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#67454 Well Said

Posted by Min on 08 October 2014 - 11:39 AM

I came across the little anonymous blurb below on Bailey's facebook page...



#64331 New Hampshire Institute Of Art Anagama Build - Images

Posted by JBaymore on 11 August 2014 - 10:28 PM

Some people asked me to keep some updates here on out progress.  So...... here are a couple of shots of the first two days of the build:


Day One


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Day Two


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More to come in this thread.  Check back every day or so if you are interested.





#3228 Amaco Ancient Jasper Question

Posted by Steve Lampron on 22 October 2010 - 03:17 PM

ANCIENT JASPER: Hello all and stay with me as I am and old guy and not blog capable. I am the VP of Technical Services here at AMACO and the engineer that developed this glaze. I am very sad to hear that some of you are having difficulty with this glaze. It is actually a very easy glaze to work with and will yield excellant results. Let me give you a few tips on this type of glaze in general an then some specifics about ANCIENT JASPER.
Many midrange and high fire glazes used by ceramic artists are what I call FLOAT glazes. These are the pretty glazes that tend to seperate out different colors in areas where the glazes are thicker. ANCIENT JASPER is this type of glaze and what it floating out is iron oxide. Iron is one of the more interesting colorants simply because it can be in so many different oxidation states. This simply means that it can make a ton of different colors. With any float glaze, enough thickness of glaze must be applied in order for the excess iron to float to the surface. If the glaze is thinly applied, the glaze will tend to be drier and a very unpleasant color.
This glaze was not developed where any massive amount of glaze needs to be applied. If it had needed this I would have told everyone on the label. We actually never had any issues getting red at all. I always try new glazes on all of our clay bodies to make sure there isn't some issue I need to know of. We also fire them at cone 5 and cone 6 to check stability. We found no issues with this glaze on either account. By now you probably saying, great but it didn't work for me. I will list some good parameters below for you to follow and I am 100% sure you will find this glaze simple to use and that it will yield great results.
1. Temperature: The red color is actually the first color to float and the use of more heat will tend to make it turn to the purples, yellows, browns and black. This means you will tend to see slightly (and I do mean slightly) more red at cone 5 than cone 6. No soak is needed for this glaze and actually soaking it will cause more red to fade into the other colors.
2. Thickness: The glaze must be applied with enough thickness to float the iron.
3. Kiln cycle: I fire all the glazes we develop in an electric kiln at fast, medium and slow speeds. Red color will be developed at all speeds but the faster the firing ~6 hours (tons of red) the better the results. I always quality check each batch at cone 5 in 8 hours. 10-12 hour cycles will cause more red to fade to the other colors. This is most critical within 200 defrees of peak. If your elements are weak and it takes the kiln a long time to achieve the last 200 degrees, you will find less red.
4. Cool down: No special cool down is needed nor will it help develop any red color. Letting the kiln simply shut off and cool naturally is all that is needed.
4. Clay Body: I have tested this on porcelain, typical stoneware bodies, bodies with grog, bodies without grog, brown colored bodies, etc. I develop red on all of them. I have found that when using our #1 Porcelain slip that the color transition away from the red tones is very pronounced (although it makes a rainbow of the other colors). This is because for a cone 5 porcelain slip alot of soft flux is needed to tighten the body. The flux in the body mixes with the glaze and actually makes the glaze softer (simulating more heat).
5. Texture: This glaze loves texture and will make some incredible colors. The texture makes the glaze get thinner and thicker in areas. The thicker the glaze the easier it is for it to stay red. The thinner the glaze gets the hotter that area of glaze gets and it shifts to the other colors.

These simple tips should help everybody that wants to make ANCIENT JASPER work. I suggest running a few tests of glaze thickness in your next kiln load and follow the firing rules above. Three nice coats on any typical stoneware body, fired to cone 5 or 6 in 6-8 hours with no soak and no special cooling curve will yield pieces just like the ones we showed in the ads. These were just pots we made in the lab. Honestly I have never actually made a pot that didn't make colors just like those pieces.
I will attempt to post a few more photos here today and next week we will post a board I made with all of our clay bodies fired at slow, medium and fast so you can see the slight differences.
Let me know if this helps.
The photo files are too big to upload. I will have someone help me make them smaller for next week.

#62922 What Makes A Good Mizusashi Good?

Posted by Rakuken on 21 July 2014 - 12:35 AM

I love making a mizusashi. Here are a few. I also made and finished the wood covers.
Aloha, Ken

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#56617 The Dangers Of Advice Without Experience

Posted by ChenowethArts on 14 April 2014 - 03:03 PM

There is an African proverb that applies to taking/giving advice: "Never test the depth of a river with both feet."

