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Found 27 results

  1. I am thinking of opening a members only clay studio, as all of them in my area have long waitlists and the demand is there. I haven’t found any recent threads on the operations costs or best practices associated with running a studio. Can anyone help me out by providing hard expenses associated with and any tips for this business? Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Hey, I'm relocating from London to Vancouver. I'm currently a member at Turning Earth ceramics studio in London which has been fantastic- open access, technicians on hand and glazes provided etc. I've been searching high and low for something similar in Vancouver but so far had no luck. Would anybody have any advice on membership to a studio in Vancouver where I can make ceramics? Or would anybody be interested in renting a space with me and starting a ceramics studio? Thanks! Helena
  3. Fellow potters, I need your expertise: I'm part of a potter's guild and we're in the process of moving everything to a new space - our kilns, our chemicals, our tools, and our already-mixed glazes. Most of it is pretty easy (in theory) but I am hoping some of you might have some insight on moving glaze buckets - or at least making them a little lighter and hopefully easier to move. Does anyone have any tips or tricks to getting the water out of a glaze, relatively quickly, without compromising the integrity of the mixture? Just pouring out the top layer of water seems like it might also take out any material that is lighter than the rest and stays suspended in the water. Is there a filtering device for this purpose? Hopefully we'll be moving or donating most of the glazes, but some will probably be disposed of - if anyone has any insight on best practices that would be much appreciated also. Any/all other tips for doing a big studio move (on a tight budget) would be more than welcome!
  4. So. I'm going to try to keep this as nice as possible. For the last few months I've been working with a ceramics store owner who is having issues with pretty much everything. Basically the business is in the hole monthly by hundreds of dollars and relies on volunteers to keep the last and smallest of the two kilns running -last time I went in it was not. We (said volunteers) do this in exchange for either free slipware or in my case, low temp firing. This seemed like a great deal at first, I was the only one there, I offered to paint a mural, write a grant, and do other things, none of which the owner seems interested in even though often musing they want to improve the walls and convert to a non-profit, -I realize I have no control over their motivation level which seems often to be in the toilet. Things have deteriorated and now the owner seems to leave to go get lunch or rescue family members as soon as one of us arrives, I end up doing things I said I wouldn't, like cleaning up ppl's rotten dishes in the workroom sink and dumping the garbage instead of trimming greenware. Also I was told they fired to cone 6. They "didn't know they weren't" until I told them 1855 F was around cone 0.6, not 6. This made me realize partly why things are such a mess, including the early work I brought them, which was mostly ruined. They don't know WTF they are doing. Also, there is no working vent, they don't think it's important enough to fix, so the fumes blow back into the shop and are probably messing with the kiln, also I've tried to explain this is bad to breathe. They have groups of kids coming in to paint slipware sitting in this gas cloud. For this I got poo-poo'd, nobody loves an efficiency expert. Also some of the other volunteers who work there, don't bathe or wash their clothes, so they're scaring business away and me away, and I could go on, but what would be the point, nobody's going to listen to me and for these and other reasons clearly this place will go down the tubes and close soon. Good riddance perhaps. Obviously there is no 'free' lunch and I should just go pick up my greenware and wish them the best. Do you think this is a sign I should crack open my savings account and buy a new kiln of my own? -of course you can't answer that, but I probably can. Thanks for reading and I enjoy all your opinions and company regardless.
