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Humboldt Potter

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About Humboldt Potter

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    Arcata, CA

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  1. I want to fire our gas kiln with little to no reduction. I know how to fire it in reduction, but I've never fired in a neutral or oxidation state. I work in Cone 10 porcelain and use black slip, made from my clay body and mason stain 6600, Best Black, to do sgraffito designs. I also paint on porcelain with Amaco Velvet underglazes. Too much reduction makes my porcelain gray, my black slip metallic and my underglaze colors dull. Yes, ideally, I'd be better off firing come 6 electric. Not an option. How do I fire a gas kiln in a neutral atmosphere? I need to know how a neutral firing sequence would differ from a reduction firing. The normal reduction firing runs about 8-10 hours long, body reduction starts around 1750, for about a half hour. Any thoughts? Please don't ask why Cone 10, why gas, etc. I also don't have an oxygen sensor. I'm just trying to get some general advice about what I might do differently to lower the amount of reduction in my firing. Would I just not do body reduction? How quickly can I bring up the temp? Etc. The main problem seems to be that,at the end of the firing, the bottom of the kiln is cooler than the top, so we will usually push in the damper to make the bottom hotter and bring up the bottom temp to cone 10. This has the effect of increasing reduction at the end of the firing. Thank you, Elaine
  2. I sell my mugs, which are hand carved and / or hand painted cone 10 porcelain, for $30. They are very labor intensive, but I love the painting and carving. This spring I am moving that price to $32 as I replace stock. They are nicely large mugs, 18-20 oz, but not gigantic. I don't sell online, so I'm limited to my local area, a few small towns in very Northern California. Fortunately, one of the galleries in which I sell (a cooperative), is in an area that is visited by tourists from all over the world in the summer months. Mugs that are $30 or $35 are still an easy decision for these people. People appreciate that these mugs are one of a kind. Mugs are small, easy to pack, and under $50. But, in general, prices are lower here than in bigger cities, where locals have more disposable income. I find that in our gallery, anything under $50 or so sells well.
  3. My point is that the gallery shouldn't expect you to eat the cost of a problem that happened at their gallery. They should feel,badly that they put your pieces in harm's way. You might offer to mitigate the cost to the gallery of you are feeling generous by splitting the loss with them, but I doubt I'd be that accommodating.
  4. Bbc link doesn't work in US. Any other way to watch?
  5. Sorry. This is the gallery's problem, not yours. You have entrusted your pieces to them. They should pay you the same net amount they would have paid you if the pieces had sold. They can charge or not charge the customer. That has nothing to do with you. If I were the gallery, I'd just eat the cost, pay you and call it a cost of doing business. How much are we talking about? $100 -$200?
  6. Mea, yes we have strong internet, wired and wireless, at the gallery. Perhaps my chip reader works better because it is NOT the wireless one, but is attached to the Square hub via cable, just like the other machines... Register, printer, etc. Perhaps a wireless or a cell signal is less effective. I do a local show each December here and last year many vendors couldn't get their credit card payment systems to work with the wifi at the venue. We figured it was a bandwidth issue - too many people trying to use it at the same time. My tablet can use both wifi and cellular, so I turned off wifi and used the cell network instead, but this was before chip readers. I'll bet with chip readers it will be a problem now that everyone uses these systems . Old Lady, most (70-80%) of my sales are via credit card. Even small sales.
  7. Our cooperative art gallery has been using the plug in, not wireless, chip reader since they released it. We've had no problem with it. We use the Square Register and swipe non chip cards and use the chip reader for chip cards. We like the whole Square set up. It's so easy to use. We can all check our sales from home, easily tally the income for our quarterly sales tax, provide other reports. I wish they had a more robust report function, but that's probably because I spent my career doing financial modeling...
  8. Our local cooperative gallery chose Weebly. I set up the site. It's easy to do, and easy to update. The Pro site is inexpensive and has loads of flexibility. No need to write html code...
  9. When I decided to sell my work, I tried different signatures, but finally decided to sign my full name on my pots. If it's good enough to sell, it's good enough to have a legible signature so people know who the artist is.
  10. For me it's all about porcelain. I use Babu for the whiteness. I use clear glazes or translucent so and the whiteness makes the glazes much brighter. I have used stoneware and even other, less white porcelains, but when I'm doing black and white, the white needs to be as white as I can make it. Even so, clear glazes leave a greenish tinge that I've had to live with. I love throwing cream cheese. I can throw porcelain as thin as I need it. I'm not going for translucent, just a nice lightweight mug or bowl.
