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Callie Beller Diesel

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Everything posted by Callie Beller Diesel

  1. @kswan I take a 50% deposit before starting, and the remainder on delivery. If someone wants to pay up front I don’t tell them no, but I like to leave the client a little insurance.
  2. I think there’s a place for both. I like the accessibility of video, and the fact that there are keyword searches that don’t involve a card catalog! Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and a visual demonstration is worth volumes. I can find information rapidly with the internet, which I really like. I can see demonstrations from people I’d never get to see in real life, which is amazing! But. Video is frequently paced too slowly for me to absorb things easily, and I get really frustrated when people ramble or go too far off topic. That’s a function of my ADHD, and not a comment on the makers of videos. I can get around most of this by speeding up the playback on most platforms, but if there’s graphics in the background, I need to pause to make sure I get everything. Most video also doesn’t include thorough (or sometimes accurate) synopses, or don’t have time stamp markers indicating points of discussion. You have to watch the whole thing to get the one bit of info somewhere in the middle you wanted. Books go more in-depth. I love the tactile feel of reading a book over reading from a tablet. I can read and absorb information at the exact speed my brain wants. I can skim to that one paragraph with the pertinent info without having to read the entire chapter. I have a few hard copy references that I refer to constantly, because the internet is also distracting, and I don’t need to take side trips into rabbit holes when I just want the Fahrenheit/Celsius conversion numbers for a cone.
  3. @DirtRoadsI had initially posted this in June, and I used my Square all summer without the feature being reactivated after I turned it off the first time. I think they probably got a complaint or two about it! There was a flurry of activity around it when it first came out, and I haven’t heard anything about it since. It may have been a glitch in the rollout, it may have been something less well intentioned, I haven’t found any information since indicating it was one or the other. If you’re concerned about software updates and would like to know what’s in them, turn the automatic update on your phone off. You’ll still get prompts to do it so that you don’t miss important stuff, but you can have a look at what is being introduced before you make the changes. For large OS updates for instance, I usually leave it a week or two before I install it. Gives them a chance to find and patch the errors.
  4. There’s definitely an argument for that! If I’m doing follow up, they get one, brief, polite message asking if they’d like to continue the chat from the weekend. If they don’t respond, that’s the end of it. I get verbose here, but in person I am NOT a high pressure sales person. My personal preference is usually to deal with a special order on the spot, but I also keep my parameters of what I consider to be a special order very narrow so I can do that easily. I spell out my terms and conditions (deposits, time frames, taxes and shipping) before starting the discussion. I lead with the things that are most likely to turn people off, because I don’t want to go back and forth or deal with tire kickers. If someone’s feeling money conscious, that’s usually when I’ll get the “I’ll think about it.” What I consider a special order is something similar to what I already make, but in a different glaze, or with another minor design alteration. I don’t copy other people’s work, I don’t make things I don’t already make something similar to, and I won’t offer any glazes that aren’t currently in the booth. For instance, I already make bowls, so if someone wants me to add a spout so it’s a batter bowl, that’s doable. Making an egg separator they saw on Pinterest isn’t. It saves days worth of emails if someone can point to a physical thing and indicate size and colour preference. If necessary, I do a little thumbnail to make sure we’re describing the same thing. I can then easily quote a price that’s marked up from the base item. If someone wants a thing that I make that I happen to be out of, I just take a name and contact info, and let them know when the next batch is ready. Again, only one notification, and it’s up to them to follow up. I can do this easily, but I’ve got my pricing structures worked out, and I make it easy to incorporate variations on what again I made myself a script to work off of so I’m not getting flustered. Kswan mentioned they were overwhelmed, so adding an extra script to their day wasn’t in the books.
  5. Shows can definitely be overwhelming at the best of times, and now is not the best of times! If offering to take orders is a service you *want* to offer (extra emphasis on the want to), people like feeling looked after. It’s a good idea to couch it in terms of yes, I’d like to be able to help you, let’s make an appointment for later so you can have my undivided attention. Make sure you get their contact info and follow up with them, rather than leaving it up to them to contact you. If you leave it up to them, you’ll never see them again. For Trello, think I pulled the Kanban template to start with, but I relabelled all of it, added stuff and changed the background. It would have been just as simple to start from scratch.
  6. Yes. Yes you do, if you’re going to offer this as a service. Taking a bit of time now to organize a system will save you a TON of time and headache later. When I made my paper version, I got super fancy with my formatting, because it was part of a larger planner that I use to track a bunch of other things as well. I set myself up to enjoy using it, because my ADHD is a toddler and needs shameless bribery sometimes. It’s got a snazzy reusable cover, it’s printed on nice paper, and I like the feeling of writing in it with my favourite kind of pen. I spent a really ridiculous amount of time designing it initially, but it’s something I still enjoy using, so it was time well spent. That said, you don’t have to get elaborate if it gets in the way of you creating a system. Even just having a pretty composition book from the dollar store that is dedicated to your special orders is better than loosing scraps of paper. Or maybe you need to get yourself a fun clipboard to keep the scraps in one place instead! The best system is the one that you actually use.
