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Everything posted by oldlady

  1. am i the only one who cannot see any of the photos in all the posts above? i get a little symbol of a photo, some numbers and nothing else. clicking on them does no good. what am i doing wrong or what happened to everything on page 7?
  2. maybe the best "tool" is the way i keep them at hand for use all the time. my slab roller was built on top of a table that i created with 2x4 legs, stretchers of plywood for storage and a very heavy wooden slab door. the table is wide enough that i have space between it an the wall for the large number of plastic jars for my sprayer and several pieces of foam rubber for pressing slabs. a heat gun and hair dryer live at the end near a 36 inch rolling pin i bought long ago when i thought i would need it. the front edge hangs a few inches over the legs and provides a space for 2 little containers that will hold the tiny bits of excess clay that otherwise would end up smashed onto the back of a freshly rolled slab. there is also a stack of sticks to judge thickness, i do not trust the little dial on the roller, i want to feel the thickness with my fingers. the top is supported by a 2x4 on its narrow edge. this is the best tool, it allows me to hang all the things i need when making slab work. they are under the table top a few inches so i do not hit the nails or the tools themselves while working above on the table. i marked the top with a thick sharpie just where the nail can be found below. this means that i can find something without looking, the sharpie mark says it is right here. whether a cheese cutter, a pizza roller, a wallpaper smoother, a wide, narrow or extra wide putty knife, a towel or a cutoff wire. a glance at the black line and the tool is in my hand.
  3. look at the work of Kim Kirchman for photos of how she does what callie talks about above. try entering her name at the top of the forum to see some photos. they are simply colors on newsprint paper, dampened and rubbed into leatherhard clay.
  4. oldlady


    i hope we have not driven Nicky into the loony bin. you have not told us anything about how you came to pottery or what education you have in the field. if you are learning on the fly, read on. nicky, you are only at the very edge of the beginning of learning about pottery making and finishing. get yourself some basic books, (they are portable and not subject to interruption by not being recharged). some very old textbooks written before your parents met. you will find explanations of all kinds of things you do not want to make but the process is the same for what you do want so learn how to do the basics. look at previous posts about what books you might want. and just FYI, slip is the simplest thing to color and use. use it on wet clay, not bisqued clay. yes, it can be done but why set yourself up to learn something so complicated when it is so easy to use slip made from your own clay and water plus color. experiment with lots of things, i know your first pots seem to be as valuable to you as the mona lisa but they are really only practice for making good work later.
  5. stamps made of rubber are not worth it if you intend to impress into the clay. there are plastic stamps that are stronger but metal is best for this. a quick press into clay is much easier than using an ink type stamp on bisque. if you really only want to use some kind of ink substitute, it will have to be fired on to last through dishwashing. it will take a lot of practice to get it on clearly without smearing it.
  6. oldlady

    Drippy Cake Plate.jpg

    what a treat! how did you do it? does it stand on its own? twenty thumbs up!
  7. oldlady

    Looking for advice in a wheel purchase

    listen to the wheel you will buy before you pay for it. some are very noisy but others are quiet so you can have a conversation in the same room without shouting. bailey would be my choice, all the things they make are very high quality.
  8. kakes, congratulations on the huge step of having your own kiln. you will be learning a great deal over the next 20 firings. i have been single firing for a number of years. there are a few things you might think about. you have not mentioned the brand name of the kiln you have or its size. i use an L&L with a controller. it is large enough for me to make huge, shelf size, platters and trays. sometimes i have a hard time fitting a rectangular tray into the corners of the decagon because of its size. my controller has a slow glaze setting. i always use it, never tried outguessing the engineers or experts at the kiln factory on ramping up and down. i use the slow glaze and choose the preheat which takes my dry clay to something over 200 degrees over a couple of hours, i think. i have had no problems except when i do something stupid. last month i refired a large platter because there was a dragonfly on it that i had not colored and some of the background was a little pale. i reglazed it and then did the stupid thing. i put it on the new shelf i had kiln washed but not put sand on. naturally, the platter split down the center like a jagged lightning bolt. when i opened the kiln, it had a 1/4 inch space between the halves. it now lives on the wall of shame in my studio. my kiln controller offers me the choice of slow or fast firing or using my own ramp. the ONLY way to use preheat, which i consider paramount, is to use the factory settings, not my own ramp. so, i use preheat and slow glaze. i pack my kiln very tight, sometimes using 9 shelves only 1 1/2 inches apart. this makes a firing take a long time, about 12 hours these days with the elements no longer new. and i always check for the temp when i close the peepholes and make sure all the water vapor is gone. have a neat 8x10 mirror to do this with. for people who use a shared studio, you have no hope of trying single firing. the shared firings make the tech set rules so everyone has a chance to get work successfully fired. hence, bisque firing is required. once you have your own studio kiln, you can try single firing if you like and the work you do will allow it. handling greenware is NOT difficult. you have an instinctive soft touch, like picking up a baby, that will save your work from damage. watching carefully as you move work, so you do not let it smash into something else that might be in the way, comes with your messing up a few times. you quickly learn to let the clay DRY before firing. i hope your new kiln gives you the results you want, kakes, and you love every piece you take out of it. and hope you find that single firing, which has been done for centuries, will work for you.
  9. Benzine, i really needed the laugh your post provided. i am trying to remember how many pipers are in the holiday song about the 12 days of christmas and picturing someone with a torch warming them up. thank you for the inadvertent humor. having collected a number of the heaters for food at buffets, Salton Hotrays by brand name, i have a variety of sizes for different purposes. one use is to warm a glaze fired flat tray that needs more glaze . works very well and quickly and then it dries out the newly sprayed additional glaze so the tray can be handled again. and i do not have to run to the kitchen oven. if someone wants to keep clay warm, one of them on the lowest setting would probably work well. i don't know if i would leave it on overnight but maybe on a timer so clay would be warm by starting time. i would wrap the clay in a thick, damp towel even if it is in a plastic bag. if you are really cold, you are invited to my tiny studio in fl. as long as you do all the math and heavy stuff.
  10. oldlady

