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GEP

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  1. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Benzine in Custom orders   
    I was a graphic designer for 20 years. This is exactly what designers do. In print design, the path between intentions and results is fairly easy to control, unlike ceramics. When I realized I could quit design and do pottery full-time, I was very happy to not have to do this anymore. I am my only client now. It’s a privilege and I earned it! 
  2. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Benzine in Custom orders   
    For me, it’s a hard no. I tried it a few times back before I running a serious business, and learned all the pitfalls of trying to execute another person’s vision. In the end, the customer is never quite happy, so it's a waste of everyone’s time. 
    Keep in mind that a person who believes a potter can a make pot(s) to their exact expectations is someone who has very little understanding of ceramics. These are not the customers you should be trying to please. 
  3. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Custom orders   
    I was a graphic designer for 20 years. This is exactly what designers do. In print design, the path between intentions and results is fairly easy to control, unlike ceramics. When I realized I could quit design and do pottery full-time, I was very happy to not have to do this anymore. I am my only client now. It’s a privilege and I earned it! 
  4. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Rae Reich in Wood Firing Tips   
    Pots for a wood kiln need to be sturdy. If your usual work for cone 6 is thin-walled and delicate, these pots will not fare well in wood firing. Temperature is much more unpredictable and uneven. One half of a pot can be fired hotter than the other half. So there’s a lot more warping and uneven shrinkage, and sturdy pots can handle this much better than delicate pots. So make sure your walls and rims are sturdy. And for the same reasons, do not try to make flat pots like plates and trays. It’s very likely they will emerge too warped to use. If this is a rare opportunity, don’t waste it on plates! 
    Design your pots with horizontal surfaces like shoulders and lids. These surfaces will catch a lot more fly ash. 
  5. Like
    GEP reacted to C.Banks in Wood Firing Tips   
    I chop waay more wood on peanut butter cookies. Oatmeal chocolate chip are ok too.
  6. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Benzine in Wood Firing Tips   
    Pots for a wood kiln need to be sturdy. If your usual work for cone 6 is thin-walled and delicate, these pots will not fare well in wood firing. Temperature is much more unpredictable and uneven. One half of a pot can be fired hotter than the other half. So there’s a lot more warping and uneven shrinkage, and sturdy pots can handle this much better than delicate pots. So make sure your walls and rims are sturdy. And for the same reasons, do not try to make flat pots like plates and trays. It’s very likely they will emerge too warped to use. If this is a rare opportunity, don’t waste it on plates! 
    Design your pots with horizontal surfaces like shoulders and lids. These surfaces will catch a lot more fly ash. 
  7. Like
    GEP reacted to LeeU in Small craft fair   
    Actually, I am relieved, because I knew I didn't want to go down that road in the first place! 
    I always trust my decisions & instincts, AND I am also willing to challenge my own positions.  The physical wear & tear of prep, selecting pieces, making labels/signs, packing carriers, packing the car, unpacking  and carrying into the site, setting up table displays, tearing down/repacking the carriers, repacking the car, unpacking the car, schlepping it all back into the studio, unpacking the carriers, sorting and putting away the stock and all the other crap......I could go on and on, because the whole process just went on and on!!  Don't see a "next show" on the horizon.  And I'm real OK with that!
    I needed to know if the physical "cost" was worth the effort, and, for me (not young, not terribly fit, have my chiropractor on speed dial), it just isn't. I sure do appreciate all the support, tips, cautions,  & encouragement --- that is one of the wonderful things, of real value, about these forums and the people who participate here, as a community.  
  8. Like
    GEP reacted to Benzine in rolling clay without a slab roller   
    Oh, I *made* matching sets, the students just struggle with keeping them that way...
    I have them numbered, along with the thickness clearly labeled.  And when that didn't keep them together, I actually counter sunk small magnets into them, so the pairs would be stuck together.  And still, they can't keep them together. 
  9. Like
    GEP got a reaction from PeppernPatches in Wholesale accounts   
    @CactusPots, you are new to the selling side of pottery. I caution you not to have a “me vs. them” attitude towards craft shows and retail galleries. As if these outlets owe you sales, and if sales don’t happen, it’s their fault. Successful selling happens when the artist and the outlet work as partners, and both sides understand and carry their responsibilities. 
    Anyone who says the words “craft shows are dead” probably has this misguided perspective. I’ve been through my share of unsuccessful art fairs. Even when there were obvious signs of incompetence by the show, I always blame myself for not picking up on it in advance. And I’ve been through many successful shows where I know the show did a fabulous job. And there are still artists on the internet the next day, complaining that the show did a terrible job, just because they personally had poor sales. 
