Jump to content

Stephen

Members
  • Content Count

    989
  • Joined

  • Last visited


Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Mark:Selling pendants online in retirement   
    Ya know while it is possible to drive generic traffic to sites I think really most potters that sell much through their websites probably are out in front of customers all the time and the website becomes an extension. In the old days repeat customers would pick up the phone but these days drop by the site. Facebook pushes of kiln openings and new pots. Show customers picking up cards. They know the potter and the pottery already. 
  2. Like
    Stephen reacted to JohnnyK in Crash Cooling...Deliberately   
    There is nothing to stop you from doing anything, Curt...If it is a fibre kiln, I would guess that you are firing with gas. I would also guess that it is going to take less time to get it up to cone 10 than a kiln with bricks. It should also cool down faster than a brick kiln. So again guessing that the kiln is easy to open (like a Raku kiln), why not just open it to the atmosphere and ambient temp?
    In ceramics you constantly hear the mantra "TEST, TEST, TEST"...Just try what you want and look at it as another test. You'll find out soon enough what works and what doesn't...
    JohnnyK
  3. Like
    Stephen reacted to Mark C. in Bailey System 3 Power Drive extruder   
    I feel an extruder is not the best tool for tile.To many ways for it to warp from the barrel to the table.
  4. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Bill Kielb in New to the Business   
    Ya know you have two problems, process and business. I would look for slip casting classes. While pottery classes for folks working in ceramics is a good thing it sounds like this is a slip cast business so a pottery class may have very negligible value if you are planning to keep this business going as is and may well just get you all confused about it all. You are not trying to decide on the direction to go with pottery,  you want to know how to use the stuff you have. A generic pottery class would be fun and certainly dial you in on working with clay forms but slip casting is not the same thing and the class may not even cover it at all or just clip past it quickly and running electric kilns may also not be covered in any kind of depth. 
    If I were you I would go on an information blitz, watching every you tube video I could find on slip casting and order any books you can find on amazon. You already have all the equipment so using the that information you should be able to get going. Sometimes it is good to just go at it. If she has not fired those kilns in a very long time it might make sense to have a kiln person or at least an electrician check them out for safety before you start using them. 
    Has the business been running right up until now? I mean are clients expecting delivery of products or is just just a case where she had run this business in the past so all of the equipment is still there? You mentioned a Christmas tree mold but it's mid October so unless you are planning to man a booth at some Xmas shows Xmas buying by businesses I think is long over unless she has some orders already.
    Good luck!
  5. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from LeeU in New to the Business   
    Ya know you have two problems, process and business. I would look for slip casting classes. While pottery classes for folks working in ceramics is a good thing it sounds like this is a slip cast business so a pottery class may have very negligible value if you are planning to keep this business going as is and may well just get you all confused about it all. You are not trying to decide on the direction to go with pottery,  you want to know how to use the stuff you have. A generic pottery class would be fun and certainly dial you in on working with clay forms but slip casting is not the same thing and the class may not even cover it at all or just clip past it quickly and running electric kilns may also not be covered in any kind of depth. 
    If I were you I would go on an information blitz, watching every you tube video I could find on slip casting and order any books you can find on amazon. You already have all the equipment so using the that information you should be able to get going. Sometimes it is good to just go at it. If she has not fired those kilns in a very long time it might make sense to have a kiln person or at least an electrician check them out for safety before you start using them. 
    Has the business been running right up until now? I mean are clients expecting delivery of products or is just just a case where she had run this business in the past so all of the equipment is still there? You mentioned a Christmas tree mold but it's mid October so unless you are planning to man a booth at some Xmas shows Xmas buying by businesses I think is long over unless she has some orders already.
    Good luck!
  6. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Benzine in New to the Business   
    Ya know you have two problems, process and business. I would look for slip casting classes. While pottery classes for folks working in ceramics is a good thing it sounds like this is a slip cast business so a pottery class may have very negligible value if you are planning to keep this business going as is and may well just get you all confused about it all. You are not trying to decide on the direction to go with pottery,  you want to know how to use the stuff you have. A generic pottery class would be fun and certainly dial you in on working with clay forms but slip casting is not the same thing and the class may not even cover it at all or just clip past it quickly and running electric kilns may also not be covered in any kind of depth. 
    If I were you I would go on an information blitz, watching every you tube video I could find on slip casting and order any books you can find on amazon. You already have all the equipment so using the that information you should be able to get going. Sometimes it is good to just go at it. If she has not fired those kilns in a very long time it might make sense to have a kiln person or at least an electrician check them out for safety before you start using them. 
    Has the business been running right up until now? I mean are clients expecting delivery of products or is just just a case where she had run this business in the past so all of the equipment is still there? You mentioned a Christmas tree mold but it's mid October so unless you are planning to man a booth at some Xmas shows Xmas buying by businesses I think is long over unless she has some orders already.
    Good luck!
  7. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Mark:Selling pendants online in retirement   
    Ya know that might be right on but then you are driving your customers to a large platform with lots and lots of cheap imported machine alternatives to what you sell. I can't really wrap my head around that being a good thing to do. I did set up a store last year one rainy Sunday with bank accounts and such and a few products loaded and a link from my site to it but having trouble getting motivated to load more. Everyone seems to talk about a perceived value  of having a store there but no one these days seems to ever talk about making any money from it.  Lee if you're wondering it really is just a few hours or less process to get it all setup. Since you sell on your regular site you can just use the same pictures and blurps. They do charge though per product so to have 40-50 items up is like paying for another website.
    edit: when I say no one and everybody I am talking about potters. I get that a bunch of people make money on etsy.
  8. Like
    Stephen reacted to Mark C. in Bailey System 3 Power Drive extruder   
    I have seen that bailey extruder at a studio near SF but have no info on its use.I would call Bailey and talk story.
  9. Like
    Stephen reacted to oldlady in Bailey System 3 Power Drive extruder   
    two things.   contact bailey and talk to their expert on the actual machine you are thinking about buying.   it is in their interest to fully inform you so you can make a correct decision.  talk on the phone.   they welcome that interaction
     second,   do you have a  Harbor Freight  store near you?   they sell presses that have been adapted by handy persons to do tile pressing.  costs under $200.
  10. Like
    Stephen reacted to Marcia Selsor in Bailey System 3 Power Drive extruder   
    I have built 2 tile presses from Frank Giogini's Tile book design. One for me and one for the classroom.
    They are especially good for pressed plaster molds with incised designs.
    Marcia
  11. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from kristinanoel in Recycling Clay   
    you can also do what lot of well meaning beginning potters do. Buy a half a dozen 5 gal buckets at Lowe's or Home depot and toss the clay in those while you learn. In 6 months or so when the buckets are getting full and seem overwhelming take those buckets out to the back of your property and start a clay hill. Over the years you can expand this hill with additional clay and add broken up pots that don't make the cut.
    Only kidding a little bit, clay's cheap and wrist surgery isn't :-) 
     
