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Pres

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About Pres

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

Contact Methods

  • MSN
    bisquefire06@hotmail.com
  • Website URL
    http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • 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. Oh the days of working your way through college, the twists and turns to take. I started out working three jobs: press man and layout/negative cleanup for a Penny Saver, farm hand in the mornings, soda ######## at a local drive in theater at night. Then I was a silo construction "ground pounder" carrying 75# concrete staves and 125# concrete door frames to build farm silos. Worked as a vegetable man for the local Weis Market for one semester where I was chased around once by a Banana Spider! From there I was a fabricator of parts for an aircraft factory even carried a union card for the AFL-CIO. Then until I got married I worked for a bank at nights running liability ledgers and doing trouble shooting for ledger areas or when a branch could not prove out. After getting married I worked at a small local chain convenience store. Until I landed a job teaching at a HS near where my wife got her job as a teacher. Ever since, Summer and part time work involved teaching or Ceramics. I worked Summer camps teaching Ceramics, taught tech classes at night for a VoTech: Photoshop, Corel Draw, Illustrator, Gimp. Taught advanced degree courses for local college in tech use in the classroom. Watercolor classes for a community college. We came to realize after my son was born that I had ADHD, but who knew back then. One of the reasons I think I get along with computers. . . they help organize and focus me. Also one of the reasons I can work surrounded by chaos, desk, shop etc. Yeah, most of us go through a lot of jobs before we "fit in", but that is part of the process. How do you know what you like unless you try it? best, Pres
  2. Ideal studio setup

    Any electric outlets in a studio should be GFCI, or controlled by a GFCI breaker. Best to be safe than possibly . . . fried or frizzed! best, Pres
  3. Ideal studio setup

    A few thoughts about your spaces: Kiln room, ventilated; glazing area, separated, table heights so that glazes on dollies may be stored underneath along with large bulk containers, storage for smaller oxide etc containers above waist height; drying area shelving on outside of kiln wall works, or near windows so that you can get ventilation if needed; Wet area, a plastic sheet enclosed shelving unit works well-easy to make with slotted two by 8's where ware boards can slide right into rack, can be attached to floor and ceiling, or to walls; Handbuilding area: Tables with varied heights for different sizes, adjustable stools, Tool rack storage for ease of inventory, boxes/drawers for stamps etc, Oiled wood tops easy to clean, less dust than canvas/cloth, storage rack for ware boards; Wheel area: storage rack for bats, tool bucket/tool storage area, close proximity to wet racks, Just some thoughts, best, Pres
  4. walker pug mill oil change process

    Make certain that you are using gear oil-major problem if you don't. As far as the in out plug, they are not very large. I used a squirt bottle to fill. best of luck, as this machine will last forever if taken good care of. I had one at the HS I taught at for many years. If you want to see more discussions on the Walker, and pug mills do a search in the home page search window. best, Pres
  5. Why not underfire clay

    Most places that do Ceramics for public firing will fill their kilns with poured pottery. At least in the day when pouring/casting was big. Most of this was done with a ^06 slip that was fine. However, when someone brought something in to fire, they would just throw it in with the other pieces assuming that it was 06. One of the reasons when I taught HS that I did not allow anything in the shop that was not our clay. As we fired to ^6, not ^06, I was not about to risk damage to kiln or shelves just to please someone. This policy usually caused some negative feed back, and name calling of me, but the equipment did not get damaged. best, Pres
  6. PQotW #41 is posted for your perusal. Kiln builders should have an easy time of it!

