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    • Jennifer Harnetty

      Moderators needed!   12/08/2017

      Ceramic Arts Network is looking for two new forum moderators for the Clay and Glaze Chemistry and Equipment Use and Repair sections of the Ceramic Arts Network Community Forum. We are looking for somebody who is an active participant (i.e. somebody who participates on a daily basis, or near daily) on the forum. Moderators must be willing to monitor the forum on a daily basis to remove spam, make sure members are adhering to the Forum Terms of Use, and make sure posts are in the appropriate categories. In addition to moderating their primary sections, Moderators must work as a team with other moderators to monitor the areas of the forum that do not have dedicated moderators (Educational Approaches and Resources, Aesthetic Approaches and Philosophy, etc.). Moderators must have a solid understanding of the area of the forum they are going to moderate (i.e. the Clay and Glaze Chemistry moderator must be somebody who mixes, tests, and has a decent understanding of materials). Moderators must be diplomatic communicators, be receptive to others’ ideas, and be able to see things from multiple perspectives. This is a volunteer position that comes with an honorary annual ICAN Gold membership. If you are interested, please send an email outlining your experience and qualifications to jharnetty@ceramics.org.

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  1. Today
  2. Marcia asked just lately in the Question pool. . . where has your journey in clay taken you; either geographically, aesthetically, philosophically, product wise? Otherwise to quote an ancient philosopher and I think it was a Dante, but I may be wrong. he said literature can be interpreted : literally, metaphorically, allegorically, or metaphysically. so your answer can be in the previously mentioned categories. This question for me has a lot of connotations. Hmmmm where to start. . . I retired in 2009, teaching art, and much of that Ceramics, helped to mold my skills, and yet limit them. I became better at most. . . doing, throwing, handbuilding, glazing, firing, and much more that I had to demonstrate. If it had to be done in the studio at the HS, I became better at it. I learned so much by demonstrating, because one of my strongest beliefs about teaching art was that you had to be able to do, and do and do. Whether you taught drawing, painting, ceramics, metalcraft, printmaking, weaving or what ever. If you didn't have a well rounded background in all of this, it limited the media you would present to the students. Imagine teaching HS students just drawing, colored pencils, watercolor, and cut paper. . . . if I were a kid I would be like. . . YECH! So the first thing that Ceramics did, was anchor me in one spot teaching, and working to improve my skills. However, after the first 10 years of covering the being able to demonstrate, I decided to start my own studio, sell, do shows and be more in the open. I started doing shows, and joined the Blair County Guild of Craftsmen, was president for a few years, did the Penn State Summer Arts festival, even demonstrated one year. I found after about 7 steady years of that that I could not sustain the pace of teaching all day in the Spring, making pots at night, and doing it all over for weeks on end to get ready for Summer shows. So I cut back, but kept some of the yearly orders and such. After retirement, I have traveled a bit, and Ceramics has caused a few detours. We found a Chamber of Commerce trip to China, price for my wife and I was really reasonable. . . Shanghai and Beijing. Then I saw that there was an extra side trip you could take to pay more to Xian, to see the Terra Cotta warriors> > > SOLD!, Lately it has been trips to NCECA, something I could never take the time for before. I have met so many people, seen so many pots, demonstrations of great artists, and met some of those that I have heard about for years. Truly exciting. I guess I don't live and breath ceramics like many of you, but way down deep there is a place where something throbs or beats, and whenever I come near clay it is screaming at me to make something, anything, just do it. Life is better because of it being there for me, and my wife, she knows if I'm grumpy. . . "go out to the shop, and stop moping around". So where have you gone with clay? best, Pres
  3. Serendipity....my mantra for clay work and most of everything else that happens in my life that I can not, or do not, totally or even partially control. I love happy accidents, and I think one may indeed make a silk purse out of a pig's ear, if one just alters one's definitions of silk and pork just a tidge.
  4. PQotW: Week 37

    Time was good with Dad, didn't get a deer, but then it wasn't about that. Hoping to be able to do the same next year, and some after. Brought his motor home back after repair work; he won't be going out til Spring as he has decided not to go to Florida this year. best, Pres
  5. After (below) the silica inversion point at 256C, which can affect clay and glazes and at least in principle needs to be passed through slowly, it really depends on what is in the kiln. For functional ware generally, how hot does the water in your dishwasher get? How hot is the boiling water you pour in for your cup of tea? Your mugs will probably be experiencing these temperatures again and again, so if they can’t hack it there... If it is baking or oven ware, even more aggresssive thermal shock in their future...well you get the point. If large, flat platters I would wait until below 100 C for sure - too much thermal shock (ie, sudden cooling) across the surfaces of large flat things sitting on too hot kiln shelves no good. Particularly, glassy (read inflexible) porcelain bodies are sensitive to thermal shock - open stoneware bodies with more grog and large particles seem to have a bit more staying power, with some thought that larger particles in those bodies terminate micro-cracks before they open up into major splits. For more “robust” work, I asked one veteran potter who was running a community studio this same question and he/she said “how badly do you need the work?” Since they were talking about student work I took this to mean that even quite high temperatures are OK to open at if the work is small and thick, and/or it is likely that the people looking at the work will not be able to differentiate cooling dunts from poor making techniques. In this instance the priority was how quickly the kiln needed to be turned around and reloaded at the end of term. Yes, appalling I agree. Needless to say, I do not put anything larger than test tiles in those kilns anymore. But the relevant point for me was that a kiln can often be opened at quite high temperatures without obvious damage to the work (damage to the kiln may be another matter?), and I have seen amateurs get away with this in seeming complete ignorance on more than one occasion. Since I see glaze crazing as largely a chemistry issue, I don’t think opening early makes this more or less likely unless you are opening at crazy high temps.
  6. Glazes That Break