#54842 Video "a Love Story In Clay"

Posted by Isculpt on 17 March 2014 - 03:28 AM

My husband Bill and I are very private, low-profile people, but when Piedmont Crafts Guild, the oldest crafts guild in NC, asked us to participate in a series of short videos about guild members, we couldn't say 'no' to a guild that has done so much for so many.  Consequently, we spent a day last summer with a mini film crew at our rural South Carolina home near the Catawba Indian Nation, whose thousands of years of pottery tradition my husband carries on.  In contrast, as some of you know from the outpouring of help that I've received from this forum, I am a self-taught sculptor.  What I really like about the video is how it shows that, like everyone who chooses to work in clay, our love for the medium enriches and defines our life.  (What I don't love, having just seen the film, is that it now occurs to me that taking a few minutes to apply cosmetics (on me, not Bill) might have been a good investment of my time before the crew arrived to make a high def video!  :huh:)  Oh well.... 




Added note:


Thanks, all of you for your kind words and warm response to the video.  I have to say that the decision to focus the video on our relationship along with our work was the choice of the makers, and it struck us as slightly ironic.  After the intensity and intimacy of a shared life in craft, we were adjusting to a new reality that took Bill away from home and studio for all but a few hours a day.  After 25 years of working side by side, our new reality is that his days as Chief of the Catawba Indian Nation are filled with administrative duties for a tribe of 3,000, lobbying Congress on Native issues, and handling intense political pressure as he works to regain some of the sovereign rights lost to his tribe. Meanwhile I keep the homefires burning and look forward to the day when his crucial work on behalf of his tribe is done and I regain my studio partner.


The video shows us working on several pieces that are pictured in their completed states below.

Attached File  B Harris small image.jpg   52.81KB   5 downloadsAttached File  Bill Harris Pottery_054 small image.jpg   28.49KB   2 downloadsAttached File  BLUEBIRDS SWIRLED AROUND HER clay sculpture by Jayne Harris.jpg   181.59KB   3 downloadsAttached File  JAYNE HARRIS SCULPTURE 46 SMALL IMAGE.jpg   46.85KB   2 downloads

#46175 12 Inch Club

Posted by neilestrick on 19 November 2013 - 10:03 PM

Membership has it's rewards.....I'm not sure what they are, but I'm sure they'll be awesome.


#18863 Was: Etsy or Ebay? Now: When Should You Start Trying to Sell?

Posted by metal and mud on 02 July 2012 - 01:55 PM

I've been thinking about this thread a lot this weekend. I've been having a wonderful time making gift items out of clay--2 and 3 inch lidded boxes on feet, textured and glazed in pretty colors, little Indian rugs hanging from metal racks that my son makes, plates carved with our local Organ Mountains and a moon and glazed to look like moonlight--etc.--different things that just come to me. I had so much fun making them that I couldn't NOT do anything with them. I also know that I need to do a work many times to get better at it; already the lids on my clay boxes fix much better. I am a small business owner and it only seemed natural to sell my items, so last December I got "certified" as a vendor at our Farmer's and Crafts Market. I get such a kick when someone buys one of my--admittedly--imperfect items. They make them happy and me even happier. I use my revenue to buy supplies, thereby supporting my hobby. It's disturbing to me that someone should suggest that we shouldn't put our items in public until many years have passed, implying that the works shouldn't be in public until much better in quality and near-perfect. I view my craft as an incredible relaxation whose result brings happiness to both the maker and the purchaser. After reading some of the posts I started to doubt myself in my decision to put my works in public and my ego on the line, but I had a good firing over the weekend and I know that on July 4th, my next market, some local folks will get a kick out of my little items and I won't stop bringing them to market, for one, nor trying to make them better and better each time. I hope I never achieve perfection because then I might stop.

#64036 The One Minute Teapot.

Posted by Tyler Miller on 06 August 2014 - 12:16 PM

I thought a little humour might light the mood a bit.  "Johnny Vegas" is/was a potter under his real name of Michael Pennington.  Extremely talented fellow, but got bad marks  due to his choice of subject matter.  He then got into comedy.


I hope you guys enjoy. HIs 60 second teapot.



 A version of this pot is in the Victoria and Albert: http://collections.v...t-vegas-johnny/


There's another video of him "potting" on stage, but it's perhaps a little too graphic (he does something colourful with a tall centred lump of clay and some beer) for sharing on a public forum.


#63868 Is Kiln Wash Necessary?

Posted by Min on 04 August 2014 - 06:38 PM

After kiln washing do you bisque fire before use?

As a first timer .....grind and coat...... I do not like...... (Them.....Sam I am)


Would you like them wet or dry?

I would not, could not fire them wet.


Would you, could you dry them in the kiln?

From here to 200F for an hour or three.


