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  1. Today
  2. I was taught to always place the left side of the rams head on the wheel turning counter clockwise for whatever that's worth. I've also seen a fellow take what would appear to be an unwieldly, out-of-ound lump of clay and turn it into a sphere with ease so i have a suspicion it doesn't matter much. *Ingleton Pottery - "perfect clay pottery sphere"
  3. I scratch my name, my work are coiled pots and by the time they are stiff enough to flip, it is to late to do anything but scratch it in. The bottom aren't even enough for a stamp and if I scrape them the clay get rough because of all the grog. I try to make it easy to read, I have been at pottery sales where the signature was fancy but unreadable. Denice
  4. When I painted I would sign with my signature in paint or ink. When I started selling my ceramic work, I switched to my shop name stacked like thus: odd art ist ( sorry about the formatting - looks better on clay, makes a square) Then the year below that. This holds for pottery as well as sculpture.
  5. Hi there, and welcome to the forum. In answer to your question, I spiral wedge with cone pointed to left, so spiral goes counter clock, and my wheel goes counter clock. So for centering my left hand is pushing into the clay and the clay spiral is coming in the same direction into my hand. I have also thrown this with the point of the cone squashed down on the wheel head, so it goes the other way. Neither has made much difference as I master the clay(coning up and down several times) before and during centering. I have a tendency to be aggressive centering usually accomplished in a matter of a few minutes. Hope this answers your question from my point of view. best, Pres
  6. Interesting topic here! I’ll add my take as well. I started with the kit tools that everyone ends up with. The roundish trim blade on one side and a triangular blade on the other. Serves most jobs well. I went out and got a Sherill Do All trim tool (because I like to get away with using the least amount of tools possible for whatever reason) and then discovered “chattering” quite by accident. It was annoying. It teaches you to be very deliberate in your movements and to brace the tool as well as you can. I think that the tools you use, at least in the beginning, kind of influence the types of curves and angles you make. It did for me anyways but I was still very much in my “let’s just try it and see” phase. I have come to love a good semi sharp wooden knife for just about everything - as a long rib, burnishing tool, trim tool, decoration, whatever. It comes down to what you use and end up liking, which can and probably will change over time.
  7. I’m going to teach myself spiral wedging sometime, which prompted a question about wedging in general. I throw clockwise on the wheel, I usually just do a quick rams head wedging to prep my clay. I have not really paid attention to the direction of the wedge once I work it into a ball and put it on the wheel. But is it better to wedge in the same direction as your wheel or the opposite? My gut tells me it should be in the same direction but I don’t know why. Any input? Thanks!!
  8. joseph, if you really want to try an unusual method with a tool, try trimming the fat out of the bottom of a bowl with a large circle trimming tool. most fat bottoms are because the pot is made from a blob of clay that has no shape in the beginning. all that stuff has to go somewhere or it stays just above the foot and is very heavy. if you put a large circle tool, the ribbon one, not the wire kind, flat on the bat or wheelhead and slide it into the blob of clay and lift it by pivoting the tool upward, you will remove a lot of excess clay. like anything else, it takes a little practice but it is fast, efficient and satisfying. one of the things to remember when trimming is to let the wheel make enough revolutions to get the job done. i have seen beginners try to trim on the very first revolution before the tool has a chance to make even a slight impression on the clay.
  9. Lepidolite

    i had some a thousand years ago. will look in the small containers, i know i do not have a tub of it. too cold out there right now, tomorrow,
  10. Yesterday
  11. Energy Rate Reductions

    Neil Thanks and I plan on being all over them at renewal time as I always know my current rates. It was a bit of trouble signing on but not bad.I have no issues with going back to my regular utility if they raise rates as well. This contract is for 12 months at a fixed rate so they cannot change 1/2 way thru. I'm always suspect of things that souped to good to be true.
  12. Energy Rate Reductions

    I always get offers from alternate energy providers for both gas and electricity. I've tried them in the past, and the whole village signed up with one at one point. They have always been good for the contract time, but then they go back up. I think they're banking on people not wanted to deal with the hassle of switching back later. I just stick with my regular utility. I've also seen some that have 12 month contracts, but only lock in the good rate for the first 6 months. I hope yours works out for you, Mark. Just remember to check on the rates again when your contract is up. There may be something in there that lets them jack the rates up if you're off-contract.
  13. Making terra cotta bricks

