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GEP

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  1. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Clay for beginners   
    Good point. I use a dark brown clay, and need to keep an entire drawer of “pottery shirts.” 
  2. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in Clay for beginners   
    Since you are planning to throw, I would start with a clay that contains some amount of grog. Grog makes the clay more stable for throwing, i.e. it can hold a shape better than something very fine and smooth. This is why porcelain is considered a more intermediate/advanced clay.
    I don’t agree that “earthenware is best for handbuilding.”  Stoneware is just as good for handbuilding, and both can be thrown too.. The better question is “do want to make foodsafe, functional pots?” If yes, then stoneware or porcelain fired to midrange or above is better suited for that. Many earthenwares cannot hold liquid when fired. Maybe that person meant “earthenware is best for sculpture” because sculpture does not need to be foodsafe? 
    The last question to ask yourself is “what color?” White, buff, red, brown .... this is a purely aesthetic choice. 
  3. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Roberta12 in Consignment Store Record Keeping   
    Just for some context, Nora Roberts owns a big chunk of the town of Boonsboro. I bet the inn and the shop are owned free and clear, which means operating them has much lower overhead than typical businesses, and that she can afford to subsidize the shop. Good for her for using her wealth to bring tourists to buy work from local artists. 
  4. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Roberta12 in Clay for beginners   
    Since you are planning to throw, I would start with a clay that contains some amount of grog. Grog makes the clay more stable for throwing, i.e. it can hold a shape better than something very fine and smooth. This is why porcelain is considered a more intermediate/advanced clay.
    I don’t agree that “earthenware is best for handbuilding.”  Stoneware is just as good for handbuilding, and both can be thrown too.. The better question is “do want to make foodsafe, functional pots?” If yes, then stoneware or porcelain fired to midrange or above is better suited for that. Many earthenwares cannot hold liquid when fired. Maybe that person meant “earthenware is best for sculpture” because sculpture does not need to be foodsafe? 
    The last question to ask yourself is “what color?” White, buff, red, brown .... this is a purely aesthetic choice. 
  5. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Min in Clay for beginners   
    Since you are planning to throw, I would start with a clay that contains some amount of grog. Grog makes the clay more stable for throwing, i.e. it can hold a shape better than something very fine and smooth. This is why porcelain is considered a more intermediate/advanced clay.
    I don’t agree that “earthenware is best for handbuilding.”  Stoneware is just as good for handbuilding, and both can be thrown too.. The better question is “do want to make foodsafe, functional pots?” If yes, then stoneware or porcelain fired to midrange or above is better suited for that. Many earthenwares cannot hold liquid when fired. Maybe that person meant “earthenware is best for sculpture” because sculpture does not need to be foodsafe? 
    The last question to ask yourself is “what color?” White, buff, red, brown .... this is a purely aesthetic choice. 
  6. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Benzine in Hope someone can help me! Shivering problems! My business is at stake   
    @Dottie, not that you have much free time to read, but here is my recent blog sharing a similar story. I developed a pinholing problem last winter, and had to figure out where it was coming from, and how to fix it, all with a deadline looming. It was not fun. But my point is, we've all been there and understand what you’re going through.