  12. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Chilly in Pugmill for tile extruding   
    well there's an idea, I will give that a go, thanks!
  13. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from neilestrick in Ceramics Studio Business Model - Expenses and Tips   
    Took a look at that in my area and decided that the number of members might not do it here and unless in a walk-able shopping/tourist area we didn't think the gallery would support the effort alone. In my case the expenses for renting what we saw as on the small side was about 4 grand a month with rent/triple net and utilities and that essentially penciled out to having about 50 paying members at all times to make it work without employees. You have to decide on employees because members will span mornings and evenings 7 days a week and if you try to scale that back it could seriously impact the number of members.
    Trying to make up losses with gallery sales just to break even might work but seems risky. When I ran various projections with various scenarios it just got crazy risky with possibly tens of thousands in losses very quickly and just seemed unlikely to make it long term. I know a guy in the NW who has failed three times and the forth is currently working out (and has for a dozen years) but I think you have to really key on what your ramp will be on adding members and how you will weather the storm if membership drops off or fluctuates
    Good luck!.    
  14. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Roberta12 in Recycling Clay   
    you can also do what lot of well meaning beginning potters do. Buy a half a dozen 5 gal buckets at Lowe's or Home depot and toss the clay in those while you learn. In 6 months or so when the buckets are getting full and seem overwhelming take those buckets out to the back of your property and start a clay hill. Over the years you can expand this hill with additional clay and add broken up pots that don't make the cut.
    Only kidding a little bit, clay's cheap and wrist surgery isn't :-) 
     