    I just did an image search on those convict sandstocks. They look fabulous!
  14. Making terra cotta bricks

    We have a similar kind of soft brick in Australia called convict sandstock. Its a very popular recycled building material and costs the same as brand new brick even though theyre 100+ years old! Each brick has its own personality.
  15. Bottom Depth Tool

    Ron... Love your wood work brother. Being a carpenter of 42+ years, I get it.
  16. Bottom Depth Tool

    Thanks for replying Mea and thanks for the tip. I know there are dozens of good techniques that a potter can use to determine how thick the base is. I'm just suggesting that this may come in handy for others to try and in light of sharing tips on this forum I thought I'd share how I do this. I can see that this tool wouldn't be useful for those that can throw 50 pots then take a break for lunch and come back to trim those 50 pots before leaving after putting in an 8 hour day. This technique might be more useful for beginners and intermediate potters and other mere mortals that may only throw a couple pots each session. If one finds this complicated just take a look at photo 3 and imagine that the rule is not there and notice the space from the end of the stick to the wheel then guesstimate how far you can trim the base based on your observation.
  17. L&L easy fire front loading kiln

    One of the advantages of a front-loader is that you can, with a little planning and a ruler, place the shelves before loading the kiln. You might leave a bit greater clearance to allow for moving the pots back without bumping the glaze off.
  18. Not firing a kiln today -weird

    it is a good thing, mark. Ease into it, but enjoy slowing down a bit. Marcia
  19. Energy Rate Reductions

    Wow, that's not cheap @Mark C.. The cheapest I can find for my area is 3.862p per kWh. Converting that to US therms gives 0.00131808374p per therm. At current exchange rate, that's .0018 cents per therm. And I thought UK gas prices were high!
  20. Making terra cotta bricks

    There's a reason these are carved out of old brick - old brick was often much softer. I can remember carving a headstone from an old (c.1850) soft house-brick for my pet mouse when he died, with little more than a bent nail and a blunt screwdriver (I was young, and we were poor). I can also remember how easy it was (allegedly) to carve initials and the like into the walls of the school-yard, also made with soft brick (c. 1900), with nothing more than a piece of fencing wire. So, with proper tools, carving a soft-fired brick would be dead easy. You might like to consider the possibility of mixing up a paper-clay. The advantage here is that you can rough sculpt your piece, sinter fire it, refine the details with further carving, as delicate as you like, and then hard-fire it. (Sinter firing involves a low firing, way below vitrification temperature, but which gives a wonderfully carve-able body.) Rosanne Gault's Ceramics Handbook 'Paper Clay' gives plenty of examples. You might also like to look at 'Architectural Ceramics for the Studio Potter: Designing, Building, Installing' by Peter King, where various recipes are given for bodies which might suit your purpose, including a paper clay. (The page review of this book in Google Books just happens to cover that page...)
  21. PQotW: Week 35

    1:3 2:1 3:1 4:1 when in doubt vote 1
  22. Making terra cotta bricks

    well, some serious grinding and chiselling! would be less wrist shattering to carve from prefired clay, if the clay was as Min suggests, the variance in colour could be sought by resists in raku type firings
  23. Making terra cotta bricks

    Chris Berti's artist statement, " images carved from vintage ceramic brick and drainage pipe" It must be easier to sculpt them out of clay, unless of course you are a stonemason? The lady with the melanoma's looks like you could add a lot of combustable material to the super groggy clay and have it burn out leaving those deep pits and craters. Looks like the female torso is "Volcanic scoria basalt sculpture" by Jon Dixon, from a google search.
  24. Making terra cotta bricks

    These aren't mine! I think these have been carved after firing. This is the type of thing I want to make. Pete
  25. Last week
  26. Making terra cotta bricks

    way too long un the sun. nice work!
  27. firing now, will know Sund.a.m. Majolica glaze, pretty forgiving, I slow and soak at end so hopefully......
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