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Everything posted by trina

  1. Hi, My studio is open only two mornings a week to potters (and one morning to painters) I charge the potters a monthly fee and let them come any 4 times in the month. I figure the same thing happens in a fitness studio or other group that charges by the month whether you come or not. It also means that at the beginning of each month I know where I stand. I only allow my very regular students to pay per time if they are travelling or have some other reason why they cannot attend. However then I charge more pro rata. If you aren't sure about your costs and what to charge, you must must and I mean it in the nicest way must figure it out. You cannot subsidize no shows and people who are not as committed as others. If that scares you because you think that you will lose people, well maybe you will but if you treat it like a business then you need to advertise and you will get others. No shows and empty seats cost, not only that they don't come but they take up shelve space and impead the regs. I also charge for extra other classes, mold making ect unless the group decides that they all want to learn one thing in a lesson. The most important thing to figure out is what your intention is. Do you want a school? Do you want enough students so you can spend the rest of your time producing for yourself? Do you want to share space with one or more other artists and not teach? Do you only want to work for yourself? Are you good enough to? Ect ect I would be more than happy to share all my mistakes with you. It is a hard battle so at least know what you want. Trina
  2. I was speaking in general to what I SEE happening around me. IMO, your comment is a slam to my character...of which you know absolutely >nada< about. .... Case in point: My instructor left 6 of her peices on a shelf in a locked closet...but it is THE closet where the key to the clay locker is...so it MUST be accessible (In my selfish opinion....LOL). sure enough...."**** happened"......and the shelf came down and all of the work was broken. $2500 i'm told.... .... who is to blame? All I know is that it isn't (wasn't) me. However...the finger was pointed my way because I had used the studio the same weekend...which >>>I<<< did NOT appreciate and let that be known. I felt sorry for her (both the artist/teacher and the lady who happened to be unlucky enough to walk in when it fell) but I also thought "Pretty stupid to leave yer "valuable" Art ANYWHERE it could get broken by someone else...." but hey... that's just me and my thing about the lack of personal responsibility I see happening far too often these days... It's so much easier to blame others, know what i mean? LOL! "Who is to blame" - whoever broke the stuff, that's who! And if you're thinking "pretty stupid..." etc, then you did NOT feel sorry for anyone. And yes, it clearly is much easier to blame others. I think it's hilarious that you don't see that in yourself, given that you have repeatedly shifted blame from the doer to the owner who "didn't lock things up" or "let (people) into the studio" in every statement you've made thus far. Maybe you don't intend to come off sounding like some kind of Ayn Rand clone, but you do. As far as having the finger of blame pointed at you - given your rather over the top statements here in this thread, I wonder if you haven't expressed these opinions equally vehemently in person, which might lead one to wonder if you were involved in such incidents. You've made it pretty clear, if someone breaks something, it's not their fault, it's the fault of the person who didn't lock it up. That sort of blame shifting does tend to make people suspicious, rightly or wrongly. I'm not saying it WAS your fault; but this is not the way responsible people normally talk in our culture. It's probably not fair that expressing your opinions this way might lead to suspicion when something does go missing or gets broken, but it's predictable. Hope you continue to find clay happiness, but I can't agree with your ideas about culpability and responsibility. This thread is getting ugly and unhappy. Can it stop, please? agreed! Trina
  3. I liked your post about working in the studio, didn't know that it would freak out so many and get so off topic ;)

