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Everything posted by Pres

  1. Hi SunsetBay, I have had some of the same problems with glazes over the years, and found a few things that made a difference in viewing the results of a Test fire. How full was your kiln? This will often effect the glazes as there is not much conduction of heat in a kiln that is not full. One of my solutions also was to fire Test tiles and Test Shot glasses at the same time on one shelf level, with pots that I was not entirely worried over on another level. . . thus loading the kiln. The Test shot glasses allow me to see more of the surface and the inside outside effect of the glaze. You may try a firing of this sort to allow a better assessment of your tests. best, Pres
  2. Hi folks, no new posts for the QotW so I will resurrect one from a while back: What is your latest environmental companion in the studio? I stated this question with the addendum of latest, because just today I used my phone streaming Pandora via bluetooth to my hearing aids! Really cool, but I found that it used the batteries to the Comm Pilot that makes the connection. Only could use it for about 5 hrs. Maybe have to pick up a battery pack to plug into as it is rechargeable from USB. best, Pres
  3. Pres

    Well, There's Your Problem!

    Looks like a win/win there. I always used an old base under the new base to save electric at the HS. I did do something though not mentioned. . . I cut 2" off the bottom of the metal kiln stand. . . very carefully as to remain stable. Put extra angle brackets on bottom. At home I just reach a little deeper! I understand what you say about 2D/3D requirements in college. My undergrad experience was excellent, and I got quite a bit of base information in a large variety of media. After undergrad, I took gad courses at PSU in mind of covering the 30 credits post grad work for certification. At the time I really wasn't interested in the degree. However, as I got older, decided to go for a Masters degree, and get a pay raise. Seems that PSU wanted more pedagogy, hardly any studio. My way of thinking studio was most important for an art teacher, especially an experienced one. So I returned to old alma mater, went for Med. and was able to transfer in 24 credits, take some pedagogy, art history and studios. Interestingly enough, I was able to transfer in the same number of credits that PSU would allow me to count towards the Med. there. Never regretted the decision. New teachers need as much versatility in studio background as they can get. They also need to be able to learn from books, videos or on line. Other wise art classrooms will be narrow in the media that the teacher is most comfortable with. I have seen too many cut and paste elementary programs, and flat work secondary programs. best, Pres
  4. 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
  5. Hi folks, I was working this last week on some teapots with standard set up, fettling knife, hole cutter, magic water, rounded wooden rib for smoothing/stretching and adding details to handles, and my sponge. I was thinking though how much I use the sponge when handle making as I am always rubbing tools on it to clean them, wiping my fingers on it to dampen them, and using it to clean up the mess without having to go anywhere. So here is a pic of my sponge for keeping tools and my hands clean and damp when handle attaching. What working tips do you have that will help to keep work areas cleaner?
  6. I usually have a commercial sponge pad that I used with wooden bats on the wheel when throwing large bowls and plates. Lately I have been at a loss as I could not find it in the studio. Last week I was throwing plates(patens) for communion sets and was looking again for my sponge pad. Could not find it so I decided to try something new. I put a piece of plastic from a clay bag cut to a square on the wheel with the bat pins under it, placed a bat over top, and used a knife to cut the excess off. After removing the bat, I dipped the plastic into the water bucket, smoothed it back on the wheel head and replaced the bat and threw the plate. It worked just great, and the same piece now has been used for 10 plates. Still will get much use out of it. Do you have a recent studio trick, or an older one that others may find of use? best, Pres
  7. Teapots posted in my gallery. Part of an order for October. best, Pres
  8. Welcome to the forum Araceli, As to your problem with the sculpture: The nose was about an inch thick, so I think that was part of the problem. Probably needed to be hollowed out. May be done later from inside, or use a cupped piece added on over a hole in face. This allows for modeling nose, but cuts thickness. I did not hollow the nose from the back of the sculpture. Should I have hollowed out the back or at the very least put holes in the interior of the mask of the nose? See above Also, although I didn't have problems with the eyes, I'm thinking that just may have been sheer luck. As mentioned earlier, I created the skull with sockets, literally made eye balls, then laid the "skin" over the entire sculpture, which had a fantastic effect. But I'm wondering if air could get trapped and become an issue in the future? How can I prevent this? Same effect may be completed by making eye socket not as deep, then using eyeball shape cut in half for both eyes allowing less build up of clay in the eye areas. You have good technique here, as eyes should be assembled as layers with eye ball, lids, details added in sequence. Another concern is that as I build up the face I'm adding small pieces here and there like building up the lips... Obviously there is some drying since I'm slow and it takes me time to sculpt: a few hours. I'm wondering if there is anything I should watch out for when applying these small pieces (aka could this cause air bubbles?) If the clay seems to get to dry, use a little slip or Magic water to join new areas. I don't particularly like using newspaper as the base? what other options do you recommend? News paper works well, but some have used plastic bags filled with shredded paper as a base, vermiculite or pearlite in a bag will also work. Anything that may be shaped will work that way for a rough foundation. If you wish to get more in depth try casting a plaster form as a base, then cut the head in half if full, and remove from the form. More extensive, but if doing a lot of heads. . .efficient. And last: for the mosaic, I don't want it to be heavy, so I was thinking of using styrofoam ( I know, not environmentally friendly ) and then apply grout to that to use it as a foundation. Any ideas on wether or not this technique is ok, any concerns/other options? The mosaic will not be not be hung outside. Good ideas, some others may horn in with other suggestions. best, Pres
  9. My personal answer to that question is. . . that depends. If I have just glazed the pots and if they have waxed surfaces, or if there is high humidity as in mid Summer or Fall, I start off slower, then build once I see dull red heat in the kiln. My reasoning behind this is to let fumes from wax to dissipate, to allow the ware to dry slowly, not boiling out water that may cause some glaze flaws. Of course, as I said before this is personal opinion, others may think otherwise. best, Pres
  10. From the album: Teapots, Summer 2018

