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Everything posted by Stephen

  1. Hey good luck! Ya know from everything I read the mask will/may make all the difference. Even if one of your students becomes infected you and everyone else may escape getting it. It's that couple of days that people have it before they get sick that is the problem because they have no idea. Is it possible for you to go to a testing place and get one of the fast test should one of your students get it and avoid the two week closure if you get exposed?
  2. yeah the younger crowd is out in force around here. We ventured out to diner on Wednesday but lack of mask is concerning. In the place we went the server and other people in place didn't have any on. It was slow but the server was chatty and if he had I'm sure we do now. Chance of getting it from someone with a mask on is apparently 3% but goes to 70% without one. We've decided to call ahead from here on out and make sure servers have mask. They seem to be the highest risk. No its not the canton one but I think all/most of these around Texas are going to mostly do the rest of their scheduled shows but interesting to see 2 doing catch-up shows. Hell our Lt Governor paid the fine of a business that opened against his own order so I don't think the state is going to get in anyone's way.. We are going to just concentrate on getting some more wholesale accounts and work on product development while this thing works itself out. Sitting in a booth with a mask on all weekend and dealing with all the risk of hundreds of people coming and going, mostly without mask just seems like a bad idea for a couple of 60 year olds.
  3. I hardly ever use it anymore. I like using a foam bat so much more. With sharpie rings at almost every conceivable size it seems so much more convenient but I prob don't make near the number of different forms that need trimming that many of you guys make (A lot of mugs and cups) and trimming is really just a minute or two hit and the GG also seemed to be more likely to cause slight warping for me (my error I am sure) and take more time than it was worth to setup. Ditto with wads of clay. The foam with a light hand to steady just seems to work really well.
  4. Sounds bad. There might be a flip side to this though you didn't hear, or not. Thanks for the rant. I think that every business needs to have clear policies and routines for how a damaged item is dealt with and follow that routine. Etsy requires it and they tilt to customers over vendors and too many complaints will get you thrown off the platform. We sell mostly in person but have shipped from time to time and have never had a problem. Everything is double boxed and heavily wrapped. That seems like the way to go with pottery. Seems like pictures can suffice instead of returns if you can tell its your pot but I don't think its unreasonable for someone to want the damaged item back if they feel like they can't tell. There really are a lot of scammers out there so I would feel a need to determine that it really happened if it was a one off order to a customer with no history. That seems fair. Not thrilled with people that can't be bothered with a process. It happened to both of us. Sometimes life sucks and we all have to deal with stuff like this. All of that said if it was a mug or two would likely just ship a new one . The few custom orders we have done usually involved extras anyway so I think sometimes you might just be able to send them the backup you made.
  5. Hope the shot buys you some time, good luck! Maybe layoff the pottery for a bit and go on some dives instead. Maybe a dive shop instead of car sales though fir that next life. You don't strike me as the new car type so it might be a tough living for you doing that. Bet you could move a new pair of tanks though.
  6. not in Texas. Texas cities and small towns have what they call trading days once a month. The practice dates back to the 1800's where once a month everyone from the countryside came into the city center or county seat from the countryside with whatever they wanted to sell or buy. It was also when the clerks made the rounds to record things sold and such. Many of them are really just big flea markets but some of the ones in areas that have lots of tourist are more upscale and run more like an art fair with a jury in process for local artist. Here where I am they had the may 3rd weekend show just sent out announcements that they are having a bonus show next weekend. Rest of summer shows on the calendar so I think they are planning on just doing all of them. We are not going to do them though. May don a mask and check out the bonus show just to see how they are handling it. My guess is we will just move on as so far everyone around here seems to want to just act like everything is back to normal with number of people wearing mask seeming to be low. I get the want but don't share the sentiment.
  7. ya know to us just waiting a year til this is over sounds fine but to a bunch of 20-24 year olds not so much. So many of them would just move on in life and spend the next 20 years saying they are going to go back. This is going to pass and in the mean time they can work on art history and theory.
  8. If you have the dough buy a pugmill mixer and just re-pug it when you have 20-30 pounds. I wouldn't worry too much about it all too much though. I know right now you are trashing a lot of pots but that will taper off as you get better. After about 6 months the amount of re-cycle you have I bet will taper off dramatically. I honestly think if I didn't have a pug mill I would just throw it out before I would spend a lot of time on recycle. I would rather be making stuff than messing around with clay.
  9. Congrats on the new spot! What's the routine and how do you get paid? Around here consignment seems to be 65-70% to artist and wholesale is 50-50.
  10. yeah it does not take much back and forth to take the profit right out of it does it. Cool though that your customers are missing you at the shows and want your mugs enough to jump through some hoops. They could go to dozens of ecom stores by great potters and buy mugs with a lot less hassle but they want yours..