  7. @kswan Actually, using Trello just for a production list is perhaps under utilizing the software. Using it to keep track of special orders is probably a better use of it. The way I described it for a production list shows card files being used as list items only, so you can manipulate them on the screen. Card files are meant to hold more info than that though. When you open the cards, there’s a ton of room to put all kinds of images and information, and to attach useful files. Previously, if I was taking special orders at a show, I made myself a paper planner that I keep a bunch of stuff like that in so it’s all in one place. I record: Name, contact info, price of the piece we’ve agreed to, % of deposit taken, due date, and there’s space for notes and details about the order. There is room for a small thumbnail sketch, and I use a cheap sketchbook to go into more detail about the form if needed. With Trello, you’d be eliminating everything but your sketchbook, and you could still photograph the drawings and attach them to the card. I don’t usually take my tablet into my studio with me, so having the paper drawings in front of the while I’m at the wheel is still a good thing. The way I’ve got my special orders board set up is pretty similar to how I’ve got my production list set up. In addition to the Pending/Clay Prepped/Thrown/Drying/Bisqued/Glazing/Fired headings, I add “Photographed and Contacted,” and “Picked Up or Shipped.” Each special order is set up as a card with all the information that I collect above, and as I work on the piece, it gets moved through the different headings. Once it’s finished, it gets an image taken, and that’s sent to the customer to let them know their order is ready, and to make sure they’re happy with it. The pictures get attached to the card too. If the customer is happy, we make arrangements to get it to them (either pickup at a sale, or shipping)and for payment. If I need to ship an order, I add the tracking number to the card, just in case something goes wrong. The card can be deleted after a few weeks or the order has been received. The only thing that keeps me from ditching the paper copy entirely at the moment is that I do get repeat customers, and I haven’t worked out a better way of recording their contact info in a way I won’t loose it. Edited to add: I did download the phone version of Trello, just to see how big the font is, etc on the cards. It is quite legible, and I think it’d be pretty easy to use on the go if you’re a comfortable thumb typist.
  8. Did you mix the glaze for about 4-5 minutes before trying to dip? If it’s not that, you could just need a little more epsom salt solution. There’s nothing in there that’s too weird. 10% epk is a little low, but with some added bentonite, that should be sufficient clay.
  9. @Crooked Lawyer Potter Can you provide the recipe? I want to see if there are soluble ingredients and what the clay levels are like. Also, when you say you added Epsom salts, did you add them dry, or did you make a supersaturated solution and add it to your batch? With an SG of 1.46, it should be suspended properly.
  10. @oldladyI think someone made the bucket in question into a giant measuring cup.
  11. When it’s only 4 of them like that, it’s easier to get intrigued by the science of it! I’m glad it wasn’t more.
  12. If in doubt, don’t use it as a liner. It wouldn’t be my first choice of a glaze to put on the working surface of a pot. The 5% copper is likely to be soluble at the very least.
  13. @oldladyI hope it went well. It would be very easy to record venmo payments in square as either cash, or “other payment type.”
  14. @dontcallmeshirley Hi and welcome to the forum! According to his profile, the last time Bruce checked in on the forum was back in May. He’s edited out the recipe that was at the start of the thread, unfortunately. I don’t know his reasons for that. You could try sending him a DM. He should get an email notification that he’s received a message here. Edited to add: Out of curiosity, I did a google search for Kohiki slip, and came up with this recipe on Glazy. In the notes, someone references this thread as a source. 50 EPK 30 Gold Art 10 Custer Feldspar 10 Silica It’s been a couple of years since this thread was started, but I recall the starting post having a lot more detail than just the recipe. What those details are have escaped my brain.
  15. If you’re using volume measurements on a bucket, there is a risk of varying the results somewhat. The question I have is which batch is working better: the one made with volumetric measurements, or the one that was weighed out properly? Depending on the batch size, small variations in weight from batch to batch might be tolerated. If your students are only sculpting with it or they’re young and making the usual first pieces, precise chemistry won’t be isn’t going to be a big concern, as long as it holds together. If they’re making functional pieces, I’d run a porosity test on this clay body to make sure their pots won’t weep. As far as grog goes, it comes in different mesh sizes, and you can adjust to taste. 30 mesh does seem a bit harsh for a throwing body, especially for beginners. I can’t remember off the top what Hawthorne is like, but OM4 and Tile 6 are both really soft, plastic clays. It seems like this clay might need a little something to help it stand up. Another question is how are you preparing the clay? You mentioned it’s dry, and it sounds like it has plasticity issues. Are you mixing it into slurry and drying it out, are you adding just enough water to make it workable and combining it in a pug mill or other machine? If you’re using a pug mill, are you letting it sit for a couple of weeks to allow the particles to wet thoroughly? If the clay is being used right after mixing, that could account for some of the workability issues.
  16. I would not suggest substituting Venmo for Square. Square is a till and accounting system. Venmo is just one way of taking payments. I’d view Venmo as a convenience to offer your customer, much as we once viewed taking Square payments when that technology was new. If someone wanted to transfer you money via Venmo, I think it’s still advisable to enter it into Square for all the tracking and accounting purposes.
