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About Sputty

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  1. Things of Beauty Growing: British studio pottery, an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (UK) - Tuesday 20 March 2018 to Sunday 17 June 2018 Anyone able to get to Cambridge would be daft to miss this! Mentioned in an interesting article in The Guardian: Top of the pots: the smashing rise of ceramics
  2. Glaze or clay effect?!

    The 'sodium silicate/china clay dust/stretching' technique seems to be a wheel-based thing, relying on the form being nice and soft and stretchy. I would have thought that Aire's pots are hand-built - does anyone use these exact techniques on hand-built pots? How?
  3. Copied Images

    About 10 minutes, even with my low-level photoshop-fu. (Well, Gimp-fu). I imagine someone who knew what they were doing would do a much better job in the same time. I suspect that's why the professional image hawkers (Getty et al) slap a watermark across the whole image, crossing as many textures and colour gradients as possible. The job would be significantly harder then, although presumably not impossible for an adept. I'm in two minds about the whole thing. By the time you get to 'Getty' levels of watermarking, the effect is rather off-putting. As an analogy, I came across a stall at a pottery fair a few years ago, with some nice looking tea bowls, etc. In front of every second pot was a sign, in both French and English, telling me that photographing the display was forbidden. The signs were effectively more prominent than the pottery. It seemed very aggressive to me, and certainly didn't encourage a second look at the pots.
  4. Glaze or clay effect?!

    Aire is actually Estonian, settled in France. Is your Estonian any better than your French? I joke. Actually, chances are she has some English too - in my experience, most Eastern Europeans are multi-lingual, and very often have English. Given that her email address is scattered across the four winds of the interwebs, I'm sure she wouldn't mind. Most of us would be only too happy to be asked about our work, I think. As an aside, but relevant, I once came across a rather well-known (British) ceramicist at a potters' fair in Lyon (France) - the largest and best known potters' fair in the country. I approached him, and started a conversation about his work - bold, enamelled stuff - and asked a few questions about his techniques. His blunt, unfriendly response? 'Buy one, and I'll tell you.' His hostility was such that I've never forgotten it, and never miss an opportunity to mention it. But I find this to be vanishingly rare. Almost every potter I've met has been only too happy to talk for hours about their work, their background, their materials, and their techniques. In general, pottery (certainly in Europe) strikes me as a very collaborative, 'open source' sort of affair, and long may that last.
  5. Glaze or clay effect?!

    Different layers/strata/shells/admixtures of clay. Here's a clue: More exactly than that, you'd have to ask her - aireallikmets@wanadoo.fr
  6. are these engobes ?

    Not in French France, it isn't! Anyway, I promised to post no more on the subject, and I won't.
  7. Treadle/banding wheel?

    £50 is roughly equivalent to $70. I have bad memories of cheap kick-wheels, variants of which are installed in classrooms throughout the UK's schools especially to put children off learning to throw.
  8. Treadle/banding wheel?

    Hi - it does look a bit improbable, doesn't it? I gather you are in the UK - but this is not a model of wheel I've ever seen before. The wheel-head looks suspiciously deep and heavy considering that this type of wheel (stand-up kick-wheel) was produced for the cheaper end of the market - I wonder if in fact it was intended to be used as a banding wheel, in an industrial setting, rather than a throwing wheel in a craft pottery setting. Just a guess. Instinct tells me you'd do better to save up a bit more and get something you won't have to struggle with - in general, this type of wheel rapidly becomes more of a pain than a gain.
  9. Bisque Temp Problems

    Well, what they say is: I've stored cones in all sorts of conditions for lengthy periods of time, including damp and sub-zero (not intentionally, of course). I've never had a problem, but that doesn't preclude others from having one, I suppose! I imagine if you submerged a cone in a bucket of water for a month, you'd be right to suspect it of strange future behaviour (but mebbe not - I might try it). And just as a musing - cones are made from similar materials to glazes. Presumably those materials will sinter in the same way as a glaze would, before melting, and I can see that this might transform the cone into a friable body prior to melting and deformation. That would imply that the kiln had yet to reach temperature for that cone, probably by some distance. That's just a wild guess - I've no information to suggest that cone materials do in fact behave in that way. But I still don't understand how the sitter tripped if the cone was still un-bent. What happened there? I'd be tempted to look at the triggering mechanism and reset everything according to manufacturers instructions before relying on it too much. Is there a reason you didn't use the timer in parallel? It's there as a safety back-up in case the sitter throws a wobbly.
  10. Bisque Temp Problems

    Orton says not. Orton says not. I am happy to be disabused, but I have never experienced Orton cones going bad, under any circumstances. Look elsewhere.
  11. are these engobes ?

    Almost. An engobe is a particular type of slip. All engobes are slips, but not all slips are engobes! The usual term for a generic slip in French is barbotine. This applies to slips used for decoration (trailing, etc.), and also to slips used for casting (barbotine de coulage). The meaning of the word engobe resides in its purpose, not it's constitution - see my post above. It would seem that the word has practically lost its real meaning in the US, where spurious sub-definitions have fuzzed the substance of the word into a state of confusion. Ironically, the more 'meanings' you ascribe to a word, the less meaningful it becomes. And that is my final posting on the subject, I'm sure people will be pleased to know!
  12. are these engobes ?

    Not such a bad idea! I'm all for collaborative working - it certainly shouldn't be beyond the wit of a collective drawn from forum members to develop an inclusive, detailed, referenced glossary over time. A continual work in progress, with entries commonly agreed. I'm away for a week from today, possibly without interweb connectivity - but I expect to see the job finished when I return...
  13. are these engobes ?

    Does the word 'engobe' have a different meaning in the US? From a European perspective, the glossary: a ) entirely misses the point (nothing about the key purpose of an engobe), and b ) states something irrelevant and not necessarily definitive (re. shrinkage and application) Just to copy'n'paste something I wrote on another thread: Glossaries are all well and good, but they surely need to be accurate, at least to the point of acknowledging that definitions might vary according to where in the world you pot. Having had a quick glance through the glossary, there do seem to be other instances. The difference between 'Majolica' and 'Maiolica', for instance, is muddled and confusing, and not entirely correct from a (historical) European perspective (which is squarely where the discussion should be founded in that particular case). I'm not being overly critical - I have every respect for Vince Pitelka, from whose book the majority of the glossary was borrowed (although interestingly not the dubious engobe definition) - but if a point is a technical one, it should be correctly made, no? So two semi-cheers for the glossary, but with caveats attached.
  14. Keraflex Procelain Sheets

    You might like to contact the manufacturer - they'll know their vendors: Kerafol And here's a handy guide to what you can achieve with the stuff: Keraflex - Brochure - (PDF)
  15. You might just get away with attaching a paper clay addition to biscuit, and re-firing. Whether the join would be entirely trustworthy, even if it survived the firing intact, I wouldn't like to say.

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