Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Pres

Contact Methods

  • MSN
  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • 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.

Recent Profile Visitors

407,152 profile views
  1. 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
  2. PQotW #41 is posted for your perusal. Kiln builders should have an easy time of it!

  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
    2. Pres


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



  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Fuddling Cups

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, Sputty, it is just that I have used one from the last century(so consider it modern) by a potter that had 3 cups, all three were joined. However there were only holes leading into one. In other words, the left cup had a hole into the lower cup, and the right cup had a hole into the lower cup. However, there were no holes between the right cup and the left cup. Another way of confusing the issue when we were discussing this he told me was to change the size of the hole when working so that the liquid out of one cup would not drain as quickly as the other. Lastly, I have read that in a Fuddling Mug that had more than 3 chambers that they could be designed with two sides to drink from, or that the the furthest chamber would have only one hole draining it into a chamber next. The larger the Fuddling Mug became the harder it was to drink out of it without . . . dribbling. best, Pres
  12. Fuddling Cups

    Actually, from what I understand about fuddling mugs, you almost always have to drink from one particular mug otherwise spilling. It is all derived from either a serial or parallel connection of the pieces in the set.
  13. CPB, There are kilns large enough out there to fire this, but I don't think you want to buy one. about 4-6K. My solution to your problem would be to locate a local college/university that has a ceramics program. Most of the larger schools would have gas fired kilns. Contact with the Art or Ceramics department would possibly get you in the door, but you would have to convince the professor in charge of the ceramics program to allow it to be fired in a load. You should have available with you when you meet with anyone: good pictures, clay type with manufacturer, and the drying time of the piece so far. It could probably be bisqued with a standard load, but I doubt that they would be firing a cone 6 glaze load in the larger kilns, but then I may be wrong as cone 6 is very popular for ceramics right now . best, Pres
  14. In the world of glazes, there are a lot of variables that cause a glaze to fail, or at least not to meet your expectations. One of these that comes to mind is the pink range. These pink glazes often depend on a delicate balance between tin oxide and chromium oxide. All too often I have seen the glaze turn out white instead of pink. is the white a bad glaze. . . no, just not what is expected. If the pot does not require the pink, then should you reject the pot, because the glaze is not quite right? I don't think so, as long as the glaze is sufficient in other aspects such as surface, durability and enhancement of form. Other glazes I have seen that have problems are those that are applied over too high a bisque, as in the one jar/vase I posted the other day. The pot had been fired to cone 6 accidentally. I had not expectations with the glazing of it, just needed to fill a spot in the kiln. As it turned out, I often return to look as it sits in the hallway. It is nice. I hope this clarifies my statement.
  15. Chris posted Campbell posted a question from a recent strand in the forums. . . You know you are not meant to be a potter if ...... As a teacher, I have heard this so many times quested in so many ways. Usually starting with some sort of excuse. Those excuses vary in so many different ways. There would be the students that couldn't stand to get their hands dirty,or the girls who would not risk a broken finger nail,or the student that complained they weren't strong enough to move the clay in one way or another. There were those that making something out of clay. . . such an old process.. . was beneath them, or it wasn't art, and they were artists. There were those that were to smart, wanted a more difficult problem to solve, or those that building something was to big of a problem to solve. In the end, and all too often, once they allowed themselves to experience the clay, they would fall in love with it. Those that were to weak, got stronger. Those that didn't like getting dirty found their hands felt better after a class with wash up and hand cream(I always kept a bottle by the sink most years). Others cut their nails because it messed up their pots to have them. Most were not meant to be potters, but they went on to appreciate pottery when at shows or other events where pottery was present. I would see them at craft fairs, and many times they were carrying a pot in a bag that they wanted me to see. You really aren't meant to be a potter when you allow your expectations to get in the way of good results. If you can't bring yourself to accept a form, glaze, or other attribute of a pot even though it is a good pot, then you should not be a potter. If making something has to be so perfect that it never makes it to the kiln, you should not be a potter. On the other end of the coin, if you cannot throw out a poorly made piece, at any stage of its creation, then you should not be a potter. Those are the aspects that I think makes good potter. The ability to discern quality against expectation, and the determination to make the best you can within your skill levels. best, Pres

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.