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LawPots

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Everything posted by LawPots

  1. I think my problem is that industrial pottery often doesn’t do functional better. They make cheap. They make identical. They make shiny. They make inoffensive. They make boring. It’s like, why eat at a locally-owned restaurant? Friday’s has a good selection of food. There’s one 20 minutes away from everywhere. It’s consistent, cheaper, often faster, and clean. But, it’s also pretty much aimed at the inoffensive middle of taste in every dish. Life is more than that. In pottery, I want variety, visual interest, consideration of the user’s comfort, pleasing design, na
  2. I don’t right now, but I’ve used a standup powered wheel I liked. The wheel head was at bellybutton height. It was comfortable without a backrest, and I braced my arms on the splash pan. Folk potters in the Southern U.S. almost all worked standing up at kick, treadle, and powered wheels that had “backrest” that they braced against to help center. I’ve read that one of these potters insisted that it was a terribly bad habit to even learn to throw sitting down.
  3. You might try carving into leather-hard and then tear.
  4. I use amaco velvet underglaze two different ways: on leather hard clay for sgraffito, and on bisque to bring out the lines of intaglio. Both work at Cone 6. They also fire ok to Cone 10 in salt and wood.
  5. You could always make your own. http://jeffcampana.com/clay-body-revisited/
  6. One if my fav techniques. No substitute really, except you can try to brush or slip trail into the groove and wipe excess. But, it really is different when you wipe glaze off the whole pot, because some small amount of glaze stays behind on the raised areas.
  7. I end up using mugs I recently made the most often. I also try to make mugs I'd like to use, so I end up using ones I make. I do have a mug from Matt Hylek I like a lot (really great handle and lip) and I've made mugs that my wife likes to use that I don't. I made the pictured mug as a decoration and glaze test. It is at my parents house, and my wife or I tend to seek it out and drink from it all day. It holds about 30 oz.
  8. I've been on Pinterest for a long time. I don't use Pinterest to sell, but I'm not sure how you could value it's impact on your business. I suspect it's probably better to use Pinterest to drive people to your website or online shop: pin from your website rather than upload, and see if people will click through. Pinterest requires really great quality pics that you want people to share. You need to update often so that your followers will see new things periodically. It's kind of a rummage sale though, with most new pins getting very small re-pins. Really striking pieces get shared around
  9. I have used spray shellac and hairspray to fix glaze in place to move pots. I have not noticed negative effects. Glaze fire gets so hot that the organic material burns away long before the glaze actually starts to melt. I do know that there is one glaze that might be affected by this treatment: carbon trapping shino. Not because of the contents of the hairspray, but because of the movement of soluables in that particular glaze.
  10. We seem to have never stopped debating what C.F. Binns said at the beginning of the last century: "The trend of the present demand ... is toward a personal and individual expression in the crafts or industrial arts. This is tendency is the natural swing of the pendulum from the machine made product of the manufactory which in its turn was the inevitable result of mechanical invention." How much expression is sufficiently personal in craft, when faced with mechanical sameness of things?
  11. LawPots

