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Callie Beller Diesel

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Everything posted by Callie Beller Diesel

  1. The only way I could think of adding your text to these cups would be to have gold lustre decals made, but that may or may not be cost effective. There are places that will make custom decals like that, but they have things like setup fees and minimum orders. Gold lustre has to be silk screened, not printed. edit: either that, or you could add the decals, and then remove the old lustre and fire again to re-add the gold lustre
  2. The minimum temperatures for most typical China paint decals starts around cone 016, so usually pretty low. But as others have said, test one with some sort of kiln shelf saving measure just in case, before trying to alter them all. Bone China is its own unusual animal.
  3. I got commissioned to make a couple of things for friends for their family, but most of my fam has what they want from me already. I got to make a couple of fun commissions for others though. One lady got three stacking sets in different colours, one for each of her daughters. My favourite though, was a sugar jar that one of the sweetest boys I might have ever met was getting for his boyfriend for their first Christmas in their new apartment. I have some bowls that haven’t been selling as well as I wanted them to that I will take down to the Drop In Centre. They have a transitional housing program, and are always in need of cookware and dishes to supply a kitchen with.
  4. I have used the sealed bag in the bucket trick a fair bit. Word to the wise: check your bag after a couple of hours. If your bag has a hole in it you didn’t know about, your clay will be quite sloppy if you leave it for days on end. It will be nice and soft after an hour or two.
  5. I’m not doing anything in the studio this week. I’ll go back in after Boxing Day. Imma hang out here and be opinionated
  6. The only thing I have to add is that preheating a kiln shed that’s below freezing is more good sense than an inconvenience, unless you really enjoy frozen fingertips. Makes the job more comfortable.
  7. That’s basically what Chit Chat’s does: collects Canadian post bound for the US and crosses the border with it to mail it via USPS. There is one in Calgary, but it’s on the opposite end of town. For the 4 things I sent stateside last year, I just went to my usual outlet. If I get too many more than that, I’ll make the drive.
  8. Yeah, but if he’s got to ship it back across the line... costs me $25-30 CAD to send one mug stateside.
  9. @liambesaw You might want to have a conversation about shipping to their American customers regardless of the trade agreement. You'd save him and his customers a TON of shipping. Canada post is $$$, compared to any service you guys are used to.
  10. Ok! I have just endured 35 minutes of “Here Comes the Sun” for the common good. Here are some more results. @GEP I got ahold of Weebly tech support and described the situation where multiple people had purchased the same item. He said he couldn’t speak about Big Cartel, but if you want to avoid a similar situation on Weebly, you simply turn the inventory tracking on for your item and set it to 1. After that item sells, you can’t oversell it, unlike the in-person inventory monitoring for Square. If you do not have the inventory tracking turned on in Weebly, you can oversell things. My helpful tech person also said that placing an item in the cart does not reserve it in any way: it is a first come first served race to the checkout. In Weebly there’s also a spot where you can choose to turn on the shopping cart feature so that people can buy multiple items, or turn it off so that when you click to buy, you go directly to checkout for that one item. This might prevent similar issues related to speed in the future. Other things of note: you can turn on an ability to collect your customer’s emails. It will only collect them in Weebly’s native email marketing program, although you can export the names you collect there to a Mailchimp or other account. It should be noted that if you’re emailing anyone outside the US, you should not be emailing them unless they’ve opted in to your list according to various Canadian and European email laws.
  11. @liambesaw That I didn’t test. You can track inventory, but I don’t know if the system acts as a governor. I’ll get ahold of weebly today and ask.
  12. Update: Once I got my item listings made, I did a quick and dirty update just to test a few things. I chose one of the items in my shop and put it in my cart, and then asked my husband to buy the same item from his phone. He bought the item successfully. So using the Weebly/square integration won’t solve the problem of products being snaffled by another shopper, unfortunately. Some things I noted along the way: - Weebly mentioned at some point that I could integrate my shop on my Facebook page, although I did not follow the prompt to explore that any further. My brain is too fried. -Notifications of sales and actions on refunds are prompt on the shopper’s end. I need to look into how to polish the look of automated customer emails in the morning, as the default is quite bland. - I got an autoresponder from Square saying the refund from my shop’s perspective may take up to 5 days to process, and if the funds aren’t available in my Square account, the bank account Square is attached to will be debited. -The back end of the order fulfillment page in the shop is nice! I haven’t fully explored all off the shipping fulfilment functions, but so far I like what I see.
