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Posts posted by mgilespots

  1. Dear All,


    Hope you aren't getting bored with my questions but am wondering about how obsessive others are with their wheels. I always thought, when I get my own studio, I will without a doubt get up after throwing and leave. Leave the mess. Allow myself the freedom from classrooms and studio cooperatives and simply allow it to be the exact way I left it after throwing. You know, covered with clay, gunge on the throwing front board or in the basin etc. But for some reason, I can't break the habit of cleaning the wheel head and the area around it. I am probably a little more fastidious given that I have a new wheel but I am not sure that is it. There is something about sitting down to a clean wheel that is nice and fresh that allows me some sort of clarity in my head.


    How many of you still clean your wheel head and all your tools after a throwing session?





    You know, I wish I was a regular cleaner. But, like so many others who have posted here, I am not. I usually leave the wheel messy after throwing, and clean up when it becomes just too darned cluttered and messy to make anything new. However, after a firing, before starting a new making cycle, I clean rigorously for a fresh start.



  2. I have been firing to cone 6 in an electric kiln for 30+ years. Through a lot of trial and error (a LOT of error!) I have discovered a palette of glazes that give my pots the rich, visually textured look that I want. The studio where I teach has just installed a 40-cu.ft. Bailey gas kiln, which we will begin testing in the very near future. I have never fired reduction at this temperature, and am wondering if anyone has some experience in this area. I'm wondering if clay bodies used in oxidation will be suitable for reduction. Anyone have a favorite clay body or glaze you wouldn't mind sharing with me? Any other tips that might help us to find success in our first few test firings? I realize this is a topic with a wide scope. Anything would help.

  3. My teacher - 30 years ago - gave me an assignment: "Make 50 teabowls." When I completed the assignment, he said: "Make 50 more."


    I was speaking with him last Saturday and reminded him of this long-ago incident. He smiled and said: "You must make the form again and again and again to get to the essence of it. In the process you will also get to the essence of yourself. Then you don't have to think about how you are making the form. You just make it."


    Best advice I ever got from anyone about anything.

  4. I single fire about half my work now. I am working carefully toward being 100% single fired in the near future. Not me, my pots... I have read Steven Hill's articles, and talked to a lot of potters. I find if I handle the pots carefully (a lot of my pieces are very thin stoneware bowls and very large bowls) The only breakage I have experienced so far is one bowl shattered when I dropped a 5/8 inch half shelf on it. I don't think the poor bowl would have had much of a chance surviving that, even if it had been bisqued.


    I pour the insides of the pots and spray the outsides. I find the time (and energy - both electrical and personal) saved through eliminating bisque firing is well worth the extra care necessary in handling the pots. And I agree with StefanAnderson - if you're into heavy production, you might not want to risk the possible breakage. I am converted, just working carefully so I don't run into problems.


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