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Qotw: Participants Question Pool For Future Qotw's

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Here's one:   There are some posts in the archives about using coffee grounds for texture or glaze effects, and some old Clay Art posts about using everything from crushed walnuts to granite dust.  What kinds of organics have you used recently? Did it “work” or not so much?  Please specify if fired by electric, gas, wood, or raku, in oxidation or reduction.

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Suggestion:

Is it worth it? 

Several threads recently have asked is it worth...........

Be good to see a discussion in it's own thread on the general pros and cons of fixing, restoring, recovering, making your own. 

So many things to consider: time, cost, environment......

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I'm curious about how you keep kiln logs. Do you always enter what you do? Do you use a form? Have you tried to follow other's logs? Seen any unusual notations?

My favorite odd notation on Zeiner's logs looks like (P**p emoji), radiating aroma. When I asked what it meant he said "Reduce the dogs**t out of it." That was for the little old updraft -maybe a Denver? - at the Pottery Shack, Laguna. Flames 6" out the peepholes. That became our shorthand for Hard R. Wow! Zeiner's invented that emoji in the '70's!!

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Have you ever inadvertently created something totally embarrassing , and you didn't see what was wrong with it until someone pointed it out? 

When the tv show 'everybody loves raymond' had the episode where ray's mother sculpted a 'well known female body part' and took it to an art show without realizing what it looked like, I felt redeemed for my obviously twisted inner mind. I once did a large semi-abstract painting of a shape that seemed exciting and dynamic only to have it pointed out to me that it strongly resembled something I can't mention directly but it shares it's name with a kind of whale. Mortified, the painting and all it's hard work were never seen again. 

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Here's one: tell us about your best handmade/homemade tools. A member just posted about having made a black walnut throwing stick. I felt immediate envy! I did make my own chattering tool at a NH Potters' Guild demo, and that was a blast. It is my only self-made tool so far and I treasure it--it works great--I did a good job with it.  Would love to see some pics-homemade brushes, wood tools, metal tools, whatever. 

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There's an emerging discussion on another thread (re: craft/art) that is looking at the value of, or lack of value of, or even the detrimental impact of, schooling (college/training).  As someone who earned a degree in fine art (ceramics) at an esteemed art school (while on welfare and struggling mightily as a single parent & who was 20 years older than the other students) I must say how extremely enriching, valuable, freeing, and supportive of my creative expression and drive, the experience was. I have carried and used the benefits of that excellent education throughout all aspects of my life, not just in art interactions, but in ctitical thinking, world-view, career, understanding people and cultures, and many other areas of functioning. To me, formal training-- from competant, knowledgible & skilled instructors--is invaluable and can only enhance  one's creative expression and appreciation of crafts & art. What do others think--is formal education/training in ceramics (or any form of art ) stifling/useless/a negative or enriching/useful/a positive?

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We read John Barth's short story "Lost in the Funhouse" in undergrad English (literature concentration); when/if one has seen and understood how the funhouse works, one can't very well go back to and have the first time through experience again. The concept might go somewhar near "knowledge is suffering" - suffer to get it, suffer because of it, and then suffer some more. Is it worth it? Uuuhm, o'course't!!

Whal, writing as art or not art might be easier to agree on that ceramic work ...or is it?

Any road, formal education/training (that isn't crap) is worth it, imo, howeber, you gonna suffer, an' one can't go back neither.

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What is your favorite glaze effect? No matter how intricate or simple your piece is  I feel that it is the glaze that makes it what it is. As such I am continually experimenting with various effects and getting a good response to what I am producing whether it is a bowl or horsehair Raku pot. What's in your bag of tricks?

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