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Joseph Fireborn

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Everything posted by Joseph Fireborn

  1. This is rampant. I was helping my mother in law with her etsy shop the other day and she called me saying she needed help with a lady who was listing her items in their shop. The exact same picture, the exact same title, and the exact same description. How does etsy not even catch that? Anyways she contacted the seller and the seller instantly removed the item, but still, what in the world is happening to people. I agree with Mea here, using other peoples work and not your craftspeople's work, going to be one horrible show.
  2. Red Rock from Highwater clays would look exactly like this with a white glaze like that.
  3. That is the paste, which is technically a glaze, just very pasty instead of wet and fluid. Like if you put your hands in the batch it wouldn't run through your fingers. I don't usually bisque pots unless I am using a particular glaze that I find needs bisque. I single fire almost all my work. I think you should continue experimenting with the sprinkling stuff. The pot is a real gem.
  4. I have sprinkled dry ash onto my glazes in cone 6 electric. The results are mixed, it just depends on the glaze and how it reacts to additional flux and silica that the wood ash adds. I personally have found better results from making a "paste". I have made a paste out of wood ash. These paste have a slight bit of clay added and a slight amount of a feldspar of some kind, but the majority of the paste is ash(70-90%). The reason I call it a paste and not a glaze is because it isn't liquid form. I apply it with a natural sponge to the pot by dapping it on. It looks something like this after being applied. As you can see it is very chunky. I don't sieve the wood ash. I take it directly from my fireplace, put it in a 5 gallon bucket and scoop out the amount I need and add it to a small glaze container. I found that when you sieve the ash and wash it, you might as well just use commercial glaze ingredients. It takes away all the variability. The result looks something like this: A lot of my work is using wood ash paste now as I found applying it this way sort of duplicates the way ash is probably applied in a wood kiln. It isn't a uniform application, it sticks and clumps and builds up in certain places. Again this is all theory as I haven't fired wood before, but I have looked at a lot of wood-fired pots in person and it appears this is what happens. Of course, I want to say that I am not trying to replicate wood firings at all, but just to get some surfaces that I adore in my electric kiln. There is just something about the randomness of ash that I really appreciate, each tree is unique and thus each batch of ash paste is different. The pot you posted above is very nice in the glaze and I think the ash definitely did it justice. How was it fired? What kind of kiln?
  5. I like the moss. I have been thinking about growing it as well. I want to use it in my seed start mix with worm castings and compost too. I figure if I get it right I can create a seed mix that never needs to be fertilized from seed till in the ground. Of course, it is also beautiful to put over the roots of a bonsai.
  6. @LeeU I definitely think it is important to put a little bit of yourself in the work, and if it isn't something obvious then maybe a little explanation is okay. Isn't that why galleries require artist statements anyways? I think it probably is. We don't get artist statements that get read online usually, so it's best that we put a snippet of them in our product description. I could be very wrong about all this as I don't have a ton of experience with online sales of pottery. I have sold a high percentage of the total number of what I listed in a relatively quick period of time, so I guess that counts for something, but I don't have 1000's of sales to really have valid data about my ideas. It is probably also just as important to leave most of our ego out of the product as well. Let it speak for itself too, so its a balance between too much and too little.
