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TJR

Bone Head Mistakes

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Timbo,

 

Oh my oh my! yes!!! i cant tell ya how many times i have mucked things up before i drank coffee, droped stuff, rammed vases against walls and shelves.........

Coffee First!

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We unloaded the high-fire reduction kiln today, after i wrote that post, and the funniest thing happened, also tragic.

 

a very nice looking jar, with the most perfect glaze/brush stroke decoration.

I used wadding to hold a bunch of my lid up above the glazed interior, but this jar i thought would be alright.

Turns out that the lid shrank too much, as it was a little on the small side, and fell down into the pot; permanently glazed in place.

 

Oh well! i think i am going to keep using little coils of wadding on my lids from now on!

Besides my wadding is fun to work with, it has the consistency of corn starch and water (non neutonian solid or something like that).

THEN!!!!

When i took home my most favorite mug with my grandmothers secret "Shaner Red" glaze (she learned from him at the Bray before and in the first year he was director); a glaze which is finicky but was PERFECT ON THIS MUG.

Anyway, i rinsed it off and set it on the counter, bumped it with the coffee pot and BANG went the handle as it hit the floor.

 

AHHHH!!!

 

it is days like this that i have to remember the humble words of my first teacher Jack Walsh: "It's just mud".

I'll just have good excuse to make another one.

 

Keep breaking stuff and sealing lids forever, cheers!

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Mark C.    1,797

Mixing up a 10,000 gram 5 gallon batch of glaze-studio phone rings-distraction and another batch of glaze is toast-sometimes it takes a glaze fire till this is noticed-then its glaze and pots that are toast. Now its let that dam phone ring .I'm mixing glaze. Took me many years to focus on zero glaze distractions.I could have a ingredient check list but I have fought that much organization in my life-Live by the sword die by the sword.

Mark

 

 

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OffCenter    82

Cheers! lets all learn from each others mistakes!

 

 

Like how not to position a picture for your avatar?

 

Jim

 

 

Jim;

Is that what you look like?!!

TJRsad.gif

 

 

TJR,

A year ago my wife and I had a show together (she paints). I'm the guy in the light brown jacket. http://vimeo.com/36383367

Jim

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Claypple    29

Cheers! lets all learn from each others mistakes!

 

 

Like how not to position a picture for your avatar?

 

Jim

 

 

Jim;

Is that what you look like?!!

TJRsad.gif

 

 

TJR,

A year ago my wife and I had a show together (she paints). I'm the guy in the light brown jacket. http://vimeo.com/36383367

Jim

 

 

So, you are telling us it is not you on the avatar?! Darn...

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Isculpt    96

My VERY FIRST firing was done with an electric kiln loaned to me by a friend. I had spent weeks on my first four sculptures, and they were touched with magic. Thanks to that mysterious thing called "Beginner's Luck", I had produced work that was way beyond my capability, every sculpture better than the next thirty sculptures that followed. Somehow, when my friend gave me instructions on operating the kiln, though, I missed the part about putting the cone in the cone holder....or I forgot to put it in.....or I did it wrong or....??! All I know is that after slowly raising the temperature per my friend's instructions, I turned the timer to its maximum of 12 hours, then turned the kiln to high and went to bed. (yeah, now I know better....!) The next morning, my husband went to our attached studio to open the kiln while I was brushing my teeth. He quickly returned, white faced, and while standing in the doorway to the bathroom, told me that all the sculptures had MELTED! Wordless, I slammed the bathroom door in his face, sat down on the floor ... and cried for three hours before going back to bed for the rest of the day. (I was -- shall we say -- a little too invested in those sculptures!) We ended up spending several hundred dollars replacing the elements, in addition to hours chipping melted clay off the walls and shelves.

