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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







Day Two









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

Attached Thumbnails

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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.

B Harris small image.jpg Bill Harris Pottery_054 small image.jpg BLUEBIRDS SWIRLED AROUND HER clay sculpture by Jayne Harris.jpg JAYNE HARRIS SCULPTURE 46 SMALL IMAGE.jpg

#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

#66431 How Many "hand Builders" Here?

Posted by neilestrick on 20 September 2014 - 12:11 PM


#62108 Does Your Dominant Hand Dictate Form Or Are You Ambidextrous.

Posted by oldlady on 09 July 2014 - 12:53 PM

you have used the propaganda yourself, pug, your special minority group does not need special "rights", you need special "LEFTS". -_-

#59324 Super Amateur Needs Help With Porosity

Posted by Benzine on 27 May 2014 - 03:54 PM

The Moderators and Administrators here, do a good job, of moving the topic along, in case it goes on a tangent. This is a community, and posters are treated as peers. There isn't a super strict adherence to a topic, to the point, that something slightly off the subject line, will get a person warned, or post deleted. The only time posts become an issue, is when someone insists on personal attacks/ general disrespect.

The question posed, was nowhere near, being as off topic, as some discussions have gotten. I feel it was a valid question, in line with the topic, "Why glaze something that will rarely be seen?" Beyond that, why "waste" glaze on a portion of the object that will be burried below the ground? I do agree, some glazing would help the overall aesthetic, but why not just glaze the portion that will be above the surface? Also, a glaze would effect the porosity, as it does seal the clay, even if just a bit.

Just some thougts.

#56606 The Dangers Of Advice Without Experience

Posted by Tyler Miller on 14 April 2014 - 11:03 AM

This is a bit of an angry rant.  I apologize for that.  If you don't want to read on, here's the gist--if you haven't done it or haven't seen it done first hand, don't be giving advice!  Something I've come to hate are armchair craftsmen and google/wiki scholars.


I'll confess I've been guilty of it.  It was even encouraged at a hardware store I worked at.  I didn't know anything about woodworking at 17, but people asked me for advice like I should know.  We were supposed to know.  My bad advice was responsible for more than a few returns.  Thankfully no injuries.


But I think I know better now at 30.


For the purposes of this post, I'm only going to use metalworking examples.


I want to bring up some advice a former member gave here once.  Now, I like this member, he's a good guy.  If he's reading this, I hope he doesn't mind that i'm using him as an example.  I think he would approve.


Someone once asked if titanium would survive a cone 6 kiln firing.  It won't.  It will probably burn.  This member didn't believe that since he observed that it didn't melt until much hotter, but I've seen it happen.  Google "LA Titanium fire" if you've got a strong constitution.  Titanium burns before it melts.


I was 16 or 17 and was very generously given a titanium bar by someone who wanted to encourage my metalwork.  I tried to forge it.  Didn't really move well and cooled off almost immediately (no thermal mass).  So I cranked up the blower and tried to get it to bright yellow heat.  I pulled out a sparkler that wouldn't stop burning!  I tried to put it out in water and that made it WORSE!  I panicked, plunged the rod into my mother's garden, and ran into the house to hide.  If a metalworker asks, I'll say I've never worked with titanium because I'm too embarrassed by that incident.


I know a few smiths who started up not too too long ago--about the same time I got back into the craft.  They had the same typical learning curve of any ambitious young metalworkers.  Learning that cutting corners doesn't make a good knife.  Learning that you've got to use a centre punch if you want your drill bit to sit still.  Learning about basic hammer control and technique.  There's only a handful of ways to swing a hammer so that you don't ruin your arm swinging it for 8-12 hours a day, 5-7 days a week.


