Jump to content

MikeFaul

Members
  • Content Count

    185
  • Joined

  • Last visited


Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from Southpaw in Production potter work tips   
    I posted these photos in another thread, but they seem to fit here better... We made these kiln guards out of 3/4" plywood. My friend Steven S. made them for me when were building out the studio. I think he got the idea from Dale down at the Work House Ceramics Studio in Lorton, VA... Saves your firebrick...
     


  2. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from Waltraud in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted. 
    I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
     
    It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
     
    I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
     
    Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
     
    OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
     
    Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!
  3. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from C.Banks in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted. 
    I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
     
    It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
     
    I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
     
    Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
     
    OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
     
    Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!
  4. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from Mudslinger Ceramics in Business Advice Aka How Not To Eat Cat Food For Dinner   
    Nancy, 
     
    Limitations on income are not so much a function of price or even your labor contribution. Really, the limit is more a function of what you want to do with your business. If you desire a small business that generates several hundred thousand in revenue to say $1.0M or more that's definitely possible. I know of a few production pottery studios in this class. If you want to work for something even larger, again certainly with time and effort it is possible. I spoke with someone the other week who started in her garage and now employs 30 people making artistic and architectural tiles. Her business I believe is probably in the neighborhood of $15M per year, but it took about 20 or so years to get there.
     
    The ability to generate wealth is there in this market. At least in certain segments of the market. Weather you desire enough income for personal comfort or to grow a business I would suggest that making pretty pots and going to shows is a very risky approach. This is more gambling than business. It's akin to buying a lottery ticket and hoping your numbers are drawn.
     
    Now some potters have done this quiet well over the years. They have worked out, through trial and error, the market research. They know that a kiosk here performs well, but one in this other spot not so well. A coffee shop does good, but a bakery in a warehouse district is a big nope. All of this knowledge was acquired because they tried, failed, tried again and succeeded. The cumulation of these trials became their market research.
     
    Given your stage in life you may not have 10 years to take the trial and error path. It takes a long time, and its expensive.
     
    The problem here is you don't know if someone will show up at the show who likes your style, aesthetic, color choices, surface design, etc. And, you can't rely on your friends and family. You need to listen to the impartial voice of the market. I would suggest you take the time, while your still working to conduct some market research and find a segment of the market that makes a good fit for your skills. This might be funeral homes (urns). Or, maybe it's bobble head dolls. Perhaps it's left handed olive oil cruets? I have no idea, only your research can answer this question for you.
     
    Find your market segment, make some pots, take them to people in that market and start asking a lot of questions about how to make the pot better for them. Make no assumptions and don't rely on "congenital wisdom". Collect all of that information, revise your design accordingly and then start making those pots for that market
     
    Our original beer mug held 14 oz and we used something like 1.25 lbs of clay to throw the cylinder. When we took it out to our customers and asked them about our beautiful feather weight design, they laughed at us. But, they also told us what they didn't like about it, and what they didn't like was everything we, as potters love, go figure. We went back and redesigned the mug their way. I'm not going to say exactly what we did, but the first week we released the new design we sold 1,200 pieces. The most expensive coffee mug we've sold in 2015 was $200. The most expensive beer mug was slightly less than that. We've even been commissioned to make hand carved family crest steins (5 Liter) that sold for $1,500. Our customers create these prices themselves off of base prices starting as low as $27.50 for a coffee mug. 
     
    Good planning can turn a $27.50 coffee mug into $100 experience and your customers will love you for it. And, you'll love them for the great reviews, notes, and phone calls they send you. Good planning can turn a $44.95 beer mug into $175 celebration, or $57.50 wine goblet into $225 wedding chalice. I'm constantly telling my team we are not in the pottery business, we are in the Merry Christmas, Happy Anniversary, I Love You Mom, Proud of You Son, Wouldn't Have Anyone, But You Husband, Can't Believe You Did It, Praying for You to Feel Better, I knew You Could Do It business... When we realize that we can make an experience where the price is really in consequential. 
     
