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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. Pres

    Rutile Blue Glazes

    Van Gilder's rutile green is a transparent that is used over a raft of other base glazes that he uses. I moved a glaze into the mix from MC^6 glazes, variegated blue. The two of these together create a rich green that has blue green and spring green with dark green when I use spraying the rutile green over the variegated blue. I also use Cream Rust and a base glaze of white that uses rutile. These on SC Hazelnut. Without the base white the hazelnut is just too dark for these glazes. I am going to be using this combination with SC 630 white stoneware I will be working with this week. Preliminary glaze tests show some interesting color shifts for the cream rust, brighter green reactions with the variegated blue/rutile green, and a more matt appearance to the variegated blue alone. It also looks like the liner will be great on the inside of pieces, not quite the butter yellow I have now. best, Pres
  2. Pres

    Stamping Pottery

    Stamping is something that has to have some planning most of the time. Much of this has to depend on when to stamp, and then where to stamp. Timing is important. If you are just interested in stamping on decoration and are working with wheel thrown pottery then you may stamp before shaping. In this case the stamp needs to be wet to press into the wet surface, otherwise it will stick. After your stamping, shape from the inside. If you are stamping after the pot is made, or before a handbuilt pot is assembled, do it in the cheese hard stage and make certain to have some support to counter the pressure of the stamp. On a work board, or with a rounded object on the inside of a rounded form to press against, thus not misshaping the pot. Most of the others here have talked about the layout and planning. Often I set up a top and bottom line on a border that I inset the clay on either side to make a band around the pot to stamp into. Think carefully when doing this because this band will form a major design element of the form. Too high, and it emphasizes the neck, too low the foot. In the center it cuts the form in half. best, Pres
  3. This will definitely affect the any online merchants, and cause all sorts of confusion in the beginning, and in the long run the online commerce will see a decline. Shoppers will still shop for items they need, or sizes and styles they cannot find otherwise, but it will be different. best, Pres
  4. Pres

    cadmium red

    Another thing that I learned long ago, and have seen it done otherwise. . . .mix you glazes wet! Saw a grad student one time gong nuts with a paint blender . . . dry, no mask. She said it was ok since it was outside! I always add enough water to just cover the mix, then use the drill mixer slowly to start, add more water, strain twice. best, Pres
  5. Pres

