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Everything posted by Pres

  1. Min posted the following in the question pool not long ago: It’s always interesting to see what people are working on, a one off pot, a series, pulling handles, working out a new design, glazing, glaze testing.… just a snippet from your day of something in progress. My question would be what’s on your workbench? (pictures would be a welcome bonus!) Hmmmm! I will disappoint Min in my answer, as right now there is very little on my workbench except for the vice and tools that hang on the back wall of it the workbench. Then there are some of the most recent tools I had been using. However, for me this is a poor time of year since I need to get into the shop, but it is still pretty frozen. Now the workbench is important, as I often will use it to hold one end of some wire, to help bend tools with a ball peen hammer, or to hold some small tool for sawing or work with a dremel where holding it by hand would be dangerous. I have enough trouble with my hands without messing them up more. As far as making, an object on a bench, very little of that gets done lately as most of my making and assembling is done on the wheel form throwing pieces, to trimming them, and then assembly. The only things that are on a work area are slabs for wheel thrown bottoms and tops after a 4-6 sided object is assembled. These usually take about a week of assembly, as sometimes the proportions sketched or modeled out do not look right when put together . So another piece is thrown to match up. Examples of these can be found on my blog site. best, Pres
  2. Pres


    From the album: Honey jars and other stuff

    These are some of the recent honey jars I have been working on, proof of concept. The spoon is for honey drizzle, with a hole in the back side. This allows no swizzle stick, and no opening for bees or flies to get into the honey if out on the deck or other wise. Fire with the lid upside down to prevent the glaze from gluing the lid on where the glaze may pool between the end of the spoon and the inside pot bottom. Working now on 50 of these for a first order. Mugs are also in the order for 50, with a honey comb/bee motif.
  3. Forms seem to be a common thread of interest lately, as we had the last question asking about Masculine or Feminine forms. Gabby lately asked: Do you have favorite shapes or forms now in your work? If you do, how have these favorites changed over time? (What made me think of this was the current discussion of throwing huge planter pots, because I can see that is of great interest to some and of no interest to me- neither the very, very large nor the very small and light). This is something that I have often considered in my own work. Years ago, I threw a lot of narrow rising, high belly, tight shoulder with short neck jars. These were almost inverted pear shapes. Mugs were much the same. Then there was the car cup craze, before cup holders where you had a neoprene pad on a wide based mug form. These caused me to rethink forms a bit, and I started throwing some forms that were more pear like in form. I always have had a tendency to follow the Golden Mean, as an artist it just seemed to make sense. I used to surface with inglaze on an eggshell glaze for interesting textures through lace and other masks. Now I press/stamp the pots before shaping, thinking about how I will shape the form so as not to punch through the wall while shaping. I also like to have the form with texture vs smooth, and use shoulder accents often to establish and slow the eye movement through the form. So things are changing, but at the same time, when throwing large, I still prefer the narrower base high belly forms. Need to create some of these with the stamping textures for some new stuff. best, Pres
  4. Min recently asked the following question, and it runs differently than most of the ones asked in the pool. It has also been bumped by LeeU in a post that she like Min's question. . . so: Do you make feminine, masculine or gender neutral work and is it a conscious decision? I have never thought about masculinity or femininity of any work. Looking over my work, I believe it is all over the gender situation. I have biases that I will admit when throwing work: I really do not like to see a flat spot in any curve, I consider the diameter of bottoms in proportion to height as not wanting a piece to be visually too bottom heavy or too spindly because of a narrow base to a tall form, I like shoulder accents in "S" shaped curves to slow the motion to the neck or rim, I love to texture the piece before shaping(something that has only happened within the last two years, and I have a tendency to follow the "Golden Mean" when throwing, handbuilding or combining forms. In much of this I do not pre sketch unless I am constructing a form either of slab, thrown or combined pieces. Most of my work is completed visually within the throwing and trimming. I throw lots of pieces of the same genre (mug, bowl, honey pot etc) at a time, breaking off in different directions in the form as I see something I particularly like at the time, then head in another direction. You could look at my gallery, or blog to see if you find a gender in my pieces, I really don't know as I have one. best, Pres
  5. Along with ventilation, powder is on surfaces; you raise it any time you are in there, so take precaution as when you move those bins or even walk into the room you will have dust that you will eventually inhale. So include a closed room in your dust collection system. best, Pres
  6. I am going to try "pulling" some of the extruded handles to see if they will hold to it. I still pull large handles for pitchers and other things where the wider furrow in the center or edges does not matter. However, these extruded ones look pretty good, I will post pics when I have them bisqued and later glazed. best, Pres
  7. Pres