  5. Well folks! I've been off and on here for a while now and I thought I would ask the community what they thought of my 5 year plan (now 4 years). I've never in my life been so motivated to create something like this. If anyone has stories they want to share or advice about making the jump from one career to another it would be greatly appreciated. First a little background on my situation - I work a full time job and am compensated fairly well. Its just not something I want to do the rest of my life. We have debt that we need to pay off that should be done in 2 years if all goes well. I have accepted that this venture might fail, or that we might not make enough for us to survive on. But that is not stopping me from going full steam ahead and will not be used as an excuse to let things slide or for any type of failure. Accepting that things don't always work out frees up mental energy so I can focus on the things that need to be done. I have to work my day gig 40+ hours a week. Nights and weekends are dedicated to improving my throwing, building some standard shapes and pieces and general scheming and dreaming. We've procured and LLC and a CPA (have not gotten a Sales Tax ID or a Tax Exempt ID because we are not officially selling as a business yet) A business loan and credit cards are pretty much out of the picture. My wife is working full time and is currently on course for a degree in business administration so that is helping out a lot too! We have a business plan in place and are researching our customers and demographic and where and when to sell (this is a continual investigation but Etsy will probably be our first sales platform as we have used it before) I know a lot of that depends on what we are making as a studio - Functional Ware / Cups / bowls / Plates / Serving Dishes / Vases / Lidded Vessels / all in various sizes to create my own line (while like every other potter - experimenting and improving along the way) We are building our social network presence slowly but surely. We are calculating our current personal expenses, time, operating expenses, capital, etc... (again since it's an ever changing thing its ongoing and we'll get dialed in the more data the further we move along) Currently we are working out of the garage with two wheels and an electric Kiln which is being used as a bisque kiln and a test fire kiln. I have a spot where I can woodfire twice a year. This is my sticking point. I am not interested in mid-fire at all. Woodfiring twice a year does not give me enough feedback or testing or experience to line up within this timeframe. Woodfiring is a 10 year goal. Getting up and running in my own studio is my 5 year goal so high fire with gas makes sense. I will be investing in some large propane tanks and I already have a burner and a converted electric kiln so I can do experiments and small amounts of work fired in that for the time being. A decent size gas kiln will be a considerable investment and the heart of the studio. I don't think it is possible to run a good size gas kiln in my garage studio. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I think renting a building and installing a gas kiln does not make sense at this point but at some point I will have to get up and going at full scale. For those of you that own studios when did you consider renting and installing a kiln? Thanks for any input / experience you want to share.
  6. Hey all, Long time lurker, first time poster. I have a fairly large studio that I am very bad at keeping clean. I recently received a sum of grant money for my business and was looking into quicker and more efficient ways of cleaning my studio. I am just curious if anyone has bought this product or a similar vacuum unit marketed towards potters and what they think. Thanks! https://www.baileypottery.com/Bailey-Pottery/Product-Details/ProductID/10244
  7. So Babs very recently asked: If you wanted to and had the means, which part of the process would you assign to an apprentice/assistant? For me it would be preliminary glazing and base clean up. Most of what I do, lately, starts with a base glaze with spray on over top from different angles to bring out the textures. Years ago when my wife and I were doing the Penn State festival, she would help by base glazing with a friend and do clean up before I sprayed on glazes and did brush work over that. As we don't have the big rushes anymore, I do everything. best, Pres
  8. Definitely a late-night ramble here, in keeping with the subject. I'm curious about other potters here with more experience and perhaps better systems for staying organized in their heads and workshops, and recording your ideas and processes, assuming you do that. You can skip the rest, it's mostly fluff . Just saying, I have no shortage of ideas and the issue is sorting out which ones are worth anything, but, when I get an idea if I don't write it down it may or may not be lost forever. As a result, a couple cheap paper notebooks are kicking around my digs within easy reach at all times. If the computer is on then I'll usually have the discipline to jot it down on a wordpad document quickly, and transfer it later to a more organized openoffice document. I've got a tv tray next to my computer desk with a 2" high pile of pages torn out of these paper notebooks. Every so often I grab about twenty of these off the bottom of the stack and enter the scribbled ideas into openoffice documents as mentioned, with titles that attempt, with varying success, to tackle the subject of the ideas. So far I have docs like "Ceramic Jewelry Ideas 1, 2, and 3, because I collect images off the net which I paste into them (after reducing in pixel and 'physical' size in paint and making them all JPEG files), and regardless the file soon gets so large it takes about 30 seconds to save, whence I start yet another file. There are at least a half-dozen other files of this type with titles like "Sculpture_free standing_wall mounted", "Vessels, 1 and 2" and "Ceramic Utilitarian_Misc" -etc. Also I photo my own work of course and upload it into my pc, what there is of it at this point. Bit of a measly file by comparison, as yet. As far as the images, just so you know, I save them for inspiration, never to steal. Under the photos I type in notes about whatever ideas it spins off for my own stuff. These image/text files have given me a better idea of artistic styles that I really love (Mid-century modernism, Brutalist, Minimalist, "Boho", Post-atomic, among others) and have often helped me get a better idea of what does and doesn't work visually on a ceramic subject as far as form and decoration. Seeing what other artists are up to makes me wonder how they did this or that thing I didn't know was possible and sparks questions in my brain as to how this or that glaze technique was achieved, and the like. Cruising sites like Etsy and Pinterest gives me some general idea of what I could realistically make in my limited home studio and put up for sale with some potential for it selling, for reasonable fees or otherwise. Although this is partly guesswork, and fads in home decor and wearable art come and go, at least I'm not blindly poking around and wasting effort making things that will end up having no audience. I'm not always the best judge of whether my work is appealing to others. If it pays off down the road, only time will tell I suppose.
