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Benhim

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Benhim last won the day on March 22 2012

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About Benhim

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday November 27

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    Male
  • Location
    Battle Ground Washington
  1. pots cracking months later

    When I test a new glaze I put it through the ringer. I scratch at the tests with forks and knives and pottery shards which I know will leave a mark in most glazes to check glaze durability. Once I've soaked it in water, thrown it in the freezer, microwave and oven, then dropped it on the floor and eventually broken it, I know what my customers can expect to receive. If the pots don't seem to hold up, to normal wear and tear like in a recent case I don't use the glaze for functional ware. I've got a beautiful glaze which is completely safe, however it's a bit soft when wearing on it with flatware. I go beyond what's considered normal use so that when a customer has a problem I know how to handle it. Generally it's much easier and cheaper to help a disgruntled customer by replacing ware that's been damaged or broken. The difficult part is figuring out whether you've got a real problem in your work or not.
  2. It takes about 10,000 hours to master anything. Once one spends this amount of time doing something they should be able to press the outer limits of the field. However I believe that you can call yourself a potter if you are currently practicing pottery, whether you are a master or a novice. When you make your first real investment in the tools and materials to make pots and then use those tools to turn the materials into pottery, you're a potter.
  3. I find it an odd notion that people would choose to ignore all those who have come before them. I've have found much insight from previous potter's works, in all aspects of the ceramics process. Notably form and function, as well as a wealth of knowledge about glaze chemistry from the thousand years or so I've been able to research of pottery history through books, images, web pages, and knowledge passed down through word of mouth. This has dramatically changed not only my work, but my process and my mindset toward ceramics as a whole. I have lived during one of the best times in Ceramic art history. The industrial revolution has led to manufacturing processes that make my job as a ceramic artist possible with out having a dozen or so men working in my studio preparing all the various parts of my process. I can be a one man band in the field of ceramics which is very liberating. Once we understand how far we've come, and where we are, it's easier to see where we're going. Even if where we choose to be is back mixing our own clay and glaze from hand dug materials in our local area like the potters used to have to do.
  4. warping platters

    1) If you have a wheel my advice is to make slabs on the wheel. It's very quick using soft clay to slab it out on a wheel. The slabbed product has better aligned particles that will resist warping much better than anything rolled with a rolling device of any kind. 2) Make a plaster bisque of anything that's already glazed if you like it that much. My best slump or hump molds are made with bisque, but if you're not able or just have a shape you like plaster cement like hydrostone works pretty well. I dislike No. 1 Pottery Plaster as it's too soft for this type of mold. 3) Use porous molds to allow quicker setting and more even drying. Uneven drying will cause warping as the outside dries the surface in contact can't dry. Then when the wetter surface later does dry it pulls on the already drier surface causing warping. You can't really combat this except to not do it in the first place.
  5. I usually tool my pots in the green state. Any rough spots can be knocked off with another tool and an emery cloth at bone dry. The emery cloth is dusty, but I've never been able to get the same results with out it.
  6. Thrown and altered pots of all shapes and sizes, made with mid-range white stoneware and porcelain fired in electric oxidation atmosphere.
  7. Successfully switched from cone 10 heavy reduction to cone 6 oxidation last year. Built a new studio in the garage of a rental. Got a small palette of glazes going that I like, which fit my work both physically and aesthetically.
  8. I draw and take notes in small spiral bound art pads that fit in my pocket. They're really thick, but one can pry the spirals open and pull out half of the paper which makes it fit easily in my back pocket.
  9. Cone 6 white stoneware pottery with runny matte micro-crystalline glazes. I've seen a lot of bulbous forms, in all sizes from mugs to large vases. That seems like "the style" of the times to me anyway.
  10. Right now the only way I'd actually support myself with my ceramics is if I threw an athletic supporter. Maybe one of these days.
  11. The reason a stain is safer in the clay than in a glaze is that the clay will help to encapsulate any colorant. I do agree with you encapsulated or not, I'm not a fan of cadmium.
  12. Seeing witness cones

    Wouldn't that change the chemistry of the cone?
  13. Electric Kiln books

    I'd like to read a book or two about building them. If you can find a title or two of a good book you can recommend I'd appreciate it.
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