    Write a business plan, and pay a lot of attention to your marketing plan. Stick to your plan for the first year. Get yourself some advisors you can talk to, you will hit many stumbling blocks (stuff you didn't know you didn't know). Having mentors to call will be VERY helpful if for no other reason to know you're not alone in experiencing the issue. Plus this will solve problems and save tons of money in your first year-money you would have spent figuring stuff out.
     
    Take it slow, maybe in year one do this part time and keep a governor on your pottery business. In year two work part time and allow more pottery sales. In year three, go full time with your pottery business. 
     
    If you find the right market segment you get good steady sales right out of the gate providing your product quality and production process allows you to perform to the demands of the market. If your show based, that means having a stocked booth. If you're prepaid internet based, that means onetime shipping. If you're a wholesaler, it will mean going beyond making pots to helping your customers solve problems with your product (value ad).
     
    Suppose you throw at a pace of 7.5 pots per hour. And, you throw 15 pots per day. Handling should take you about 2 or 3 minutes per pot, so that's another 45 minutes. Include prep time and you're put to may 4 1/2 hours a day, maybe 5. Let's say one of your production days is a Saturday and you work another 3 days a week in year one. You're producing 60 pots per week. I'm not sure of your kiln capacity, but I'm guessing that's about one kiln load of material. 
     
    So, if you do your market research properly I'm willing to bet you could ramp up to 4 or 5 sales per day in your etsy shop. Now, let's say your average sale is only $35 on Etsy. From our experience, if you do your planning properly that's about 1/2 what you can do on average. So, you're revenue is $140 to $175  per day. That works out to $4,200 to $5,100 a month. So, that's grossing around $50 to $60K per year with schlepping around to shows. And, you only have to do some minor social media marketing-most of which is free, and loads of fun.
     
    Now, I can't emphasize this enough, this works because you're making pots for the market and not to gratify your own desires as an artist. In this model you're using your talents as an artist to satisfy the wants and needs of the market not trying to make a statement and hope the market cares.
     
    All of this takes a lot of planning and fore thought. Do not discount this, it's more important than learning to center, pull, wedge, or any technical technique. If you can't operate as a business all you have is a lot of pretty gifts for your friends. If you operate as a business, you have cash to buy gifts for your friends and family--your choice.
     
    Sorry... I have a cold and I'm babbling...
     
    Mike
  5. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from Mudslinger Ceramics in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    OK, I'm not trying to say this is a bad place. I'm not trying to say this is a "flamer forum"... If I gave that impression I'm sorry. My point was sometimes we approach folks from the position that we know better than they do, we criticize them unfairly as oppose to offering a professional critique. We launch into these criticisms without asking clarifying questions that might change the advice we're giving them. And sometimes that makes us wrong, and we turn people off. SOMETIMES... So, sometimes we scare people off. Justsayn... My opinion... 
     
    Now it's not a question of a mean spirit. It's a question, in my opinion, of a bit of arrogance on the part of some people, not all.  It's like you said the other day. Someone posts in the glaze forum. "I'm an expert on this topic, I know topic "A" is dangerous, I'm an expert. I don't need help on topic "A", I know the rules and safety issues related to "A". I have a question on "B". Please don't post on "A", because I know my stuff on "A", but if you would be so kind to answer my question on "B", I would really appreciate it..." And then what follows? A page and half on topic "A" with one post actually saying; I'm not sure we were direct enough with the poster...  This is the same thing that happened to me. It's not that anyone is being "mean", they think they are doing the "right thing". But, they think they "know better" than the person who just said they're an expert, and have good reasons for doing it that way.
     
    If I remember correctly a moderator did intervene, and return comments were along the line: "Hey some people just don't understand the true nature of their problems."
     
    You see... that's the "I know better" attitude, and my entire point is that it becomes exclusionary, it puts people off. And, it turns them away. So, I'm saying we should consider and reflect on the idea that maybe we do affect people more than we realize. That's it. I'm not saying we take them out back and beat the tar out of them, throw them in the kiln and cremate them, then draw and quarter them (sequence maybe out of order). I'm not saying we are cruel. I'm not saying we are bullies. I'm saying our attitude affects others and we should consider that as a factor in why people don't come back. It's not an easy thing to accept, we all want to believe we're good people. We all want to believe we're wonderful people, we do nothing to "scare others off".
     