  9. I have been thinking about making my own kiln stilts on a large scale for low fired ware. Roselli uses molds and slip casts their stilts, I am fairly sure. Is there a benefit to this method? I was thinking about extruding mine and cutting them down to size. I cant see a downside; faster turnaround time, less initial time spent in preparation, no need to keep large quantities of slip or molds laying around, etc.. Am I missing something though? I've never made my own stilts or even used them, though I understand the premise. Any insight is much appreciated.
  10. Evelyne could not post the Qotw. . . so I am helping her out. After all of our discussions on so many of the forums, many have talked about safety in the studio. These discussions will include keeping a clean studio, washing up instead of sweeping or brushing, using respirators when working with dust, using goggles to view the cone packs in the kiln, how to lift and move materials safely, and so many other things. So what in the anonymity of the forum. . . what don't you do for your self safety wise that you should do? Reason I am bringing it up right now is that I have been trying to get some orders finished up, along with some wedding presents and a wedding jar. However, I am kicking around in a studio that has not been cleaned after the Winter with dust everywhere, trimming craps still on the floor, and overall chaos as I have to step over things to get to the wheel. Pretty bad right now, but hope to get the time to clean as these pieces start to dry. best, Pres
  11. Standing in for Evelyne this week, So what is your favorite tool that came from some other place other than a pottery supply store. Something that you have recycled, or redesigned in some way to use in your pottery studio. Some of my favorites are bamboo kitchen utensils that I cut the handles off of to make all sorts of ribs. Another that I find quite useful is a potato peeler to facet the stems of chalices or to facet mugs before shaping. Give some examples of yours, pictures if you can. best, Pres
  12. Now, I have bigger goal than making money. I am working to create a community that is interested in pottery. So far my approach has worked for me: more people are joining classes and the retention rate has been high. In a year, I expect to have a very nice studio space for myself (and others) which pays for itself and provides an income for me (teaching classes, selling pots). When all I have to do is mop the floor at the end of the day, I will call this retirement. MatthewV Reading another topic I saw this quote. I am getting to an age where the physicality of production pottery is starting to bug me.......old injuries from years ago are protesting miserably, volume sales are not the 'professional' markers they used to feel like, income diversity is becoming more important than volume, a functional pot for someone else is holding less interest than a sculptural one made for my own creative passion.... ...... so some post production pottery planning (say that fast 5 times!) is now in the early stages. I do teach a couple of classes a week and hire out my wheels and equipment occaisionally but I want to wind down my production studio over the next couple of years yet keep my yearly exhibition work going. My mind has recently been following MatthewV's train of thought....... This week I have been offered a community arts space and a local council grant to lay the foundations for this venture.........my question here is that I would like to see this idea brainstormed in the forum by teachers, students and administrators alike...........so please lend me your thoughts, experiences, initiatives and original insights! ta, Irene
  13. Hi All, So we need to fumigate in the studio. I am wondering how much I should move out regarding equipment, molds, clays, etc? I use commercial glazes and prepared clays. My gut says anything porous and probably the clay and glazes. Termite guy says its safe for everything.... me not so sure. Any thoughts on this would be helpful! Thanks so much.
