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Everything posted by Rebel_Rocker

  1. Rebel_Rocker

    applying iron oxide to greenware

    Not sure what temp it takes to 'fix' the oxide. Main problem with brushing it on is that it can be 'spotty'. That can be good or bad. One time I wanted it heavy so I put it on greenware, bisqued and then reapplied on the bisque. It did come out heavier than usual (on bisque only). My intent was a very metallic no glaze finish. This was just applied haevily to bisque: Putting it on greenware helps it fix some, but it can still be rubbed off. So the temp required for a full fix is higher than cone 6. This was put on bisque then rubbed off with sponge just to highlight:
  2. Rebel_Rocker

    What Are You Working On?

    I am right handed but throw left. It really doesn't matter which way you throw, if you are comfortable lefty then do it. I did it because of back issues, and leaning to the right was starting to kill me, leaning to the left balanced it out a lot. Luckily throwing is a pretty basic 'coordination effort'. It's not like writing where you need really fine hand control for letters. It might take a little while to fine tune but switching over isn't too tough. I only get confused now when I'm in the middle of throwing and a right hander asks for advice and I jump over to their wheel... I usually have to ball up a fresh pile of clay and throw it right first, then jump over to their wheel. I've even got to the point now where I will sometimes switch back to right handed mid pot if I get some wobble, it helps re-align the clay. I still trim right handed though, it's that fine hand control, easier to hold the tools correctly in my right hand and get the control I need.
  3. Rebel_Rocker

    What Are You Working On?

    @Isculpt, Wow that really is a teapot isn't it? Great work and details.
  4. Rebel_Rocker

    What Are You Working On?

    Nice handles Pres. A few things I'm working on currently: Tallest thrown form I've done yet. 10 lbs clay. 12 inches tall. Pretty happy with it, I think the wall thickness is very even right up to the rim. Still green. Still contemplating glazes. Tiki Jar. Black Clay, 8 inches tall. Thrown closed form and carved. Won't be glazed. Still green. Flame Vase. Thrown in 2 pieces, the top vase and a bottom 'donut' double wall form. Combined and carved. Thinking shino with wax resist for good orange on flames and thick turquiose on top so it should end up pretty grey with a little bit of turq to contrast the shino nicely.
  5. Yes but the wax resist (I have done this, rubber bands are good for straight lines ) makes the soda migrate to the sides. You don't get carbon trap where the wax is (we get pretty good orange usually with a malcom davis). I think maybe the popcorn actually sucks moisture out where it is located (maybe sponges would work too). Thus causeing the opposite effect. More carbon trap in the spots that are touching. I'll have to try this out soon, am curious now.
  6. Looking to mix up a nice black clay body that will fire well at cone 10 with a 10-12% shrinkage. Short story long..., been taking a class and my instructor has a nice black clay body he uses for slab work. It's the 'studio mix' (a blend of whatever cone 10 clays used ... Laguna's mainly I think, CA-2, Bmix, etc... that are recycled from classes, then he adds about 50% C red and Grog.). I tried to throw it but he uses 30 mesh grog and quite a bit of it so it was just a brutal throwing. Really rough on the hands just to center. So we discussed mixing clay and he set me off to mix up the same clay body, just with less grog and I used 60 mesh instead. It throws great. I mixed 50 lbs and threw some really great stuff, really focused on throwing thin wall, nice forms , etc.. Really put a lot of work in. Glazed one piece and while it was in high fire started mixing another batch. (was using an rarley used white shino.. it was for a show). The other pieces I held off on due to timing... So it comes out of the kiln, goes into the show and a few days later has massive cracking all around the piece. By now all my other work is glazed and being fired. (this is all now chipping and breaking - clay shrinking more than glaze?) The instructor NOW mentions he adds about 10% Feldspar to his mix, that I should have done tests and it was an 'expiremental clay body'. I feel like he sabotaged me. Why would he fail to mention this critical element as he watched me work hard for a few weeks, then mention it as if it was noi big deal? So I am down 2-3 weeks of work that was supposed to stock a gallery for the summer (busy season is hitting now and I am completely broke, living on scraps to try and make this work).. I have completely lost faith in him and don't trust his advice at all so I am looking for help to develop a black stoneware that is balanced with 10-12% shrinkange rates. At the studio I have access to the basics (Feldspar, frit, c red clay, iron oxide etc..) but in recipies online there are often 5+ components of very specific names. Here is a pic of the first piece I lost, fresh out of the kiln before the cracking started . Had several interested parties straight out of the kiln so it was a real blow.
  7. Rebel_Rocker