  15. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in Kiln Error - To refiire or not to refire   
    I am not sure if I am misreading you. Do you mean after 9 hours it hit the 1500+ and you went to bed with a kiln running without checking on it until many hours later? I wouldn't do that. We have several electronic controller kilns and although its tempting to just trust them to turn off when they are supposed to after 15 years we never have. We often are getting up throughout the night checking on them and make sure we are there about when we expect it to end. In addition to a run away firing ruining your pots it could also burn down your house.
    If it fired for hours after you went to bed and still didn't make it to bisque temp then it prob won't make it to glaze either.
    E1 may also be a voltage problem so maybe check that as well.
  16. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from liambesaw in Pug mill alternatives?   
    that's about $150 of clay a year, why not just start a hill at the back of your property and dump and forget about it. It came from the ground so its not wasting anything to just return the scrap. Even at used prices it would take over a decade to even break even on a de-airing pug mill/mixer, maybe 15-20 unless you got a deal. I'm a crummy person to give advice on manually reclaim/wedging though because no way I would spend five minutes doing that stuff so to me its either a pug mill or tossing but if you don't hate doing that then it makes sense.
    Good luck with it, sounds like the thread helped ya decide what you wanted to do.
  17. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Hulk in Ceramics Studio Business Model - Expenses and Tips   
    Took a look at that in my area and decided that the number of members might not do it here and unless in a walk-able shopping/tourist area we didn't think the gallery would support the effort alone. In my case the expenses for renting what we saw as on the small side was about 4 grand a month with rent/triple net and utilities and that essentially penciled out to having about 50 paying members at all times to make it work without employees. You have to decide on employees because members will span mornings and evenings 7 days a week and if you try to scale that back it could seriously impact the number of members.
    Trying to make up losses with gallery sales just to break even might work but seems risky. When I ran various projections with various scenarios it just got crazy risky with possibly tens of thousands in losses very quickly and just seemed unlikely to make it long term. I know a guy in the NW who has failed three times and the forth is currently working out (and has for a dozen years) but I think you have to really key on what your ramp will be on adding members and how you will weather the storm if membership drops off or fluctuates
    Good luck!.    
  18. Like
    Stephen reacted to liambesaw in Going Price Of Mugs   
    Yeah, and the cost of clay and glaze is almost zero when making an 8, 12, 16 or 20oz mug.  I also hate throwing anything under a pound so I'd want to charge more for an 8oz mug just out of spite.  
    Now other stuff I have a hard time with pricing because it takes up so much space.  Things like plates and large bowls take little effort to throw, but take up massive amounts of kiln space.  Drives me nuts because the firing is the place I need to save as much money as possible with.  Costs me about 10-12 bucks to fire, which is by far the most expensive part.
     I went to a few shows recently just to browse and 25 dollars per mug is pretty much standard so when I sell my mugs I'll sell them for 25 dollars.  I think that is a pretty good way to go. 
  19. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Roberta12 in Transporting your work to an art fair   
    I buy the dish moving pouches at Lowes/Home Depot (about 50 cents a piece but last a long time) and come in small and large size. They may have a medium but have only seen and bought the two. It was a few hundred buck investment to start but just did it once and now just add a package or two here and there to replace ratty ripped ones from time to time. 
    I wouldn't stress too much about it though. We've done dozens of shows (one day and three day) and have only had a couple of damaged pots and none in a long time and we pack and unpack as fast as possible. Just make sure they are wrapped with something. MarK C turned us on to using cardboard squares in divided boxes over bubble wrap for mugs and we put those boxes in plastic bins (weather better). Can stack two and three layers of mugs really fast and used that method with zero issues. Ditched it lately for the pouches on mugs too because bigger mugs became a problem. Bubble wrap worked fine for years but we found it to really made breakdown take longer. Now we just slide into pouch and stack. Have to be careful on weight though because boxes will hold a lot of pots packed that way.  
    It probably takes two of us half an hour or so to pack a few hundred pots this way.
