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Found 7 results

  1. This week I will pose another question of my own, as there have been few new ones in the question bank. Why? In other words, why do you make clay objects? Is it for fame or fortune, love or need, or even knowledge and curiosity? Why do you do what you do in Ceramics? This has never been a question that I had thought very much of, as from the very beginning for some reason or other it just seemed natural, not a question of why, but why not. I could no longer be without clay once experiencing it as I could do without good food, nice fabric, a loving wife, or children or even breathing in and out. The first time I felt the clay moving through my fingers on the wheel it was like a drug, I needed to do it more and more, to learn how to control it, and of late how to un-control it. So I was driven to make pots, and then, there were too many for home, but I still had to make pots, so I started selling some. In that way the pots became a way of sustaining the addiction. Of late, I have found myself thinking more of the process of filling an order especially after this Savannah Bee order. I remember the intensity I felt when working in grad classes of meeting deadlines, and meeting requirements. This intensity would bring out the best in me, as my movements on the wheel would become more assured and efficient. My groupings of pots became faster and faster to complete, and the forms more natural and pleasing. Filling this late order has forced me to re-evaluate my reasons for taking the order, and wondering about the future. I don't know where this latest step will take me, but believe the experience will be important. best, Pres
  2. I'm in my senior year of college having concentrated in ceramics and I'm just curious, how many people on here sell work for a living as their primary source of income? Feel free to share your stories of how you got started, got your own studio, if you share a studio, etc.!
  3. I was in the studio all day Sunday. I am having to fill a kiln with my firing partner so that I can get an order of 60 mugs out for February 5. It was a long day. I had made 12 5lb colanders. I put side handles on them. I trimmed the dozen plates that go under the colanders. I trimmed 34 mugs. My son came in at 4:00 p.m. to work on a clay slingshot that he is making. At about 5:00, I was getting tired. Still had about 20 mugs to put handles on. I said to my son;"You know, I never get tired of doing this." He said;"But Dad, that's because they are all different. everyone is a problem to solve." I looked at him and blinked, then smiled. Of course they are all different. Some are big or small, moist or dry, some handles work, others don't.I guess that's why I am still in the game. Have you heard a wise comment about your making recently? TJR. I forgot to say that my son is 16 [edit[.
  4. I'm working on performance plans for 2015, and was trying to figure out what level of productivity I can expect from my employees. I'll provide some background and if anyone has any insight I would appreciate your comments / input. We can fire 61 mugs in a single bisque / glaze firing. And, I want to fire a glaze every other day. So, I need 61 mugs made, dried, and ready for bisque every other day. When the bisque is complete, I glaze those mugs, and fire glaze the same day. We typically run 3 bisque and 3 glaze, but can run 4 of each during a rush, like now. So I need to move 61 pieces into the kilns every other day, which means I need to have the pieces assembled and drying about 48 hours in advance of bisque. To keep that pace I need to assemble 61 pieces a day (hand builders). Right now I'm at 32 to 40 pieces per day assembled. My wheel potters out pace my hand builders and then switch over to hand building to clear the backlog. Wheel Potter: 1. How many cylinders should a potter with about 7 to 10 years in clay be able to throw in an hour? Each cylinder uses approximately 2.75 lbs of clay No handle attachment Throws cylinder on small square bat, moves the bat and form to a shelf Fills 12 forms per shelf Cart hold 7 shelves 2. Each potter trims his / her own cylinders Bottom of cylinder is flat, no foot cut into floor of cylinder Lower sidewalls need to trimmed on about 1 out of 5 forms Curved foot ring cut into sidewall at foot using rib template Trimming generally occurs on day after throwing Trimmed forms placed into damp box and transferred to hand building Hand Builder: 1. How many mugs can a hand builder assemble in a hour / day? Pulls empty shelf from drying rack and places on bench Removes trimmed cylinders from damp box and places on bench Extrudes handles Shapes extrusions to form using jig / template Rolls slabs for tiles in slab roller Strikes slabs with die, and cuts tiles used as surface design Attaches tile using slip / score technique Attaches handle to cylinder using slip / score at upper / lower join Cuts triangular thumb rest and attaches to top of handle using slip & score technique Inspects work, cleans up crumbs, scratches, dents, canvass marks, etc. Places assembled mug on shelf, completes 12, and returns shelf to drying rack This is the process we use today. I understand there are lots of things we can do to improve the process, those suggestions would also be helpful. Yes, we could use a ram press, and we do plan to test one in the first quarter of next year, but right now I have to measure this process and need to know what is reasonable productivity? The potters currently throw between 5 and 15 cylinders per hour when throwing and trim at about twice that rate. My feeling is this is low, but I don't know if that's a reasonable belief, and what is a reasonable expectation of performance? The hand builders assemble from 3 to 5 mugs per hour. My feeling is this is very low, but again... Typically 2 or 3 mugs per hour is achieved when multiple tiles have to be attached to the mug. A rate of 4 or 5 mugs per hour is achieved when only a single tile is attached to the mug. Again, I lack experience in a multi-potter production environment and so I don't know if my thinking is accurate or in line with industry norms. Hand builders perform extrusion tasks, slab rolling, and tile making tasks separate from assembly tasks. Each position has studio maintenance responsibilities which affect daily production, but not hourly. Maintenance is generally conducted at end of shift and involves cleaning assigned work areas and common areas as part of ongoing dust abatement efforts. All up surfaces are wiped down, filters changed, floors mopped, HEPA vac, etc. Your insights would be most helpful...
  5. My name is Kristofer Hammer and I am a student of Union College in the USA, and I am applying for the Watson fellowship. This would allow me to study internationally for a year, traveling from various countries for my personal project proposal. My desire is to study Ceramics and the production of ceramics across the globe and I am hoping to not only work alongside artists, but to see how the Clay comes from the earth and into a persons hands. I was hoping that this community would be willing/able in assisting me in my dream, and might be able to provide me with any contact details of artists or art institutions in varying international countires, who may speak with me. My current countries are vast and wide but I am heavily considering Germany, Italy, France, India, China, Nigeria, Egypt, Korea, and England. I hope to hear from this amazing community and thank you for everyones time and consideration! Sincerely, Kristofer Hammer http://www.watsonfellowship.org/site/what/what.html
  6. I need a splash guard for my brent wheel and my clay boss wheel for production pottery. Any suggestions? Also, what is a good way to contain trimmings from the wheel? Are there any splash guards made just for trimming?
  7. Hello Everyone, I'd like to start by introducing myself. My name is Ed and I'm new to the ceramics business. Literally all I know is what I've googled so far. What I'm trying to do is find the best method to mass produce stoneware ceramics. I wanted to get everyones opinion here on it. I would like to be able to create up to 10,000 small yet complex pieces a month or more from a few different designs. From what I have read there is the slip-casting method of creating a mold and then using slip to pour into the mold and wait for it to dry and then glaze and fire the piece. The problem I see with this method is I don't think I could reach the quantity of pieces I would like with slip-casting all by myself working full-time or with the help of 1 or 2 people. Another method that I've read about is ceramic injection molding. With this method it seems like I can meet the production goal of 10,000 pieces or more. I was wondering if anyone has made stoneware with ceramic injection molding? If anyone has experience with CIM could you shed some light on the costs involved in the process. Also if there is another way that would be better than anything I mentioned please let me know. Thanks Ed
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