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Everything posted by D.M.Ernst

  1. I'd like to inform the group that potter/author Richard Zakin has passed away. 

    Information at 



    1. Denice


      Thank you for informing us,  he was my inspiration to work in Cone 6 clay and glazes.   After I read his first book in the early 70's I felt that Cone 6 oxidation was the future of pottery.     Denice

    2. Mark C.

      Mark C.

      I just read his obit-thanks for the info

    3. Marcia Selsor

      Marcia Selsor

      Thank you. I shared it with others. he contributed quite a lot to ceramic knowledge through his books.

      Thanks for letting us know.




  2. D.M.Ernst

    Pottery Stools, what do you use?

    My wheel is raised on 2'x4' boards. I sit on an old toilet with a cushion. Have storage available for stamps and small tools on the inside. D
  3. D.M.Ernst


    If it looks as if it has been treated well, I would go for it. Perhaps you can negotiate with the seller for a lower price? What's the price of a new one these days? I love my Brent C. D
  4. D.M.Ernst


    I'm a hobby potter, not a professional. I've had my Brent C since 1976 and have never had a problem with it (knock wood). My Brent A, which I bought in the mid-80s, needed some pedal adjustment which I was able to do with online instructions. I've never regretted spending the $$ for a Brent. I bought the Brent A so that I could take it to shows for demonstrations. D
  5. I took pottery classes on kick wheels during two of my pregnancies and all went well. My adult children are doing just fine. General safety guidelines should be sufficient. D
  6. D.M.Ernst

    Help with drying

    Instead of trimming on Thursday, why not make another pot? Then next Tuesday you can trim #1, and make #3. Thursday you can trim #2 etc. Given the extra time, the first pot should be ready to trim.
  7. After graduating college with a degree in secondary education, I got married to a man who became a professor in Cleveland, OH. I became a stay-at-home mom and doting wife. During that time, I worked as chef, home decorator, family financial expert, travel planner, yard care worker, delivery service, art gallery administrator, newsletter editor, and school volunteer for 22 years In addition to my other responsibilities, I started taking pottery classes one morning a week. This was just the beginning of my new career. I bought a wheel and kiln and started working from home while the kids were in school. A women’s group opened an art gallery which I helped manage for 18 years. This gallery provided an outlet for my work and an excuse to make more pots. When our youngest child was in high school, my volunteer work included helping the art teacher with her ceramics classes. When our son graduated, I wasn’t sure what I would do with my time. Conveniently, a friend asked me if I could teach pottery to residents of a retirement home. I was pretty sure I could, and decided to give it a try. It went well. Other facilities heard about my classes and at one time I was teaching five classes at four different retirement communities. I was actually making money being a teacher putting my college education to good use (finally), I’ve been at the first facility for 27 years and now teach three classes per week at two different homes. I started my career in pottery when I was 50 years old and now am as old as some of my students. I can’t imagine retiring, but when I do, I’ll just slip in to work one day with my suitcase and no one will notice I’ve moved in.
  8. You might try throwing two short cylinders of the same diameter and joining them to make the height you need.
  9. D.M.Ernst

    910 Test

    I am in awe. Amazing results. Thanks for sharing.
  10. It may not be what you wanted, but I think it's pretty cool as it is. Doesn't solve your problem, but the pot is OK as is. Donna
  11. D.M.Ernst

    Help my slabs are cracking up

    I learn so much from this forum. Thanks to all of you for sharing your expertise and experience. I've been working with clay since 1967 and still learn so much from so many of you. Thank you again. Donna
  12. D.M.Ernst

    Seeing Cones

    thanks Steve for the feedback on the eclipse glasses. Now we know. D
  13. D.M.Ernst

    Seeing Cones

    I"ve been wondering if we could use our eclipse glasses. Don't know, just wondering.
  14. I suggest you look into the Empty bowls format. It has been successful for me and my students.
  15. D.M.Ernst

    Kiln Melted Everything @ Cone 03

    My heart breaks for you. I feel like crying just looking at your pictures. Hang tough.
  16. D.M.Ernst

    Bisque Firing

    I suggest you go to the library and get a couple of books. This is not a stove--set and forget. Also suggest you learn about firing range of your clay and the glazes. Learn the difference between ^05 and ^5. Enjoy the journey.
  17. Chris has it right. Things go wrong. Move on. Learn from your mistakes and try not to make them again.
  18. D.M.Ernst

    Bulk Corks For Jars

    I've been purchasing corks from National Artcraft for years. Highly recommend them. www.nationalartcraft.com
  19. Looks like your clay is too dry/stiff. When you wedge it add some softer clay to your ball and mix it thoroughly. In my experience the clay should yield to gentle pressure from your fingers before you start to center. With all the water/slip you have in your splash pan, collect some of that, let it dry a bit and add it to the next ball of clay. Also, for beginners, I always recommend just enough clay that your hands can encircle it. Smaller than that and larger than that is more difficult. Keep at it, but soften your clay a bit. Donna
  20. I listen to talk radio or story tapes. I don't like silence in the studio or our home.
  21. D.M.Ernst

    Bisque Load-Stuff It Full

    Two days? It would take me two months to glaze all that. DME
  22. D.M.Ernst

    How Do You Make A Bird Bath?

    Actually, the hump in the middle might be for the better. The little birds use the middle, the bigger birds use the edges. I put a slab into a circular plastic sled. When it's leather hard I invert it and add a deep foot which fits into the 24" high base that I also make. I do cover the edges of the bowl while the center drys. I don;t have raccoon problems because of the deep foot, but sometimes the deer knock it over, they also need a drink now and again. I realize sleds might not be available in New Mexico. Sometimes I make my bowl with the imprint of a large rhubarb leaf and those have never distorted.
  23. D.M.Ernst

    Can Unglazed Pieces Touch In Cone 6 Firing?

    There are no stupid questions. What is different about porcelain that makes it stick together when fired to ^6? Can it touch during the bisque? Would unglazed stoneware stick together if fired to ^6? I was very surprised to learn this. Thank you again for your experience and expertise.
  24. D.M.Ernst

    Looking For Suggestions

    Twenty six years ago I started teaching pottery classes in a retirement community. I was greeted at the door to the art room by a "little old gray-haired lady." She said, Are you D? I said yes, She said, "I"m J and I cannot see and I cannot hear, and I'm going to be your student." I nearly fainted! She had macular degeneration which causes all kinds of vision problems. She taught me much about how to deal with such vision issues and with seniors in general. She did learn to throw on the potter's wheel, a kick wheel at that, and we both learned ways to get important instructions to her in a way she could use. J had her limitations, but she taught me so much about life, living, and teaching just because we were both willing to "take a chance". Because she told me right away what her limitations were, I was able to adapt my lessons to fit her needs. Today I am still using the lessons taught to me by my first (retirement home) student.
  25. D.M.Ernst

    Can Anyone Id This Wheel?

    Not sure of the Brand, but remember one from the early 70s. It had no speed control, just on and off. Hated it.

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