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About Pres

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

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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. There are a lot of reasons that may not seem logical, some described in previous posts. One of the most common reasons, at least for me, is cooling the kiln too fast. This usually from opening too soon, or from a kiln that cools quickly because of the kiln itself or the fact that it is not a full load. At any rate, fast cooling causes either cooling dunts or crazing, and sometimes both! best, Pres
  2. Wow Marcia. good to see you posting. The piece is phenomenal! Surface depth and color, contrast and transparency all so subtle and yet defining the orb form so well. best, Pres
  3. Yeah, I use a trimjin to lift my bats, as years ago made a happy mistake and cut some of the aluminum wheel head edge. . . so bats lift easily that way. I also used to throw on plaster bats in college and love them but my present situation does not do well for the storage of the old thick bats, and I really like larger area, not tile size. best. Pres
  4. I'm using SC 630 right now. It handbuilds and throws well. Seems to work well with the glazes I had been using, and is not a yellow white, almost a cool white. best, Pres
  5. Whenever I can't seem to center, I return to basics Mastering the clay on the wheel with the cone up and down until I am satisfied of the centering. Throwing a lot of mugs and jars lately so I really understand what you are going through. I have also found that I am more comfortable throwing larger amounts than the smaller balls. One of the reasons all the lids and spoons are thrown off the hump. best, Pres
  6. I have just completed a few mugs for an order, and not a single one is like the other when you consider form, surface, handle position, and glazed effect. Each is a labor of love that requires the potter to make judgments every step of the way, each leading to a different form and a different fit to the hand, and hopefully a different owner. Love the work. best, Pres
  7. Okay, Okay, I did forget the cut off wire, and the chamois even though I often use a the web between fingers, and a japanese style throwing rib for bellying out the mug and jar forms. best, Pres
  8. There was not a recent QotW question in the question pool, so I will pose one that I have been thinking of lately. What would your basic tool set be for handbuilding, or throwing? I have been throwing a lot lately, simple things, mugs and honey jars. I find that I use only a short list of tools: water bucket, sponge, needle tool, a bamboo spatula blade(handle cut off) with a pointed edge with a notch for foot establishment, and a pair of calipers for the jars. This short list is supplemented by a bunch of odd stamps and textured surfaces for pressed in pre-shaping decoration. A rather short list I believe, but all I really need to do to throw @1# mugs or honey jars. For handbuilding, there is another short list: slab sticks, rolling pin, fettling knife, a bevel wire( used to do this with fettling knife angled on table edge), and some magic water with tooth brushes and regular bristle brushes and a round wooden rib to work edges. Again, I would supplement this with the texture tools, and often decorate before final stretching of the slabs. So I will post the same question to you: What would your basic tool set be for handbuilding, or throwing? best, Pres
  9. Whenever I am doing anything on the wheel, I have found that bracing the two hands in some way. . . touching of knuckle against an edge of the other hand, thumbs braced together, or even wrists close in proximity gives me more awareness of depth and place. At the same time, the use of this bracing is triangular so gives more stability. I used to teach whee throwing in HS, and this was one of the lessons most students would comment on as being very helpful. best, Pres
  10. Does the name "Robert Vicker" mean anything to you?

  11. Hi folks, with all the discussion in some threads about peeps and kiln firing,I thought I might pass on a little trick with putting peep plugs in and out. . . solid ones especially as they can get dang hot! One of the best tools I have found for removing and replacing peep plugs most all of us have. . . dip tongs! They grip those solid plugs really well, and keep the heat away from you. Many of you probably don't use peeps often, but if calibrating a kiln setter or other such it is definitely something to consider. best, Pres
  12. As Mark says, 200F.!. . . . 500F.? NO, crazing is more prevalent there. best, Pres
  13. Peeps will allow more control of the kiln, a view of element glow, helps to tell if all are firing, in some cases even with a full kiln the color is different between shelves if an element . Most peeps are tough to see all going on when using cones why I place mine perpendicular to the cone pack to fall to either side. Color for most of us is about as accurate as a cone pack, and will let you know when the pack should start to fall. I often check the peeps in different places to help me gauge that my switches are set right for the amount of rise I want. As far as ventilating, probably a hold over from the days of unvented kilns when wax resist and other materials would be burned out in the kiln, best to have plenty of areas for the gasses to be expelled. best, Pres
  14. Your sitter should have a model number on the outside, that would assist you, at the same time the thickness of the brick helps determine the length of sitter. best, Pres
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