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  2. Making terra cotta bricks

    Mod's job, not mine.
  3. Making terra cotta bricks

    Triolaz, thanks, do you have the proportions of redart/sand/ball clay that he uses? Pete
  4. Making terra cotta bricks

    Yes. You might look at some old brick making techniques to give you some ideas. My brother makes wooden molds for custom shapes of bricks, fills them with clay, then wires the excess clay from the top of the mold. The clay he uses is Redart for the color, sand as an aggregate/adds a coarse texture, and some ball clay for plasticity. I fire them to cone 04 and he uses them like regular bricks. The bricks when installed act like a crown molding/baseboard trim. It’s inefficient but it makes his home unique. Adding some type of coarse material will improve the drying properties of clay. Also, I’m not sure why you would add further detail after the clay is fired, it is easier to work with when plastic and holds detail very well.
  5. Making terra cotta bricks

    I would use bagged terracotta sculptural clay which should include grog. I would also make your bricks a little thinner than conventional store bought bricks. Commercial bricks are made and fired a little differently, which means they can get away with things we can't. Have a look at African fired bricks or Roman brickwork for ideas about how to make them in a more potter friendly way.
  6. Dear all, i want to carve some bricks while they are soft, then sun dry them, then fire them extra slowly, then carve the detail into the well fired brick. I've researched this and all the instructions tell me to dig up natural clay. I can't do this as i live in the city and i don't have land to dig. Would it work if i buy some terra cotta powder and silica sand, add water, and mix it thoroughly? Regards, Pete
  7. Bottom Depth Tool

    Unlike wood, a leatherhard pot can easily be pierced with a needle tool to measure the thickness. The tool looks very useful for wood, but too complicated for pots.
  8. NCECA

    I guess it doesn’t really matter where it is (even piggybacking on some other group’s coffee hour! ) as long as there is a specific place and time, and people wearing name tags. Would also say if it was part of someone else’s coffee hour and it was a big venue (cause some of those rooms were really big, with hundreds of people in them) , would help to know which PART of that venue forum members were going to be congregating in. LOL in Kansas City, Marcia and I were at the same pre-conference for days helping fire two kilns which were side by side, but we never actually met until days later at the main conference hotel bar almost coincidentally via mutual acquaintances! To be fair it was a form of controlled chaos at those kilns (4 at once firing over several days!), so maybe that is not surprising. For all I know there were probably several forum members around me at every moment but unless you know them by their real names (as opposed to their “handle” on the forums, you are none the wiser! Lol. And I am guessing that although many people from these forums were in Kansas City for NCECA, I did not meet more than a couple of them. Again, maybe not surprising at a conference with 8000 (?) people, but it does highlight that unless you specifically organise to meet people, at an event of that size and geographical footprint, it is highly likely you will not run in to them, especially if you do not know them in the first place. If you are lucky you might glimpse a name tag as people run from session to session... I am betting none of this is an issue for NCECA veterans, but for NCECA newbies like me it is something to think about it.
  9. Yesterday
  10. Bottom Depth Tool

    Ron, Your wood turned form is beautiful, and ditto the measuring tool! LT
  11. NCECA

    There is also the ICAN reception which is a good place to get together if they are doing it this year. Tables at the back of the exhibition hall. Hotel bars are good too. Marcia
  12. Bottom Depth Tool

    Thanks for you input Mark and LT. It is appreciated. I get what you guys are saying. 99% of the time when I check the thickness of the bottom it comes out as 10mm and I can visualize 6mm (1/4") easy peasy. I typically turn wooden bowls so the bottoms are 1/4" and the walls to 1/8". In order to engrave the design in this woodturned form the walls needed to be 1/16" thick and the base 1/8" thick. Unlike clay if you make a mistake with wood the only way to recycle it is to toss it in the fireplace (or fuel a roko kiln). But everyone needs a little help now and then. You never know what you may learn by looking at different ways of doings thing. Heck, because of Min I even learned a new way to use this tool that I've used for better than a decade.
  13. Handy Techniques