  13. No, there’s no wrapping of anything. Like Chilly mentions above, arrange the straight clay “logs” in sun rays or in rows, depending on the shape of the piece on top. I have reused the clay logs, but my clay tolerates that just fine. If you’re concerned, put your green ware platter on top of green ware logs, and fire your bisqued platter on bisqued logs.
  14. Welcome to my next novel! Thank you in advance for reading In my area I'm seeing a lot of the older production potters retire, but they're being replaced by some young new eager folks in their 20's, and there's a middle contingent of people who have started building businesses in the last 5-10 years or so (ahem). There are some marked stylistic differences along generational lines. A lot of the newer folks are making work that reminds me a lot of mid century modern sensibilities in that they're embracing the materials (hello speckled clay!) but they haven't had a chance to work out good handles yet, and sometimes I wonder about their chemistry choices. They tend to be very well presented, with well thought out and creative displays, logos and nice business cards. They promote a lot on Instagram and other social media, using it very deftly. They're also collaborating a lot with other businesses and taking advantage of networking opportunities outside an arts or crafts arena. Local fancy coffee shop opens? Of course they need a couple dozen Modernist handmade mugs to go with that! There's someone down at this cute little workspace who can fill that order for you, probably for a good price! The newer kids are still building their audiences and working out of cooperative studios, so their output, and therefore takehome, isn't necessarially huge. They do pots as a side gig, or as part of another form of practice. Most aspire to eventually quit their day jobs and do pots instead. They're still figuring a lot of things out, but they're out there doing it. The middle ground are folks that have been working for 5 years or more, and have developed a more personal voice. The diversity of work in this group is quite wonderful, from clean elegant minimalist lines, to individually modeled animal mugs that come with adoption certificates, to gold lustre embellished porcelain vases with elaborate cutouts, to some serious horror vaccui and lush colour-overloaded fabric imprint work..it goes on. This group has found their audience, and they are catering to them shamelessly. This group has active social media presences and often have newsletters, although usage of the latter may vary. Branding is in various states of completion with some having tighter presentations than others. They all have websites, but tend to sell more in person. They've got divirsified income streams: some wholesale, some consignment, some online, a lot of the show circuit. Surprisingly, not too many teach: no time or not enough space. They will say no to the weird requests that are clearly out of their range (No, I will not paint an infinity sign and the word "tag" in the bottom of a one of a kind mug!), and they will charge prices that represent their professional skill without apology. No more making 2 dozen cups with the coffee shop's logo on it for $250. Many of us got a leg up from a particular craft show that, during the last boom, acted as an incubator and community builder. A lot of creative businesses were able to get going, and a very "community over competition" environment came out of that time and place. We have spent the last few years finding and nurturing our audiences, most have quit the day jobs they didn't want, and incomes are getting into the "paying the bills" range. Nothing too extravagant, but we can say we pay taxes. Some of the folks who are more in the 10 year range are trying to limit the number of shows that they do in a year, as the overhead can really eat into your profit margins, and they're straight up a lot of physical labour. The in person shows have allowed them to build their audiences, but doing every last 2 day weekend market no longer appeals. It has taken a lot of hard work and a long time to get to this point. The older folks are definitely identifiable: They tend to have either a blue/green pallette or a brown/amber one. You can find all your garlic graters, utensil jars and brie bakers with these good folks, probably for a lot less money than the 40 year olds are charging, if the 40 year olds even have that item. They also have a handful of "statement" pieces that compliment the more everyday items: these will cost more than any one item the 40 year olds have in their entire booth. They have huge booth displays made from iffy looking plywood that offer wide variety of well made and tested items, their glazes have stood the test of time, and they're the ones taking orders for dinnerware sets and have waiting lists for such things. They have return customers who have been collecting them for years, and those customers are starting to buy for their adult kids now. They have no social media, and might have a website, but only because someone expects them to. Certainly no online sales. I have no idea how they handle marketing because they're too busy to talk to me while we're at sales together. Some of them are beginning to retire, though. The show organizers are aware of this, and they're trying to nudge some of the middle and younger group into position to take over once they're gone. My takeaway from all of this is that in the current environment, pottery is something you work into as a career: you can't just jump in and hope you're profitable in the first few years. If a regular business can be expected to pull profit in the first 3-5 years, pottery seems to take 5-8 to get established. In some ways I think this can be a blessing though, because there's more time to figure out a style that you like AND sells. Building a business is a lot to figure out, and if Americans think there's few statistics on art or craft incomes to try and make a business plan with, there are even fewer north of the border. I am winging this based on personal experience, and what my community is willing to share with me. Thank All That Is for them.
