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Mullins Pottery

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Everything posted by Mullins Pottery

  1. Mullins Pottery

    Giffin grip

    I have never used a griffin grip I trim everything from mugs to 20” vases and bowl to bottles. Usually I just use a little water on the wheel head or nothing at all. I think it’s an essential skill to learn how to trim well without the griffin grip. Tap centering and balance till get you anywhere you need to go in terms of trimming. I can’t think of anything else you should need aside from a couple good bisque fired chucks for bottles and such. *from mugs to 27" vases,
  2. Mullins Pottery

    Looking to buy a pottery wheel for a beginner

    I bought a 40+ year old Lockerbie several years back for my first wheel it set me back $150 and a couple of tumblers. I used it religiously for a few years and it was a great wheel. Now I have a shimpo and like limbsaw said my kick wheel is a giant paper weight in the corner of my studio. That being said it was a great wheel and still is. It’s nice to have if the power goes out. But I wouldn’t spend that much on that. Maybe a couple hundred on an older Lockerbie.
  3. Mullins Pottery

    Release agents

    I just use mineral oil soap on all my molds works like a charm.
  4. Mullins Pottery

    New Potter

    My pottery skills were aquired by many many hours of practice in the studio. That along with taking as many clay classes as I could for additional instruction. It wasn’t till after spending a lot of time in the studio that I was able to benefit from watching videos on YouTube and such to see different techniques and forms. But I will say after gaining my own experiences in the studio spending non studio time watching YouTube demos and sketching pots helped and still helps a ton. Pottery can be a never ending journey of learning but it’s a pretty awesome one. Good luck!
  5. Mullins Pottery

    Firing potters choice glazes

    If I understand correctly as long as the pieces are bisque fires prior to the glaze firing you should be good to fire as quickly or as slowly as you like. As far as the hold at the end of the firing it depends entirely on the glaze. If you’re not sure on a particular glaze, fire several test tiles or mugs to make sure. As always test test test!
  6. I tend to think of throwing proficiency in terms of forms. If we're talking about a 6" cylinder I know my professor was expecting that 2nd or 3rd week for beginning throwing classes. I felt like after a year in high school I could throw a 6" cylinder if at the drop of a hat. I was listening to Ben Carters podcast during one of his New Zealand segments and on of the artists described mastery on the potters wheel as an ability to throw anything you can think of. Some of the interviews I've listened to have surprised me looking at the work of some of these artists, very accomplished ceramic artists, in many cases they shrink away from the term "Master" because they recognize this idea of infinite possibilities not yet tapped into. I've been making pots on the wheel since high school. Though I feel proficient in my throwing abilities each year the passes I look at my work from last year and most of the work I look at think what was I thinking. I agree with the previously posted sentiment. We should always be looking for the needed improvements in our aesthetic, technique and craftsmanship.
  7. In terms of american pottery a few yeas back I did a paper on Maria Martinez and another on Juan Quesada. Their work rediscovering the traditional native american ceramic aesthetic and process I think is definitely worth mention.
  8. Mullins Pottery

    Pottery amateur in need of advice :)

    Thanks so much for this insight. My journey in ceramic art is taking me toward teaching. I've heard a ton about the pros and cons of teaching at different levels and this so far has been the most clear and instructional.
  9. Mullins Pottery

    Carbon Trap Shino

    Hi all, I'm looking for advice on how to achieve a darker charcoal/black carbon trap finish. I'm working with Malcolm Davis Shino on bee mix & coleman porcelain. I have been unable to fire the gas reduction downdraft kiln because of work so I haven't been able to play around with it. This image was taken a while back before I really cared how heavy the carbon trap was (record record record). This is what I'm trying to achieve. It's Malcolm Davis Shino on Coleman Porcelain with wax resist fired to cone 10 in gas reduction. Any thoughts?
  10. Mullins Pottery

    What’s on your workbench?

    My workbench is empty! I just cleaned it off this morning (finally!). I have the last couple weeks worth of bisque ware to glaze and decorate now. Which usually ends taking up the most time and energy of all.
  11. Mullins Pottery

    Why make functional ware?

