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Sputty

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  1. That's true this side of the pond also, at least in France. Up to a couple of years ago, I was in the habit of sending occasional bars of chocolate to my daughter-in-law in the UK, simply as a way of saying 'Hi, thinking of you!' (we have great chocolate here in France, not so great in the UK). The rates subsequently became so high that it's just not an option any more - it would take all the fun out of it. And you can't email chocolate. The thought of sending anything with any weight - like pottery - no longer enters my head. I simply won't do it.
  2. Sputty

    cadmium red

    Much of the rest of the world allows lead glazes, both for 'artisanal' and industrial use. Certainly all of Europe. There are limits to be observed, and testing protocols to be followed. These limits and protocols are under constant revision - see this source I gave above - FCM MS WG Group Ceramic - for details of current proposals and the issues surrounding legislation like this. Yep.
  3. Sputty

    cadmium red

    Somebody's thesis, lots of tech: Studies of Leaching of Metals from Food Ceramics
  4. Sputty

    cadmium red

    I can only give information as far as the EU is concerned, and that may differ from your South African abode. However, general advice is on Page 32 of this randomly selected publication: Food contact materials – metals and alloys Proposed future EU limits are given on Page 21/22 here: FCM MS WG Group Ceramic I'm not aware of any hysteria in either document, but it could be hiding behind the small print. Both documents are worth reading in full, assuming a general interest in such things.
  5. Sputty

    What are your favourite business tools?

    The cultivation of an active appreciation of poverty. The maturing cultivation of an active appreciation of poverty. (If I was born with any business sense, it was washed away with my first bath.)
  6. Plenty of oil-spot recipes on Glazy. Montserrat uses a porcelain body, and fires high - 1300 deg C. I believe part of the trick in firing oil-spot is the firing schedule - a slow firing is favoured, apparently, in oxidation. And the glaze is generally overloaded with iron. There, my knowledge runs out. Mr Britt wrote Oil Spot Glazes, which might help a little, too.
  7. Quite. Robert Fournier, who I referenced above, always said he became involved in pottery as a way of showing his profound distaste for an ever more commercialised existence. I was thrilled to discover this; my own entry into the field was led by much the same (small 'p') politics, although in a different (back to the earth, hippy-ish) era. I've always considered pottery (and other crafts) a socio-political exercise, with spiritual undertones, if that doesn't sound way too pompous (<-- I hope it doesn't - it's a way of reflecting the potential value of an activity, not necessarily the intrinsic value of the individual pursuing it.) Somewhere on another thread, I'm having difficulty articulating my belief that the superficial and the showy has taken precedence over the deeply-felt. It's all part of the same examination, I think.
  8. Traditionally a cow's rib was used, although Button seems to have gone all modern here.
  9. Sputty

    Bisque temp for raku

    Just put on hold for now. It'll be back at some point.
  10. Sputty

    Bisque temp for raku

    Damn. Is that what happened? I thought it was hereditary... Well, quite. But the tradition withered and died, to be replaced by superficiality. Says me, anyway...
  11. Indeed! I'm a great admirer of old country pottery and potters, particularly the British and the French. There's a few minutes of film of the old Verwood Pottery (Dorset, UK) somewhere, which is equally telling of both technique and characters. Fabulous stuff. And they all use pot gauges (desperately tries to pretend that this thread is still on topic...).
  12. When Button retired in the mid-60s, he had already spent nearly 20 years running the pottery on his own, unable to find anyone willing to become an apprentice. That neatly coincides with the end of the second World War, when returning servicemen were looking for 'better' things - I suppose - than slapping a ton of clay around every day for pennies. Before the war, there were a dozen or so working at Soil Hill, Button's workshop.
  13. Sputty

    Effects of iron chromate

    Be aware that the stuff is highly toxic/carcinogenic. But it makes good, solid blacks if used with Cobalt in a glaze.
  14. Isaac Button showing the value of a throwing gauge (about 20 seconds in): Out of interest, I believe that Mr Button's (temporary) assistant here is Robert Fournier, who made the film. Founder of the Craft Potters Association, excellent potter, author (Building Electric Kilns, Dictionary of Pottery Form, Practical Pottery, British Pottery Marks, plus several novels), pacifist, film-maker (he made studio films of one of the Leachs - forget which one - and Rosemary Wren).
  15. Sputty

    HELP - how does this kiln work

    Nice to see another ancient kiln still in use. They were clearly built to last. In terms of gauging glaze maturity, Orton cones really are the way to go. Research them and learn how to use them - you'll understand far more of what is going on than just relying on a glorified thermometer.
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