    Mixing Black Clay Body - Cone 10 - Need Expertise

    I take it that it will have an effect. I will be remixing some clay next week to find out Would have been much easier to mix up five small balls with different amounts of feldspar and thrown 5 bowls to test first though,.
  8. Rebel_Rocker

    10 Cool Trends In Contemporary Ceramics

    I can't say the article is wrong. First it is contemporary 'ceramics' not contemporary function pottery. I have seen works that would fit each group just fine. I think they left out 'cabbage leafs', seems certain types of vegetable leafs are popular to recreate these days. But you also can't discredit 'graffitti' art or culture as a passing fad. Times are changing and the world I grew up in and my influences are completely different than my parents. Though classics are still a strong influence there is desire to go beyond, create new stuff with new visions. I agree though that technique is still required. Just slapping stuff together as opposed to thoughtful and technical work will result in different work. Slapped together stuff can often fool those who know no better but the same item finely crafted will be recognized as such. For example, Face jugs have always been hideous imo. Though I can appreciate the history of them. But without the history making them now is just copying an old culture. Judge that how you will. The face jugs in the article imo are also hideous but don't really represent the origins. I don't think they even look finely crafted, but that's also hard to say looking at small pictures. On the other hand face jugs could inspire finely crafted ceramics that are marketable. Take for instance 'thebigduluth'. http://thebigduluth.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=0 He has set his own standard in face jugs, is very creative, a great sculptor and artist.
  9. Rebel_Rocker

    Mixing Black Clay Body - Cone 10 - Need Expertise

    I worked on this stuff over the course of weeks, 4-5 hours a day (6 days a week) in the same studio as instructor open studio AND class time . Sitting at wheels where we could talk and look each other in the eye. Even discussing the forms (he complimented me on every one of them) as I went. It's the yearly student/instructor show (so I know he knew I was working on pieces for it, we discussed it). In fact the pictured piece was fired in time for the show only because he announced there would be one final firing for it. All my work isn't lost, I still have 5-6 on the shelf, change of plans, they just won't be glazed. But again, I didn't go off on a wild tangent, I just didn't test with any amounts of feldspar. This is the first time I have formulated a body and I did it to his exact specs. (at least the ones he gave me). He watched me mix it, he had me test a coil for color (only), and I made about 10 test tiles with glazes (the test tiles haven't cracked). Then he watched me make 50 lbs of work and start mixing up another 50 lbs batch (as I still assumed his guidance was right) . This isn't something I did out of sight, it was with his guidance right under his nose and the process lasted several weeks with everyone in the studio asking me about it, etc...He was well aware of every single thing I did regarding this process. But at the end when it failed he said 'Well I do put 10% Feldspar in mine', 'You should have tested'. The only way I would have known I needed Feldspar would have been to have my instructor tell me, or to second guess and look up recipies online and try to formulate myself.
  10. Rebel_Rocker

    Where To Start With Wheel Newbies?

