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Callie Beller Diesel

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  1. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Stephen in Argh!! Giffin grip gripe, anyone else have issues?   
    I make my living throwing pots, so it’s not like I’m just at the wheel for relaxation. I’m not making 100K of pots a year, but I manage a respectable wage.  A Giffen grip simply isn’t ideal in all situations. I’m not for a second saying people shouldn’t use one, nor am I some kind of Luddite. Currently I have a skill set and a demand level that renders one unnecessary. 
    Lots of people pull handles rather than extruding them too, even though the extruder is a lot faster. Some of it’s preference, and what’s wrong with that?
  2. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from neilestrick in Pottery Sales - strange days   
    I'm glad you've got the other revenue streams and that there are some postitives at least!
    My increased online efforts have actually put me on par with last year's spring results, and have been more profitable because of the lower overhead. To qualify this though, my first quarter is typically extremely low, but I'm finally putting solid effort into a consistent, organized presence on social media and seeing concrete results from it.
    I don't expect the pattern to hold over the whole year though. Numbers of Covid have peaked and are still in decline, and I'm thinking people will be cautiously optimistic by the time my farmer's market opens for the summer in about 3 weeks, as long as there's not something ELSE that happens.
    Whoever keeps holding 2020's beer needs to stop the enabling.
  3. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Mark C. in Pottery Sales - strange days   
    I should also add that e-mail and phone in orders are on the rise and boxes are shipping  out every week as well-direct sales.Its adding up.-Also got the large wholesale gallery check today which is the order I dropped off two weeks ago in Santa Rosa to a distant gallery (near Hearst Castle) I have never been to-they opened for the memoral day weekend (allowed to now) and sales where up they said.
    I have cleared most pottery stuff (I need to throw a few 6# bowls this week) so the trenching job gets done.
  4. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Chilly in 3D Printed Pottery Question-   
    I’ve seen some folks use a round trimming tool to gouge out the key. 
  5. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from terrim8 in QotW: What is the feeling of your family as related to your studio addiction?   
    Wayne and I got together when I was halfway through art school for pottery, so he knew it was part of the package. He tried one afternoon to center a bit of clay on the wheel and decided it was NOT his thing, but that it didn’t need to be. 
     
    He has been my biggest source of emotional support the whole time. He made sure I got my pottery wheel at a time it wasn’t the most financially sound move ever and I told him not to. When we moved into our current house, my birthday present was him stripping the carpet out of a basement bedroom and scraping the floor so I could have a studio space. He gets me out of my head when I’m overthinking myself into anxiety. I truly have one of the best ones. 
  6. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Hulk in Pottery Sales - strange days   
    I'm glad you've got the other revenue streams and that there are some postitives at least!
    My increased online efforts have actually put me on par with last year's spring results, and have been more profitable because of the lower overhead. To qualify this though, my first quarter is typically extremely low, but I'm finally putting solid effort into a consistent, organized presence on social media and seeing concrete results from it.
    I don't expect the pattern to hold over the whole year though. Numbers of Covid have peaked and are still in decline, and I'm thinking people will be cautiously optimistic by the time my farmer's market opens for the summer in about 3 weeks, as long as there's not something ELSE that happens.
    Whoever keeps holding 2020's beer needs to stop the enabling.
  7. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Mark C. in QotW: What is the feeling of your family as related to your studio addiction?   
    My wife married a potter-I was a potter for over 20 +years at that point. She knew what this was about. Over time I think she learned that customers have no clue (they call on weekends whatever). They never return work at a show on booth where they find it -Thney leave trash on the the shelves-the usual leaning curve that the public is clueless .
    She wishes now that I would only be driving 2 horses over the 6- I normally drive.I am starting to slow it down and this pandemic has done that for me as well-only working clay every other week now.
    The extended family-sister and  here kids really do not get what this is about or how it works at all. They live a long ways away and have strange ideas on the whole thing.
    Seems like magic I think they think?
    They do get the passion for diving  or fishing tuna more I think as thats a more normal deal.
  8. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Bill Kielb in QotW: What is the feeling of your family as related to your studio addiction?   
    Marcia and I are similar. We like to see folks excell and innovate  so as long as it’s not bizarre we have fun with learning new things or watching each other try new ideas or just create something that ends up suitable when finished. (Both are severely critical of our own work) For the most part when either of us are in a slump we like to see that excitement and enthusiasm again when engaged in a successful project. In Marcias defense, I like to fix everything and make Mechanical / electrical things better so I am sure she gets tired of me never buyIng something new. Besides that  old Admiral refrigerator has lots of life left in it!
  9. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Mark C. in Pottery Sales - strange days   
    I'm expecting a 50% hit this year on sales-I have ramped down production  to account for that.Its just a guess really. Since all my art fairs are toast this year (I'm not going no matter  what as a senior )They have mostly all cancelled anyway.Thats about 30-40% of my sales. Galleries are reopening  slowly so wholesale and consignment sales will start to drift back in but at reduced levels. My main gallery can let in 3 customers at a time. My guess is down 40-50% . Whats left is my natural foods whole sale accounts which are strong  all thru this for the most part . I expanded to the largest store in our area about a month ago and its working out super .I quarterly bill them so its a bit soon to tell . 1st quarter was down slightly, with a few weeks into the pandemic. 2nd I expect about the same.
    I'm enjoying doing the other project s in life every other week now.Making  headway on long put off jobs.
    I'm trenching about 300 feet and putting in solar project conduit(1-1/2inch)  and some back up water and power underground services to well and adding some new hose bib services in distant areas on property as well as new line(low pressure)  from 6600 gallon rainwater tank farm to garden.. I did all this once back in 86 so this is round two.Its kicking my butt.
     
