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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. Callie Diesel asked in the question pool: I wonder what kind of craft show survival tips everyone has, and which bits of craft show advice sounded good, but really didn't work for you. I'd love to see this be less of a beginner's guide (I think we all know to put out an email signup sheet and lay out your booth before the event), and more of an intermediate class. Great question for those of us that have done shows more than one season. I figure you are not longer a newbie after one season. At the same time everyone can learn something from some of the old timers that have done shows for years. . . I'm thinking of one in Northern CA, but won't name names. I don't have a whole lot of input, but I will say. . . take time to design your booth to be foldable, sturdy, and aesthetic with out using a bunch of table cloths to be presentable. Too many times, I have seen the wind blow these up to mess up the booth or worse yet slip off. When doing shows indoors not as much a problem, and a few set off cloths will establish focal points. Another item is the use of lighting, especially in indoor shows it helps to have some spots on things to highlight. Today's LED spots are fantastic and can be set up with rail systems attached to parts of you booth for excellent lighting. More later. . . . My best, Pres
  2. Bisquefired two large pickling crocks last night.  Largest was 25#, thicker walls than usual, but wanted it to hold up to abuse, and the rim is a water catch to cut the oxygen contamination to the interior. Glazing later in the week as Med emergency with wife(broken shoulder).

    1. Min


      Ouch! Best wishes for a speedy recovery to your wife.

  3. Christmas Ornaments

    Bakers spray works well also. best, Pres
  4. Direct drive as opposed to powered kick? I found that after several years of working on a powered kick moving over to a pulley drive wheel as most are today was not much of a difference once you got used to them. Where as the powered kick went up to speed slowly, the pulley drive went to speed almost instantaneously. This was a bit of a problem the first time I was on one, as I was in grad school at Penn State, had just put a fresh bucket of water on the wheel, had a nice 15# ball of clay to throw, and stepped on the foot pedal-Whooops ball of clay hit the bucket of water, all of it landed on David Dontigny's shoes. Oh well, at least he didn't come around too often after that. I have two wheels, the Brent CXC, and an old Amaco motorized kick. The CXC gets used all the time, the kick hardly at all. I really don't see myself throwing large unless in sections on the kick, but easily on the CXC. Brent did have a true direct drive used a transaxle set up years ago. Only direct drive I know of now is the RK Whisper, but then I really like a larger wheel head, and a separate foot pedal. best, Pres
  5. The truth about crazing

    My grandmother used to have an old pitcher that she never would allow to be used with milk, only water. When I asked why she said that the fresh cows milk would always sour very quickly in it, but she did not know why. Years later, I realized that there was a spider web of crazing all over the interior even though there seemed to be little crazing on the outside. I surmise that is why milk soured so quick, especially fresh dairy milk on a farm. best, Pres
  6. Christmas Ornaments

    Years ago, I did sets of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" used cookie cutters on thin 1/4" slabs, with very detailed cookie cutter set that I only had to add a hanging hole. These were then stained, fired, and a bright red bow with hanger was added to finish them. Went over real well as gifts to the secretarial staff at the HS I taught at. best, Pres
  7. For me, centering is to coax the clay into a shape that is equidistant from the rotational center of the wheel head. As for coning, it is a wheel throwing wedging technique that helps to align platelets and remove air bubbles from the clay. The technique of raising the clay then pushing it down achieves this, and at the same time the gradual movement of the form outward from the center helps to center the clay. Many texts have called this coning "Mastering" as a preliminary step to wedging. For the beginner, being able to cone up and down, is a skill process as it helps to understand the amount of pressure, water lubrication and coordination needed to get the clay to move for the potter. All of this is in my understanding, and I am sure others may elucidate much better than I. best, Pres
  8. As to why I work with clay, I really haven't found anything that appeals to me as so tactile, malleable, intuitively creative and willing to bend to my will. . . as long as I learn to work with it. best, Pres
  9. Marcia and I . .. well we're in a rather exclusive club! best, Pres
  10. I am always interested in knowing that my short tidbits have been helpful, and the like was a way of knowing that. As for winning the day. . . who cares, just an ego trip. best, Pres
  11. Marcia and I don't have one. Anyone else that you notice, let us know. Admin is looking into this anomaly. Hard to know as the user will not see if they have a like button. best, Pres
  12. When I said I worked in front of the students. . . I usually started a handbuilt pot with a demonstration. This demo would be about slab, coil, extrusion or combinations. However, these beginning pieces would take more than a day demo to complete well. Parts of the demo might be about decorating slabs, another demo might be about assembling slabs, another might be about following a scaled drawing. So in the end I killed a lot of birds with that stone. The students also saw a piece from beginning to end, and this often meant for me to work at a table right along with the students even though I was not demo. . ing. These pieces often got given to the district, auctioned off, or some gift to a visiting dignitary... . .yeah, Brownie points. best, Pres
  13. Marcia, I don't have a Like button for some reason. . . . . . best, Pres
  14. Yes, great examples make for great teaching, and Marcia your Majolica rig has been in pictures before here, has it not? Either that or I saw a similar rig somewhere else. Either way, if I had not seen it before, I would have wondered like Ben. On teaching, I was taught in my undergrad school not to do work in front of students, as that was grandstanding. However, as I seasoned, I realized that doing work in front of students even though not as a demonstration did many things for my teaching, an example of problem solving, completion of a process from a to z, reputation in that I did not just teach. Others also, but in the end more positives than negative. Especially if I never was so involved I didn't do job 1-Teach. best, Pres
  15. PQotW  29 is up and ready for your perusal! Enjoy 


    Finally posted Answer key to PQotW 27


    PS.. Found another box of 20 books in the attic!