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claydog

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About claydog

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  1. Chantay, I'll check out John Britt. Can't believe I hadn't already thought to check out YouTube! Maybe I'll find some other "standers" out there. CarlCravens, thanks for the information about the mirror. Sounds like a great idea! I agree--it's a tool, not a crutch. I don't understand the attitude of some potters; it's a sore spot for me. If a mirror is a crutch, then a potter's wheel is total cheating! It's not a crutch to use every available technology. Likewise, there's nothing wrong with going back to pinch pots and wood firing. Let's all respect each other's choices! Thanks everyone, ClayDog
  2. Thanks everyone for the great feedback! I guess misery loves company; hearing from others who have the same problem makes me feel better, though I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I haven't thrown in months due to the back pain, so I'm out of practice anyway. I'm going to try setting my wheel up for a standing position and see how that goes. Might as well try to "relearn" in that position! Oh, and I want one of those "can't vacuum" notes, too!!
  3. Beautiful! I've always loved finding places like that. It's fun to peel up the chunks and cup them in my hand, if they're small. Thanks again for the information!
  4. Hello Min, Thank you for the link to John Glick's article; saved me the trouble of searching for it. I read it completely. Sounds like my life history, except now there are MRIs for imaging disc problems instead of CAT scans. My laminectomy/discectomy was at L4/L5, which Glick says is the usual problem for potters. I know I weakened mine through constant abuse, in all of the ways Glick describes. L5/Sacrum is not looking good, nor is L3/L4, so I'm hoping to keep those intact. (I'm 58 and rode horses and motorcycles, too!) I have two top-loading kilns: one small ancient Skutt 180 I use for glaze testing, and a Skutt KM-1027 for larger loads. I'd love to get a front load but not in the budget right now, especially after paying the surgery bills! Lighter shelves for the 1027 will probably be my next step. Regarding the standing position, did you have much trouble getting over having your elbows on your thighs? That's how I learned, and switching seems like it would be difficult. What was your experience? Did you teach yourself or have coaching? I've been doing a lot of hand building since surgery. My husband lifts the clay for me. I can stand and walk all I want, just no twisting or bending. I really have to watch the urge to twist sideways to look as I'm working. With the pain gone it's easy to forget. In a couple more weeks I'll have fewer restrictions. Thanks again for your reply. ClayDog PS - Nice crackle glaze in your photo. Your own recipe or commercially available? I love crackles.
  5. Thank you, John, for your feedback and advice. I agree that ergonomics are not usually addressed at all. I have had formal throwing instruction from a handful of qualified individuals, and only one of those said anything about repetitive injury potential. My "real job" as an engineering/computing specialist led to many hours at the keyboard and resultant wrist injuries, so I am all too familiar with that. I hope to find a balance, perhaps even shifting from a standing to a sitting position on alternate days or whatever I can easily rig up. At this point I am only a hobby potter so production pressures don't exist for me and I can rest when I need to. I will look into John Glick and Studio Potter magazine. Thanks again, ClayDog
  6. I had back surgery six weeks ago to remove portions of a ruptured disk in my lumber (lower back) region. Surgeon says I have two adjacent disks that are degenerating and may rupture if I don't change my ways! Problem is throwing in a sitting position, bent over the wheel. I need to re-learn how to throw while standing. I have access to classes at my local community center, but they have neither a table-top wheel nor an instructor who feels confident in that position. Any videos or books you recommend that deal with this topic? Or artists that use this throwing position? Any tips on converting/raising my Brent Model B to table height are also appreciated.
  7. Is there a forum or bulletin board where members can post equipment for sale? Thanks, Jean
  8. I quit using antiseptic soaps and cleaners about ten years ago. I have had way fewer colds, though of course I can't say for sure it is because of changing soaps. Antiseptics do harm in the water supply, killing beneficial bacteria and other organisms. Once you remove those beneficial bacteria, other things move in that are more resistant to being killed, and those things can be bad for you. I remember back in the 80's when the first e-coli outbreaks occurred with hamburger meat. A study revealed that e-coli was taking over work surfaces in meat grinding plants because the use of bleach and other antiseptic cleaners was wiping out the benign bacteria. The e-coli was more resistant to the antiseptics, so it populated the work surfaces now devoid of the benign stuff.
  9. New Work Table

    I LOVE the idea of TYVEK on the table top! I am going to replace my canvas with that right away!! And your ideas for creating handy storage for tools are much appreciated. You're right--my table top shrinks to nothing when I am working because I scatter tools all over the work surface, then go crazy when I have to search for something. I'd love to see photos of your studio; I'm sure you've been smart and creative in your use of space. Have you ever done a video tour of your studio? That would be great too. Also, it occurs to me that TYVEK does not stretch like canvas so it is much easier to apply and keep tight on the tabletop.
  10. New Work Table