  7. You can message me if you like, but I really don't think it is necessary. I always try to explain to people, you don't sell products by talking about the features. A lot of people think you sell products talking about the benefits, but I think this is wrong too. I believe you sell products by evoking emotion first, then talking about the benefits. Look at all the best sales companies in the world. - Apple's entire brand is based on emotion. They make you feel like you are awesome for having their products, heck everything statistically about their product is completely inferior to the price they are asking, yet they charge almost 100% more for stuff. They are masters at making you feel emotionally connected and inspired by their marketing. Heck, most of their ads don't even say anything about specs or the actual product, they just pump you full of emotions and say: iPhone X. - Coke does this as well. All of their commercials don't say, coke tastes great, coke is the best, coke is this, what they do is show you people having a blast drinking a coke, making memories, or kissing for the first time. They invoke emotions. I could go on and on but you get the point. When your selling ceramics online, you don't have much to go on. It is a picture of a cup, you can't pick it up and hold it, you can't see it in the sunlight and in the dark, you can't turn it to see the angle, so what can you do? Well, you can say it holds x amount, is blue and is food safe... But so is every single other blue mug on Etsy. So you need to do something different and I went with trying to evoke a little bit of emotion in my description. I didn't even do a very good job with "crackle that feels amazing in your hand." In one of the previous items that I sold it wrote something along the lines of: "Every morning I discover something new about the piece and it reminds me to approach my day with an open mind and to look for unique moments..." Of course, some people don't care about this crap, but some people do, particularly people buying my type of work. Another thing I do is write something like, "The surfaces of my work remind you that you are holding a cup, that you are drinking from a cup, it becomes something you think about each time you pick it up, and it reminds you to enjoy every little moment of your morning tea or coffee." Again, this isn't for everyone, but I am using anything I can to get a sale, and I also really feel this way about my surfaces. It goes directly with the choosing glaze post that Min made. To me, the surface is everything, because when you reach to pick it up, if it doesn't feel like you expect it to, then you pay attention to what you're doing, and that itself is very special. It is like kissing your spouse or your son on the head, its such a natural thing we take it for granted, but sometimes it's nice to be reminded of how special a kiss is. Anyways, so just think about why you make your work, and put a little bit of your heart into it, particularly if your selling online, because you're competing against the masses and you gotta be different. EDIT: wabi sabi : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi
  8. I think words like this are a huge boost for the long tail search terms. People looking for specific things know these terms. Stuff like: wabi-sabi, contemporary, modern, rustic.
  9. When I list things on Etsy I follow a pretty simple rule: Color / Size / Object / Alternate Name So for a mug, I would put: Grey Mug - 12oz Coffee Mug - Medium Coffee Cup - Pottery Mug - Handmade I do the same for Yunomi: Black/Grey Yunomi - 6oz Tea Cup - Rustic Tea Cup You can then go into more detail in the description as Mea said. An example description: (italic's the keywords for an example of how I worked them in) This grey and black yunomi is handmade by me and covered with a beautiful black clay that crackles and feels amazing in your hands. The teacup holds 6oz's and is wonderful to enjoy your morning tea out of every day. The surface is different as you go around the pottery cup and you will find new things about it each time you use it. It is durable and made to last. I hope that you enjoy this cup and find joy exploring its surfaces every day. All of my items are 100% satisfaction guaranteed! If you have any questions please use the contact button to ask. After the description, I always include something like this : • This item is dishwasher safe, microwave safe and food safe.• Measures: a little over 3 inches tall, and 3.5 inches wide at the rim.• Holds 10oz. • Weight: 337g or .75 of a pound. Of course, Etsy has places to list color and then tags to put in other things. Make sure to use all of these the best you can. I wouldn't worry too much about titles being fancy, just describe the object in the most general sense you can, but don't leave out the details. I don't like seeing titles like: "Coffee Mug" With descriptions like: This is a coffee mug made by me, it was fired to cone 6. --- Stuff like that is practically useless, people wonder why they don't sell stuff well on Etsy with that kinda description who would. You can include things like what temp it was fired to or whatever else you want, but I have found they only care about the way it looks, how big it is, and how much it holds. Lastly, I would put as many pictures as you can take. I usually do 4 sides for each pot, a top view, a bottom view, a laying sideways view and a detail shot of the best part of the pot. Anywho, the trick to doing all this is to make your descriptions super generic besides the first sentence or two, so you can copy and paste it and then just change 5-6 words.
