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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. No old means telling someone you couldn't remember the deli on the corner in Altoona back in the 70's because you hadn't graduated from HS in upstate PA til 67. In another late discussion someone remembered the last rotary dial house phone, I told them I remembered black and white TV and the Lone Ranger on radio. . They asked why TV was in black and white, and who the Lone Ranger was!! best, Pres
  2. QotW: Where would you call your ceramic roots are from? Guess I am putting this question up on my own. I really did not want to use another question from Evelyne's excellent list of questions, and as there are not any new ones, I will pose the above question. The reason this question appears now is that I have been thinking about a lot of my own ceramic roots of late, and where the artistic side of me was fostered. I intend to do an article on it in my blog within the next month or two and show pictures of what I feel influenced me to start making, and some of those early attempts. My Dad was in the Air Force for 22 years. Early memories were of living in a trailer, both in Washington D. C. and in Washington State. When in Tacoma my parents bought their first house, a ranch in a new development. We had bedrooms, and space. My parents started to decorate, and as he always flew to other countries, he would bring back gifts or house gifts. Maybe a wooden Spear from Fiji, or a pair of , or a painting from Spain, or ceramic figurines or prints from Japan. Over the years these things were prized in the home, and displayed appropriately and with respect. We grew up that way with art, maybe not great art, but good art. As we got older, our own efforts would add into some of the displays, but these were often transient as they were replace with the next masterpiece of the time. The older ones were saved in some drawer or box. When I started making pottery, these were also kept in the house, but over time they just continued to pile up, never transitioned out, as each seemed to be prized, as were many of my watercolors that I would do along with some prints. Always appreciated, and encouraged. So I think this is really where it all started, not in college, which gave me the tools, but early when it mattered in an environment that enriched our lives. best, Pres Pres
  3. Old, Marcia, elderly? I wonder about the definitions of old anymore. Some are still going strong i their 90's, my Dad. Some are starting second careers in their 60's, and others are pursuing new college degrees. So at any age I would think the old adage usually works. . . . use it, or lose it. For me it is a matter of getting up in the morning, spending some time at breakfast with a good book, and then engaging myself with some physical activity if the shop is frozen, or some other activity or not. Lately it has been pounding the stairs to take Christmas to the attic(of which we have a lot of), shoveling 200 feet of double wide sidewalk, or breaking up the ice. As far as names and such, elderly or retired, or senior citizen, doesn't matter as when I retired I gave up my required name of Mr. Rice for my preferred name of just plain Preston. In the end, I am blissfully, successfully happy. . . every day! best, Pres
  4. 1F. this morning! Kids in school for make up day for sub freezing temps a few days ago. Today no wind.


  5. PKQothW 40

    I guess my time off let me clear the cobwebs, as this seems to be tougher for folks. Keep on trying, and while your at it . . . think things through as at least two questions almost answer themselves. best, Pres
  6. Guild events/shows. Here in PA, often the Craftsman's guilds will put on shows. Sometimes these are themed like the Christmas/Valentines/Spring etc, but then again at times they are just on the calendar to not have conflicts with other events. I have also participated in silent auctions where a 50/50 was done to raise money for the host charity organization. best, Pres
  7. Of late folks I have come to use my finger webbing between the pointer and the second finger to do the chamois thing. It works as well, and once you get used to it the two fingers support the pot while doing it. Sometimes I find that I just can't find that piece of chamois and I am not going to not compress/smooth the rim, or stop making pots to look for a chamois. best, Pres
  8. Okay guys, I think we have had enough of a vacation, I have just posted PQothW 40. Did you think I was getting lazy?




    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Pres


      I have concrete everywhere. Right now, the ice is terrible! Have a post hole digger that has a 4" flat blade weighs about 15# so it will scrape up ice well without a lot of chopping work.



    3. Mark C.

      Mark C.

      Just wait until the thaw

    4. Pres


      Not on a public sidewalk, we don't dare.

