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oldlady

what is the best studio advice you have received?

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oldlady    1,323

sometimes when i read the questions from new members i wonder if they have ever read any pottery books, talked to experienced potters, taken classes or in any way prepared themselves for the roller coaster they got on when they first touched clay. some of you are kind enough and patient enough to answer even the most elementary questions. i think i have lost my patience with the impersonal internet questions that cover the same ground over and over. if that questioner were right there in front of me, i would be much more involved and able to answer the most basic question politely and in detail but the written question makes me want to ask the writer if they know that what they are asking is already answered somewhere in the archives. look there first.

 

seriously though, what is the best advice you can remember and that you took into your studio to improve yourself and your work? something that made the physical reality better or easier. like putting away tools as you finish with them so there isn't a constant mess. my favorite came from Dennis Davis who built a frame around his wheel where tools could hang and slips used on thrown pots could be stored at hand. visiting his studio and seeing it was a real eye opener. i have loved mine and wonder how anyone uses just a wheel all by itself without the four foot surround. dennis also told me about putting wheels on everything heavy.

 

 

maybe i am just getting old and grumpy. or maybe i am just stalling about getting out to the studio and mixing up the glazes i need for an upcoming show.

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JBaymore    1,432

Cleaning with only very wet methods....lose the broom and dustpan and such. And then use a HEPA filtered vacume made for ceramic dusts for any leftovers.

 

THAT will help keep you potting for a long time. The more you pot... the better you get.

 

best,

 

 

...............john

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Chris Campbell    1,082

sometimes when i read the questions from new members i wonder if they have ever read any pottery books, talked to experienced potters, taken classes or in any way prepared themselves for the roller coaster they got on when they first touched clay. some of you are kind enough and patient enough to answer even the most elementary questions. i think i have lost my patience with the impersonal internet questions that cover the same ground over and over. if that questioner were right there in front of me, i would be much more involved and able to answer the most basic question politely and in detail but the written question makes me want to ask the writer if they know that what they are asking is already answered somewhere in the archives. look there first.

 

maybe i am just getting old and grumpy. or maybe i am just stalling about getting out to the studio and mixing up the glazes i need for an upcoming show.

 

Funny this should come up this morning as I have been thinking about the forum as I did other chores ... reflecting on how well this forum has worked out. We do have a place where newbie questions are answered with respectfully presented information. None of the "Why don't you check the archives first" stuff that is often seen on other forums.

 

When I was on the Board of the Potters Council, we saw the need for a "newbie friendly" forum and thanks to ACerS and the Potters Council this is what became of the idea. Biggest thanks to ALL of the people who ask and answer questions. We are slowly but surely building up a base of experienced potters who are not necessarily 'Names' but have years and years of solid, on the ground experience to share. Slowly but surely lurkers are coming out with their first posting to ask or answer a question. Subjects that would have flamed other forums to a standstill have been dealt with easily and openly without harsh words.

 

I hope I never get tired of answering questions ... the only reason I am where I am in pottery is because other people took the time to answer mine. The only dumb question is the one you don't ask because you are afraid to, or don't want to look clueless or whatever.

 

So here is where I welcome lurkers to post, newbies to ask and all to answer. The WELCOME mat is always out.

 

Oh yes, on topic ... the best advice I ever got on any subject was to ask the question.

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Nelly    16

Hi~

 

I mostly lurk but thought I'd pop in on this thread. A very wise potter and friend told me to never fall in love with anything I create ;)

 

 

For me, it was "when given lemons make lemonade.'

The point of this comment was when something you make does not turn out as expected, look for something new in it and consider other possibilities. Doing this has kept me fresh in my approach.

 

Another one was "if you don't know what to do copy the next guy." This advice has also helped me to learn that my creation will never be the exact same as "the other guy" as I will put a new spin on it and it will definitely be different.

 

Nelly

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Edith Marie    1

Hi~

 

I mostly lurk but thought I'd pop in on this thread. A very wise potter and friend told me to never fall in love with anything I create wink.gif

 

 

For me, it was "when given lemons make lemonade.'

The point of this comment was when something you make does not turn out as expected, look for something new in it and consider other possibilities. Doing this has kept me fresh in my approach.

 

Another one was "if you don't know what to do copy the next guy." This advice has also helped me to learn that my creation will never be the exact same as "the other guy" as I will put a new spin on it and it will definitely be different.

 

Nelly

 

 

 

Best Advice....hard to pin point just one....from a friend who also introduced me to pottery, "set aside an evening during the week after work and a morning during the weekend to play with clay".

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docweathers    79

My throwing area is a mess. Where can I find a picture of "Dennis Davis who built a frame around his wheel where tools could hang and slips used on thrown pots could be stored at hand."

 

I need some tested ideas of how to organize my mess.

 

Thanks Larry

 

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oldlady    1,323

have been thinking of my studio and the hard won arrangement of same. would love to share pictures of some of the more interesting and creative things i have set up. since i am a luddite and therefore computer illiterate i will have to work on posting a couple of pictures. maybe the nice lady down the street who used to work for microsoft will help me with that. she just made a lovely bowl in my studio, seems a fair exchange.