  10. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from oldlady in QotW: What is the feeling of your family as related to your studio addiction?   
    Wayne and I got together when I was halfway through art school for pottery, so he knew it was part of the package. He tried one afternoon to center a bit of clay on the wheel and decided it was NOT his thing, but that it didn’t need to be. 
     
    He has been my biggest source of emotional support the whole time. He made sure I got my pottery wheel at a time it wasn’t the most financially sound move ever and I told him not to. When we moved into our current house, my birthday present was him stripping the carpet out of a basement bedroom and scraping the floor so I could have a studio space. He gets me out of my head when I’m overthinking myself into anxiety. I truly have one of the best ones. 
  11. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Bill Kielb in QotW: What is the feeling of your family as related to your studio addiction?   
    Wayne and I got together when I was halfway through art school for pottery, so he knew it was part of the package. He tried one afternoon to center a bit of clay on the wheel and decided it was NOT his thing, but that it didn’t need to be. 
     
    He has been my biggest source of emotional support the whole time. He made sure I got my pottery wheel at a time it wasn’t the most financially sound move ever and I told him not to. When we moved into our current house, my birthday present was him stripping the carpet out of a basement bedroom and scraping the floor so I could have a studio space. He gets me out of my head when I’m overthinking myself into anxiety. I truly have one of the best ones. 
  12. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to CactusPots in New Favorite Artist   
    The Pucker Gallery in Boston is having an exhibition on Ken Matsuzaki .  My main ceramic buddy does a lot of traveling and is on their catalog send out list, so he passed the catalog to me.
    Sometimes one of these stellar artists just rings your bell.  It's like what you would be doing yourself if you had another 200 years to live.  I haven't added to my ceramic library in a while, but I had to get his book.  Can't afford any of his work.
    Check it out here.
     
    https://static1.squarespace.com/static/594044bd3a041171e0426683/t/5e74fbbc1bb0c10992bba64d/1584724935911/Ken+Matsuzaki+2020+Catalog+FINAL.pdf
     