    new saggar and obvara pieces

    Marcia Your new pieces are . . . well I have no words to describe, as they are beyond simple words. The pictures have to be seen to understand. I really like the way you are getting the soft colors against the light back grounds on the tiles and on the forms. . . fantastic. . . true art ! ! best, Pres
  8. Ben, You have probably read how I pulled ribbed ribbon handles for all of my pots. My mug handles have gotten poor definition of the ribs due to extreme arthritis of the rt thumb as it now has no cartilage between the end and next bone . At NCECA this year I picked up a hand extruder, and die set for handles. Using a dremel, I modified one of the handle dies to replicate the handles I used to pull. I have just finished up a grouping of 60 mugs using these new handles and find that there is little to be seen different between the pulled and the extruded. I do miss the taper that the pulled had from top to bottom, but find I can live without it. I really did not know what to do until this solution, and I have been having trouble training my Lt had to pull handles. best, Pres
  9. In the past, I have watered down brush on glazes with water. My final consistency was the same as a dip glaze that I would make up. I checked this by dipping my hand in the glaze and checking the layer. . . if cuticles were hidden it was too thick, thin a little more, when the layer was thin enough to cover the cuticles but show them then it was Ok. Then I would test tile it, dipping one coat, then a second coat on part of it tile. This allowed me to check the next firing and begin to use the glaze. best, Pres
  10. There never can be enough storage. I had a classroom that had an entire back wall with shelving up to 8 ft. At the same time we had shelving under all worktables, and a second room for wheels with shelving on the walls and narrow workbenches for standing while glazing. Don't forget storage for all powders in bins or such. Control of the dust is important. best, Pres
  11. I would think that you need two types of storage areas, one for bisque, one for greenware. and possibly an area for glaze ware before firing, I really don't see enough of that. You may also find this link of help as we recently had a spec out on another studio: best, Pres
  12. Thinking about it, I may have a bias of sorts. . . I still judge a pot by whether it looks/feels overweight, if it is heavier than I think it should be, it goes back in the bucket, as no amount of trimming will make up for poor throwing. best, Pres
  13. Pres

    visit to jingdezhen

    I have moved this to Aesthetics, as it really does not fit under the ICAN category. Really don't know exactly where to put a travel log. Made a trip to China a few years back. . .great trip. Did Beijing, Xiangyang, and Shanghai. Saw lots of craftsmen, terra cotta warriors, the Great Wall, and much of Forbidden City, etc. Great food also. best, Pres
  14. All too often those rejects/duds will come back to bite you as you improve with skill and knowledge. To let something out there that tarnishes your rep is not a good idea in the long run. Short side of things is a bit of extra cash, long side is that bad habits are kind of hard to break. Acceptance of mediocrity is a bad habit. All of this in my humble opinion as I have had it happen to me, and it has hurt. best, Pres
  15. 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
  16. Hi folks, I have been thinking a lot of late of the types of things that would be good experiences for beginning throwers, withing to improve their throwing skills. so a few listings of ideas in this thread would be helpful for anyone wishing to develop greater throwing skills and control on the wheel. Basic 9" cylinder with 3# of clay. This should have a flat bottom, evenly compressed, side walls tapering slightly in thickness to the rim that should be slightly thicker than the side walls at the top. Cut several vertically in half to gauge your progress using a cutting wire from the base to the top. 8" diameter bowl with 3# of clay. Remember that a true bowl has a rounded interior, so when opening up develop a rounded bottom instead of a flat bottom as in the cylinder. Again cut several of these in half to check progress. Always remember that a bowl will need extra thickness at the base to support the outer walls from collapsing. 10" plate with 3# of clay. Begin using softer clay, and make careful compression across the area of the plate, as the biggest problem with plates is the lack of compression causing "s" shaped cracks. Basic + Hump Vessel- small cup off of tennis ball size piece of clay. Throw several off of a 4-6# Ball of clay, center the entire ball as much as possible into a cone, then center the top portion of the cone into a tennis ball size, well centered. Throw a cylinder shape, use a rib to define the base, and cut from wheel with a cutting wire, and remove to a bat. Repeat until all of the ball is used up. Bowl-throw several bowls using a baseball sized ball of clay off of a 4-6# hump of clay. Try to make the form a bowl shape, cut and remove as in the vessel, and check progress. Apple baker-Start this form with a baseball sized piece of clay. Open the form as in a bowl, slightly away from center leaving a center stem area. Open the center stem area and pull upwards into narrow cone, close the cone with your fingers, necking inward. Then finish shaping the outer bowl area. cut and remove from the wheel. Check progress with these also to assess the two pulled shapes in the single form. These are just thoughts and I wouldn't have had the apple baker in this list until lately. However, I do believe that the simplicity and complexity of the form will help to improve throwing skills of anyone wishing to advance their skill level. Please feel free to add projects that you believe that will advance throwing skills for a beginner, intermediate, or advanced thower. best, Pres
  17. Pres