    If he wants to throw he HAS to learn to center. Honestly I don't think it's that hard but... In the community studio I am working at I have helped a few people, but in different ways. One guy would sit there and just try and center for days on end. Nothing else. I finally told him 'Just do it' time to pull, you need to finish one piece and work through all the steps. If you only try to center all you will ever have is a lump of clay. BORING=quits. If you jump in both feet first you will have a wobbly cup. What's better? I really well centered lump of soggy clay or a wobbly cup? A wobbly cup. Why? Because you have experienced throwing from start to finish and you now have points to improve upon. OR, you could have a really nice lump of clay. Now he is throwing some pretty nice large 'bowls' (more shaped cylinders but...). The point is he kept going and now loves it. I think that is what Marcia meant. It is better to have a bad center, keep going and learn to pull, to clean lip, etc... and get through the entire process once. THEN do it again BETTER. Then again, etc.. Spending 5 hours centering is not fun. Spending 30 minutes working through the process is. That leaves 4 1/2 hours to try again, and again, seeing improvement, building muscle memory, achieving something. Other people had sticking points. Too much mositure, too dry and sticking hands pulling clay out of round. Foot propped up on pedal throwing off balance, etc... Kept using wrong hand positions until I corrected them 20 times in 10 minutes, etc.. ======== I've been at this for 2 years and have TONS to learn but my advice teaching him is this: 1:Cylinders. They are easier. (with grain of salt, a really tall cylinder is harder than a really small bowl). But a cylinder can be turned into a bowl, not vice-versa. (still best to throw bowl as a bowl) 2: Show him the basics, let him work. Watch him closely and catch his mistakes early. Be patient but diligent. Don't let him develop bad technique, that turns into bad throwing, frustration and giving up. Better to be frustrated for the first 3 hours, then the first 3 days. 3: wedge up 5-10 balls of clay (not one). have him throw one, when it fails scrape it away and start over. Everyone wants to keep first throw, yet it's probably not worth it. Install early that it's OK to toss a bad piece and try again. 1 makes 2 better, 2 makes 3 better... 3 days is plenty of time to learn (basics) imo, but that depends on time. 30 minutes a day, NO. 3 hours a day, YES. I guess that depends on student/instructor too. I have seen instructors ramble on for hours telling students how, then walk away when students try. Students get frustrated and I jump in and say... let me help you as you do it... and they end up with a thrown item on their first ball of clay (even if horribly rough). Throwing is not hard if someone sits with you one on one and catches/fixes your mistakes. It is IMPOSSIBLE if the teacher walks away and leaves you to your own vices. I have also found strict weights don't matter. Clay is a loose subject. For some 1 pound might be easiest. My hands are fairly large and one pound of clay is TOUGH. My fingers get all bound up on each other. 2 pounds is much easier to handle, I have room to breathe yet it's not too much weight/size, etc... 4 pounds is probably just too much for a beginner though. Be loose, but don't let bad habits develop, but don't be over bearing. Sometimes it takes mistakes to realize a bad habit needs correcting. Make it fun first and foremost, if he still doesn't like it he never will. If it's fun and he sees it is possible then he can determine how serious he wants to get. The basics of clay are easy with a little help and fun, almost anyone can teach that. To be really good depends on willpower and nobody can force that on anyone.
  11. Rebel_Rocker

