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Qotw: Participants Question Pool For Future Qotw's

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You know you are not meant to be a potter if ......
         You are more excited by the details of a process or technique than the pots you make using these skills.
         See Tony Clennell's posts over the last month:
         http://smokieclennell.blogspot.com/2018/02/confession-im-not-potter.html
 
LT

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It’s always interesting to see what people are working on, a one off pot, a series, pulling handles, working out a new design, glazing, glaze testing.… just a snippet from your day of something in progress.

My question would be what’s on your workbench? (pictures would be a welcome bonus!)

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Several recent posts got me thinking about how to search for information on a topic of interest, therefore: 
 
Where do you go to obtain more information (and/or background) on ceramic related topics, ideas, suggestions, insights, or questions you pick up from colleagues, general reading, online forums, in casual discussion, or your own pondering? 
       How do you approach searching for information?
       Where and how do you start?
       What do you do when your first internet search turns up essentially nothing?
       How do you evaluate the "correctness" or "reliability" of the sources you use?  Are certain sources more reliable that others? 
       Does the reliability of a source depend on the nature of the information you are seeking? 
       Are older sources more reliable than younger sources?
How do you resolve conflicting information in your search for answers to your questions?
 
LT

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Here are two possibilities, though they may have been addressed here before:

1. Do you have favorite shapes or forms now in your work? If you do, how have these favorites changed over time? (What made me think of this was the current discussion of throwing huge planter pots, because I can see that is of great interest to some and of no interest to me- neither the very, very large nor the very small and light).

2. Do you keep a sketchbook in support of your work? If so, what is your practice- how do you use it?

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Definition question....

What do you think of when clay items are described as ceramics, while other items are described as pottery?   How many clay artists prefer one definition over the other when describing their work?

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In LeeU's thread Website Building and Marketing in the Business, Marketing and accounting section Lee said "guys seem to like my more "masculine" pieces..."

Do you make feminine, masculine or gender neutral work and is it a conscious decision? 

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Apologies if this has been suggested before but I'm curious if anyone else uses "Kiln Gods" or Gremlins when firing their kiln. 

My first experience with clay was as a laborer trimming cups in a small production factory. (back in the early 80's, called Shapiro's Ceramic and Design, they took over from the slightly more well-known Overland Stoneware) They had two car kilns there and the owner who did the firing had a couple hideous little figures that looked kind of like what you see stuck on face jugs. According to him these were his "kiln gods" who watched over the firing process, and we weren't allowed to place them. 

My father was a Mason and a master welder for the air force. My mother told me that whenever they were having problems with a plane repeatedly, during the fix they made a gremlin out of scrap metal and welded it somewhere inside the body of the aircraft where it wouldn't be seen. 

Edited by yappystudent

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Here's some questions about organization that I hope will help inquiring minds. 

 I'm sitting here trying to organize some new things into my schedule, I am wondering how other full time clay folks organize their clay time vs office time? Do you dedicate certain whole days to one task or group of related tasks, or do you do some office work and some clay work every day? How does it change throughout the year, and how has it changed over time? Anyone with insights from other industries?

When you were transitioning from more structured jobs to full time clay, how did you handle having to organize yourself?

For those who aren't doing this full time, how do you organize your clay time into your schedule? What challenges do you have, and how do you problem solve?

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I have lost track & gotten confused. I know this thread is just for possible future questions-various suggestions, not to be answered here. But where are the actual QotW/answers located? I never can find them again after the first appearance. Are they in a specific forum or do they float around?  I used the Search feature but it did not come up. Thx.

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11 hours ago, LeeU said:

I have lost track & gotten confused. I know this thread is just for possible future questions-various suggestions, not to be answered here. But where are the actual QotW/answers located? I never can find them again after the first appearance. Are they in a specific forum or do they float around?  I used the Search feature but it did not come up. Thx.

I don't know whether this is what you are asking,  but if you look just below the title for this thread, also in this ICAN forum, you will see all the past week's questions and answers.

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Q: Where does one draw the line between deciding what is a second and what is OK to represent your name? For that matter, what is a second -perhaps worthy of selling out the back room so to speak albeit with your logo stamped into it forever, and what is junk waiting for the hammer or negative examples shelf? Exemplary work probably speaks for itself, but what about the gray areas below that? A set of rules for these decisions would be helpful. 

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Sparked by my intention to make a clay toy for an event, how about a question about making clay toys? And for those  who have made them, pics please and some comments about their construction. 

 

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LeeU

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I've been thinking a while about those of us who have spoken about various limitations, challenges, health impairments, disabilities, and so forth. Some folks have had to leave the Forums and reduce their work because of certain conditions of body and/or mind (tho I believe they are integrated, not two separate issues). There is no Forum particulary suited or appropriate for discussion about one's aches and pains, or serious impediments that affect our ability to work in, and enjoy working in, clay, or work-arounds that help make it easier to function and hang in there. So, my question is:  Either generally or specifically, what do you think, feel, and/or do when confronted with moderate to serious/severe limitations of some aspect of health that alters how you work in clay? 

 

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Forgive me in advance if this has been asked before.  I have over the years seen a variety of visuals online that display for a collection of eminent creative people- writers, artists, and so forth- how they spend their days, typically. The interesting thing in these is the variety in the time of day people spend at their creative work, some starting in the morning and ending at 4, say, others starting at 4 and going into the night, some working at a stretch and others doing a couple of shifts, and so forth. There is also variety in how they spend the times they are not working. Some have a habit, like a walk. The choreographer Twla Tharpe, I believe, takes a cab to the gym every morning for a couple of hour workout. Some people have time specifically dedicated to reading (most of the writers do) or to family/spouse time.

So there is my question. Recognizing that some days are obviously different from others, and some here have studios that are available only in warmer weather or not in really hot weather, what is the typical day, hour block by hour block, during a time of year you are at your ceramic work?

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