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roselle

Could Someone Help A Mama?

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For starting out with glazing, try John Britt's book The Complete Guide to Mid-Range Glazes (covers firing ranges of cones 4 to 7, the usual range for electric kilns); he also has a book on high-fire glazes (cones 10 and above). John also has DVD's out on how to mix glazes. http://johnbrittpottery.com/Another good glaze book (hardback/paperback is out of print but an e-book version is available) is Ron Roy and John Hesselberth's Mastering Cone 6 Glazes. http://www.masteringglazes.com/ Surface Design for Ceramics by Maureen Mills is another of my favorites for ideas.

 

Yes, you can make items and store them for firing until you get your kiln squared away. At the bone-dry stage they items will be fragile, so find a place that is safe and sturdy. Build a wood rack/shelving unit with slots to slide wood shelves in/out. Line the outside with plastic so the items do not collect dust or other impurities. That will also be a terrific drying rack for the summer as you can control the drying, rather than have things dry out too fast.

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If it is the only Dan I know of pottery wise on youtube he has two hands :D although his dad/relation has lost a hand and throws. I bet his wheel is old, it only has three speeds. Not sure of the make.

 

Try and get some help to move the wheel, I have been moving mine around solo and it gets tough. Easy for two.

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I've always thought Dan was such a cool guy but hearing that he went to that trouble for you warms my heart. :)

 

Joel, you're right, Dan is the son; his dad is the one who lost his hand and also the one who started their pottery. There are some very very cool videos of his dad wheel throwing which are quite humbling. 
 

And yes, his wheel is suuuuuper old. LOL He was saying in one of the videos that he can't throw anything taller than 18 inches (wish this was a problem for me) because it doesn't slow down enough. 

 

Duncan and Mayco make nice, brightly colored underglazes that would be easy to use with kids.

OOOH ROSELLE. This is a big one. The best piece of advice on setting up a studio that I ever got: Put as many things as possible on locking wheels. Pottery equipment is all big and heavy and having racks and tables you can easily move around is a HUGE plus. 

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Just saw the question about dinnerware. I made some low fire (Cone 05 earthenware) plates and some mid-fire (Cone 5 stoneware) plates and the Cone 5 is so much more durable. If you're going to put in all that work on something might as well just go ahead and make something that will last a long while!

 

Talk to your clay supplier and tell them what you're looking for. They can recommend clay to get started. 

 

At this time I've chosen to use commercial glazes because a) I would have to spend a lot of time testing glaze mixes and experimenting and I don't have much time to work as it is and B) the companies you buy from do extensive testing for food safety, so I don't have to worry about that with anything I make for food use. Each glaze will say somewhere whether it is dinnerware safe or not. 

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At this time I've chosen to use commercial glazes because a) I would have to spend a lot of time testing glaze mixes and experimenting and I don't have much time to work as it is and B) the companies you buy from do extensive testing for food safety, so I don't have to worry about that with anything I make for food use. Each glaze will say somewhere whether it is dinnerware safe or not.

The fine print from the makers of commercial glazes state it was tested under their firing conditions but each user needs to test for their particular clay body, kiln, and firing schedule. They extend no liability coverage to users should something go wrong with a pot you make and sell. Because you don't know the ingredients of commercial glazes, you really don't know what they are using to get those bright colors or for what they tested the glazes. As the seller of the item, you are ultimately responsible for the products you use . . . not the manufacturer.

 

Also, if you layer the glazes, the companies do not test for that. So, two safe glazes could result in one bad glaze. Same for home made glazes, combinations change everything.

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Thanks for bringing that out, I don't do glaze combos on food surfaces for this very reason.

I use witness cones on each shelf to make sure the glaze is coming to the proper temperature, and any pieces with compromised interior are instantly either trash or a flowerpot if I can't refire them.  

 

This article is quite useful about glaze safety: http://www.bigceramicstore.com/info/ceramics/tips/tip53_glaze_toxic_dinnerware_safety.html

This one is a bit more in-depth but includes labs that test pottery: http://digitalfire.com/4sight/education/are_your_glazes_food_safe_or_are_they_leachable_12.html

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If it is the only Dan I know of pottery wise on youtube he has two hands :D although his dad/relation has lost a hand and throws. I bet his wheel is old, it only has three speeds. Not sure of the make.

 

Try and get some help to move the wheel, I have been moving mine around solo and it gets tough. Easy for two.