    Mixing Black Clay Body - Cone 10 - Need Expertise

    OK, Chris' wording in the last post is pretty fair. Though #4: this instructor is well vrs and I really had no doubts in the advice at all. Anyway, yep, lesson learned, for now anyway. Guess I've always had a problem trusting someone when I probably shouldn't. It probably won't be the last time @Jbaymore, I hear ya. But this wasn't a case of 'mishearing' or not listening. I asked for advice and I payed attention. Instructor had nothing to say about me not listening and knows full well info was left out. Only says I 'should have known'. And knowing the instuct ego (I have been working 4-6 days a week for 2 years) if I had questioned tempers would have flaired. I understand his position, many casual students mess up, are corrected and immediately turn around and make the same mistake agian (within minutes or hours). I am NOT one of them and he knows this. I am taking this VERY seriously. @Babs, it is a 'open studio' pretty much run by the instructor in question. Not a 'random bloke' but not a workshop or under strict guidance (as far as my work is concerned). Previously thought of more as a mentor, now thought of more as a random bloke, lol. Hard to say. He is an instuctor and the most knowledgeable ceramisist/artist in residence, and yet I feel there is some underlying issues. I don't use the term sabotage lightly, but from how things transpired... When I started on this endeavor it was trusted guidance, at the end it was 'my fault for not knowing better'. He was adamant I test a coil for color (and we both knew that adding a ton of iron to the clay would make it 'black' which the test confirmed, but only he knew that his mix had feldspar and mine didn't) but never once mentioned I should test the body for glaze fit. Trusting his judgement lead me to believe it was safe to throw serious work. But our work is not similar at all and couldn't be mistaken as such so it's not a question of marketability/copying/cloning/etc.. --------- Anyway, I will post some picks of cracked work tommorrow, but some specs on firing: Schedule is not specific. Bisque tend to be fairly frequent. Slow fired to cone 6 (electric with a very occasional gas for large loads) as to avoid issues with random works from many people. In 2 years I have only recently seen one 'exploded piece', more like cracked . It was a plate that was used many many times over years to fire handmade beads on. Glazing is done as required. Once a week, rarely sooner. Sometimes 2-3 weeks. Really depends on glaze shelves being filled. Class schedules, work finished, etc.. Cone 10, reduction, Gas. All clays used in studio are Laguna or studio red/white (mix of laguna cone 10's) or porcelin (never mixed into studio, wedged seperately). CA2, Bmix, WSO, (it's late, maybe a few others). C2 is added for red stoneware studio mix color. (grit, frit and feldspar may be added to 'revive' the studio mix). All glazes fit these bodies nice at cone 10. The load with pictured piece with white shino (worst of the batch) was cooled quickly. Something that the main instructor did and a secondary instructor fought (kept closing door). I also had a piece thrown with studio red and coated with 'my' black clay slip, then carved through and fired with no glaze, it has not cracked. ============= I appreciate everyone's input. If nothing else it may have helped me cool my vents and rethink the entire situation. I'm looking at this as more of a 6 year plan (I'm at year 2), it's just hard to lose that much work during busy season since I am broke and struggling to make this work. And maybe more so because I put my full trust and respect into someone who didn't deserve it, now I have to push on on my own. I also have to look forward to more resistance from him, If I don't ask his advice when working in the studio and testing new things.. I can only imagine...
  12. Rebel_Rocker

    Mixing Black Clay Body - Cone 10 - Need Expertise

    A: IS what I did. He gave me wrong ingredients. D: again, was the problem, I listened and it all failed.
  13. Rebel_Rocker

    Mixing Black Clay Body - Cone 10 - Need Expertise

    Well, my instructor has been at this for 20+ years and like I said, He gave me the recipe to his clay body (well, he told me he mixes in 50% red C, didn't mention feldspar) but I just used a finer grit than he used (by his council). But he failed to mention he adds 10% feldspar. Sorry Chris but I don't think you are right about me shifting the blame. I am paying for his instruction, if this was not what he uses or if saw issues he should have told me to test. He was adamant I test a small coil for color (which I did). He never said there was ANY reason to question him and test glaze fit. I've seen many pieces he used that the glaze was fine on. If a professional baker gives you a cookie recipe but leaves out sugar is it your fault they aren't sweet? Is the first thing you think of is to question the pro's recipe and start a barrage of tests with random ingredients and hope you find the right one? I had no idea I needed Feldspar, that's why I aksed him what I needed. Now sure, if I had just gone off on a wild tangent and started mixing stuff up and expecting good results it WOULD be my fault and I WOULD need to test. But he gave me the impression that he gave me the correct recipe for the clay body he uses. He did NOT. ---------- So that IS my goal, to reformulate the body to work with the existing glazes as he does. I can't give an exact account of the clay body mixed because it is a studio mix (they recycle like 1+ ton a year... it's a stable mix and he adds certain elements like a minor percent of C2 red to keep the red body red (and white scrap is also used). And I have no problems with that mix. But when I added 50% red C (dry clay) my clay shrinks too much. Now I know I need feldspar. Guess I'll just start mixing and testing, but this time I'll KNOW it's a test. And I have learned my lesson, just because someone is experienced and a paid instructor doesn't mean theire advice is worth taking. This isn't the first time he's given bad advice but it's the last time I take it.
  14. Uranium Glazes, Yum... that's gotta be food safe.
  15. Rebel_Rocker

