Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Banding Together

That’s the way it works. That was the concept behind shopping centers. United into one unit, sharing a big parking lot, attracts more traffic to each individual shop. It works.

The meer size, carries with it, a physcological impression of superiority. Individual shops, that might have a hard time attracting the shoppers, would find themselves reaping the benefits by joining together with several others shops, in one spot. Have you ever wondered why a store would put out twice the rent, just to be included in a shopping center? There must be a good reason.

That is what Judy’s Corner is all about.

I’m familiar with the rail but the rail isn’t all that particular about who is linked, where. If you fit into a wide range called ‘art’, then you fit,in their opinion. The webring is much the same. Not only do they not care about specialized categories, they don’t control who your neighbor is.

Again, that’s what Judy’s Corner is all about. Not only is it important to me, that it be only hand made crafts, listing on our front page, I also care to keep the categories, within the category, separated in some way, so as not to provide ready made competition. The very least, I can do, is put two crafter’s alike, on oposite ends of the board. What’s more, I’m talking about tangible products, not website desiging. There is a huge difference.

The bigger the crowd, the better the traffic for all. I’m working on that but not getting much cooperation, as yet. Odd, considering I’m offering this for free, want to help out and I know there’s a massive world of crafter’s out there, needing more sales.

If anybody has any suggestions, I’d love to hear it.

Mixing Plaster

(excerpt)
How to mix Plaster:

1. Always weigh out the amount of plaster you need, then look up the water by weight percentage. For example USG # 1 Pottery for making molds uses 70% water to plaster. So 10 lb. of plaster requires 7 lb. of water. First weigh out the plaster you need, take that amount and multiply it by .7,(point 7), (7/10) this gives you how much water to use.

2. Generally speaking the larger the percentage of water the softer and more absorbent the plaster will be. The harder the plaster the less water used.

3. Hot water will speed up the set time and cold water will slow it down.

4. Place the water in a suitable sized container. Always add plaster to water. Pour the plaster into the water and let slake for one minute. Mix by hand or with a Jiffy Mixer, being careful not to suck air into the plaster. When the mixture is lump free it is ready to pour; don’t wait for it to start to thicken.
(end excerpt)

This is a note from a supplier. In all my packed boxes from the ceramics shop, I have the complete charts for every variety of plasters and cements. I promise, as I continue to unpack and arrange, when I run across these charts, I’ll be back with the information.

After studying the formulas, years ago, I devised a shortcut which I describe in the ebook. I’ve never had a problem using my little shortcut.

Just a couple notes:
Hot water truly does speed up the setting time. I prefer room temperature, as then my timed activities are right on.
I have, due to interruptions, left plaster sitting for up to an hour, without the chemical reaction starting, simply because I had not begun to mix.
Plaster is not panicky stuff. :)
Always, after shaking in the plaster, let it sit (untouched) for at least 5 minutes before mixing. This is called slaking. It gives ever particle an opportunity to come into contact with water.
Mix for 3 minutes steady (5 minutes for hydrastone). Let sit for 3 minutes. Mix again for 3 minutes and pour.

If using plaster or hydrastone to pour into rubber molds, tap the sides of the mold to release trapped air bubbles.

Tax Headaches

I’m still facing a mountain of receipts and math. Why? Well, I’m just full of excuses: a move from one state to another, retrieving all the ceramics equipment out of storage, pneumonia (dragging tail), and a whole slew of busy, busy.




What ever the reasons, I resorted to a box just to make sure I kept receipts all together. I can’t wait until this part is over, 2008 was tumultuous and I’m ready to settle down and get back into a routine.



Is it just me, or do crafter’s just always have a head full of ideas and lists of things to do? I’m never bored. My entire life seems to have been spent in shoving things to the back burner while I work on something else.



That other instruction book is almost ready, the one that discusses things like rubber molds, the variety of rubber and how to use them, the variety of mediums used in molds, all that. Pictures, were the hold back, and I’m just finishing a custom job involving both rubber and plaster molds.



If you’re like me, it’s not a matter of organization, it’s a matter of having way too much to do in just one life time. Do you think we’ll ever get a handle on it?

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About Me

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I'm a grandmother of 1, a ceramist, a ceramic mold maker, a truck driver and writer.

I'm also a webmaster of many and have several blogs.

I help others in designing product, make custom molds and I still do restorations.