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Callie Beller Diesel

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About Callie Beller Diesel

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    Moderator
  • Birthday 11/14/1976

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    http://www.dieselclay.weebly.com

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  • Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Interests
    Soda fire, all things reduction, and a little bit of glass.

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  1. So this talk from NCECA this spring, which I unfortunately missed in person, is now up on YouTube. The speaker worked at Etsy for a number of years, and is a former Etsy seller herself, and she gives a good insider breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of Etsy. It's a 45 minute video, but you can listen to it hands free while you work.
  2. @Min Square does sell a barcode reader it integrates with. It runs about $150 online, shipping time 5-7 days. I believe you need the stand and an Ipad as well, for another $200 for the stand and whatever the ipad runs for if you don't already own one. Barcode generation software is easy to come by, and I did find some of that for free. So not exorbitant, as far as till systems go, but it depends on wether it will be used again, or for how much volume as to wether or not something like that is cost effective.
  3. Probably not for free and/or cheap. Is there a budget you have to work with?
  4. If you're using Square, use it as the till system it is. Enter each artist's items, and enter their name under the "category" section. Then you can look up sales by category over your preferred time frame from the dashboard, and you can tell at a glance who sold what. It's a bit of data entry to get it set up, but it makes it way easier in the end. Someone familiar with Square should be able to set something like that up in an afternoon. Edited to add: We used this exact setup when we were working with about 60 different artists at a small one week show. The accounting at the end was very straightforward. added again: the only other software I have used myself would be designed for consignment situations, and it's more suitable for a permanent setup due to the initial software purchase and a bit of a steeper learning curve because it's got more functions you can get confused by.
  5. +1 for soaping the brush before using wax resist. Dampen the brush and work some dish soap or hand soap thoroughly into the bristles, right down to the ferrule. Try not to get it too wet or bubbly, or it's hard to point the brush. Even the crusty gross wax resist rinses nicely. I've been using the same artificial sable brush for wax and other things for about 8 years now.
  6. Etsy's suitability is largely related to scale, and the level of professional involvement you want to engage in. I fully agree that Etsy isn't a good choice to stay with if you're wanting to build a business that pays you an actual wage or salary. It's a poor choice to build a brand on. It is however an inexpensive place to start out on, learn with and eventually transition off of, or to have a part time presence on. Keep in mind the OP is a retiree. I'd be giving different advice to a 20 or 30 something just starting their business. Etsy is a tool, like a hammer. It's great if you need to pound some nails, but not the best for driving screws.
  7. Thanks @Min. I have a good relationship with my supplier, and they'll order things for me if I ask. I'll play around with this after the Christmas madness wraps up. @Bill Kielb It does indeed drop like a rock, even with the bentonite. It needs Epsom salts to be useable.
  8. Honestly, as a clear glaze, this one is only okay. It can be cloudy, especially if over dark clay or black underglaze. I use it because I can get it premixed, which saves a lot of time for me, and it fits my chosen clay body quite well. It makes a better base glaze than a clear. Tony does note that the premixed version available from Plainsman is made with coarser meshes of both Neph Sye and silica than the recipe's originator recommends. I looked into getting a bag of that F 524 frit to test it with the finer mesh of silica. Plainsman will sell you a 50 lb bag, but it was $$$.
  9. From personal experience with that clear glaze that Min linked to: are you adding any Epsom salt or vinegar to the glaze slurry? That one settles out freakishly fast without it, and it plays havoc with your application.
  10. Sound observation. Almost no one on Etsy in any category makes a full time living from that site, despite the "quit your day job" series of blog posts Etsy liked to promote at one point. Last I looked, the actual number doing that was only 2-3% of sellers. Etsy is best used as one income stream amongst many as a part of a full time income, or as a modest side or part time income. Online sales results will depend largely on your own ability to understand and execute online promotion. There is no such thing as "set it and forget it." Anyone who says otherwise is likely trying to sell you a course. And after sounding all negative and cynical like that, I have to also say that success needs to be defined by the individual. If you're earning a hundred dollars every once in a while to pay for more materials or firing fees and that's all you need, then great! If it's less overheard and stress to have a spring sale online than to pack up and travel out of town for four days at Easter for the same amount of profit, then do the online and save your sanity. Not everyone lives in an area with good in-person sales to hand, and they find their supportive community online instead. At that point, online sales make sense. Do you. We don't sprout instantly profitable businesses overnight, and online selling is a tool in the box to help build. Like any tool though, it needs to be used properly to get the best results.
  11. Another question would be is PSH formulating their own underglaze, or are they repackaging another brand?
  12. Recycling scraps isn't really much different than recycling larger quantities of clay. If your clay is wet enough to just re-wedge, then that's the best method. If it's harder, you can break it up and put it in a bag with a little water and seal it up tight. You'll have to wedge a lot to get everything even. If the piece is mostly dry, it might be easiest to slake it down and turn it into slurry. The drying thing is just a matter of keeping an eye on it, and learning how your material reacts to the atmosphere in your specific location. That will depend on your ambient temperature, how wet the clay was to start with, and how humid it is this week.
  13. For functional work, it’s best to fire your clay to maturity. Porcelain shouldn’t stick at all in the bisque. As long as you leave about 1/4” at the bottom of the piece unglazed (wax resist is your friend), you shouldn’t have too much glaze trouble, unless your glaze is unusually runny. Make sure the bottoms are wiped clean after glazing and you should be fine. Its only some porcelain, usually the really translucent ones, that will “pluck” the kiln shelf, not all of them. As long as you’re kiln washed and have clean bottoms it’s not a big deal.
  14. I used to fire a soup bowl design rim to rim and got more warping that way than when I just put them rim down on the shelf. But some of that’s is going to depend on your clay, I bet.
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