    I'll have to agree on the side of hand made wares being more functional/durable in many cases than commercially made wares. Though hand made pottery can fall on the lower scale of functionality (most of us can remember when we just began making) it has much greater potential to be both more functional and durable. Commercially made wares don't have the artistic eye of a functional maker watching over each piece. Each piece has a quality that a factory can't produce and that quality is individuality. That's why your serious mug, bowl, tumbler, etc. buyer takes the time to handle several pieces before making a decision. We have the power to produce a little piece of John or Jane Doe without even knowing it. Though commercial is more capable of duplicating a form and finish thousands of times over handmade is a superior product creating a genuine human interaction with the vessel.
  12. Mullins Pottery

    Carbon Trap Shino

    Thanks for the info. In terms of my goals with this process I know that there are other ways to accomplish a similar aesthetic with other glazes but I'm working with shino because I enjoy the carbon trap process/color pallet . Also I've been tinkering with Gustin shino and Malcolm Davis shino to produce high fire overglaze decorations. At first separately but more recently I've been using them on the same pot. Shino's don't shift in the firing so they have been good candidates for brushwork and such. So basically getting that charcoal backdrop is just one part of the equation. I very much enjoy the oranges & reds that are so common with malcolm davis i'm just trying to get a better handle on the carbon trapping part. I fired a Geil downdraft over the weekend with some mixed results. I had most of my carbon trap pieces come out red-orange/orange with some carbon trapping . Most of my bowls got that black carbon trapping that i'm looking for on the underside. One bottle that was glazed thicker than the rest ended up forest/snot green from too much carbon I assume I've never had this but I've seen it in the work of others. I'm wondering if I just glaze my pieces like normal and just reduce harder. With your combined experience does that sound like it might produce the desired results? Firing schedule: candled to 1250 opened up gas took it up to 1535 then began reduction reduced to for 45 min, temp at end of reduction 1640 kept neutral atmosphere (slightly reduced) till end of firing (2310) This is a link for a video of the pots from the firing. Sorry I haven't had time to photograph yet. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwDDXHDlS0HGWnBhdy1JMmJfSUZESmM1Ul9zdDBEVGlEaGFz
  13. Mullins Pottery

    Carbon Trap Shino

    Also I know at my school they usually do a body reduction around 1400 for 30-40 min is too soon?
  14. Mullins Pottery

    Carbon Trap Shino

    What do you look for in terms of reduction when you say heavily? In other words how do you gauge how heavy/light the reduction is? What are the key indicators you look for when gauging reduction?
  15. I've got this native clay that I've been working with for a couple years and it's a fantastic clay that fires beautifully to cone 04. When I first began testing this clay body i tested it at both 04 and cone 10. At cone 04 its a soft salmon color and it works great with cone 04-06 glazes. in a cone 10 gas reduction firing it turns black and seems to be too vitrified and brittle but there is no bloating. At this temperature it does not receive cone 10 glazes at all. All the test tiles I made with this clay glazed crumbled/shot off into hundreds of pieces. I know that there are some clay bodies that can be adjusted to work well at low and high fire temperatures. I'm wanting to find out what could be added to this clay body to make it a proper fit for cone 10 glazes and perhaps still work well at 04.
  16. Mullins Pottery

    Making a cone 04 clay go to cone 10

    Thanks guys I appreciate the suggestions. I'm definitely going to give kaolin a try.
  17. Mullins Pottery

    Clay processing

    Hello all, As is happens I live in a desert. All the local earthenware clay I dig up is already dry and mostly free of impurities. Much of the research I've done regarding the processing of clay suggests that after drying the clay one should break up the dry bits into pieces then screen dry then re-hydrate to appropriate consistency. In my process I basically use the blunging process instead of dry screening. Aside from the drying process taking a couple days I cant think of anything that makes this process less viable. I've found this to be quite effective in weeding out the impurities. I'm wondering if there's anything wrong with doing a wet screening as opposed to a dry screening. Any thoughts? My process is this: 1. Dig up clay 2. Re-hydrate clay 3. Blunge into slurry 4. Pour through screen mesh twice 5. Dry to appropriate consistency on drying table 6. Wedge into logs 8. Bag & age
  18. Mullins Pottery

    Clay processing

    Thanks Magnolia another thing I haven’t considered. I do end up with some left over inorganic material but I’m not sure what it is. It acts similar to clay but it refuses to break down and further with my mixer. I can smush it if I smear it across my hand but even when I place all of this material in a bucket with like 200% water to try to break it down with my mixer it refuses. I’ve fired it both with and without the extra material and I have not noticed and difference. However when I exclude the extra material the clay body is easier to throw. I’ve been wanting to send a sample to a lab to figure out exactly what the material is composed of but have yet to do so.
  19. Mullins Pottery

    Clay processing

    Thanks for the reply Mark. I'm basically just trying to cover all my bases. I hadn't considered the possibility of re-hydrating organics. Thankfully I haven't found any in the clay that I've worked with so far. This clay has been pretty awesome. Great to throw with or handbuild. It dries very nicely for durable workable greenware and fires beautifully at cone 04. I just haven't seen much being said about processing this way and am wanting to avoid any possible pitfalls.

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