  13. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Min in Argh!! Giffin grip gripe, anyone else have issues?   
    I make my living throwing pots, so it’s not like I’m just at the wheel for relaxation. I’m not making 100K of pots a year, but I manage a respectable wage.  A Giffen grip simply isn’t ideal in all situations. I’m not for a second saying people shouldn’t use one, nor am I some kind of Luddite. Currently I have a skill set and a demand level that renders one unnecessary. 
    Lots of people pull handles rather than extruding them too, even though the extruder is a lot faster. Some of it’s preference, and what’s wrong with that?
  14. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Roberta12 in Argh!! Giffin grip gripe, anyone else have issues?   
    I borrowed a friend’s Giffen grip once and had a lot of problems using it because the point I needed the holder pads to be on to centre the pot was also the point I needed to trim on. I gave it back. I didn’t like it even a little bit, although I liked the idea of what it was supposed to do. At the time, I tended to pull too quickly in the beginning stages and the rims didn’t have the same centre point as the shoulder or the foot. It took me about an afternoon or two after that to get the hang of tap centring, and I usually don’t come by manual skills like that easily. 
     
    That said, if I get to the point where I do Mark or Mea’s quantity of production, I’ll buy one in a heartbeat and re-learn a skill. I happened to meet half of the couple that runs the Giffen company in the hotel lobby last year at NCECA. She was an absolute heartwarming delight to talk to, and based on that I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to them and ask questions. They stand by their stuff. 
  15. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Magnolia Mud Research in QotW: What is the feeling of your family as related to your studio addiction?   
    Wayne and I got together when I was halfway through art school for pottery, so he knew it was part of the package. He tried one afternoon to center a bit of clay on the wheel and decided it was NOT his thing, but that it didn’t need to be. 
     
    He has been my biggest source of emotional support the whole time. He made sure I got my pottery wheel at a time it wasn’t the most financially sound move ever and I told him not to. When we moved into our current house, my birthday present was him stripping the carpet out of a basement bedroom and scraping the floor so I could have a studio space. He gets me out of my head when I’m overthinking myself into anxiety. I truly have one of the best ones. 
  16. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Hulk in Argh!! Giffin grip gripe, anyone else have issues?   
    I make my living throwing pots, so it’s not like I’m just at the wheel for relaxation. I’m not making 100K of pots a year, but I manage a respectable wage.  A Giffen grip simply isn’t ideal in all situations. I’m not for a second saying people shouldn’t use one, nor am I some kind of Luddite. Currently I have a skill set and a demand level that renders one unnecessary. 
    Lots of people pull handles rather than extruding them too, even though the extruder is a lot faster. Some of it’s preference, and what’s wrong with that?
  17. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Min in Argh!! Giffin grip gripe, anyone else have issues?   
    I re-read this thread and couldn't find anyone arguing against the Giffin Grip. Advocating learning to trim without one and then making their own decision whether to use one or not in their own studio seems sensible and was brought up a couple times.
    BTW there are alternatives to clay wads, wet wheel head or the Giffin Grip for securing the pot down. I use a neoprene disc on the wheelhead, it gets a swipe with a damp sponge and then I put the pot down. It works so well that often I have to "burp" the neoprene to get the pot to release. It costs less than $10- and I've been using the same one for about 30 years. For pots with uneven rims (like my avatar) I use a chum or chuck. What works for me might not work for you but I'm sure you could say that about many of the practices we use while making pots. I'm glad you find your Giffin Grip useful, I've never felt the need for one even though I make a lot of pots.
  18. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Pres in QotW: What is the feeling of your family as related to your studio addiction?   
    Wayne and I got together when I was halfway through art school for pottery, so he knew it was part of the package. He tried one afternoon to center a bit of clay on the wheel and decided it was NOT his thing, but that it didn’t need to be. 
     
    He has been my biggest source of emotional support the whole time. He made sure I got my pottery wheel at a time it wasn’t the most financially sound move ever and I told him not to. When we moved into our current house, my birthday present was him stripping the carpet out of a basement bedroom and scraping the floor so I could have a studio space. He gets me out of my head when I’m overthinking myself into anxiety. I truly have one of the best ones. 
  19. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from oldlady in Throwing pots is easy if Cats can do it so can you   
    If anyone needs some pottery/art/cat related humour, a couple of days ago Carole Epp took a picture of her cat and posted it to her IG, as one does. Someone then decided to photoshop the cat into a moon landing picture. And then some other people decided to similarly photoshop Levi into a lot of other pictures. Hilarity has ensued!
    This is what happens when you lock a bunch of artists up and get them kinda bored, and then give them the slightest thing to work with. 
    Go check it out, there’s some really good ones!
     