If you feel them you will see

Cool means they're too wet to fire


I do so like dry shelves for me

Bisquing is not necessary


(deepest apologies all around, it's been a long day)

#61362 Tips & Tricks

Posted by Min on 25 June 2014 - 11:38 AM

It's been a while since we have had a tips and tricks posting and it's seems to be a bit quiet on the forums so anybody have anything new to share?


I've got this one: for pots that have gotten to dry to cut the rims of or attach handles to, wet cheesecloth works really well. I dip the cheesecloth in water then squeeze out the excess and drape 2 or 3 pieces on the area of the pot that needs to be softer. For fairly thin pieces it takes about 15 minutes and the clay is soft enough to work again. For thicker pieces I re-wet the cheesecloth and reapply. This works much better for me than misting or dipping the pot in water.

#37769 What do you collect and why? | June 19, 2013

Posted by trina on 26 June 2013 - 07:18 AM

oh man and i was so clinging to that one positive rating point.....T

#67565 Oh Beautiful Clay

Posted by Judith B on 10 October 2014 - 01:23 PM

There is no section for this on the forum, but I found this photography project and I think it's a beautiful tribute to clay, textures and colors :


#62434 Non-Legal Ways To Address Copying Issue

Posted by drmyrtle on 14 July 2014 - 05:31 PM

I think it might be helpful to realize that this topic is difficult to manage, but not unique. "Takers" are everywhere, whether that's in your family, your work place, your neighborhood, or your studio. This is a pretty well documented phenomena in psychology literature (see a simpler discussion at :http://www.govexec.c...h-people/82192/ and you can follow the topic from there). Basically, most people fall somewhere on this bell curve:

givertakergrabjpg0802.jpg from Mark Goulston MD, 2011


People are not very good always at self-identifying how they act either. (It doesn't help that individuals are generally situation-specific, so there might be times/situations where you find yourself responding in ways not consistent with your "usual" habits.)


Anyhoo, I take the situation outlined at face value: you have a studio work space with two different kinds of collaborators. Mudslinger is either a giver or reciprocater, while the interior designer/potter is a taker/grabber. Some of the features of a taker are exactly that they look to others to serve their personal goals, while guarding their time and expertise themselves. It's all about them, and not about you. Although I understand that all situations have many perspectives, I think it's valuable for you to think this through from your perspective, MS.


Some key things to consider:

1. Givers get ahead most of the time: although there is a risk of becoming demoralized and running out of energy, givers powerfully move the world forward because they are the best kind of collaborators. Setting boundaries (as you have), and deciding carefully if there is any kind of win/win exchange (as others have suggested) are strong positions for you personally.

2. If you are feeling drained dry by the negative pressure and energy of being around a taker (and no surprise, either), that's when you need to make a decision about your studio space. Part of this psychological profile is that takers make other people feel drained, angry, depressed and violated. Same with shoplifters, liars, and that a**hole who keeps on stealing your studio tools. Protect your stuff, don't feel bad about holding on to precious recipes that you've worked hard at, and give when giving doesn't kick you in the teeth. You are in the studio to work, not to deal with someone else's blob of personal gunk. Music, smells, walls, and locks are your friend: use them when you need to. If you truly can't escape, then you need another space.

3. Although some are joking about revenge, your karma thanks you for resisting. Don't become more of the person you don't want to be. Shake yourself like a dog leaving cold water, and do what you need to do. Protect yourself, give what is consistent with you as a person, find a peaceful place, and get to work. Life is too short for this s*it.


There isn't a business situation that I have ever been exposed to that hasn't had to deal with this. In the community studio I work in, one taker can really profoundly change the environment. (I've only lost $250... in tools so far because I didn't take this issue seriously. Yikes.) I use it as an excuse to buy more stuff when I can, and hope, respectfully, that it all catches up to them, somehow. If I spend any more time thinking about it, then I'm just doing what they want me to do: think about them.

#59917 Are Custom Orders On Location A Good Idea?

Posted by Mark C. on 03 June 2014 - 03:16 PM

I found that my last craft fair, I got asked a lot more of the"Can you make this in white," "Can you make me a set of these bowls" etc. So I had a good amount of interest in custom orders. Now I know granted some of those people are not serious buyers, but a few may have been. I spoke to them about the potential custom order, gave them a business card and they went on their way. Now, weeks later none of them have reached out. So my question is this...


Does anyone have any experience in taking custom orders on the spot? If a customer shows interest in a custom order, I'd like to have the customer fill out a form (that states all the specifics), take a deposit, and give them a receipt. Then arrange to get them to custom piece when it's completed either in person, or my mail.  