  7. Week 41 A kiln design that contains the walls and the arch in one curve is the________________ kiln. Sprung arch Bound arch Catenary arch Barrel arch Domes and Crowns differ from sprung arches in that an arch describes a portion of a cylinder, while a dome or crown describes a portion of a _____________. parabola sphere hyperbola cone One Principle of kiln design the author states is that the chimney is approximately one-fourth to one-fifth of the ____________________ diameter. chamber damper door total inlet A _______________________ kiln is an example of a _________________ type kiln. Down-draft anagama cross-draft updraft This weeks Pottery Quiz of the Week questions come from: The Kiln Book, second edition, Frederick L. Olsen, c. 1983, Chilton Book Company/Radnor, PA Note from Pres: In the 80's as a new art teacher, new to ceramics, I considered building my own kiln. Alas, it did not happen, but I read a lot of books on kiln building, firing, and repairs. Some of which I have used over the years, some not. However, for anyone starting with kiln construction this book is a gem. There may be newer techniques out there today, but he does cover Fiber construction, alternative fuels, and multi chambered kilns.
  8. My situation now is retired. I used to make pots to have some extra cash for vacations, and a little fun. It has come to the point where pottery is my drug, and my fix is self sustaining with a little extra for fun. My wife says I can't live without it, and she kicks me into the shop whenever I get to much like an old goat. Oh well, on and on. best, Pres
  9. Chad, from Up in Smoke Pottery state a new question for us recently: For those who don't solely support themselves from pottery, what is your full / part time profession? If you reached the point self supporting in pottery, what jobs did you do along the way to fill the gaps? I know that there are those of you who do make a living at pottery, and some of you are doing quite well in my opinion. I am not in that group, and have never been. My Bachelors and Masters degrees are in Art Education. It one of the best decisions of my life, that really came because I was interested in a girl, who ended up in a college that had education degrees. I had originally been interested in Industrial Design, but very few schools near my area back then and few I could afford. So I studied art education, got a job teaching, and was very happy. However, I found in the later years in undergrad school a love for Ceramics, particularly the potters wheel. I also realized early on that to be a good teacher of art, I needed broad studio experiences knowing that a failed demonstration would often mean the loss of class confidence in the teacher. I studied Drawing, Painting, Watercolor, Metalcraft(Jewelry), Printmaking, Sculpture, and some Weaving. When doing grad work I chose to degree at a school that believed as I did: studio over pedagogy. I started teaching the Ceramics courses the second year at the HS, and did for 36 years. My main job was as an Art teacher. and over the years I acquired my own wheel(Amaco motorized kick), an L&L kiln, and a garage to use to make pots. It was not until the 90's that I started to sell pieces eventually doing 7 years at Penn State festival. . . just over the hill. However, as I was working late at night in the Spring, and most Summer long, when an alternative form of supplementary income came up. . . teaching college classes in computer technology for advance degree education students, I jumped at it. I still make pots, sell some to groups, and have taken orders for pottery from companies on the east coast. I hope to continue with pottery until I can no longer. . . one way or the other. Oh, yeah, the girl, we just celebrated our 45 anniversary on a Southern Caribbean cruise. best, Pres
  10. Tower computer is up and running with all software installed. Now maybe I can catch up on things, nice to be back to a large screen for using word processor,OCR, and browser all at once.

     

    1. Mark C.

      Mark C.

      Tower of Power

    2. Pres

      Pres

      Yeah it is i7 8700K processor 16gig of RAM and a new Mobo to handle it all.

       

       

  11. That is why I would build a "sand box" to throw in. It would help control the trimmings and splashings. You could even add some partial wall areas if you want more control, or put it in a corner diagonally facing outward or inward. Myself I would prefer outward as you could see what is going on. Carrying pottery will be a pain if you have to go through the house. best, Pres
  12. You don't indicate anything about the entrance/exit options here. If you have a pull down ladder to enter. . . I would nix it. If it is a narrow stair with a turn, I would nix it. However if your stairs are of at least a normal width or wider I would say you should be good to go. I would consider ware boards to carry pots down to the next level, probably best when leather hard. I would consider a skylight for lighting during the day, and several LED hanging panels to keep from having a lot of shadows. Looks like you have enough sockets, You may want to build yourself a throwing area with some way to catch the trimmings etc and keep from having clay tracked everywhere. How about water? Roof top reservoir may work well, with a spigot and bucket with an outside drain to the garden. I would also consider a ware rack somewhere. As far as the kiln firing downstairs make certain it is well vented either with a hood or power downdraft set up. Finally you come to some sort of tool rack/storage area for your bats, tools and other items you may need for throwing along with an hangers for aprons and towels. These are things I would be thinking about if redoing my area with two levels, and should help you out some. best, Pres
  13. Glazing interior of cruets

    AS others have said, glaze the interiors of anything functional. Also be careful of clays. Some clay bodies have a range that may be from cone 4-10. Don't think that because it has that range that it is vitrified at ^6. Not anywhere near. I learned the lesson the hard way. All too often the long range clay body will end up soaking up moisture causing problems with inside and outside glaze as in shivering, crazing and even mold. Best to opt for a tight range clay body and stick to it. best, Pres
  14. The technique of pounding/slapping the clay to center is an old technique used in Asia. It usually is done in concert with the fist pounding of the clay while slow wheel rotation. Yes this is fully centered, and if done properly there are very few lumps. The technique is usually followed up with a very stable pull that really does not move a lot of clay, but smooths the walls of the knuckle bumps on the inside or outside or even the finger marks o the outside. It is an ambitious technique to learn, but I have used it often when throwing 20# jars or vases. It looks like it takes a lot of energy, but really does not take as much as you might think. best, Pres
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