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    • Jennifer Harnetty

      Moderators needed!   12/08/2017

      Ceramic Arts Network is looking for two new forum moderators for the Clay and Glaze Chemistry and Equipment Use and Repair sections of the Ceramic Arts Network Community Forum. We are looking for somebody who is an active participant (i.e. somebody who participates on a daily basis, or near daily) on the forum. Moderators must be willing to monitor the forum on a daily basis to remove spam, make sure members are adhering to the Forum Terms of Use, and make sure posts are in the appropriate categories. In addition to moderating their primary sections, Moderators must work as a team with other moderators to monitor the areas of the forum that do not have dedicated moderators (Educational Approaches and Resources, Aesthetic Approaches and Philosophy, etc.). Moderators must have a solid understanding of the area of the forum they are going to moderate (i.e. the Clay and Glaze Chemistry moderator must be somebody who mixes, tests, and has a decent understanding of materials). Moderators must be diplomatic communicators, be receptive to others’ ideas, and be able to see things from multiple perspectives. This is a volunteer position that comes with an honorary annual ICAN Gold membership. If you are interested, please send an email outlining your experience and qualifications to jharnetty@ceramics.org.

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Found 27 results

  1. I’m going to teach myself spiral wedging sometime, which prompted a question about wedging in general. I throw clockwise on the wheel, I usually just do a quick rams head wedging to prep my clay. I have not really paid attention to the direction of the wedge once I work it into a ball and put it on the wheel. But is it better to wedge in the same direction as your wheel or the opposite? My gut tells me it should be in the same direction but I don’t know why. Any input? Thanks!!
  2. JBaymore PotsDryingInSun

    From the album Images For Misc. Posts

    Pots drying in the sun, getting ready for an anagama firing.
  3. JBaymore VaseForm

    From the album Images For Misc. Posts

    A vase form made from the clay in a prior posting here.
  4. JBaymore BottleForm

    From the album Images For Misc. Posts

    Image of a bottle form made from the altered clay shown in another image.
  5. So, it took a little while but I finally did it. I know there was a lot of confusion when I explained it, but I hope these pictures clear a few things up. All I need to do now is trim it, any tips on how to do so would be greatly appreciated. Also, how do I smooth out the underside of the middle bowl.
  6. So I've been thinking about different wheel designs, and I thought of something similar to a chip and dip bowl. I was thinking about opening the clay, leaving nothing at the bottom, and then separating the two walls. Then you would pull the walls of the center wall, making it a little thick. Then you would connect the rim, essentially making a dome. Lastly you would push down on the top of the dome, making something like a candlestick, or a small bowl. So far I have gotten this far, but I struggle with widening the rim, and making it deeper. Does anyone have suggestions?
  7. I have been studying plasticity in stoneware bodies, as most know. I am finding some results that are making me question the accepted belief that plasticity equates to ease of throwing. Plasticity in general comes from the electrostatic charges on the clay particles; which changes as the body ages. I am looking for articles that specifically review the relation of sub micron ball clays, to the ease of throwing. I am trying to determine/figure out how mass plays a role in throwing. Ron Roy and I had this discussion at NCECA; what is the cut-off point for large and intermediate mesh sizes, before those additions create a denser mass: which makes the clay harder to push around on a wheel. It is very common for stoneware bodies to have 80% total clay content, there are some even higher than that. So I still find myself questioning if mass is playing the larger role in determining if a clay is easier to push around? Not sure if I am articulating my thoughts correctly, but hopefully I have made the question clear enough. As a comparison: everyone knows how easily porcelain moves around when thrown. The most common analogy is that it throws like cream cheese. That is because porcelain in general has 25% silica, and 25% feldspar; which has much less mass than fire clay. One of the major differences is mass: stoneware has more clay content; and much larger particle sizes. I have tested this theory by adding V-gum and macaloid to high percentage formulas of fire clay/intermediate clay. These additions are not the norm; solely done to test if plasticity is the determining factor in ease of throwing. Nerd
  8. I have a question about clays. I've found that the Standard Ceramic Clays I am buying are very inconsistent in hardness. Is this true of all clays? Just when I think I've found a clay that I can throw easily, the next box has a totally different feel. It's not a problem for handbuilding, but really limits my throwing size. I work with cone 6, and there's only one ceramic supply place nearish-by, (hour and a quarter away on a good day), and it only carries Standard clay. I really liked the Little Loafers I bought online and would be happy to do that again, if it will feel the same each time. What's your experience on this issue? Are all clays inconsistent from batch to batch or is there a difference between manufacturers? Thanks!
  9. Hi, I've been using Amaco 38 for about two years but...I'm just thinking there has to be a softer solution. Yes, I wedge. The bag has not been sitting for long at all. So, I'm looking to others for some guidance. I can center and pull fine but, I have to use more force than others in videos that I watch. I cone up and down normally to center and then use another strategy to make sure it's truly center. However, coning seems to take so much work and I see others doing it and its like they are playing with play dough. I want to do this for a long time because I love it...but, something has to give. Thanks, Leslie
  10. Dear friends I thank Pres from all my heart for taking over the QOTW for me for the time I was abroad. I had a good time in Spain, but 3 days into my Symposium in Barcelona my mother-in-law died in Switzerland, and the good times were saddened a bit. I am back now and my question for you is: are you looking into a mirror while throwing? For checking on the shape of the object you're doing? Mirror or no mirror is a very personal thing I've learned. I myself am throwing without mirror, but my neck sometimes is hurting from bending my body to the right.... What about you all? Love from Switzerland Evelyne
  11. Hello, I'm Sarah and this is my first post. I hope I am posting correctly. I graduated from university in the UK two years ago from a mixed media degree where I specialised in Ceramics. Since graduation I have worked with a local potter as an apprentice and volunteered to wood fire with some potters. I have also been having one to one throwing tuition for over a year and getting to the stage of starting my own business and I have just purchased my first gas kiln. My website and blog are www.sarahgeeceramics.co.uk I am particularly looking for an apprenticeship or support somewhere to work in a ceramic community or directly with a potter that wood fires. I am very interested in learning these processes and would love the opportunity to develop. Does anyone know of any potters in Europe or places in Europe that wood fire and or gas fire ? And use throwing as their main production of ceramics? I would like to stay somewhere for a month or two ideally. Thanks so much for any help you can offer. Sarah
  12. My First Wheel

