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About LeeU

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 07/14/1947

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  • Location
    New Hampshire
  • Interests
    In addition to clay, I'm interested in painting, photography, and writing. Recently retired from 30 years in behavioral health services, just getting back to enjoying and making art. I have a BFA in ceramics from VCU's School of the Arts (Virginia Commonwealth University). I recently completed setting up a small in-home studio.

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  1. I think that educating others in various aspects of ceramics is something we "should" do when the opportunity arises. So in that vein, I honestly have to say I wouldn't use the word "Craze", which is usually undesirable as a glaze flaw, as a main element for a ceramics business name. "Paint your own" also makes me grit my teeth...people then learn to use the wrong term for a specific process using specific materials, which just perpetuates misinformation about ceramics. I am not wanting to sound critical--just raising some points for consideration for something as important as a business name and an activity for the public involving clay and glaze.
  2. Would using boards cut from drywall solve the problem?
  3. I have always preferred ceramist, when I have to choose, because it is rooted in the 10,000 BCE/BC years of humans making thing of clay. It is simple and to the point. However, the word is not terribly familiar to the general public, compared to, for example, potter. I have also used clay artist, as a more contemporary term. I like that it is vague enough, without being as mysterious as ceramist (or ceramicist), to not paint me into a corner, such as "potter" would. "Title(s)" seems synthetic to me. The terms we use to identify ourselves as people who work in clay, to my mind, are just descriptors that serve the purpose of providing others with an approachable entry point to our activity and output. A title for what we do, which is likely to be commingled with "who" we are, is fairly essential for communication and interaction in today's markets, whether as a hobby or as a career/profession, whether for profit or not, and even whether inferior or of exquisite quality.
  4. What's on my workbench? Nothing. There is no worktable at the moment. Up until today--2 days before, 1 day of, and 3 days after the non-even craft fair, it was not available. It has finally made it into the studio now, though half of the bins of the pieces are still in the trunk. The little sidewalk fair was fun-ish, at least talking with the other vendors who weren't selling anything either (no traffic). Not so great for the back/hip, so in the future I'll only be participating in venues that provide tables, however few that may be. And, DUH, I can't do anything, really, without my work table actually being in the studio, so there's that lost time as well! Maybe tomorrow I can get up the steam to put my work space back together. Updated, the last 2 pics-a day later- got my table back up, yay me for not procrastinating and laying about all day watching Nothing Gold Can Stay--an addictive Amazon series, just FYI.
  5. I must backpedal on my two-cents worth!! I can see the downside of using one's own name for a business of this type! Well put, Callie & Denice.
  6. Well, the deed is done. It was a non-event. The morning hours carried serious threats of rain-there was heavy competition from many other fairs and events statewide that weekend, and no signage (??!!) even at the entrance to the site. Nobody sold anything--literally (well, one vendor sold a $5 item-seriously-that was it!). Without knowing what I did over the weekend (organizing & packing up all that stuff, schlepping 3 tables and all the wares & display props out of the studio & into the car-unloading-setting up-breaking it down, re-packing, more schlepping, unpacking, etc. etc. and half of it was still in the back seat Tues.), on Monday my chiropractor told me that whatever it was, not to do it again! Took 3 times the usual adjustments to get me straight! I have decided that the only events I will do--if I do any at all--are those where they provide the tables! I think my low-budget set-up looked decent, tho.
  7. Every day I must make big and small decisions regarding ethics, safety, exploitation of adults and children, integrity, willful disregard or unavoidable look-the-truth-in-the-face. Every day I wind up feeling unsatisfied with some of what I "had" to choose, for my own well-being, survival, and reasonable comfort. I choose--for darn good personal reasons--to not be an activist against heavy-duty matters that violate people's safety, health, rights, reasonable living conditions. I choose, to the extent that I am aware of what I am choosing-to not participate when I can reasonably avoid participation (free shipping and reward points not withstanding-shame on me). I recently "rescued" a betta (Siamese Fighting Fish-betta splendens) from a little cup of water in a pet store, to give it a wonderful home in a naturally planted aquarium. And yet, am I not just perpetuating the hostage breeding of these creatures, just for my own pleasure-same as we breed chickens/cows/pigs just to be killed because broccoli gets boring? I hope my mainstream commercial glaze suppliers do use ethical sourcing, but I am unlikely to research that further myself. If I learn they do otherwise, I'll stop using their cobalts. I do what I can, but, frankly, I feel that it ain't very much.