  4. Hi there, I think this is going to be a very interesting topic.... I have a rather large studio (not in my home) where I work and teach from. It is a business and I constantly need to remind myself to run it as such. I know my fixed costs, wear and tear on kiln and fittings, ect. But I love ceramics and I love teaching and inspiring others to enjoy working with this medium as well. I run my studio so that the costs are more or less covered my the students. Meaning I don't profit from them in a financial way. They pay and it gives them a place to be creative, and it gives me a place as well. I never ever worry about giving away my 'secrets' if you want to call it that. No person has the same imagination or want to do the same things or the skill to do those things that takes years of practise. It made me kinda chuckle with teardrops comment about trickery, all art is some kinda trickery, just depends on how good your slight of hand is. I take lumps of mud and make wonderful things just through skill and trickery but I guess that is another topic hahaha.... I personally feel the same way as claylover, if i have a special glaze or mold I won't let students use it. I will teach them how to make their own molds in an extra class ect. It is hard but when students want to go past their skill, let them, and don't get involved. Don't jump in when things start to slump and don't take responsiblity for their work, let them have a few failures and they generally start working smaller again going back to their level. Reining them in without dampening spirts can be done though constructed lessons where they actually learn how to make an item from start to finish ie 4 tiles that have a matching theme or a teapot from a paper pattern. Most students don't realise the amount of work it is to run a studio and most think that I charge the clay double so I must be making loads of money off them. They don't understand the amount of time and cost everything else is. I always try and do my best to help and please students, however it is also like a restuarant there are always going to be those people who think they can order hot water and lemon for free and use their own teabag! Trina
  5. Hi this is not a hijack, I find it a really interesting topic and we should make it a topic on it's own, for some more input. I have a studio and teach it is always a bit of a problem for me for various reason... but of course hearing from students and getting suggestions would be great. Trina
  6. Wow, Thanks for all the wonderful replies! I really do look forward to hearing about all the challenges, hard work, and joys that we will all have in the new year. Hopefully we can all cheer each other on when it comes to cleaning the studios! I just had all my floors sealed about two months ago and it as made a huge difference in hielping to keep the dust down. Again thanks and have a great start to the year! Trina
  7. I am just wondering what new ideas people have for their own work this year. I personally am going to improve the business side of my studio. And I have been playing around with lustre glazes which i am hoping to improve on. I also have the drawings done for another large mural which I will start as soon as I have digested all the Christmas and New Year food. I wish all you potters out there a super productive, creative year. Don't forget to inspire as many people as you can! I look forward to hearing from you. Regards Trina
  8. One firing is not necessarily common, but there are many potters out there doing it. Steven Hill is one name that comes to mind. In most cases the glaze needs to be adjusted for the one fire process, and the firing adjusted to include a bisque and glaze firing in one firing. This is done by having a water smoke period, slow ramp up to 1100F. or so, and then accelerated firing to the desired cone. I have not done single firings myself, but with research I am sure you can find aid in the process. The biggest problem noted with one fire is that you have to be more aware/careful when handling your greenware with glazing. Otherwise there does not seem to be a downside and it does save on energy costs. Hi, I single fire on and off. I normally do it with low fire pieces and I when glazing I never dip into buckets of glaze but use ducan transparent glazes that you can fire to about 1000C. They paint on rather thickly but smoothly in that way I have found that the greenware stays totally intact. I would say that it is really worth trying, I have had some great results. Trina
  9. Hi, I agree that uncompressed clay is a problem, but also it is worthwhile on flat tile like pieces to carve a hatch pattern on the back when the piece is leathery hard. This helps if the piece is not the same thickness overall so it removes some of the clay in the thicker areas, and if you do get a crack it often is unable to totally spread across the whole piece. I know a crack of any size is a drag but I have found with my students that if it stays in one piece and they can take it home and not all the work is lost they consider it a success. Hope that helps a little. Trina
  10. Hi there, I really admire your work! Beautiful Trina
