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About Hulk

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday October 13

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  • Location
    Los Osos, CA - a pile o' damp sand
  • Interests
    Pizza, swimming, cycling, reading, puttering ...and ceramics

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  1. ...an' if you can test drive your choice(s), more the better. I'd be willing to try a kickwheel, however, have been at th' age where any new thing I feel the next days for quite a while now, so, nah, electric foot pedal! I'm not seeing anything new/improved in wheels over the last several decades, fwiw; a few brands have come and gone.
  2. Hulk

    New Potter

    There are so many resources! Here's a few books I liked The Art and Craft of Clay by Susan Peterson The Craft of the Potter by Michael Casson (see also his BBC video clips) Getting Into Pots by the Wettlaufers If you get into glazes, try John Britt's book, and Hesselberth and Roy's book. ...so many books! See also Tony Hansen's website and Hesselberth at FrogPondPottery.com, search "mighty mud mixer" and see glazy.org Online Tony Hansen's You Tube videos and DigitalFire website Instructional videos, search Tim See, Hsin-Chuen Lin, Ingleton Pottery, Marc Mancuso, Susan Bass, Earth Nation ...so many videos! Check out NHK World "Ceramic Treasures" series, cool stuff. This forum, always something goin' on, and the search function brings back what's been.
  3. Hulk

    New Potter

    Hi Natalie! Pres started a new question of the week on how long did learning to throw take - looks like the consensus converges on throwing skill bein' a lifelong journey! Any road, likely many of the forum regulars will recommend class(es) to start, and access to equipment for regular practice. In class, you might get some good instruction, see some good work being done, while meeting new folks as well and trying out throwing without a big investment. I'd been interested in throwing for 'bout forty years, finally got into th' local JC last spring for Wheel I (I'm in Wheel II now); after a few months, we found a deal on a used (barely) wheel. A few months further on, we found a used kiln and made a trip to Aardvark Clay to pick up ~1200 pounds of clay, glaze ingredients, etc. My only in person instructor gives a short demo now and again, mostly turns the class loose to practice, practice, practice - she follows up with those who are struggling, and responds to questions from there. I prefer that over an avalanche of directions, hovering, control, etc. I've learned much*, and there's sooo much more to learn! I say "in person" on account o' there's so much available via book, magazine, and online. Later I'll post a list of authors and You Tube folks... it's time to ride! *don't be afraid to make mistakes - that's how we learn, eh? lol! ...oh, ah knowed a loot about pottery (iow, have made a loot of mistakes!!) For me, practice is key - when I get four or five sessions in a week, it shows - perhaps not right away, haha; on the other hand, lack of practice also tells.
  4. Plan for clean up, then clean up! ...where are airborne particles going (and settling)? What if (err, when) you spill powders? Liquids? How will you store/dispose of cleanup - responsibly? My mixing area has a broad flat surface, easily wiped off, over a smooth (cleanable) floor. Directly overhead my (homemade) vent a kiln is running throughout, and I don't open the door or windows during, hence the only air movements are caused by me shuffling about, and the vent a kiln. Dry spills are carefully cleaned up wet - sponge or mop; wet clean up same - w/o allowing the spills to dry and become airborne. Cleanup all ends up in a bucket, which settled contents become either a "mystery" glaze to play with, else to toxic waste. There's more ...as Liam says, it is simple safety.
  5. Good question! ...ah don't know yet, still learning. A few weeks in, centering clay started to get easier; some semblance of control started to come (and go) months later. Along the way commitment to preppin' that clay settled in, and it occurred to me there may be a reason why about half o'th'lumps behave better - 50/50 chance on which way the lump is turned up? For sure a slightly dry side, a bubble, a streak of harder/softer clay - any inconsistency - be causin' problems. Too soft and not soft enough can be frustrating as well. Back to the 50/50, I've been experimenting with fellow students at the JC (the ones really struggling); I'll offer to wedge up some clay, which I turn up left side for counterclockwise throwers (right side for me and the leftists), then ask later on how that worked out. Each and every one had a better experience. Hmmm, wedge? Pay attention to which way the clay swirls? What say you all? When we touch the spinning clay, it drags, causing the clay to swirl/spin, yes? Any road, still later on, further commitment to prep, in coning up and down at least three times, gettin' that clay centered up such that there's no perceptible runout - none. From there, consistent (if slow) progress... Still later, finally realize that clay remembers everything! e.g. when coning, particularly up, rushing a bit causes the clay to shear - those shear lines bite back soon enough. From there, a few little light bulbs lit up! ...'bout eight months in now, working on repeat work; not that I particularly want to do production - I do want the develop the skill, and there's some improvement lately, however, long way to go. All that said, keep at it, don't give up, practice, practice, and there isn't one right way - find what works for you, e.g., I'm right handed, but turn clockwise; I have problems with fine control in my right hand between about bellybutton to forehead, so left hand support/help is needed for trimming and centering, etc.; I've no feeling on outside half of right middle finger, which I keep forgetting, haha
  6. Hulk

