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About Benzine

  • Rank
    Socratic Potter

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  • Gender
  • Location
    The Hawkeye State
  • Interests
    The Arts (Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Graphic Design), Running, Music (Mostly Rock), Movies, Technology
  1. Leaving glazed pieces unfired

    I've seen others here state they use a starch spray (Like what you would use on clothes) to protect unfired, glazed wares.
  2. Tell you what, we'll make a deal between the two countries. The U.S. will give the Canadians our goods, for the same price, and you just slip us some of that sweet, sweet cheap prescription medications...
  3. Great tip Mea, I'll be ordering one! Well, you see, the pen has to be issued a passport to get across the border, so it costs extra...
  4. My advice to students, when using wax, "If you intend to use a glaze somewhere, don't get wax in that spot!" We use the liquid wax resist, and I've tried a variety method for removing it (Scraping, sanding, burning with a flame). None were completely successful. Sanding and scraping only get the surface bits, but the wax that got into the porous inner layers still remains. Trying to burn it off is probably worse, since it leaves a bigger mess behind with carbon and such, and still doesn't solve the problem. Latex and paper resists are definitely better, in this regard. If you make a mistake, you can always remove the resist and redo it.
  5. There is usually mold on the fresh bags of clay, when I open them up. It grosses my students out, but I simply explain to them, that their hands are probably dirtier, than the clay... The mold on the clay is either white or black. Usually, if it shows up on the wares/ projects, it's only if they sit awhile. The ware boards are worse, since they don't always have a chance to dry out, as they are constantly being used. On those, it's usually a blackish mold. No matter the case, I never worry about it. On the projects, the kiln will take care of the mold, and on the boards, a little soap and water is adequate. The biggest issue is the bacteria that likes to eat the binder in the underglazes. As the saying goes, the smell of those could knock a buzzard off a manure wagon...
  6. After reading the topic post, your work is the first thing I thought to link to Pres. I remember seeing several "squared" jars on your blog.
  7. I've been throwing for fifteen years or so, and I will still leave a bit too much at the base occasionally (Especially with newer forms). Some of it is just getting a feel for what a thick base feels like, and what a thinner base feels like. I also drag my thumb along the base, to create a groove, before beginning some of my pulls. It gives your fingers a path to follow, and has helped me pull more clay, than just a normal pull.
  8. I find, that my students are confused by the concept of Balance. They usually simplify it as "Symmetrical= The same on both sides" and "Asymmetrical= Different on each side". It doesn't seem to occur to them that just because Asymmetrical isn't the same on both sides means it lacks "Balance".
  9. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    I find it interesting that reduction causes iron to flux. Why is this?
  10. I really do like the effects that a spray applied layer creates, over top of a glaze. My Dad made a couple really nice pieces, in College, using this method. One is a "Bird Bath" form, with a nice gradient created by the spray. Unfortunately some of his dang kids cracked the ware, when they were younger...
  11. Yeah, I can't comment on that, as I've never tried to sharpen them. The clay body I use, goes pretty easy on the "blade", so sharpness hasn't proven to be an issue yet. I've been watching a lot of "Forged in Fire" lately, so when I do go to sharpen, I'll go all out and heat the blade, then quench it... I'm joking... Or am I...
  12. My Mudtools "Do All Trim Tool". After using loops to trim for years, just love the versatility of the Do All. It's comfortable to use, and it's all I use to trim now... Unless I'm in my classroom, and have to use the loops, because that's all we have there...
  13. repairing grenware?

    So I took one of my demo wheel projects, one that I cut in half with the wire, to show consistent thickness, and used a combination of Magic Water and my saturated slip, to put the two halves back together. The seam is still visible, but that is mostly due to me not worrying about aesthetics as much as performance. After firing, no cracks were visible in the mend, and it held up to the stress of me trying to pull the two halves apart. Is it as strong as the rest of the piece? That I can't say, but it is a pretty good mend! A real test will be with my Art Club's Raku projects. I made a super saturated Raku slip and used the same process to fix some of the breaks on their projects. They came through the Bisque just fine, but we will see how they do with the thermal shock of the actual Raku firing.
  14. I have a friend, who used to live in Northern Maine. We would always joke that his phone and internet signals, were bounced off of moose antlers. So if the signal was poor, one of the moose was out of place...
  15. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    Awesome color. It reminds me of the results/ effects I get with some of my Raku glazes, which is one reason I like it. Is that for functional wares? If it doesn't have an official name, you need to give it one. Based on my experience with the commercial glazes, the names don't always have to make sense. There was color I ordered called "Tabacco Brown", but it was an off white, with small flecks of brown. So it looked more like tabacco spit brown...

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