    Hi Guys, I'm new to the forum and considering buying my first potters wheel this year. I already own a kiln (a Comet ECO P59240-E from Pottery Craft) and have been hand building for a little while. I'm just coming to the end of a 10 week throwing course and feel that a wheel is the right step for my little online shop. I went to view a 2nd hand wheel this week but quickly realised it was big and noisy, because of this I'm leaning towards a Shimpo Whisper but I've also read great things about Brent wheels. I'm used to throwing on wheels with bigger splash pans - because of the smaller size does it normaly get quite messy? Can anyone reccomend models of Brents to look at? Are they noisy machines? As these wheels don't tend to come up 2nd hand I'm thinking of buying new - my shop has around £1200 to spend but could spend more if the right wheel came along - is this a healthy budget? I found when I was buying my kiln there were lots of little bits that I didn't think about buying which all added up! Should I be expecting this with the wheel also? Thanks in advance and any info/tips/recommendations (for any wheels!) would be useful! Emma
  13. Most of us who've been doing this for a while will develop personal approaches to getting certain forms made on the wheel. Much of my work is very conventional... I'm strictly a functional potter. I greatly admire the work of many sculptors but have little personal interest in objects whose only purpose is contemplation. Still, it's nice to develop a form that's different, because one of the elements that cannot be divorced from the concept of fine art is originality. Some days I think we give too much weight to originality, and on others I feel unhappy that my mugs and bowls and crocks are so much like those made by a million other potters. However... many years ago, as a young potter, I realized that there was a market for fancy clay pipes. I made a lot of them, and sold a lot too. I'd guess that Atlanta in particular is still infested with a lot of pipes I made 40 years ago. I was frequently asked if I made water pipes. In those days, some potters would make vase forms, and then add a rubber stopper and a glass bowl, which struck me as an unpleasant makeshift. So I developed a way to make one-piece water pipes that required no extra gear to work. So what kind of unusual techniques have you developed? What makes them different from the usual ways of making? How did you come to discover your personal approaches. EDIT: My apologies to anyone who tried to follow the link that was in this post. I decided to take down the instructions, because I'm writing a little book on my pipe making techniques.
  14. Nilserik Stool From Ikea