    Between Two Wheels

    Both appear to be good wheels from everyone's comments. But the new one seems like a no brainer, no wear and tear, warranty, no driving and same price...
  16. this guy will be out of the high fire kiln by friday
  17. Rebel_Rocker

    How do you do this?

    Gotta be just a resist decoration. How would you get a glaze to drip across hols and fill them perfectly smooth? It's just a well done resist on very thin porcelin. Only the flower designs were rubbed away, and as small as they are you can't tell if they have an 'even surface'.
  18. Rebel_Rocker

    Owl Jar

    red stoneware, about 9-10 inches tall. Still drying for bisque. Thrown pot, added embelishments, stamped and carved.
  19. Rebel_Rocker

    Dripping Bottle

    My latest bottle out of the kiln. Cone10 Stoneware, thrown and altered cylinder and spout. Tenmoku glaze (a little thin ) with a buttermilk over it. 7.5 inches tall by 5 inches wide. Pours pretty good out of the back of the spout.
  20. Rebel_Rocker

    Dripping Bottle

  21. Rebel_Rocker

    Feels good.........

    haha nice. I actually made a similar piece a week ago but someone in the studio chipped a corner off for me so I made another yesterday. Fun form to make, I actually thought about how it could make a cool planter form upside down when I was working on it.. Obviously someone else saw it and thought that too
  22. Rebel_Rocker

    Mug Recall

    tee hee, that's an ugly mug Would like one though, it's sure to be a collectors piece after they are all destroyed.
  23. Rebel_Rocker

    Silver and Gold

    http://www.steveirvine.com/goldleaf.html he uses gold leaf on pots after fire, you can also get silver leaf. I think that is the best use for them as you actually get the properties that make them so unique. You could also metal turn them, etc... for cool effects. I've also heard about using some gold in the kiln but am not sure what the process is called, it's also used for gold designs like gold leaf, but is suppose to be very tricky to get right, though it might be more permanent for dinner ware. But like John said, why use gold for reds if you can use copper? I haven't mixed up an glazes personally but i imagine it would take a fair pile of gold powder to get color from it.
  24. Bed and Breakfast Ceramic Experience. Could be pretty cool, I can see the best customers being couples who want to just get a new experience. Obviously it would be hard to get a full ceramics class in a weekend, especially if you want to include trips to galleries, etc... But it would be a cool vacation xperience to see the in and outs of the studio, play with clay, see galleries. And I don't know, maybe you fire and mail pieces to them at a later date? You'd need to include a shipping fee and limit pieces to a certian size, maybe have a project that everyone gets to do. A slab box or something. Something easy to create in a day, then they just pick a one color glaze or a two tone you have samples of (you bisque/glaze/fire Monday after they leave)
  25. Rebel_Rocker

    Heat gun versus propane torch

    I'd think that any heat gun no matter the price (in the USA at least) has to conform to safety standards so unless you are swimming with it the danger of shock should be pretty low if even non-existant. The price should only effect the durability/lengetivity. You are just as likely to get shocked if you drop an expensive one in the same bucket of water. ---- I've only used a hairdryer in the studio myself and it tends to work fine. Have used it to dry/stack several pieces so far. We also have a heat gun but I'd have to go unplug it, bring it back... The hair dryer is right behind me on the wall. One concern with the heat gun, I guess someone in the past set one down on the plastic wheel basin and melted it. More likely to happen with heat gun or torch. Also more likely to burn yourself.

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