    But, maybe sometimes we do... Maybe we would all do well to consider there are lurkers watching and reading our posts and how we interact with one another... How we critique. How we respond. How we assume. 
  6. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from Mudslinger Ceramics in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted. 
    I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
     
    It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
     
    I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
     
    Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
     
    OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
     
    Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!
  7. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from Mudslinger Ceramics in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    As one of those posters who on occasion disappears I am not even surprised, in the slightest, that posts in this thread don't even consider ANY possibility other than:
     
    1. Visitors asking questions are too rude to share their results,
    2. Visitors, can't take the heat of honest critique,
    3. Visitors can't communicate well,
    4, Visitors are intimidated by our brilliance,
     
    I've gotten some fantastic help from folks like Mark C. But, you should see some of the private message traffic I've received. Condescending and arrogant doesn't even begin to describe it. I am VERY cautious of what, where, and how I post as a result.
     
    My point in saying this is this, if you're going to critique your forum, don't start by criticizing your customer. Start by looking in the mirror. It's not their fault their leaving and not coming back--it's ours. If you want their behavior to change, change your behavior.
     
    We recently had our customers getting upset about not hearing about their order status. We shifted our basic customer base from the military to law enforcement. This new segment behaved very differently. They call ALL THE TIME, it was driving us bonkers.
     
    Everyone was saying they were 'nuts' and 'paranoid'. No, they were different, so, we had to change. So after each step in our process, throwing, handling, sprigging, bisque, glaze, and shipping we send a short update email. All the calls stopped. Five star reviews returned.
     
    You have to ask yourselves "Do you want them to participate?" If so, then something MUST change. If not, do nothing.
     
    If nothing changes... Nothing changes!
  8. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from Kye in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    As one of those posters who on occasion disappears I am not even surprised, in the slightest, that posts in this thread don't even consider ANY possibility other than:
     
    1. Visitors asking questions are too rude to share their results,
    2. Visitors, can't take the heat of honest critique,
    3. Visitors can't communicate well,
    4, Visitors are intimidated by our brilliance,
     
    I've gotten some fantastic help from folks like Mark C. But, you should see some of the private message traffic I've received. Condescending and arrogant doesn't even begin to describe it. I am VERY cautious of what, where, and how I post as a result.
     
    My point in saying this is this, if you're going to critique your forum, don't start by criticizing your customer. Start by looking in the mirror. It's not their fault their leaving and not coming back--it's ours. If you want their behavior to change, change your behavior.
     
    We recently had our customers getting upset about not hearing about their order status. We shifted our basic customer base from the military to law enforcement. This new segment behaved very differently. They call ALL THE TIME, it was driving us bonkers.
     
    Everyone was saying they were 'nuts' and 'paranoid'. No, they were different, so, we had to change. So after each step in our process, throwing, handling, sprigging, bisque, glaze, and shipping we send a short update email. All the calls stopped. Five star reviews returned.
     
    You have to ask yourselves "Do you want them to participate?" If so, then something MUST change. If not, do nothing.
     
    If nothing changes... Nothing changes!
  9. Like
    MikeFaul reacted to glazenerd in How Many Kilns?   
    Mike:
    Have you checked out Skutt's new 14-16CF front loaders?  Not used one of them, but the specs, features and price point are impressive.
    Nerd
  10. Like
    MikeFaul reacted to Pres in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    Here again, I don't wear my name on my tag, but anyone that checks finds that Pres is short for Preston, or E. Preston Rice, Art teacher retired, potter, artist,  kayaker, bowler.
  11. Like
    MikeFaul reacted to glazenerd in Qotw: Are "kiln Gods" Superstition?   
    Will go with Mike's point of view/faith on this one.
    Nerd
  12. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from TallTayl in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted. 
    I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
     
    It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
     
    I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
     
    Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
     
    OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
     
    Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!
  13. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from GEP in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    As one of those posters who on occasion disappears I am not even surprised, in the slightest, that posts in this thread don't even consider ANY possibility other than:
     
    1. Visitors asking questions are too rude to share their results,
    2. Visitors, can't take the heat of honest critique,
    3. Visitors can't communicate well,
    4, Visitors are intimidated by our brilliance,
     
    I've gotten some fantastic help from folks like Mark C. But, you should see some of the private message traffic I've received. Condescending and arrogant doesn't even begin to describe it. I am VERY cautious of what, where, and how I post as a result.
     
