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  1. I've been kicking around of making a bonsai pot for a year or two. I don't have experience but Iv e done some research , found a place to fire it, and a ceramic store in town for supplies. I'm not skilled in pottery but I am pretty good with tools so I decided to make a wooden version the pot, use it to make a plaster of Paris mold, and pour a casting slip I prepare into it. My question is about the clay. The store has armadillo clays 2 or 3 are non absorbent enough at cone 6. And a few other types and brands. They have a cone 5 porcelain (which can be fired to cone 6) , something called buffalo wallow with and without grog. They also have another brand of porcelain VPP (very plastic porcelain). If I am just turning them into slip is one harder to use than the other? Is one more or less prone to breaking in the kiln? If it matters the pot would be big , like 18 inches by 15 by 5. The amount of plaster to make the mold, the amount of clay ill need, cost to fire the pot and glaze will make for an expensive project. Id prefer to pick something that I'm likely to succeed with. I like the idea of smooth vitreous porcelain but if its not going to work I can live with the other
  2. New Want To Make A Pot

    The convention, not really a rule, is that conifers like cedrus go in unglazed pots, but I do intend to glaze mine. But do you always fire twice if you don't glaze it? Yes a bonsai pot definitely needs feet. I think that's both aesthetic and practical. A bonsai needs to drain perfectly. And the bottom being flush with the surface it's resting on could slow that down I guess. For wall thickness I was thinking of half inch thick walls. I'll endeavor to keep it all consistent. Thanks again guys. However it turns out I'll post pictures of my attempts. One last thing, do yall put a mark on your pots that says you did it? Bonsai people call them chops and it's desirable because it indicates you have a handmade pot not a mass produced one.
  3. New Want To Make A Pot

    Wow thank you all again for the advice. Yall are great. I hope it is ok if I follow up. First sounds like the consensus is the wheel will be more challenging than I thought. Is it regarded as more difficult than cutting slabs of clay and fusing them together? I've seen That done in videos looks doable to me. Next about the pottery shops kiln, is the conventional practice just to fire it at one particular cone so they can put a bunch of stuff in there at same time? If so I will definitely wait to buy the clay I don't want to get 50 lbs of porcelain clay that needs to be fired to 10 or 11 if they are going to be reluctant or unwilling to do it. And finally can someone tell me generally about the the thickness of clay - how it affects the difficulty or success in firing jt? I contemplated very thick walls, so it would look kinda heavy and masculine. Is that harder? Easier? More likely to break in kiln? And thanks again glad I found this forum and a helpful bunch of potters.
  4. New Want To Make A Pot

    Thanks for the responses. Once you said about the cost of doing it yourself is probably true. I think I will take the class.
  5. Hello, never done pottery or ceramics before. I have been into bonsai for a couple of years and some of my trees are getting decent and I want a nice pot for one. It is a big tree for bonsai, a true cedar, big trunk and needs a big pot. Purchasing a suitable pot would have to be mail order from one of several little boutique type potters and pretty expensive. Admittedly they are very nice. But I wonder if I could make one, there is a studio down the street (I'm in San Antonio texas) they offer classes on wheel throwing and other topics. Before you say im crazy I don't expect to be as good as sara rayner or some other potter that has been doing it for decades ... but I bought a book the craft of art and clay, and I've researched a little so I'm going to give it a shot. Even if it's not great it will be mine and I can say I grew that tree and I made that pot. But I have a couple (probably dumb) questions. First, even though my climate is subtropical I want it freeze proof. I think that means 100 percent vitreous. Am I correct in thinking that means I have to do stoneware or porcelain fired to cone 10 or higher? Next the pot like I said will be pretty big I am thinking very simple round with straight walls but diameter after firing will be 17 to 19 inches. If I use porcelain or high fire stoneware is it safe to assume it will even fit in the their kiln? Will they let me over fire to say cone 11? Can most kilns get that hot? Their website says you can pay for studio time hourly if you have demonstrated skill. Does that mean they'll want me to take their classes? And finally any other tips or comments? I've looked at some videos online, maybe I am being naive but I think it looks pretty easy to make a round pot on a wheel. Anyway thanks for the time and for any help or advice you can give an aspiring bonsai potter.

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