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susanmcgilvrey

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  1. Laguna Pacifica Wheel Gt 400

    I made one of those from a kit back in the '80s, finally bought a new wheel about 7 years ago because the old belts were slipping and I couldn't center larger poundages of clay (and I got an Arts Council grant that perfectly covered buying the fancy Thomas Stewart wheel). Aside from the slipping belts (where did you find fresh, round ones?) it served me well for lots of years, big platters, etc. Someone suggested belt-dressing to deal with the slipping but by then I'd bought the new one and fell in love with the super sensitive SSX foot pedal controller on the Stewart wheel. The Pacificas seem to be fine for the price point (vs Brents) unless you plan to really punish them, but if you have just a few hundred more dollars (cost of a laptop that is toast in a couple of years) and lots of years to keep throwing, I'm loving the Stewart wheel,wishing I'd bought it much earlier. It depends how much and large you are working, too. Most wheels seem pretty over-powered for most people who never throw more than 1-5 pound pots.
  2. Where do you sign you name?

    On earthenware bisque, I use underglaze pencil on the side of the piece with a coat of clear over it. I'll put my full surname on pieces large enough to fit it, McG on smaller stuff. Assuming most people are right-handed, I sign on the side of a mug they will see most often. On leatherhard stoneware, use a regular pencil to incise the signature, again up the side of the piece. A pencil makes a deeper, easier-to-control-and-see, mark than the cheesy little line of the needle tool. Break off any burrs when it gets dry. If you glaze too thick, finger-wipe over it. My first teacher had us do the humble potter thing; sign the bottom with name of maker and name of kiln. My second teacher said, 'screw that, I'm an artist, I'll sign up the side' or words to that effect (hi, Curtis). I quit dating things way too many years ago (lots of juried shows had 'made in the last two years' conditions which were annoying) and now that I'm involved in a retrospective project (hi, Gail), I'm suffering for it, triangulating among old installation shots of shows in the '90s to figure out when things were made. Now that I think of it, I should have used a personal numbering system, useful to me, obscure to anyone I don't tell about it, e.g. year one=first clay class (1972) and so on. Drat, good idea, 40 years too late.
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