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LeeU

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Posts posted by LeeU

  1. I like some of the commercial mid-fire glazes that make an effort to pay homage to the "real thing" they are derived from, such as high fire potter-made glazes. These are Ancient Copper, Crystal Forest, and Palladium, fresh out of a cone 5 electric fire. I'm happy! (the photos are just quick reference snaps-don't bother telling me how to get rid of the glare etc. :rolleyes:  The little moose dish has some  unglazed accents that I did with wax-that's not the lighting; the Palladium is more silvery than appears and the crystalline is not so yellow looking. Too lazy to retake the pics for this purpose.)

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  2. 1 hour ago, Hulk said:

    If th' underside of the leaf and the part it covers does not require glazing, then fire away

    Question--if a commercial engobe--for example, Laguna's cone 5 Moroccan Sand Engobe series, any color,  was used to coat the underside of the lid and the seating on the pot itself would that prevent the lid fusing to the pot (while still providing color)? 

  3. When I had to come to terms with the realization that (upon retiring from a non-art/clay career) I would not be in a position to be making the large ceramic sculptural pieces I hoped for, and  had some other constraints, I threw myself one heck of a pity party. It took me a couple of years to get over myself and get out from under the influence of art world elitism, in terms of self-valuation. I had to get to a place where I could humbly appreciate  putting my  signature stamp on the bread & butter pieces (paradoxically, with pride) as on something far more creative. Maybe the best approach, in terms of branding/marketing, is, as Min suggested, to have two different signature styles-one for the Etsy store stuff and one for the gallery biggies.

  4. My 2-cents worth is more for someone who is not transitioning to a FT clay biz, but is maybe just going PT or establishing a small hobby biz, and for whom revenue for "survival + a good living" is not an imperative.  So I guess this is more about what made my life easier, transitioning from a FT career, in a very different field, to a home-based retirement PT immersion in clay work. 

    1. Early on I did the math, the soul-searching, the priority pros & cons, and made a well reasoned decision to buy the best/newest equipment that I could afford. I know I could have done just fine with a used kiln/wheel etc., but I just plain didn't want to start off that way.  Key to this was having a realistic budget planned out for a couple of years, in the first place...and sticking to it. I have had no regrets, other than realizing I could have actually done  with a smaller kiln. The only thing I bought that I ended up not using/selling, was a compressor. 

    2. Free business advice/tools/workshops/webinars from SCORE were invaluable. (In the U.S., it's a non-profit service of volunteer business mentors) Building my own website and learning the built-in marketing/selling/payment features of the site generator (whether WIX or Wordpress, Weebly, or an  Etsy store-they're pretty much all the same) was also invaluable. Even what I didn't implement is very useful know-how to have.

    3. This Forum primarily, and a couple of other ceramics-specific social groups are tremendous supports for everything from the technical to the emotional!

    4. I agree with Callie-putting my revenue back into my biz is essential in order to stabilize and grow. It took a couple of years just to get up and running, and will now take a few more to do  better than breaking even (which was my primary goal).  My two set-backs have been: (1) coming to terms with certain physical/cognitive limitations (finding work-arounds & dealing with acceptance) and;  (2) effective now and going forward, a serious revision of product output/style/market placement. Those are essentially "personal problems"--the only useful notation I can offer from the experiences is don't try to avoid reality, nor let it get you down.  Whatever the situation, practicing patience, perseverance, being realistic, having determination, enlisting help/support of all types, actualizing discipline, and did I mention being realistic?  is what sustains, maintains, and attains my objectives & goals.

  5. On 10/7/2020 at 10:21 AM, neilestrick said:

     if you just keep the top peep open for the entire firing it'll do the same thing and save energy.

    Are you saying the top peep can be left open for all electric firings?  Mine is an L&L and I usually fire to  5 or 6. I'd like saving a bit on the electric bill if the results should be the same as when closed. 

  6. One of the first things I did when setting up my studio was to make a tracings of a kiln shelf (half round) on kraft paper and  foam core. I then used the "guides" to measure and select the best sizes for a set of tall utility shelves, a small shelving unit, a utility cart, and drying boards (dry wall) that were all "calibrated" to hold 6 shelves worth of work.   I also used my templates to figure out how much of what type of pieces I could fit on a shelf. The coordination, as a production process assist, has served me well and I never have to guess about when I have enough to fill the kiln. I am a slow worker and it is a large kiln, so that is important for planning and serves as a motivator to get it done, since it can be a long wait until the next load is ready.  

  7. SImilar problem--table top-took it apart and cleaned gears/rollers and used tiny allen wrench to tighten up the mechanism, and early on learned to pay more attention to the different  thicknesses of the clay that I could get from the various combinations I could make from the masonite boards for better results. Bailey's is great-they will help problem solve if it is still not functioning correctly.