  8. What's not to like about Sadie's Ceramics? Sadie's Ceramics has a really nice vibe to it, in my opinion--it sounds "cheerful", which is appropriate for that type of business. "Paint it yourself" is not the kind of activity that benefits from a neutral-sounding business name (i.e. Brookside Ceramics) or anything too serious or bland in tone. You are not looking to attract ceramicists who want to learn wheel work or sculpture or hand-building, and presumably you are seeking to attract people who want to have a good time and feel satisfied with what they make in your shop. If it is primarily kid-focused, I'd go with something light weight; if you are serving adults or a mix of adults and younger customers, I'd aim for a mid-tone that would appeal to a broader group, while still not sounding too-too "business-like" or lacking any flair or engaging vibe. Additionally, the name should simultaneously fit in with the neighborhood location, while being unique enough to be visible and stand out from surrounding shops and their signage. I see you used Sadie's Ceramics for your member name, and it begs the question again--what's wrong with that? It's clear, simple, and friendly...and it conveys "ownership", in the sense of being invested in your own enterprise, recognizable by your name (identity), in your community. Best wishes-should be quite an adventure!
  9. Glad I am OK with taking my chances with more of the art side of things (plus these days I'm happy with an array of commercial glazes). The chemistry knowledge is long, long gone from my brain and I'm not retaining it with re-learning. (Lee is feeling her age today!!)
  10. An update on the Fushigigama anagama kiln and the situation with New England College and the Institute of Art and Design at NEC, from John Baymore, 8/27/19: "STATUS UPDATE: The group of mainly potters who worked at the Sharon Arts Center over the past few years (and now need a home and a teaching operation in which to learn) is having a meeting this Wednesday evening 8/28/19 in Dublin. This particular group is mainly exploring resurrecting / saving the whole Sharon Arts Center concept, not specifically only dealing with Fushigigama. A number of people in the group have been doing research on other ceramic / art cooperatives and non-profits to see how they are run. Others are researching the past costs to run the Sharon operation. I sent a long detailed email to a key person at NEC a week ago, outlining what exactly they had there in now owning Fushigigama. I made the case for saving it in some manner or another as best as I could. Gave a list of potential options to save it. I got a very nice professional reply back. From that response, it is clear that they have not yet made any firm decisions about the fate of that kiln."
  11. I have adamently resisted "doing" craft fairs and art shows (except as sponsored by my potters' guild) because I just plain don't want to, don't care for it, and don't think the money, at my low volume, it would ever be worth the wear & tear. On the other hand, I often donate my wares, and sometimes my presence, for selected local non-profit fundraisers. So, I have decided to participate in one that benefits the Titlon-Northfield Hall Memorial Library (NH). It is a modest 1-day sidewalk event. I am having a blast just doing the DIY display planning and finding/making the set-up for my tables (5 foot on the horizontal and a 4 ft. coming forward on the right, to creat a "walk-in" space. No tent. I find I am actually looking forward to this. I'm using Square for my payment processor and just love it. Will be featuring "smalls". Here we have cutting signage, sorting items with notes for what is still needed to be done, and some purchased display supports. I made a bunch of key fobs, which look great on the spinner rack.
  12. I thought a "once fire" is the same as a "single fire" --green to full cone in one shot-- no bisque first.
  13. Tho it doesn't break, at cone 6 and I don't like the unfinished look of the dark dull grit texture. It does OK for me if for joining something where it is not real visible but that situation usually lends itself just as well to planning on using wire after the pieces are fired.
  14. I have to chime in re the diamond bits--they make all the difference in the world. I use the Dremel on most areas needing to be smoothed/removed and also a set of assorted diamond files that fit single handle, for small areas like tiny burrs on pendants. I do pretty thorough finishing work pre-fire, but even so I fusually ind that prepping for display requires some final work with these tools.
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