 

That was three years ago. Muuuch smarter now, a few months ago I spent several days making a bust which I turned into a box by adding a bottom to it and cutting along the neckline to make a removable lid. The "lid" fit so perfectly that when it was together, you couldn't tell it was two separate pieces. I was REAL proud. When it was leather hard, I decided to take it to a "do your own thing" clay night at a local community center to "work on it" (actually I wanted to show it off). But I didn't want the piece to dry out too much before I finished touching up all the stamped patterns that decorated the "clothing" part of the box. Soooo I wrapped a wet cloth around it, set it carefully in a box, drove 20 miles to the center, and carried it in. I was all set to hear ooohs and ahhhhs when I reached into the box -- and pulled out a wet, soggy collection of unrecognizable clay parts. If that wasn't bone-headed enough, I then spent another two days trying to put it back together. And if that wasn't bone-headed enough, I spent the next week trying to make another one -- which failed - and then trying to make a third one which also failed. I have finally moved on to other things, but one of these days I'm gonna try again..... yep, BONE-headed.

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In 1978 or 79, against the advice of my high school pottery teacher, I tried to throw a full bag of clay.

I struggled mightily trying to centre the clay using mostly lateral pressure.

The bat came off the pins and 25 pounds of fast spinning clay went crashing to the floor taking out the splash tray on the way.

I was in trouble. I think she made me finish my coil and pinch pot projects (which I neglected to do for most of the year) before allowing me to return to the wheel.

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Okay, I'll fess up. I took John Britt's glaze chemistry class. Five days of mixing glazes during the day and partying at night left me a bit befuddled. John said that we should lay everything out on a sheet of paper before mixing a glaze. It makes perfect sense now, but what I heard then was to literally lay all the glaze materials out on a sheet of paper before mixing them. So...I went back to my reasonably clean studio with newly-purchased glaze materials and large sheets of newsprint. I remember thinking that it seemed like a really stupid idea, but this was my first time mixing glazes alone, and I was determined to follow John's directions. I laid out the dry materials for the base glaze onto a couple sheets of newsprint, amazed at how much there was. The Kiln Goddess yelled at me from her perch, saying it was a dumb idea, that the paper would tear, but I remained stubborn in following directions. Well, just as I got the paper off the table and moving toward the bucket, the paper split in two, and the dry materials went everywhere. The mess was pretty impressive. Thankfully, I had not yet added colorants.

 

Lessons learned - Don't take on projects like mixing glazes when I am tired. Glaze mixing is best done outdoors on a calm day. The Kiln Goddess is always right.

 

BTW, I have seen almost no live bugs and so far no other critters inside my studio.

 

SOmething about the way you explain this makes me crack up hysterically! I am not a potter genius , and i am sure all of you would be rolling at the things i do in my studio- but this is soo funny!!

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The post about the artist who dumped wax resist on a kiln shelf got me thinking. What have you seen in your time either from yourself, students or colleagues that you would classify as a really dumb mistake. I know we have all done them.

I was the clay tech at my former art school. A student actually took an electric skill saw[circular saw], and while cutting a board, cut the end off the table. Not through the middle, just a foot off the end. When I asked him "why", he said; "I thought it was really tough going to cut that board."

I am attempting to go for humour here, as in Three Stooges. Not to humiliate anyone, so, no names please, just your own.

TJR.

 

LOL!!!! These are soo funny!!!

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I had a kiln repair done recently, the guy who did it regaled me with a tale of a school who had re-sited a kiln and wanted him to wire it up - initially he refused cos it was a large front loader (probably half a ton at least) and it was in the middle of a room on the first floor, no-one had any idea if the floor was safe or not - eventually the kiln was moved to a safe spot and wired up - a few days later he got a call to say that there was a lot of smoke issuing from the kiln - once it had cooled enough to inspect he found a large quantity of ash in there - the pottery dept had asked the woodwork dept to make them some new kiln shelves - they made them from plywood.:lol:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif">

 

 

 

This is so funny!!! LOLOLOL!!!

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And just for the record... I am reading and taking notes - because what may seem bone headed to an experienced potter is an easy oversight to a new one like myself!! laugh.gif

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Pres    896

The post about the artist who dumped wax resist on a kiln shelf got me thinking. What have you seen in your time either from yourself, students or colleagues that you would classify as a really dumb mistake. I know we have all done them.