    My point in saying this is this, if you're going to critique your forum, don't start by criticizing your customer. Start by looking in the mirror. It's not their fault their leaving and not coming back--it's ours. If you want their behavior to change, change your behavior.
     
    We recently had our customers getting upset about not hearing about their order status. We shifted our basic customer base from the military to law enforcement. This new segment behaved very differently. They call ALL THE TIME, it was driving us bonkers.
     
    Everyone was saying they were 'nuts' and 'paranoid'. No, they were different, so, we had to change. So after each step in our process, throwing, handling, sprigging, bisque, glaze, and shipping we send a short update email. All the calls stopped. Five star reviews returned.
     
    You have to ask yourselves "Do you want them to participate?" If so, then something MUST change. If not, do nothing.
     
    If nothing changes... Nothing changes!
  14. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from EdptrKrmk in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted. 
    I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
     
    It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
     
    I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
     
    Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
     
    OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
     
    Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!
  15. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from DirtRoads in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted. 
    I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
     
    It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
     
    I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
     
    Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
     
    OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
     
    Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!
  16. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from terrim8 in Qotw: Are "kiln Gods" Superstition?   
    My kilns are named Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego--Three men of faith who were forced into a kiln rather than deny their faith in the one true God and bow down to an idol. Daniel Chapter 3...  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+3
     
    And, while in the kiln they were protected from the fire by that one true God in whom I believe... Jesus Christ, no I don't believe in kiln gods, luck, charms, or idols. 
     
    I do believe in science... AMPS, Heat, chemistry, process, most everything that happens in a kiln can be explained with a little study and experimentation.
     
    I remember our copper green kept shifting color into this unpleasant olive drab color. I could not figure it out. Some of the potters kept saying firing schedule, but that was a constant from before the change. Elements going bad, but the AMPS being drawn were normal and constant from before the change. Others said glaze cross contamination, but we remixed the glaze over and over and the same thing kept happening. Then someone came up with the bright idea that the chemical source changed, and we launched into a series of tests rotating out chemicals in the recipe--no effect. 
     
    Weeks went by, and some of our unbelieving potters starting blaming the "kiln gods". I started praying for an answer. Then after about three days of prayer I was running our drill stir mixing a bucket of glaze. I picked it up to clean it. For some reason I turned it upside down. There was a cap on the tip that had worked loose and fallen off. The inside was hollow. Glaze was being forced up into the cylinder and not getting cleaned out. So, every time the stir was being dipped into one bucket, cleaned on the outside, then into another the stir was still cross contaminating other glazes. 
     
    So, we would remix the green glaze, and over the course of normal operations add to it an ounce of our walnut brown glaze a couple of times per week. This constant cross contamination would cause a gradual color shift, so in a few days we ended up with olive green--Every time we remixed. So, it WAS cross contamination. No "kiln gods" it was simple chemistry, and we would have never found it had we not been pointed in the right direction.
  17. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from S. Dean in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted. 
    I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
     
    It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
     
    I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
     
    Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
     
    OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
     
    Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!
  18. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from Chris Campbell in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted. 
    I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
     
    It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
     
    I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
     
    Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
     
    OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
     
    Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!
  19. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from What? in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted. 
    I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
     
    It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
     
    I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
     
    Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
     
    OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
     
    Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!
  20. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from bciskepottery in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted. 
    I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
     
    It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
     
    I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
     
    Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
     
    OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
     
    Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!
  21. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from S. Dean in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    As one of those posters who on occasion disappears I am not even surprised, in the slightest, that posts in this thread don't even consider ANY possibility other than:
     
    1. Visitors asking questions are too rude to share their results,
    2. Visitors, can't take the heat of honest critique,
    3. Visitors can't communicate well,
    4, Visitors are intimidated by our brilliance,
     
    I've gotten some fantastic help from folks like Mark C. But, you should see some of the private message traffic I've received. Condescending and arrogant doesn't even begin to describe it. I am VERY cautious of what, where, and how I post as a result.
     
