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About dazzlepottery

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  • Birthday 10/27/1990

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    Lancaster, PA

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  1. Hi There, I make work that is sgraffito carved, most of which I try to do when the piece is leather hard but sometimes it's a little drier than I'd like. I am very concerned about silicosis. In the last couple of years, I have been wearing my respirator when I carve. It's a msr mask with p100 filters. Recently I met another sgraffito artist who suggested that unless I am replacing those cartridges VERY regularly (she suggested weekly or more) then it traps dust and does more harm than good. So she has switched to a regular dust mask that she replaces daily. I can't imagine that is true but wondering about peoples thoughts. I replace my cartridges about every 6 months and am never using them for heavy dust scenarios and the filters always look completely new when I replace them. Also looking for tips to improve my carving workstation to minimize dust. Currently I use a dropcloth which is laundered daily, and a pillow, encased in a plastic bag, then a pillowcase which is laundered semi-regularly, and a scrap of towel for the part that is touching the pot (also laundered daily). The dustiest part is when I shake the dust/trimmings from the towel to the drop-cloth. What would you suggest for a less dusty setup? How concerned should I be about silicosis? Is it possible to get lungs checked for damage already done? Anyone have any experience with respiratory issues? Thanks
  2. I'm still in my first iteration of my art fair display but I'm pretty pleased with it so far. I have setup that all folds down and fits into a Prius V (their version of a wagon) with the 10" stick lumber pieces on a roof rack. I use the handheld shrink wrap to keep the long pieces tidy for transport. I must look like a mess when I'm setting up because people always approach me, surprised, afterward and say "wow it really came together in the end." At first I was shocked by the price of renting pipe and drape and even more so by the idea of buying a setup, so after ground scoring 4 10' dowel rods at a show (people leave all kinds of materials behind, especially in New York) I decided I'd try to make it myself. I use this structure to support my lights and some hanging planters as well so it had to be sturdy. The whole thing can be assembled with bolts and wing nuts for the union convention centers that don't allow power tools although it's much easier to put it together with a driver and screws. I bought black curtains and sewed drapes, which, besides hardware, was my only expense for the unit (around $150). The shelf in the back of the booth is made up of pine 1x2 pieces. Not very strong but the weight is distributed in such a way that it doesn't seem to matter, I made sure to pick out lumber with straight grain and no knots. these have a fixed hinge at the top so they just fold down and stack for storage and transport. The shelves themselves are built from very thin underlayment used as subfloor, framed at the edge with the same 1"x material as the shelves. I had someone help me cut these at the big box store so I didn't have to mess with a table saw, and I think I used one sheet at about $15. These are very lightweight, I can carry the whole unit as a stack at once. The one major flaw is that these don't respond well to outdoor weather, they can't get wet and shouldn't be out overnight in the dew so I use this only for indoor shows, even still they are starting to warp, a problem that could be fixed with a better frame underneath. The most versatile part of the booth are the tabletop shelves. I read in a NY Times article that people buy things at eye level, so I did my best to get my work up in people's faces. These have a single step shape on the sides, and two long pieces that connect them, I take the long piece off to transport and just put it together with a few screws for the show. Four nice pieces of lumber (walnut and cherry which I already had) just rest on top and the weight keeps it in place. I do some smaller shows with just enough space for a table or two and these really help the elevate my space and make it look more professional than just a bunch of pots on a table. The tables are just 6" plastic folding tables. I keep all my bins (big plastic totes stacked) that hold the pots underneath and I never have to mess with the out of booth storage that everyone is always so worried about. Everything; my hand truck, tools, step ladder, etc fits under here easily so its all ready to go at the end of the show. I pack everything in bath towels, I pack boxes pretty full and just make sure that nothing is touching or putting extreme pressure on a rim or anything, but I'm really not terribly careful. I handle the bins carefully and have had very little breakage. Thing's I'd like to change: -Would like to switch to smaller bins soon because they are a bit too heavy to lift comfortably. - Need a clean professional area for packing orders and storing packing material (i use unprinted newsprint and paper bags with my logo rubber stamped on them.) -Would like an area designed into booth for me to go, where I'm not hiding in the corner but high up and ready to engage with customers.
  3. I am relatively new the the craft fair game but I sell a good bit of large work. I've been selling online internationally and to decorators for a few years and they normally buy what I call the "large statement pieces." One thing I've noticed is that at some shows, like the higher quality fine craft shows, having the large work helps to draw in clients and sell the smaller pieces, ($95 for a mug doesn't seem so bad when the vase you really want is $1100). But at other shows, like the ones with younger crowds where people are expecting a deal, I think having the nice work is actually hurting me, people will come up to see the big striking vase and the rest of the work, pales in comparison even though it would have been attractive on its own. Not sure what to make of that, or how to handle it, I still want to bring the big stuff to small shows to make a good impression, you never know who you're going to meet. I have found, especially at some of the higher end shows (like PMA), people who like your work want