  8. On 9/30/2020 at 7:52 PM, oldlady said:

    the website is less than good

    If they are approachable for feedback on the website itself, I have to say the teeny tiny text type in pale orange is awful.  Looks awful and is very off-putting to try to read-way to hard to see, in color and size. It cheapens the rest of the content...a quality business ought to be savvy enough to have a professional, engaging website with content that you at least could read if you wanted to.   The product shots and typeface/size are OK, which is in your favor.  Best wishes! 

  9. On 9/14/2020 at 6:55 AM, nancylee said:

    So I should be able to make one, right? 

    I literally just had this conversation two days ago, when I made this beauty on my (worth-every-penny) Pampered Chef pizza stone. People don't seem to like it when I explain that no, I really can't just make them one (the stone, not the pizza). :D Oh-for those who might be curious, it's a gluten-free crust of cassava & almond flours, enriched with the oil sun dried tomatoes are kept in; the topping is a true pure Italian sauce, fresh real mozzarella, fresh basil leaves & some of the sun dried tomatoes. It was delicious! 

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  10. On 9/7/2020 at 9:01 PM, JohnnyK said:

    So what do your key fobs look like?

    These are just inventory reference pics-not meant to see the light of day! The current key fobs are held on a spring clip (like for lanyards) and then attached to the ring, to give them some 'swing' and not be too fixed to the ring...I figure that might help prevent breakage-tho so far after a year or so none have broken that I know of.  I don't care for the pendants (the cording-can't afford gold or sterling YET, which is how I would prefer to offer them...but people like them & it keeps them inexpensive (i.e. they sell) , so whatta ya gonna do! 

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  11. I no longer have the temperament or patience for proper construction w/slabs. I do mostly freeform from scratch or a combo with hump/ slump forms. I am doing more clean and sometimes even straight edges to dishes now because I am in a touristy retail shop. It kind of distresses me tho that people get excited about my key fobs and not ..oh well......go figure!

  12. Seems like a medical question---personally I would want to do some research into the specific condition and choose carefully what type(s) of health practitioner(s) I consulted.  Mainstream medicine did nothing for the type of arthritis I have, in a segment of my neck/shoulder, and in my right hand, but a year of  (insurance-covered) expert chiropractic treatment reduced it significantly, proven by x-rays. It is not gone, of course, but in over 3 years it has not progressed from that reduction and is nowhere near the pretreatment degree of pain and restriction of movement.  I am absolutely not offering a medical opinion--just sharing what has been the case for me, which has been counter to what I was being told by M.D.s., including that progression was inevitable.  Keeping my hand/fingers/wrist moving-including working with clay-is a recommendation for my ongoing flexibility. I do not throw very often; I handbuild. My most significant restriction is wedging, and I have found that the cut & slam method is the best technique for me.

  13. From John Baymore on the current status of the wonderful, huge, smokeless,  anagama kiln he /his students built:  "It now looks like the kiln will be located elsewhere.

    I have agreed to share the plans I designed and drew up and supervise the work of dismantling/ reconstruction of Fushigigama on the new site (Stay tuned for a potential socially-distanced, mask wearing "carefully take down and pack up a kiln" party. And then later for a large kiln building effort/workshop/class/etc.)

    Fushigigama was an important part of the NH and New England woodfiring ceramics community, and I/we hope to be able to return that asset to everyone that might be interested in participating in firings. The kiln design has already shown that it produces very good results, and has a decent reduced woodfiring 'environmental footprint' at the same time."  The funding still has to be in place, of course, but apparently a decent location is on the horizon.

    On a separate issue, an update on the  Art Center (there is no longer any connection to the kiln): "DUBLIN, NH — Local artists are one step closer to recouping the programming they lost when the Sharon Arts Center closed last year, thanks to recent financial support from the state for a new ceramics studio in Dublin.

    MAxT Makerspace, a Peterborough nonprofit group that provides its members with a workshop to make textiles, jewelry, wooden crafts and other goods, received $62,500 in tax credits from New Hampshire’s Community Development Finance Authority in July. The organization will distribute the CDFA tax credits to raise funds for the new studio, according to its executive director, Roy Schlieben.

    MAxT has identified an open suite at Dublin Village Park on Route 101 that it hopes to lease for the Sharing Arts Ceramics Center — a nod to the former arts studio in Sharon — and is now raising $100,000 to turn the space into a ceramics facility..." 

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  14. 3 hours ago, Benzine said:

    If so, I need one for those couple of squirrels who keep getting into my bird feeder!

    Just get some of those  metal mesh bird feeders especially designed to thwart squirrels (they don't). Remove the lid--you will have an instant squirrel cage! Take the squirrel about 15 miles out of town. He won't show up again  for a couple of days at least. Maybe let the birds know they can eat in peace on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

  15. Got nuthin'--all matte black. The c10 body was bisqued for a wood fire that will now never happen, so I went ahead and addressed the pieces for non-functional purposes just around my own yard/house. Did some experimenting w/the engobe, wax & glaze-nothing interesting happened. 

     

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