    You will find out straight away there is no accounting for taste.Believe me when I say this from experience You may have the ugliest pot you ever made in every way and someone will think kits the best thing they ever saw. I know this to be a truth.
  7. PQotW: Week 37

    very kind of you, Pres. And lets add a time for a beer in Pittsburgh. I have been attending NCECA since '71 and only missed a few since then. So many friends and so many passing on. You have to make time for as many friends as possible! Hope last weekend was good with your Dad. Marcia
  8. Glazes That Break

    Once you start selling your work, you'll find that the vast majority of the buying public has no idea how to effectively critique a pot.
  9. I would let them cool down to 150F in a space that cold. Let it cool as much as you can before pulling the peeps or cracking the lid.
  10. I've searched the forums, and found some threads discussing "at what temperature can I open my kiln" - but all that I've looked at are focused on internal temperature of the kiln, and how cool does it have to be before you open it. My question is in a slightly different context: What is the maximum recommend differential between internal kiln temp, and ambient (room) temperature when opening ? My kiln is in an unheated garage, that currently has a "room temperature" of around 30*F. I know if I start unloading too soon, I'm risking problems from thermal shock. Obviously, I could just open the lid & see what happens - but I get plenty of chances to learn from my own mistakes (like plates that split when I dried them too fast) - so I try to learn from mistakes made by others whenever possible. ;-)
  11. Yesterday
  12. Bonsai pots

    Bonsai has always been an interest of mine because I have a huge interest in gardening and for a long time had virtually no outdoor space. You can grow multiple plants on landings, windowsills, etc. Plus Bonsai has a huge following, albeit in Asia mainly, but, thanks to the internet appreciation of the hobby can be shared overseas. Bonsai has many variations most of which I don't know the Japanese names of, just like most other Japanese-based art forms. Choice of pot to go with plants therein, which can be trees, non-woody 'herb' bonsai, group plantings, etc, is like picking a frame for a painting but considered even more important. I don't know the rules of the Japanese aesthetic but there are a LOT of them. Also, more Mame (tiny) Bonsai pots I just got back from the kiln!
  13. Joined the local Artist's co-op gallery and ended up as secretary board member...trip to Humboldt on hold 'till January. 

  14. Glazes That Break

    digital pyrometers are the cats meow.
  15. Congrats everyone. Good to see all my fellow potters rocking it out.
  16. Just completed a Raku course at Sierra College in Rocklin, CA...What a semester! Completed with an "A"!

    1. Pres


      Excellent. . . .beyond the A, it sounds like you have that sugary sweet bourbon like taste of accomplishment! EXCELLENT!


      best as ever,


  17. Christmas Sales 2018 Are Strong

    Well, I have one more small weekend sale, and I can say I'm up over last year. I won't say my local economy has fully recovered, but it's definitely looking up. I can afford to fix the soft brick on the top ring of my kiln, and I have a few bucks to spend on some necessities. It's a good feeling.
  18. Glazes That Break

    I get you Min, its the same thing I've preached to other woodturners for years. Thanks.
  19. Glazes That Break

    hmmm, not sure I'ld feel comfortable going with someone else's opinion, who's not a potter or has an understanding of ceramics, to judge when your work is ready for sale. It's your name and reputation, you can't take the pots back after they're sold. If it's a confidence thing then fine, that's another issue. One of the things that is helpful is to have someone knowledgeable critique your work. It's hard to listen too sometimes but it is helpful. (I had a prof who looked at my work one semester and said "got anything else?" crappy critique but I got the point) The organizers agenda doesn't have to be yours.
  20. Bonsai pots

    Found this that explains the wiring holes.
  21. Are these ^6 wadding?

    I have some commercially made stilts for cone 6. They are little stands made from kiln post material, topped with tiny metal spikes. Only the spikes touch the pot, and leave behind little pinholes in the glaze. It was fun to make some pots that are glazed across the bottom, but I lost interest because it takes longer to glaze the pots and load them into a kiln. It's something that I wouldn't mind doing for a single pot here and there, but a whole kiln full of pots would take way too long!
  22. Can now report that I've had my best ever holiday season too. I agree, I see it as a trend to some degree. It goes around in cycles. Right now there is a desire for things that are more human than electronic. Things that become more valuable to you over time, rather than tossed when the next upgraded version is released. So let's all harvest our nuts while the cycle is high!
  23. Bonsai pots

    Oh. No idea. But these people here have lots to say about the choice of a pot: Choosing a Bonsai pot to suit your tree Technicalities? Or just an exegetic attempt at the aesthetics? You choose. My father used to grow Bonsai. He broke most of the rules outlined above, and yet the tree-plus-pot always felt right. It'll be a Zen thing, I expect.
  24. PQotW: Week 37

    To all those who don't know Marcia. . . why read the book when you could have written the book, and many more. She is one of the most articulate, knowledgeable, energetic individuals I know. At the same time she is so gracious, and personable that you know you just want to spend hours talking to her. If you don't know her, show up at NCECA and meet her. . . .just allow some time for me to be with her also. best, Pres
  25. Bonsai pots

    ...I guess my reference was pertaining to this statement...
  26. Bonsai pots

    A bonsai tree.
  27. Christmas Sales 2018 Are Strong

    Well, there is a trend in hand made products now, but as all things trendy, once the trend has run it's course, they will not be anymore... So be it. What I'm finding in my limited holiday selling, that most buyers don't care what the price is. Ahhh, it's the season of giving.
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