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About Apocalypticamerica

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  1. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Mark, there's some good info there. Was there a time before a tipping point where you had work dialed in but not markets, and were spending a majority (or near) on marketing?
  2. I'm interested in developing a better understanding of the community as a whole, but I'm also just curious to hear about different people's work acumen. I may or may not be able to adapt or apply the same techniques to my work, but I'm at least interested to learn about what people are doing. I realize it's a broad overall subject, but I did my best to ask a lot of specific questions. Yes, I'm looking for tips on how to set up my workflow, but moreso, I was hoping for this to be an ongoing thread that would be beneficial to many people looking for ideas and formats for managing their workflow and space effectively. Honestly, I have no problem with the volume of my production. In fact, I've halted production this month (my busiest month of the year) because my inventory is overflowing (so yes, marketing help is what I really need). But there is always room to improve, and in particular, I'm looking to be more efficient, leaving me more time for sales/shows. To answer some more of your specifics - I am primarily slip casting a red clay. I cast anywhere from 8 to 18 molds at a time, 2x/day 5 days a week. The slip cast pots are self-watering seed starters. I also throw functional pottery, which is a very small part of my income, but I'm looking to find a balance between the two. I run a 27" kiln, and I have a small test kiln for design and testing of new glazes, etc. I'm interested in everything from R&D through production, to marketing.
  3. Hi all, I'm interested in hearing how everybody organizes time and workflow. If there is a already a good thread that covers this in depth, please feel free to direct me towards it. --------------------------- -Do you work alone or have a partner/team? -If you have a team, how do you like to split up the schedule (everyone does a little of everything, or different people specialize, etc.)? -What is your biggest continual goal? (Maximizing efficiency, or being on the cutting edge of new styles and techniques, etc.)? -What do you find you spend the most time on? Are you happy with that being the case? -Are there any daily or frequent practices you wish you had been doing earlier in your career, but didn't learn until later? These are some specifics I'm interested in, but please feel free to include anything important that you think of, including what style of ceramics you make, your location and market type, your time and experience in the industry, etc. Or... if this feels too much like a homework project, feel free to just throw out a single piece of advice that helped you a lot in managing your workflow.
  4. I prefer the 7502 mask from 3M, it may be a good choice for your as well. It looks a little similar to the 6921 (the one linked above, sounds like what you have) but the facepiece is a much softer silicone, instead of stiff rubber. At first I thought it fits a little smaller, but for me its more like it just fits a little higher on my face, which still makes it more comfortable as it doesn't tend to pull down on my nose so much. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008MCUT86/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  5. We do use a portion of reclaim in each batch, but you have to use some new as well, otherwise it's gets funky/over-deflocculated.
  6. We do have a system in place for drying, reclaiming, and disposing, but I'm simply trying to avoid the disposing if it's at all possible it can be used by someone else. We're all about sustainability here.
  7. At our studio, we do primarily slip casting. I make a large barrel of slip about once a week, and I use 120-150lbs of reclaim in addition to 250# of new clay. We're always striving to have better success rates, but the reclaim often adds up and I can't keep up with it. I'm throwing away a couple hundred pounds today and our barrels still have another 400-500# left. This is a red low-fire clay. I don't think it will work for reconstituting as throwing or sculpting body, as I've had bad results doing so myself, but I may be doing it wrong. I also don't have the time or much desire to do so. Would this be of any value to other artists? Asking here before I spend the time posting on Craigslist.
  8. Yea, I gave a few to a friend to re-purpose as planters in her yard.
  9. I'm going to toss a large majority of the unsafe ones. I don't really trust them to not be used down the line if I hand them out to friends. If it had been less work, I wouldn't have thought twice about it, but it was almost two full kiln loads worth of pots.
  10. *sigh* I guess it's time to face the music. I already knew the answer, I guess I just needed to hear some other people say it.
  11. From what I've read, the thing is acidic food can leach the metals. So my thinking was, for bowls/cups on which I've only used a spot of Palladium on the bottom, it could be used for water only?
  12. I knew my Amaco Blue Midnight glaze was food safe, but I since I'm a big dummy I forgot to check the label and layered quite a bit of dinnerware with Palladium over it. I now see it's not food safe. I obviously am not going to give out any of these, but I'm wondering if some of the pieces with just a little on the rim might be in the realm of "safe enough" to use on my own, with caution?
  13. I do a low-fire terra cotta slip, so I can't speak to your cone 10 slip, but I use both Sodium Silicate and Darvan. Both are important to get the correct viscosity - if you use just one you will approach over-deflocculation. How long are you mixing for? When I make a fresh batch of slip, I make sure it mixes for a minimum of 6 hrs before casting. Any time after that, if I adjust deflocculants, a minimum of one hour before casting. I know this is difficult if you don't have an industrial mixer though. Final thought: if your results are coming through bisque fine, maybe you don't have anything to worry about? It's hard to give advice without final results.
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