    © Preston Rice

  11. Pres


    From the album: Teapots, Summer 2018

    © Preston Rice

  12. Pres


    From the album: Teapots, Summer 2018

    © Preston Rice

  13. Pres


    From the album: Teapots, Summer 2018

    © Preston Rice

  14. Hi folks, I really haven't seen anything new in the question pool for a new QotW, fo I will pose one once more. How often do you clean your studio, and in what manner? I ask this question as I have a small very crowded one car garage that I use for a studio. Presently it stores most of my regular tools: drills, circular saws, miter saw, hand tools including hammers, wrenches, and other tools gathered over the years as I found need keeping up the house. I also have two kilns presently, a Brent CXC, and a wedging table, with all of the other items I use like hand tools, the new extruder, and various trimming chucks for use with the Griffin Grip. Cleaning for me has become more of a cycle thing, throw a load, fire a kiln, and while firing clean up which means washing surfaces, sweeping floor, washing floor, and reorganizing tools, checking slop buckets for bag wrapping to recycle, wiping down areas with damp cloths to remove excess dust, and doing whatever else need done. Most of this is done with a full dust mask on, while wearing an apron, and lots of water and sponges. Troublesome, but for the small studio. . . needed. I have found over the years, that much of my mess comes from wiping hands on myself, not cleaning up an area while using it, and not being smart about what makes messes. This knowledge has made me more aware of saving from making a mess by using sponges in work areas, using aprons more often with attached hand towels, wiping tools up right after use, and finding ways to keep better organized. What tips do you have to pass on to folks in the way of timing your clean up and how you clean up? Best, Pres
  15. Yeah, forgot about changing clay colors. My original wedging table is concrete covered with canvas. It has been used for brown clays for years. Now I have built a 3/4 cover of plywood with vinyl covered edges to place over top. This cover has edge boards underneath to set very securely over the original wedging table that is very secure. I use this new board only for white clays that I have been using of late. The SC 553 I did not like, but seem to be able to work the SC 630 quite well, even though I miss the tooth of the brown clays. best, Pres
  16. Pres

    Table Top Wheels

    I have not used a table top wheel, but know of many that have them especially to supplement their work load. One who comes to mind is Marcia Selsor as I was around when she bought one at NCECA a few years back. She says she loves it for some things, and I think she also trims on it. Maybe she will catch this thread and horn in. best, Pres
  17. 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
  18. No sink in my studio, lots of big buckets for water. best, Pres
  19. Took an afternoon off after grinding bottoms of latest glaze load. Went Kayaking with my grand daughter.

    1. Benzine


      Living the dream Pres... Minus the grinding I would imagine.

    2. Pres


      Oh yeah, but grinding is even easier now. Got a diamond disc a few conferences ago, glued it onto a bat, attached to wheel with sponge of water, grinding is actually fine!

    3. Benzine


      Then indeed, living the dream.

