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  1. Downvote
    GEP reacted to teardrop in Was: Etsy or Ebay? Now: When Should You Start Trying to Sell?   
    I don't know if anyone else took the time to check out Cody's Facebook page but..um...maybe you should.(?)
    17? What were any of you making @ 17? Seriously? Were you at this level of pottin' after a year of exposure as a teen?
    And Chris...since you asked...the negativity I see is that time and time again when people come here with enthusiasm they are reigned in (or rained on) by the same folks who tell them their work isn't "good" enough"....or that all they do as a noob is "bad pottery"...or that they just haven't spent enough time in Tuscany or in the company of __________ (insert newest/latest/greatest name of the potter who is riding the current hype and adolation here)
    and that they are a fool for even having the idea that what they do has ANY merit at this point in time.
    That's fookin negative to me no matter how you slice or dice it. It's also very narrow-minded to think that the path you took is the only path available or worthy to take... or that someone could in no way possess skills that far exceed the average person's skill level without putting in all of that time. Could it be that "pottery" is a dying Art becuase few are willing to change or approach it differently with a fresh face? What if the computer industry approached development in the same way? "You Must follow THIS code..." No deviation is allowed.... "We do it like THIS". Would such direction stifle..or drive the industry?
    It blows me away to see talk here about pottery's overall >fade< in the importance of the Arts/daily life....and when the topic arises the blame almost always falls upon "mass produced work"... then when someone shows up with a new attitude...it is replaced by an old, tired, and self-fulfilling attitude of "Sorry...you work sucks and you just haven't taken up space long enough in this feild to be valued"...???? Gosh....I wonder why nobody wants to be a potter with such a grand support system?
    After losing my son....I know now that "8 years" is a long time and that to wait for ANYTHING is a serious mistake. Take it all in....but never, never, never let anyone hold you back or tell you that because you aren't doing it like they did what you are doing is "wrong".
    Face it, if they were THAT fabulous/skilled/educated/great/ at what they do.... their time would be too valuable to be typing on the net!
    your plan sounds solid, Cody. I wish you well.
  2. Downvote
    GEP reacted to CGALVIN3 in Was: Etsy or Ebay? Now: When Should You Start Trying to Sell?   
    You beat me to this Chris!!!!!!!! THANKS for saying it too. When I read the original posting before I scrolled down the thread... I was about to head in the exact same direction.
    This general subject can be extended SO far beyond the idea of being a "high school student". Same is true of the person who is an older adult but has just started taking ceramics classes and is looking at the same kind of thing.
    Just because something sells.... does not necessarly make it "good"....... the incesant TV infomercials prove that point . Just because something can be done does not mean is should be done......... look at some of the GMO foodstuffs they are attempting to make .
    Okay, I didn't know you guys would freak out so much about me advertising my pottery but I get the fact that you guys don't want advertising on here that's fine with me. I also get the fact that you guys believe that I shouldn't be worried about selling my work at such a young age. but that's not all I'm worried about at all. I've only sold a fraction of what I have made. I have a basement full of my work but I just can't keep letting it pile up. It's not like I have my own studio or storage I can put it in. I don't make the rules in my house. So therefor I sell my work. I don't do pottery for the money because if you guys don't know there is little money in making pottery and very few people have the talent to make a living off of it. I have gone to many craft sales, talked and taken classes with professional potters, been a volunteer at the OPA Showcase for 3 years and a lot of different galleries in Portland. I have learned alot from all these events and I've used tips to help make my pottery better.
    And just because you've been doing pottery longer than someone doesn't make your stuff better or you better. I've seen people that have taken classes for many years and in college that there stuff isn't close to mine and even they agree. Just because someone has been doing something for a long time doesn't make them automatically "Good" and just because you have a potters wheel doesn't make you a potter.
  3. Downvote
    GEP reacted to teardrop in Was: Etsy or Ebay? Now: When Should You Start Trying to Sell?   
    Yer right, mea. (and very perceptive) I do have a >filter< that turns most of what I hear into negativity. This filter came from parents who were critical and judgemental to a fault.....because there are "standards" to follow...don't cha know?? ($#%@ Bernard Leach!)
