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Pres

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Everything posted by Pres

  1. I still haven't gotten any new additions to the QotW listing, so I will once again pose one of my own. This has been asked before in different ways, but I will ask again: Do you have an environmental companion in your studio while you work? For me it has been old westerns on television in the studio. Old tv series, old movies, etc. I know almost everyone of them so don't have to pay attention, and when that great line comes up. . . I chime out! However, of late I have been looking at streaming of sorts, maybe using wifi to use something like Spotify or some other streamer to get in music, and not use the TV. Not sure, but possibly as I have seen several albums that are mood/quiet, and some that are classical guitar etc. Might be a new thing for me. May have to extend the house wifi out to the shop, but no big deal, I am capable of messing with a bit of that. So Do you have an environmental companion in your studio while you work? best, Pres
  2. Hi folks, I have been working as a temp at times with the Qotw, filling in every once in a while for Evelyne. I really don't know how much to thank her for all of the hard work she has put in since she took over for Marcia Selsor. However, she has my most sincere thanks and appreciation for all of her efforts. I hope that I can do half as well. Many times when I was doing the temp thing, I would feel like I was digging into a deep well of darkness trying to come up with an idea, but there was no light! So I am asking for help. I would like folks to participate in helping me see a little more light by submitting a question that you think would be a good one for Question of the week.We all have personal interests, and I realize as an educator with limited studio experience that I have different interests that others, and this probably influences the questions I ask. I usually look for questions that will stimulate some sort of conversation. I really like to know more about participants and find that the Qotw is a way to draw folks out. A large pool of questions from participants should help to overcome my personal inadequacies. This is not the only reason for these weekly queries, but it is something I have looked at. No question is too big or too small, if we have a pool to draw from, it will make things easier for me. I would reserve two rights, one that I will choose which question to post each week, and two that I am able to edit the question if need be without changing the intent. So please reply to this post to submit your own questions, and hopefully the first of these will appear next week. best, Pres
  3. Last week, Yappystudent posted the following question in the Question pool for the QotW: Do you collect pottery and ceramics? Not an unusual question to be asking fellow potters, but I don't remember anyone asking before. My answer to this is yes, I have collected a few pots here and there of late, to remember some excellent potters, and good times. I decided I needed to do more of this a few years ago when I visited Dwight Hollands home outside of Asheboro, NC while attending the NC Potters Conference. Dwight's home was a potters haven, and home to hundred if not thousands of pots. We were invited in for a quiet party, and Dwight told us all to handle the pots, enjoy them and have fun. I was nearly dizzy most of the night as I was touching pots and seeing actual pieces by people that I had only read about in books and magazines. I decided as much as possible I would begin purchasing pieces that would remind me of and experience, or a person for later years. So I have spent a very small amount collecting a few pieces that I treasure. My first ones had been at the conference, and others later, I also have some that were given to me as gifts, and have given others mine as gifts, humble as they are. I enjoy seeing them, and remembering a great demonstration, or a talk over coffee, or even a winning smile from them when first met. Memories. best, Pres
  4. Pres

    Making an Urn, Help

    I adapt a clay that I have that I know matches the shrinkage rates of the other clays I use. So I start by slaking some white stoneware down, then add 5-10% zircopax blender it till smooth, and still sieve it through a course screen. I try to never apply my slip to bone dry clay, and if need to pre-soak the piece that I am adding the slip to. Most times I apply at cheese to leather hard, then if engraving I wait til slip is near leather hard. I use a narrow wedge shaped wooden or metal tool to engrave with. If lettering by hand practice lots before hand. If lettering with stamps do at cheese hard, support the surface underneath. I will also stamp, and then use a firm sponge roller to apply slip over the stamped areas, then use scraping to shape boarders.
  5. Pres

    Making an Urn, Help

    Whenever using clay around a form a barrier of newsprint or wrapping paper works well. if using clay round a cylindrical form it is helpful to roll the form gently on a flat surface after forming to stretch the clay very slightly as this will make removal of the form a bit easier. I would remove the form just before leather hard, sometimes called cheese hard as it allows you to smooth inside joins easier, and if needed the form may be reinserted to re-round the piece. Never leave the form in beyond leather hard. If using clay over a plaster or bisque dome, always remove before leather hard as the shrinkage will crack the clay. Remember that porous forms really do not need a paper liner if dry. best, Pres
  6. Some things get to be like breathing, and your service on the forum has been so exemplary that I can not thank you enough. Hope to see you this Summer. . . . Penn State is coming. At the same time, I am wondering if I will have time to make it as my time seems to be becoming more limited also. All of my best to you and your future endeavors, stay in touch. best. Pres
  7. I keep business cards with the pieces I have collected when I have one. I am looking into putting together either a database, or spread sheet of the artwork in the house now/ much of it does not need a card as much of it is mine from pottery to watercolor to acrylic paintings. I also have several prints of my own and of old students. Of the pottery Cynthia Bringle, Mea Rea, Tom Roberts, John Glick, Glenn Woods/Keith Herbrand and a few others are represented. I also have a hanging weaving of Jean Giddings, and three prints by Giovanni Bonazzon that are nicely framed. Many of these are because of travels, friendships, or chances to purchase work I really admire. best, Pres
  8. Oh Callie, I could not keep from laughing my head off if I saw someone taping a booth down! best, Pres
  9. Pres

