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Everything posted by Stephen

  1. Have you had any glaze issues on your pots at 400?
  2. one thing I will add is that I would approach the landlord situation very carefully. Verbal agreements can go sideways so easily. If I were in your shoes and the rent concession was a big part of what made staying in business attractive I would ask for a revised lease reflecting the new agreed upon terms. Essentially this person is making an offer to you that I assume he/she feels is a good business decision in order to keep a good tenant and putting it in writing should not be a problem. If it is then it means that want to remain flexible and that would/could put you in a bad situation down
  3. Hey your doing great from my perspective. You are taking a hard look at where you have been and where you are going and weighing all the pros and cons. Coming on a board like this and tapping into a back and forth with a bunch of people that likely understand your business better than many pros you could tap for a fee is very smart. I think your definition of failing is a little off. Plenty of businesses fail through absolutely no fault of their own. All kinds of things happen that just blindside you and have nothing to do with your business acumen or how well you were executing your pla
  4. It will feel great to walk away if you have been super stressed but it's one of your crossroads in life, we all have them and the path you take will prob define you for a while. Nothing wrong with failing, nothing at all and only you can call it. Failing though really doesn't involve a choice. It's more like "if I don't get my stuff out today there may be a pad lock on the door tomorrow" kind of thing. Should someone go that far? I would say yeah because here's the thing, lots and lots of businesses run on air more often than not in the early years and the juggling and late nights pulls t
  5. Ok one other piece of possibly unhelpful advice. If you can manage to keep the studio in place for yourself then the one thing you can do while this is going on is make tons of product. When this does pass and shows come back on line then that huge buildup of product will have value, possibly a lot of value and then maybe a strong show season around your re-opened shop could make you whole on the debt.
  6. Ya know I am sure this is unhelpful advice but have you spoken to your landlord? Its not like they are likely to have someone take the spot right away. Maybe explain the situation and see if they will agree to move the idle months commitment to the end of lease and give you an open month to get revenue moving again. Since you already have a plan in action a conversation couldn't hurt and since this situation is so fluid they may have changed their tune even if you have spoken to them b4. Just a thought. So sorry to hear of both yours and Neils troubles.
  7. are you sure that this is not referring to wax resist? Many people will put wax on the areas they don't want glaze to be such as the bottom of a pot. My partner also uses it as a method of decoration. For example she might use glaze/underglaze or stains on leaves and then cover that with wax and then dip the entire pot in a dipping glaze. The wax will resist the glaze and will burn off in the glaze firing. Nice look and faster and less hassle than trying to keep it all separate during application.
  8. second that, it's just going to be brittle because the clay is not vitrified and I think wax would just wear off over time and the pot will just end up with no finish eventually as well. Why not just dip it in or brush on a clear glaze and do a glaze firing?
  9. sure it can be done but it sounds like you need to do much more research before you do it. I would use this thread as a start but I would also surf on things like kiln safety and make sure you really get it. Also I would never go to bed with a running kiln inside my house without checking on it regularily. here a good primer u might read https://ceramic.school/kiln-location/
  10. ya know I get it, I'm a thirty-five year IT guy and a gadget person so it's always fun to consider this stuff but man you could be setting yourself up for a huge distraction from your 2 passions and before you know it its been a couple of years since you made any pots. I know I do this stuff to relax after spending 8-9 hours programming all day. If I were you before I went down the electric kiln route I would maybe take Hulk's advice and explore a propane conversion if you can score an old kiln to gut or maybe a small wood kiln. I can't remember the book off hand and my copy is buried som
  11. I wouldn't say it's a bad practice or even a bad decision. It's just a decision. It's cheap to fire an electric kiln for me where I am at and I personally don't blink at firing a half load if I need to. My partner hates to do it but she's cheap Yeah it cost maybe a bit more per pot but its still cheap. If I were you I would just take this opportunity to get your electric bill out and using the link below try to figure out just how much it cost you to fire your kiln. You can probably get to a pretty good guesstimate on electricity and then add in that you will likely need a set of e
  12. yep, as I said the others are on regular stands and they have all been fine. The larger oval has spent well over 10 years on one and they all have the hairline cracks from the bricks heating and cooling BUT the Skutt stand on wheels is very convenient since I can easily move it around and I have to agree with Mark, because its so solid and wraps around the whole kiln it just feels better have that big one under there and it will hold that kiln forever . but it do cost close to $400 so there is that.
  13. I have have never ever left my lid propped at all on my 12"x 14" un-vented test kiln. I just leave the 1st peep out until about a 1000 and plug it. Propping the lid just seems absurd on a little kiln like that. I have used it that way for 10 years and never seen an issue and it fires exactly like the 7 and 9cf kilns. edit: it runs on a Bartlett electronic controller usually slow bisque to 04 and slow glaze to cone 5 with 20 minute soak. As I said it has no trouble duplicating the larger kiln. The only difference is that all of them ramp down as they cool to 1200 and then cools on its own
  14. While I certainly don't see anything wrong with 2nd hand I personally see plenty of upside to buying new stuff if you can afford it. All of our stuff was new when we bought it and the upside was that each item was matched to what we thought our needs were and then I researched to find the best I could afford that would meet that need. Buying used can work out that way if you are then willing to sit and wait after all the research for the right thing to come along but more often than not buying used means just buying whatever is available that comes close. Since even really old pottery stuff la
  15. Maybe consider buying the Skutt stand that goes with the 1027. That thing I think could hold a tank. The nearly $400 price tag seemed a bit high at the time but don't regret it at all. It fits the kiln perfectly and the wheels are great. If you do get it don't get confused about the wheels. You really can't just roll it around because of the venting BUT you can roll it out of the way or change location really easily without disassembly and reassembly and that is really nice. I get it. After shelling out almost three grand it seems like something broke. We have a big stand underneath but I
  16. have also had success with re-firing for small defects. Bill and your friend may well be right if trying to do something big. The most common for us is when the glaze missed a spot. The glaze will run though so if say a mug ran just right in first firing then it may be too close to the bottom of mug to refire. Saving a couple bucks in material and ten bucks labor is not worth dealing with a glaze drip on kiln shelf. In addition to making sure no dust on bisque you might also consider firing to cone 5 and adding a 20-30 minute hold and use heat work to get to cone 6. That seemed to clear up a l
  17. Maybe evaluate just what you throw and try to figure out if you think you will really have much of a limitation. Below is a link to a chart from the Lakewood Pottery FAQs I used as a gauge when I first started throwing. We use a couple of Shimpo Whisperers which some say have low torque for really big pots but since we rarely throw large pots we haven't noticed. Nothing on this list even reaches 6lbs. I love the Shimpo Whisperer because I'm hard of hearing and they are really quiet and I assume folks love the Lite because it can be moved around easier at only 50lbs. I guess what I am sayi
  18. wow, I didn't know that. Will have to check it out here in Texas (unlikely) and everyone should consider doing that if they ever go full time. Its not a huge sum of money (I've paid it as part of my payroll) and if you go under but manage to put in enough quarters it will help keep the wolf away from the door while you figure out a plan B.
  19. Well when you retire you get the self employment tax back because it's the employee and employer portion of payroll for social security and medicare. I have never understood why they don't collect unemployment insurance with that tax that for people who close their businesses though.
  20. Ur right, hadn't really thought that part through. With 2 of us we prob put in close to 80 hours of work, 70 at least on the shows that run 9-10 hours with early in time. But I don't spend all that much of the time really working past load in and load out. Most of the rest is fairly enjoyable as long as the weather is nice. So there's that :-)
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. well that sucks. Have you been candling wet or damp bisque loads?
  24. 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 an
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