  20. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from LeeU in First Art Fair   
    Factories in china are turning out pots with the same "flaws" on every 6th pot. While no one wants to have bad pots on the rack I think you have to be very careful about tossing pots that just have characteristic blemishes from being hand made.   
  21. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in First Art Fair   
    As you start gathering your information and prepping for your next show I would take a look at inventory and try and determine where your revenue is going to come from. Ours usually comes from about 50% mugs/tumblers and perhaps a quarter comes from under $15 items. The rest comes from an assortment of platters, bowls, vases and other higher end pots. We use Square for checking out both credit cards and cash so we have a good record of everything in one spot. I would recommend checking them out.
    I bet you will be surprised how little difference running the booth is than your market shows.  
    Good luck! 
  22. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from cbarnes in First Art Fair   
    As you start gathering your information and prepping for your next show I would take a look at inventory and try and determine where your revenue is going to come from. Ours usually comes from about 50% mugs/tumblers and perhaps a quarter comes from under $15 items. The rest comes from an assortment of platters, bowls, vases and other higher end pots. We use Square for checking out both credit cards and cash so we have a good record of everything in one spot. I would recommend checking them out.
    I bet you will be surprised how little difference running the booth is than your market shows.  
    Good luck! 
  23. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Roberta12 in 1st "Big" Show, happy, I guess?   
    Hey way to go! Now you have inventory, sales and stats. Your next show is just replacing the pots you just sold and a few more 'new' forms to try.
    I know hearing about $7000-$8000 shows from others can be really depressing but I think very few potters do that kind of dough and the ones that do have spent many years finding the right line up of shows that work out that well for what they make. 
    Ya know I think all stats are important right now so you can keep track of whats working and what's not. I would try if possible to find out from one of the show folks what they estimate the attendance was so you can have something to use for future comps. Sounds like you did about 50 sales and that means there are 50 or so folks that like pottery and liked yours enough to buy and today all of those folks have your pottery proudly in their house. No one buys a $20 mug unless they really like it. Now it's just a numbers game and product fit. If you get the sales up to 100 and your average up a bit it more than doubles but the expenses don't and that dough looks better, right? I think you also got a taste of the fact that at these types of shows small items seem to be really popular and I think most of us try to have a number of small grabs as it will be most of the sales. The bigger, pricier stuff just moves more slowly.
    Don't forget to have fun! 
  24. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from Rae Reich in 1st "Big" Show, happy, I guess?   
    Hey way to go! Now you have inventory, sales and stats. Your next show is just replacing the pots you just sold and a few more 'new' forms to try.
    I know hearing about $7000-$8000 shows from others can be really depressing but I think very few potters do that kind of dough and the ones that do have spent many years finding the right line up of shows that work out that well for what they make. 
    Ya know I think all stats are important right now so you can keep track of whats working and what's not. I would try if possible to find out from one of the show folks what they estimate the attendance was so you can have something to use for future comps. Sounds like you did about 50 sales and that means there are 50 or so folks that like pottery and liked yours enough to buy and today all of those folks have your pottery proudly in their house. No one buys a $20 mug unless they really like it. Now it's just a numbers game and product fit. If you get the sales up to 100 and your average up a bit it more than doubles but the expenses don't and that dough looks better, right? I think you also got a taste of the fact that at these types of shows small items seem to be really popular and I think most of us try to have a number of small grabs as it will be most of the sales. The bigger, pricier stuff just moves more slowly.
    Don't forget to have fun! 
  25. Like
    Stephen got a reaction from GreyBird in What temp is it ok to crack the kiln lid?   
    seeing it sooner is never worth messing up a load over. I've always turned vent off when cracking the lid and removing plugs since it will draw in the room air.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.