  11. Hi Joylynn, one way I've found to alert a previous poster without private messaging is to click 'quote' from their last post. That will trigger an email to them if they don't come on the board often. Good luck with your new kiln!
  12. Hey good for you. Ya know the good part of making do with an older manual kiln with no instructions is that you will learn a lot about firing. Have fun!
  13. well it looks like no one has experience with your kiln so you might need to test yourself. Do you feel comfortable it is all setup properly and safe? I have a small test kiln and I leave the top peep out until about 1200 f but never prop lid. Such a small kiln will have trouble reaching temp with lid propped. Some people will leave lid propped on kilns during early temp rise for moisture to escape if pots are not completely bone dry. This is called 'candling' but not sure how effective that would be for a little kiln. I would do these early test with bone dry and mess with that later. The organic burn oft is why u leave out the top peep till around 1200f. Yes you can take out peep to check cones but I think u need to make sure you have the right safety glasses. Regular sunglasses are not the right ones. Mine has a controller so I don't use peep holes to do firing. Is there a kiln sitter or some other way to monitor temp? We use a soak to even out glaze melt but it does not drop temp. We glaze fire to cone 5 and then hold at that temp for 20 minutes. If you have a soak switch then I am guessing that holds temp. Our 20 minute hold causes our firing to be cone 6. You have to play with it but one cone is usually reached with 20-30 minutes holding the top temp, its called heat work. If your kiln is lower temp max than you want to fire u may be able to get there with the soak. I dont know anything about dropping the temp before soak so cant advise on that. Likewise the percentage is not something I use. Ya know if you feel comfortable the kiln is setup to fire safely then just going for it will give you a lot of info. Maybe just make some quick test tiles and bisque and then glaze fire. Log everything and put in a 3 cone pack for both firings so you know what happened. You cone pack should have the cone below and above the cone you desire. For example, cone 6 would have a 5, 6 & 7. Good luck. Maybe someone with experience using your kiln will post tomorrow.
  14. Porcelain might be a bit more durable as long as you fire it to maturity.
  15. didn't read all the post but we have 2 whisperers. They are quiet. I am hard of hearing so that really matters to me. Others like the louder wheels and there might be other reasons. If you throw really large pots then the torque might matter but if you throw what 99% of potters usually throw then the quality is prob fine for either as they are two of the most popular wheels for studio potters and numbers wise I think the shimpo is the number one wheel being bought.
  16. ha ha, I thought I remembered your post from years ago, just surfed and saw it and you really put it well both here and this one from 2013. Glass can and will explode off the clay, as they have incompatible COE. (Put simply, they expand and contract at different rates/ratios.) They're a ticking time-bomb. Protect yourself from explosions and litigation. Just don't do it. I think the vast majority of artist just don't know this and its a shame since it can be so dangerous down the road. I was told that often times on a piece that appears to work and is not handled much or moved around it might be years or maybe when its moved from one environment to another ie; dry room to wet or cold area to hot area. If it just cracks or crazes that one thing but if it falls off when handled or all over something like a food prep counter etc. anyway sure people read this and re-think it.
  17. nah, glaze is not glass and glass should never be used with pottery, functional or decorative. They each have different properties and they will not work together, ever. It's not a question of if they will separate but when and when it does there's likely a safety issue of some sort to deal with for the unlucky person dealing with the failure. Might be serious and really not worth the risk. I got this from a high level employee of one of the worlds largest art glass companies and they constantly tried to get people to take down instructions for mixing the two. Their product info on their website clearly warned artist not to do this. It's not an opinion it's a fact and it really frustrated them that often people wouldn't listen. Lots of cool glaze looks that are not dangerous to anyone.
  18. Ya know it is a prob a fine kiln for the right application just not really right for test firing pottery or even pottery beads. You don't really say why you picked the small one instead of a larger one but you are on the right path if you can't have a larger kiln or want a test kiln, just need to better match it up to what you are doing. I know prices have gone up but I only paid about $800ish for my small kiln a dozen years ago now and it fires no different than its big brother (9cf oval) with the same controller. The trick is the controller because otherwise it would just heat up really fast and cool really fast and that really doesn't work well as a test kiln or for most pottery glazes. The controller is also one reason the cost is so high as its the same one usually they put on the larger ones. My sister-in-law is a glass artist and has a huge kiln now but when she started out she was in a rental house and had a small 115v kiln with a controller like mine on a rolling cart (metal top) in a back bedroom and she fired that little kiln almost daily for a couple of years. Turned out a lot of work 2,3 pieces at a time. You just don't have much room so you are limited in size of pot is all. I can get 3 big mugs or so in a one shelf load and a couple of smallish GP bowls in a two shelf load. I use it a lot for test firing tiles these days but bought it for testing glaze recipes. Beads or jewelry pieces would be a perfect long term match. Small but certainly better than no kiln if you can't go bigger. Cone 8 will work for cone 6 firings (2 cones over regular firing) and might be easier to find if 115v is the reason you have to go small. For a test kiln I would even consider a cone 6 if you had too and fire to 4-5 with a 20-30 minute hold to get it to 6 with heat work for your mid range test work. The elements might/will wear a little more quickly and if you mostly do bead work then lower firing are fine for that. Good luck!