    This is something I've been in therapy a long time to try to correct and something that has made it very hard for me to be successful in the "regular" world.
    Looks like I better dig for another $200 for another sesh...huh?
    Through all of this I have learned >how< I take things in. I have also learned, as in this case, that people will often say things and then deny they said anything of the sort. Cody was told repeatedly....although via side remarks or generalities...that he shouldn't "waste his time"...and that there are folks out there who are dogged by their "bad" pottery....or that they just don't have the skill...and may never have it...
    nope....no negativity there.
    IF there were any good points in his work....I didn't see those pointed out.
    Then again...I do have >that filter< and need to call my therapist and make another appt.......
    No...wait....second thought..... maybe I should just call a potter?
    Keep up the good work, Cody...
  4. Downvote
    GEP reacted to teardrop in Was: Etsy or Ebay? Now: When Should You Start Trying to Sell?   
    I've been busy glazing/firing my last loads of bad pottery before next week's back-to-back markets...so didn't see your reply until now, Chris.
    However...since you brought it up in more detail in an attempt to prove a point (?)....let me say that I was speaking specifically to this thread with my previous comments.
    And YES...in checking the other threads you linked, there is no denying that suggestions and praise were certainly given to Cody for both his work and his desire to take higher-quality photos of his work....
    but at the same time, I can easily use all of those same threads to point out how the >>viewpoints and criticism<< from some (of the same) posters here instantly changed in >>this<< thread towards Cody's actions/intent.....and yes....even his ABILITY....when Cody made the statement that he felt confident enough to sell his work....roughly 3 weeks after his original "look at these" kinda posts.
    I felt the change in vibe....Cody felt the change in vibe...and it appears that a few others who have heard similar comments shot their way in previous conversations where the topic of "sales" came up also felt the vibe change. Heck...I'm even gonna guess the brain surgeons and lawyers who check in here daily to see how >>real professionals do things<< also felt it when they were compared as equal peers to someone who plays in mud and critiques how coffee cups should look for a living.
    Ok...so who needs the scalpel?
  5. Like
    GEP got a reaction from awkwardsilence in Was: Etsy or Ebay? Now: When Should You Start Trying to Sell?   
    Nobody here has ever treated you that way. Nobody is trying to STOP anyone from making pottery. Everyone here is only trying to help you become a better potter. Sometimes that requires advice that is critical. That doesn't make it negative. The negativity is coming from you. You interpret everything you hear in the most negative way possible. I hope that someday when you are an experienced potter, you will recognize the value of that.
  6. Like
    GEP reacted to Chris Campbell in Was: Etsy or Ebay? Now: When Should You Start Trying to Sell?   
    Trina ..
    Have you looked around this whole site?
    This entire site is 100% dedicated to education, encouragement and opportunity.
    Ceramic Arts Daily for more teaching than a person can absorb ... For FREE
    Potters Council for bonding and opportunity and networking ... For a small membership fee.
    This FREE forum where you can post any question and get an answer.
    Apathy??? Really???
    If you have suggestions for improving the site, volunteer to serve on a Potters Council committee ... there you would have a voice in a place where change happens. You and any other potter reading this are 100% encouraged to get involved and use your time to make it better.
  7. Like
    GEP reacted to neilestrick in Witness cone stopped at 3:30, not 4:00   
    Not to be grumpy, because this is important stuff, but it seems we're getting really picky about the cones. I agree that we should all understand how they work, and should be able to adjust our firings to achieve some level of accuracy and consistency. But the difference between 3:30 and 4:00 is negligible, IMHO. My personal attitude towards cones is:
    1. With gas kilns, we generally accept 1/2 cone difference within the firings. That's acceptable to me in an electric, too.
    2. Being off so little is not at all important in a bisque firing.
    3. If your glazes look good, then it doesn't matter in a glaze firing, either.
    4. If you have a well formulated glaze, it will have a broad enough firing range to deal with a 1/2 cone difference.
    Once or twice a year I get a kiln repair customers who are using the KISS computer software to track the firings. They are always freaked out that one thermocouple is behind the others, or the peak temperature wasn't exactly what the controller said it would be, or the rate of climb was 10 degrees slower than the program, etc. They are always concerned about the lack of accuracy, and my response is always the same: "How do the pots look?" And their response is always the same: "Fine, but....."