Yes...I did confuse the two. I thought it was remarkable what the dad was doing and we have written back and forth. I hoped it would give encouragement to our Sweet Mennonite friend, to know someone that had figured out how to do this one handed. 

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I've always thought Dan was such a cool guy but hearing that he went to that trouble for you warms my heart. :)

 

Joel, you're right, Dan is the son; his dad is the one who lost his hand and also the one who started their pottery. There are some very very cool videos of his dad wheel throwing which are quite humbling. 

 

And yes, his wheel is suuuuuper old. LOL He was saying in one of the videos that he can't throw anything taller than 18 inches (wish this was a problem for me) because it doesn't slow down enough. 

 

Duncan and Mayco make nice, brightly colored underglazes that would be easy to use with kids.

 

OOOH ROSELLE. This is a big one. The best piece of advice on setting up a studio that I ever got: Put as many things as possible on locking wheels. Pottery equipment is all big and heavy and having racks and tables you can easily move around is a HUGE plus. 

 

Yes...And this mama is small.....The thing is supposed to be coming up the driveway any minute. It is pouring down rain and been trying all day to keep my child from seeing his gift.  I guess I will be finding out just HOW big this thing is.....Just myself and 4 kids.....So it is a free-for-all around here!  If I feel something will benefit my kids, I will try as hard as I can to make it work....AND there are some real shenanigans around here!

 

I do need to figure out the kiln.....Just HOW big????

 

I was deeply touched that these men would take the time to answer me immediately and send a plan for a wheel that could be built. They mentioned having numerous wheels, none very new....If I am correct. Now not sure which man is writing, so will go and double check..I thought the dad...

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At this time I've chosen to use commercial glazes because a) I would have to spend a lot of time testing glaze mixes and experimenting and I don't have much time to work as it is and B) the companies you buy from do extensive testing for food safety, so I don't have to worry about that with anything I make for food use. Each glaze will say somewhere whether it is dinnerware safe or not.

The fine print from the makers of commercial glazes state it was tested under their firing conditions but each user needs to test for their particular clay body, kiln, and firing schedule. They extend no liability coverage to users should something go wrong with a pot you make and sell. Because you don't know the ingredients of commercial glazes, you really don't know what they are using to get those bright colors or for what they tested the glazes. As the seller of the item, you are ultimately responsible for the products you use . . . not the manufacturer.

 

Also, if you layer the glazes, the companies do not test for that. So, two safe glazes could result in one bad glaze. Same for home made glazes, combinations change everything.

 

Oh boy!  You are scaring me!  HA!

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I've always thought Dan was such a cool guy but hearing that he went to that trouble for you warms my heart. :)

 

Joel, you're right, Dan is the son; his dad is the one who lost his hand and also the one who started their pottery. There are some very very cool videos of his dad wheel throwing which are quite humbling. 

 

And yes, his wheel is suuuuuper old. LOL He was saying in one of the videos that he can't throw anything taller than 18 inches (wish this was a problem for me) because it doesn't slow down enough. 

 

Duncan and Mayco make nice, brightly colored underglazes that would be easy to use with kids.

 

OOOH ROSELLE. This is a big one. The best piece of advice on setting up a studio that I ever got: Put as many things as possible on locking wheels. Pottery equipment is all big and heavy and having racks and tables you can easily move around is a HUGE plus. 

 

 

HAHAHAHA!  It's here!  Poor Fed-ex man!  Pouring rain!  Poor siblings, trying to figure out how to get thing in house and hidden...All presents are hidden till late Christmas Eve.....NO early peeking!  No opening till Christmas morning......All I can say is the box is huge and weighs 140lbs...According to Mr. Nice and wet, with a hernia, Fed-ex man!

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Just saw the question about dinnerware. I made some low fire (Cone 05 earthenware) plates and some mid-fire (Cone 5 stoneware) plates and the Cone 5 is so much more durable. If you're going to put in all that work on something might as well just go ahead and make something that will last a long while!

 

Talk to your clay supplier and tell them what you're looking for. They can recommend clay to get started. 

 

At this time I've chosen to use commercial glazes because a) I would have to spend a lot of time testing glaze mixes and experimenting and I don't have much time to work as it is and B) the companies you buy from do extensive testing for food safety, so I don't have to worry about that with anything I make for food use. Each glaze will say somewhere whether it is dinnerware safe or not. 

Thanks!  This child wants to make dinnerware..,,Don't know what the fascination is..He barely eats. But he is fascinated with dinnerware and I  definitely want them to be safe. I have so much to learn!

