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    • Jennifer Harnetty

      Moderators needed!   12/08/2017

      Ceramic Arts Network is looking for two new forum moderators for the Clay and Glaze Chemistry and Equipment Use and Repair sections of the Ceramic Arts Network Community Forum. We are looking for somebody who is an active participant (i.e. somebody who participates on a daily basis, or near daily) on the forum. Moderators must be willing to monitor the forum on a daily basis to remove spam, make sure members are adhering to the Forum Terms of Use, and make sure posts are in the appropriate categories. In addition to moderating their primary sections, Moderators must work as a team with other moderators to monitor the areas of the forum that do not have dedicated moderators (Educational Approaches and Resources, Aesthetic Approaches and Philosophy, etc.). Moderators must have a solid understanding of the area of the forum they are going to moderate (i.e. the Clay and Glaze Chemistry moderator must be somebody who mixes, tests, and has a decent understanding of materials). Moderators must be diplomatic communicators, be receptive to others’ ideas, and be able to see things from multiple perspectives. This is a volunteer position that comes with an honorary annual ICAN Gold membership. If you are interested, please send an email outlining your experience and qualifications to jharnetty@ceramics.org.


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About Pres

  • Rank
    Retired Art Teacher
  • Birthday 08/20/1949

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  • MSN
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  • Gender
  • Location
    Central, PA
  • Interests
    Camping, kayaking, family, travel, Art in general. I have a small studio in my garage. Two electric kilns, two wheels, wedging table etc. I am primarily interested in cone 6 Ox. but like to see what is going on at all ranges. Read about ceramics voraciously and love the feel of the clay and throwing. Have to admit that my greatest joy is in the making, not the glazing. That said I do mix my own glazes, some of my own formulas, some borrowed. Retired from teaching art, in 2009 after 36 years, taught ceramics 34 of those years.

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  1. Marcia asked just lately in the Question pool. . . where has your journey in clay taken you; either geographically, aesthetically, philosophically, product wise? Otherwise to quote an ancient philosopher and I think it was a Dante, but I may be wrong. he said literature can be interpreted : literally, metaphorically, allegorically, or metaphysically. so your answer can be in the previously mentioned categories. This question for me has a lot of connotations. Hmmmm where to start. . . I retired in 2009, teaching art, and much of that Ceramics, helped to mold my skills, and yet limit them. I became better at most. . . doing, throwing, handbuilding, glazing, firing, and much more that I had to demonstrate. If it had to be done in the studio at the HS, I became better at it. I learned so much by demonstrating, because one of my strongest beliefs about teaching art was that you had to be able to do, and do and do. Whether you taught drawing, painting, ceramics, metalcraft, printmaking, weaving or what ever. If you didn't have a well rounded background in all of this, it limited the media you would present to the students. Imagine teaching HS students just drawing, colored pencils, watercolor, and cut paper. . . . if I were a kid I would be like. . . YECH! So the first thing that Ceramics did, was anchor me in one spot teaching, and working to improve my skills. However, after the first 10 years of covering the being able to demonstrate, I decided to start my own studio, sell, do shows and be more in the open. I started doing shows, and joined the Blair County Guild of Craftsmen, was president for a few years, did the Penn State Summer Arts festival, even demonstrated one year. I found after about 7 steady years of that that I could not sustain the pace of teaching all day in the Spring, making pots at night, and doing it all over for weeks on end to get ready for Summer shows. So I cut back, but kept some of the yearly orders and such. After retirement, I have traveled a bit, and Ceramics has caused a few detours. We found a Chamber of Commerce trip to China, price for my wife and I was really reasonable. . . Shanghai and Beijing. Then I saw that there was an extra side trip you could take to pay more to Xian, to see the Terra Cotta warriors> > > SOLD!, Lately it has been trips to NCECA, something I could never take the time for before. I have met so many people, seen so many pots, demonstrations of great artists, and met some of those that I have heard about for years. Truly exciting. I guess I don't live and breath ceramics like many of you, but way down deep there is a place where something throbs or beats, and whenever I come near clay it is screaming at me to make something, anything, just do it. Life is better because of it being there for me, and my wife, she knows if I'm grumpy. . . "go out to the shop, and stop moping around". So where have you gone with clay? best, Pres
  2. PQotW: Week 37

    Time was good with Dad, didn't get a deer, but then it wasn't about that. Hoping to be able to do the same next year, and some after. Brought his motor home back after repair work; he won't be going out til Spring as he has decided not to go to Florida this year. best, Pres
  3. PQotW: Week 37

    To all those who don't know Marcia. . . why read the book when you could have written the book, and many more. She is one of the most articulate, knowledgeable, energetic individuals I know. At the same time she is so gracious, and personable that you know you just want to spend hours talking to her. If you don't know her, show up at NCECA and meet her. . . .just allow some time for me to be with her also. best, Pres
  4. Glazes That Break

    I usually had multiple glaze test tiles, pots, whiskey glasses, and small platters in those early years. Most of the time they moved me ahead with the glazes, but being able to have an a priori understanding of the kiln, not just knowledge, took much more time, and patience. It would have been much easier back then to fire with a setter, but then cool downs, would not have been as controlled. Cones only get you so far, pyrometers, I used, but they burned out also. In the end, color chart with matching temps, allowed notation that was repeatable. Today, I hardly ever chart. If you print a color chart out. . . make certain monitor is accurate, and chart is accurate. . . you can chart time/color/duration. This will allow for accurate firing until darkness falls, or less dramatically when heat/light color is not longer inhabiting the kiln. best, Pres
  5. Glazes That Break

