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LeeU

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  1. Like
    LeeU reacted to tomhumf in I'm different ? Consistent VS, Varied   
    I agree with what you say - just had to point out that dog dishes are one of my best sellers at the moment Don't underestimate what people are willing to spend on their pets
  2. Like
    LeeU reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in artist to artist etiquette at shows   
    I think of Neil Gaiman's speech that he gave at that graduation ceremony. He was speaking about how to get work as a writer, but I think the sentiment applies to how to behave professionally as an artist in most situations. He said you have to do 3 things: show up on time, do good work, and be nice to people.
    Show Up On Time covers things like, but are not limited to:
    Showing up for load in on time, and to your booth early enough to get the lights on and your coat put away; having all your materials with you; having the proper equipment and what you need to set it up with, reading the load in and load out instructions so you know where you're supposed to be and when; not blocking traffic areas so people can't get to where they need to be. DO NOT pack up early.
    Do Good Work covers things like, but are not limited to:
    Making your pieces to the best of your ability: doing testing to make sure everything works as it should. Documenting that work so you have good images when you need them. Doing your writing so you have it to hand when you need it. Doing your marketing when you know you ought to. Making some basic shop policies for yourself ahead of time, so you aren't put on the spot when someone asks you "Do you do custom work?" or "This thing I bought broke just after I bought it/a month after I bought it/last year. How do you want to deal with this?"
    Be Nice to People covers things like, but are not limited to:
    Remembering first and foremost that someone else's bad behaviour does not reflect on you, but your bad behaviour does: "He did it first" didn't fly when you were a kid, either. Being patient with others: everyone is stressed, and everything can be figured out like the creative adults we all are.  Not interfering with sales, as mentioned above. Providing information and payment to the organizers when they need it. Don't gossip about other vendors to your booth neighbours if they're making something you think is ugly or not your thing: they are still human beings. If they 're doing something the show organizer needs to know about it, tell the show organizer rather than me, and let the organizer deal with difficult situations. Stay sober, sane and as present as you can be in your booth (you have to pee and walk around sometime, I get it). Plan where you're going to keep empty storage boxes/your personal stuff/overstock, and make sure that's not in your neighbour's space. Stay within your allotted space and don't let your display creep into the fire exits/the aisles/your neigbour's booth. Don't take power you didn't pay for, or ask me if you can skim off of someone else's:  breakers are an issue. Save comparing financial notes with people you're closer to and trust, and don't do it during the show.
     
    I'm super, super lucky that 99.8 percent of the other folks I've ever worked with in the last 5 years or so have been fantastic. The other .2 percent can be counted on one hand.
  3. Like
    LeeU reacted to GEP in Firing trick   
    Am I imaging, or is there another crack here?

    If there is more than one crack, and they both originate in the "corner" of a foot, then this indicates there is a structural problem there. Either the joints need to be compressed together more, or there is a lot of extra thickness there. 
    If the feet are stuck to the kiln shelf while the pot is trying to shrink, that would certainly make the problem worse. So propping up the pot on wasters is still a good idea. But take some time to examine the structure in those corners too.
    I hope you figure it out @CactusPots, because it's a lovely form. 
  4. Like
    LeeU reacted to Mark C. in Firing trick   
    Waster slabs are trash when done -they move along with the pots-Pots shrink in the glaze fire and in the bisque fire -you need to make and fire some shrinkage bars from your clay body to understand how much in both fires -(use the search function here to learn how to make and fire these as they have been written about a lot )I only use waster slabs when the work is large or problematic like say a 3 foot long fish I fired on top three shelves spanning each one.You can use colts or grog to aid the slid during shrinkage. Kiln was helps as does really flat shelves (advancers)
    You will be surprised on how much the clay after bisque still shrinks when glaze fired.
    I have some super high alumina mini balls that are BB sized for this as well. I was gifted these high tec items and have found the source but its only a large buy in to get any more and I did not want $500 of them. They come from the coors ceramic division -yes same as the beer in Golden Colorado 
    WSO is a clay body from laguna its call number is WC 389 and thats the cone 10 version -I have not looked to see about cone 6 if thats your temp range?Its a cheap waster body and a very porous even when fired to cone 12. More like cement than clay. super weird stuff great for large work as it tough and can take torture well.
  5. Like
    LeeU reacted to Dick White in Firing trick   
    Just a small technical note from my experience - I have found that there is little or no shrinkage in the bisque firing IF your work is already bone dry. The first round of shrinkage (typically about half of the total shrinkage in stoneware clays) is the loss of water from the moist clay. If your wares are put in the bisque kiln still slightly moist and candled dry, then there will appear to have been shrinkage between the time you closed the kiln and opened it after the firing, but that shrinkage actually occurred during the candling to dry, not during the firing to bisque temperature. Stoneware will shrink again as it matures and vitrifies in the glaze firing, and this is where cracking of large slab bottoms occurs, because of the friction against the immovable shelf as the slab shrinks. This is where the bisqued waster slab of the same clay body shows its worth. The waster slab and the valuable ware will shrink together, and the waster may crack from the friction with the shelf, but the ware on top of it will not. There are other techniques (e.g., alumina dusted on the shelf, ceramic balls) but those are not the subject of this topic.
  6. Like
    LeeU reacted to CactusPots in Firing trick   
    The clay on this pot is Special Number 2.  It's custom mixed for my local dealer Freeform Clay by Laguna.  Similar in color to Amador, less grog.  Very dark  red.  Nice clay, I'd buy more of it if it wasn't custom order.
    When you say WSO do you mean Laguna's WC389?  That's a really white expensive (relatively) clay.  I'm thinking more of using old mullite kiln shelves cut up for the purpose.
    I expected the waster slab to be primarily for preventing warping or sagging of the bottom.  I use grog under the feet on pots like this in the bisque fire and don't expect much shrinkage in the glaze fire.  Right?
    I'd like to find a solid procedure for bigger slab pots.  I really like the slab roller and expect these to be a good seller for me.  No other defects on this pot, so I think I'm close.