I was the clay tech at my former art school. A student actually took an electric skill saw[circular saw], and while cutting a board, cut the end off the table. Not through the middle, just a foot off the end. When I asked him "why", he said; "I thought it was really tough going to cut that board."

I am attempting to go for humour here, as in Three Stooges. Not to humiliate anyone, so, no names please, just your own.

TJR.

 

 

Introduced myself to the professor of my first grad class in ceramics at Penn State. First day of class, no idea of how a Brent C worked as I had always thrown on kick wheels. Put my full bucket of water on the wheel platform, 10lbs of clay, tools all arranged. Put the clay on the wheel, pushed foot all the way down on the pedal-prof-Stevenson, was walking around, The clay went flying hit the bucket, and the whole thing landed on his pants and shoes. I shrank the rest of the summer. . . .

 

I know Jim Stevenson. And Dave Dontigney. funny.

I had Dave Dontigney's nephew in my classes in Montana. Both Jim and Dave are Montanans.

Marcia

 

 

Neat potters, but my favorite at the school came later when Ron Gallas was there for a summer.

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Mudfish    0

Help! Im in the moment of a bonehead mistake right now as Im in the end of a cone 6 glaze firing.. and I have now realized that I have omitted talc from my berry rust glaze that I made especially for this firing. I'm really worried how my pots will turn out. Can anyone out there offer me any hope?? Its 4am in Memphis and I have been up all night continuing to fire to cone knowing I have many pots with faulty glaze.

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bciskepottery    925

Help! Im in the moment of a bonehead mistake right now as Im in the end of a cone 6 glaze firing.. and I have now realized that I have omitted talc from my berry rust glaze that I made especially for this firing. I'm really worried how my pots will turn out. Can anyone out there offer me any hope?? Its 4am in Memphis and I have been up all night continuing to fire to cone knowing I have many pots with faulty glaze.

 

Can you list the full recipe? 

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Pugaboo    438

The list of uh oh moments is long and growing...

 

1) just yesterday made 3 dozen small bowls for serving sets. The last 12 decided to NOT cover them with plastic for the night and left the ceiling fan running in hopes they would be dry by morning. Good Morning! Every last one of those 12 bowls dried perfectly perfectly cracked that is... Forgot AGAIN little loafers HATES being pushed to dry. Sigh will make new ones in the morning.

 

2) while setting a diamond shaped box and its triangle shaped base in the kiln to bisque fire I bumped the thing on the side and off it toppled into many many little pieces in the bottom of the kiln. At least I didn't have anything else in the kiln yet so it's the only thing that broke.

 

3) went to look at what feet I put on a box and turned it over... Forgot boxes have LIDS or at least they used to. I now tape all my lids on as soon as they are cool to protect them from dumb blondes even if said blonde is myself.

 

4) was brushing clear glaze on a design and while waiting for it to dry decided to put on a layer of white on another piece. Brushing away I stop with the brush from the white stuck in the jar holding the clear. 2 pints of glaze in the trash but I learned to never work with 2 glazes at the same time on the same table. Brush allllll the same color then go back and do the second color.

 

5) while painting on a large box with underglaze I knocked an open pint of it off the table, of course it landed upside down. I now pour the underglaze into a small jar to use on the drawing table.

 

6) pulled a box out of the kiln and the lid was stuck so got my wooden dowel and rapped the edges to wiggle it loose, it flew off with the first whack and landed on the work table and rolled off onto the floor... CRACK sigh no more lid. So remember to put a towel under the box you are whacking so if it pops off easily it will land and not roll.

 

7) reorganized my garage where I fire and store the work. I have 3 4x7 foot wire rack shelving units on wheels on which I seperate the finished work, bisqued and bone dry pieces for easy tracking and loading. I was sweeping up and saw something behind one of the shelves so I just pulled it out, it's on wheels right that's WHY they are on wheels right? Well I had leaned the broom up against the end of the unit and when I pulled it out the broom slid free and drooped along the backside of the unit catching and taking out 4 bone dry platters on its way down. Hand painted one of a kind platters... Dumb dumb dumb. I now let the dust bunnies mutate under the units and have turned the wheel locks on so that if I decide to pull one out again I have to at least work harder for my destruction.