    skipping bisque firing

    everyone else here is kind. i am not. but i single fire everything except when i need to transport things a thousand miles to my glaze kitchen. i single fire all kinds of things that could be described as tile(s). what kind of final product are you working toward? how will the tiles be used? do you anticipate them curling up while being fired? are they totally flat with only color added or are they thickly textured? do you fire them in setters or on shelves, flat or on their edges? nobody will steal your design if you just share what you want to end up with.
  11. oldlady

    how to make slip

    let it evaporate if you want it thicker. the clay you use is the best thing to use for slip. just water is enough to make it work, you have to decide how thick you want it. evaporation and letting it settle so you can remove excess water with an ear syringe is enough. sieve it just to remove anything that might be mixed in. last time i sieved silp i found cat hair.
  12. having sold lots of pots over lots of years, i still do not know what to take. saturday's sale was wonderfully profitable. sold lots of big items as gifts but the real money maker was the basket of items that were under $10 and the smaller things at $16 and $19. next sale, i plan to have my camera ready and ask people to hold their purchase and smile. maybe i can pinpoint the most popular item that way. i make a lot of things and some will probably never sell but they add color and variety to the booth. (sold the ugly fish this time just minutes after i offered it to my helper because she liked it. she had it in her hands when a couple returned and asked for it. there is no way to tell what will sell.)
  13. oldlady

    Kiln not reaching temperature

    yes, it is normal for it to slow as you get to a certain point. i have a kiln with a controller and it is set for a slow glaze at the factory. i have used it once or twice to slow cool but i really do not use that feature, i trust the factory setting. it has 3 thermocouples and i can determine the temperature at the top, middle and bottom of the kiln as it fires. the readout shows the middle temperature and at times the bottom is 20 degrees cooler and maybe the top is a few degrees hotter. i consider that normal. normal for my kiln, my kind of work, my packing density. when it gets near the end of the firing i have watched the readout fluctuate back and forth several times before settling on a particular number of degrees. it has always fired well for me and maybe i am just too easily satisfied, but for what i do, it works very well. my user manual discusses the program and the expected slow spots. having read it once, years ago, i am confident that the factory setting was thought out well. my concern with all the recent questions is that some sources of information are not as reliable as others. i do not know where your program came from but some folks think a firing should take only 4 hours and that seems extreme to me. the size and contents of the kiln, the spacing of items, the age of the elements, the number and type of shelves and posts all play a factor in firing. someone else's firing schedule may not work for the kind of work you do and the way you pack your kiln. i hope your results are good and your concerns are just a normal learning curve.
  14. is there a reason you want to ruin a perfectly good antique that someone else would treasure?
  15. oldlady

    Kiln not reaching temperature

    lukeseall, your post reminded me that lately there seem to be a number of folks who have their first kiln whether new or used. many questions lately include the question of how long a firing should take. whether stated or implied, many folks seem to think that firings take only a few hours and even turn off the kiln at the end of only a few hours assuming it has fired too long. my question is, where are these bits of information coming from? is there someone on youtube telling viewers how long to fire things?
  16. oldlady

    Why make functional ware?

    liambesaw, i am going to print your post and make it a part of my display at any craftshow i attend. starting tomorrow. thank you for putting it into words that anyone can understand.
  17. oldlady

    How was this vase made?