    Of course a kiln without a setter, and color temp checking will help keep you in the ball park. Did so for years and still do at home here. However, it does take practice and you can lose sleep, besides being not so happy with a few loads in the early years. . . yes years. best, Pres
  6. Glazes That Break

    I used fiber way back, there was a kiln lid kit made with fiber and a metal frame that attached to the kiln lid. It lasted for several years on the HS kiln. When I decided I needed to make some changes in my own kiln, I opted for a thicker lid. This has helped my cool down time quite a bit. Only problem is, as my sectional often gets a 4th section added lifting on and off was harder, at least until I added a second handle onto the lid to make it an easy two handed lift. Someday, maybe I 'll set up a pulley/cable lift for the lid. best, Pres
  7. PQotW: Week 37

    I specifically worded the question so as to aid the participant. Sometimes I do try to make things a bit easier. best, Pres
  8. PQothW#37 is ready for your viewing/participation.




  9. Week 37 I realize that this book may be out of date with the newer technologies, but it may be a place spur further discussion with those of you who have first person experience building kilns. In the 20th century there were two great debates about refractories for kilns. The first of these involved the use of hard brick vs. ______________________. The second of these involved the use of insulating firebrick vs.________________________. ceramic fiber, hard brick ceramic fiber, cast insulation insulating firebrick, ceramic fiber cast insulation, hard brick Two considerations that affect the shape of the kiln are: (1) the size and shape of the ware to be fired, and (2) ___________________________. available studio space shelf dimensions kiln pad size door size There are basically two types of burners: Inspirator type, which relies on the gas pressure to entrain and mix the air as it emerges from the orifice; ______________type that relieds on a blower or forced air system to entrain the gas. Respirator Instigator Aspirator Orator There are two basic wall-construction systems utilizing ceramic fiber: (1) Layered or wallpaper systems, and (2) ___________________ systems. Edge Cast block Bound fiberfax This weeks questions come from The Energy-Efficient Potter, Regis C. Brodie, c 1982, Watson Guptill Publications, NY NY Note from Pres: There was a day when I had thought that I would be building a fuel burning kiln. As I had always been into researching a decision before jumping into it, I read several books that I bought and borrowed on kiln construction. As I live in a small town with little in the way of surrounding land, and close to what was downtown. It never happened, the dream changed. However, I still have a number of kiln building books.
  10. Chilly posted a question in the Question of the Week pool that was rather simple, but I have had to think really hard about it: The "accidental" perfect pot. Should have been this tall/wide, ended up different and was a success. About 12 years ago, I had been throwing some large 20# pots that were covered jars. One of these I had pulled the walls up, and was doing pretty well with the shaping, when I found an air bubble in the shoulder area caused a fault line. This I scratched out patched a bit, and then finished the shoulder/neck area I do most of my shaping with dry fingers, or ribs especially when the form is tall or wide. This particular jar though did not respond well in the area where the patch was, it had a noticeable scar. after some thought, and looking at the curved line of the scar, I decided to do something drastic. I started cutting leaf shaped lines through the surface beginning with the scar. I left areas attached so that I could reach inside and expand the leaf edges outward. Then some of the leaves I cut the points and lifted them, and others I cut almost completely out and overlapped over the body of the pot. . . controlling this area in a border around the pot. The effect was not functional, as nothing could really be stored well, but it was sculptural. I then finished the lid of the pot with a hand molded branch, old apple and the head of a snake poking out the end of the branch. . . Called the pot "Remnants of the Garden" . . . that Summer it took an honorable mention in our local Arts festival show. Worked out well. Pictures in early post on my blog site. best, Pres
  11. Why did my plates split ?

    Oh, one other thing that helps on plates is compression, compression, etc. This is important as the surface will have fewer weak spots in the span if you compress well. I have a very large slightly curved rib that I use to compress my plates. best, Pres
  12. Why did my plates split ?

    As Neil says 112 is extremely forgiving. That said, I do know that when I first started doing patens(communion plates), I had trouble. In the beginning I used stiffer clay, and tried to throw thin, but it was difficult with the stiffness. So I tried using the clay from the outside portions of the bag, cut off from the center. As I let my clay sit all year round it freezes, and thaws causing the water to flow to the outside of the block. If I cut this off and wedge it well. . .very well, it is great for patens. I throw them with about 3/8 inch thickness on plywood bats, and let them set until the rims are leather hard, cut them from the bat then flip with a bat on top to remove the bottom. This allows me to let the bottoms stiffen up for trimming which I like to do just before complete leather hard. . . carefully. The trimmed foot ring is about 1/4 inch deep, and final plate before firing 1/4, with center a tad thicker. In the end, when using the 112 0% loss on patens out of probably 200. best, Pres
  13. PQotW: Week 36

    Only ONE winner so far, and I am not telling although they know who they are! Sorry this was so tough. best, Pres
  14. PQotW: Week 36

    Sorry folks. . . no one has gotten 100% at this point. best, Pres
  15. Lepidolite

    Dear community, I am reluctant to say much at times and yet we moderators do often discuss issues among ourselves, and often solve our differences in private. If your remember may previous post here expressing my concern in the following manner: I also hope that all of you involved in such a negative manner will understand the harvest of your actions. I wrote that statement after reading the posts, and realizing that John had handed in his resignation effective as of Friday night. John has informed me that he doubts he will be participating in the forum in the future. I would hope that none of this had happened, but it has, and now as a community we have to find the will to continue on. I will be mourning the loss of one of our greatest assets for a long long time. sadly, Pres

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