    Copied Images

    The second image, should be much harder to wash in any editor. However with the new tools, no image is safe. It just means that the thief has to decide if their time is worth it. IN most cases they will judge not, as there are too many images out there to choose from that are not protected. Do I protect my own. . . no. best, Pres
  18. Pres

    Copied Images

    I did the same, but added a test overlay.
  19. Pres

    Pottery Stools, what do you use?

    I use the stool you have pictured. It works extremely well for me, is inexpensive, and ergonomic. I find it easier to push on larger pieces of clay because the seat leans slightly forward and the back gives a small amount of support. Adjustable for all sorts of throwing, nice for off the hump so that you can lower as you get down in the clay. I first bought them for my HS when I taught, then a few years ago when I got tired of "make do's" I bought my own. best, Pres
  20. This will be a question of my own. It has come up before, but I think it is appropriate to revisit studios from time to time to let people know where you do what you do. In 1973 after graduating from college, I moved to Central, PA to join my new wife. We had the standard small apartments, had a child, and then another and apartments did not suit us much anymore. My studio came with a starter home we purchased in 1989. The house used to be an old parsonage, double the size it is now, as when the church renovated, they cut the house in 1/2 and we live in the section that was left. It used to have a carriage house out back, as we found foundations for it. The house was built in 1897. My studio is in the garage that came with the house. Brick, uninsulated, in an area that hardly ever gets sun except in Summer later in the day. Funny thing is, there is a river running underneath the garage, and a drain that I believe goes direct to the river so I don't use it. Needless to say the Winter time in there is severe, thus very little pottery. The cay is stored outside under our two sea kayaks under a heavy tied down tarp. In the Winter months depending, the clay is frozen much of the Winter. This year just thawed two weeks ago. The floor in the studio slopes enough that in some areas I have 3/4" shims to level workbench, shelving, kilns, and the wheel. In the Summer the temps stay cooler than outside, and if working early in the day can be chilly at times. This week, first week of April, the shop has been 48F. with An electric heater on all 24 hrs. I am trying to get Communion sets ready to mail out. So that is my where, and to show an older picture, it pretty much looks the same. So WHERE do you do your Ceramic thing?
  21. Pres

    Copied Images

    I would much rather do it myself, I really have become very untrusting in some ways. To load a file onto an app on line, seems to possibly open myself up to trouble. . . either for the file or otherwise. So I resist this sort of thing. Now if it were a downloadable file that I could download from a reputable download site, then I would consider it. However, til then, I'll use the Gimp. best, Pres
  22. Pres

    Copied Images

    It may come to using a "NO REPOST" mask over all work that you post anywhere. It is easy enough to do in any image editor using a second layer with the lettering, and then lowering the transparency of that layer to 10 or 15%. Flatten the image, and re-save under a new name for the "protected" image. If it is used in a place often known for image theft, I would consider it.
  23. The Hazelnut brown from SC looks similar to clay at bottom, but the speckles do not happen from it. The glaze could be Folk Art Guild White, possibly with addition of granular rutile or Ilmenite. Really don't know, just guessing. best, Pres
  24. Like you Mark, I love my Brent CXC. It has taken a beating, not near yours, but over the years it has had its days. If I could scarf up one anywhere near $800, would. Learned to use direct drive at Penn State, and those were C back in the . . . mid to late 70's. Good wheels, but then I could crank them down when pushing. CXC I have never been able to crank down. best, Pres
  25. 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

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