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About Stephen

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  • Birthday 10/02/1960

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  1. Seems right to me. A couple grand in a weekend show (good/great show for us) would be a 75-80 shipping events not to mention all the cost of running the ads to get people to the site to buy and the zillion emails involved. Pottery is just so involved to make that if all your sales came from online then you functional limit of what you can make and sell seems like it would go way down. Dunno though maybe you just get so good at packing boxes and answering emails that it levels out? It does seem like the folks here that have done it all quit though citing to little return for too much work.
  2. ya know I don't really get why you feel it has to be geared toward the hobby market. Commercial markets may already have options but yours may be able to compete and over time rise to the top and if its cheaper it may also have some appeal with some studio potters as well. While disrupting markets is powerful and the holy grail of bringing products to market its not essential. Taking a seat at the table and then starting the sell, redesign, sell, redesign cycle is very doable and will lead to opportunities that come from becoming a part of the market you sell in. You also gain name recognition and reputation with time. New is only new for a while and existing companies often fade and new ones take their place. Now if you will excuse me I need to go check my MySpace account and try and get my Blackberry to go online with the new no name router.
  3. well that sucks. Have you been candling wet or damp bisque loads?
  4. hey for the first time in ages I went and filed my taxes before the week of the deadline. I don't know why I procrastinate till the last minute every year. After hearing about it so much this week and last I just grabbed my folder at 5 and logged into Turbo Tax and was done by 8. After using them for the past 7 years they are a breeze since everything is there and all I have to do is update it. I do the small business self employed edition to handle both the day job and the pottery business and a years worth of receipts and a square revenue report took me less than two hours on the business and most of that was just organizing and working slowly. We always make noises about hiring an accountant to take this over but other than the first year setting up everything for depreciation and getting all the categories in place for the business these tax packages make it really simple. Hope your tax day is calm and relaxing as well.
  5. ha ha, get that. Hey just tape a piece of paper on the wall by kiln (not too close :-) and just date at line when you fire and jot down bisque or glaze and firing time. Only need more if you do something different such as long hold or fast fire. Setting up cone packs can be a bit of a bother and I admit we only do it about half the time these days but it really does help to know exactly what each shelf fired to if you are trying to figure out certain glaze issues. Packed or loose will effect the temp on a shelf and some just fire differently from top shelf to bottom shelf. Once you know the kiln you can then pack accordingly for best results. Some people just do it occasionally or if they are in the situation you are in now. In any event they will get to the bottom of what the kilns doing so you know your next move. Hey nice pots!
  6. Thanks Mark, they are press molds for tiles. They need to all stay the same size. I have ditched air release molds so need a lot more press molds so I can still make large batches. Just adding as I go.
  7. so you think in direct sunlight or just back patio with air flow is good? Do have fans but they are an hour away in storage :-) On the warping, not sure which post but the one that mentioned drying in sunlight put on narrow edge to avoid warping in parens,
  8. I have normally been able to just let newly poured molds sit around for a week or two before using so this has not been an issue but I have a few new ones from yesterday that I am anxious to use. I did read several comments and in one from 7 years ago someone said it was fine to just put them out in the sum, standing on end so they don't warp. I only saw one person say that. Is that an OK way to do it. Today is supposed to get into low 90's but 70% humidity. Tomorrow is mid 90's clear sky with low humidity. Appreciate input.
  9. Forgive me if I'm talking down. You mentioned you just got the kiln and I am assuming this is all new to you. If it tripped an 06 cone (1800+) then the meters wrong and it got to 1800-1825 depending on ramp, not 1200. I would just run a light test load with cone packs and see whats your kilns firing to without a doubt and toss the old meter. Maybe run some glaze experiments on some quickly thrown pots so you have something useful if the kiln does hit temp. Normally you would put a pack of one cone lower, one dead on and one higher ( 5, 6 & 7 for cone 6 for example) but you might want to put some lower range ones so you can zero in if it fails to hit the lowest one. If the elements are shot then it might not get to cone 6 or even 5. Not sure if 11 hours is long enough to wait with your kiln or not, maybe wait 13, 14 and then give up and evaluate you cones. If a cone is bent half over then it hit that temp in heat work, The vent or propped lid, any hold or candle time and when you clicked through the knobs I think all play into that and since you have never done a glaze firing with this kiln you don't know your kiln and how long it should take. Start a log so you can track how/what its doing. If you do this and start having some glaze issues it will help a lot and it also will show you if over time the elements are starting to go and it is having trouble reaching temp. If that's the problem now and you need to change elements then the new elements will prob last around 100-150 bisque/glaze firings but some people get a lot more and some less so the log will help you dial it in.
  10. I readily concede that old kilns last a long time if they are kept in top condition. Of course the flip side of that is that if you invest in a new kiln now and keep it in top condition it may well last you for the rest of your life so unlike something like a new car there is value in that. Shortly after I started this thread I came to the decision that it was worth it to me to just buy a new one. That was a few years ago and I got a new Skutt 1027 for just under $2500 with vent and tax and I picked it up and drove it 2 thousand miles to Texas. The used ones I found that had electronic controllers (non starter for me) were a grand or so the savings would have been around $1500 and I put the first miles on it. Since a lot of used kilns will need a new set of elements sooner than later and maybe some minor repairs the extra cost was probably really under a grand when alls said and done. At least that is how I justified it In addition to starting with a new kiln I also was able to pick out the right kiln for me. Shopping the used market I was pretty much trapped in whatever was available and since I was adamant about having an electronic controller that meant little choice (the cost of external controllers or the retrofits available at the time really made buying new a no brainier). All of that said if I was broke I would get the best $200 manual kiln I could find and move on.
  11. wha ya know if you have made up your mind I would try and get it done today. I think a lot more things will grind to a halt this week.
  12. ha ha, I have never been a late filer. I only worry about taxes one day a year, april 14th. This year its July 14th but my taxes are always filed on time.
  13. I would suggest calling library or going to their website to see if the have digital books available, many do and if so I bet they also have a kindle tutorial on checking out their books. don't know about tutorials but I use the fire's as my tablet. We use Amazon delivery enough to justify the price of Amazon prime so I also get access to the prime video's. For $10 a month you can subscribe to unlimited library. Lots of Indie pubs here but there are over a million book available and no extra charges. I signed up for a three month 99 cent intro in Jan and I think I will renew. Lot of junk but good stuff too and I like being able to just start reading and just go to another if it doesn't grab me.feel free to pm me with a question and I can look on mine and try and help. edit: Here's a link on the current free 2 month trial, can't beat free. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://moneysavingmom.com/hot-kindle-unlimited-trial-deal/&ved=2ahUKEwiF_NTx56voAhUGC6wKHbTXAuMQFjAJegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw0PqPgvejbA-XLYAcnDOMMh
  14. ha ha, when ur my age u are one of the young guys :-)
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