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For starting out with glazing, try John Britt's book The Complete Guide to Mid-Range Glazes (covers firing ranges of cones 4 to 7, the usual range for electric kilns); he also has a book on high-fire glazes (cones 10 and above). John also has DVD's out on how to mix glazes. http://johnbrittpottery.com/Another good glaze book (hardback/paperback is out of print but an e-book version is available) is Ron Roy and John Hesselberth's Mastering Cone 6 Glazes. http://www.masteringglazes.com/ Surface Design for Ceramics by Maureen Mills is another of my favorites for ideas.

 

Yes, you can make items and store them for firing until you get your kiln squared away. At the bone-dry stage they items will be fragile, so find a place that is safe and sturdy. Build a wood rack/shelving unit with slots to slide wood shelves in/out. Line the outside with plastic so the items do not collect dust or other impurities. That will also be a terrific drying rack for the summer as you can control the drying, rather than have things dry out too fast.

 

Thanks!  I just ordered John Britt's book. I bought from Amazon for $18.01 in case anyone else is interested. And I found the out of print book for upwards of almost $500...DIdn't buy that one. 

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For starting out with glazing, try John Britt's book The Complete Guide to Mid-Range Glazes (covers firing ranges of cones 4 to 7, the usual range for electric kilns); he also has a book on high-fire glazes (cones 10 and above). John also has DVD's out on how to mix glazes. http://johnbrittpottery.com/Another good glaze book (hardback/paperback is out of print but an e-book version is available) is Ron Roy and John Hesselberth's Mastering Cone 6 Glazes. http://www.masteringglazes.com/ Surface Design for Ceramics by Maureen Mills is another of my favorites for ideas.

 

Yes, you can make items and store them for firing until you get your kiln squared away. At the bone-dry stage they items will be fragile, so find a place that is safe and sturdy. Build a wood rack/shelving unit with slots to slide wood shelves in/out. Line the outside with plastic so the items do not collect dust or other impurities. That will also be a terrific drying rack for the summer as you can control the drying, rather than have things dry out too fast.

 

Thanks!  I just ordered John Britt's book. I bought from Amazon for $18.01 in case anyone else is interested. And I found the out of print book for upwards of almost $500...DIdn't buy that one. 

 

Just bought the "Surface Design for Ceramics" for $13.34...Again from Amazon.  Can you tell I have 0% knowledge of this art????  And complete faith in all of you!  Thank you!  Needless to say...This is one reason we have no air-conditioning, clothes dryer, and heat our house and water with wood....I waste my money on my kids!  HA!  Not really wasted...Hopefully a gift he will carry with him through-out his lifetime...So it's the least I can do for him and the others....

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Just saw the question about dinnerware. I made some low fire (Cone 05 earthenware) plates and some mid-fire (Cone 5 stoneware) plates and the Cone 5 is so much more durable. If you're going to put in all that work on something might as well just go ahead and make something that will last a long while!

 

Talk to your clay supplier and tell them what you're looking for. They can recommend clay to get started. 

 

At this time I've chosen to use commercial glazes because a) I would have to spend a lot of time testing glaze mixes and experimenting and I don't have much time to work as it is and B) the companies you buy from do extensive testing for food safety, so I don't have to worry about that with anything I make for food use. Each glaze will say somewhere whether it is dinnerware safe or not. 

Clay supplier?  Oh dear!  Next on my list....

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your library is connected to all the other libraries in the country.  ask for what you want.  the hard part is finding out what you want.  the even harder part is realizing that working with clay is similar to any other complicated skill you want to explore. you can do it but it might not be as easy as you think.

 

think about "ice skating".  we have all watched various sports involving ice skating, speed skating, hockey, and others.  then there are figure skaters, doing wonderfully acrobatic moves on ice.  each of those skills involve lots of variables.  the problem is that your son has already decided on what he wants to use as a tool.  he is picking out hockey skates for some reason but wants to spin on one foot like a figure skater.  

 

you are going to have to guide his desire into a reasonable route to success.  you need to get educated as soon as possible.  the first thing i would suggest you look into is a simple cone chart.  learn what the numbers mean and then you will understand why some things do not go together.  and you might want to decide what temperature, or cone, you intend to use and stick to it.  the lower temperatures allow for doing most of the fun things kids want to do.  they are simple and less expensive because the temperature you need to make clay into pottery is lower.  just like turning your kitchen stove on low as opposed to high.