    Great idea!!! And I Love the idea that it is being recycled, too!!!
  14. Handy Techniques

    That's a great idea!! I have some of that somewhere around. I love the idea of them for templates, too. I am just starting handbuilding (and LOVE it!) and I am using tarpaper, which is really a pain to cut. Thanks!
  15. NCECA

    John, The CLAYART room has been inside the NCECA location at least since 2013.
  16. Bottom Depth Tool

    I agree with Mark on the getting the "feel for this bottom thickness" from practice. Practice may not make perfect, but it does lead to consistency. As a beginner, and I found that a couple of wooden coffee stirrers from the famous coffee shop will work just like Ron's. Lay one stirrer horizontally across the bowl, cup, etc. as in Ron's and drop the other stick vertically in the lowest point inside the pot, make a mark on the stick where it crosses the top of the horizontal stick. Then do the same outside the pot so that the stick rests vertically on the bat surface (wheel if your work bat-less) and again make a mark on the stick. The difference between the marks is the thickness of the bottom. I use coffee stirrers for lots of chores and nearly always have several either in my pocket, or handy in my tool kit. I tend to evaluate the bottom thickness against the width of the coffee stirrer and estimate how many stick widths I need to remove by trimming. I then trim the inside area of the foot so that the amount removed is appropriate. Then I trim the rest of the foot. My mentor always (except when he didn't) marked the position of the inside bottom on the outside of the pot with a line of some sort. Then when the pot needed trimming this line was used to guide the trimming. Trimming is related to throwing by forming habits that get's the job done efficiently for the person doing the job. It is easy for me to trim my pots because I generally know what expect in the bowl. Trimming another potter's pot (as is often the case at bowl-a-thons) requires deliberate attention to certain steps at the right time to avoid ruining a pot. This situation is where my coffee stirrers really pay off. LT
  17. PQotW #35 is up and ready, it is diverse, and about famous artists, so enjoy.




  18. Week 35 Angelica Pozo writes of three tenants that all tile makers should be able to agree on. These include using a clay body with 15 to 20% grog to prevent warping or cracking, _______________________________, and do not hurry the drying. White clays are best to use for tiles Earthenware tiles are most durable clay has memory and therefore should be kept flat at all times Wall tiles have the same glaze consideration as floor tiles. Mary Barringer, a potter who started with reduction firing, and switched over to electric firing calls the electric kiln the ultimate firing tool, ready to be used and do ones bidding (within limits), but with __________________________. the set back of oxidation firing very little character of its own Pricey electric bills too small a firing chamber Michael Sherrill, who works with extrusions, makes his own dies using________________or nylon sheets 1/2” thick. Aluminum plywood fiberglass polyethylene Michael also ___________ many of his forms while still in the extruder. Thus allowing for organic tapered forms. pulls cuts paddles measures This weeks questions come from The Penland Book of Ceramics, Master Classes in Ceramic Techniques, c 2003 Lark books, Lark books a division of Sterling Publishing, NY NY Note from Pres: This book is one of those involving a lot of techniques by renowned artists in clay. For those looking for inspiration, possible solutions to specific problems or just good reading, it is a gem.
  19. Bottom Depth Tool

    After some practice thowing many many forms you get a feel for this bottom thickness deal and a tool will not be necessary . If you throw and trim say 50 bowls you will get this feel at the end. Nice tool but never needed it. At least with this tool you can eat some hot noodles in a bowl as well .
  20. Highwater clay users

    thank you all for your concern. my kiln is just below 300 degrees with the last batch of work for this weekend's holiday sale. should have had two firings but with my clay taking so long to be workable and then to dry, just used up all the available studio time. hoping everything will come out OK. high hopes for several of them.
  21. Bottom Depth Tool

    I never heard of a tombo, I had to google it. Thanks for bring that tool to my attention. While looking at I can see how my newly christen Ronbo can be used while throwing to set a height and width of a pot
  22. The trimming chuck I use for chalices use a Pipe flange, piece of 3" pipe, a pipe hub donut donut and a soft rubber inner donut. The soft donut leaves very little marking on the chalice stem. Pretty much self centering, as long as you keep the base level. best, Pres
  23. Bottom Depth Tool

