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LeeU

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Everything posted by LeeU

  1. It's important to understand terminology as well. For instance, one does not "paint" clay, one glazes clay. And, unless you know what you are doing and why, common painting techniques (and certain brushes) do not necessarily lend themselves to the technique of applying glaze, even as illustration or line work. For example, a commercial glaze applied with a brush usually requires three coats, letting the sheen dry off between coats. Also, glaze does not usually blend like paint mediums and knowledge of how pigments work in ceramic applications is important. As Neil & Stephen noted, much of the details needed to produce decent quality slip ware will not be found in most pottery classes or courses. I would also add that if you have not built and run a business before, knowledge of planning a business planning is also essential. Another Forum here, Business, Marketing, and Accounting might be right up your ally--great place to post this type of situation/questions etc. Best wishes---don't get discouraged as you discover it's not as simple as it might appear!!
  2. Excellent point...and I am guilty not only of failure to stay updated and current, but also of not indicating that I am absolutely still active, live & kickin' and making clay objects! I need to get off my lazy bones and do something about it, or take it down.
  3. Excellent point...and I am guilty not only of failure to stay updated and current, but also of not indicating that I am absolutely still active, live & kickin' and making clay objects! I need to get off my lazy bones and do something about it, or take it down.
  4. I've been coming to this conclusion myself. For some bizarre reason, people will go to my website but seem uninterested in purchasing directly from the nicely done store. They will email me about something that is on there, which of course changes nothing except they've used more of their own time getting the same info & the same price & the same safe payment process. They buy after emailing. My own online store is as clean and clear and attractive as the Etsy format----go figure. Regardless, what most people I converse with ask me is "Are you on Etsy?" I've neglected my web presence--word of mouth is working just fine for now, but I think next year I may go ahead and do an Etsy store just to see what happens when I answer that question with "Well, yes, yes I am." On another note-I suggest taking advantage of SCORE's free workshops, webinars, and mentors. Enormously helpful. I also recommend experimenting with a free high-quality DIY web site generator like WIX (or Weebly or Wordpress etc.) to create your own website --it's a great learning experience, which helps when you go to do a store on Etsy, plus you can showcase other things, like new work, a blog, or interesting aspects of your process.
  5. Very jazzed!! I just received  an invitation to participate in a raku firing this spring. I am going to focus  on  vase-like forms (not for water-dry only).   :)

    1. JohnnyK

      JohnnyK

      Way to go Lee! By then I should have my testing done on sealants for the interior of raku pots and vases. I'm going to be trying rubber based materials like clear FlexSeal to see if I can waterproof my horsehair and other raku pieces...

    2. Min

      Min

      Good stuff Lee, way to go!

    3. LeeU

      LeeU

      Definitely interested in the results of the sealant.

       

  6. Oh---please try!! I can't conceptualize this and so much want to see whatever can be seen!
  7. Each of my work stations (for functions in the process) has its own array of most-used tools and assists placed as neatly near by as possible. I use little household bins to hold horizontals and jars for uprights, bowls/catchalls for sponges, hooks for hanging things, carefully chosen shelving, and planned use of spaces under tables. My clay is in 5 gal buckets set on those plant-moving things with wheels, I use carts with drawers to store smalls, labeled by category. I label everything so I can remember what's what (i.e. this shelf is bisque for glazing, that shelf is greenware etc.). I write the type of clay and cone, and type of glaze and cone, on masking tape and put that where I can see it at a glance. I try to put like items together-by size or type or function. I have such a small space and I don't tolerate mess very well, especially my own, that I just have to keep it functional or I get put off and back out when I need to press ahead. It's kind of a mental containment strategy, to keep my studio so that I can walk in and just get to work and have what I need at hand without having to search for things or clean them off first.
  8. Indeed---one of the many therapeutic aspects of whacking the heck out of clay, wet or dry!! Even taking Mr. Hammer to those failed glazed & fired pieces is quite satisfying. And for wedging, cut & slam just feels oh-so-good! Dropping slabs with force onto the floor, also. I could go on.....
  9. When I fire porcelain, in addition to the precautions re: glaze you've already mentioned, I put a bit of sand under each piece, so they can move ever so slightly and I do not leave the peep holes open, regardless of whether a fast or slow fire or during a slow cool.
  10. Ugh....a friend has 3 bisque kittens in the Scioto style (not true vintage) and wants me to clear glaze them, only coloring the noses, paw pads, and eyes. So only black, blue, pink & clear. The problem is I have no idea if the body is low fire or mid fire, porcelain or white stoneware. I don't want to wreck them. My "assumption" is that I am safe with low fire glaze & maybe 04 to fire. Any advice anyone can give me??? Normally I would never even look at these --not my thing!--but I'd like to help out my friend. The last image is how they should come out. Thanks in advance. for your 2-cents worth!
  11. I paid 15 dollars for an unvarnished maple rolling pin w/bearings. It is 22" long and the roller part is 15". It is a heavy duty commercial bakers pin. It is awesome and makes terrific slabs. Found it online. Update-after reading Neil's comment below, I would add that were it not for the price, fixed handles, would be preferable.
  12. The link is no good. Is there an active link you could post?
  13. Sad story, such a very sad story. I loathe rehydrating/reclaiming & any wedging at any time. I have a few puny 5 gallon buckets of concrete hard clay, which will probably sit there forever.
  14. For smaller production & home studios like mine, the UpCart is invaluable. It's a dolly-type handcart with wheels designed to roll upstairs & downstairs. My chiropractor says it's the best thing I've done for myself re getting heavy clay from the street into and around the studio w/o stressing my back/spine/neck/shoulders in the process. I love it! Plu it folds down flat!!
  15. 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.
  16. Would using boards cut from drywall solve the problem?
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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!
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