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yedrow    8

By the pugmill, when I first started, there was a Ken Ferguson quote that went something like...

 

First learn technique,

Then learn form,

Then glazing and the klin,

Then surface.

 

Following this advice has made me a much better potter than I otherwise could possibly have been.

 

Joel.

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JBaymore    1,432

Funny this should come up this morning as I have been thinking about the forum as I did other chores ... reflecting on how well this forum has worked out. We do have a place where newbie questions are answered with respectfully presented information. None of the "Why don't you check the archives first" stuff that is often seen on other forums.

 

When I was on the Board of the Potters Council, we saw the need for a "newbie friendly" forum and thanks to ACerS and the Potters Council this is what became of the idea. Biggest thanks to ALL of the people who ask and answer questions. We are slowly but surely building up a base of experienced potters who are not necessarily 'Names' but have years and years of solid, on the ground experience to share. Slowly but surely lurkers are coming out with their first posting to ask or answer a question. Subjects that would have flamed other forums to a standstill have been dealt with easily and openly without harsh words.

 

I hope I never get tired of answering questions ... the only reason I am where I am in pottery is because other people took the time to answer mine. The only dumb question is the one you don't ask because you are afraid to, or don't want to look clueless or whatever.

 

So here is where I welcome lurkers to post, newbies to ask and all to answer. The WELCOME mat is always out.

 

Oh yes, on topic ... the best advice I ever got on any subject was to ask the question.

 

 

Very well said, Chris.

 

best,

 

...................john

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yedrow, I like that.

 

similar to gumbo lily's chosen advice, my first teacher made us recite "It's only clay" whenever we were unhappy with a result or broke a piece, etc.

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T II    0

have been thinking of my studio and the hard won arrangement of same. would love to share pictures of some of the more interesting and creative things i have set up. since i am a luddite and therefore computer illiterate i will have to work on posting a couple of pictures. maybe the nice lady down the street who used to work for microsoft will help me with that. she just made a lovely bowl in my studio, seems a fair exchange.

 

 

 

I am just setting up a studio. I'll be replacing an old wheel and moving into a 13' x 16' space. Pictures would be great!

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oldlady    1,323

The nice lady from down the street is here and she is posting pictures for me. I hope they are helpful. I expect lots of questions.

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oldlady    1,323

More pictures but having a lot of trouble uploading to the website. I can email someone who knows how to use this site to upload. I live in WV and our internet connection is crap.

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flowerdry    128

Yes, Oldlady, maybe you ARE getting a bit grumpy, but it's ok since you were polite and not too verbose. Notice that this very friendly and patient group made lemonade out of your lemon. The answer to your complaint about newbies is to simply skip those questions and answers. Only read the threads that interest you!

Personally, I have often been amazed at the patience the experienced potters have shown, and their willingness to share their time and expertise. Chris, if you (that's y'all or you's or for those from the deep south...all y'all) intended to create a welcoming forum you've suceeded most spectacularly. Thank you, thank you to all who contribute. Yes, the internet can seem impersonal, but I feel like I have some potter friends out there.

 

I went to a workshop (and a week at the John C. Campbell folkschool) with Nan Rothwell this past year, and she tells her students that it's fair game to do anything you need to do to get the pot you want. The actual quote is : "You can lie, cheat and steal to get the pot you want" which of course is figurative, not literal and Nan attributes to another potter...can't remember his name. Nan used to be on this forum, and I encouraged her to come back. She says hi Chris.

 

Doris Hackworth

Still a newbie after all these years.

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Mark C.    1,797

More pictures but having a lot of trouble uploading to the website. I can email someone who knows how to use this site to upload. I live in WV and our internet connection is crap.

 

 

I got your Pm and I suggest to make the photos smaller for posting-this resizing can be done several ways-with a mac I photo gives you 3 sizes to choose from pick the smallest, If you are on a PC I have zero help for you other than suggest photoshop or whatever Gates calls his program in windows?As of now your photos are to large to view well.

I hope this helps as Im leaving town in am for an art show a long way from here.I'll check back in evening on my iphone and see how your doing.

Mark

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mrpeders    1

sometimes when i read the questions from new members i wonder if they have ever read any pottery books, talked to experienced potters, taken classes or in any way prepared themselves for the roller coaster they got on when they first touched clay. some of you are kind enough and patient enough to answer even the most elementary questions. i think i have lost my patience with the impersonal internet questions that cover the same ground over and over. if that questioner were right there in front of me, i would be much more involved and able to answer the most basic question politely and in detail but the written question makes me want to ask the writer if they know that what they are asking is already answered somewhere in the archives. look there first.

 

maybe i am just getting old and grumpy. or maybe i am just stalling about getting out to the studio and mixing up the glazes i need for an upcoming show.

 

 

Funny this should come up this morning as I have been thinking about the forum as I did other chores ... reflecting on how well this forum has worked out. We do have a place where newbie questions are answered with respectfully presented information. None of the "Why don't you check the archives first" stuff that is often seen on other forums.

