Jump to content

GEP

Members
  • Posts

    2,400
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Pres in Nobody uses cash anymore   
    A few people still do, but this month I’ve done three shows and barely taken any cash sales. Everyone is using credit cards instead. I can understand why, I used to pay for things with cash a lot in the before times, but now I have gotten used to charging everything because it’s touchless. 
    I used to pack $100 of ones and fives to every show for making change. Maybe I can dial back on that now, because I hardly needed it. I’ll probably see what happens through the end of the year to make a decision about that. 
    Also, everybody now has credit cards that can be dipped or tapped. I still carry a magnetic stripe swiper just in case, but didn’t need it once this month. I’ve also noticed that Square processes the dipped and tapped transactions really quickly, as in under a second. 
    The whole world of POS payments changed during the pandemic, both in terms of technology, and everyone’s behavior. Overall I find it much easier. 
  2. Like
    GEP got a reaction from kswan in Big fall show in my area switches to virtual-only again   
    I wish we could have a more accountable system like that. It’s been talked about, but there’s a lot of pushback and the idea gets dropped.  Sadly the will to do it isn’t here. Or a centralized health system. I’ll stop talking before I get political. 
  3. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in A handy organizational tool for workflow   
    I actually recommend asking the customer to initiate the order by email. This weeds out the people who were just being impulsive when they asked for a reservation (and there are plenty of people who do this). I do not wish to spend my energy chasing down someone who turns out not to be serious. There is quite a bit of back and forth emailing required to complete an order, so the customer also needs to prove that they are reliable communicators by email (there are plenty of people who aren’t). This move also signals “I’m not going to cater to you. I’m busy and you need to make this easy for me.” Again, it weeds out the problem customers. 
    Another option I use sometimes is “yes [those items] can be reserved for [that show]. When it’s about a week before the show, send me an email and ask me again. If I have it in stock, I’m happy to hold them for you.” This does not obligate me to change my production plans for a customer I don’t know.  The customer is usually standing in front of my email list sign-up pad during this conversation. If they then sign-up for my email list, that’s a good indication of seriousness. I’ll say “oh cool, when you get my email about [that show], just hit reply and let me know what you want.”
    This does not apply to existing customers who have followed through successfully on reservations before. If one of them asks for a reservation at a show, I’ll write it down in my notebook on the spot. Knowing the person makes all the difference. 
  4. Like
    GEP got a reaction from kswan in A handy organizational tool for workflow   
    I actually recommend asking the customer to initiate the order by email. This weeds out the people who were just being impulsive when they asked for a reservation (and there are plenty of people who do this). I do not wish to spend my energy chasing down someone who turns out not to be serious. There is quite a bit of back and forth emailing required to complete an order, so the customer also needs to prove that they are reliable communicators by email (there are plenty of people who aren’t). This move also signals “I’m not going to cater to you. I’m busy and you need to make this easy for me.” Again, it weeds out the problem customers. 
    Another option I use sometimes is “yes [those items] can be reserved for [that show]. When it’s about a week before the show, send me an email and ask me again. If I have it in stock, I’m happy to hold them for you.” This does not obligate me to change my production plans for a customer I don’t know.  The customer is usually standing in front of my email list sign-up pad during this conversation. If they then sign-up for my email list, that’s a good indication of seriousness. I’ll say “oh cool, when you get my email about [that show], just hit reply and let me know what you want.”
    This does not apply to existing customers who have followed through successfully on reservations before. If one of them asks for a reservation at a show, I’ll write it down in my notebook on the spot. Knowing the person makes all the difference. 
  5. Like
    GEP reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in A handy organizational tool for workflow   
    @kswan Actually, using Trello just for a production list is perhaps under utilizing the software. Using it to keep track of special orders is probably a better use of it. 
    The way I described it for a production list shows card files being used as list items only, so you can manipulate them on the screen. Card files are meant to hold more info than that though. When you open the cards, there’s a ton of room to put all kinds of images and information, and to attach useful files. 
    Previously, if I was taking special orders at a show, I made myself a paper planner that I keep a bunch of stuff like that in so it’s all in one place. I record: Name, contact info, price of the piece we’ve agreed to, % of deposit taken, due date, and there’s space for notes and details about the order. There is room for a small thumbnail sketch, and I use a cheap sketchbook to go into more detail about the form if needed. With Trello, you’d be eliminating everything but your sketchbook, and you could still photograph the drawings and attach them to the card. I don’t usually take my tablet into my studio with me, so having the paper drawings in front of the while I’m at the wheel is still a good thing.
    The way I’ve got my special orders board set up is pretty similar to how I’ve got my production list set up. In addition to the Pending/Clay Prepped/Thrown/Drying/Bisqued/Glazing/Fired headings, I add “Photographed and Contacted,” and “Picked Up or Shipped.” Each special order is set up as a card with all the information that I collect above, and as I work on the piece, it gets moved through the different headings. Once it’s finished, it gets an image taken, and that’s sent to the customer to let them know their order is ready, and to make sure they’re happy with it. The pictures get attached to the card too. If the customer is happy, we make arrangements to get it to them (either pickup at a sale, or shipping)and for payment. If I need to ship an order, I add the tracking number to the card, just in case something goes wrong. The card can be deleted after a few weeks or the order has been received. 
    The only thing that keeps me from ditching the paper copy entirely at the moment is that I do get repeat customers, and I haven’t worked out a better way of recording their contact info in a way I won’t loose it. 
     