    Kilns are not 100% accurate. Some degree of variation will always be there. If the pots look good, then everything is working fine. You can drive yourself nuts trying to make it perfect. If I told my customers that 5 witness cones placed throughout their kilns should all be bent to 4:30, they would all think their kilns are broken.
  8. Downvote
    GEP reacted to teardrop in Will I burn my house down?   
    Bravo DAY.
    Most...if not all kilns are UL listed.....just like any other appliance in your home. To think it's gonna burn yer house down if it is properly wired because it is in a bedroom/spare room/etc in your home is being uber-paranoid, IMO.
    As a UL listed appliance, I didn't ask or tell my insurance company I installed it...just as I didn't tell them I run 4000 watts (or more) of grow lights in my garage that draw 40+ amps of power when in operation.
    I would be more concerned with fumes from the kiln/off-gassing of glaze/etc. than with a fire.
    But that's just me....someone who doesn't usually fall into place all that readily....
    good luck gettin' it hooked up and firing!
  9. Downvote
    GEP reacted to teardrop in BUY Local Pottery   
    Best of luck in the endeavor, nancy! Definitely an idea whose time has come...yet again.
    The market we will be participating in encourages local and regional wares and local craftsfolk/artisans of all types and the markets are well attended each weekend by locals and tourists alike. It definitely represents the beating heart of our community and region vs. the shops and galleries "in town" which host unrealistically high-priced artwork from all over the globe or bring everything in from China as you described the shops around you also doing. It's insane to see your town's name emblazened on some tourist trap crap from China when you know there are people struggling to get their art/crafts/klunkery out there who make handmade items that are of a higher quality and have some actual SOUL!
    Bang that drum...bang that drum! Very exciting stuff!
  10. Like
    GEP reacted to neilestrick in ingredients   
    Gillespie Borate is identical to Gerstley Borate on paper. The problem is that Gerstley is the most inconsistent material we potters use. People in industry laugh when they hear that we use it. It was originally mined for the roofing tile industry, who didn't require the level of consistency that we need in glazes. Potters started using it because it was a cheap source of non-soluble boron, and had great suspension qualities. As they worked through the mine, the formula of Gerstley would change, and everyone's glazes would look different. There was even a year or two in the 80's when it got so bad that a lot of potters stopped using it. If you search for formulas for Gerstley to put into your glaze calculation software, you'll find a dozen different answers.
    Gillespie Borate is based on one of those formulas, and can be used as a direct substitute. However, most people find that it is a bit stronger than Gerstley, meaning you might need to use about 3% less in any given recipe. The good news is that, as a frit, it will be 100% consistent from batch to batch. So once you get it worked out in your recipe, you'll never have to reformulate it again. And it's cheaper than Ferro frits!
    If you compare the formulas of Gillespie Borate and Ferro 3134, you'll see there are some significant differences:
    Gillespie Borate
    11.8% SiO2
    1.7% Al2O3
    24.5% B2O3
    23% CaO
    3.9% MgO
    3.77% Na2O
    0.45% SrO
    0.01% K2O
    30.9% LOI
    Ferro 3134
    10.3% Na2O Soda
    20.1% CaO Calcium
    23.1% B2O3 Borate
    46.5% SiO2 Silica Oxide
  11. Like
    GEP reacted to Kabe in Are we living in the past   
    I think this is a great disscusion. I want to add a small thought on Buy Local. Our annual Farmers market will be starting soon here in North MO. where farmers bring thier stuff to be sold to a local mall area and set up. Produce, some craft stuff, food and cheese. I am going to try to set up a way for them to display their produce in some of my bowls, maybe see if some large bread making bowls could be be peddled by the bread lady or by a group selling organic flour. My large bowl comes with all the ingredience to make some bread,a package deal. Some deviled egg trays with the egg salesman. maybe some pie plates with a pie in it. Salsa bowls, Casserol dishes you get the idea. I am thinking that the market could be like a mini gallery. I get my stuff shown, hopefully sell a pot or two, they get a chance to make a little profit from my work just for using it. "Where did you get that Bowl?" " Oh I got it at the farmers market." Word of mouth can be good. I would have to keep track of who has what, but a digital camera would simplify some of that. I am hoping that I can find a way to have product there but I don,t have to set up a spot myself. I'm sure you could lose a bowl or two but you could figure in giving some work to the venders for selling your work, they would be the ones hauling it around. I believe you get back what you put out. If I put out trust and I will get trust back. Still in the idea stage but it seems good on paper. I think this would help to promote ceramics locally. Maybe someone else can up their summer sales through a farmers market. I think I have Chris to thank for the idea the seed was planted through her Local Marketing push. Ain't clay fun Kabe
  12. Downvote
    GEP reacted to ThisIsMelissa in Shoulder Tendonitis/Bursitis   
    I'm too young to have these kinds of issues!
