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About Stephen

  • Birthday 10/02/1960

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  1. I would slice some in half to see what is going on and when. Before coming off the bat, right off the bat, before trimming and after. I'm with Mark on the foam trimming bat being the culprit but maybe its just the angle of the picture. Seems like everyone covered lots of possibilities though so if you can narrow it down for certain when it is happening one of the causes might come into focus. Good luck! edit: I only use foam bats for things that are really only getting a little light clean up like cups and mugs. Anything that needs a foot trimmed in happens on hard bat.
  2. ha ha, this is Texas. We have some damn big ol grills and smokers. I think I will look around. Thanks!
  3. oh one thing I was going to ask you guys. I recently bought a new pellet grill and gave away to old char grill I had which was on wheels and cast iron. In reading a lot of how to's last night I did not see anyone suggest using an old cast iron smoker or grill lined with ceramic blanket to make a raku kiln. Has anyone ever seen a conversion doing this? Plenty of them are on wheels and even new only cost a few hundred and used are often free, Smokers in particular usually have a large rectangle box and swing door.
  4. Thanks everyone! We have decided at least for now to build a temp one and make sure we are really going to move to production. I don't weld but now might be a good time to learn
  5. Yeah, I did say that and meant it but the Olympic ones seem much more substantial for the dough. I does make me maybe re-think just building one. I have so much going on it just always seems counter productive to be building tools when that time can be spent making product but paying 3k for essentially a BBG grill body lined with a blanket and kiln shelf may be a little silly.
  6. great thread, thanks! In looking at the PP (I have their pug mill and its great) I have to wonder where the dough is though. It looks like a neat design but they want $350 for the propane burner setup and $2600 for what looks like a metal enclosure lined with ceramic blanket. Not meaning to dis it at all and looks like it works great just seems like a lot of dough for what it is. Looking at this I have to wonder if just lining a BBQ smoker enclosure would work just as well.
  7. hey those look nice, thanks! Events are fun but mostly just adding a raku for production so would prob roll out once every few days and do a series of firings. trading text right now with someone a few hours away that has an Olympic 23 that is set up for natural gas and I need propane. They seem to think I can just switch over to propane easily, need to verify with Olympic.
  8. We are adding a Raku kiln to the studio. Trying to decide what. Laguna and Olympic seem to be most common. Only use propane ones in past but see electric options. I get I can build one but just don't want to deal with it as it does not really seem to be production going that way. We have done raku so don't need to experiment with it, Just trying to decide which kiln and looking around for used as well as new. I am also not clear on size I see the Olympic 18" as a 3 cubic feet and the 23" as a 7 cf but can you stack shelves in raku in the same fashion as a standard kiln? I have always dealt with single shelf load where you then pull the pots every half an hour or so as kiln reaches 1000-1200 f and then load another round. Is the cf size just to indicate putting in large pots?
  9. Interested to see if the kiln guys say different but looks just fine. I get it these things are expensive but I would try not to be too protective of them, it will drive you crazy. They last for a really long time with normal wear and tear. Ours have lots of stuff like that and have never been an issue. You kiln is constantly going up to 2k degrees and cooling and the bricks expand and contract a bit each time so small cracks develop. Totally normal and hurt nothing.
  10. Hey Ronny, Ya know I am not sure this is the right place for manufacturing per se. You are using speech like 'I will' so I am assuming you did not make the pottery items currently in your online store but want to start making your own, is that correct? Do you or your mom currently make pottery? When I see the word manufacturing I think of a manufacturing process with lots of specialized equipment geared toward mass producing products. While that description does somewhat describe many of the folks here that make and sell pottery, most potters on this forum see themselves as part or full time artist/artisans and they either use a technique called slab building or wheel throwing to make pottery and a smaller group here that use slip casting. Most of us make scores or hundreds of things but we don't really mass produce anything. Slip casting would probably lend itself more to making many multiples of one vase design though so that might be the one you key on. Plenty of potters use all three methods depending on what it is and how they sell them. None of this may be relevant if what you want to do is have a little mini factory making thousands of each design. If however you want to start smallish, those three terms 'wheel throwing', 'slab building' and 'slip casting' in google and/or here on this board under the search bar should get you started reading on pottery processes so you can decide how you want to make your pottery. You can also go to YouTube and watch videos on all of those methods. It is possible to teach yourself how to make pottery but it takes a lot of practice and repetition to become skilled. If there are any pottery classes in your area I would jump at that if I were you because then someone will get you grounded and help you get to a starting point. If there are no classes close by then on YouTube there are a number of potters who do video classes and many, if not most, are free. Good luck, have fun!
