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Posts posted by LeeU

  1. I use several wooden laser cut bakers rolling pins (going on 4 years) have no problems maintaining the wood. I use dental pics and medium hard bristle brushes to get dried clay out of crevasses, lightly wash the roller, dry it thoroughly, and every few months wipe on--and then wipe off--a very, very light bit of something like Bag Balm or coconut oil. 

  2. As a generality, I've observed a higher level of consistency and competency among college ceramics courses/instructors, compared to public studio owners/instructors. While many community studios are run by top-flight ceramists,  many are just mediocre and not providing adequate or even correct information/terminology/basic chemistry & techniques.  It's important to  research the background of the place and its staff, as well as the knowing  the policies governing use the studio/equipment, and to observe a few hours of the operation, if possible.   Again, as a generality, educational institutions are less expensive in the long run  for the individual wishing to learn and develop skill.  

  3. Well, I have to go with "all of the above", as a baseline. Yet those attributes alone won't do it for me as much as when a piece elicits  an inadvertent little internal  gasp...because it's just so gorgeous.  Just don't ask me to define my ideas of gorgeous (or lucious, or sweet, or way cool, etc.). Essentially I just "know it when I see it".  Loving a piece covers a lot of territory, from craftsmanship to color to design, to form to function to whether it can earn its keep, and so much more.  For me it's intuitive, or at times even highly counter-intuitive, evoking  a kind of primal or visceral reaction--or response-- (those not being the same thing)  to the piece. I guess it's a vibe, or an energy, or a perception of something being shared, that just sparks something and connects me to the piece, and sometimes, at least peripherally, with the maker.  

  4. Actually, I am relieved, because I knew I didn't want to go down that road in the first place!  :rolleyes:

    I always trust my decisions & instincts, AND I am also willing to challenge my own positions.  The physical wear & tear of prep, selecting pieces, making labels/signs, packing carriers, packing the car, unpacking  and carrying into the site, setting up table displays, tearing down/repacking the carriers, repacking the car, unpacking the car, schlepping it all back into the studio, unpacking the carriers, sorting and putting away the stock and all the other crap......I could go on and on, because the whole process just went on and on!!  Don't see a "next show" on the horizon.  And I'm real OK with that!

    I needed to know if the physical "cost" was worth the effort, and, for me (not young, not terribly fit, have my chiropractor on speed dial), it just isn't. I sure do appreciate all the support, tips, cautions,  & encouragement --- that is one of the wonderful things, of real value, about these forums and the people who participate here, as a community.  

  5. On 6/11/2019 at 11:17 PM, CactusPots said:

    unless you're trying to fill a ditch with your finished product, it has to be marketed

    I have to disagree.  No finished product (in this case, art/craft/functional ware/ceramics)  "has to" be marketed. Everything an artist does in making that item/product is a conscious or unconscious decision--a choice, or an abdication of choosing.  Nowhere is it "written" that marketing (selling-expanding exposure-advertising-promoting) is essential or necessary to justify making the product. 

    I would argue that for some artists/creatives/craftsmen, marketing per se may not even be desirable-that there may be a higher value in not doing so. Value is not just whatever money or prestige attaches to an object. Value, in my view, must be determined first by the maker--everyone one else is secondary.  The value to the artist may actually be increased by choosing not to do marketing of one's products. (I give most of mine away, including donating for use by non-profits for their fundraising.) 

    Marketing  inherently either supports (look at Mea Rhee's success, for ex.) or diminishes (look at Liam's example w/Rae Dunn) the value of the creative drive that results in one's making something useful out of clay! But the absence of marketing our functional ware does not in any way mean that those of us who aren't big into retail are merely working on filling a ditch!  

  6. On 9/4/2019 at 3:45 AM, Blue Moons said:

    quick tips to differentiate

    Not likely--the complexity of ceramics does not lend itself to quick tips, and differentiating among long-standing traditions/historic wares even less likely.  If you search the terms used on Newbecca's site you can learn some background about that type of Chinese porcelain ware, but not much about authenticity or valuation.  Maybe contact a University with a graduate ceramics program or an Art Institute or Art Museum and ask for any contacts they might have for a specialist in what you are looking to know.

  7. 3 hours ago, liambesaw said:

    So I will just be collecting my scraps until I can afford a pug mill.

    Since you're not going to be recycling anymore, can I have your pug mill?

    Cool....if you get the pugger can I send you my concrete hard clay to reclaim? I hate rehydrating & wedging, wedging, wedging. :lol:

  8. 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!! 

  9. 5 hours ago, liambesaw said:

    I figure Etsy is a good place to drive sales to, not a place to get sales from.

    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. 

  10. 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. 

  11. 4 hours ago, oldlady said:

    smashing the big scraps is very tension relieving

    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.....:D


  12. 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!   




  13. 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. 

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