  20. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Pres in Rough shipping   
    Keep in mind that the OP is in Canada, folks. As much as we may complain about it, Canada Post is less expensive to ship with than the big courier services are, unless you’re doing a LOT of volume. Even with ICAN benefits. And my customers pay the shipping too. 
     
    And it’s worth noting that all shipping services are coping with larger volumes while having to cope with a pandemic. There’s going to be slow downs and errors, just like at Christmas. 
  21. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to Min in Rough shipping   
    And Canada Post will not cover any damage to ceramics regardless of how well it's packed.
  22. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel reacted to ronfire in Rough shipping   
    B
    But they sure tried to sell the extra insurance to me. The parcels get handles rough during Christmas time so we don't  usually ship around then. Now everyone is buying on line so I will start to package bombproof. Most items now will each get there own box  or cardboard around and then boxed together to ship to the customer.
     
  23. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Min in Rough shipping   
    Keep in mind that the OP is in Canada, folks. As much as we may complain about it, Canada Post is less expensive to ship with than the big courier services are, unless you’re doing a LOT of volume. Even with ICAN benefits. And my customers pay the shipping too. 
     
    And it’s worth noting that all shipping services are coping with larger volumes while having to cope with a pandemic. There’s going to be slow downs and errors, just like at Christmas. 
  24. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Katie Piro in A rant about customer service   
    I've worked too many customer service jobs to feel good about letting a customer handle their own claims. That's just not cool.
    Good customer service is all about communication. I usually tell people I'll guarantee it to them within 6 weeks for any special order, and that's to allow for it going wrong. Twice. I typically ship around the 3 week mark. If for any reason I'm delayed, I send them an email so they're not anxious. People like to feel looked after. 
     My husband has worked at all levels of shipping and logistics for the last 20 years. The thing you have to remember about shipping anything is this: There is not a dock worker, package handler or anyone else alive that gets paid enough to give anything even remotely resembling a s*&$ about your package.  And you guys know I don't swear here. The level of not-caring is deep, wide and systemically entrenched. So that means it's up to me to make sure my customer has a chance of getting their deliveries.
    I pack so I feel comfortable throwing the package myself. If I feel nervous about doing it, add more packing. 
    If something breaks in transit, I ask for a photo so I can make the claim, and I send them a new one on me. Because not packing it properly was my mistake. 
    I never send anything without a tracking number. The customer gets sent this tracking number. I set up the shipments so I get email notifications of when they arrive. If a customer contacts me because they havent' got their thing yet, I resend the tracking number with an update that I looked up for them. Because that's a service I have consciously chosen to offer. 
    Mostly, I don't have to do anything regarding shipments. It takes me almost 0 extra time. But the last 2 weeks I had 2 shipments to the US held up in customs. I have a system that's pretty quick to go through to look up a shipment because I make a point of sending the customer those tracking numbers. Because I know how they operate (customs can hold packages up to 10 business days if they're overloaded), I was able to reassure my customers about what to expect, and because I was able to say I was keeping an eye on their shipment as well, I'm able to successfully ask them for positive reviews. Everything arrived just fine. 
    I've had so much good will come through my inbox in the last few weeks because I took a moment to reassure people who didn't know what was going on. Even if it never adds up to anything beyond that, it feels good to have people contact me and say they were thrilled with that extra bit of service.
    Edited to add: 
    I also had someone find a mistake on my new website this week while trying to make their purchase, and they wound up not getting the mug they initially wanted. They got sent an extra tea bag dish/spoon plate as a thank you. I want to make people feel good about purchasing from me. Because that does mean they will do it again. 
     
  25. Like
    Callie Beller Diesel got a reaction from Brandon Franks in 3D Printed Pottery Question-   
    I’ve seen some folks use a round trimming tool to gouge out the key. 
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