    Since I got my wheel at home, I'm noticing that my right shoulder has an ache.... kinda right inside the joint and sometimes the dull pain goes down to my elbow.
    I'm 100% certain it's related to more time on the wheel. I asked my friend, an orthopedist's assistant, about it, she said it was probably tendonitis/bursitis of that shoulder tendon/bursa.... But there's not a lot that can be done, short of surgery, which I'm not anywhere close to needing.... that, and NSAID pain relievers (Advil does help).
    Surely, some of you all suffer from the same issues. Does anyone know any exercises that can help reduce stress on that joint? I'd rather not grow reliant on Advil. I don't like to take meds if I don't have to, and would prefer a more proactive route to helping with this.
  13. Like
    GEP reacted to LawPots in Shoulder Tendonitis/Bursitis   
    When I was a music major, it was clear to me that repetitive stress injuries are no joke, and need to be addressed. When i played, I had a tendinitis problem that led to numbness in my right pinky. Not good. My doctor gave me strengthing extercises, and i tried to reduce the pressure on my wrist. I've not played in years, I think this is partly due to the pain I had. In pottery, when I began to get pain in my left wrist (when centering) I wasted no time in changing my centering technique.
    But, I want to bring something up, here, about your post that strikes me as familiar. I know a couple of relatively young musicians that thought they had joint pain and bursitis from playing (in their fingers in one case, and back and shoulder pain in the case of my wife) that turned out to be something completely different. It was a wheat allergy.
    Why do I bring this up?
    1. You say you're too young (30s? 40s?) - bursitis and athritis isn't so common amoung younger people. So why jump to that?
    2. You are 100% certain it's your time on the wheel, but these musicians were 100% certain it was their time playing. They played all the time - of course that what it was; until, they found out it wasn't.
    3. You sound like you haven't actually gone in for a diagnosis . . .
    Good luck with this, obviously. Acupuncture works on horses, after all; physical therapy has plenty of success stories; even changing your techniques might solve your issue. But I suggest that you try to get a diagnosis from an experienced doctor. (Oh, if you quit eating wheat (bread, cookies, processed foods, ect.) for two weeks, and the pain goes away, that's probabbly the cause. No kidding.)
  14. Like
    GEP reacted to clay lover in Do you have a suggestion for a message about clay for a t-shirt or a bumper sticker? | April 8, 2012   
    I would love to have a good bumper sticker, I wish I could find the "Support your local Potter" one.
    I think it is important to have something that the non-potting public will understand, no potter lingo or the message to the general public is lost. I agree with nothing cute or funny, I am serious about my work and want other to respect what I do, It's not my 'hobby'.
    I saw a craft fair sign that said,"Buy Local, Buy Art"
  15. Like
    GEP reacted to phill in Recommendations for 10x10 canopy?   
    easy up...easy down
  16. Downvote
    GEP reacted to teardrop in How Much Do You Sell Your Mugs For?   
  17. Like
    GEP reacted to AmeriSwede in Terra Cotta   
    From my 12 years experience in the construction of wooden birdhouses for Sparrows, Parus major, Parus caeruleus, Blackbirds, White Wagtails and Tawny Owl, I would have to agree with the importance of researching into the size of hole and depth of birdhouse in order to assure the suitability and success for habitation. I used the Latin names (above & linked to Wikipedia) because this website censored out the common names I originally supplied (also used by the English speaking world as well as Wikipedia!) This always trying to maintain the politically correct aspect for the Puritans is total BS.....