  15. Ah, but there's that dirty word, "should." Paypal is ultimately a plugin. You're relying on two computer programs made by two different companies to communicate with each other efficiently, and they don't always do that well without paid tech support. The only other payment gateways that I can think of that would be useful on a small scale like this would be either Etsy (which is still technically Paypal, just better integrated than home jobs), or Square on its integration with Weebly. If you're only selling a handful of things once a year, Etsy could be a perfectly viable option. Although I know it's got some branding baggage, it still might be the most cost effective option. I've only just upgraded my Weebly site to the level that allows a ten item shop 2 weeks ago, in the name of trying to even out some of my annual revenues in between show seasons (looking at you, February!). I haven't had a chance to flesh it out yet, nor have I announced its existence to my email list, so I can't say what happens if people are trying to buy the same thing at the same time from personal experience. I wil be poking at it tomorrow, because I've had a few people express interest in some small items and I want to get that dealt with. I'll see if I can get some friends to help me break the system. I will report back.
  16. I’ve seen larger retailers than my friend here, namely East Fork Pottery, give similar sets of instructions for their online sales. They sell a fair volume online, so I can’t see them not having some sort of hold-in-cart function if it’s readily available. Just the prevalence of these kinds of instructions that I see frequent online sellers give out makes me wonder if that kind of feature might be cost prohibitive below a certain sales threshold.
  17. I haven’t done a ton of research on this, but a few things lead me to believe it might be a prevalent issue across platforms. If PayPal is doing the processing, that could explain it. I’ve seen East Fork Pottery experience the same issues on their internet sales days too. Here is a screenshot of a friend of mine’s disclaimer that she posts ahead of her online sales, if you need some wording tips. Her situation is maybe more extensive than yours, but some things can be adapted, I think. (Couldn’t copy and paste the text: it was an instagram Stories image.)
  18. @Leila the poster Reza hasn’t visited the site since 2013, and began originally in 2011. If you’re curious, you might try DM’ing them. They might get an email notification if they still use the same email they signed up with.
  19. They still do. This guy was my booth neighbour at my last sale. https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/750340399/drinking-horn-carved-with-vegvisir-runic?ref=shop_home_active_2&frs=1
  20. @Hulk make sure they’re deep enough. I tried some last year that were more bowl shaped and looked cute, but were too shallow. Don’t do this:
  21. Prevention of burrs is less work than sanding for sure. Work clean, and putting your pieces on a very smooth surface to dry is a big help too. I second Neil’s use of 220 grit set/dry sandpaper for anything that gets missed. I’m going to point out though that if your glaze is scratched easily by a reasonably finished foot rim this glaze may have durability issues, and might not be the best choice for plates.
  22. Careen Stoll is another, better example as well, and I want to say she's in the Seattle/Portland area. She collaborates specifically with chefs, and actually rents out her serving sets for large events. @careenstoll and @lusciousporcelain on instagram if you'd like to check her out.
  23. Chefs generally want their food to shine, not be overpowered by the dishes: not too many places want dishes with any kind of colour other than white. Grey or soft brown are daring choices in the food world. The pieces in the article are definitely in the minimalist category. They seem to all start out as cylinders with a bit of flare, and warp pretty good in the kiln. Very delicate, and they have some animation. It's all about the form. The cups look like you have to think about how you're going to hold it and drink, which makes another argument for it being about this being about being present, and thinking about eating. And my guess is the bones from the restaraunt are only part of the bone ash in the clay recipe. That part's probably gimmick. A lot of high art is. (Wall bananas, anyone?)
  24. Hi Brooklin and welcome! Not like mosquito coils, no. Just thin clay "snakes." Spacing and placement depends on how pyroplastic your clay is, and the shape of the piece you're placing. If your clay warps a lot, you want to use more coils so that the piece is well supported, and doesn't have any spans wide enough to slump into. The idea is to place the coils under the piece so that when the clay goes through quartz inversion and the related expansion and contraction, the piece isn't sticking to the kiln shelf. It also helps large, flat items with rims to heat more evenly because the're not touching the kiln shelf, which behaves as a big heat sink.
  25. He's making bone china. It's similar to Corelle in how vitreous it is, so it might not require a glaze. It does indeed warp like the devil. In terms of making a statement about waste vs value, particularly in regards to our food and where it comes from, and the objects we own, it makes a lot of sense. I like the symmetry of it. Dining at places like this is supposed to incorporate a higher level of experience and attention to detail than just eating because you're hungry.
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