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Marcia Selsor

NCECA experiences 2013

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

I am just back from 6 days of NCECA. I think it was a very good conference. The shows were excellent. I got to some of the lectures. The Cone 6 panel was excellent.

It focused on both oxidation and reduction. Panelists were John Britt and Stephen Hill and another person whose name was not listed.

All presented good information.

The emerging artists presentations were impressive and thought provoking.

Demonstrations were by Kristen Keiffer and Bede Clarke.

 

I was able to drive drive and take a few people with me to visit shows in far away places. Galveston had numerous shows and was a cool place to visit.

As always, seeing old friends and making new ones is a long term highlight of any NCECA.

I especially enjoyed the Texas Clay Art Association Party. It is a chance to visit with my Texas associates.

 

What do others who attended have to report?

 

Marcia

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Chris Campbell    1,088

The most exciting talk I heard was on understanding Heatwork in firings and how that is changing. Trust me! I am NOT a science type person and was mostly lost until they started showing graphs and images and then I got it.

 

Cones are basically 1870's technology that we are still using today, but they only measure one small aspect of contemporary firings.

With the advent of computerized kilns where we are free to hold and soak, fire down, crystalline fire with ups and downs all over the place ... firing cones are not giving us enough information to accurately plan our firings.

 

For instance ... if you want to soak your glaze you have to guess at what temp to start holding to achieve an accurate firing. Same with controlled cooling. As any cook knows, cooking does not stop when you pull the food from the oven. Neither does Heatwork stop when the kiln turns off. It keeps on affecting your results.

 

BUT, since two of the presenters were from Bartlett and Skutt ... the time is coming when we will be talking about Heatwork ... it will have a number like cones do. You will be able to program heatwork up and program heatwork down. This will not occur anytime soon, but it is coming because the need to accurately measure alternative firings is there. That is what happens when you give creative people a computer attached to their kiln ... we play with it then you have to catch up to us!!

 

Hmmmm .... I also enjoyed the new feature of "Process Rooms" where potters demonstrated unique techniques ... they were 1/2 hour long but most of the potters could have used more time. 45 minutes would have been better.

 

I had a blast presenting on the business aspects of pottery on Friday ... good lively group and we talked for 1 1/2 hours and could have gone longer.

 

I encourage everyone to attend at least one NCECA. There is no cooler experience than to be around thousands of potters ... no one asks "Why do you do pottery?" ... everybody gets you and understands the journey. You will meet people and make friends and learn learn learn ... you will be overloaded by seeing so much good pottery at the shows ... also you get to shop and see all the equipment first hand. I know its daunting to think of taking the plunge, but attend one and you will return. Make one new pottery friend and soon you will have a crew!

 

In the left image are some of your forum regulars ...John Baymore, the glaze moderator, in on the left, I am right beside him in the grey hoodie and Marcia Selsor is standing,in the red sweater, on the right. The second image is from the photographing your work session.

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JBaymore    1,432

The most exciting talk I heard was on understanding Heatwork in firings and how that is changing. Trust me! I am NOT a science type person and was mostly lost until they started showing graphs and images and then I got it.

 

Cones are basically 1870's technology that we are still using today, but they only measure one small aspect of contemporary firings.

With the advent of computerized kilns where we are free to hold and soak, fire down, crystalline fire with ups and downs all over the place ... firing cones are not giving us enough information to accurately plan our firings.

 

 

Yeah Chris...... you got that right. The coming implications of the research shown by the last presenter are HUGE. (Unfortunately the integral equation on his first slide he showed "put off" a lot of studio artists wink.gif.) I can't wait to see where this goes in the next few years. Anyone who was not there missed a pretty significant event .... the first presentation of this information to the studio artists group.

 

 

 

The closing talk by Clayton Bailey (Dr. Gladstone actually..... since he talked in the third person about Clayton Bailey) was wonderful also. Man... I miss that guy being everywhere..... grew up in clay watching his "Kaolithic activity" and loving it.

 

best,

 

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

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Guest Big Electric Cat   
Guest Big Electric Cat

Thanks, Chris, for that explanation on heatwork, and the real utility of cones. I have my own doubts about the use of cones, since I have a computer kiln, but I'll save that for another day. Or never.

Nice to see some pictures of the regulars!; isn't the woman seated at the table with the black and white sweater a columnist for Clay times? Her name might be Kelly, she writes the column that closes the magazine.

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JBaymore    1,432
I have my own doubts about the use of cones, since I have a computer kiln, but I'll save that for another day. Or never.

 

Cones are still the best thng we have available to measure (what we know about) heat work. That point was made in the panel by the same guy. But also mentioned was the terribly rudimentary programming of the firing model that the various retail computerized controllers have in them. Cones are STILL far better than that software model at reflecting "reality".

 

It is when the research is finished and more complex and better modeled computer controllers are available to the ceramist that the role of cones as THE determinant of firing might get seriously augmented or even maybe replaced.

 

best,

 

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

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Chris Campbell    1,088

Your opinion of the viability of cones today is pretty well in sync with what they were saying. Once we started messing with cycles, holding, controlled cooling, etc ... our ability to guage our needed cone went out the window. Many of us who use these computer assisted firing techniques have been doing a lot of educated guess work. This is why it was quite exciting to hear that the manufacturers and scientists are working on calibrating Heatwork.

 

Another eye opener was their chart of when the actual, real Heatwork takes place. A very narrow band in the final stages of firing spreading into the cooling stage ... no matter what your firing chart looked like.

 

I think I will copy and paste some of this on the glazes area so more firing peeps will read it.

 

Yes, that is Kelly Savino, a.k.a "PrimalMommy" ... good eye!

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Pres    896

Your opinion of the viability of cones today is pretty well in sync with what they were saying. Once we started messing with cycles, holding, controlled cooling, etc ... our ability to guage our needed cone went out the window. Many of us who use these computer assisted firing techniques have been doing a lot of educated guess work. This is why it was quite exciting to hear that the manufacturers and scientists are working on calibrating Heatwork.

 

Another eye opener was their chart of when the actual, real Heatwork takes place. A very narrow band in the final stages of firing spreading into the cooling stage ... no matter what your firing chart looked like.

 

I think I will copy and paste some of this on the glazes area so more firing peeps will read it.

 

Yes, that is Kelly Savino, a.k.a "PrimalMommy" ... good eye!

 

 

I understand that at this point the cone is an end point for a firing. However, I really don't think it describes all of the nuances of a firing that might run slowly through quartz inversion, ramp up to temp, hold and then cool down at different rates. We know that formation of crystals in glaze depends on the soak, and the cool down, but are there other aspects that happen within the firing from 800 to 1800 that we don't traditionally look at. I would be interested in reading this presentation.

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Chantay    101

Well, I didn't get to go. :(src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif"> Which is really sad because I grew up in the area between Houston and Galveston. My family still lives in the area. I stayed home, played with clay, read the blogs and forums and participated in the mug exchange on clayart.

 

 

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