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About CMCook52

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  • Birthday 08/04/1949

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  • Location
    Columbia, TN
  • Interests
    I am a retired General Contractor. I have built houses and commercial building for 38 years. I have taught myself basket weaving, stained glass, wood turning, furniture making, wood carving and water coloring. I love to hunt, fish, golf, and doing absolutely nothing.
  1. CMCook52

    How Often To Clean Your Kiln?

    Not sure if what I do is normal, but I vac every other bisque firing and every time I glaze fire. I am just a old mud lover and I would like to make sure my kiln out lives me so I don't take any chances with my kiln! For the record I fire bisque twice a month and glaze fire about the same.
  2. I started trying work in clay three years ago. I taught myself to carve wood, make stained glass lamps, weave chair bottoms, and do anything with wood. How hard could pottery be!!!!! WHAT A GROSS ASSUMPTION THAT WAS!!! Long story short, I made three hundred doggie bowls - no two the same. Finally on a trip to a town close by, we happened upon a local potter who had a huge studio and show room. We went in and found out that he gave lessons to beginners, intermediates and advanced potters. I signed up for beginners and have never regretted it. I was taught how to move clay all around and up and down and what makes a pot proportionally correct. Thank you Studio S pottery and Mr. Lewis Snyder for your help. I no longer make doggie bowls, but if I wanted to I could make them the right way and everyone just alike!!!!
  3. CMCook52

    Who Gives Their Own Work As Gifts?

    This is the first year that I have had enough nerve to give my work as gifts. My daughter-in-laws have asked every year for the last three years for casseroles - this was the year!!! My skill is still evolving so I hope the girls will like them. I guess what really changed my mind was when one of my daughter-in-laws had taken some of my rejects from the shop and had them on her kitchen table - I nearly had a heart attack!! Anyway, I hope all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!!
  4. TJR Thanks for the reply. I had put some moist clay on it and it seemed to absorb some of the water so I thought it would be nice for wedging. Mike Cook
  5. I could not find anything on the forum about soap stone tops. I have the opportunity to get a 2x4 slab of soap stone and I thought it would make a great table top for wedging. Any comments would be appreciated. Mike Cook
  6. CM; See my post above. The bats I use all the time are made from particle board"sink holes", which I made myself in my high school wodshop. Been using them for 30 years. Just started using the masonite bats this week. Lighter, smaller profile on the table, and less space to store. I varisished my bats originally with Marine varnish. I never wash them. Just scrape them. TJR. Sorry TJR I read the post but was not sure what arborite was. I had been using tempered Masonite bats for several years too, but I like the weight of the sink cut outs better. I think I still have 30 1/4" Masonite bats that I still use occasionally. Mike
  7. I guess I am the odd man out on bats. I get my bats from a local cabinet shop!!! What I mean is I get the sink cut outs from laminate counter tops. The guys are happy to give them to me because they don't have to carry them to the trash. I get three bats out of each cut out. I rough out the squares, find the exact center point, bore a small hole on the center point, and cut them out on my bandsaw with a circle jig. Then on the center line I bore my holes for the bat pins. Then I round over the top and bottom edges and sand smooth. Lastly I apply three coats of poly to seal. I have used these for two years and they are doing great. After I remove them from the wheel, I wipe them down really good - top and bottom. One note, the tops are 3/4" thick so they are a little heavy but they do hold up well. So far I have gotten 45 bats out of the cut outs the shop has given me and they tell me if I want more let them know. I realize everyone doesn't have the ability to make their own bats, I just wanted everyone to know there are other ways to get bats rather than buying. It is a funny thing, when you retire you learn to become very resourceful in a lot of ways!!!!! Regards Mike
  8. CMCook52

    Clay Rolled On A Slab Roller

    Fia I have the Shimpo 30" machine and am very happy with it. It has the features of the "professional" machines but at a more attractive price. I am a serious home potter who loves to make pottery for the enjoyment it gives me - I give most of my pottery to family and friends and don't sell what I make. I am sure the Shimpo is not as heavily made as the Baileys or Northstar units but it has served me well for the pieces that I make. Clay-King is where I purchased my machine and at the time they had free shipping for the Shimpo slab roller Mike
  9. CMCook52

    Clay Rolled On A Slab Roller

    Again, I would like to thank everyone for all your wisdom on this subject. This is a very informative site and all of you are so willing to share with an inexperience person. I always check this site nearly every day - THANKS!!!!
  10. CMCook52

    Clay Rolled On A Slab Roller

    I knew that you guys would impart valuable information. I really appreciate all the replies - it always helps to talk to someone who has has the experience. Norm thank you very much for the link - it has so much info that I will be reading and trying to understand. I learn so much every time I visit the forum----------------THANKS!!!! Mike
  11. I just purchased a new Shimpo slab roller and the book From A Slab of Clay. I am concerned about whether or not to rotate or flip the slab after each press. Mr. Baird says that some people say it doesn't make a difference whether you flip or rotate the clay. I have read the section on how to use the slab roller and know what he says and I have no reason or experience to say otherwise. The people here are all very smart so I was wondering what comments you guys have regarding flipping or not. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and comments. One comment, I have been throwing for about one year so I am not the brightest light bulb in the pack ----------- yet, but am anxious to learn all I can. Mike Cook

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