    I have been trying to find a stool for throwing that will tilt and be adjustable height. . . I saw the nilserik at Ikea yesterday and for $50 bucks seems like it would be a good less expensive alternative to the fancier stools available - but it kinda rocks and swivels I was wondering if anyone has used it? http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30309724/
  15. Hello everyone! I'm getting better and better at throwing clay, and I have a question about what clay bodies everyone uses to throw. I have been using Standard 213 cone 6 porcelain, and I can't help but notice that the clay is stiff, and doesn't stretch very well. Looking at some videos online, I have seen how elastic some of the clay seems. The video in the link below is what inspired me to start throwing in the first place. Look at how great the plasticity of that clay is! I have attached a picture of the box I threw last night. I rolled a slab for the top and rolled a texture mat into it. It is the first one I have attempted. Trimmed and chattered this morning. I'm getting really excited about my gradually improving abilities, and I want to expand my scope of projects. The box in the picture was made with the 213 from standard clay. Do any of you have any suggestions for a more plastic high-fire clay body? I realize that shrinkage and warpage is an issue with a more plastic clay, but I would really like to know your thoughts on the clay bodies you like. Thanks very much! You all have been very helpful!
  16. We have seen a lot of discussion over the years about throwing larger, developing more texture, breaking out of slumps, becoming more creative. I was wondering how you prepare for doing something new, or returning to something you have not done for a while. I have been reading a fantasy novel lately where the character is constantly trying to improve his strengths by doing a little more "exercise" each day. I find that when I am trying to throw larger, especially of late , I try working with larger and larger amounts of clay over a series of weeks til I get to the point that I am throwing at a limit, then I push for a little bit more. The same goes with shaping(inflating) the form. Larger forms have a tendency to be standard columns with some shaping for the belly, shoulder and neck, but I try to inflate the forms more past what I am used to by careful working of the form to get a much larger diameter even though that causes a loss of height and sometimes collapses completely. There are other examples of how to "stretch your muscles" what do you do?
  17. close up

    From the album Neriage

    Stained stoneware with Mason stain 6339 (royal blue) and threw it with regular gray stoneware. We'll see how it fires!
  18. Tumbler set

    From the album Neriage

  19. Has anyone tried coloring gray stoneware with mason stains? I've used mason stains in cone 10 porcelain and it's been great, but I'm wondering if cone 10 stoneware is colorable too? I can of course test this out, but if someone else has done it that's of course a lot less time consuming! Of course the coloring won't be as bright as porcelain no matter what, but I'm more worried about the shrinkage rate changing possibly if I decided to use a colored stoneware with my regular stoneware.
  20. I just returned from the North Carolina Potters Conference. Our presenters were three established potters from Japan ... just amazing to watch as they worked. There were many lessons learned but one excited all the throwers so I thought I would share. From Fuku Fukumoto ... Google her images and enjoy the Artwork. She centers and cones her porcelain, then cuts it off the wheel, turns it upside down and centers and cones again. (many thought this reversed the twist that the first centering and coning process put into the clay) She just said it further compacts the porcelain making it easier to throw. The other presenters agreed that they knew many porcelain throwers who did this but did not do it themselves. I am not a big time thrower so I do not have an opinion ... also, their porcelain is made from stone and is so grog free it is like butter ... 180 mesh as opposed to our 60 or so. NOTE : see my later post ... on realizing their clay was stone based, so this could be why it works for them. I have to admit if I was a thrower I would definitely try it just to see what happens, but it also could be a useless extra step for clay.
  21. I have become somewhat interested in the technique of creating texture on thrown pots using sodium silicate. i am curious to know if anyone has ever tried to use other materials to create a similar effect? I know it's easy to order the stuff online (when freezing isn't a concern) and I could make it myself from lye and desiccant. Just wondering if there is any other readily available liquid that offers a similar outcome. (I suppose I am being a bit lazy, too - who really wants to run out to Walmart when the temps are in the single digits, there's 2 feet of snow on the ground and the driveway's coated with ice?) Thanks.
  22. 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...
  23. So many clays out there to choose from, thought I would ask which is your fav. to throw with and why ? Thanks..
  24. I had back surgery six weeks ago to remove portions of a ruptured disk in my lumber (lower back) region. Surgeon says I have two adjacent disks that are degenerating and may rupture if I don't change my ways! Problem is throwing in a sitting position, bent over the wheel. I need to re-learn how to throw while standing. I have access to classes at my local community center, but they have neither a table-top wheel nor an instructor who feels confident in that position. Any videos or books you recommend that deal with this topic? Or artists that use this throwing position? Any tips on converting/raising my Brent Model B to table height are also appreciated.
  25. Hello! I've been doing pottery for more than a year now, mainly with smaller forms. Now I'm learning to throw with bigger lumps of clay - 1.5kg to 2.2kg (3.3-4.8 lb). The problem I'm facing is that the top of a pot goes off center when I'm widening the walls. So I center the clay, open it, pull up the walls to make a cylinder. Then I start to stretch the walls wide from the bottom and at this pointer the top of my pot begins to go off center and the more I widen the walls, the more off center it goes. I just can't understand what am I doing wrong? The funny thing is doesn't happen all the time. Sometimes the top stays in place when I stretch the walls. I would be very thankful if someone could watch my and tell me what I'm doing wrong. I think I have to mention that I'm a selftought potter, I just watched Simon Leach's videos and did what he did.
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