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Ground Breaking

Reuse, recycle, reduce. We hear these ideas all the time and I tend to think they are good ones. It comes in especially great when someone gives me an old kiln.  That is exactly what happened when the electric kiln that we used for cone 6 glaze firing gave up the ghost at Callanwolde. It’s a good size kiln, much bigger than my electric kiln but I’m not interested in rewiring this one. You may remember I did that with my electric kiln when I installed the kiln sitter (you can read about that here) which I got from another free kiln.

My plan for this kiln is to make it a reduction kiln since that is the look I like best for my pots. I am even considering adding a stoke hole so I can feed some small piece of wood into the kiln for some ash and wood effects.

Before I can start converting it into a gas kiln I need to build a kiln shed. My current kiln room is fine for the electric kiln but it’s too crowded to add flame to the mix. I’m designing a simple lean-to type shed that will have a m…

Google Webmaster Tools and Other Geekery

Part of running any business, no matter how big or small is getting the word out so the world knows you're there.  The internet is now the biggest way to do that and it's probably your most important way to talk to the world.  You may be using just social media, you may be using just Etsy, or you may have a website and/or a blog.  Some of us are using all of them.  That's very time consuming so it's best to know what works and what doesn't.  If you're communicating with customers and ask "How did you find me?" they will usually tell you.  That's fantastic but their is more to it.  Sometimes someone will sign up for my email list and I don't know how they found me.  Yes, I can send an email to welcome them and ask but I hate sending out too many emails.  It bother's people.

The other thing you don't always know is what is going on with people who you never get to meet.  If you don't have an interaction like a conversation or a sale you don't know about these folks.  Essentially this means you don't know why that potential customer left your website or blog.  This is why google webmaster tools and google analytics are so important, no matter how boring that sounds.

Using these tools I can see that a person came to my site, they looked around, clicked on some pictures then left.  Why?  Well, maybe they just don't like my pots or maybe they plan to come back later to make a purchase.  Or maybe they didn't see the link to my Etsy store, maybe they didn't see the email sign up form.  Maybe I have to make a quick change to my website so people who look at the pictures are then able to take action.  You can also find out information like how they are viewing your site.  Are they on a computer or a mobile device.  If they are on a mobile device and your website isn't optimized for them they may leave in a hurry.

The good news for those of us who would rather be making pots than playing with websites is that after you make any change you should just let it sit for a little while before you can figure out if it works or not.  That wait time can be used to create more pots.  How will you remember?  In google analytics you can set notes about when you made changes to your site, then when you come back to it a few months or weeks later you can see if anything has changed just by looking at a graph.

Yes, it may not be the most exciting part of your life but if you check these tools every few months you can make your visitors experience nicer and that's a good thing to do.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. you are my go to person for geekery. ha.

    1. Sure Linda, I'd be glad to help any way I can or you could even try a google helpout.


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