    Mugs

    I know you make teaware for the Japanese market; so, is there a Japanese buyer for this sort of american woodfired mug?
  12. I am no expert in lead, and I certainly wouldn't put it on any of the functional work that I do. Its just not worth thinking about from a liability standpoint, and the lawyer in me says "Who knows what some kid would do, even with a sculpture?" That said, I have read some older ceramics books that contained extensive discussion on using lead in glaze. At some point I read The Potter's Craft by C.F. Binns, and I recall that he discusses in detail the chemical formulas and differences in red lead and white lead. I believe he had a variety of recipes for lead glazes. You can get electronic c
  13. You didn't include any pictures on the inside of your shop. I visited your website and I was particularly impressed with the displays inside. You experience in retail really shows in all aspects of your operation.
  14. Now that I think about it, if I were to devise a test (which is a really fun thought exercise) a Master Potter is someone who should be capable of the following: 1. Identifying and making a clay body suitable for functional ware from natural materials - i.e. can find a useful clay without having to buy it. - They should be able to identify workable plastic clays in the ground. They should know how to test those clays for workability and firing temperature. They should be able to differentiate between an earthenware clay and stoneware clay, and fire clay (for firebricks). They should k
  15. One way to put it, in old guild terms, is that a master potter is one who has mastered the craft (which is a near synonym of "secret") of pottery. The people who master the secrets of pottery are a master potters. Its not about how good the work is, its about whether you can make what you want to make. The masterwork is proof that you know the secrets of pottery, and can put them into action. Masterworks don't have to look good, they just prove that you know what you're doing. Its not really a subjective thing at all. You could test it.
  16. I'd like to echo Mea in a way. I am a student of hers, but I also fit the demographic that Mea sells to - craft fair enthusiasts with upper middle income. I happen to go to the types of shows she participates in. I went to many of them before she started doing them, like the Smithsonian show. I've paid up to $60 for a mug. I bought a mug from Sang Joon Park for over $40 at ACC Baltimore, broke it a week later, and bought a second mug from him at the Smithsonian show. The reason I'm estimating his price? I can't remember it. I didn't really care how much it was. So, were there cheap
  17. I submit the following, as evidence that if we aren't copying, there is at least someone out there who thinks like us. You'll see there is a definite theme here. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/97601516900646693/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/103934703869890247/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/412431278351067833/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/255368241344576035/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/249738741808377405/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/264516178083674426/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/426856870906675250/ This does not mean each is a copy. But, let's just say that I spent a
  18. This is a really great analogy, and explains why everyone is right in this post, as a practical matter, because even if you know don't know why you're putting a hole in your pot, it works! Popcorn feels 'dry' when you hold it. But it isn't! Popcorn blows up because the moisture in the popcorn flashes to steam. (See Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popcorn) If it was just air in the popcorn, popcorn wouldn't pop. Its the water in the popcorn that makes it pop. The water is trapped inside because the popcorn kernel has a hard, impervious skin that won't let the inside of the
  19. Amateur Potter - or maybe a Hobby Potter. I don't like calling what I make Art, so I don't call myself an artist. Functional Potter, maybe? Ceramic Artist makes it sound like I know something about ceramics, or art, and I don't really think I qualify for that. (I am not saying that there isn't art, I am just saying I don't like to call what I make art.)
  20. Well, since I'm a student of Mea's - I'll do what she did, and post something I made last year (I am making more . . .)
  21. To me there's some marketing going on here. A studio potter is a Leach or Robineau style potter. The potter makes the pots, decorates the pots, glazes the pots, fires the pots, and markets/sells the pots. There is a requirement, in my mind, that studio potters are also producing high-quality work suitable for a gallery or commission. Studio pottery is a label for marketing ceramics to distinguish it from ceramics made in a factory, and distinguish it from the now practically extinct country pottery. So, studio pottery is pottery marketed as art (including everyday art) by the person who ma
  22. Before I took my first pottery class 5 years ago, I saw this at Freer gallery: http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/zoomObject.cfm?ObjectId=54870 I am always thinking about that cup and the brushed crackle slip.
  23. It seems the thrust of the comment is that you can't trust the critques of people in the same business. This is not quite correct. You can trust the critiques of others in the same business to be based on their point of view. This doesn't make the critique inherently untrustworthy. It does however, mean that when such criticism is recieved, a listener must attempt to understand that point of view and decide if the viewpoint (or critique) reflects the listener's values. If it does, the listener must judge the critque and decide how to change; if it doesn't, the listener can continue on with
  24. I forgot to mention that there is also trade secret law which can provide some limited protection from corporate espionage - like stealing glaze recipes and formulas for clay bodies. Heh, but that's for people that have those kinds of secrets to keep, and I am not one of them.
  25. There's at least three things that a potter could look into (by hiring a lawyer or reading the Copyright office or the Patent and Trademark office websites) to protect their business: Copyright. There is copyright upon creation, so creative people have copyright without doing anything in particular except creating their own work. But to sue in federal court, the work must be registered. $65 per registration for the visual arts (U.S. copyright office), and pretty much irrefutable proof that the work was created before the registration date. This mostly protects against 1 to 1 copying
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