 

 try looking into general ceramics textbooks before looking at a book about a particular technique.  check out the glossaries in those books so you can understand the special language potters use every day. :)

 

you will have a great time if you can slow down and take only one step at a time.

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your library is connected to all the other libraries in the country.  ask for what you want.  the hard part is finding out what you want.  the even harder part is realizing that working with clay is similar to any other complicated skill you want to explore. you can do it but it might not be as easy as you think.

 

think about "ice skating".  we have all watched various sports involving ice skating, speed skating, hockey, and others.  then there are figure skaters, doing wonderfully acrobatic moves on ice.  each of those skills involve lots of variables.  the problem is that your son has already decided on what he wants to use as a tool.  he is picking out hockey skates for some reason but wants to spin on one foot like a figure skater.  

 

you are going to have to guide his desire into a reasonable route to success.  you need to get educated as soon as possible.  the first thing i would suggest you look into is a simple cone chart.  learn what the numbers mean and then you will understand why some things do not go together.  and you might want to decide what temperature, or cone, you intend to use and stick to it.  the lower temperatures allow for doing most of the fun things kids want to do.  they are simple and less expensive because the temperature you need to make clay into pottery is lower.  just like turning your kitchen stove on low as opposed to high.

 

 try looking into general ceramics textbooks before looking at a book about a particular technique.  check out the glossaries in those books so you can understand the special language potters use every day. :)

 

you will have a great time if you can slow down and take only one step at a time.

Thanks!  We've been around the block....One is wood-turning and another is wool/fiber spinning, including raising our own sheep/angora rabbits...We eventually find our way. I will get the cone chart. He is interested in dinnerware, so going to try and keep him focused on that for quite a while. I never thought of ceramics textbooks...My kids LOVE books and I don't mind buying books for reference...They will re-read them over and over again. I am trying to get the things he needs to follow through on some projects. One thing about these kids...When they get to the point where I will buy something like a lathe, spinning wheel, and now pottery wheel.....They seriously will take it from 0 to blast-off....I love it!

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What you're doing for your kids is fantastic. Sometimes I look back to when I was a teenager and wish I'd known THEN that this was what I wanted to do. I think children and teens are more freely creative than adults, they don't have all those fears and baggage holding them back from freely experimenting. 

 

I'm so excited to see what your son makes!! :) 

 

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What you're doing for your kids is fantastic. Sometimes I look back to when I was a teenager and wish I'd known THEN that this was what I wanted to do. I think children and teens are more freely creative than adults, they don't have all those fears and baggage holding them back from freely experimenting. 

 

I'm so excited to see what your son makes!! :) 

 

 

I am too, because I am amazed at what the other children are doing. My kids are home-schooled and no TV at all....Games are very restricted, so when they finish their daily curriculum, there is nothing else, except to find something educational. I really do think the best thing about home schooling is that I have been able to give my children the gift of time...I really believe, that all children have gifts, but often don't have the chance to find them. They can't  come up with a whim and talk me into financing just anything. I will know when it is the right thing, for a particular child. I have to feel in my heart their wants and subsequent needs are sincere...There is NO money to waste here and everything comes with a sacrifice...Which is just fine...because I also believe sacrifice can be a gift. This child also has some cerebral palsy...He no longer wears leg braces and does really well, except for he does have hand tremors...I think doing pottery will be wonderful for him. He will overcome this!  Cannot wait!

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I remember seeing a potter with parkinsons and when making pottery their tremors stopped. I think pottery is good for the brain. It is good for my brain.

I think this will be great for him. I simply think staying busy with creative activities is good for everyone. 

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Roselle, I worked as a caregiver and in Special Education for years with children and teens with various disabilities including CP. I think wheel throwing could be a WONDERFUL therapy for him. Tell him to take his time and relax. :) I would love to see videos of his throwing attempts. I think it would be a good idea, regardless of whether you share it online, to take at least one video a week so he can see his own progress and maybe be able to adjust his throwing seeing it from the "outside". 

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Roselle, I worked as a caregiver and in Special Education for years with children and teens with various disabilities including CP. I think wheel throwing could be a WONDERFUL therapy for him. Tell him to take his time and relax. :) I would love to see videos of his throwing attempts. I think it would be a good idea, regardless of whether you share it online, to take at least one video a week so he can see his own progress and maybe be able to adjust his throwing seeing it from the "outside". 

Thank you!  I will do that!

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look at the website www.amaco.com for their suggestions for teachers.  they have a lot of info about many ways to work with kids.

Thanks!  I would never have found that site!  I am sure it will be helpful!

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