But at some point they started bypassing that.  One started teaching classes.  This put a knot in my gut.  He knew the stuff in theory, but he didn't have the shop experience or self-evaluative tools to back it up.  Shop practice is a big deal, for metalwork and ceramics.  Things like not grinding aluminum and iron in the same go ('cause that's a recipe for thermite!).  Proper ventilation (no grinders in the basement!).  Proper casting safety (molten metal doesn't behave like water!).  Proper chemical and scrap storage (that's how the LA titanium fire got started).  This stuff doesn't come from books, it comes from knowing your materials and work environment.


Here's an example from a different person.  A beginner wanted to learn to forge brass.  That's fine, people do that.  However, forgeable brass is hard to find, and brass has a bad tendency to off-gas zinc vapour.  No good.  I know people who have died from zinc poisoning.  I advised that cold forging bronze would be better--heat the bronze to red heat, cool, and hammer till it gets stiff, then reheat, cool, etc.  I didn't say "cold forging" though, I just thought it was clear from the context.  Someone said "wait, you can't hot forge bronze, he should hot forge brass, it's easy, forges like butter.  Just heat to 600C, to avoid zinc fumes, and hammer away."  


This would have been good advice except for one thing--no beginner in the history of ever has a way to determine 600C.  It's the same colour as room temp brass.  And there are no fixed temp electric kilns or pyrometers available at the local hardware store.  Tin bronze, on the other hand, doesn't have the off-gassing problems of zinc in brass, since tin doesn't boil until much much hotter.  It's a very easy thing for a beginner to heat bronze to red heat, quench, and forge.


So there's my rant.  I hope you see the point of it.  Books and Google will only get you so far, and then they get you into trouble--or other people into trouble, if you're only using Google and books to give advice.  Don't get other people into trouble, please?

#52983 Your Labour Cost?

Posted by GEP on 20 February 2014 - 01:22 PM

We likely all need to put a bit more effort in looking out for the good of the FIELD as we approach what we do.  Like in most everything, our actions have impacts that go far beyond only ourselves.


The further I get in my pottery business, the less I am convinced this is true. Pottery customers are not one collective entity, operating under the same influences. And they do not view potters as one collective and comparable entity. Each customer views each potter as an individual, and are perfectly capable of judging us as individuals.


These days at most of my shows, my functional pottery is the most expensive. I used to get queasy when I saw beautifully-made mugs being sold for $18, wondering if this would affect the sale of my $35 mugs. Over time, I've realized it does not. Pottery buyers do not want the "cheapest" mug, they want the mug they like the most. Now I do not worry about what others are charging, I worry about making the most appealing mugs I can make.


Just like I am not competing with the $18 mug maker, I am also not competing with the $300 yunomi maker. Or vice versa. Now that is a completely different world with a totally different population!


What really matters are your own decisions and actions, which only affect yourself.


I am ok with anyone disagreeing with this. These are my thoughts based on my experiences and observations.

#52707 You Know You're A Real Potter When....

Posted by bciskepottery on 16 February 2014 - 10:58 AM

When you wedge one-handed . . . follow the link to June Perry's blog and watch the video posted Brett Kern. If you see yourself in the video, you're a real potter.


#43401 12 Inch Club

Posted by Benzine on 29 September 2013 - 09:06 AM

I suggest anyone, who accomplishes this feat, takes the cylinder, attaches a handle and uses it to drink in their awesomeness with their beverage of choice.

#15803 Can I please have another

Posted by teardrop on 12 April 2012 - 08:15 AM

Red mark?

Don't be shy folks. Let's see exactly where we can take this "negative reputation" feature!

So...are there contest prizes linked to this?

Will all of my glazes craze when the counter hits 50?

At 100, will the elements on my kiln fry?

At 150 will I be forced to run a non-HEPA vaccumm all day in my studio without a mask?

I mean..there HAS to be a purpose for this feature other than making the >little clay people< feel.....um....somehow "bigger" and mo' important....right?


C'mon. Let's rack up some real points on this thing and see what happens!

I know there are a few of you I can count on for this.... so TIA!!

Yer the best!