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About alabama

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    12th thru 18th century primitive pottery (coil built) &
    16th thru 18th century colonial pottery (wheel thrown)

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  1. You may need to read and research more, and avoid modern books that require bisque firing. Primitive Pottery is a good book, articles or books about traditional pottery of the potters on the Ivory Coast, the book Traditional pottery of Papua New guinea is good, Sun Circles and Human Hands has examples of pottery. Most of the unglazed ancient pottery were used for dry storage, like beans, corn, smoked jerky, etc. The large ceramic cauldron used for cooking stayed hot pretty much 24/7 like a crock pot so food was safe to eat from it. Pit fired is a term that is a misnomer, kind of like "home cooked meals in a tv diner" , Pits for the purpose of firing pottery are a modern invention that you'll see and understand after reading those books. Good luck!
  2. I wouldn't buy anything written by McPherson, not sure about Gibbys book, but have doubts...I have Simpson's book,(It won't help) ... I like Hal Rieggers book "Primitive Pottery ". Alabama
  3. The day before this new format came to be was a really good day. I'm surprised I remembered my double secret password!
  4. I knew a girl who used to fire pipes in her campfire. She used a grey earthenware clay and hand formed pipes during the day as a demonstration, Then as she cooked her supper the pipes were preheating until they sintered then they were laid on the coals and sticks were piled over them heating them to about 1000-1100 degrees or so. She was the girl who when I saw her pile of green pine needles, offered to get some dried pine needles and leaves, but she was quick to Tell me that it was the green leaves that turned her pipes purple and red like she wanted. When I fire pipes I push a stick in the ground and suspend the pipes off the ground on the sticks while they heat up. That way there is seldom any losses.
  5. Is there an example of what you're trying to accomplish, on this cuerda seca du jour? Alabama
  6. Add water, sieve, add more water if needed...then start making test tiles and recording results! Alabama
  7. Take a wooden ruler or stick and push a brad (small nail) at the height you want, then slide the bottom of the fuller around the bottom and the nail cuts off the top! If you want to make sure the top is level, after its bone dry spread some water on a flat surface and touch the rim to the water for a sec or two... The highest point of the rim will be wet. Alabama
  8. If all the elements are the same length they should have the same resistance if you ohmed each one. If its a relay, try finding a part number on it to cross reference. Should be able to find one at an electrical supply store near Auburn. Good luck! Alabama
  9. Just received book, "Ceramics: A World Guide to Traditional Techniques by Bryan Sentence. My initial 5 minutes of looking thru it is positive! Seems like more wheel throw pottery than coiled but that's fine. Its not real in depth cause it covers a lot. I give it two opposable thumbs up! :)

  10. If you didn't know about crushing shells for pottery, you should burn the shells first...then you should be able to crumble them in your hands. As for the percentage, figure 35%-50% or by the look! . But expect the opportunity to watch it disintegrate after a while.
  11. The way I use shells the most in the associated with hand built pottery are ribs. If you can find one that is smooth and somewhat oval and the right size, it can be used as a rib. If you flip the same shell over, its a scraper. The shell tool is unlikely to wear out in your lifetime! . If you find a shell with a wavy edge it can used as a rocker stamp for texture and designs. See ya Alabama
  12. Shells are made from layers with a type of adhesive or bonding agent between the layers. The adhesive burns out above 451 degrees and the layers change to calcium hydroxide over 951 degrees. Calcium hydroxide is a powder that absorbs moisture from humidity, expands, and if there is enough crushed shells in the clay... The vessel will disintegrate with in a year! I know this is true about mussel shell... And assume sea shells are the same/similar! But then it doesn't hurt to experiment.
  13. There was in the 18th century up north a type of crock called coarse-ware and it was wheel throw with sand in it. Any sand that is the same size is probably what you're looking for. A couple of weeks ago I bought some "course sand" from the local sand and gravel company..its mixed with the larger particles a little larger than rice! Its for hand building! Do more experiments and let us know the results!!!
  14. There was a glaze heading in the www.potters.org site long ago when it existed... There was a fake ash glaze recipe there... Pick an easy ash glaze to try then experiment... Then branch out from there... Alabama
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