    My point in saying this is this, if you're going to critique your forum, don't start by criticizing your customer. Start by looking in the mirror. It's not their fault their leaving and not coming back--it's ours. If you want their behavior to change, change your behavior.
     
    We recently had our customers getting upset about not hearing about their order status. We shifted our basic customer base from the military to law enforcement. This new segment behaved very differently. They call ALL THE TIME, it was driving us bonkers.
     
    Everyone was saying they were 'nuts' and 'paranoid'. No, they were different, so, we had to change. So after each step in our process, throwing, handling, sprigging, bisque, glaze, and shipping we send a short update email. All the calls stopped. Five star reviews returned.
     
    You have to ask yourselves "Do you want them to participate?" If so, then something MUST change. If not, do nothing.
     
    If nothing changes... Nothing changes!
  22. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from bciskepottery in What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................   
    As one of those posters who on occasion disappears I am not even surprised, in the slightest, that posts in this thread don't even consider ANY possibility other than:
     
    1. Visitors asking questions are too rude to share their results,
    2. Visitors, can't take the heat of honest critique,
    3. Visitors can't communicate well,
    4, Visitors are intimidated by our brilliance,
     
    I've gotten some fantastic help from folks like Mark C. But, you should see some of the private message traffic I've received. Condescending and arrogant doesn't even begin to describe it. I am VERY cautious of what, where, and how I post as a result.
     
    My point in saying this is this, if you're going to critique your forum, don't start by criticizing your customer. Start by looking in the mirror. It's not their fault their leaving and not coming back--it's ours. If you want their behavior to change, change your behavior.
     
    We recently had our customers getting upset about not hearing about their order status. We shifted our basic customer base from the military to law enforcement. This new segment behaved very differently. They call ALL THE TIME, it was driving us bonkers.
     
    Everyone was saying they were 'nuts' and 'paranoid'. No, they were different, so, we had to change. So after each step in our process, throwing, handling, sprigging, bisque, glaze, and shipping we send a short update email. All the calls stopped. Five star reviews returned.
     
    You have to ask yourselves "Do you want them to participate?" If so, then something MUST change. If not, do nothing.
     
    If nothing changes... Nothing changes!
  23. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from Mug in I Hate Wedging   
    "Hate" is a very strong word for a mere task...
     
    I'm rather indifferent toward it, it just has to get done. I suppose I even kind of like it. It's sort of a puzzle. How can I portion the clay, wedge it, and setup on at the wheel for daily production to maximum efficiency? How would this vary for a new form? Doing it right can make a big difference in daily productivity.
     
    It's time consuming and our clay consumption rate is getting rather high so Peter Pugger here we come... That will bring new challenges, how much of a 3" diameter pug needs to be cut for each form? How can we make adjustable cutters for our forms to cut multiple pugs as we extrude?
     
    I had a mentor who heard me say I "hated" something once and he gently pulled me aside and whispered in my ear; "Why don't you just change your mind, and have a beautiful day?"
     
    I realized that most of things I was "hating" were a matter of choice, and I could just as easily choose to "like" them. Or, at least "enjoy" them, or "enjoy" the opportunity to learn and develop my technique from them... I didn't have to be a victim of the things around around me. The attitude we bring to our work is just as important as technique. 
  24. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from DirtRoads in Professional Courtesy   
    I was at a show and this potter had a really nice aesthetic, so I thought I would buy one of his pots and possibly start collecting his work. When he found out I was a potter (my wife loves to brag), he immediately stated slashing the price and offering a "professional discount". I was embarrassed for him and insisted I pay full price. I know how hard potters work for their money and they don't need to be discounting anything--they deserve every penny they earn, twice that, and then some. 
     
