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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. I own a CXC by brent, but when I was in college I worked on a C and on a B at Penn State. As others have said, the B is a bit under powered, but I was able to use it well as long as I did not try to rush a pot. . . .especially a big one. It takes a little longer to center, and open up, but as in most cases once those power intensive steps are done you can pull and shape, trim and finish pretty well. A few tips when centering especially on a lower powered wheel: spiral wedge your clay and place the cone up. slap the clay into the center first while wheel is turning slowly with both hands. Use water liberally to center, and open up. Don't muscle the clay to center, let the movement of the wheel do most of the work, but treat it firmly. After opening up, cut back on the water to keep the clay from getting too soft in the pulling and shaping stages. All in all, these help with the use of any wheel, but will be especially useful with a B. best of luck, Pres
  2. Hi Kristina, Welcome to the forums, we hope you can find information here to help you along your ceramic journeys. Just recently we had a strand that had a new studio/workshop, with some responses from other members. You will find it here: Another tip for you when searching for information on the forum. Do it from the home screen with the search (magnifying glass icon) at the top right of the screen. As often things are posted to so many different places within the overall forum. best of luck with your new studio, best, Pres
  3. Pres

    What's Your Work Music?

    Hmm, I have hearing aids, and usually use a TV for company in the studio. It is turned up to 99, and I still really can't hear it all that well, but it is the combination of sight and sound that keeps me company, and the fact that most of the shows are old friends. However, recently, I got new hearing aids with custom ear pieces, and they are rechargeable, so that means they are pretty much dust free (the old ones would get built up dust on inside filters). So maybe I'll listen to some music in the future, I can always turn to the tv music channels. best, Pres
  4. Pres

    DIY spray booth with waterfall

    My browser still shows them oldlady. . . best, Pres
  5. Holly, I really don't know what to tell you other than in my opinion you have 3 options: Mount the pieces on a larger board using some sort of adhesive, then mix plaster with white glue, to fill the cracks. Then use some fingernail files to sand smooth, and try very hard to repaint the cracked areas matching up the color and blending to the existing. Place the piece together on a board build a heavy card board fence around it, maybe even masonite, and cover with a thin coat of petroleum jelly, then pour plaster to create a mold. Recast the piece and then repaint to match. Toss it. Both of the first two options are going to take a lot of time, effort and patience on your part even assuming that you have some artistic talent involved. Good luck. best, Pres
  6. Moving this to Equipment Use and Repair as that seems to be more appropriate for this strand. best, Pres
  7. There has a lot of discussion of late about seconds, and recently yappystudent asked:Q: Where does one draw the line between deciding what is a second and what is OK to represent your name? For that matter, what is a second -perhaps worthy of selling out the back room so to speak albeit with your logo stamped into it forever, and what is junk waiting for the hammer or negative examples shelf? Exemplary work probably speaks for itself, but what about the gray areas below that? A set of rules for these decisions would be helpful. Oh the temptations to sell cheap, and make money at the expense of reputation. . . all of us have had it at one time or other. Mine came once when I had a perfectly sound paten by looks, really great glaze job, nicely trimmed nice preglaze decoration pressed into the pot when wet. I do a last check on all of my pots. . the ring test. I rap all of them with a light wooden dowel or something else easy on the pot. If it rings it is OK, if it has a double tone or otherwise, it has a hairline crack at sometimes impossible to see. In this case I decided to hold on to it until after I had met with the buyer. He was buying 20 Communion sets for a religious organization. We were talking about quality, and how to tell some things when I brought out the plate and showed him the ring test with the handle of a hammer. He was flabbergasted. . . especially when I used the hammer to break the pot. All too often, the crack in the bottom, the crawled glaze, or the poor form, or so many other things that go wrong, may not be that bad, but if not up to your norm, then it is bad enough. So when you ask when, if you have to ask, don't keep it. My wife has some of my rejects, that are entirely OK for us to use, but they get recycled out as I get another reject. Lately thankfully there have been very few. As my pots are signed in the green stage, they are all signed. If it is a reject, best to toss it before it comes back to haunt me. And yes, a few have! As to pieces that are exceptional, put them aside and use them for display, enter juried shows, and make certain you have good photos of them. When you sell, raise the price as this is the ++ line. It always helps to justify that by having them separated from the other pieces in a display of exceptional pieces. best, Pres
  8. Pres

    Gas kilns/Firing results...

