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Marcia Selsor

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About Marcia Selsor

  • Rank
    Professor Emerita, MSU-Billings

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  • Website URL
    http://www.marciaselsorstudio.com , http://www.lameridiana.fi.it/pottery-workshops-marcia-selsor-36-17.htm

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Red Lodge, Montana
  • Interests
    my interests include social engagement, environment, fishing, hiking, cooking, gardening, travel. reading, writing, sharing my ceramics knowledge from 50+ years in the field.

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1,003,228 profile views
  1. How do you store your own mixed clay?

    I agree with Mark. Reworking porcelain is harder than stoneware. For dry porcelain I recently softened my porcelain by slicing as best I could, upping it and rebadging it, the re-pugged it.. I had moved it up from Tx. Re-pugging took a day for about 600+ pounds. It needed to go through the pug mill several times. That is a lot of work. Then the next day, a few hours to clean the pug mill by disassembling it and scrubbing it clean. Its easier when the flakes are dry. Marcia
  2. Crystalline Glaze Chemstry

    clean up your trimming skills. That is a beauty!
  3. ade saggers today so I'll be ready for more firings as soon as the snow melts. I have a show in May. with several other ceramic artists at the radius Gallery in Missoula.


  4. #Foil Saggar firing

    these are pieces fired in aluminum foil saggars in a raku kiln
  5. I used litho crayons and xeroxed them at the post office copy machines in Europe /or kinkos. Then did the image transfer as described in a CAD demo using gum arabic, and stain mixed with linseed foil. Marcia
  6. Relay Life Update

    I agree too. Your knowledge in this field is really helpful to many. Marcia
  7. baking cakes and cookies today.


    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. Marcia Selsor

      Marcia Selsor

      I re-fired slightly less than golden brown cranberry orange nut bread. Then I made pecan bars like my grandmother's..Fun to taste a childhood memory. Sort of a pecan laden toffee on a crumbly crust.


    3. JohnnyK


      What cone did you refire the cranberry nut bread to?:)

    4. Marcia Selsor

      Marcia Selsor

      350F  eating some right now!


      Must go trim my saggers that I threw yesterday. Just finished shoveling snow off the walks.