    This forum tries to tell new sellers to be patient and persistent. It takes years to learn the ropes of selling. Nobody here was an overnight success. 
    I did wholesale for 9 years, and attended 6 trade shows during those years. I saw many, many potters who thought “craft shows were dead” and therefore “wholesale is where it’s at” and these artists tend to lose their shirts. Because they were blaming the craft show format for their lack of sales, rather than understanding their own responsibilities. The real problem for most of them was that their work was not of a quality that can compete with other professional potters. The truth is that wholesale buyers are not looking for something different than what you find at craft shows. They are looking for the exact same thing that sells well at craft shows. 
    As for whether a gallery should be able to raise the value of your work base on presentation, this is also incorrect. I was wholesaling my mugs for $17, meant to retail for $35 (which is what I was charging at shows then). Lots of galleries told me very honestly, “I love your work, but my customers think mugs should be $24.” So in a lot of cases it is the opposite. These galleries have the goal of selling. Raising the value of your work is not their mission. That's your job. Most of my wholesale orders went to galleries in the northeast, where higher prices are more common. I couldn’t sell to the midwest or the south. 
  10. Like
    GEP reacted to Min in What’s on your workbench?   
    Swirls firming up for trimming.

  11. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Rae Reich in Strange "crawling" issue on clear glaze   
    I am also in agreement that the one on the left looks too thick. I would advise developing some process/techniques to make sure your glazing is consistent from pot to pot, such as using a hydrometer, and timed dips or timed sprays. 
  12. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Babs in Strange "crawling" issue on clear glaze   
    I am also in agreement that the one on the left looks too thick. I would advise developing some process/techniques to make sure your glazing is consistent from pot to pot, such as using a hydrometer, and timed dips or timed sprays. 
  13. Like
    GEP reacted to JeffK in Joining a bowl and pedestal   
    All of you have been wonderfully helpful and I appreciate you all taking the time to respond. This can be such an overwhelming endeavor - the more you know the more you need to know, But as oldlady said above, and I paraphrase, there is no failure - only ways to continue to learn.
    As a postscript, went back to the studio yesterday afternoon to continue to work on the piece. Now I trimmed and put these two pieces together on Saturday, came back Monday to check, and that's when I saw the gap. Panicked a bit and wrote in here. So went back yesterday (Tuesday) with a plan but apparently as the joined pieces dried out,  shrank, and possibly warped a bit, the small gap disappeared. Now the question - and hope - is that when I bisque it, the joint will survive.
    Always a school day in the studio.
    - Jeff
  14. Like
    GEP reacted to Marcia Selsor in Mastering Kilns and Firing by Lindsay Oesteritter   
    This book has just been released and focuses on kiln firing fir Raku, Pit, and Barrel  plus high fire wood kilns. The galleries are full of beautiful work by many ceramic artists. I am excited to be included along with many others.
    One piece of mine is an Obvara  pot with sodium silicate crackle surface and the other in an installation of terra cotta paper clay books pit fired during my residency at Archie Bray. I used the train kiln and a pit. The installation is a memorial piece for 9/11.
    Marcia



  15. Like
    GEP got a reaction from PotterPutter in The power of email   
    I've posted about this subject before, just want to share another quick story about how much more powerful email marketing is, compared to social media.
    The past two years, I have participated in an online show/sale of cups. Last year, I sent a blast email to my email subscribers about it, and I posted about it on facebook and instagram. My five mugs sold out in under 10 minutes.
    This year, I decided to skip the blast email, and just use social media. I was theorizing that my email subscribers prefer to go to my shows in person, and social media followers are more likely to not be local enough to do that. I only sold three mugs on the first day. Two days later, and person on instagram asked me for instructions on how to buy. Instagram does not allow hyperlinks, so I had to describe how to get to right website. Cumbersome, but it appeared to work, the fourth mug was sold that day.
    Two days later (yesterday), the fifth mug was still not sold. I posted on facebook about the last mug. I did not bother with instagram, because I could not link directly to the mug listing on instagram. Nothing happened. 
    Three days later (today), it was still not sold. I had scheduled a blast email about a show coming up this weekend. So I edited the email this morning to mention the last unsold mug. It was sold 30 minutes after the email went out.
    Just remember your email subscribers are far more interested in your work than anyone who follows you on social media. Next year, if I do this cup show again, I will not skip the blast email!
  16. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Babs in Drooping elements   
    If you have a melted element or a glaze spill, one section of the channel (about 4 inches long) can be removed and replaced. 
    And to agree with Neil, if the element is tucked in correctly, the corners of the channel act like pins and hold the element in place. It’s a very smart design. The inside of my 16 yr old L&L looks new. I’ve replace maybe three sections of channel over the years. 