    touchdry, if you look closely at the bottom of the vase can you tell if the deeply scratched initials are just a little lighter in color than the outside surface? using a flashlight to see deep into the crevice, are you able to see a variation in the color of the clay that would be similar to the variation seen on the exterior? or is the clay a consistent color which might indicate a surface decoration instead of the marbling of the clay before throwing. if so, the darkness of the exterior is due to a glaze or burnishing technique and the clay is not colored. marbling the surface by dipping would fit since the color is uniformly seen on the bottom as well as the sides usually worked on for decorative purposes. my vote on the initials, GV cannot think what the other thing is.
  18. do you sieve your glazes before use?
  19. mea is right, pack so the plates are vertical. in addition, put extra cardboard under each vertical side so there is more cushioning if they are dropped. if you wrap the plates together so they are one solid pack, add two pieces of cardboard on each vertical surface inside the box, pack as described above in a second box, you have a little more shock preventative. lots of dead box skeletons around here sometimes. the recycle pick up guy just shakes his head. if you live anywhere near a large car dealer with a body shop or any big body shop, ask for their foam wrap. they have to pay to toss it and it makes marvelous weight saving, soft packing material. they might even save if for you if you agree to pick it up regularly.
  20. thank you for reminding me that there are still two pots in my kitchen oven. the incessant rain continued through last night, today there is SUN in the blue sky. i was glazing an needed to refire a few colors i did not like. maybe pale blue will look better with purple on top?
  21. oldlady

    What the heck is MAGIC WATER

    min, as usual, you have found something online for me to bookmark. AND, have i ever told you how much i love the clear glaze recipe that works with all my mason stains??? well, i do.
  22. shawnhar, great results, nice colors and distinctively yours. i am interested in the triangular posts you are using as a base for your cones. did you get them recently, and, if so, where did you buy them? i use those posts for all my firings because they take so little room in the kiln. i hope you are able to get the melted cone off the one inch one, that is one of my favorite sizes. put a spot of glaze on top of a one inch, add a half inch and you have a perfect size for trays and plates.
  23. not a big deal show today from 9 am to 3 pm. hardly worth it, right? well, that depends. it is an annual plant sale with vendors allowed to set up a booth and sell juried products. i attended it 2 years ago and sunburned my eyeballs because it suddenly went from normal hot day to 104 F. in the non-existent shade, not under my tent roof. i dropped a gulp size cup of ice down the back of my shirt and it melted immediately, it was so bad i considered using the emergency shower in the employee workspace for the arboretum. sales very slow. thank heavens my daughter-in-law was there to drive me home. slept on the way for 60 miles. colored my opinion of the event. today, a new day, same show. beautiful weather, for the first time in a very long while so i went. from very rural with fog and deer on the roads to absolute frenzied traffic and a beautiful setting. was slow setting up because i was alone. did not take as much as usual. sold lots and lots of stuff while being told that the work was beautiful or special or some other wonderful word. sold lots of $9 items to people happy to get them. sold two very large platters, the ones i did in florida and finally glazed. they went very early in the day for $110 each. found i forgot a box of medium sized work so i was selling mostly up to $25 or over $80. have not yet counted the money. after leaving the show grounds at 4:30, i went to a local fried chicken fast food place and locked my car door with the keys inside. very hot and tired, distracted by trying to get the seatbelt and my moneybelt off without hitting the glasses hanging around my neck. knew instantly that i had done a REALLY DUMB thing. have not done that since the 1970s. you would think i was having a bad day. no. the employees at the food place were very accomodating and helped me find a tow truck. i did another REALLY DUMB thing and gave them the address of the plant sale, not the restaurant 5 traffic lights to the west. tow truck arrived at 7:15. i got home at 9. you might have thought i was having a bad day. no. after weeks of being cooped up in the studio or house by incessant rain, it was so delightful to be out (75F. with blue skies) with friendly people willing to praise and buy my work that nothing can make me feel bad about the day. except maybe the fact that the dog feeder i arranged to come in and take care of bently forgot. but dogs are really forgiving, aren't they? he is sitting here loving me anyway. i don't care if i made a lot of money. (but, i might have!)
  24. min, thanks for telling me what the little crystals were in the glaze that sat for a year or two. you can tell i really liked that one, can't you! a small note about %ages. my potter friend's husband is an accountant. he said that potters are the only people he knows whose totals come to more than 100%. and we like it that way.
  25. thank you all, the rain was back yesterday and is expected to continue all week. until saturday when i have another tiny show in a very tiny, 6 blocks by 6 blocks, community in maryland. let's hope they come out like they did last year and buy pots, lots of pots. and invite their neighbors who surround them densely. callie, so far, a quick look shows about $900. when i get the cash to the bank counting machine i will have a total. yes, all cash and 4 checks. those gardeners know what to bring to a show! the rain is the constant, too small for individual drops, misty stuff. my front deck is now green with something slippery. got to get a BIG bottle of bleach and a broom out there. think good thoughts for all those folks in the carolinas and south of here.

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