    Edited to add: I did download the phone version of Trello, just to see how big the font is, etc on the cards. It is quite legible, and I think it’d be pretty easy to use on the go if you’re a comfortable thumb typist.
     



  6. Like
    GEP reacted to kswan in Clay Shortage   
    I use a Laguna clay and bought a few hundred pounds supply about a month ago. I noticed that the quality is way lower than I've been accustomed to. It is very hard and I have had to wet it in the bag to be able to wedge it. There are also weird chunks of things in it that I can't identify, possibly small bits of wire, red and black hunks, large enough that they have ruined several of my pieces.  I often make extra lids for things and keep them on hand bone dry to get the best fit and I noticed that the clay from previous batches is a different color. 
  7. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in How do you remove a wide bowl from the wheel head without ruining it?   
    Agree with the advice given above, and I would also recommend leaving a lot of extra thickness in the base of the wall and the floor. This will make the pot more stable as you move it. This means a lot more trimming later. 
    I also recommend exploring batt options that will avoid the issues you’ve experienced with batts. I love my masonite batts. I have some that are going on 20 years old and they do not warp. 
  8. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Roberta12 in How do you remove a wide bowl from the wheel head without ruining it?   
    Agree with the advice given above, and I would also recommend leaving a lot of extra thickness in the base of the wall and the floor. This will make the pot more stable as you move it. This means a lot more trimming later. 
    I also recommend exploring batt options that will avoid the issues you’ve experienced with batts. I love my masonite batts. I have some that are going on 20 years old and they do not warp. 
  9. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Piedmont Pottery in How do you remove a wide bowl from the wheel head without ruining it?   
    Agree with the advice given above, and I would also recommend leaving a lot of extra thickness in the base of the wall and the floor. This will make the pot more stable as you move it. This means a lot more trimming later. 
    I also recommend exploring batt options that will avoid the issues you’ve experienced with batts. I love my masonite batts. I have some that are going on 20 years old and they do not warp. 
  10. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in How do you remove a wide bowl from the wheel head without ruining it?   
    Agree with the advice given above, and I would also recommend leaving a lot of extra thickness in the base of the wall and the floor. This will make the pot more stable as you move it. This means a lot more trimming later. 
    I also recommend exploring batt options that will avoid the issues you’ve experienced with batts. I love my masonite batts. I have some that are going on 20 years old and they do not warp. 
  11. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Pres in Clay Shortage   
    Thanks, it sounds like there’s nothing fussy about it. And my pottery clothes are already thoroughly stained!
  12. Like
    GEP reacted to Pres in Clay Shortage   
    I like the hazelnut it throws well, and works well for slab construction. I find that it stains most everything in the way of clothing so I wear my apron whenever working with it. The glazes that I used on the SC112, the SC 630 and other clays also work well. The COE seems to be close enough to the 630 that I don' t have to do anything special with glaze thickness or firing. I am on my 3rd 1000# order of it. 
     