  14. Hi! I've been lurking around here for about a year, but this is my first post. I'm a fairly new potter, been doing my work at a local studio for about a year, and have just acquired my own wheel (an old but wonderful cone-driven Oscar Paul). I love it I am renting a 2nd floor apartment with lovely hardwood floors. I'm using my 2nd bedroom as a studio (no kiln obviously) and I'm struggling with how to protect the floor. I'm not really concerned with keeping on top of the dry mess, but I am worried about keeping water off the floor when throwing. I need a surface that 1) is not permanent and won't damage the floor 2) protects the hardwood 3) can be swept when dealing with trimming and mopped or wiped when dealing with water. Right now I have the wheel itself on an industrial mat to protect the wood from the feet, and help with noise and vibration for the tenants below me. I've tried a canvas sheet over that which does keep the water off the floor, but it bunches up and is a pain in the butt. Tried a plastic tarp - same thing. The wheel is heavy, so having something that I need to move from under it to shake out outside every time I trim is getting old too. I've considered these options, and I'd really appreciate any insight, experience etc. any of you have to share: -Carpet tiles. Easy to replace but would they hold moisture instead of being easy to remove moisture? Looks like they can't be swept, would I have to vacuum? http://www.homedepot.ca/product/studio-carpet-tile-iron-gate-50cm-x-50cm-54-sqfeet-case/867524 -foam tiles. Cheaper, provide padding which might be a plus for both comfort and sound insulation. But would water get in between the tiles and down onto the floor? The description says they are waterproof, which makes me think they could be mopped. http://www.homedepot.ca/product/step-floor-assorted-24-inch-x-24-inch/941763 -craziest idea: get a big plastic wading pool, put the wheel in there and never have to worry about how much water is splashing around. http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/decorated-pool-11-x-59-x-11-in-0810064p.html#.VfrU-d9VhBc Thanks in advance for any insights!
  15. Hello hello, I am moving to Tokyo (North East of the city) next October for at least a year, and I'm looking for places to make ceramics. I was thinking I could try to find an apprenticeship there but I've heard that usually the apprentice doesn't make anything for a while, but rather helps doing small things such as cleaning. Is it true? Even though it is also interesting, I need to have my hands in the clay. So then I looked for studios where I could practice or take lessons but all the places I found semmed to have only courses for once a week. But I'm looking for a place where I could go at least 3 or 4 times a week. So I was wondering if any of you have any idea of where to look, or just advices? Thank you!
  16. Does any one know of a ceramic studio in Long Island preferably near Southold, Riverhead or South Hampton that does high fire reduction, and has temporary studio space for rent? Thanks so much for your help!
  17. Hi Guys, I looked into several insurance options this far, including that offered by the Potters Council. I found it interesting that insurance companies put higher $$$ on porcelain than other pottery. Is there anyone else that experience the same? Also because part of my work is operated online, I find that insurance companies want to load that part too. all my transactions goes through Paypal, so I do not end up with credit cards that need to be secured. Is there anyone that covered this that is willing to provide some tips. Thanks. Antoinette.
  18. From the album: Work in Progress

    Having a mad and intense slip trailing session. I'm making these mugs specially as gifts for my husband's coworkers.

    © Copyright Giselle Massey 2015

  19. We have a walk out basement and I'm about to create a work space down there. The Sheetrock is up on the walls but we're still discussing/arguing on the ceiling and lighting. I would prefer normal Sheetrock ceilings but hubby wants the drop ceilings which I hate. My real question for the group is on lighting. The space runs the whole depth of the house. The front has a sliding glass door and a window however we live in the woods with just enough space cleared for the house so there isn't a ton of natural light. The rear of the space has no windows. Can I get recommendations on lighting from those of you working in basement studios? Number/spacing and type. Thanks!