 

When I was on the Board of the Potters Council, we saw the need for a "newbie friendly" forum and thanks to ACerS and the Potters Council this is what became of the idea. Biggest thanks to ALL of the people who ask and answer questions. We are slowly but surely building up a base of experienced potters who are not necessarily 'Names' but have years and years of solid, on the ground experience to share. Slowly but surely lurkers are coming out with their first posting to ask or answer a question. Subjects that would have flamed other forums to a standstill have been dealt with easily and openly without harsh words.

 

I hope I never get tired of answering questions ... the only reason I am where I am in pottery is because other people took the time to answer mine. The only dumb question is the one you don't ask because you are afraid to, or don't want to look clueless or whatever.

 

So here is where I welcome lurkers to post, newbies to ask and all to answer. The WELCOME mat is always out.

 

Oh yes, on topic ... the best advice I ever got on any subject was to ask the question.

 

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mrpeders    1

I am a newbie who is limited in my ability to attend workshops and classes because I take care of an invalid mother in my home. I can't explain to you how wonderful it was to discover your site. While there are great books on making pottery, they're expensive. So you fill a real need in my creative life. I have used the archives, but sometimes you just can't find an answer. I've made several of the pieces featured in your video clips, and each time I start a project there's clear quality information that I can follow. Thank you to all the potters who contribute to and support your work with their knowledge and kindness.

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Denice    243

My best advice I got from my husband who works in the engineering publication field was to make a least three pieces of a new design before making any decisions on it. I tweak and alter the series and play with the glazes on them until I decide if it's a direction I want to go. The final results produce more professional looking pieces where design and finish work together as one. Denice

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Bill Daley, my under graduate teacher, would always remark "the road to hell is paved with good intentions "when something really didn't work out like you wanted it to.

Then my graduate school advisor, Nick Vergett, would say "one man's poison is another man's treasure'". All this sage advice did seem to fit at the moment whether talking about life or art work.

Marcia

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SShirley    9

One good piece of advice I got was from my husband. He's a chemistry teacher and when I got my new digital kiln he suggested I treat it like a piece of lab equipment. He said I should get a notebook (the composition kind with the pages sewn in so they don't get pulled out and lost) to keep records of the firings, schedules, glaze tests, glaze combinations, results of each firing, and any other information that might get lost or forgotten later on. And write it in ink. Put dates on the entries. That notebook has come in handy many times. (I hate it when he's right.)

 

I would even suggest doing that for records of throwing, like how much clay was used on a particular form, sketches of pots to develop, sizes of pots, special orders, or other things you think you will remember but most likely won't. I wish I had done that myself.

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Cass    5

1004121527b.jpg

 

this gentleman told me......"make pots"

 

i keep his picture right in front of my wheel, and think...'damn, i have it easy'

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Red Rocks    3

1004121527b.jpg

 

this gentleman told me......"make pots"

 

i keep his picture right in front of my wheel, and think...'damn, i have it easy'

 

 

Nice Cass - he certainly "makes pots." Great picture!

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Red Rocks    3

sometimes when i read the questions from new members i wonder if they have ever read any pottery books, talked to experienced potters, taken classes or in any way prepared themselves for the roller coaster they got on when they first touched clay. some of you are kind enough and patient enough to answer even the most elementary questions. i think i have lost my patience with the impersonal internet questions that cover the same ground over and over. if that questioner were right there in front of me, i would be much more involved and able to answer the most basic question politely and in detail but the written question makes me want to ask the writer if they know that what they are asking is already answered somewhere in the archives. look there first.

 

maybe i am just getting old and grumpy. or maybe i am just stalling about getting out to the studio and mixing up the glazes i need for an upcoming show.

 

 

Funny this should come up this morning as I have been thinking about the forum as I did other chores ... reflecting on how well this forum has worked out. We do have a place where newbie questions are answered with respectfully presented information. None of the "Why don't you check the archives first" stuff that is often seen on other forums.

 

When I was on the Board of the Potters Council, we saw the need for a "newbie friendly" forum and thanks to ACerS and the Potters Council this is what became of the idea. Biggest thanks to ALL of the people who ask and answer questions. We are slowly but surely building up a base of experienced potters who are not necessarily 'Names' but have years and years of solid, on the ground experience to share. Slowly but surely lurkers are coming out with their first posting to ask or answer a question. Subjects that would have flamed other forums to a standstill have been dealt with easily and openly without harsh words.

 

I hope I never get tired of answering questions ... the only reason I am where I am in pottery is because other people took the time to answer mine. The only dumb question is the one you don't ask because you are afraid to, or don't want to look clueless or whatever.

 

So here is where I welcome lurkers to post, newbies to ask and all to answer. The WELCOME mat is always out.

 

Oh yes, on topic ... the best advice I ever got on any subject was to ask the question.

 

 

I agree Chris, very nice sentiments indeed!

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voceramics    2

My husband told me in regards to the first thing I ever made, "Do you want to take a hammer to that, or do you want me to?"

 

It makes me smile just thinking about it. I have to admit smashing that teapot was very satisfying.

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