  8. Soda Firing Questions

    If you keep a pot of water boiling during your spraying time and dissolve the soda ash into boiling water...spray it hot. the soda ash dissolves into the water . use it up each spray session and mix into boiling water again. You got some good results for the first shot. . The best way to keep the propane tanks from freezing is to put them in tandem. or get a bigger tank. They freeze because the surface evaporation inside the tank is not keeping up with the vapor going out the the tank. I have 2 tanks on each of my burners just for raku. Marcia
  9. How do you regulate the air volume on the squirrel cage blower? I made some burners with squirrel cage blowers and screwed a metal disc over the intake that could adjust the intake on the blower. A longer flame with less air may help even it out. Marcia
  10. I began art classes at the Philadelphia College of Art at age 11 in 1961 because I must have scared my family by drawing all the time so they sent me to art classes in downtown Phila. -an hour and 10 minutes commute by subway and bus.I think that would be different in today's world for a puny little girl to make that trip alone dragging a big portfolio and tool box. Often I would stay in center city for hours stashing my portfolio and tool box in a public locker in the subway station then, exploring the colonial area or free museums. I went to the same school for college and began as an industrial design major, took an elective in ceramics and I was hooked. As students we built our own kilns, had several professors with a different one each day of the week with different assignments. Often guest artists would give presentations at the college: Wendall Castle-woodworker, Robert Arneson-father of Funk Ceramics, Rudy Staffel-ceramist, Fritz Dreisbach-glassblower..As a second year Crafts maker , official area was "dimensional design" , we took classes in wood, glass, jewelry-making and ceramics as well as design and engineering. 3rd and 4th years were much more intensely focused on the major area. In 1968, fired my first raku with Paul Soldner. After that I went to Graduate school in Southern Illinois; took a year off worked in Boston for a while and associated with Mudflats Pottery helping design a kiln there .Then moved to Upstate N.Y. as a resident potter/ caretaker at a religious estate, building kiln and propane burners and establishing a pottery studio on the 50 acre estate.I got a commission for a dishes in a hippie type restaurant while there. I returned to graduate school and got involved with diesel burner design and built a kiln for diesel fuel. Published the design in Studio Potters 2nd issue having met Peter Sabine and Gerry Williams publisher and editor of the new magazine. Moved to Phila. and established a studio while seeking teaching positions after graduating with an MFA. I was hired to teach at Eastern Montana College and needed to rebuilt 2 kilns before classes started. I replaced a very eccentric teacher who was fired for his student/teacher relationship. The male students refused to take courses from a woman..for one quarter. The female students assisted me in building the 2 new kilns in two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. We had a very successful pottery sale for Christmas and the male students returned to ceramics for the Winter Quarter. In 1977 I built a Rammed Earth studio with my students at my home in Huntley , Montana and published an article about that in Ceramics Monthly. I became a frequent visitor to the Archie Bray Foundation and would take my students there on annual excursions. In 1985-86 I had a Fulbright Research Grant to research the ethnic origins of practices of traditional Spanish potters. -Greek, Iberian, Moorish, Roman, Celtic. I visited 48 locations across the country sometimes visiting several potters in one town; published catalog of drawings of pottery in my host institution, a pottery museum in Agost; El Museo de Alfareria . I was on a panel at NCECA on Cross Cultural experiences. I published articles in Ceramics Monthly, British Archeological Reports, Crafts Magazine, and the NCECA sharing much of what I had learned during my Fulbright. During my teaching in a poor state and with rural schools, Developed courses for summer school focusing on running programs with little or no budget. We called it Primitive Pottery but that became politically incorrect. Then I called it Pottery for Montana Teachers with no Budget. Then called it low tech ceramics. We dug clay, processed it. Had pit firings. I had numerous Native American students mostly Crow, Cheyenne and Sioux It was very popular.Once while digging clay in the Pryor Mountains we drove to a nearby vision quest site but got surrounded by a herd of wild horses that appeared out of the mist. life changing event. Product influence Horse images on Raku.. In 1991 I was invited to share hosting a group of Soviet Ceramic Artists from the Soviet Artist Union. I did host Vladimir Petrov sharing him with Radcliffe in Boston. In preparation of his visit, I called to ask them to ask him if he fished. They were shocked. He had a great time in Montana. I took my students, Vladimir, and his sculptural pieces from Billings to Flagstaff and on to the NCECA conference in Tempe. When the group reunited in Tempe, they compared their US experiences. Vladimir won and gained 5 pounds! Six months later in 1991, I was invited to participate in the first symposium with American (ceramic) artists in Dzintari in the town of Jurmala in Latvia, shortly after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Then I was invited twice to month-long ceramics Symposiums in Uzbekistan in '92 and '93 followed by a Fall semester at the Banff Center in '93 and a second Fulbright to Uzbekistan for 5 months in '94 teaching and doing research at the Tashkent Institute of the Arts during a sabbatical year.. I have written about these experiences and given lectures to community groups. By the time I retired in 2000, I decided I would need a refresher/stimulus by doing a residency every few years. I began in Iceland in 2000. Then The Bray, Italy, France, Indiana, Italy again. I really enjoy the intimacy of a small professional group from a variety of places around the world. So my journey has lead me to mountain studios in Spain to rural Steppes in central Euroasia. I have learned that ceramics is a common language that covers creating, throwing, decoration , loading firing kilns. I think clay people share a certain degree of humanity created by this humbling medium. I love the energy of the crowds in the hotel lobbies at NCECA where shop talk is rampant and passionate. I have learned that the journey continues even staying in one place finding contentment in the solace of the studio and the unending paths that develop there. Marcia
  11. This to me is a funny story. Two years ago, I submitted this pot to the Yellowstone Art Museum's 48 th Annual Art Auction. I have participated in 44 of them. At the opening the Exec. Director told me how much she loved the pot. Classical form contrasted with the chaotic surface. After a year, I received the pot back in Texas. I was surprised. I thought it had been sold. I donated it and they do not share the purchaser's name due to privacy. I felt bad because I thought it was a very nice pot. It was discouraging. It is about 13" tall. good size pot. Then I was packing up things, down sizing, shipping out as much as I could to galleries. Moved to Montana. Last summer, I got a call from the events coordinator asking for the pot. He was very demanding wanting it back. The purchaser had never received it. I honestly didn't know what I did with it. Was it in galleries? Was it left in texas for fundraisers, gift to friend? I searched through boxes, etc. I didn't have it anymore. The move had been done in two big efforts. Dec. 2016 and in may 2017. Both in big trucks. I live near the Red Lodge Clay center. In April 2017, I participated in a wood firing in April I made about 60 pieces for my allotted space. I also refired a few obvara pieces " just cause" I like to see "what if". I finally realized I had picked this pot for a refire. I thought it was my best piece out of the kiln. The process for making these heavily crackled surfaces involves pushing the walls to extreme. During the firing the ^10 clay went to ^12. Very thin walls. It clapsed. Perfect pots are completely subjective. To me, this is one of my favotie pieces after making pots for 50 years. It hangs in my studio above my wheel. Marcia
  12. PQotW: Week 37

    very kind of you, Pres. And lets add a time for a beer in Pittsburgh. I have been attending NCECA since '71 and only missed a few since then. So many friends and so many passing on. You have to make time for as many friends as possible! Hope last weekend was good with your Dad. Marcia
  13. PQotW: Week 37

    i downsized my library 16 months ago when I relocated to Montana. I used the book as a resource decades ago but not everything was relevant to what I was doing..and some of the terms are not what I use. I did a lot of research on oil burners in German tech books in the '70s and had built 9 high fire fuel burning kilns and many more raku kilns prior to this book's publication. 1968 Soda sprung kiln in undergrad school replace with a castable arch in 1970 1969 Large catenary kiln in undergrad school 1971 Soda sprung arch kiln my design 1973 catenary arch kiln diesel fuel my design (my burner design published in 2nd issue of Studio Potter and reprinted in '78 in the Studio Potter Book) 1975 built 2 kilns beginning teaching in Montana: one sprung arch and one catenary for the ceramics program my design 1978 built diesel fired sprung arch kiln at home (my burner design and kiln design including cast burner ports 1980 moved to a new build and built large 60+ cubic foot car kiln and 48 cubic foot sprung arch kiln for the ceramics program Energy Efficient potter Book published in 1982 Marcia

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