    Electric Reduction Firing

    Also interested; pottery is a new activity for me - set up at home with a wheel and old electric since April, first bisque and glaze firings last month. Was curious earlier why not reduction in an electric kiln, but soon read about the problem with elements. I'm still curious why kiln people aren't using oxygen sensors; there's at least one in every car now (guessing that high temp CO detectors are not available, else not cheap). My (thin) understanding is "reduction" means significant CO levels in the kiln...
  7. The model A at the JC lab appears to be in original condition; I've not given it a whirl, as I'm clockwise and there is no reversing switch (that I see...). As mentioned, preventing water damage is important; this one is in good shape, however, others I've seen had top replaced, or needed it.
  8. Local JC has one in the lab - I've never tried it out, however, my friend L*** uses it exclusively - will check it out and get back. …that said, I believe there are two or three frequenters of this forum who own model A Brents...
  9. Hulk

    kilnshedrakukilns copy.jpg

    ,) Nice view! Congrats on your kiln shed expansion.
  10. Hulk

    Reclaimed clay

    I'm letting trimmings and chunks dry thoroughly. The wet stuff (from throwing bucket, splash pan cleanup, etc.) settles out; I'm pouring off the clear water. The dry stuff turns to sludge in a few minutes when tossed into the wet bucket. When the bucket is close to full, time to whip it up with the grout mixer, then scoop it out onto plaster slabs - seems to me this step is simpler when chunks and bits are allowed to dry thoroughly before reslaking. I'm at hobby level, not needing a pugmill just yet. Any road, reclaim seems to work well so far...
  11. That's what the local JC uses. I like it ok. It has a low coe; several of the glazes I'm working on at and for home don't fit the 850 (craaaze). Last semester they brought in some Laguna b mix, as several students didn't like the sand in the 850; I didn't see anyone passing the b mix up for the 850 - then it was all gone. I'm sticking with Aardvark clay - mostly on account o' the used wheel I found came with two bags o' Aardvark, and from there I was impressed with them when I placed a small order, then later picked up a "big" order with my blue Tacoma. I've only got into the long beach (cone 10), srf, café cinco, and srfg (cone 5/6) so far; on the shelves are four more flavours. I see many of their clays are out of stock now, hope they are able to start mixing again later on...
  12. Hulk

    kilnshedrakukilns copy.jpg

    Nice! ...is that a window in the wall behind the kiln, or a tv?
  13. Two thumbs, left on supporting right for the smallest mounds o'clay, else side by side, finger tips on the outside walls; as Art points out, above, not pushing directly in the center. For wells deeper than thumbs, once thumbed to depth, right hand as a spear takes over, middle finger leading and supported by its index and ring fingers, plus left hand index finger for extra feeling - right middle finger bein' nerve damaged (the nerve o'that finger!). Although right handed, I turn clockwise. As both thumbs are damaged in the second joint, a lone thumb is unhappy! I hadn't thought of the slightly off center approach being beneficial until reading above - in my case, a happy accident.
  14. Hulk

    Between Two Wheels

    Likely I'd have the Bailey if hadn't found a deal on used (barely) Skutt Steven Hill, which I'm liking very much. Your dawg has beautiful coloring!

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