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About LeeU

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 07/14/1947

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  • Gender
  • Location
    New Hampshire
  • Interests
    In addition to clay, I'm interested in painting, photography, and writing. Recently retired from 30 years in behavioral health services, just getting back to enjoying and making art. I have a BFA in ceramics from VCU's School of the Arts (Virginia Commonwealth University). I recently completed setting up a small in-home studio.

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  1. New question: what is your go-to software? I know I've read peoples' feedback on some of these programs for ceramsists , but searches here and all forums produced no results. I am curious about apps/programs that help the most with (1) tracking inventory; (2) keeping a customer list w/pertinent info, and (3) a log for noting clay/glaze info for pieces to be fired (I am only familiar with Pottery Logbook). I am using Excel to list and describe items (inventory), but my cognitive issues prevent me from really using its features. If it is a good/best/simple way to go, I could pay someone to set it up for me. The context for me is anything that seems really useful for a SMALL (very small) business--not complicated databases suitable for a production business or high volume potter. I have a PC and an Android smartphone. As always, thanks in advance.
  2. are these engobes ?

    @Oldlady ... I use a commercial engobe that is just wonderful. Cone 5 Engobe (thinly applied-I did not want a deep/thick black) Leguna MS-203 Ghana Black (Moroccan Sand Series)
  3. Pit firing is a blast....but, depending on your location, you may want to think about your surroundings. I did my first pit firing (as an adult ) in my urban apartment complex's small common wooded area. I was told that was not a welcomed activity, per several neighbors. Something about the smoke and fears of fire. The pieces came out great, tho! One other thing--if you leave pit fired wares outdoors in freezing temps, they may end up cracking from the freeze/thaw stress, as pit firing will not enable the clay to withstand thermal shock.
  4. NCECA 2018 Pittsburgh

    I moved here (NH) after over 25 years of living in Richmond, so I am looking forward to the 2020 event. I have friends to stay with and if they have it at the Coliseum downtown I can just ride the bus...way cheaper than parking. Richmond is a relatively small city and real easy to take. The "winter" is usually 1 day with an inch of snow leading to empty supermarkets, but not often after February. It's 12 degrees now where I am, but almost 50 in Richmond. (And really, not THAT far from Atlanta, which truly is a tangled challenge to navigate.)
  5. It is snowing hard for 2 days in the US NE and more tomorrow.  NH people trying to get to NCECA are facing cancelled and sold out flights--bummer. I'm not going-my good news is I got my computer back.


    1. oldlady


      stay warm, try to convince NCECA organizers to make its meeting later in the year.

    2. Pres


      Oh the weather is frightful, and some are saying that 2020, Richmond Virginia will be so delightful, but I can remember driving to Ashville, NC for the Randolph conference  in March with an inch of pebbly ice on the ground. The cold or the snow is easy to deal with compared to ice. I would love to have an early Spring that year!




