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About oly

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Kent, England
  • Interests
    Walking and cycling around Kent, making things, training my Labrador, Real Ale and pork scratchings appreciator, photographing trees, extending our house, cooking chilli, eating fish 'n' chips.

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  1. I've been considering to do a full time course here in the UK which is a very practical and skills-based course, it's a BA course but of course there would be students with different levels of ability. I was just thinking that (as I'd be paying for it) there might be alternative courses in other parts of the world (US, NZ, AUS, Europe?) to compare and consider. I'd really appreciate any suggestions. Another option might be some sort of internship with a pottery? The thing is, I want to be developing my own work (not wedging someone else's clay!) The main criteria, I think... 1. top, top, experienced potters/ceramicists tutors who really know their craft (including the course leader) 2. range of skilled visiting potters 3. challenging syllabus that allows the student to invent / develop their own style of work 3. chance to experience of different firing techniques 4. students would have access to their own wheel/equipment whenever needed 5. ideally a qualification at the end of it 6. any length, from one term to two years or even more 7. easy/reasonable costs to live nearby 8. other students around to give some sort of social aspect (ie not studying by oneself all the time) 9. course accepts of mature students Really appreciate any ideas/feedback
  2. Looking at recipes with tin oxide and green chrome oxide that give a raspberry red colour. Hoping someone could briefly explain how this results in red and if there's anything particular to watch out for if I experiment with this? Also, what I'm looking for is a translucent or semi-translucent, very, very pale blue that breaks reddish in oxidising kiln at cone 7/8.
  3. Yes I'm sure you're right, a combination of inexperience using plaster and the very cold damp weather – the gods were against me. Thankfully, I've got through it and know a bit more now
  4. I like this! I just holding my platters by the rims with my finger tips, which mean quite a bit of touching-in later (though it does allow for really good control of the plate through the glaze). Been thinking of making some kind of tools that would hold the rims –like spiky fingers – and that staple remover, is just the sort of thing, though I might need larger ones I think. I like the horizontal in and out method as it should give exact even coverage as every part of the bisque is in the glaze for same amount of time.
  5. This is the platter decorated I was pretty desperate to get it off the bat to get working on it!
  6. Yes you are right, I have thrown them away
  7. Yay! Stuck in a warmer place and it started to come away at last, here's some pics to show it worked
  8. I think the potter's plaster might be extra fine, I'm not sure of the difference tbh.
  9. Neil, this is what i'm wondering now, if the bat was actually dry when I started using it. The weather's a bit better now but it was very damp and cold for some time (typical England!)
  10. Never used plaster of paris before, but I made some posh plaster bats using proper potters' plaster they're and inch and a half thick and about 15" wide, threw a platter on one a week after I made it and at least a fortnight later still waiting for it to "pop off". It has been damp and cold here, I've put the whole thing into boiler cupboard for occasional hour (until plaster was nice and warm) and even on top of the kiln for a bit too. Clay is still only leather hard, about right for scraffito decorating. In desperation I did try running a wire underneath but it's too hard for that now. Just keep waiting? Don't laugh if I've done it wrong!
  11. Found a glaze I'd like to try on Alisa Clausen's flickr page and wondered if I can substitute something for the Woolastonite which I don't have? Also, this is a cone 6 recipe but it looks to me like it'd go up to cone 8/9 which is where I fire – anyone think not? , Alisa's WoDo White: 49 Nepheline Syenite 25 Dolomite 6 Wollastonite 20 Ball Clay
  12. Maths never my strong point, so a bit confused about shrinkage (I really shouldn't be) but when I threw some mugs recently I thought I'd sized them correctly wet but they ended up too big, they did not shrink enough... So, if my stoneware clay has a shrinkage rate of say 12%, if I made my pot 114mm high x 114mm wide, I'd end up with a pot approx 100mm x 100mm – is that right? Also, how much shrinkage should one expect at bisque (say 1050 degrees C) and how much between bisque and fully fired?
  13. Update - all good so far, platter is off bat, trimmed and drying with rim covered! Base is thinner than I wanted (should have used more clay) but fingers crossed it's on its way I followed Min's instructions work perfectly
  14. I've got a whisper T (design has changed a little since I got mine). It is great wheel but I primarily bought it because it is very shallow back to front and so fitted by arrow utility room/studio. It works perfectly and is extremely quiet (like virtually silent) and powerful. It has a modest amount of space for water bowls/tools. The legs on mine are adjustable height, but I still have had to pack it with wooden blocks to get it to the height I prefer (I am 6' + unlike average Japanese thrower). It is surprisingly heavy to move (a good thing mostly). The legs can be removed to turn it into a sort of bench-top wheel which I guess could useful in a teaching situation. I do know of a potter who allowed so much slip to build up regularly in the splashpan that it seeped down the drive shaft and ruined the electronics (it was mended). Like most of the Jap wheels it has silly little buttons but they work okay. The RK55, when I looked at it, did not have adjustable legs, but if like me you need to pack it up any wheel with wood or bricks then that doesn't really matter. It is lighter and easier to move and hence transport. I think it is a little bit deeper so not so good in a confined space like my studio. Yes it is belt drive but so are very many wheels (indeed before modern electronics I think most wheels used some sort of belt or pulley). I actually think this can be an advantage because it means the motor is separated from the main drive shaft. It is a quiet wheel, a little bit more noise than the Whisper but by no means a problem (even teaching I don't think it would be a problem). If I was choosing again I wouldn't hesitate to get the cute little RK55 and poss the only reason apart from space not to get it would be if you wanted to throw massive pots or needed the strongest wheel for professional use. I do find an adjustable height seat useful, to save my back. I'd also consider looking at makes Rohde and Roderveld which are both made in Europe, Germany or nearby countries I think. Keramik Kraft gave me a good deal on a kiln and very easy to deal with (they speak English etc) prob worth a look for comparing prices.
  15. Min, thanks so much this information gives me the best chance of getting this right first time which would be wonderful. I do use bat pins now but no problem, I will do as you suggest and set the bat on clay. Brilliant!

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