    Thanks for posting! I'm thinking that since it's not tombo sticks but it does use chopsticks your device would have to be called a ronbo?
  24. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    More off topic here: I agree that glazes can be very hard to photograph. Usually the more interesting the glaze the harder it is to photo correctly, so there is a major problem there. But with some good note taking and detailing it should be doable to a point. Glazy is awesome and Derek Au has a lot of great articles and free stuff he shares, the issue with everything that I see involving online recipes is that all the information they contain besides what cone it was fired to, is picture and recipe. There is never a schedule, an application process, what clay body, what glazes go good over it etc. So what ends up happening is you take a recipe and mix it up, then fire it and you get something completely different. So you just abandon it right away the majority of the time. What we really need in the glaze testing world is a standard for sharing. Basically a uniform method of sharing a glaze recipe that includes more than just: here is a picture, cone6, recipe, and good luck. However again, this is mostly unlikely as I think most potters who do the work for their own glazes probably don't want to share as there isn't much in it for them besides their work being duplicated which seems to be really popular. Glaze tiles are like humble brags in all honesty. Look at this! Then 10 people ask how you got it, and the author never responds. I have even done this if I am being honest here. Now I mostly refrain from posting anything interesting to avoid this whole conflict. Further, you get into the topic of most single glazes are pretty boring, the real interesting stuff comes from layering glazes. Which is an entire new combinational monster to document and test. 5 glazes is 5! (120) combinations of possibilities with just a single over layering. It can get daunting insanely fast. There is no perfect solution. I would at least like some type of standard along the lines of the following information to submit a recipe: Name Firing Type (Soda, Wood, Salt, Electric, Gas, ETC) Clay Body Name Schedule: (Default Controller, Slow Cool) Type of Surface: Matte, Satin, Glossy Application Thickness: (1 layer, 2 layer, 3 layer) Glaze Flow: (Runny, Normal, Stiff) I could go into more detail for my own glazes, but I mean these 7 points are super easy to provide and could drastically improve the glaze recipe world. If you don't wanna submit this information why even share a recipe in general? Ideally if I was building a software for sharing I would include some way to create schedules inside of your user profile, so that when you upload a tile you can just link one of the schedules you use with it. This would include the firing type as well to avoid extra process, and you could also have clay types that you work with. This way it would just be checking a few boxes or clicking a few drop downs, then typing the name, layers, and flow. Done. You should even be able to set defaults if your one of the type of people who shares often usually its going to be on x body, with y schedule and z firing type. What is even more important is later when people test things over other things the linking of data between glazes is of utmost importance. Say you like John's Blue, and you then test a glaze over it called Red Purple or whatever, when you upload the red purple tile, you can upload a tile with it over johns blue and tag johns blue, so that later when someone else comes along and is looking at johns blue they can see the variations from other glazes and vice versa . We are seriously lacking this information. Edit: Removed potential breaking of rules. If I am going to be pumping out thousands of glaze tiles and layering combination test and such, what am I going to do with all of it? Just because I don't like a tile and I trash it doesn't mean another person wouldn't like the glaze and all the variations and modifiers that go over it. I cleaned out my garage and I had over 400 small containers of glaze test batches from 3 years of glaze testing. This isn't including all the line blends and stuff that I had done in solo cups that dried and got tossed into my waste bucket. Anyways back to Currie discussion? Did you ever do more oilspot test with that cone 4 oilspot? I would love to see it on a pot. Edit: Upon reading this I realized the 400 containers sounded like a brag. I meant for it to show how horrendous I was at testing glazes in a good manner. I would just mix up 100g batch of a recipe and then if I wanted to test darkening it by 1% I would get another container, mix 100g again and test it. Never knew about all these volumetric and dry batch measuring processes. So I am sure other people are doing the same horrible mistakes.
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