  6. My dad was a fairly creative person with a deep affinity for excellent craftsmanship. "Lee," he would say, "learn how to do it & do it right." Working in his shop that mantra was often accompanied by "A place for everything and everything in its place." And, "Finish what you start." He could draw, play music, sing, design, make, build and fix all kinds of things, make radios, survive in the woods, enjoy the best museums, discuss most anything (not the Vietnam war, though---stay away from that one) and yet ..... one of the worst arguments we ever had was when I was on break from the School of the Arts at VCU, having just enjoyed presentations by Cristo, hearing the music of Stephen Glass, seeing a dance performed by Twila Tharp, and hearing a talk from Andy the A-hole (who, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, said to the crowd, in all seriousness, "Where am I?" Anyway, I posited to my dad that the paintings he admired that were done on black velvet were not art. They were tacky kitsch and an appalling excuse for "art" and should not ever be called art, because "that is not art." That started WW III. I pulled out the big guns from my excellent Art History classes and some NYC critics, but he pulled out the big bazooka of creative expression...saying essentially the very same things as Viking Potter (" it didn't matter if anyone else understood the expression, what mattered was the need, the drive, compulsion, whatever to create. And by my way of thinking, every creation, utility or non, that creation should be considered art. " Ever since then I have worked to temper the intellectual approach to "is it art-what is art" with the the spiritual approach (for want of a better term) to self expression/creativity-as-art. But if anyone asks me "What is art?", or "Is it art?" all I can say is "Who the heck knows?"
  7. Gotta tell 'em goodbye. Have enough ghosts in my life without being haunted by dead clay thingees. But wait...if the piece is merely disabled, should I perhaps look upon it as one would a person with certain conditions that are not the most desirable to have? Should I be asking Self, "Is it just "differently-abled"? Does it not have a right to live? Might it not thrive in the right environment, in the right home (maybe with the in-laws)? I look over my table that is full of fired-up "almost-there"s, and ask myself "Who am I to say?" I begin to pull pieces back from the trash, I put Mr. Hammer away, I mutter justifications and rationalizations, I draft text in my head for descriptive esoteric art-speak, I begin a list of the lucky pending recipients of my precious discards. I call that The Quicksand Effect. Sinking---inevitably and pretty fast; struggling hard to get out in time...the more I struggle, the deeper I sink. Best to be avoided in the first place. Best to act like a mafia hit man from Bklyn. and just dispatch the offending problem pieces swiftly and without hesitation. No ghosts, no lingering spirits, no regrets--apply only the ruthless truth. If it don't cut the mustard, it don't cut the mustard. Well, except for that one with the ferocious looking crack and the truly delightful, awesome, gorgeous glaze. Maybe I could use it for...
  8. I am temporarily without my computer. Using the extra time to make a dent in my studio & office chores "to do" list. Not that it is of any interest or relevance to the Forums...I am just whining about cyber withdrawal. 

  9. Feeling good--encouragement is good---I made a comment, with some pics of a greenware vase, on my FB page, that I am going to do "before and after" shots of some pieces and got a bunch of positive feedback in PMs (these are people who know nothing about clay and know me or just like my posts). Made for a nice day.

    • Callie Beller Diesel, terrim8 and Roberta12 like this
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  10. Potter---can you say something more specific about how Instagram works for you as a potter? What do you do to find this community? I know almost nothing about Instagram or how to use it. Any info is appreciated.
  11. Don't forget to clean the slip off the hand blender before churning up the soup broth. Don't confuse a heat gun with a hair dryer. Don't ever indicate to a relative that you will be discarding "that piece". Don't try to carry too many pieces in a basket with a weak handle. Don't put the cat on the slowly spinning wheel if there are pots within a 10 foot radius. Don't tell your offspring she isn't getting a new iPad for her birthday like you promised because you spent too much on clay and glaze. Don't wash your greenware to remove dust.
  12. Please---do report back when you have used it for a bit!
  13. Blistering / What Causes it?

    I think it is gorgeous! I would love to get that happening (it's a style thing).
  14. Hard to imagine what you are going for....any pics? My first thought is to go mid-fire using a groggy body as a very thick/stiff slip.
  15. Started out in graphic art: worked in various print shops; box die designers; artist for a Teamsters Union; was a "spotter", using a 000 brush/ink to fill in tiny imperfections on high quality prints work for NYC museum exhibits-got to work on some famous prints by famous photogs-loved it); assistant to my advertising photographer husband (ex); occasional ceramics instructor for summer camp/middle school, and then; art school/ceramics BFA in my late 30's. Veered off into a Master 's degree for treatment of addiction w/ a 20 year career in that field, then 10 in public mental health. The latter 'bout drove me crazy (the gov't culture, not the consumers). The minute I retired I took my winnings and bought everything needed for a small home-based studio, at age 67. Medical issues render me going low and slow, like it takes for good barbeque, but I am going to launch my online store fairly soon and my work is getting better & better, if I do say so myself. Not a potter per se, and very little wheel work (at this time)-mostly hand building clay art and "sculpturally functional" home and office items. My favorite temp jobs along the way included working in the New York Public Library doing secret manual research that enabled Esso/Standard Oil to emerge as Exxon in the early '70s, and working in a big bank's ATM Operations Center, where I was introduced to my best friend ever, the computer. All that aside, my full time profession is just being me, and learning to like it.

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