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QotW:  Is it worth it? 

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Chilly recently posted in the QotW pool:  Is it worth it? 

Several threads recently have asked is it worth...........

Be good to see a discussion in it's own thread on the general pros and cons of fixing, restoring, recovering, making your own. 

So many things to consider: time, cost, environment......

Good question with lots of connotations. I will give one positive and one negative: A while back, I posted the conversion of an electric caulk gun into a handheld extruder. This with a small amount of change to the caulk gun, and a few off the shelf plumbing parts. All in all, I figure it cost me about $125. As to worth it, way beyond that, I would invest twice or three times that amount for the convenience and ease that making handles has become.

The negative. . . I have in the past tried to patch, repair or fix some throwing/firing/decorating flaw and for all of the time and effort I have put into fixing something, I could have remade it in less time with less misery. Nope, not worth trying to fix something that failed at my current level of working. Having been a beginner, I know what it feels like to see the S shaped crack, the bottom trimmed through, or the glaze that did not work well. I also know that finding out what went wrong, and remaking the piece is the way to greater learning, and success.  At the same time don't throw out your failures until a few months go by so that you can be reminded of what to do right. . . today!

 

best,

Pres

 

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It all depends-on fixing clay flaws in production work -only if I think its will work and that takes lost of years of trails.

Usually it not worth it-experience is your master here on bisque or green ware repair.

Building brick kilns -well for me its been worth it-I spent 45 years using them for a living so yes it was worth it. Nowdays I would just order a Geil but I can now afford one.

I converted my Scott Creek extruder to work with Brent caps (they have the best cap system for me).I did that in the 80's and well I'm on my second cap now and I have modified that extruder several times as well since then-also bought and use a wall mounted Brent extruder every week to.-well worth it.

I added a ramp up control for my manual electric kiln-well worth it.

Made my own salt kiln0-well worth it.

Clay making well once did it but its NOT worth it.

Brush making -well worth it

slab roller making -just buy one or use a rolling pin

This list is slanted  for folks making a living at clay

Hobbists well -they have their own list.

 

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Fortunately I'm pretty great about moving on when something's not working, after much experience with painting. I'm talking about making art, not crafting tools. Partly it's because I spend a lot of time cogitating, meditating, and making tons of notes. Knowing what I'm aiming for and research on techniques smooths the process. When I make the inevitable mistakes or the materials don't want to co-operate as they often do I don't feel too many regrets about trashing my work and starting over, and there's the camera to record failures. I do make the occasional small tool but not being mechanically inclined really and time being limited I pick and choose what to spend what's left of it on, and lean towards what I already know and like. However, I'm looking forward to making some of my own glazes. I don't think I could ever be one of those folks who buys ready made bisqueware to decorate, as much as I like just painting, there are certain things I have to make myself from the ground up or they don't feel real. 

Edited by yappystudent

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Every pound of clay, every penny it does or does not generate,  every opportuntity, every obstacle, every perk & all kinds of payoffs is worth it. Oh, and the people I have met, whether virtually or in person--the  most wonderful way to add joy to my journey. I've always held art and creative process to be the fuse box to my soul, and key to survival.    "Art is spirituality in drag."  Who said that? Lee Ustinich said that. 

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