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  1. This is beyond the value of your pots- it sounds like you want to make positive contributions to the world and you see making your pots very affordable as a way to do this and you have ethical blocks keeping you from charging their value. Really, if you consider the time and money invested in college, equipment etc you might be losing money on your pots. It takes an incredible money to raise a family and live ethically these days (unless you have your own self-sustaining farm) so if you charged what your pots were worth perhaps some of that money could go back into supporting other local artisans and business people and local farms operate sustainably. Or, you could donate a $1 from each pot sold to a really worthy cause. Or, you could volunteer in a soup kitchen a few times a month and every time bring a bowl to leave. I do not think it is fair to your family to lose you to time spent in the studio to work for less than minimum wage. My husband and I are working to get studio space set up for me. Our budget, as a result, is beyond super-tight these past few months and I am so grateful for his willingness to take a risk on me. I am working super hard and being super critical of myself to push my work to a higher level, sometimes at 2:00 in the morning when I really feel like being in bed, for my family. I will take whatever I can get for my pots and if I ever can generate a decent income I will not feel bad about it but use the money to pay my mortgage, live more responsibly, and support great organizations in a way that is not possible for my young family right now. Plus, there are a lot of fast and easy to make items that can be made and sold for a few dollars that will give the public a connection to handmade work.
  2. When I used to throw in a large studio with a mix of wheels (Brent, Pacifica, Clay Boss Baily, and kick) I would always get there early to try to use one of the Brent wheels. It made a big difference. I start and stop my wheel a lot so I don't like using a kick wheel. My second choice was the Pacifica and if I got stuck on any of the other wheels during class I would just spend my time glazing. To me, it was a huge difference and I had no association with name brand at the time this was just from the experience of using the wheels. When it came time to get my own wheel I got a Pacifica (due to cost) and I like it almost as much as the Brent wheels except for the foot petal control. If I ever get the opportunity to get a Brent cheaply I will jump on it. Still, I don't think I would buy a rusty one off ebay. Probably wait patiently for one to come up on craigslist.
  3. I'm sure I will be limited by my kiln--I don't plan on going past cone 6. BigLou, if you send me the $$ I will paypal you a small priority box of it. I can't guarantee the purity--I dug up some that appears to be unadulterated while my kids were playing (that is the tough part, as you know people have been digging in the yard for 90 years) . Sometimes while I am gardening I make little pinch pots and leave them to dry on the fence. It would be cool to see what it would do in a wood kiln just by itself. Actually, I am editing this. I am curious and if you really intend on tinkering with it no $$ needed and I will just send it. PM me your address
  4. I am newish to the forum (although was staying away for some time because every time I tried to use the site my computer blocked intrusions) and getting back into clay after about seven years off for raising kids/recovering from advanced Lyme disease. As I am youngish, I was not around when Albany slip was readily available. It fascinated me even before I lived in Albany. Before stopping potting, I experimented coating some items with Albany slip substitute in a wood kiln and got some neat results although now I am limited to an electric kiln. I live in the city of Albany with a nice double-lot of hard to garden clay, which I am assuming is likely similar in profile to Albany slip (I live about a half mile away from the mine). I of course plan on experimenting with it but don't know much other than that it fluxes a lot and has a lot of iron content. I have a lot to learn in general in the glazing aspect of pottery. My impression is that Albany slip is somewhat versatile, so what would you do with it? My husband had the idea of getting clay from different areas around Albany and comparing it as we do have friends on the streets surrounding the old mine. If this topic is boring and not fun, feel free to let it die....my last topic got voted 1 star which I thought was hilarious as I was just trying to make sure I wasn't going to melt my garage floor.
  5. So my husband thought it over and went with a layer of cement bricks (about 3 inch bricks with air pockets) with a cement slab over the top. The stand is about 6 or 7 inches off the ground. thanks for all the input!
