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About JeanB

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  • Birthday 08/31/1954

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    South Africa
  • Interests
    I have a studio in the Klein Karoo where I teach hand building. The current passion is pit firing and smoking using terra sigs. My country town of Barrydale is picturesque and peaceful with a diverse community of about 3,500.
  1. JeanB

    Wax resist over glaze

    Many thanks oldlady... I will be hunting for this product which I remember from years ago. In the meantime, I started using an old ceramic aromatherapy oil burner which keeps the minute amount of wax I need at a constant temperature. So easy to use. But the liquid wax would be even better.
  2. JeanB

    Wax resist over glaze

    Hi Alessia. Don't give up on the Shellac. The trick is, it must be completely dry. As usual with pottery, haste makes waste!
  3. Thanks for the responses - I somehow didn't pick them up at the time.. battling with this site. I think I found the answer to my ugly black mark problem on htp://www.claymonk.com/blog/2011/01/getting-rid-of-the-jet-black-area/ There are pictures of the undesirable black as well as the more desirable effect. It appears it is the proximity of the fuel to the work but I also think it was the type of fuel I used. Someone brought me loads of bark strips and I think they are giving that shiny black gum look. So will try again without them when our weather here cools down. Too dangerous now for fires. Pit and pots all ready. Cant wait!
  4. Chris, your 'newbie friendly' forum is a godsend. Its been a big confidence booster to know that if I am stuck, I can ask questions. This alone encourages me to forge ahead with new techniques. Living in a rather remote village in South Africa, I was persuaded to start teaching 4 years ago and wouldn't have dreamt of it if there was no-one to turn to for advice. So thank you for being there and for creating a welcoming vibe where one can ask questions without fear of being mocked! My best advice was given to me by a young man who I started on the clay path when he was 7 years old. Now selling his work in New York, I told him that I was sometimes uninspired and couldn't start work. He said 'Just go to your studio and start tidying up and you will get inspired'. Out of the mouth of babes! Well, it works for me. I go to the studio and as you know, there is always some mundane maintenance to do. It seems having your mind relaxed and without pressure to perform, ideas start flowing quickly and clearly. I really recommend it and if all else fails, your studio will bein better shape!
  5. Hi. Can anyone advise why a red terracotta clay would develop a dark line as it dries. These marks do not fire out. I have used the same clay and never had this problem but one of my students who works at home is having this issue. If this was fabric and not clay, I would describe it as a dirty water stain with a dark edge. As I don't see what the student is doing at home, I cannot put my finger on the problem, but having questioned her, she does not seem to be doing anything wrong. Any comments much appreciated.
  6. I enjoyed yr post, esp about student personalities. I'm nowhere near as experienced as you are and would never have started teaching - but having moved from the city to a small town, was coerced into giving lessons. It's been a rewarding experience for all. I will likely start teaching underprivileged kids in brand new studio. May I contact u if I need advice? Wont b a pest but its a bi...

  7. Hmm - Can one add bone ash to a glaze recipe I wonder? I wanted to try it using my late mother-in-law's ashes but the family thought it was a gross idea. I thought it was rather special but there you go!
  8. JeanB

    China Paint On Bisqued

    Just try the china paints on a bisque sample ...
  9. JeanB

    Anna, the oil helps retard the drying process giving you more time to burnish. Very helpful if you are working in a very hot dry climate.

  10. JeanB


    Hi Jeri It seems to me that the re-wetting of the clay is where your problem lies. Years ago I modelled a tortoise. The last work was on the shell which took time as it was to be very realistic and of course the clay was drying out. The exact area which I was re-wetting, exploded clean away from the body. The effects were gross and I still can't bring myself to throw away the head and feet which had such character! I burnish in the last stages of leather-hard, usually with the back of a spoon and sometimes with some baby oil to keep the work at that stage of leather hard until I'm finished - it seems to stop the drying process. I have never had reason to burnish inside a pot except for the neck but as burnishing aligns those tiny clay particles so tightly together, it may seal in moisture. I have never been advised not to burnish inside though and would go ahead with your bowl. My work is pitfired which is quite a harsh process where you lose a lot of work but so far I have only had some very fine small cracks on a few pieces.Burnishing is a great finish as you are not separated from the clay by the glaze - it feels warmer too. I'd love to know how you are getting on. Cheers Jean
  11. JeanB

    Hand Made Tiles

    How are you getting along with the tile project Bill? Did you decide on any particular method? I made tiles for our bathroom which were a success - minimal handling and turning the clay over for a last roll so that the stretch is equal on both sides, slow drying with boards inbetween and a weight on top, and that was it. I don't have a slab roller so this was a rolling-pin and guide-stick job. Once cut out Ithey were not touched until the last leather-hard stage, then only stacked etc. Not one warped and I was totally chuffed as it was my first attempt at a quantity like that.
  12. I'd love to hear from members regarding their pitfiring experiences


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