    Help to identify

    Fred, Bullers rings? as in getting pulled out of firing to check the progress of a firing? best, Pres
  10. I hope, and have believed that much of what we value as a society defines the society. It seems money is the largest factor of late, even though some folks do things for the love of doing them. There are those that have their hobbies, woodworking, ceramics, jewelry or bead craft, or even sewing. However, is going by the wayside as Preeta says. Does it take another revival as we went through in the 50-80's, for much of the interest in "hand crafted/made returns? Seems like there will be a time when time at hand is more available, as more and more of actual production becomes so automated. Will this stimulate a return to valuing things that are once again made by hand with skill and taste. Will the only folks that will appreciate this be the ones with money? I hope this is not just a dream, but know that I will not see it happen. best, Pres
  11. I took a different tack on weighting when doing shows in the 90's, in PA. I had plywood boxes that I built as booth display cases, these were to hide part of the booth areas for storage, and were arranged round areas where the canopy poles were. I had anchor plates on the ends of the boxes so that the canopy poles attached into the plates. Then the boxes were weighted with barbell weights along with boxes of pots. Over the years I worried that I was tied all together, and that a wind heavy enough would move the whole mess destroying a load of goods. Never happened. I did see a booth 4 down from me on a corner get gusted in a thunderstorm at Penn State. Canopy was weighted, barbells with poles in center holes with bolted attachments. The canopy acted as a kite, lifted and went over the free standing racks knocking over 3 of 4. Took us a couple of hours to get him straightened up and back to displaying his left overs. best, Pres
  12. Pres

    Help to identify

    Krispy, Even better deal at $50. Hope the inside is as pristine as the exterior. best, Pres
  13. Pres

    Help to identify

    All of the parts can be replaced, or upgraded. Someone who has some electrical experience could replace the single positions with at least a 4 position or more. Would be interesting to see the condition of the inside, as the outside does not look like it has been fired more than a few times. Good find! best, Pres
  14. If I remember correctly, new they were only about 800 when new around 20 years ago. best, Pres
  15. I like to use the cheap flexible straws stuck in a piece of clay when I don't have anything better for consistency. I use a pair of calipers for lids/mouths. best, Pres
  16. As those wheels use mini belts. . . I think 4, and they have a tendency to stretch out, it could be they slip, replacement is easy, but an uneducated user/buyer would not know. Replacement is not expensive either. best, Pres
  17. Pres

    Making an Urn, Help

    I have some urns that I have posted on my blog. I am now working on one that my Dad has requested for himself. I have been slow making it, I think understandably. He is 91, and driving his motor home down to a State Park near me for a wedding next week. Will be a 3-4 hr drive for him, but then up til last year he was driving to Florida in the Winter. best. Pres
  18. Pres

    Making an Urn, Help

    Andrea, Another thought since you seem to be able to do bowls either with slabs or with coils is to use two bowls, with a short section of slab in the center to create the form. This way you could cut out the base of the top bowl and coil a rim for a lid, making another bowl for the lid. best, Pres
  19. I have been one to start my journey with the ^10 redux, and loved it immensely I helped load, but did not fire in undergrad, then did some firings in grad. I also was firing electrics nearly twice a week in a HS setting where I taught. We bought a larger L&L Jupiter with 5 sections that I would fire often with all sections. I replaced elements in this kiln often, and in some of the other buildings the other kilns. Element replacement in any kiln is not an easy job, but the amount of damage over the years of hard labor that my L&L put in would be deceiving when you would compare the way the interior was compared to others after 10 years. L&L were made to take a fire, over and over without any hassle. When it came to buying my own kiln, over the years I had lost that ^10 redux lust, and after pricing out a proper sized gas line 100 ft long, to the garage, looking at the insurance, pricing a gas kiln, and considering space. . . . . settled for my own L&L. You have to remember that in the 70's we started to think differently about fuels, gas prices were up, and so were other fuels. At the same time many folks were doing alternative firing with waste oil, coal, and other fuels. The move to ^6 was appearing, and made the possibilities for using electric much easier, especially when you lived on main street 5 blocks from the center of town. I had thought that we had become more open about ^6 aesthetic as compared to ^10, yet still hear those that say they just can't lower themselves to move to the lower temp. On the other end of the coin there are those that would not lower themselves to fire with gas, as real potters only use wood. . . . .. REALLY! I hope to someday do a wood fire, get a chance to make some larger pots for a ^10 redux, and even have a little fun with the things Marcia is doing lately. Time will tell, but then I am really open to a wide variety of techniques, processes and my tastes aesthetically are a lot less unforgiving as in my younger years. best, Pres
  20. Pres

    What are the pitfalls?