    https://www.goodelephant.com/blog/there-are-times-when-pottery-is-not-fun
  7. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Babs in Hope someone can help me! Shivering problems! My business is at stake   
    @Dottie, not that you have much free time to read, but here is my recent blog sharing a similar story. I developed a pinholing problem last winter, and had to figure out where it was coming from, and how to fix it, all with a deadline looming. It was not fun. But my point is, we've all been there and understand what you’re going through.
    https://www.goodelephant.com/blog/there-are-times-when-pottery-is-not-fun
  8. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Tabathos in Any insights on December sales?   
    Yes, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas generally brings a boost in sales. People are buying gifts, but they are also buying for themselves. And yes, now is the time to start building inventory for December. I hold an open studio in early December every year, and it is always my biggest grossing weekend of the year. If I compare it to the other “big shows” on my schedule in a typical year, it grosses about 33% more. (of course, this is not a typical year, and this year’s open studio will be virtual, so my expectations are more fluid.)
    If this is your first year, the number of pieces you should make is “as many as you can.” Having stock leftover is not bad, and it will take you a few years before you get a good handle on how much can expect to sell. 
  9. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Any insights on December sales?   
    Yes, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas generally brings a boost in sales. People are buying gifts, but they are also buying for themselves. And yes, now is the time to start building inventory for December. I hold an open studio in early December every year, and it is always my biggest grossing weekend of the year. If I compare it to the other “big shows” on my schedule in a typical year, it grosses about 33% more. (of course, this is not a typical year, and this year’s open studio will be virtual, so my expectations are more fluid.)
    If this is your first year, the number of pieces you should make is “as many as you can.” Having stock leftover is not bad, and it will take you a few years before you get a good handle on how much can expect to sell. 
  10. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Benzine in Kiln Brick repair, cement I should use?   
    I am a big fan of buying kiln cement is powder form, rather than liquid. You can mix up the small amount that you need, and the rest can be stored indefinitely. I have bought small jars of liquid kiln cement before. It works great right after you buy it, but when you reach for it again a year later, the liquid has turned into a solid rock. 
    https://www.theceramicshop.com/product/9654/kiln-repair-cement-powder-1-lb/?gclid=CjwKCAjwwab7BRBAEiwAapqpTHPiFknNmJkWpDylWjehyL1q2OhvGEJu25uORQN8MDD_nX4aVP5V0RoCb1kQAvD_BwE
  11. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Roberta12 in Christmas Shows?   
    Thanks for the feedback everybody. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ll figure it out soon.
  12. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Roberta12 in Christmas Shows?   
    What do you think would be a better giveaway for this year's holiday sale? An pocket-sized bottle of hand sanitizer, or a metal touchless tool?
    I have personally been carrying both things with me anytime I leave the house. I use the touchless tool much more, but I'm not sure if everyone would. 
  13. Like
    GEP reacted to Sorcery in major over fire in Skutt kiln.   
    Error six has literature about backwards Thermo hookup.
    Can't find anything on 17.
    Sorce
  14. Like
    GEP got a reaction from karenkstudio in What’s on your workbench?   
    With only three shows on the fall schedule, I have time to do things that are outside of my usual inventory plans. The taller one is 14 inches tall. Both were thrown in two sections, about 9 lbs of clay in each vase.  