  7. Like
    LeeU reacted to blackthorn in Mason Stain White query   
    Oh, and please don't take my inquiry here as laziness. 
    I scrubbed this forum and the web before I inquired if anyone has used it or has experience with it.
  8. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Pres in QotW: Do you use commercial products or do you mix your own?   
    The short answer is that I use commercial bodies and commercial glazes. But being a bit of a Chatty Cathy, here's the rest of it. I do not have the physical space to mix my own, nor the energy or motivation, tho I cringe and wince and grind my teeth every time I pay to get the commercial materials that I like. New Hampshire has no ceramics supply store and the drive to ME or MA costs almost as much as shipping and pretty much kills most of a day.  So I pay (and pay a lot...since I use such small quantities). I don't go  in on other potters' large orders because they rarely use the kinds of clay I prefer.   For cone 6,  I am real happy with glazes from Coyote/Amoco/Laguna/Spectrum etc. I don't get a lot of opportunity for wood fire and raku, but with my small quantity, people are real generous with sharing their glazes.  For high fire bodies I use Troy wood, Sheffield's Z, and T3.  I use Highwater's raku. 
    That said, I have to 'fess up that I truly miss making clay bodies and formulating glazes. I spent several years saturated in the learning and doing based on  Daniel Rhodes and D.G. Lawrence (clay/glazes/ceramic science)  plus an excellent education in potters/clay artists and the history.  I was enraptured with the making of the materials that were at the heart of my final work. I got my degree but that was just barely a taste. Then I took an economically-driven detour of 30 years. When I retired and went back to clay, I found that the minor brain injury I have pretty much obliterated everything I learned, including much of the physical processes needed to  function with reasonable skill as a craftsman. It took a while to integrate the sense of loss/frustration with the thrill of being back at it, however limited the effort. So, long story long, I use commercial bodies and glazes, and they are just fine--pretty sweet actually! 
  9. Like
    LeeU reacted to Min in glaze melt question   
    At my last market I had some soda fired pots for sale. Had a woman who was interested in the process so I explained it rather carefully, including the sodium interaction with the alumina and silica in the claybody forming a glaze. She said something like, "wow, it's almost like science".  Oh, if only she knew! 
  10. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from db3819 in glaze melt question   
    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!!) 
  11. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Rae Reich in using out of date pills in glaze   
    Well, yeah! 
  12. Like
    LeeU reacted to liambesaw in What’s on your workbench?   
    Yeah, wanted a specific detail that took me like an hour to do by hand, and didn't want to spend that kind of time on every one.  This is the detail:

  13. Like
    LeeU reacted to Babs in A trend observed   
    Marcia thank you so much for sharing!
    What an amazing person.
    Inspiring.
    I have been in a hole since 1/2 of our Island was nuked by fire this summer. This has energised me.
    I have thought of just making colourful mugs and bowls and giving to folk who lost everything.
    I WILL START this project this weekend.
    Week end work to give away . Other work to support this.
    Thank you so much
     