 

8) done the wheel trimming launch... More than once

 

9) my pugs actually hide when I slap a ball of clay on the wheel head. They have reason when I first started throwing there were a few instances of torpedo clay balls flying about. Pugs do not think clay facials are beneficial.

 

10) used a glass jar for my slip. Cost me several hundred dollars and about a month of no pottery. I reached to grab the jar while working and it slipped out of my hand so I reached to grab it with my other hand and met the jar just as it shattered on the work table. Many stitches later and a discussion of how stupid am I with doctor and husband learned to use plastic jars only for slip.

 

I am sure as soon as I hit send I will remember a dozen more blonde moments but I think you get the picture. I'm kind of clutzy and a bit of a ditz at times. Have had to learn to Terry proof the studio and the way I work. Lol the Pugs say and you think that helps? Brats just give me the "look" when I do something silly as if to say, "and you think you should be in charge? We KNEW that was a mistake before you did it!"

 

T

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Mark C.    1,797

Blowing stuff up is childs play.The chinese mastered that centuries ago.
How about allowing someone to put work in your high fire kiln thats low fire as they did not know-done that-been there got that t-shirt.
Heres another-while firing a cone 10 glaze kiln lets clean up the area and toss the grass and trash into fire-what could happen??
who knew it smoked the whole load?been there as well.In the school of hard nocks I take pride in saying I'm a graduate with a PHD.
Mark

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Nancy S.    21

Yeah, um, I just did that "oh, a tiny bit of this mystery clay shouldn't hurt" bonehead mistake. Now I guess I have a few pounds of scrap clay for plaster cottles or bisque hump/slump molds. :wacko:

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Chris Campbell    1,082

Most embarrassing ....

 

My bowls are all porous so I thought to myself "What if I glazed the insides? Then the bottoms would not leak!"

 

Really, I thought that and I did it.

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Mark C.    1,797

Hey I left the great electrical pliers in a cone 11 gas fire-are they still good? Well it turns out they where toast-who knew ??? Always testing the limits around here.

Mark

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TJR    359

There is some funny stuff on here. Don't be embarassed. Keep them coming.

TJR.

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Mark C.    1,797

What happens when a sculpure person wants you to fire your kiln full of cone 5 clay to cone 9 for them.

Well the clay slumps-all the clay sculpture looked a bit tipsy.

who knew?

Mark

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Joseph F    865

When I was first starting I bought witness cones, not the self supporting ones. A person said just put them in a pat of clay and fire them. So I did that. Opened the kiln, KABOOM pats of clay and cone shards everywhere. 

 

From that point on, I learned to research everything anyone tells me before doing anything I am not sure about.

 

I literally patted clay from a bag, put on cones, and turned on kiln for glaze firing. DURRRRR.... No single part of me said, hey you dry all your other pots out for a reason?

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rakukuku    122

twice people have put unbisqued stuff into a raku load. one blew up quickly and scattered debris over all the other pieces. had to cool it down and pick all the gunk off. another time an unbisqued piece blew up in the raku, took out a post and collapsed the shelf we had in there,  again. clean up and start over.

 

once raked using dry alfalfa as a reduction material.  got accused of smoking magic weed because of the way the alfalfa smells.  that was funny.  like anyone around here can't tell the difference.    rakuku

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PeterH    87

Off topic.

 

The twitter hashtag #fieldworkfail is used for mistakes made by scientists.

 

Examples:

Accidentally glued myself to a crocodile while attaching a radio transmitter.

When your drugged zebra finds the ONE tree on the Namibian plains, which also has a neck-height fork
Forgot weight belt. Put rocks in my shorts for ballast. Rocks covered in fire coral

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