  15. Like
    GEP reacted to Hulk in What’s on your workbench?   
    From Labor Day's glaze firing
    Clockwise, top left,
      Test tiles for "waste" glaze (retained, settled, sieved and adjusted cleanup, wipe off, etc. - just over 1.5 gallons; it's "free!"), crazes over these clays, may fit buff and red clays better, tbd
      New lower expansion liner glaze (per recent entry to https://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/19922-clay-composition-and-crazing), goes on well, looking good so far - more testing required. I'm not minding the specks, which may be from petalite, as all the other ingredients have been used in previous low expansion trials...
      Am still liking the Lakeside Clear Blue, here over white clay; the lower part is BVG Rutile Green, which mutes the carved red slip - will be trying this again.
      Really liking this tin chrome red, here over Cassius. This firing, no bloating in the black clay pieces, likely due to extended bisque (longer holds at critical temps).
      Selsor Faux Celedon (with some minor coe adjustment) over buff clay - really like this look.
     

  16. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in What’s on your workbench?   
    With only three shows on the fall schedule, I have time to do things that are outside of my usual inventory plans. The taller one is 14 inches tall. Both were thrown in two sections, about 9 lbs of clay in each vase.  

  17. Like
    GEP reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Do certain glazes effect the tase and smell of coffee?   
    Just because a recipe fires to cone ten doesn't mean it won't leach. Oribe and shino recipes can be suspect if they're not properly balanced, and they're not the only ones. Glazes need to be tested for durability before you try selling them, imo. If you are getting reports from more than one household that the glaze is giving the coffee a "taste," I would not waste a lot of time on suggesting washing is the problem to your customers. I'd offer them an apology, and either a refund or an exchange for a mug with a liner you know is more suitable. I would also take the extra step of reaching out to anyone you'd sold a similar mug to, and offer them the same. Some people won't make the complaint to you, but they will to their friends and family, which is never good. If they take the exchange, I might even add a small extra item (ring dish, ornament, spoon rest) as a thank you for their patience and understanding. It can turn an embarrassing mistake by a newbie into a positive customer service experience from a conscientious and professional craftsperson ;).
    If you have indeed done your due diligence and you're sure it's the customer not washing their wares properly, a combination of baking soda and boiling water works much better than vinegar. Put a tablespoon or so of baking soda in the mug, place it in the sink and fill with boiling water. It will fizz, so don't do this on the counter. After the water cools to the point where it's easily handled, the stains should wipe out easily with a cloth. I live in an area of very hard water, and it works a treat.
  18. Like
    GEP got a reaction from 2Relaxed in A trend observed   
    I think it’s great when I hear that someone is retiring from another career, and becoming a potter on a hobby level or a semi-pro level. It works the brain and it works the body. When you do it full-time for a real income, it’s very different. It overworks the body, and often underworks the brain, due to the repetitious nature (couldn’t do it without audiobooks). I don’t regret doing it for the last almost ten years. I’d do it again! But there is a limit. So you can retire TO pottery, or you can retire FROM pottery. These are two very different paths, though both valid. Either way, I know that being retired and having nothing to do can be a catastrophic mistake. I also know that when your occupation is the sole basis of your identity, you’re in big trouble when you get old. There’s more to me than being a potter, but I’ve had to table everything else. When I retire from pottery, I still plan on being a maker, on a hobby or semi-pro level. And doing something that does not require so much physical work, and does not require so much space. 
  19. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Magnolia Mud Research in Humidity and greenware drying   
    It’s not about energy use, Bill. It’s about not wanting to make the studio hotter when the weather is already hot, and when there are hot kilns to deal with sometimes already. The energy use difference between a light bulb and a fan is made insignificant by the kilns. I’ll take the option that actually makes the studio cooler.
  20. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Pres in Humidity and greenware drying   
    I’d bet there is a big difference between studios that have dozens of users, and studios with only one user, in terms of how much dust is around. 
    I sometimes put pots on top of a warm kiln to dry them faster too. But I don’t think it makes sense to turn on an additional heat generating device in the summer. 
  21. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in What’s on your workbench?   
    With only three shows on the fall schedule, I have time to do things that are outside of my usual inventory plans. The taller one is 14 inches tall. Both were thrown in two sections, about 9 lbs of clay in each vase.  

  22. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in Humidity and greenware drying   
    I’d bet there is a big difference between studios that have dozens of users, and studios with only one user, in terms of how much dust is around. 
    I sometimes put pots on top of a warm kiln to dry them faster too. But I don’t think it makes sense to turn on an additional heat generating device in the summer. 
  23. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Min in What’s on your workbench?   
    With only three shows on the fall schedule, I have time to do things that are outside of my usual inventory plans. The taller one is 14 inches tall. Both were thrown in two sections, about 9 lbs of clay in each vase.  

  24. Like
    GEP reacted to Chilly in What’s on your workbench?   
    Local pottery Association throwout a challenge every so often.  Latest is "Hug".
    These two are drying, ready for bisque.  If they survive they will go into a wood-fired kiln at end of August.  Probably no glaze, might give them a wash with oxides, might not.
    Hardest things I've made in a long time.  The standing pair are the third attempt, previous just collapsed.  They're small, as you can probably tell by the half-sized washing up sponge.






  25. Like
    GEP reacted to karenkstudio in What’s on your workbench?   
    another battery votive 

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