kilns every week, they might not notice a green pot slipping past. There's a good chance your own pot would fail, and possibly cause damage to other pots around it.
  15. Yes, it is sized for cereal or oatmeal. And I feel your pain about the amount of emails it takes to sell something remotely! It's so much easier to put out a display full of pots and let people see them all. My general rule for advanced reservations is that the person needs to know exactly what they want. I don't mind a little back and forth, but if someone asks vaguely "what's available?" then I ask them to wait until the shop opens. But still, after I blast emailed about my sale a week ago, I spent a week buried in email.
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