    I like 3/4 inch MDF as a work surface. I also wedge on it. It has held up well for over a year in my home studio, however, it might deteriorate in a busier teaching studio environment. When I set up my own studio 7 years ago, I built tables using instructions from Peter King's "Architectural Ceramics for the Studio Potter" book. Here's a link with a photo: http://books.google.com/books?id=1YPJSKwmgZwC&pg=PA17&lpg=PA17&dq=peter+king+work+table&source=bl&ots=EHHs0lYONE&sig=Cvv41DTYtOGiCP8ZTSWWCVmP1bU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DSuQT6yAJeWiiQLz4u28Aw&ved=0CHgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=peter%20king%20work%20table&f=false These tables are easy and cheap to build, and modular so you can clamp them together in different configurations. I love them!! I didn't end up putting casters on mine but if you do, pay for the heavy duty ones. Puny ones won't hold up at all, especially if you load the lower shelves with clay and plaster molds like I do.
  11. Shoulder Tendonitis/Bursitis

    Take action now, don't wait. I encourage you to 1) get an MRI of your shoulder so you can really find out what is going on, and 2) seek physical therapy/rehab before considering surgery. And definitely get a second opinion before having any kind of surgery. The shoulder is an extremely complex joint so be careful who you let hack on it! At the very least you need to rest your shoulder by laying off the wedging and throwing for a while. Believe me, that is a way better option that getting to where I am now! I am past 50 and have lost half the cartilage in my right shoulder. Cartilage on the joint surface does not grow back. I started having shoulder pain in my early 30s. I used to just ignore the pain and keep on going, and that's why I have all the damage now. Now I am looking at a total shoulder replacement in five years, or sooner--whenever I just can't stand the pain anymore. I can't wedge or throw without extreme discomfort, so hand building is what I do. I love it, but I miss having the full range of creative options. NSAIDs are not a good long-term solution because they are extremely hard on your liver. In hindsight I really wish I had sought the help of a physical therapist early on. I have learned that usually chronic pain like that is caused by a combination of repetitive motion, unrelieved muscle tightness and lack of flexibility. Think about how much time you spend in a position with both arms in front of you, squeezing your chest together, putting pressure upwards into your shoulder joint. There are lots of exercises and stretches you can learn from a physical therapist that will help you combat the problem--BEFORE you lose basic joint integrity like I have. In some states, like my own of Idaho, it is NOT necessary to see a doctor before you see an OT or PT. But I recommend that you see a shoulder specialist first so you can get the imaging necessary to know what is happening inside your shoulder. Xrays will not show soft tissue damage effectively; an MRI is the best option, but if you're young you'll have to insist on that to get it. (Wish I had insisted!!!) If you're not sure what doctors are good in your area, call around to the PT/OT offices and ask for recommendations. They know who is good and whose patients recover more quickly.
  12. Shoulder Tendonitis/Bursitis

    Take action now, don't wait. I encourage you to 1) get an MRI of your shoulder so you can really find out what is going on, and 2) seek physical therapy/rehab before considering surgery. And definitely get a second opinion before having any kind of surgery. The shoulder is an extremely complex joint so be careful who you let hack on it! At the very least you need to rest your shoulder by laying off the wedging and throwing for a while. Believe me, that is a way better option that getting to where I am now! I am past 50 and have lost half the cartilage in my right shoulder. Cartilage on the joint surface does not grow back. I started having shoulder pain in my early 30s. I used to just ignore the pain and keep on going, and that's why I have all the damage now. Now I am looking at a total shoulder replacement in five years, or sooner--whenever I just can't stand the pain anymore. I can't wedge or throw without extreme discomfort, so hand building is what I do. I love it, but I miss having the full range of creative options. NSAIDs are not a good long-term solution because they are extremely hard on your liver. In hindsight I really wish I had sought the help of a physical therapist early on. I have learned that usually chronic pain like that is caused by a combination of repetitive motion, unrelieved muscle tightness and lack of flexibility. Think about how much time you spend in a position with both arms in front of you, squeezing your chest together, putting pressure upwards into your shoulder joint. There are lots of exercises and stretches you can learn from a physical therapist that will help you combat the problem--BEFORE you lose basic joint integrity like I have.
  13. Hello to any friend or patron of Scott's place. I don't post personal details online. Perhaps we have already met. To answer your question I am a transplant but have been in Boise for almost 20 years. Great place to live and do clay.

  14. Hi, fellow Boisean. Have you always lived in Boise? I moved here seven years ago from McCall. Maybe we'll meet at Scott's place and say hello in person.

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