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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. Mark, are you suggesting to throw the form with a thicker/deeper rim, and then cut the inner galley to a straight edge so the lid fits into place? I think you have a solution there, I will have to play a bit. . .I only need one. best, Pres
  2. Again folks, there was nothing new in the QotW pool of questions so this one is again on me. I just did tools under $100 dollars, now I am going to go in a different direction. . . . What kitchen tools have you repurposed, is there such a word, for use in your Ceramics studio? I have found several tools that were kitchen items that I now use either because I have seen something about using the item, or because I was looking for something and found something else. . . make sense? I will start with cheese cutters and cutting wires used to replace their broken wires. I love these for faceting pots, mugs, bowls, jars, vases, and other things where I want a faceted exterior. I usually facet before the shaping so that the facets become much more muted, and the edges a little softer. At the same time shaping will cause the facets to move in a spiral up the piece if you torque the top a bit while working on the rim and neck. Often these are really nice with glaze as the edges will break well with the standard cone 6 glazes out there, double dipping often even more so. Working with the cheese cutter, caused me to consider another tool for chalice stems. . . the potato peeler. I have found that faceting the stems of my chalice is so much easier and really cool to facet part of the stem as it makes it easier to grip. Lately, I have been using a silicone hot pad that has a hexagonal pattern n the surface that is quite deep, at the same time there is a counter point of a circle and rounded edges on the square pad. All of these allow for a lot of playing around with straights circular and hex patterns pressed into the pot before shaping again. Love it, and it works really well with a roller I picked up of pine branches, needles and cones. Most of you probably have the portable drink blender in the studio for mixing up glazes, I use it to mix nice slips with stain coloring, and small batches of glazes that I have modified with extra metallic oxides for something to be sprayed on. I also have a series of kitchen knives that I have files to change the shape, and sharpened to use as fettling knives or potter's knives. What recycled or repurposed tool do you prize in the studio? More than one? best, Pres
  3. Thoughtful Rae, but the rim still arcs upward as the corner is created. I think part of the problem is the form is more of a bowl. If it were a dish with more upright sides it may not rise as much. Either that or throw it without a base and do the squaring while upside down forcing the rim to stay flat. best, Pres
  4. I have done this also, and have a project now that requires a thrown square bowl. My biggest problems it that even though I have conquered throwing the object fit the metal lid someone asked me to do, I have not figured out how to keep the rim from rising. where the sides get squared. best, Pres
  5. I would ask a few questions here. When did you change clay bodies, why? Have you sieved this glaze since mixing it, second year, third year? What is your current cone temp for your firings? best, Pres
  6. I have a small studio also, and have seen these at NCECA. . . really intriguing. However, never tried one. I do remember that there was a post a while back (2015) Doc Weathers showed a home made one here: It may be something your friend would be interested in looking at. best, Pres
  7. name this glaze?

    Could it be that it is a cone 6 clay like SC 112 with a thin mix of possibly ART or Minnesota clay oatmeal that has been double dipped, but only bottom second coat half way. Something like light blue brushed on to the mid section with a brush of a white. Used to get very similar to this effect as the 112 has manganese in it and does spot quite a bit under the oatmeal. best, Pres
  8. I am glad to hear that you have shifted your priorities and at the same time seem to ready to feed your passion. Sometimes it takes the balance between a day job, and a studio of some sort to maintain sanity. As you said, as we get older our priorities change, but then they will shift many times in a lifetime, and later in life when you look back you'll think "why was that important to me back then?" best, Pres
  9. Thank you, Nancy. The top is a Lid with two pulled ceramic "horns" attached into the center which is attached to the lid. Everything there is clay. In my gallery there are some closeups of the rings and the textured surface. Blender is and open source 3D modeler and animation program. It also does film editing, and will create entire environments. I use it now days just to visualize the proportions of my pieces. Once I figure what my height vs width is for the center slab section, all other pieces can be scaled by eye to match up to what I visualized. It is just another step, but a pot like this takes 3-5 weeks of construction, glazing etc. Shame to waste any of that time if you decide it is "wonky" for some reason or other. As for templates, I have not looked into it, but am sure that there is a way of doing them. You can get lots of help with Blender on line at their web site. . . very large community. Best thing for me is as it is open source. . .It is free! best, Pres
  10. I have done some square forms, hex, sept and others. I usually use a combination of wheel thrown, and slab constructed pieces. Often these are planned out on paper, sometimes rendered in a 3D program like Blender, and then created in the studio. These usually start with a paper template for the slab walls usually have wheel thrown neck/shoulder and wheel thrown feet. Here is one that I did 10 years ago.
  11. Older pieces

  12. Babs, I have heard in the past that the Asian methods of shaping worked from the top down where as Western world was bottom up.. . . . I really don't know, and FYI I do it both ways, often forming the jar with bottom to top and then back down. . . especially when forming a large jar. best, Pres
  13. Tom, The biggest advice I would give my students came with a hand on hand assistance to the first pull and the second. (Assuming you are RT handed )Create the donut after opening up. That is a donut attached to the wheel head, centered. Then using your left hand with the thumb down at the base of the wheel head on the outside, and the fingers bent to the floor on the inside with the rt hand with a sponge on the roll of the donut. . . . begin squeezing firmly with the thumb and fingers of the lft as you push inward on the roll with the sponge in the rt hand. As you feel the roll going up, ease slightly on the pressure and continue to rise with the roll just above your fingers and thumb. Continue until to the point that you have gone off of the clay. Never stop the pull motion at the top of the pot, always imagining the clay to be 1-2" higher. Second pull, begin with lft on inside, rt with thumb or pointer or whatever edge you use to pull with. Elbows braced against the body leaning to the rt. Firmly squeeze the clay between inside and outside fingers of lft and rt hand. As the roll moves up, ease slightly on pressure again and continue up with the pull as before. The firmly here is important, as that is where thinning the base comes in on a pull. Without firmly squeezing at the base level of the pull, the pull actually starts above the base of the pot leaving a heavier area in the base. You must firmly squeeze that roll on every pull to get it to move out of the base. best advice I have, now practice. . . Pres
  14. Ron, I have seen this excellent video before. One of my ex students showed it to me a few years ago as he had begun using the technique to pull pots. I help with an adult class at the HS and saw him using the technique after I had tried it after seeing the video. I find the inverse on the wrist to be difficult for me, it was not the technique as I found it worked well, it was the pain in the wrist that I would get after using it for a few hours. In the long run I have returned to my finger tip braced with the thumb method of throwing. The biggest take away from this in the long run was his bowl shaping rib. best, Pres
  15. NCECA

    There are numbers of vendors that you will spend more than you want. . . maybe. Year before last I bought a diamond sanding disc and a masonite bat to glue it to, along with 3 diamond sponge backed sanding pads.. . really love them. This year I may buy a diamond drill for opening up over-glazed holes. Presentations and demonstrations, shows, and so much else. Should be a good time. best, Pres