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About Benzine

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    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

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  1. Seems like the seals were working just fine!
  2. Sorry to hear that. Doesn't it always seem, that a Rube Goldberg series of events, leads to such things? For me, I know it's the case, because I don't clear the clutter as much as I should. So if one thing gets hit, or shoved, several other things are going with it.
  3. You could take the "Karate Kid" approach. "Buttresses do not exist, in *this* dojo (studio)!"
  4. Great tips Mea! I try and emphasize "Keeping the cylinder" with my students, but many of them either forget about it, or just disregard it. I usually break throwing down in to; Centering, Opening, Pulling, and Forming. Once they get all the pulls done, *then* they can worry about the form. There are exceptions of course, for things like plates and such, but hey, there are always exceptions. I've never used the phrase "The buttress is your enemy", but I may have to. I will of course, have to explain what a buttress is, and get past the giggling, but if I can show teenagers how to pull a handle with minimal giggling, anything is possible...
  5. Benzine

    Cracked handle

    I've had similar things happen to some of my handles. On one of those occasions, I was trying to quick dry some mugs, on the classroom's radiator/ blower. I'm fairly certain that quick drying and the quick shrinkage that came with it, caused the issue. The clay particles, in body of the mug, were shrinking one way, and the particles in the pulled handle, were set up different, and couldn't keep up with how the body was shrinking.
  6. Benzine

    4th Quarter is here!

    Glad to hear, that all are having a great Quarter/ Season! Mark, I hope that banged up wing is healing up.
  7. Benzine

    Studio Photography

    Depth of Field, is something I try and emphasize, in both my Photo classes. I find it, to be a difficult concept to understand. In regards to actually controlling it, the students are generally just happy to get the camera to a proper exposure, which means they don't think much about Depth of Field. Especially considering, that you can fake a shallow Depth of Field later on, by doing some quick selecting and the Blur Filter. Heck, now they have built in software on smart phones, that does the same thing, to get those "Cool, professional looking" selfies...
  8. Benzine

    Adding handle to cup

    That's called "Bob Rossing it". No mistakes, just happy accidents... In regards to attaching the handle, why not just wet the entire piece back down? Wrap the ware in some damp paper towels, and cover with a bag. Continue to rewet and recover the piece, until it is leatherhard. It takes a day or two, but it's effective. I tell students, to never attach things at bone dry. Some try, and think they got away with something for a while. Until the dry clay sucks all the moisture out of the slip, the attached piece cracks, and falls off. With that said, I have done repairs, at bone dry, right before loading things into the kiln. I use a combination of magic water, and a deflocculated slip, that's be saturated with clay, so it shrinks way less than a normal slip. I only do this to items, that generally won't ever have to carry any weight. I have done a couple knobs, on slab boxes, and they turned out OK. But for a handle that will potentially hold up a vessel filled with liquid, NOPE!
  9. I'm with you on all of that. I have no issues with bats. If I see them flying overhead in the Summer, I know there are now significantly less mosquito, that will be trying to snack on me. I am also with you on the squirrels. When they come in my yard, they are after two things; to snoop through my garden, and help themselves at the bird feeder. In both cases, they get shot at, with a pellet gun.
  10. Benzine

    Studio Photography

    My brother still has the first digital Canon, he bought, and that was in 2004. It still takes a great photo. The digital SLRs I use, in my classroom, are also getting on in age, but still work great. I tell the students, unless we are planning on blowing our photos up, to the size of the classroom wall, the cameras we have now are just fine.
  11. Benzine

    steel nail in stoneware?

    If don't want the nail to oxidize, due to the firing, you could make a hole for it, before firing, and just epoxy it in after both firings. You would need to make the hole larger, to account for shrinkage, but it might be the most fool proof method... Unless of course you want the nail to oxidize and affect the clay body around, as part of the design.
  12. Benzine

    firing round ornaments

    No matter the support, ceramic or wire, how exactly are you supporting these during firing? Are they going to be hung from a bead rack type system? At Cone 10 a lot of what I might suggest, may not work. I know a lot of heat resistant wire starts to weaken around then, and I've been *told*, that stilts can cause issues, even as low as Cone 6. Stilts would be quick and easy, but of course, that might not be the case, if there is an issue. I've never fired to Cone 10, so I have zero experience with it.

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