  9. PKQothW 40 When doing _________________ decoration on bottles and closed forms, it is important to choose a clay type and thickness that will keep its shape. engobe incising impressed underglaze Agate, and agate paste are techniques that require the use of two or more colored clays. The ___________ technique requires slight wedging of the clays together. Whereas, the ___________ technique is more of an assembly of the clays, thus more controlled. Agate paste, agate Engobe, agate paste Agate, agate paste Agate, engobe ______________ overglazing is one technique used to overglaze pottery that has already been fired. Using solvents from ceramic suppliers, the oxides and solvent are mixed on a glass plate and then painted onto the glaze fired piece. Glue based Oil-based Lacquer based Rubber cement _________________ is a technique used to separate colors from each other on a piece, usually flat. It involves mixing manganese dioxide and a dry transparent glaze in a mortar and adding this black dust to turpentine with turpentine oil. This is then painted on to the piece before other colors are applied. Mishima Sgraffito Paper resist Cuerda Seca This weeks Pottery Quiz of the Week questions come from: Ceramic Class: Decorating Techniques, Joaquin Chavarria,c. 1999, Watson Guptill Publications/New York Note from Pres: This is the second book out of a series of four in this Ceramics Class. All of them are quite thin, and quite packed with information. Excellent resource for any library.
  10. AndreaB, As Neil has stated:Keep your abs strong. They'll take a lot of pressure off your back. . . . . I find that there are some things to do to help this out, and to alleviate the back pain to some degree. Do not sit at the wheel constant, set things up so that you have to get up to get clay, or to set a bat full of pots aside. Make the bat smaller so that you move more often, and make you wheel side pile of clay smaller to get up for more sooner. At the same time, I have found that the rocking motion of wedging in spiral or rams head, can help to loosen a stiff back, so I wedge only what I am using in the next hour or so, then wedge more. Seems the wedging motion that causes you to push down with the arms also lifts the shoulders, this along with the movement of the body can help to stretch the back. I found this out years ago, as after dealing with pain from an old broken vertebrae injury, wedging did make things less painful. In you home life, try to do some side plank dips, or some push ups (bent knee or otherwise) as both of these are good exercises for the abs, and the push ups work well for wedging muscles as in the triceps and the chest muscles. I also use a seat that slants forward, and is fully adjustable to give me multiple levels for throwing. This helps especially for my throwing position, but also when throwing off of the hump, as I adjust my height for the height of the clay. There have been other strands for Seats and throwing positions one of these is here: Hope I was able to help you out, best, Pres
  11. Even better yet to be written about, to have their talents recognized. best, Pres
  12. You are probably right Neil, it was a long time ago, and yes the spherical shape was probably spun aluminum, I remember the concentric lines now. I do remember that tapping the foot pedal would keep you going just enough. One of the kick wheels we had at the HS did push in from the side, so I might have mixed them up. best, Pres
  13. Unless this is an earlier Randall, I do not believe it is. The Randall's I learned to throw on at Mansfield State College in Mansfield, PA had the cup head, but it could be knocked off with a hammer so that a regular bat could be place on. At the same time the splash pan was deeper, and was stainless I believe. The other thing that was different is the the motor hit the wheel on the side if I remember correctly. All from a 40 year old recollection, which could be wrong. best, Pres
  14. Wow. . . Congratulations, Marcia, and to your company of authors! best, Pres
  15. Lately, in the QotW pool, Evelyne asked: What does success mean to you? I find this to be a very difficult question. There are all sorts of success out there. I used to be that I would consider a day when I could get a piece of work off of the wheel that seemed reasonably well thrown, even though it might be a little off center, or have flat edges in the curves or would have proportions that were not quite right, or even thin rims or other areas. Later on it was the consistent small success just mentioned that extended into a day of those successes. Then came the day when those consistent successes seemed to not have those off tune minor defects that would detract from the overall satisfaction of the daily success. Now, as I look back on these "successes" I find that today a success is to throw, construct, combine or create forms that have the visual interest I am looking for in the surface, are creatively functional, and please my sense of design in form - well. To work on a series of teapots, chalices, or even simple apple bakers and feel that they are aesthetically and functionally in tune is a successful day. I realize that all so often the feeling is often thought of as in the amount of folding lettuce you hold in your fingers at the end of a show, or the big award of the show stopper that won first place, but for me, the little successes have sustained me in my joy of making pots much more than the cash flow has. I guess that is why I am not so much a professional potter, but more a hobbyist or teaching potter. best, Pres

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