    But, he would have none of it, wrote the ticket for nearly 40% off. I was going to buy 4 cups, but decided to only buy a single because I felt as though I was cheating him. In the end, he lost a lot of money. He took in 60% of one cup instead of 100% of 4 cups. You can be nice to your fellows and profitable. At some point we need to learn that to be a great potter we need to hone our business skills as much as our artistic, creative, and technical skills. But, I digress...
     
    I have mugs from a couple of potters that I absolutely love, bowls from several others, and a set of dinner plates I have to pick up still. I paid full price for all. Could I have made them? Sure, but they all reflect a style, aesthetic, idea, or technique that I never thought to do... So, while I "could" I never "would have" and I enjoy celebrating the creativity of my fellow professionals. As a collector, I don't need a discount! I don't want a discount! I want a lifetime of enjoyment from the art I collect--not a K-Mart Blue Light Special! 
     
    Here's my idea of professional courtesy. When we were building out the studio, a friend of mine with nearly 40 years in clay showed up at the job site. I had the entire building gutted down to the studs and was expecting a load of tongue and groove flooring to arrive from the mill. The flooring was going on the ceiling and walls. Anyway, the wood had been shipped on a special crate: 22 feet long x 5 feet wide stacked 5 feet high. The problem was it was loaded on the truck backwards, so the forklift I had borrowed was useless. So, we had to unload it one plank at a time, and I was all by myself.
     
    Steven asked if I needed help, I told him my predicament, he stayed, and helped load the lumber. He came back every day for six months and helped build out the studio. He has complete privileges at Potter's Fire. Anything he needs... Carte Blanche. That's how professional courtesy works, a tangible relationship based on an exchange of professional services. It is an EARNED courtesy.
  25. Like
    MikeFaul got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Professional Courtesy   
    I was at a show and this potter had a really nice aesthetic, so I thought I would buy one of his pots and possibly start collecting his work. When he found out I was a potter (my wife loves to brag), he immediately stated slashing the price and offering a "professional discount". I was embarrassed for him and insisted I pay full price. I know how hard potters work for their money and they don't need to be discounting anything--they deserve every penny they earn, twice that, and then some. 
     
    But, he would have none of it, wrote the ticket for nearly 40% off. I was going to buy 4 cups, but decided to only buy a single because I felt as though I was cheating him. In the end, he lost a lot of money. He took in 60% of one cup instead of 100% of 4 cups. You can be nice to your fellows and profitable. At some point we need to learn that to be a great potter we need to hone our business skills as much as our artistic, creative, and technical skills. But, I digress...
     
    I have mugs from a couple of potters that I absolutely love, bowls from several others, and a set of dinner plates I have to pick up still. I paid full price for all. Could I have made them? Sure, but they all reflect a style, aesthetic, idea, or technique that I never thought to do... So, while I "could" I never "would have" and I enjoy celebrating the creativity of my fellow professionals. As a collector, I don't need a discount! I don't want a discount! I want a lifetime of enjoyment from the art I collect--not a K-Mart Blue Light Special! 
     
    Here's my idea of professional courtesy. When we were building out the studio, a friend of mine with nearly 40 years in clay showed up at the job site. I had the entire building gutted down to the studs and was expecting a load of tongue and groove flooring to arrive from the mill. The flooring was going on the ceiling and walls. Anyway, the wood had been shipped on a special crate: 22 feet long x 5 feet wide stacked 5 feet high. The problem was it was loaded on the truck backwards, so the forklift I had borrowed was useless. So, we had to unload it one plank at a time, and I was all by myself.
     
    Steven asked if I needed help, I told him my predicament, he stayed, and helped load the lumber. He came back every day for six months and helped build out the studio. He has complete privileges at Potter's Fire. Anything he needs... Carte Blanche. That's how professional courtesy works, a tangible relationship based on an exchange of professional services. It is an EARNED courtesy.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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