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Selchie

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  1. Thanks. I will see if I can find the Standard 365 porcelain. Will try throwing what I have, too, because if it works, I get it right from PSH. I agree about the wax not working, unless I do the whole handle, I can't see how it would work, the more I think about it. I don't want to spend all sorts of time putting wax on handles, if I don't have to do so. I had one handle crack right in the middle. Really frustrating after working with stoneware. I will try putting them in a wet box and see if that will help.
  2. Thanks for the suggestion! Using a wet box would make me much happier than having to use wax resist.
  3. Picked up my Pottery Supply House #909 porcelain with Epsom salts today. According to the potter who works there, there is 2% Epsom salts added to the porcelain. It is designed to counteract the thixotropic properties of nepheline syenite and helps to make the porcelain more plastic. The salesperson uses #910, but she is a much better/more experienced potter than I am. She also suggested using wax, at the leather hard stage, around the connections between the handle and the body of the mug, to prevent cracking. I'll give that a try - and open to any other suggestions on that score, as well. Thanks for all of your input!
  4. Ugh. I think I would have stopped at doorstops (sunny side up egg shaped) and never have made it to spoon rests and small bowls.
  5. My attempts with porcelain have been limited, but good to know that some clays might be somewhat less difficult than others for throwing. My throwing is improving, so I'm ready to try porcelain again. Cream cheese, I think I can handle. Hot Velveeta - can't even imagine! My issues before with porcelain were more with my skill (or lack of it) in drying handles; I think I needed to dry the clay more slowly and carefully than I had.
  6. Thanks for the ideas. If Epsom salts will hold the porcelain together and not flop as much, that would be helpful. I will be throwing with it. Good to know about possibly getting carbon trapping in reduction firing because I will have access to a reduction kiln, but infrequently. I will probably stick with stoneware for that kiln. I can do some testing with less important items in the reduction kiln and stick with oxidation for the pots that are more important. I'll let you know what I find out.
  7. I am working towards throwing more with porcelain, at cone 6, mostly in oxidation. The closest source of porcelain for me is Pottery Supply House in Ontario (www.psh.ca). There are two cone 6 porcelains: PSH 910 and PSH 909. When I read the descriptions, #910 says "A bright and white versatile porcelain for use at cone 6-8" and #909 says "Same recipe as 910 stabilized with Epsom salts." I am aware of Epsom salts being used in glazes, but don't know enough about clay, porcelain in particular, to know what the difference would be in the clay by the addition of Epsom salts. Would it be easier (more forgiving) for throwing, or would there be a difference in drying? Or are there other attributes of the clay that would be changed by the addition of Epsom salts? I will contact a salesperson at the company for input, but any help would be appreciated so I can be a bit more knowledgeable when I talk with someone at PSH.
  8. I also don't want to put an inventory number or date on my pieces - I guess just a preference. Instead I keep picture and spreadsheet records. I started taking pictures and putting those in a spread sheet, with data about the clay, glazing, etc., but the pictures were tricky to get into the spreadsheet and were small. Now, I put a little post-it note in the picture with a piece number on it, clay type, and sometimes weight of clay and keep that in Adobe Lightroom (example below). It helps me to have the information in the picture itself, as it can't get lost and is always linked. I take a second picture once it is glazed with the same sticky note on it and add information about the glazes I am using and any other important information. I keep those pictures and label the picture file name by the piece number. I link that same piece number in excel, with other information in columns, such as type of clay, weight, height of the object, glazing, current progress and notes about the piece, etc. so I can sort by pot type, glaze, clay type and anything else. I have only been working at throwing for just over a year, so this information is really helpful because I am trying lots of different shapes, clays and glazes. I expect that when I am producing better work consistently and understand more about what I am doing, that I will be less likely to keep these kind of records as they are time consuming.
  9. I haven't taught ceramics, but have taught in post-secondary institutions in another discipline. I understand your frustration and applaud your actions. One action that was used in an institution in which I worked, was to document, as you are already doing. Then, the student was asked to come in to discuss the disruptive behaviour and read the document describing the action. The student was asked to sign the document, indicating that he or she had read it. There were two incidents of potential law suits, based on the idea that the student didn't know there was a problem, but by signing the document, it was impossible for the person to say that he or she didn't know the issue. I didn't need to resort to that approach often, but it helped sometimes. Another thing I was wondering; if the noise distresses her, what are her coping mechanisms in other situations in which she finds herself? Might be worth a discussion, if possible, with her, as she might have ways of dealing with noise in other situations that would help her in the ceramics course.
  10. The issues of when to start selling - and are the pots good enough - seem to be questions for everyone as they move up in proficiency and quality. The other part of this discussion that I think is important is that these beginner pots didn't end up in a land fill, which is good. I was thinking of digging a trench in my backyard and burying my early work. Maybe an archeologist would find the trench, but then that archeologist would think that this generation had some pretty poor potters. I am at the cusp of deciding my work is "good enough" to sell. It seems that the progression is from throwing door stops, to paper weights, to trinket holders, then to real work. Feedback from experienced potters and instructors has helped me to make the decision to sell.
  11. If Palmtree decided to cover much of the piece with underglaze, is there a way to prevent the issue of glaze not absorbing through the underglaze? Would this issue be different if the underglaze is put on greenware rather than bisque ware? Would it help to let the underglaze dry longer than usual?
  12. Thank you!!! I will go on a more focussed search now! I have a bit of an understanding of the physics of plasticity and elasticity of solids (and ultimate failure point - which is the one I have reached frequently as I have been learning to throw). Adding the chemistry of the clay, liquid limits, rotation of the wheel and the clay, upward force of the potter's hands - and I think the end result is just basically magic!
  13. I want more "fines", but only the kind that glazenerd has! Is there a reference article or book about clay chemistry, glazenerd? Curious. I am also wondering about how much water is enough. The clay comes moist, but some addition of water when throwing decreases friction on the surface, so (I'm assuming) is a good thing. I am well aware of the actions of too much water - have watched clay, that in my imagination is going to be 10" high, decide it wants to become a poor imitation of a "George Ohr" pot on the wheel. I would be interested in seeing some of the physical properties of clay in electron microscope detail. Thanks for the extensive explanation - definitely helps and peaks both interest and cookie cravings.
  14. Love this dish idea. Wow! I was an occupational therapist; now a beginner potter - and I think making this kind of bowl is a goal for me. I am going to go down to our children's center for kids with disabilities and see what shapes they recommend and see if I can (eventually) reproduce the shape. Thanks.
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