to "collect" the nicer pieces. It definitely makes sense to at least bring some large museum quality pieces just in case that buyer is there. The bulk of my sales are still in the $80-$120 range, for small vases and mugs and stuff (I do a lot of surface decoration so my price point overall is higher), but boy is it easier to sell an $800 vase once than to fill a giant wholesale order and ship it, or make, lug and sell 32 $25 items. I think I could gross more at a show if I were selling more volume of lower priced items but I'd rather focus on making less work but work of higher quality, than making my studio like a factory to pump out the cheaper items. Not to mention the toll it would take on my body. I do have some pieces that have sat without selling for a year or more but that doesn't bother me, if they're good they'll sell, and if not I'll drop the price and someone will really feel like they're getting a deal, even if they're spending $400 or more. Another note, since most of these large pieces have sold to people who may be collectors, I do worry about selling similar work at a lower price because I'm ready to move it, I don't want to disrespect these clients by devaluing their investment but at the end of the day I'd usually rather have money than pots. I make sure the keep my online prices consistent, because that is the "worldly face" of my brand, but at a show I will lower a price significantly if the situation is right.
  4. Just to follow up, I spoke with AMACO about this issue and Mark was correct about the part that needs to be replaced. If the wheel spins at top speed with no control from the pedal, the part that needs replacing is the Control D-30 110V CXC HI Speed. AMACO said this is one of the most commonly replaced items on these older wheels (pre 2000) so they may need to be replaced in time. They also said that they can be zapped by a power surge if you wheel is left plugged in. Another note, be careful when troubleshooting this issue, if you strain the little red and blue dials in the foot pedal they will need to be replaced as well. They should only turn about 3/4 of a turn when working properly, never over turn them. Thanks Mark!
  5. Thanks everyone! I haven't assembled the frame yet but I'll rethink if weights are necessary. I was more worried that someone could bump into one of the poles and cause a disaster. Hopefully it will be sturdy enough that it won't be an issue!
  6. The other day I heard a weird constant noise coming from my studio, I thought it was one of my many vents or fans left on and didn't think much about it. The next day I found my wheel to be left on (oops) and spinning at top speed. I rushed over to fix the pedal but it was in the off position. Today I opened up the pedal to make the adjustment to the little plastic lever, I assumed this was the problem, having dealt with this flimsy contraption many times, but the lever seems to be working properly. No matter which position it's in the wheel goes top speed. Anyone had this happen before? Is there another area that regulates speed besides the pedal that I could check? It's a Brent CXC from the late 80's
  7. Hi! I'm doing my first big craft show in a few weeks and I'm trying to figure out some aspects of my display. I've designed a pipe and drape system from old copper pipes and was thinking i could use big(ish) terra cotta vase shapes filled with concrete to house the bottoms of my legs and act as weights. Has anyone had experience filling a ceramic form with concrete? Does it crack or cause any problems? I'd also love some feedback on trade show set-up tips. Thanks, Dana
  8. I just buy pre-mixed powdered kiln wash but I also have alumina hydrate so I'll try adding a bit of that to the mixture. I don't normally wax bottoms, but I'll give that a try too to see if it helps. I usually wipe the bottoms plus at least 1/4 inch up to the bottom. The black signature is underglaze so that isn't the issue. Do I need to apply fresh kiln wash every glaze firing?
  9. Thanks everybody. I will try a bisque soak. The ones that became more bloated were usually stacked deeply in the bisque firing, which confused me because some things came out fine and some were horribly bloated! Thanks again for the info.
  10. I have been having a strange issue with my Cone 6 Black Stoneware Clay from Standard (266). It gets these big cracking bubbles upon glaze firing. I bought this clay to marble with Porcelain (Standard 365) because it had a similar shrink rate. The marbled pieces came out SUPER bubbly, really horrible. I thought it was just poor clay preparation on my part because of the mixing of the two. However it has been happening with pots I make solely out of the Black Stoneware. I prepare this clay the same way I do all my other clay bodies and never really have this issue otherwise. Has anyone else had this problem with this clay? Any advice?
  11. I have been having an issue with the bottoms of my pots getting big chips out of them during a glaze firing. The chipped parts are not really stuck the the kiln shelf, they brush off easily, so I don't think it's a glazing issue. Normally I dip glaze pots with clear and wipe off the bottom with a sponge. I wonder if a little residual glaze is still there and sticking? This is happening with my cone 6 porcelain (standard 365) and a black stoneware clay. Both have a high shrink rate. I do use kiln wash. Do I need to apply kiln wash for every firing? It seems like that must be the issue but on some shelves the wash is getting so thick that it flakes off. Should I be removing the excess and re applying fresh kiln wash?
  12. Hi There, I'm working on some porcelain stud earrings and refrigerator magnets. What is the best glue to use to attach ceramic to non ceramic like metal and the magnets. In the past I have tried superglue, which didn't work at all and hot glue, which works but tends to pop off unpredictably on glazed pieces. I would like to be able to glue glazed ^6 porcelain. Thanks!
  13. Thank you all for your responses! I only wish I had joined here earlier and known all along that I didn't need to be propping because it was a lot of trouble. ( I usually fire overnight, so I'd have to wake up to close it). I like the idea of switching my broken lid with my floor piece. what is the best way to attach a new handle to the kiln brick with the metal band?
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