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Everything posted by Pres

  1. 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
  2. Timing on the dip length of time in the glaze is important. I usually use a 1. 2. 3 count to keep the glaze from being too thick. Many beginners think that dipping and leaving the pot submerged is the answer-NOT!. At the same time, washing the pot with a damp sponge before hand is important to cut the absorbency of the glaze. Double dipping is a very tricky task unless the thickness of the glazes, the length of dip count, and the pot absorption is perfect. best, Pres
  3. Callie Beller Diesel recently posted the following in the QotW pool: how often do you introduce new forms, and does that change throughout your career? How many new designs do you come up with in a year, and what's that work cycle like? As a functional potter, of late, I have not come up with a whole lot of new designs. However, as a teacher 10 yrs ago, every month was a new piece, handbuilt or wheel thrown, or as a combination piece. Projects for students were often "tested" out by some sort of piece in the beginning. A theme like "crazy plumbing" or "crooked houses" for something like an extrusion piece would be planned out and assembled by me before ever introducing it to the kids. Then there was the demonstration piece, and when starting a demonstration, I usually would carry that to completion also. So every year there would be as many as 10 or 15 new forms. When working in the studio, I am not as much concerned with new forms as refining or modifying existing forms. An example of this may be Berry bowls that came about as I found myself using a lot of fresh berries for dessert in the Summer, and decided to do a berry bowl with a shallow plate underneath for drainage of the rinse water. That ended up as a Christmas gift that year for some relatives, and then the following year for others. Teapots may be done with tilted galleries one year, and another with regular galleries, one year rounded forms, next wide kettle type forms. None of these are really new forms just morphs from previous thoughts and ideas. best, Pres
  4. Pres

    Art Nouveau

    A google image search reveals a series of references to Art Nouveau vase forms. You may be able to track the specific vase to a maker. https://www.google.com/search?tbs=sbi:AMhZZisvDkcRQCbsHhfho6ASPak5mPYdpjTNzH7Uu0cprPz7tlhlthEXHlyTnf0UdIQnP3Y-viiyX0pqQ5vANqmVO-pM1yfPdBZGGeirwI8m8f_1D9u4O_1jhrIiVEsQ6ILtSb5g1aX_1QUe9LXhhbzO6_1gG5qZ4KblXwqFkUvudICyXEHkqlTWfUMFQdHA-r21dZBIPKsbD0D8zNvhkvZF7r6MefToDr9_1cHiUf3WxfmscOpXsqyQwjfMp2X8dg-vJGPsliFtHy6400RoZ-PZ_19zyGrP23qf0BjzQ9IC-ezGm10BSj7rKVJRoWYK3uikee0UKwwev_1LcgbVbkoR-00j4yo04GPjLP9Ug&hl=en best, Pres
  5. 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
  6. dhPotter recently posted in the QotW pool: At what point in a potter's career does he/she stop searching for and testing new glazes? When does the potter become satisfied with his/her stable of glazes and says "This is enough"? I really don't know how to answer that, as I am still keeping notes on new glazes, watching for ingredients and percentages, constantly interested in new glazes and trying out quite a few in 100 g test batches. Over the years, my own work has changed quite a bit as I learned more about glaze. ... I had never had a glaze theory/making/testing class. However, as I had been a math/science major in the early days of my college education and worked as a lab assistant nights glaze chemistry is not too distant a reach for me. I have learned to be more intuitive of late as I understand much more about how things react in a glaze than I have before. I was a teacher in a HS, and as my budget was a small for the size of my classes, I turned to mixing my own glazes as a way to get the most bang for my buck. I had around 20 glazes I mixed for classes, and then a few that I used in large powdered lots of commercial glaze. In my own work, I started out by saving money with just one white glaze that I sprayed underglazes and stains over top of for color and decoration using dipping and atomizer spraying. Over the years I have changed from that to airbrushing using a series of blue, brown and green glazes over a creamy tan white that reacts well over texture as now my decoration comes in stamped and carved decoration put in before shaping. I really don't think potters say. . . enough, especially with the way the technology and understanding increases as we keep exploring the medium. Maybe I'm wrong, and after all it is only my personal opinion. Thanks for the question dhPotter. best, Pres
  7. Pres

