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pottery: hobby or business

updated mon 23 feb 98


Talbott on sun 22 feb 98

Once you finally do have these tools you will NOT be without them.
By mixing your own clay, you have the ability to CONTROL the formulation,
consistency, aging, etc. of your clay. We would never used pre-mixed clay
again. The difference is truely like day and night.

Just prior to using the clay it runs through our deairing pugmill
(Venco 4"). This pugging and deairing really saves alot of TIME and WEAR
AND TEAR on the human body (we are given one per life time). Wedging is
all but eliminated, and measuring is done with simple slicing jigs which we
constructed. Tools save time and time is money. Can you imagine being a
framing carpenter without pneumatic nail guns? You would not stand a
chance in today's market. I suggest you visit a few studios that employ
these tools and get an idea on how affective they are. I am considering
custom mixing clay for a few local potters but don't know if it would be
worth my time since I only have the smaller studio model claymixer from
Soldner. If I get enough orders for clay then I may go to the bigger
model. Time will tell.

We also fire using a gas car kiln which we built. I would never even
consider firing without a gas kiln. But we did start with an electric kiln
and used premixed clay and then went to a foot tub to mix clay AND then I
said, "What the 'heck'". Tools do make a difference between pottery being
a hobby and being a business. These are personal decisions of course and
are just my $0.002 worth.
>I question your use of the word "basic". I don't own either a mixer or
>a pugmill (though I dream of a vacuum pugmill someday sigh). I use
>buckets and plaster and cloth and ..... well, you get the picture. Yet
>I manage. I finally bought a slab roller last spring. For me, basic
>is a wheel (used), kiln (purchased new because I'm terrified of electricity)
>and space to work. Clay is purchased; I mix my own glazes. Scrap is dried,
>slacked and layed on plaster. When I do get money, I spend it on seminars
>and courses to further my knowledge. I'm a graduate of the SOHK (school
>of hard knocks)

101 CLAYART MUGS (Summer 1998)

Celia & Marshall Talbott, Pottery By Celia, Route 114, P O Box 4116,
Naples, Maine 04055-4116,(207)693-6100 voice and fax,(call first)
Clayarters' Live Chat Room, Fri & Sat Nites at 10 PM EDT & Sun at 1 PM EDT