    Roberta’s elements will soon lose their flexibility and will no longer be able to pop out. 
  17. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Roberta12 in Drooping elements   
    This happened to me once. I had overstretched an element a little, and it came drooping out on the first firing just like yours. It was still flexible enough to nudge it back into place. It looked a little wonky just like yours, but from then on it had a normal life span. 
  18. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Marcia Selsor in The power of email   
    I've posted about this subject before, just want to share another quick story about how much more powerful email marketing is, compared to social media.
    The past two years, I have participated in an online show/sale of cups. Last year, I sent a blast email to my email subscribers about it, and I posted about it on facebook and instagram. My five mugs sold out in under 10 minutes.
    This year, I decided to skip the blast email, and just use social media. I was theorizing that my email subscribers prefer to go to my shows in person, and social media followers are more likely to not be local enough to do that. I only sold three mugs on the first day. Two days later, and person on instagram asked me for instructions on how to buy. Instagram does not allow hyperlinks, so I had to describe how to get to right website. Cumbersome, but it appeared to work, the fourth mug was sold that day.
    Two days later (yesterday), the fifth mug was still not sold. I posted on facebook about the last mug. I did not bother with instagram, because I could not link directly to the mug listing on instagram. Nothing happened. 
    Three days later (today), it was still not sold. I had scheduled a blast email about a show coming up this weekend. So I edited the email this morning to mention the last unsold mug. It was sold 30 minutes after the email went out.
    Just remember your email subscribers are far more interested in your work than anyone who follows you on social media. Next year, if I do this cup show again, I will not skip the blast email!
  19. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Marcia Selsor in Pug mill alternatives?   
    You don't need to de-air your clay in the vacuum chamber if you are still planning to wedge it. Wedging is a mixing and de-airing process.
    Even if you had a pugmill, you need to get the slop to the right moisture content before pugging. So you can still only process as much as your plaster/climate parameters can handle. The pugmill only saves you the effort of wedging. Which is a significant savings in terms of wear and tear, but it still takes work and a disciplined system to keep up with the reclaim. 
    I wrote a column for CM last year that details my reclaiming process. I can process 40 lbs at a time without needing extra space. It's done by stacking up a tower of plaster slabs. This does not require a pugmill. The reclaimed clay needs to be either wedged or pugged before using it again. But again, the key to my method is to not accumulate more than 40lbs of slop before processing it. 
    https://www.goodelephant.com/uploads/3/5/9/2/3592345/rhee_dec18cm.pdf
    You might be better off throwing out your 500 lbs of reclaim, because it might be impossible to process it all now. Clay is cheap, so it's not that big of a deal. Start over with a small slop bucket and keep up with it all the time. 
  20. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Chilly in The power of email   
    I've posted about this subject before, just want to share another quick story about how much more powerful email marketing is, compared to social media.
    The past two years, I have participated in an online show/sale of cups. Last year, I sent a blast email to my email subscribers about it, and I posted about it on facebook and instagram. My five mugs sold out in under 10 minutes.
    This year, I decided to skip the blast email, and just use social media. I was theorizing that my email subscribers prefer to go to my shows in person, and social media followers are more likely to not be local enough to do that. I only sold three mugs on the first day. Two days later, and person on instagram asked me for instructions on how to buy. Instagram does not allow hyperlinks, so I had to describe how to get to right website. Cumbersome, but it appeared to work, the fourth mug was sold that day.
    Two days later (yesterday), the fifth mug was still not sold. I posted on facebook about the last mug. I did not bother with instagram, because I could not link directly to the mug listing on instagram. Nothing happened. 
    Three days later (today), it was still not sold. I had scheduled a blast email about a show coming up this weekend. So I edited the email this morning to mention the last unsold mug. It was sold 30 minutes after the email went out.
    Just remember your email subscribers are far more interested in your work than anyone who follows you on social media. Next year, if I do this cup show again, I will not skip the blast email!
  21. Like
    GEP got a reaction from LeeU in The power of email   
    I've posted about this subject before, just want to share another quick story about how much more powerful email marketing is, compared to social media.
    The past two years, I have participated in an online show/sale of cups. Last year, I sent a blast email to my email subscribers about it, and I posted about it on facebook and instagram. My five mugs sold out in under 10 minutes.
    This year, I decided to skip the blast email, and just use social media. I was theorizing that my email subscribers prefer to go to my shows in person, and social media followers are more likely to not be local enough to do that. I only sold three mugs on the first day. Two days later, and person on instagram asked me for instructions on how to buy. Instagram does not allow hyperlinks, so I had to describe how to get to right website. Cumbersome, but it appeared to work, the fourth mug was sold that day.