    cadmium red

    As Mark has said, potter's choice about what to use or not. Myself, I have decided against anything in the shop that will have severe consequences for my own health. I know that my shop has a major hazard in dust, from silica. I do what I can, to keep that from getting too bad. At the same time I keep away from barium, lead, uranium, some other materials. Yes I use cobalt, chromium, and copper as coloring agents, and keep them in enclosed containers in a closed wall cabinet, carefully weighing them when mixing materials. Some may find interesting that in the 70's ran a Geiger counter through the Jewelry & Metal-craft studio and found several pounds of copper enameling enamels that were kicking the scale of the meter off the chart. These were commercially purchased in our regular purchase orders from reputable companies. Then the big materials safety in the studios hit, and there were major changes by manufacturers in what they used for coloring enamels, and what I got in the way of commercial glazes. Oversight is important at times, and guidelines do help us to make better decisions. best, Pres
  6. The Walker looks like it is in new shape with the stainless interior and blades. Blades are all in a alignment, on the walls and the screw. At the same time, I can't see if the knee kick safety is there, or the overhead safety. This pug mill in in pristine condition if they are. I used to run one all day long, never stopped when I was teaching, load a little in, walk around to the kids and then put some more in. Side output dropped into a bucket. Newer mills will do more, deair, and even extrude, but for work horse the Walker is a legend. best, Pres
  7. I used lusters in the HS years ago, and always fired them after school. I also made certain anyone using them was using gloves. These things can be extremely toxic, especially when firing. In the long run due to their not being as permanent as all would have liked, we stopped using them. best, Pres
  8. Lee U recently stated: sparked by my intention to make a clay toy for an event, how about a question about making clay toys? And for those who have made them, pics please and some comments about their construction. I don't know as I have ever made anything that would be considered to be a clay toy, but then I have to think about it a bit, because I actually have made a few things that would be considered toys while I was teaching. The first of these was small musical instruments, whistles, ocarinas and flutes. I started doing the whistles for my Ceramics classes as a smaller pinch pot project. I used a paper back book that described the process, and taught myself until I was able to not fail. I made 20 sets of tools to make them from chop sticks(first time I had used them for pottery tools), and started it as a project with my Ceramics 1's. Then I showed them to a Music teacher that taught Theory and Harmony(very tough music writing course). She thought her students would enjoy it at the end of the year, and there after every year we made them, experimenting over the years with decorated whistles, ocarinas and flutes. Had fun. Earlier, than this though, I had a student that brought in an old antique top point. The top had been made of ceramic, and had a metal point. Over the years the top had worn and cracked. The student wondered if we could make one to replace it. I cheated, as we used the wheel like lathe with the clay forming the outside, then digging out the inside when leather hard with the top held in a rubber sleeve on the GG. Fired, glazed, glaze fired, and then epoxy puttied the metal point into the top. Kid through it on the composite floor in the hallway, after wrapping the string. Did fine. I saw him 10 years later, and he said his grandpa could still use it, and they would throw it at times when they got together. The kid was a Lt in the army at the time. best, Pres
  9. Sad to hear that, they were good wheels.
  10. I believe you may find as Neil says that many of the parts are standard. If I remember correctly, the HP and MP wheel that I had at the HS used auto V belts. The HP wheel was built quite well, as was the MP even if under powered for me. Not much should wear out on them. best, Pres
  11. Pres

    Engobe for decorative use on bisque

    Liz, There is a term for underglaze, where the glaze is applied over a decorating/coloring material that has been applied before glazing. Then there is a technique of applying the decorating/coloring material over the glaze known in most circles as in-glaze. Both methods will achieve similar, but dissimilar results. Also, when doing in-glaze the decorating/coloring material us usually thinner as if too thick on the surface of the glaze will be rough after firing. Experimentation on test pieces will always allow you to understand your processes and allow you to adjust your materials for the type of technique you are doing. best, Pres
  12. Crunch time! best of luck, I can remember when Penn State was a few weeks away and 14hr days were the norm! best, Pres
  13. Filled an Amaco wedging table years in the past, 3 inch side board with double wire cutters mounted to side and center posts. Lasted for 20 years when we refilled it. posts were the only area where plaster cracked as they got knocked from student abuse. I would say 3" is nominal with a good base. best, Pres
  14. Pres

    Making an Urn, Help

    I adapt a clay that I have that I know matches the shrinkage rates of the other clays I use. So I start by slaking some white stoneware down, then add 5-10% zircopax blender it till smooth, and still sieve it through a course screen. I try to never apply my slip to bone dry clay, and if need to pre-soak the piece that I am adding the slip to. Most times I apply at cheese to leather hard, then if engraving I wait til slip is near leather hard. I use a narrow wedge shaped wooden or metal tool to engrave with. If lettering by hand practice lots before hand. If lettering with stamps do at cheese hard, support the surface underneath. I will also stamp, and then use a firm sponge roller to apply slip over the stamped areas, then use scraping to shape boarders.
  15. Pres

    Making an Urn, Help

    Whenever using clay around a form a barrier of newsprint or wrapping paper works well. if using clay round a cylindrical form it is helpful to roll the form gently on a flat surface after forming to stretch the clay very slightly as this will make removal of the form a bit easier. I would remove the form just before leather hard, sometimes called cheese hard as it allows you to smooth inside joins easier, and if needed the form may be reinserted to re-round the piece. Never leave the form in beyond leather hard. If using clay over a plaster or bisque dome, always remove before leather hard as the shrinkage will crack the clay. Remember that porous forms really do not need a paper liner if dry. best, Pres

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