  19. we had one of those we gave away that was used for enameling. Also works to melt silver and gold. Not a pottery kiln. It does not 'fire' really just heats up. I have a 1cf Seattle Pottery kiln that we use for test firing and it is a cone 10 kiln that has a regular controller, couple of shelves and I think it is not much more in cost than that one. It does run on 110 with a dedicated 20amp plug. When you use one of these for a test kiln you generally want it to run a firing schedule that is exactly like your larger kiln so the results would be essentially the same.
  20. Maybe your thing is more art than functional. If this is just for fun with a sale every so often then you can do things however you want but If the mugs were good not sure I understand why you would smash them. I totally get why you might not make them again but good mugs are good mugs and people all have different taste. We have a one-off rack that always gets cleaned out first. People that like pottery seem to love to go through them and the unusual glaze looks that didn't hit the mark to repeat always seem to be coveted by someone and that's cool too .
  21. I would price what the market will pay and you can sometimes figure that out by surfing around and seeing what similar pots are selling for. Try to find a half a dozen and zero in on the middle/high side and see if your pots will sell at that. You can't just re-order so I think its important to only try to sell good pots for as much as you can. You say you make a lot and since you are new you might want to do a gut check and make sure that the pots you sell are pro quality. Don't talk yourself into a bad pot going out. If you have any question in your mind if a pot is good I would toss it because it really should be crystal to you that its a good pot and is product. Right now maybe a lot of pots get tossed and that's OK, just cull them out and only sell the good ones, that's your inventory. No one ever sees the bad. If you make pottery in any numbers then the next logical step is to sell your good stuff and toss the rest. Over time you will be tossing less and less so don't fret about it. Giving away pottery only works for so long and then you really have kind of taxed that. People can get overrun with your pottery and even get in an uncomfortable situation that even though they like your work they start feeling like they are becoming your personal gallery and start feeling pressured a bit. Congrads on the sales!
  22. It does! Thanks everyone. Great input. I do fire everything flat both bisque and glaze. In bisque though I stack them. My tiles are pressed and my routine so far has been to dry them for a couple of days between sheet rock and then a couple on solid ply shelf and then fire. Haven't had a lot of warping but those two racks of tiles referenced in this post were just left on a solid ply shelf for a few days and fired and they had that hump but they had been flat at one time so there is that. Been debating getting some wire racks for after the sheetrock but since mostly not many warping issues haven't done that and may not. I think it works ok because the sheetrock drying is pretty even and they are mostly dry after a few days.
  23. It absolutely is! One of the many reasons I like this board so much. I think I just showed a con for just buying new controller kilns in that they are so plug and go there is a lot I don't learn about firing until I have an issue. We did actually program the schedules in each but then have just used those for years and haven't had to make any adjustments with our kilns but now I know about this and so if I am trouble shooting this will help. One of our kilns is a Skutt 1027 and is what they had for the tc offset in the manul: THERMOCOUPLE OFFSETS It is possible to make individual sections of the kiln fire hotter or cooler by using this feature. The maximum offset that can be used is 50 degrees. This feature can be used to fine tune the kiln using pyrometric cones on shelves in the various sections. In most cases it is not necessary to offset the thermocouples and if done wrong it can cause firing problems which are difficult to diagnose. Please contact the factory to attain instructions for this feature
  24. ah crap, u guys have now cost me a couple of hours. Never heard of offset and now I have to go and surf on it and that always leads to more surfing and eventually I may even end up in YouTube hell. Thanks a lot.
  25. I do a lot of tiles and have always tossed slightly warped tiles before bisque into a recycle bucket (which I never recycle). I had a couple of shelves of tiles that many had a hump to them due to not drying them the way I normally do (Sheetrock top and bottom for a couple of days) Because I wanted to try some test glazing I didn't toss these and to my surprise many of them (porcelain) came out of bisque perfectly flat and even more completely flattened out during glaze firing. Only a few remained warped and those were almost flat. Now they were not just way off to start but the hump was very noticeable, prob as much as an 1/8" and affected prob 70% of the tile. This has me scratching my head and re-thinking culling much before bisque. I seldom recycle dry clay anyway. Drives my partner nuts so she makes me put it in buckets but I ignore it when pugging. Anyone else experience this with porcelain? It is JG-6 from clay art center (billed as a throwing porcelain) cone 4-6, bisque 05 and fired cone 5 with 20 minute hold in heat work. Makes me want to just fire flatware through before judging.
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