    best,
    Pres 
  13. Like
    GEP reacted to Pres in Clay Shortage   
    @GEP I was at Pittsburgh Standard Ceramic in August. They had the clay that I use, but some of the other clays were listed on shortage. At the same time I picked up chemicals for glazes, and noticed no shortage on those. When it came to buying kiln shelves though,  they said that they were on back order and that it had been several months. Smaller shelves were available, but the 26" half shelves were not. Seems like everyone is having shortages on items.
     
    best,
    Pres
  14. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Roberta12 in Clay Shortage   
    I mentioned this last week in a QOTW thread. I am having a hard time buying clay right now. My local supplier cannot get a shipment from Highwater Clay, because a lot of Highwater’s clays have been out of stock for an unusually long time. They said they expected to get a delivery over a month ago, and are still waiting with no ETA. 
    Highwater does have my clay in stock, so I was able to order an amount that will get me through the end of the year directly from them. This is a lot more expense and hassle than usual. 
    I posted about this on social media, and another potter said that Laguna is having similar issues. This really worries me, if it’s happening to more than one manufacturer. 
    Is anyone else being impacted by this? Does anyone know what the shortage is about? 
  15. Like
    GEP reacted to Mark C. in Clay Shortage   
    Laguna went thru a period of covid employee issues as many business did last year. Now its spread to materials shortages in the supply chain as well as supply chain backups . The Texas talc issue (no more talc) has affected many things as well. I just heard Laguna (pacifica wheels are backlogged 100 wheels due to no foot pedals  in the supply chain)
    I has a few clay bodies I order for others that where out of stock lately as well. Standard cone 10 bodies at that.
    The mining world has the same issues as all businesses. I got enough clay until next late spring but that means nothing these days if materials are out of stock. The world is not yet back to normal supply chain wise. Over 100 frieghters backed up not unloading on both coasts is not helping as well. This backup alone is due to covid and trucking shortages (not enough truckers)This will impact all businesses coast to coast. Ceramics is just one of them.
  16. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Bill Kielb in Help with error message   
    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?
  17. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in Help with error message   
    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?
  18. Like
    GEP reacted to ladyinblack1964 in Newbie needs advice/input   
    UPDATE:  I'm joining the handbuilding class midstream, starting tomorrow, and looking forward to it. From there, I'll see how ready I feel for any sort of open studio situation.
    Thanks to all of you for your help and input!
    Have a wonderful day!
  19. Like
    GEP reacted to neilestrick in Firing schedules to fix offgassing of ash glaze (^6 ox)   
    Too me the milky areas look like there's not enough silica in the glaze for the calcium to work on. It would also explain all the other things going on with bubbles and such. It's probably got a very narrow firing range, and slight changes in firing temp cause it to behave differently, hence sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not. I would increase the silica until you find the sweet spot where it stabilizes but still runs.
  20. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Firing schedules to fix offgassing of ash glaze (^6 ox)   
    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?  
  21. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Do I need a gas kiln?   
    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. 
  22. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Magnolia Mud Research in Firing schedules to fix offgassing of ash glaze (^6 ox)   
    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?  
  23. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Min in Do I need a gas kiln?   
    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. 
  24. Like
    GEP got a reaction from ladyinblack1964 in Newbie needs advice/input   
    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
  25. Like
    GEP got a reaction from PotterPutter in Ikea trying for handmade aesthetic   
    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. 
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.