  17. Definitely. The friend I referred to is an in-person friend in my city, not an online one in the US.
  18. @Hulk Did you mean for this post to land on the business part of the forum, or was the info intended for someone else?
  19. Heads up to all who have been having issues: It seems like the issue may have been resolved. I personally managed to log into Clayflicks after changing my password just now. Try it again, and post here if you’re still having issues. Thank you so much for your patience! @SherisseCollins @Bill Kielb @D.kriger @MHS @Hong
  20. They will if you let them dry too much. You’re waiting for them to set up enough to support themselves, not letting them linger on the bat.
  21. It’s quite handy! Here’s a couple of images, because that’s probably better than a verbose description. The first image is of an open card, which are the list items you can see in the background. The second image is of the production board. You can play around with formatting more than I did if you like things really pretty. I only changed the background to an image from my picture files on my tablet.
  22. @Lucia Matos Yes, and yes. But. Yes, you can use ball clay instead of Red Art, and indeed the recipe for sig that you want for lighter colours uses OM 4 instead. Yes, Red Art is a low fire clay. But. I have put that black sig in cone 10 soda kilns. It bleaches out a bit, and gets a blue cast to it, but it doesn’t run or anything. It gets a nice satiny finish. It’s not durable in the dishwasher, but if you want it for decorative purposes, it’s quite attractive.
  23. Hi Grace, and welcome to the forum! The number of moulds you need is usually dictated by the number of plates you need to produce in a day. A jig/jolly is a time saving device for larger production amounts, so I’d say a minimum of 12. How long they need to be on the plaster can depend a bit on the condition of the mould, the water level in your clay, and the humidity, but I think I remember seeing something about 2-3 casts/day for more industrial operations. I think it’s more for a RAM press. On a regular plaster or hydrocal they just release as they set up and start to shrink. You can just pop them off if they’re on a hump mould, or they should pull away from the walls if they’re in a slump.
  24. Okay. I don’t think you’re going to hear this, or the idea that adding stained glass to a piece that could be misconstrued as functional, even though its for personal use is a bad one. It sets a bad example to people who don’t know better. But I’m putting this out there for any other readers of this forum thread who are seeking information on the subject. Assuming that someone is looking to do a similar project, and they have access to stained glass either by buying new material, or using up scrap glass from a stained glass artist or school. Here’s some information to consider. There are stained glass products out there designed specifically for slumping and fusing, and that have the same COE so they can be used together. System 96 is stained glass with a COE of 96. Lotsa really pretty colours, and some sheets that are even recommended for slumping, because the strike fire brings out more interesting effects. It’s readily available, and all stained glass suppliers have some on hand. So it’s a logical assumption that this would be the product used. The two suppliers that used to make it, Orobouros and Spectrum seem to have been bought up by Oceanside Glass and Tile. These products are intended to be slumped and fused at a top temperature of 1470F (see pages 11-14 of this instructional pdf from Oceanside). According to the Safety Information Sheet supplied for “warm colours” from the website: “The chemicals used to produce this product are in a glass matrix and are, therefore, not available to the environment unless the glass is heated to its melting point or ground to an extremely fine particle size” (emphasis mine). The sheet also states the melting point to be 2000F. It states that there are quantities of selenium (<.25%) and cadmium (<.6%) compounds in those colours that they’re obliged to report on. Cone 6 is 2194F at the bottom end, as it measures heat work, not just temperature. Extra facts: Calculated expansion (which is inaccurate, but the best we have) of the first 2 glazes on the dashboard of my Insight account are in the 60-70 range. As little 3-4 points of difference can effect glaze fit on a clay body, depending. And one last quote from the FAQ section of Delphi Glass on System 96 glass: “Can Spectrum Glass be used for dinnerware? Spectrum products have been tested for chemical leaching as required by the FDA for food bearing surfaces. All of our products passed and were determined to be suitable. However, when you use Spectrum glass to produce a product of your own (slump it, fuse it, foil it, lead it, etc.), it’s not Spectrum glass anymore. It’s your product now, and as such, must pass all tests before being sold or used as a food bearing surface. It is possible that the processes you use to make your product alter the composition of the raw materials (the glass) in such a way that they may no longer meet the required standards. Either way, the regulations are clear: You must have your own finished products tested and approved.”
  25. I think some of it may be a matter of scale. The business account didn’t look a lot different than the personal one from a vendor point of view, and it doesn’t seem more complicated to use. It does seem to be aimed at small scale businesses or folks getting started. I don’t know what percentage of people in the US tend to pay with credit vs cash vs funds transfer, but 200 transactions per year on one payment method alone seems like a lot. Another consideration on the pro side for venmo would be it’s processing fees. Venmo says their fees for businesses are 1.9% plus $0.10 per transaction. My location won’t let me search US Square fees, but here they’re 2.65% for in person chip insert or tap transactions. I only get charged a flat fee of $0.10 on debit card transactions. Square doesn’t make a report telling me debit vs credit card breakdown, but my personal effective fee rate this year is 1.78%. Debit card use here is very prevalent, because it’s so favourable to the customer. No one likes being charged to use their own money.
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