    Youth Wheel Throwing

    Taught High School for over 36 yrs. Taught Ceramics 2 students wheel throwing, 50 minute classes 5 times a week. Never any problems with throwing or with handbuilding that required wedging. In the long run I tend to believe that people believe what they want to believe, especially when they have other reasons that they are supporting with their nefarious beliefs. Now how you will find out what the other reasons are is quite difficult. I believe that this could only be done with continuous discourse until he reveals his true reasons for believing that the hand bones will be damaged. Wonder what his beliefs are about little league, pee wee leagues and other child sports leagues. best, Pres
  8. As 1515art has said, the chair only has pads on the bottom. It works very well for me. I have spoken to some that could not get used to the sloped seat in the beginning, but as they got used to it loved it. best, Pres
  9. 1976 was my 3rd year of teaching HS, graduated from Mansfield in the Winter of 72, married on the 29th., worked in a mom and pop 7-11 type for a few months then started teaching. in 76 my daughter was 1 year old. best, Pres
  10. Oh the days. . . .great shot, sure it brings back memories. What does your ex partner do now?
  11. Rae, Old Lady answered that very well. Walker pug mills were quite large, built like tanks, made of stainless steel with big high torque motors and hoppers about 2 1/2 feet long. Towels would cover the area inexpensively. best, Pres
  12. When I had a pug mill in the school, I found that running slurry through till blades and such were soaking, then left it set closed up for a few hours, then would run stiff clay through a couple of times til it was workable would remove most of the harder clay on walls and blades. When storing over the Summer, I would empty it as much as possible, then put bathroom towels in the hopper, close up the end and let it set til Fall. Of course this was a Walker pug mill, a beast often not seen anymore. best, Pres
  13. Videos help a lot when it comes to technique, but you still can not get away from books when it comes to theory and aesthetics. I have found that the Potters Dictionary is a great place to understand the physical structure of clay, the investigation of cracks and ways of avoiding them, and overall historic identification of forms. best, Pres
  14. Mastering the Potter's Wheel: Techniques, Tips, and Tricks for Potters by Ben Carter and Linda Arbuckle Very well done, Best, Pres
  15. Have a hardback from the day in pristine condition, and no it is not for sale. best, Pres
  16. Mark C. asked a poignant question of late that figures in to a lot of discussion that has reappeared concerning quality of work, pricing, and sales. Mark's question posted in the QotW pool is:QotW: What is a realistic amount of time to spend before being able to produce quality thrown forms on the wheel.Meaning ones that others will want (not family members) 1 year 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years longer? I find this to be quite appropriate, but maybe not inclusive enough. When I first learned to throw, I was in the studio for a 10 week course in the Summer. I had a night job that left my days open, as it also had flexible hours, posting liability ledgers in a bank. During the 10 week course, I had a 2 hour class 3 times a week. I spent 5 hours in the studio minimum every class day. I also mapped out the class schedule of final due dates, firing due dates and such so that once I started making pots, I kept nothing. Then the week before final bisque deadline I kept everything I made. 9 pieces to show for the class. Got an A for the course, worst yet was hooked on the wheel and clay. The point of this is that intensive training will definitely move one along faster, and non distracted intensity over a few years would do much more than hobby potting a few nights week. Maybe you get my point now about years vs. intensity. I believe it is a good discussion, that will lead into venues such as apprenticeships, MFA degrees with required residency, work study programs or even jumping in with both feet into a startup. Hmmm lots to think about. So please horn in on Mark C's excellent but thought provoking question. best, Pres
  17. My glaze compendium is made up of a spread sheet for empirical to 5000g. to 7500g. In this case even my metallic oxides are in the 100+ gram areas. I have often thought of having a digital for smaller test batches, 100g. or so. And yet when looking into them about 5 years ago, could not find much other than 2g. increments. So I quit looking. Now I see, maybe it would be viable. best, Pres
  18. Over the years, I have found that I often have to have a "Gestation state", a period of time where I don't do something, but think about it. Then when I return to the activity or problem, I have solved it without even really knowing it. This has happened to me often when dealing with throwing over the years. . . throwing off the hump and having "S" cracks, throwing large and not getting enough out of the base, Wonky rims, that were weak and poorly finished, trimming through too many large plates, cracks in large plates, cracks in large bowls, and the list could last for much longer. Point is, problems do not just disappear when you push more time into it, often you have to figure out why. Research helps, thinking about what you research helps, also thinking about what you know about clay and how it is structurally made up and how to use that instead of fight it. All in a lifetime of working with any material, especially one so simply complex. best, Pres
  19. I still use the old triple beam balance, like the fact that I set the weight and load till it tips. Digitals may be nice and space saving, but I guess I'm just old fashioned there. best, Pres
  20. Ahh the days of programmable kilns. . . I envy many of you, especially teachers that have that option on their kilns. My experience at home was a full manual, not even a setter. Because of this, I became very aware of rising heat, the associated steam, and apparent dryness of the kiln atmosphere at my peeps and cracked lid opening. Raises in firing temperature from the time that the kiln started showing first red, to full yellow orange and the need to switch up were carefully judged. Also adding an extra thick lid for firings allowed for better cool down, especially in glaze crystallization. These items carried over to my awareness in the classroom of the same characteristics of a slow firing with a kiln setter. I would most often set the setter up, place the timer backup to a very high number and start the kiln with no plugs and an open lid. After a few hours the lid would come down, the atmosphere would be felt coming out of the peeps, and analyzed for further firing. At no time would steam coming out of the peeps indicate a rise in temp was needed. All that has been said before by the teachers here, is the best of advice, and student work, no matter what the age, should be fired as if it had explosive areas even though they look to be fine. best, pres
  21. Pres

    25lb Bowl Attempt

    My larger bowls have been used as magazine racks for years. Don't throw many that large anymore. best, Pres
  22. Had 3 pots that got broken at once when a library shelf support that wasn't seated let the shelf fall. Broke the glass shelf and 3 pots. I worked with epoxy glue and putty for the next 3 months repairing the pots, paid for the shelf out of my pocket. When the students got their pots back, after having seen how badly they were broken they were amazed, but happy to have them returned. They also knew how much work I had put into repairing them and how sorry I was that they had broken. The showcase was one that loaded from the back, very difficult to work with. The next year I designed a showcase on large wheels with a skirt that hid the wheels. Loaded from the front, with locks. Really worked quite well and was used at all sorts of displays for the department. best, Pres
  23. My hammer was often the cutting wire, as I would often cut the piece in half just to see. I still do it, and find it is a great tool for teaching. However, there have been times that pots went through bisque before I realized I didn't like it. . . . . Floor drops are so satisfying when all of those shards are scattered, and nothing left to do but sweep it up. The sound of a pot breaking on a concrete floor is enough to get everyone's attention either in fear of an accident or a crazy teacher getting release on one of his pots. They never worried about me wrecking theirs. best, Pres

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