  6. I was under the impression that asphalt softens around 250 degrees...have read Fahrenheit 451. Not expecting it to get super hot under kiln but who knows as I have never fired it before. I was thinking that the biggest risk is the contact points where the kiln stand meets the asphalt. Likely the legs would just settle in the asphalt if the asphalt were to soften, but the idea kiln possibly shifting during firing is not super exciting to me. I tend to be one of those people that strange and rare events happen surprisingly frequently, so life has taught me caution. I will probably use two layers of the backer board or one layer of backer board and the thinner bricks. Thanks for the responses
  7. Also, would a aluminum sheet between the kiln be somewhat reflective or just mostly conductive? Thanks!
  8. Thanks for the responses. The kiln is smaller 3.3 cubic feet Gare I got it for a dream off craigslist (pristine new condition - only fired a few times/lots of accessories/digital controller). I hope to upgrade to a 5 or 7 cubic foot L & L in a couple of years after I figure out what my needs are. I'm not tall so raising it up will make it difficult but I can probably work around it. The cement board with bricks or pavers is kind of what I was thinking based on my internet searches. Not being familiar with cement board...would I put it under or over the bricks? I was also planning on putting a fan a few feet a way between the kiln and garage door opening to draw in cool air towards the kiln. As a permanent solution...do you think a large poured cement slab could go over the asphalt or do you think the asphalt needs to be dug out? We eventually plan on doing something to cover the uneven floor in the rest of the garage. My husband is advocating for wood around a large cement area poured for the kiln but I really don't know. So many issues have come up that I did not anticipate! Electricians messed up and ran 50 amps to the garage instead of 100amps ...what a fiasco that was to fix!
  9. I've managed to locate a kiln off craigslist (it has a stand) and have had an electrician run a line out to my garage. But now it has occurred to me that the asphalt that someone poured to cover up the cement garage floor is probably a really bad thing around a hot kiln (it was a bad idea in general as it's all cracked and uneven). Should I put off firing the kiln to the spring when I can pour a nice large concrete pad for it? Would concrete blocks under the kiln suffice? I have been throwing like crazy and want to get to firing but don't want to do anything stupid. Has anyone dealt with a similar situation? Thanks so much for any advice in advance!
  10. Great...thanks for clarifying that. The are both licensed electricians with good references that have been practicing for many years in Albany and would get permits and have their work inspected. One of them said that he "only works with copper" and the other was confounded at my suggestion of copper for the service line! Aluminum should bring the cost down considerably! Thanks for your input!
  11. Okay...so I've got a rudimentary understanding of the electrical needs of various kilns. I plan on getting a ~5 cubic foot kiln but want to wire my garage (detached) for possible future upgrades/power needs . Both electricians I have spoken with suggesting bringing 100amps out there (in addition to what is already there) and I have requested the kiln outlet have a 60amp breaker. The electrician I spoke with today looked at me like I had 10 heads when I said I wanted copper wire from the house to the garage and said the copper wire only needs to be from the "box" in the garage and the service wire to the garage can be aluminum. So I guess my question is if it is okay for the service line to be aluminum if the garage internal wiring is copper?
  12. You are right, getting service to the garage totally a whole new subject that I didn't think of. I would like to have a business...but at this point I have some cobwebs to dust off. I live in an old house that was updated to 150amps but we have gas everything and no central air/no future possibility of central air.
  13. The sales tax thing occurred to me in my conversation with Bailey. I am planning on having them put in 6 gauge copper wire and a 60amp circuit and running extra power out (to the garage studio) for future growth. I just had an electrician in am still waiting on that estimate. I have no idea what it should cost (garage about 25 feet from house) so I'm nervous about that. Thankfully, we already had decent service coming into the house.
  14. Diane, I agree with you. It's not a perfect option and why I didn't jump on it to start. For whatever reason, their used kilns seem more reasonably priced. At many other places L&Ls are on sale now + have "free" vents with kit purchase and I wonder if this is something I should jump on (although I don't know maybe these sales are normally on all the time ). A 23s would be 2,100 delivered. It would take me a year or two to pay of the kiln and I *hope* I would be able to sell a few pots to help offset it. The digital would be great as I have small kids and would have to fire a manual at night in order to give it the proper amount of babysitting.
  15. It seems the new kilns are drop shipped so it doesn't matter how close the places are to me. I think my best bet might be to get a used kiln from Northeast ceramics, about 15mins from me. They charge more than their competitors for new kilns and are cranky to deal with. I bought my wheel from them when I was in college about a decade ago and it's still the same people and the same attitude like you are putting them out asking what their prices are and what not. They are so close but I don't like dealing with them (sorry if anyone has connections there but that has just been my limited experience). Everyplace else I have talked to on the phone has been really nice.
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