  14. Like
    LeeU reacted to Pres in A trend observed   
    A little aside from all of this, as something happened the other day that is related. I have since retiring become more of an avid bowler. Walking back from the pro shop in the local lanes the other day a black man, called out to me. . Hey Mr. Rice! Was surprised to see him, and that he knew me over the years, had him in 2006 he informed me. Anyway, we started talking about bowling, and he said he was practicing as he just started in a league this year and have 120 ish average. I asked him to throw the ball to let me see what he was doing. After that I asked him what he was aiming for, he was shooting for target marks at the end of the alley almost at the pins. I told him to shoot arrows, one in particular, and stand at the left of the alley. . . . 3 strikes in a row, a 7 pin leave, and then 3 more strikes. He was excited, to have that many marks so easily. Told me I always was a good teacher, and was amazed I could help him so much so quickly. I guess some of us retire, but can't break the habit of still doing what we loved! Not that I don't love the clay too!
     
    best,
    Pres
  15. Like
    LeeU reacted to Marcia Selsor in A trend observed   
    I had a doctor in my classes when I was teaching. He said when" I make a mistake in clay, nobody dies."
    Marcia
  16. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in A trend observed   
    I think this is the heart (and soul and mind and body) of the matter, whether people making this kind of shift, or evolution, into a different type of work, a different expression of creativity, are particularly aware of it or not. Tho I suspect most people would have a sense of whether their stress is reduced and/or their creative bent is enhanced.  I agree w/Liam, the best thing would be doing what you want all along, and I deeply admire people who are able to pull that off.  What's that saying? Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life? On the other hand, "work" often gets a bad rap, when it is often not so much the work per se, but the trappings of any less than really good working environment. Bad conditions, bad bosses, bad pay, bad schedules, bad systems etc. can be so toxic and damaging that the work-a-day world can be hell (we'll see if the auto censor picks that up!).  I am so very grateful to have made it to retirement--the odds were high for a long time that I would not--so doing art/photography/claywork etc. now is just a pure delight, i.e. "a functional engaged creative life"!   
  17. Like
    LeeU reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in A trend observed   
    I do this full time, and do not doubt it folks, it most certainly IS an obligation. As a professional, I have effectively made promises that I will make work for people who want my skills. I have made commitments with my community to share my knowledge. I am obliged to myself, to my family and to my customers to be a responsible business owner and show up and produce and market and sell and photograph and do paperwork wether I feel like it or not. As a professional, I have made promises, and I am indeed obliged to keep them, and I have to follow through. I liked working in clay enough to choose it on purpose, so now I have a responsibility to do the work.
    That is NOT to say that I don't enjoy the obligation most of the time. My job is a very fun one! But it is still a job. I am not always calculating how and when to get to the studio any more than someone else calculates how soon they can get to their day job. There are days where I'm physically exhausted. There are days when I need a break. There are days where I experinece all kinds of self doubt, question my life decisions, get frustrated with the slow pace and I don't want to trim those bowls today because it's sunny and I'd rather be gardening. Sometimes it's frightening being the only person responsible for absoloutely everything, and please dear god let me not screw up anything involving RevCan. Some days are lonely. And all that is before any of the usual ways clay itself can go sideways.
    But there are also days where I get to see people's eyes light up and smile at the sight of a thing I made. There are days where I get to exercise my skills and feel very powerful in that. There are days that I get to help a husband pick out a 20th anniversary gift for his wife that he is still head over heels for. There are days where I find out I've created something that really resonates with someone else, and that is a VERY profound connection with another human being. Some days I get to help a new clay person solve a problem and watch them get excited. Those are all good days. I am very happy that I get lots of those days!
    I think if you haven't had a serious, debilitating case of the I don't wanna's or some kind of an artist block and had to work through it, give it time. It will happen. Cut yourself some slack when it does: it means you've hit milestones, and you likely have some growth iminent if you let it happen. Show yourself some love, because yelling at yourself and calling yourself names won't help. I've worked with clay for 26 years, so more of my life than not. It isn't fun all the time. My personal expereince is that at least part of the difference between a side gig or a hobby and being a professional is knowing how to recover from hitting those walls. Learning how to clearly and realistically define what you are and aren't able to do, doing it, and communicating it clearly to others.
     
