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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. PQotW: Week 30

    Bought mine new at a bookstore in Pennsylvania. So he made it across the pond. best, Pres
  2. PQotW: Week 30

    I have quite a few more left to go, then will go around again. best, Pres
  3. Hi Nancy, You may find some help here, if you start with a cone template and add a circle end to it. Look at the site, I can answer questions if you don't understand all of it. https://www.blocklayer.com/oval-templates.aspx best, Pres
  4. PQotW: Week 30

    Tough one folks, wonder how many of you have even seen this book. You know my books do tell something about my age, beyond my love of books.
  5. PQotW #30 is up and ready!




  6. Week 30 Houses in the form of burial urns, Soul houses fully furnished, and other houses of all sorts are_____________________. often very detailed universal world wide can be functional or decorative all of the above Taws or _________________ were stoneware or earthenware balls of apparently solid clay, and used in a game of “bowls”. One plain ball and six with colored rings made up a set. Some modern potters have made them. Spindles Carpet balls Pugs Carpet bowls A bowl on a stem, a Eucharist wine cup, all describe a form that general form that has persisted in great variety of proportion and shape for thousands of years. The name for this object is__________________. goblet chueh chalice fuddling cup Traditionally, a container with a large mouth big enough to insert the hand. Strangely , it is not mentioned in Early American Folk Pottery, Guiland, which suggests that it was not common at the time in the settlement of America. These forms are known as_____________________. salt cellars salters/Salting pan/Ham pan salt pot/kit salt shakers This weeks questions come from Illustrated Dictionary of Pottery Form, by Robert Fournier, c.1981, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Note from Pres: Last week a new book, this week an older one. This book is an excellent dictionary to identify forms, to explore functional forms and to understand how these forms work. It is one of my most worn books, and the cover is tatered but the information is still relevant.
  7. Preheat and candle. I consider these to be both the same, using them to remove the atmospheric water from the kiln, propped lid or even in my case, no lid or lid off kilter. This last kiln load was more of an overnight with 2 switches of the L&L on 10%. and then a lid on, with no peep, at 30% for 4hrs, 50% for 4 (dull red heat), then fired to ^06 in another 6 hrs.. This because of the two pickling crocks in the kiln that are thicker than usual, and larger than usual. One a 25# and the other 20#. I had the load also packed with chalices, apple bakers and mugs. Unloaded the kiln on Monday with not a single crack. Glaze firing for me is to ^6 electric, and I fire manually, when cone 5 goes down, I back down the each switch to 90% watching the movement of 5&6, If 6 is dropping too fast, I back it down a little more watching til ^6 has dropped to 1/2 way down sticking out, but not curling down. Then I turn down to 50% until ^6 goes to touch base, ^7 is just about pointing to 2 o'clock. Then I turn all but the bottom off, with the bottom at 10% to slow cooling further. However, I now have a much thicker lid, and lid fit so this makes cool down slower, so the bottom switch goes off about 4 hrs. later. So I really think I do soak and hold, but very carefully and very controlled having fired this kiln in that way since the early 80's. best, Pres
  8. We're not so exclusive any more Marcia, but we do have a thumbs up signal in the corner. . . that has to count for something! best, Pres
  9. 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
  10. 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.

  11. Christmas Ornaments

    Bakers spray works well also. best, Pres
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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