    These are two of my favorite adapted tools from the kitchen. Both had large handles that I use to make knife edge ribs for trimming the base after throwing with a slight undercut. The spoon tool I have been talking about is on the right. The tool on the left is great for a rounded bead bottom with undercut, or to shape the top rim of a pot. I also use it as a straight and slightly curved rib. Really handy. best, Pres
  21. DHPotter had a studio question a few weeks ago: Do you back fill handles at the attachment point? If so, is it for aesthetic or structural reasons? I think that is a good process question, and as I have been having handle problems of late, I will address this. I used to add a pulled handle to mugs and pitchers that had a few knobs above, one large with two smaller on each side. At the bottom I did not back fill as in never seemed necessary. This was for years with the work, as I would arch the top handle up a bit, and reinforce above the handle with the 3 knobs that were worked into the handle. . center knob with a thumb imprint, other two with a rounded rib I made for the purpose. I have been looking at the dog bone handles that are pulled with round body, and thicker on top and bottom, and they seemed to be complete looking on some pots. . .just not for me. Nowadays, I cannot make the pulled ribbon handle I used to make, and have started doing extruder handles as my thumb has very little movement in the joint just below the thumb nail, and the thumb has a super wide joint. The extruder handles are working better, especially after I have made major changes in the dies with a dremel tool. However, as it seems to take a little less time, I have started to back fill in the bottom joint, smoothing it with a small rounded rib. They look good, but sometimes I forget to do it, so have seen them both ways. . don't know as there is a whole lot of difference if the handle is added on well, and finished well. I guess it is a personal decision, aesthetic at best, certainly not needed for strength. best Pres
  22. Pres

    What are the pitfalls?

    No, mine is not like the gyureba rib, as that is not anywhere like a bamboo spoon from a spoon set. I have seen and used those years ago, and found I was not coordinated with them, but they were an interesting tool. My spoon is simpler, and more like a rounded rib, but most of those do not have the bowl that a spoon does so they react differently in the clay. Not even like a flexible rounded rib either. Compression is greater. best, Pres
  23. Pres

    What are the pitfalls?

    Hi folks, I have a perfect tool for opening/shaping bowls. It is the bamboo spoon with the handle cut off, and the end sanded smooth. I also drilled a 3/8" hole in the spoon bowl to make it easier to grip. I use this spoon to open up the centered mound, then pull the walls with my fingers and then shape the bowl with the spoon. This tools makes good compression in the base, and as it is rounded in 3 dimensions, it slides on the clay easier. However, if I find that I need to take a little clay out of the clay walls on the inside of the bowl. . . I hold the spoon with the edge going into the motion of the clay instead of away from it. This causes the spoon to scoop out a small amount of clay. I also find that bowls with large cantilevers are easier to shape just before cheese hard, and the spoon gives me a good firm form that slides easily on the stiffer clay for the wide cantilever. best, Pres
  24. Hi folks, I thought I would ask, as I have not ever done anything quite like what has happened lately. Through a family member, contact was made with a retailer looking for hand made ware to sell in their store. They are presently asking for honey jars and mugs. their terms seem to be generous: 50 Assorted Honeypots @ $18.00 each (we would retail them in the stores at $36.00) 50 Assorted Mugs @ $12.00 each (we would retail them in the stores at $22.00) The lead time for this delivery is April, which I believe I can meet with a little hustling and some warm days. Do I need to have a signed contract with these, or is the email enough? best, Pres
  25. Tom (glazenerd) recently asked in the question bank: What are the rituals you follow when the creative juices dry up, or the joys of making pottery becomes tedious because of deadline demands? This is an interesting question, and it requires that we look at both sides of the question as to the answer. Yeah, got you scratching your head! Ok, so recently as you all know I completed an order of mugs, and honey jars. It was a large order for me, and with the weather, and all I was in "crunch time". This required a lot of long days of throwing/trimming/assembling. In the long run, I found that I was finding ways to be more efficient, more creative, and able to pay more attention to detail. So. . . .deadlines for me are a good thing. The main part of what glazenerd was asking is about creative blocks, and how to overcome them. If you check back into posts from a few years back, you will find post from me about wanting to change direction, throw looser, do more creative things with the pots. I asked for help, and got much advice from others and especially from one in particular. . . John Baymore. John presented a series of options/alternatives to try and loosen up my throwing and the way I worked. These helped me to make changes that I am still using today, whereas I do not worry so much when the pot gets a little off center, and pressing stamps/faceting, wiggle wire cutting and then shaping is becoming natural. Seems though that the more I work, the more controlled they seem to become, but it does not bother me now. I have always been aware of other potters through pictures, and books, but now that I have been to more conferences I have seen much more work, and enjoyed the company of other potters along with having seen some really excellent demonstrations that have inspired new efforts on my part. So conferences at least once a year seem to be a must to keep the juices flowing. Thankfully most of these are in late Winter/early Spring so it is easier. best, Pres
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