    Anyway......I've maintained 15 birdhouses on our small property for the past 5 years and by researching and building to meet their needs, I have insured full habitation in each of these houses for the selected breeds throughout the entire year (except for the Wagtails who favor migrating to sunnier/warmer Africa for their winters).
    It's very important in construction of birdhouses that are intended for actual habitation, as Mossyrock mentioned, that a means is built-in that allows for easy clean-out on an annual basis. When I clean out my birdhouses, I can visually check on the brooding season's success. Normally these birds will have three to four broods of four to six eggs during one summer season. The clean-out will show each brood level (similar to a soil stratification/profile) with an occasional abrupt end of nesting if one of the young or fledgling has died in the nest, for some reason. Occasionally I've found one or two eggs in one of the lower levels that remained unhatched, as well. After the nesting season is completed, generally the bird house is too full of material for continued nesting the following year, hence the importance of vigilant yearly clean-out/maintenance.
    Our birds are most always finished with their last brood of nesting by early to mid-August. I wait until about the end of September (end of October for the Tawny Owl) to clean out the nesting boxes of old material and any insects, so that the birds will have ample time to gather fresh dried grasses, moss, etc. to rebuild their insulated winter nests, which I will witness them doing so within a couple of weeks. These birds continue to nest year round through the snowy and cold winter, while I supplement their feed with about 100 pounds of blended wild birdseed, tallow and apples. Some of our sparrows have nested continually in the same house for the past four years, so they are almost like family... Just this morning as I was taking sunflower seeds out to the feeder I noticed a little sparrow head poking out of its bird house awaiting its breakfast. No sooner had I closed the door, it and its mate were at the feeder indulging in vittles. This particular couple (pictured below during early August) has the best view of all our bird houses and are seen throughout the year just sitting together on their house, soaking in the rural ambiance. Being close and visible from the house it is also easy to keep tabs with their 'goings-on', as well.

    Note the size of the hole (in the picture) compared to the size of the sparrows. The hole is 25mm in diameter and from the appearance of the birds it looks to be too small. The birds are mostly feathers and air-filled lightweight bones and squeeze in quite easily. The small hole allows for greater security towards the young.
    I would add that it may be equally as important to furnish habitat during the winter, as well as the summer months, but this may be more specific to the particular region and type of birds the habitat is geared towards (ie, they being migratory or not).
    My thinking with constructing a ceramic birdhouse would be to at least glaze the exterior top to provide a more secure waterproof shelter if one desires to offer winter protection as well. But as Mossyrock pointed out, the size of the hole is imperative as well as the interior dimensions, if one desires to attract nesting birds. I've found that a hole varying just a few millimeters from the specific range of size required by a distinct species of bird can and will determine whether or not the birdhouse will have borders moving in. The actual finished size of these requirements need to be taken into consideration along with the appropriate compensation for clay shrinkage through the drying and firing cycles. Myself, I haven't built any ceramic birdhouses because I always have an abundance of scrap wood to build with and wood is a better insulator from heat and cold then ceramic. My wooden houses, I believe, tend to offer cozier habitats against our cooler climate here in Scandinavia.
    An additional note... Birdhouses do not need a post sticking out in front of the door for the birds to land on. I've never seen these even in the forests, where the birds find their natural nesting habitats as well. It is for the most part a detail that most avian aficionados would eliminate as it provides a perch for predators like magpies and squirrels to rest on, while feeding on eggs or young chicks.
  18. Like
    GEP got a reaction from sylvia (UK) in The dreaded S crack   
    Compression is definitely essential, but another common issue for throwers in their early years are uneven walls. In particular, new throwers tend to leave extra thickness near the transition between the floor and wall, or around the footring. When there's extra clay there, the thicker area dries more slowly, it is not shrinking as fast as the middle of the floor, and the floor splits open.
    Throw and trim a pot as usual, then take a cutting wire and cut it in half from bottom to top. Look at the cross- section to see if there are any thicker areas. I make all of my intermediate wheel students do this on a regular basis. They hate it, but it's important.