  11. I've used Square for several years now very successfully at the one show I do each year. I haven't had any problems with deposits, holds or anything. I also I got the Square stand, receipt printer, cash drawer and now chip reader for our local cooperative gallery. It has worked well, too. We've had a couple of times when it went offline, but we just reset the router and modem to our internet and we were fine. It also has an offline mode, where it will hold transactions for up to 72 hours, then upload them once connectivity has been restored. All in all, it's a very intuitive system and I'm glad we got it.
  12. I'm a member and sometime instructor at a community based studio that offers classes and memberships. Most of our classes are typical wheel throwing or hand building, with a combination of beginners and advanced students, but recently we have been offering new classes to keep our members and students interested and excited. We asked them what kinds of classes they'd like to see. For example, we recently offered Throwing Bigger, and we have offered classes that specialized in glazing techniques. Next quarter there will be a class to introduce surface decorating techniques to our beginning and intermediate students. The plan will be to cover a specific technique each week and have the students work on a specific project. (The class will cover and practice things like underglaze painting, resists, sgraffito, sprigging, stamps, slip trailing, etc. So, for example, students will be asked to bring a piece of leather hard greenware one week and will learn sgraffito techniques. They can complete a project or just practice the technique on a slab. One week they will learn chattering and each person will practice this on a piece of theirs. It's a lot more structured than most classes, but the descriptiion and syllabus are clear, so I assume that only those who like working this way will sign up. Way on the other side of the spectrum, we have a class which no longer even has an instructor. It started out as a class for a group of friends, and each person worked on whatever they wanted to work on, with minimal help from an instructor. After awhile it became obvious that this class is more of an open studio time and social time and the class was changed to reflect the needs of the group and the instructor was dropped. So, I guess my advice is to offer a range of classes. I think your questionnaire is a good idea. You might also consider feedback sheets at the end of each term so that you learn what the students liked and didn't like about the class.
  13. I have owned a GG for many years, but just started using it again as I'm making more mugs. Mine is the lefty version, so I couldn't use the ones at the community studio. I tap center, so centering isn't a big deal, but I hate using the little lugs of clay. They are either too wet, too dry, they mess up the rim, blah, blah. It's limited in that it doesn't work well for odd shaped pieces, but since I'm doing mugs, it works for me. I like the idea of putting on the handle before trimming the foot. Gotta try that. To combat the trimming mess, we constructed what we called the Clay Corral. It can be a cut off piece of plastic garbage can, or a piece of thin sheet metal. it can be even sided or, better, slanted so that it's higher in back and lower where your hands go. People have made several different versions and they all work nicely, corralling the flying trimmings.
  14. Put 'em on a wall and use 'em for target practice? Seriously, learn to edit your work before it's bisqued, while the clay can be recycled. Cut open your pieces to see where you need to focus. Too much clay on the bottom? Walls uneven? Learn from your work. When I teach beginners, I stress the process, not the product. But I get that beginners want to have something to show for all their hard work. And they need pieces on which to practice glazing In a limited class schedule. Ideally, though, I'd not let them keep anything for the first couple of weeks, or maybe choose one piece to keep from each class,
  15. Being a potter/ceramic artist is more than just throwing pots. No matter what field you want to go into, there is a knowledge base, a long history and many ways to go. This is certainly true of ceramics. It has a long history, many styles, many famous potters and so many ways you could develop in the field. The value of a college degree is that it exposes you to things you don't even know that you don't know. It's pretty hard to see that value when you are 18, but taking courses in art, art history, studio art, design, psychology, mathematics, chemistry, etc., will become the foundation of how you grow as an artist. Don't close that door. Life is about keeping your options open, adding to your knowledge, expanding your skills. I have a mathematics degree and a long career in finance, but now I work in ceramics full time. My education and life experience have certainly shaped who I have become and thus, how my art has developed. I suggest that you take classes, workshops, learn everything you can about ceramics. If money's an issue, start at a JC, transfer to a State U. Major in anything you like. Doesn't need to be art. Just keep learning.
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