    I have moved this strand to Equipment Use and Repair as it seems to be more relevant than being In the Studio. best, Pres
  9. Pres

    Porcelain Clay Bodies

    I have moved this strand to Clay and Glaze chemistry as it seems to be more relevant here than In the Studio. best, Pres
  10. Hi folks, Today I was working on the Wedding Jar that I had made for a nephew, and was trying to accent their lettering for names and dates. I had stamped these in, but it was not quite clear so I cleaned them up and added a stain over top thinking to do a little mishima to bring the letters up. However, due to the curved surface I lost some of the letter forms. What to do. I used a small brush after engraving the missing areas to flow the glaze in, and that worked. At the same time I decided to use the brush with a white engobe to accent the flowers of the mountain laurel I had stamped into the form. My tip for the day though is much simpler. I had problems with getting the right amount of slip or stain on to the fine bristled brush. I tried a lot of different techniques and then tried to dip a sponge brush into the container of slip or stain and lay it over the top of the container loading the brush up from that. It worked perfectly with just the right amount of stain or slip to work into the brush and keep the fine work when painting on the pot. I was an art teacher, working with a lot of media, especially watercolor, acrylic, and inks. This technique I had never heard of, but it would work well with almost any media to keep from overloading a brush. So. . .. do any of you have some technique that would work well with the use of stains, underglazes, glazes, even if brushing, spraying, or other technique? Post it here, it would be great to hear from you. best, Pres
  11. Pres


    Better yet use a Paint pen to mark buckets and lids so that they don't get mixed up. Labeling is really important, as you have found. If uncomfortable with using labels. . . Number the buckets, and keep a chart telling what glazes are in what numbered buckets. That way you can change glazes, and not have to remove the old name from the bucket. I use a grouping of test tiles with numbers on them to tell me what bucket is what. For a classroom I had a board on the wall where the test tiles were screwed on to. best, Pres
  12. Pres

    Rusty Kiln lid

    Wendy, welcome to the forum, I hope you find many years of information at your fingertips useful. Personal belief is that it would be best to replace the lid. I have replace my lids in the US over the years, last one with extra thickness. It is hard to repair the type of problem you have there, but if you really have to, I would grind/cut back the area around the lid hole, and sand/grind the rest of it and look for a high temperature paint for the covering. You do not say where you are from, but I assume Europe or Australia. Once again, welcome to the forum. best, Pres
  13. Wedding jar completed except for cleanup a little after it sets up some more. best, Pres
  14. Pres


    Was this done to bisqueware, or to greenware. If greenware, I believe you are stuck. If on bisqueware, soak in water for a while, scrub with a brush or kitchen cleaning pad til clean. If some is left in textures, may be a plus as it would high light them with the transparent glaze over top. best, Pres
  15. Pres

    Averting kiln disasters

    I tumble stack a lot of times, as when doing a load of mugs, or a mixed load of mugs and small jars etc. However, when it comes to smaller bowls I box them rim to rim, foot to foot. I usually put a piece in each box, but sometimes not. Larger bowls I do the same, putting them in the bottom, and then shelving over top. As to patens(communion plates) I never have had luck trying to stack them other than on a shelf for support. I do box these also, with shelves to have 2-3 plates to a shelf Next kiln should be a little bigger around, as I have to stagger the 1/2 shelves to get the plates in due to overlapping diameters, but it is doable. best, Pres

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