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

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  1. I’ll take a guess. P is for Power. F is for Failure. C is for … uh …. I don’t know. But anyways, was there a power failure at your house right before this code appeared?
  2. I’m in a bit of a pickle right now. I am down to my last box of clay, so I ordered it from my local supplier this weekend. The supplier does not have it in stock, because the manufacturer is out of stock of other clays, and behind with their deliveries. I had to order 100# from the manufacturer, just to get me through the next two weeks. The shipment via USPS will cost as much as the clay. I am desperate to keep on track production-wise because of my upcoming shows, so I have no choice. I have to wait up to 5 days to get it, and that will already set me back. Hopefully my local supplier will get their truck delivery in the next two weeks. If not, I’ll buy another 100# shipped from the manufacturer. So right now I am experiencing a lot of extra expenses and hassle, caused by supply chain issues, caused by the pandemic.
  3. I see, then here’s another possibility to consider. Sometimes bubbles in glaze are caused by overfiring by a lot. The bubbles are a sign of boiling, not offgassing. So the answer might be to dial down on the melt. In this case, the other areas of the glaze look too dry because the glaze ran too much and left behind only a thin a layer of glaze in those areas.
  4. Based on my somewhat limited experience with ash glazes, this glaze looks underfired in the places that are not rivuleting or crackling. The foamy stuff might not be offgassing, but simply unmelted glaze. Perhaps increasing the cone 6 fluxes would help?
  5. My advice is to not get a new kiln just for one glaze. At 4 years in, you are still somewhat new to pottery, and your interests in glazes may still be evolving. When I was younger, I was convinced that I would someday build a wood kiln, because I loved the aesthetic and thought there was nothing as good. As I got older and became a more knowledgeable potter, I outgrew that. I still love the aesthetic and admire those who do it, but am very happy doing electric kiln work. At 4 years in, your focus should be on improving your forms and pottery building skills. A lot of potters at this stage (including me back then) place too much importance on glazes and firings, thinking that this will elevate their pots to a higher level. But really a glaze cannot do that. And when your pottery building skills have reached a high level, any glaze and firing will elevate your pots.
  6. I once took a workshop with Sandi Pierantozzi. She is an amazing hand builder and teacher. She has an instructional video titled “What if?” that is available in the Ceramic Arts Network store (you can get there through links at the top of this page). I think it would be a worthy investment. I also recommend Christy Knox as an amazing hand builder. Here’s her website, where she has a variety of videos that you can watch for free, and she makes new videos on a regular basis. https://www.christyknox.com/videos
  7. Yes, and from the perspective of those doing the slipcasting, they were super uncomfortable with it. How can they know if the finished pieces will be deemed unacceptable or not? As soon as there is a dispute over the result, the idea fails. If this is what IKEA wants, they still need to produce masters, maybe 10 or 20 of them so it looks like natural variation. And pay for the extra cost of having all of the master molds made and used.
  8. Ergonomics. In other words, take care of your back. Make everything in your studio fit YOU.
  9. Masonite will start to disintegrate if it stays wet too long. But if you leave wet clay on it overnight one time, it’s probably fine. If you’re going to do this on a regular basis, I would recommend getting some different batts that can withstand moisture better, such as plastic.
  10. All four shows that I have on my schedule for the fall were juried during the April-July timeframe, when the vaccination efforts were going strong and covid metrics were dropping like a rock. It made sense to go ahead during that window. But then the Delta variant came along. All four shows have promised to return booth fees if there’s a cancellation. But yeah, I’m sure that will be costly for them, especially two years in row. One of them would switch to virtual, so not a complete refund, but that’s ok their virtual show last year was good. In fact, their show is a hybrid in-person/online show, we all need to be ready to take online orders during the show, so it will be easy to convert to virtual only if needed. That looks like very savvy planning on their part now.
  11. My answer is “no” as well, for the exact reasons that you explained so clearly. I’ve had a few people approach me about firing their work at my house. In every case, the person was trying to avoid the expense of using a community studio. Community studios need to charge what they charge for a reason. A person who doesn’t see those reasons is generally going to be difficult to work with. In one case, a neighbor got angry with me when I said no. Very entitled person. Imagine how she would have complained if a firing didn’t turn out the way she was expecting!
  12. I use silicone gaskets too. These are not completely airtight, because the lid is not being held closed with pressure (Bill's jar with the wire harness will be more airtight). But this jar keeps my coffee beans fresh until I reach the bottom of the jar. The hard part is to make the lid the right size and shape to fit the gasket, accounting for shrinkage. And to make the jar body fit the lid. The silicone gaskets are easily found on Amazon. I have several jars (not hand made ceramic) with similar gaskets, and the gasket does wear out after a few years. But they are easy to replace.
  13. All I can imagine is that the venue where this show takes place shut down the show, rather than the organizers. But I can't imagine why, it really doesn't make sense. I'm just hoping that event planners and venues don't have more negative forecasts about the pandemic than what the public is being told.
  14. :-( It’s not a show I was in this year, but this is bad news for everyone. Our area is not even that bad in terms of pandemic danger right now, so I don’t know why they decided to cancel the in-person event. There are no capacity limits on events right now, just mask mandates in some places. Right after this news broke, two other shows that I am doing announced, “WE ARE NOT CANCELLING.” One of them asked me to confirm that I am fully vaccinated (looks like they will require proof of vaccination for all), and the other said they are working on the guidelines but we should expect to be masked the whole time at least.
  15. I looked at my quickbooks file, going back about 10 years, and found that my clay costs and glaze costs have remained pretty stable throughout. My most expensive glaze material in Tin Oxide and that price hasn't really changed. I do use one frit, but I haven't needed to buy it for years. I'm sure the next time I need it I will be in for a rude surprise. What has gone up in prices is the cost of replacement elements and thermocouples. It used to cost $430 for a complete set for one kiln. This year is was $490.
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