    Two days later (yesterday), the fifth mug was still not sold. I posted on facebook about the last mug. I did not bother with instagram, because I could not link directly to the mug listing on instagram. Nothing happened. 
    Three days later (today), it was still not sold. I had scheduled a blast email about a show coming up this weekend. So I edited the email this morning to mention the last unsold mug. It was sold 30 minutes after the email went out.
    Just remember your email subscribers are far more interested in your work than anyone who follows you on social media. Next year, if I do this cup show again, I will not skip the blast email!
  22. Like
    GEP got a reaction from liambesaw in The power of email   
    I've posted about this subject before, just want to share another quick story about how much more powerful email marketing is, compared to social media.
    The past two years, I have participated in an online show/sale of cups. Last year, I sent a blast email to my email subscribers about it, and I posted about it on facebook and instagram. My five mugs sold out in under 10 minutes.
    This year, I decided to skip the blast email, and just use social media. I was theorizing that my email subscribers prefer to go to my shows in person, and social media followers are more likely to not be local enough to do that. I only sold three mugs on the first day. Two days later, and person on instagram asked me for instructions on how to buy. Instagram does not allow hyperlinks, so I had to describe how to get to right website. Cumbersome, but it appeared to work, the fourth mug was sold that day.
    Two days later (yesterday), the fifth mug was still not sold. I posted on facebook about the last mug. I did not bother with instagram, because I could not link directly to the mug listing on instagram. Nothing happened. 
    Three days later (today), it was still not sold. I had scheduled a blast email about a show coming up this weekend. So I edited the email this morning to mention the last unsold mug. It was sold 30 minutes after the email went out.
    Just remember your email subscribers are far more interested in your work than anyone who follows you on social media. Next year, if I do this cup show again, I will not skip the blast email!
  23. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Roberta12 in The power of email   
    I've posted about this subject before, just want to share another quick story about how much more powerful email marketing is, compared to social media.
    The past two years, I have participated in an online show/sale of cups. Last year, I sent a blast email to my email subscribers about it, and I posted about it on facebook and instagram. My five mugs sold out in under 10 minutes.
    This year, I decided to skip the blast email, and just use social media. I was theorizing that my email subscribers prefer to go to my shows in person, and social media followers are more likely to not be local enough to do that. I only sold three mugs on the first day. Two days later, and person on instagram asked me for instructions on how to buy. Instagram does not allow hyperlinks, so I had to describe how to get to right website. Cumbersome, but it appeared to work, the fourth mug was sold that day.
    Two days later (yesterday), the fifth mug was still not sold. I posted on facebook about the last mug. I did not bother with instagram, because I could not link directly to the mug listing on instagram. Nothing happened. 
    Three days later (today), it was still not sold. I had scheduled a blast email about a show coming up this weekend. So I edited the email this morning to mention the last unsold mug. It was sold 30 minutes after the email went out.
    Just remember your email subscribers are far more interested in your work than anyone who follows you on social media. Next year, if I do this cup show again, I will not skip the blast email!
  24. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in The power of email   
    I've posted about this subject before, just want to share another quick story about how much more powerful email marketing is, compared to social media.
    The past two years, I have participated in an online show/sale of cups. Last year, I sent a blast email to my email subscribers about it, and I posted about it on facebook and instagram. My five mugs sold out in under 10 minutes.
    This year, I decided to skip the blast email, and just use social media. I was theorizing that my email subscribers prefer to go to my shows in person, and social media followers are more likely to not be local enough to do that. I only sold three mugs on the first day. Two days later, and person on instagram asked me for instructions on how to buy. Instagram does not allow hyperlinks, so I had to describe how to get to right website. Cumbersome, but it appeared to work, the fourth mug was sold that day.
    Two days later (yesterday), the fifth mug was still not sold. I posted on facebook about the last mug. I did not bother with instagram, because I could not link directly to the mug listing on instagram. Nothing happened. 
    Three days later (today), it was still not sold. I had scheduled a blast email about a show coming up this weekend. So I edited the email this morning to mention the last unsold mug. It was sold 30 minutes after the email went out.
    Just remember your email subscribers are far more interested in your work than anyone who follows you on social media. Next year, if I do this cup show again, I will not skip the blast email!
  25. Like
    GEP reacted to Hulk in Teapots cracking just above foot when filled with boiling water.   
    Hi Morris!
    ditto on pics, and approximate the thickness on both sides o'th' footring - if you trim rings, else both sides of the cracks - my guess would be the bottom is much thicker than the base of the wall? 
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