  20. Gabby recently asked in the question pool. . . . Recognizing that some days are obviously different from others, and some here have studios that are available only in warmer weather or not in really hot weather, what is the typical day, hour block by hour block, during a time of year you are at your ceramic work? The interesting thing in these is the variety in the time of day people spend at their creative work, some starting in the morning and ending at 4, say, others starting at 4 and going into the night, some working at a stretch and others doing a couple of shifts, and so forth. There is also variety in how they spend the times they are not working. Some have a habit, like a walk. The choreographer Twla Tharpe, I believe, takes a cab to the gym every morning for a couple of hour workout. Some people have time specifically dedicated to reading (most of the writers do) or to family/spouse time. In reply to this of late it has been problematic getting into the shop, and once in, a problem getting out of the shop. I will often go to breakfast with my wife around 7:30, come back to the house around 8:30, check the forum here, check email, check news, while putting in laundry, waiting for the drier, folding clothes and getting other things done. About 10 am, I may get into the shop, but sometimes not until 12:30, then I may work until 6 or 7 pm, and sometimes back at it until 8pm after some dinner. Weekends are the same, Sundays hardly ever unless pressed, Thursday no afternoon, as I bowl, and if the weather is nice I kayak at least once a week. . . . this Summer none yet. Hey! I'm retired! Now if you had asked me that question in the mid to late 90's, I was in the shop earliest of Spring every night after school from nearly 4 til dinner, 7 til ???? Then back to school the next day at 7am. I did Saturdays all day, and some on Sunday if needed. Once school was out it was in the shop before breakfast, then breakfast, then lunch, and dinner. . . the only breaks in the day til 10 or 11 every night. No in the long run, not fun, and doing shows did not pay well. When offered a itinerant professorship at a local college with me in full control of the curriculum, teaching for two weeks to make more than I made in the entire Summer, I relaxed and made pots when I wanted. best, Pres
  21. I have often used two different clays to create pieces. I would use a white clay for horns on an object, or borders on a pot added on. In the long run it requires that the two clays be mature at the same temp, and that they have a similar shrinkage rate. You can see how if a clay body does not shrink the same as the clay it is attached to that there would be separation of the two pieces. At the same time if they do not fire to the same maturity temperature, taking glaze, or other surface treatments. best, Pres
  22. Forgot to mention, that the professorship was for something completely out of art area, but related. Seems because of my computer animation background that the college thought I would be a good fit to teach teachers how to transition into using their computers to prepare classroom materials. So it was about creating good legible organized slide shows, overhead transparencies and handouts for the classroom. . . pre white board. best, Pres
  23. So my whining on another thread about dealing with "infirmaries" brought on a suggestion for extruding by Min. (IP: Posted Wednesday at 11:41 AM @Pres, how about using an electric caulking gun? Ryobi makes an inexpensive one ($40 in Canada) 500 lbs of push force. I know the battery and charger would be expensive but if you already have those? After about a week of thinking about it and researching, I spent part of an afternoon at a lumber/hardware store and came up with what I hoped would be a solution. I purchased the following: Length of 1 1/2" inside diameter plastic pipe. Reduction collar Electric Caulk gun sold without battery One battery and charger kit At home, I cut the pipe to 81/4 ", as a standard caulk tube is 8 1/2 inches. I also cut off the end of the reducer, which gave me a collar to add to the end of the pipe. I also used a 1 1/2" hole saw to cut a Plexiglas plug to fit between the end of the plunger and clay,as a caulk tube has a plastic plug on it to keep caulk from getting to the plunger. I then removed the plunger end from the toothed rod with the center screw, and then the screw that held the backing plate and the plastic plunger end together. Using my dremel with my drill, I set up a bit to grind/sand the metal and plastic to the 1 1/2" diameter extruder tube. Then replaced these back on the toothed rod. Well wedged clay was placed in the assembled extuder, the die on the end of the tube, the collar over top fitting on to the tube, then the clay( well wedged and rolled out to fit), and lastly the protection plate for the plunger with a little space in the end of the tube. Lastly the entire thing was placed into the caulk gun/clay extruder and within 3 minutes I had the three and a half lengths of handle around 8" long. So smooth, no cross lines from short pumps of the manual type handle, and so easy on my hands. Once again, Thanks to MIN! Caulk gun with battery 8 1/4" X 1 1/2" diameter pipe, handle extruder die, collar made from reducer coupling, end for plunger of caulk gun Only change on Caulk gun was to grind/sand plunger end to fit into 1 1/2 ID pipe Plunger has a metal backer for plastic front, I separated both by removing center screw and side screw-simple. Set up for drill to change diameter of any pieces needed to be ground, cut smaller. Full tube of new power extruder gave me these teapot handles till the plunger was at the end of run
  24. This is getting a bit of use. I have more teapots to do, and 60 more mugs to finish up. I have also been looking at some design options with added on decoration and some hand built galleries for altered thrown forms. This because of the rise in the center walls when squaring a thrown bowl for lid. Lots of thinking to go yet. I have also heard from some that intend to do the same as they are running into similar problems. best, Pres

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