  11. Road shows really add up even if you are camping or staying with someone. If a show cost a couple hundred booth fee and then you spend even another $500-$600 doing it then the first $800 of pots is just to cover those cost. Now add in the materials and time you spend making and that number goes up and then add in the actual time of doing the show (easily 30 plus hours for a weekend show) and take that now 2-3 thousand dollar number and divide it by the average price of one of your pots. That's how many pots have to sell before it means anything at all to you financially. You still have the time and material investment in the local shows but after the booth fee and materials you can at least convince yourself that the fun of doing it was worth working for low wages if sales are slow. Sow shows on the road mean that you actually cough up hundreds of dollars to do the show on top of low wages. I would stay within driving distance of your home if at all possible until you really feel like you have it figured out. If you do have to go on the road try and make it as cheap as possible until you feel like you know how the numbers will turn out. Some of the guys here have done the same shows for years and years so they can budget based on what they usually do, be very careful until you can do the same. Two or three bad shows in a row can mean basically giving away hundreds and hundreds of pots and paying cash money out the door for the privilege of doing it.
  12. I will say that it is not unusual that your online pottery site has not sold many pots. From what I can gather from others here not many have actually sold much online other than to their existing customers. The pandemic I think has changed that dynamic a bit though so it will be interesting if the potters here that have some activity on their sites during the pandemic will continue to get sales at the same pace after the vaccines kick in and people start venturing back out.
  13. While I do understand what manufacturing means I guess I would ask you to clarify. Do you mean renting/buying a large building and putting ceramic manufacturing processes in place to produce these pots with both labor and machines or do you mean you want to make your living from making these pots in your studio yourself and sell them?
  14. I did it from the Seattle area down to Texas a few years ago both with a couple of kilns (skutt 1027 and a 9cf oval) and a pug mill was among the other stuff. I had zero damage in a rented moving truck. Neil or someone recommended getting the 4" foam insulation sheets at Lowes and cutting in half and putting one top and bottom and strapping the kilns in. Did that and packed everything else carefully and everything was just fine. I didn't put the insulation between the rings or wrap with plastic wrap but that certainly seems fine to do as well. I was careful to strap top and bottom tight but not so tight it would be crushing, just good and snug. Also made sure the pallets they were on couldn't move around and that nothing could come crashing into the kilns by roping it off really well. Driving myself I felt every bump and pot hole I hit and feared the worse since the oval kiln was older and the bottom already had usage cracks but all worked out fine. No way though I would have let anyone move my studio. Maybe it would be fine but the times I have had movers they just kind of take over and it seems like it would be hard to get them to really do it right. I have had a hard time convincing trades workers that the kilns are not one piece and cannot be shoved to one side as everyone thinks its fine to sit stuff on them. Me, I wouldn't let any movers near my pottery or woodshop stuff. If you have too then I would go marks route and pack all the stuff in a wooden crate.
  15. Ya know I wouldn't stress to much more on the site. I know some people here are doing more from their sites since the pandemic but the verdict is still out on if that will continue. As far as I can tell before that no one here really made any (much) money from their website's and most pottery websites are more of a brochure than selling platform. If I were you, based on your original post, I would call it good for now and concentrate on the stuff that will make a difference in your new business. Like Callie said the site is an ongoing project and you can always come back and dink around with it some more when everything else has settled down. Just my two cents.
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