  18. Like
    LeeU reacted to liambesaw in A trend observed   
    You know, I saw someone on Reddit ask the other day "how do you stay motivated to do this, I've hit a wall, i can't find time to commit", so I know that for some this NEEDS to be a hobby, and that they can't give it 100% or it starts feeling like an obligation.
    I know I need to do this, every spare minute of my day is filled with doing, learning, preparing for my night in the shed.  I can't even empathize with someone who can't find time for pottery, it's so foreign.  I know I was built to do this, but my barrier right now is not being retired, not being unemployed, not being forced into it.
    As it is, I have two young kids, a mortgage, and a very high cost of living (one of the highest in the world).  This may always be a side gig for me, but so far it's the fuel behind a lot of other motivations and I can appreciate that.  
     
  19. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from Chilly in The Great pottery Throwdown is Back on YouTube   
    New to me...this should be fun for a bit. They almost lost me in S1-E1, however,  with the comment that thick walls make unattractive bowls.  I work so hard to get my nice thick walls--kinda took that personally!  
  20. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from CactusPots in A trend observed   
    I think this is the heart (and soul and mind and body) of the matter, whether people making this kind of shift, or evolution, into a different type of work, a different expression of creativity, are particularly aware of it or not. Tho I suspect most people would have a sense of whether their stress is reduced and/or their creative bent is enhanced.  I agree w/Liam, the best thing would be doing what you want all along, and I deeply admire people who are able to pull that off.  What's that saying? Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life? On the other hand, "work" often gets a bad rap, when it is often not so much the work per se, but the trappings of any less than really good working environment. Bad conditions, bad bosses, bad pay, bad schedules, bad systems etc. can be so toxic and damaging that the work-a-day world can be hell (we'll see if the auto censor picks that up!).  I am so very grateful to have made it to retirement--the odds were high for a long time that I would not--so doing art/photography/claywork etc. now is just a pure delight, i.e. "a functional engaged creative life"!   
  21. Like
    LeeU got a reaction from GEP in A trend observed   
    I think this is the heart (and soul and mind and body) of the matter, whether people making this kind of shift, or evolution, into a different type of work, a different expression of creativity, are particularly aware of it or not. Tho I suspect most people would have a sense of whether their stress is reduced and/or their creative bent is enhanced.  I agree w/Liam, the best thing would be doing what you want all along, and I deeply admire people who are able to pull that off.  What's that saying? Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life? On the other hand, "work" often gets a bad rap, when it is often not so much the work per se, but the trappings of any less than really good working environment. Bad conditions, bad bosses, bad pay, bad schedules, bad systems etc. can be so toxic and damaging that the work-a-day world can be hell (we'll see if the auto censor picks that up!).  I am so very grateful to have made it to retirement--the odds were high for a long time that I would not--so doing art/photography/claywork etc. now is just a pure delight, i.e. "a functional engaged creative life"!   
  22. Like
    LeeU reacted to liambesaw in A trend observed   
    It's the perfect hobby for people who prefer to stay busy.  Always something to do, or learn, or clean.
  23. Like
    LeeU reacted to CactusPots in A trend observed   
    The part I'd like to emphasize is the restorative nature of the craft for someone who really doesn't like their job that much.  I think people  who go "postal" probably don't have anything like a craft in their life.  It's really hard to work 8 hours with nothing to come home to but TV and the next day.  A lot of time is occupied by creative thinking rather than how much your life sucks.  I have a wonderful wife who encouraged my hobby and it made a big difference to me.  I've always thought of ceramics as more a performance art than a production line.  The best pot to me is the next one, the one I haven't made yet.  It's just a naturally positive outlook.
    I'm still not what would be considered a good potter by good potters, but since my retirement will consist of SS and insufficient savings, having a market for my work is great.
  24. Like
    LeeU reacted to Stephen in A trend observed   
    I think it all depends on motive.
    A hobby that pays for it's supplies might better describe the retired Dentist that paints watercolors and sells them at a local art fair from time to time, or maybe described as a side gig that adds a few bucks to low retirement income for someone who would rather toil over a potters wheel or painters canvas than flip burgers or check receipts at Walmart.
    But if the company is being started with the goal to survive and thrive then I think an art business fits into the overall small startup landscape if that's the point. If you stream and have Amazon prime I think the series 'Where Small Business Grows' is just fantastic. Only one season but they go through a dozen plus small businesses started by regular people.
  25. Like
    LeeU reacted to liambesaw in A trend observed   
    I hate this so much... Like it's so weird that actors have creative hobbies?
    I saw that yesterday and went eww, especially that abomination of a portmanteau.  
    I think the trend of retired people actually doing what they want in retirement is probably a good thing, but the best thing would be them doing it all along.
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