  19. Like
    GEP reacted to phill in Conversation   
    for art fairs i like to experiment. i like to see what i can get away with. some people dont like you to talk to them, but how the heck are you going to know who that is? i say who cares to them. most folks wont turn down a quick question to them, like, "wanna know why i like this cup?" or "can i tell you a quick story about that pot?"
    sometimes i want to run out of my booth and scream at the passerbys that they are missing the best art at the show! and when they pass tell them they are foolish for passing it up. i do tend to think more freely than i act. but i do love the idea of not trying to even get sales, but just trying to see how people react to a crazy person selling stuff. truth be told, ive always wanted to be completely zainy at a sale just to see what happens. of course im always bound by that cost of the show hanging over my head, but still. at least it would be entertaining. id go to that booth. id want to see what a crazy person makes.
  20. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Mark (Marko) Madrazo in To Blog or Not to Blog   
    Have you seen a significant difference in sales as a result?
    My sales have grown a lot since I began blogging, but I think that has to do with a lot of factors. I do think blogging has grown my mailing list by a lot.
    How long have you had it and how often do you post?
    Started in summer 2009. I post about twice a month.
    Do you follow any blogs and if so what keeps you comin back?
    http://whitneys-pottery.blogspot.com/ Whitney is incredibly smart, and a real human being. And a success story, I like to know what successful people are thinking.
    http://supportyourlo...r.blogspot.com/ Brandon covers teaching, wood-firing, and selling, lots of gorgeous pots.

    Blogging is not a formula for success, there are lots of boring/lazy/cliche blogs out there, I doubt those have any benefit to a business. So don't it because somebody said you should, do it because you have something to say.

  21. Downvote
    GEP got a reaction from Horace Dipthong in What tips about selling pottery at craft / pottery shows can you share? | Oct. 10, 2011   
    I think good salesmanship is a craft, just like working with clay. There are many different techniques, and different techniques work for different people. But I have two pieces of advice that apply to everyone:
    1. Don't be passive. You don't have to pounce upon or pressure customers like a used car salesman. But you should be present and engaging, the initiator of interactions. It's like being the host or hostess of a party. Make everyone feel welcome and comfortable.
    2. Put your price tags where a customers can easily find them. Nothing more annoying than having to ask for a price.
  22. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Carolyn Dorr in What tips about selling pottery at craft / pottery shows can you share? | Oct. 10, 2011   
    I think good salesmanship is a craft, just like working with clay. There are many different techniques, and different techniques work for different people. But I have two pieces of advice that apply to everyone:
    1. Don't be passive. You don't have to pounce upon or pressure customers like a used car salesman. But you should be present and engaging, the initiator of interactions. It's like being the host or hostess of a party. Make everyone feel welcome and comfortable.
    2. Put your price tags where a customers can easily find them. Nothing more annoying than having to ask for a price.
  23. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Carolyn Dorr in What will an archeologist say when they dig up your shards? | August 22, 2011   
    Here's what I'm hoping they'll say:
    "Hmmm. People were still making pottery by hand in the 21st century, long after the world was industrialized. Rather than doing it out of necessity, it looks like they redefined it as an art form and a traditional craft skill. Good for them!"
  24. Downvote
    GEP got a reaction from CarlCravens in How many people are using SQUARE for credit cards?   
    A reality check about the Square ....
    Why is Square charging so little for credit card processing, while all other processors are busy raising their fees, to cover the costs of new industry security standards?
    Because Square is operating at a big loss, which they can afford to do right now because they are flush with venture capital. At some point, they will be expected to turn a profit, which means they will need to charge you to use it. Probably $10 - $12/month, similar to other plans that are designed for small businesses. They hope you will be dependent on their device by the time they start asking you to pay for it.
    (if you use Netflix this story should sound familiar)
    So enjoy it while you can! And don't be surprised when it changes.
  25. Downvote
    GEP got a reaction from Horace Dipthong in If you were a piece of pottery, would you be sculptural or functional? Why? | Aug. 1, 2011   
    Definitely functional. I like the idea of being useful, but really my reasons are more selfish than noble, it's just that I would get really bored if I had nothing to do.
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