I live in NY, people here are quick paced, and seem to try and get things done right then and there. If not, next time they're at the dreaded home goods they'll pick up whatever I could have custom made them. So I thought of doing this custom order concept as almost a "strike while the irons hot" kind of thing, but didn't want the concept to seem pushy to a customer. 


I'm open to advice!



I have had over 35 years of doing custom orders-which I do not do anymore.

That said I shipped a custom cannister out to AZ yesterday and a honey pot lid to LA. today

These where special exceptions for customers I already have sold pottery to.

Over the years I learned that custom orders really are not worth it-heres why

1st the custom order is the 1st pot to crack or not turn out-trust me on how I know this

2nd-the custom order which you now need to remake has taken twice the time you thought as it did not work the 1st time thru

3rd-they never pick the damm thing up anymore as you noted they are just to busy these days

4th ok its done now you need to stop with your life and pack and ship it -its getting more costly for you every minute


I will make exceptions but I stoppped doing custom work years ago when society shifted to the burger king thought process -I want it my way today right now for the highway.

I suggest you take this advice to heart as the other road is heartbreak

your very post mentions thier busy lifes and quick paced wonderings

Take it from me and let them wonder-spend your time with making and selling to interested buyers who like what you have made not what you do not have.

The only iron you need is the one to wack them with and quit wasting your time on does this come in blue questions.

This might be my most true advice I have given in 2,000 posts-

time to set the bar high-doing custom work for existing customers is another topic.


#58033 Expectation And Appearance

Posted by Idaho Potter on 06 May 2014 - 08:29 PM

This has been a most entertaining thread!  Years ago I traded fad and fashion for comfort.  Sweats + T-shirt and Birks in summer, spring and fall.  Winters I add a sweatshirt on top and socks on bottom.  Everything covered as best I can with an apron.  Dress up is for weddings and funerals--I don't like going to either one.  When mingling with folks at the grocery store, I trade sweats for jeans and wash up.


Reading about the critics reminded me of a potter friend of mine who had Dragon Lady fingernails and her hands always looked like she'd just had a manicure.  At a show, I heard a "customer" dispute the fact that she had produced all the pottery exhibited in her booth had been done by her--because of the length of her nails.  She responded with, "It is because of my martial arts training.  I can throw pots, or disembowel an opponent just as easily."


I wanted to applaud.



#55263 What Has Been Your Worst Re Encounter Of A Piece Of Your Pottery?

Posted by Marcia Selsor on 23 March 2014 - 11:23 PM

OK this is at the same time the funniest and embarrassing reencounter of an old piece. It defines the need for the hammer but also can keep us humble and shows we all start from somewhere..
Attached File  selsorcarbondatedsmall.jpg   39.1KB   3 downloadsThis was posted above the sink in my classroom by a student who cam across one of my very first teapots in california in possession of an old classmate from 1967.The pot was made in Philadelphia as a sophomore in college. I kept this posted above the sink for years. I think it is one of my most cherished possessions.I had to wait til I was home because it is one my larger laptop.
I added a slightly closer view. I hope you can read the writing. My students had a good sense of humor.


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#45898 What Do You Like Making Vs. What Sells

Posted by neilestrick on 16 November 2013 - 04:05 PM

If people see an obvious use for something, it tends to sell well.



Bingo! Even with something as simple as a bowl, which has a million uses, people seem to need to be told what it's for. I can't count how many times someone has come into m y booth and said 'That's a beautiful bowl, but I just don't know what I'd use it for.' Food, maybe?!? Of course, as soon as you say 'ice cream bowl', they say 'I don't like ice cream'! How about salsa? 'I thought you said it was for ice cream'. AAAAAUUUUUUGH!

#31019 Wanted to share this tile technique...

Posted by Paula Patton on 15 March 2013 - 01:18 PM

I found a broken light diffuser (grid) at our recycling center and tried a project I had read about before. I couldn't find the article, so I winged it and it worked out! I rolled a slab of clay out, pressed the grid into the clay all the way down and let it dry that way. The next day, tiny tiles fell right out of the grid!! It was like magic! No cutting, no marring, no sanding! They were all perfectly cut to the same size. I glazed them and can now make a great mosaic trivet or, if I make more, something bigger! There are other sizes of light diffusers, I just haven't found one yet!

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#18703 Was: Etsy or Ebay? Now: When Should You Start Trying to Sell?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 28 June 2012 - 09:09 PM

Just one last comment if I may ...
No one wrote that you could not sell your work until you had eight years experience.
The eight years I was referring to was the potential 4 years BFA undergrad and another 4 MFA since I assumed you would be training for your career.

The only advice I read from all of us was to make the most of this time in your pottery life when you do not have to make marketable work in order to pay the bills.
I don't understand why the message came across negatively but that's what happens sometimes on the Internet.
I hope you have a long and rewarding career in pottery.