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Ray West

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  1. Top Ten Myths About Creativity

    This thread started with an article about some myths of creativity, but unless I missed something in the article or the responding posts, the term "creativity" has not been defined. I know of and more or less agree with the "10,000 hours rule", practice makes perfect. The Beetles spent those ten thousand hours before they became an overnight sensation. I get it. But there are many more people who have practiced singing for that long and still can't carry a tune, let alone create new music that shakes the world. The same is true in our........work. Creativity is not necessarily pretty pictures and symmetrical pots. To me creativity is seeing new patterns in the reality inside and outside your own mind and communicating that reality you have discovered to others. I do not think the "10 myths" are always necessarily myths, except I do believe that there is creativity in science and mathematics. Skill gives us tools to express ourselves, but is not necessarily in and of itself creativity. I think there is usually suffering, uncertainty and mistakes inherent in creating and expressing something new, and occasionally, success.
  2. Porcelain Recipe

    Hi, Pat. If you like this recipe, it fires the way you like and you are using it for press molding, you can try adding about 3-4% hectorite (the two commercial products are Bentone MA and American Colloid Hectolite-200). I agree with the other posters that usually 30% is not enough clay, but if it works for you for your purposes at cone 6, why not? Hectorite is similar to bentonite, but contributes much more plasticity to the clay body although it is pretty expensive. Stay away from calcium bentonites, they don't do much for a clay body. Most sodium bentonites have a lot of iron. To check the effectiveness of a bentonite, mix 10 gm bentonite and 25-30 ml water: If it just stays mud, it won't help much, if it turns into a gell it well help. If you choose to add more clay, you can use a plastic "kaolin" like #6 tile, or add a plastic ball clay, like OM-4, and reduce the feldspar. Good luck! Ray West