  11. Hi Trina--Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but I didn't check the post. A week has gone by, plus. I love your birds with nail legs!! They are so whimsical. The mosaic of the lily pads and fishes is very nice--how big is it? I have a similar project planned, one with large tiles carved to feature ginkgo leaves. I did a test plate and I like the way it turned out; haven't started to tackle something like your mosaic, or mural, or whatever it's called. Any pointers for me or others who would like to make a work like that? FYI, I took my pieces to our local Farmer's Market last Saturday and sold two little (2 inch) clay boxes. Only $20 in revenue, but it made me happy that someone liked my pieces enought to buy them. It also fueled my desire to go back. It's the Christmas Eve market this Saturday. Hey, Nice to hear from you. The gold fish pond is made with 12cm tiles and is high relief. It is more or less big enough to cover a side table to make a water feature in a dry area. I love making tiles the biggest tip I have is when you cut the tiles don't try moving them into postion until they are leathery hard and once you get working use a spray gun to keep everything moist. When I glazed them I first dipped them in the water colour glaze, wipped off the fish and lilly pads then used underglazes to paint the fish and pads then covered those with clear glaze. I think it gives the fish that nice translucent feeling of swimming particulary on the fins. I am currently working on an exhibition of what I call pods. One might interest you, it is called fire and is full of nails and wire. I have glazed it but am waiting for my kiln to get a bit fuller, and I have had the flue all this week so had to cancel work in the studio totally. I think it is great that you sold some work, it is always a kick, but remember if you are trying to become a professional potter (which I don't know) or just trying to support your hobby, Don't undercut your work which I am sure is great!!! If you have any questions that I can answer I will happily do so.... Trina
  12. Hi TearDrop, Nice to have you on the site. I am sorry about the loss of your child, glad though that you have found an interest in pottery, becareful you will be buying a kiln before long! Look forward to your future posts. Trina
  13. Hi there, i just read your intro, look forward to hearing about you and your art. I was just looking at your profile and now we are friends....not sure how it happened but nice to meet. you.

  14. Hi, I normally go to IKEA an buy the cheapest metal stools they have, the ones with the metal tube legs and just cut them down to size with a hack saw. Its a cheap and easy way to make a couple of stools each with a diffrent pitch.
  15. Hey John that is a nifty little tool! Looks great and might even help my wrists.... thanks for posting that Trina
  16. Hi there, Well as long as you are sure that the electrics are fine and you arent going to short your house, i would simply test it! I got a really old kiln and my electrician tested the pyrometer simply by heating it up with a tourch. You could also get some cones and just test a few ramps and see if you are getting the temps. I would call the duncan agent in your area and see if you can get a pdf file for the kiln. Hope that helps a bit.... Keep me posted how you get on. I can ask my electrician if you want. He is very kiln fit. Trina
  17. I also like to use stain glass window paints, you can get some lovely pearl effects and some really vibrant colors. Agreed not for food containers!
  18. Hi there, You can generally use iron and aluminum, but for handing stuff attaching a coil of clay about a finger size in diameter and putting two holes in it works well. I find the problem when you work with added metal you need to make sure you have enough room for shringage otherwise things crack or break. As to metal rods, I don'T know how big your kiln is but leaving a space large enough to attach with some double component glue would work better than firing with metal I would think. Hope that helps....Trina
  19. I think the biggest misconception about a clay mixer or pug mill, is the reason that pug mills are so expensive is because they have vacum systems that remove the air from the clay making wedging not necessary. I think that mixing the clay in whatever form you choose you still need to wedge. Here in spain the clay comes either in sacks and is a dry powder that you add water to and wedge or you can buy the ready made sacks that are ready to use and dont require wedging. So unfortuately whatever way you look at it, wedging is the only opion when you reconsitute clayyourself. I have seen small studio mixers selling for 2 thousand or so.....still too much for small studios Take care Trina
  20. hey that sounds great, cAn i buy the plans from you? My husband is great at doing that kinda stuff , i really need an extruder. Trina
  21. Those all all great ways to reuse clay, i chuk all mine in a big bucket with lots of water and then once it has slaked down i mix it up with a paint mixter attached to an electric drill. Whip it up let it settle down drain off the excess water. I have plaster bats or i just let it slowly dry out in the bucket till i wedge it as i need. Hope that helps..... When i started out i thought i needed a pug mill as well, but then i realised i just had bad wedging tecnique, once i learned how to properly wedge and not kill myself doing it thinks changed. Hope that helps Trina. p.s i am certainly not trying to critise your wedging .....
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