  10. Just use amaco underglaze pencils as OldLady said. It works fine.
  11. We shall see. I don't know if I will be satisfied 100%, but I am at a point where I am more interested in generating income than generating kiln loads full of test. I have some purpose for my pottery now, as before it was just a mug to maybe sell. I have since moved into a new area where I am interested in making utility pots for functions that I personally need daily. I also have a future plan on ways to market my pottery very well in my local area. Of course, this won't come to pass for a few more years, but I am in the process of learning to farm on a small scale, and I can see my vases and bowls at the farmer's markets full of fresh beautiful flowers, fruits, and vegetables. I am also finally going back to work this year after 10 years of health battles. So my need to explore glazes for personal mental health have faded. I won't have the time to spend days researching anymore and I am not sure if I really want to. I guess overall I am pretty satisfied with the results I have achieved in a few years and I am going to focus on making more pots and using fewer glazes. I think it is time to finally go that way. Needless to say, I have no idea if the glaze I plan to use will sell or not. It is pretty far out there in terms of what people in the west are happy to use. I drink and eat out of it every day for the past few months and it is a real experience each time. I have a few other glazes that I have been using for a long time that I will continue to use as well, but I am done developing glazes for some time. Anywho, I am almost derailing this thread here, but I just wanted to respond to your question. I think anyone interested in making glazes should definitely try it, even if you only end up making a few glazes you really enjoy, understanding the chemicals, the materials and the processes that develop certain surfaces is very helpful for your future in pottery. There are not many things as satisfying as being able to troubleshoot your own glazes very quickly just by looking at the recipe and holding the pot in your hand.
  12. I pick glazes purely on texture or the surface they give. I then test the glaze to see if it holds up. If it does yay(rarely happens), if not then I end up tweaking the amounts and usually it ends up going somewhere completely different. The real trick to glazes isn't finding the perfect single glaze but layering them to get absurd results. Of course, I say this now when I am currently working with a single glaze for all my work, *gasp*. The absolute hardest thing about glazing pottery is not finding a good pretty glaze, there are thousands of great glazes. The issue is finding a great glaze that you like and won't get bored with and that your customers will also like. That I have found is the absolute hardest part of glazing.
  13. Maybe there is an approval period for brand new members to prevent spam or something. I don't remember one when I signed up a few years back, but the forum changed software since then. As far as censorship goes, I have been here for 3 years and I am not affiliated with the site in any way. There is 0 censorship, there is probably more evidence of heated discussions than censorship. Please take a moment to welcome yourself and look around. We are a very vocal group.
  14. Great stuff. I can't wait for the lectures to go up on youtube so I can watch them all again.
  15. I somehow missed this photo all together black dog. It looks like some type of candy bar, very textural. What are you plans for this? Are you still exploring?
  16. Cut and slam method is more efficient then spiral wedging anyways. I do both. I spiral wedge to get it started then I cut and slam after I feel like enough is in the material. Then I spiral wedge again. I add about a quarter pound of material to each pound of clay. I looked at your work. Very nice stuff. Please keep us posted on how the additions go. Some people here found it useful and some found it not what they wanted. We had a post about chicken scratch here: Not sure if you read it or not.
  17. Thankfully anyone can browse instagram without an account. Unlike facebooks horrible system. Instagram hasn't been fully screwed up like facebook yet. So here is the link to her instagram that you can browse in your browser: https://www.instagram.com/chriscampbellpottery/
  18. You could just wedge in whatever amounts of texture you are looking for. This could be much easier than trying to find a clay body that has exactly what you want. I know I tried several bodies looking for something with a lot of texture and I couldn't find any at cone 6. There are several good cone 10 bodies that are slap full of materials though. The only downside of wedging in materials is you have to wedge your clay. If you work a lot of clay every day it can be physically taxing. I don't have this issue as I don't produce volumes of work, I would assume doing kurinuki that you are not producing massive volumes of work with this method either, although could be very wrong. A pug mill could be a solution to this problem as well. I personally wedge in sand, course grog, and chicken grit to my cone 6 work and get very good textures when I cut into my bodies. Anyways, just an idea. Good luck.
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