  20. 8 years ago a purchased a "Paint your own Pottery" studio with the intention of expanding it into both painting pottery, and a clay studio with pottery wheels, demos, classes, etc. I thought it would be great to be able to make my own pieces, display and sell them in the studio, as well as have the usual clientelle who just came in to paint. But over the years I have been too busy working to get work done! haha. Payroll, bookkeeping, taxes, scheduling employees, working extra shifts, teaching classes, customer service, ordering supplies, etc... plus getting all of our customer's pottery fired and out on time has left me very little time for what I really wanted to do from the begining, which is my own work. Paying off student loans, business loans and rent and utilities for both my home and studio space has me working for almost nothing. Each month I pay my bills and that's about it. And it's become increasingly stressful and less enjoyable over time. So I have decided to sell the paint your own pottery business. I already have someone interested and we are awaiting the landlord's approval at the moment before moving further. I'm selling the business for how much I owe on it and am really happy to just be walking away debt free. Fresh start. I'd love to start up a little home studio. Work a "real" job part time, and make my own pieces part time. I have a small etsy shop currently and I have my first big art sale this September, and would love to start doing both regularly when I am able to produce more work. My question is this: Is having a home studio easier to opperate than a rented studio space? I know by downsizing I'll save on rent and utilities, and not having employees. But, otherwise, is the business basically the same? Insurance, licences and fees, taxes, bookkeeping... How much time do you spend on those vs making work? There is a little negative voice in the back of my mind saying all the things I stress about now are still going to be there. Maybe I have the pottery skills, but not the business skills. I just want pottery to be fun again! And to grow and get better. And maybe, just maybe, actually make a profit.
  21. Hello! I am a high school student who is interested in creating a studio at home. I would like to try and build a kiln outside for raku pottery, but am also interested in buying a kiln for regular ceramic use. I would really appreciate any help i can get in order to find the supplies i need (kiln, potters wheel, glazes, tools, etc.) I've taken a few ceramic classes at school so i am not totally clueless, but would really appreciate knowledge from those who are more experienced.
  22. Here's the thing: limited money, limited space, rental trailer environment. I need to end up with a place for my electric wheel and a medium sized kiln, preferably, but not necessarily, in the same space. I have several possibilities: pay to winterize a 12 x 14 screened in porch (that I don't really want to give up to a working space); build a winterized "room" out of the open 12 x 10 back deck, or; buy a small wood or metal shed and simply put it on the back deck. My landlord has approved putting in the electric and water and some sort of heat source, but money is an issue. Winter temps run to below zero and snow up to 3' (New Hampshire) but the porch/deck are well elevated. I need to get estimates, of course, but would like some feedback from ceramists before I even approach the landlord with my ideas. Thanks in advance for any comments.
  23. Love this forum. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to provide your insight. I would very much appreciate your professional opinions on the following for my basement studio which is located in my home: 1. What type of utility sink will be sufficient-will "plastic" hold up? 2. Should I put my cone 10 kiln into a separate room in the studio? 3. About how much room should I leave around the kiln in a separate room for stacking, maintenance, etc. 4. I'm building a 4x8 studio table. Any suggestion as to a material for the top? I am considering hardboard. But would a Formica-like product be better. I am concerned about moisture and warping. 5. Cleaning floors: I know damp mopping is best but should I vacuum up the dust first with a shop vac? If not, wouldn't I just be pushing around mud even if I rinse frequently? 6. I plan on painting the concrete floor with appropriate paint. Should I leave the kiln area unpainted? 7. Which is more desirable as far as venting-downdraft or updraft?
  24. Years ago, I was looking for a stable platform to do some sawing with my circular saw. In a rush, and not really thinking I used the my CXC to support the lumber, started sawing, not realizing that I cut a notch into the wheel head! I beat myself up for months about it. Then realized one day when throwing my patens(plates) on a wooden bat that the notch allowed perfect leverage to remove the bat. . . gently. I used to use an old trim jim, and get it wedged between the bat and the head, but feeling the notch and lifting on the wooden edge of the bat worked better. Would never try it again, but that one time the accident turned out right. Have any of you had something similar happen?
  25. Has anyone found a good solution for warming the water in a Cink? Over the winter, my studio gets cold, and the water in the Cink gets painfully cold. I don't need it to be hot or even warm, just not really cold. I have to believe someone's already worked this out. Any suggestions?
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