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lorielle

When did you first touch clay? | May 14, 2013

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lorielle    1

When did you first touch clay? What were your thoughts and feelings?

 

I always enjoy hearing stories about people's first time working with clay. Some people take to it immediately, some are not so sure about it, and some people can't stand it! My first experience with clay was at a community art center class. I was a little nervous, but when I got started, I thought, "Clay, where have you been all my life?". How about you?

 

 

 

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OffCenter    82

My father used to sell dirt to the Highway Dept and they would leave acres and acres of land with no vegetation or top soil and huge ponds of clay would form. It was similar to a famous American clay, Lizella Red, since this was in Lizella. I would scoop us huge handfuls of it, round it into baseball-sized balls and throw them at other children in clay battles sometimes involving 10 or so kids, then we would go throw clay balls at cows and when really bored to a cliff over a road and throw clay balls at cars. That's when I realized clay was cool stuff.

 

Jim

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TJR    359

My father used to sell dirt to the Highway Dept and they would leave acres and acres of land with no vegetation or top soil and huge ponds of clay would form. It was similar to a famous American clay, Lizella Red, since this was in Lizella. I would scoop us huge handfuls of it, round it into baseball-sized balls and throw them at other children in clay battles sometimes involving 10 or so kids, then we would go throw clay balls at cows and when really bored to a cliff over a road and throw clay balls at cars. That's when I realized clay was cool stuff.

 

Jim

 

 

Jim;

This is the second post about Lizella clay. I am not familiar with it, and I know a lot of stuff. Is it a ball clay?Sadly, my local clay is called Manitiba Gumbo. As you walk down a road, your feet get bigger and bigger as the stuff sticks to it. Good for slip glaze[like Albany], but that's about it.

TJR.

Oh,yeah. I started throwing pots in grade 10. Had to teach myself on a kick wheel. Then went to art school. The rest is history. Actually, it's all history.

T.

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Denice    243

My mother bought me a mosaic kit when I was 4 but they tiles were already fired, at 11 a teacher brought in clay for the class and every one was to make their own project. Most of the kids were making the typical clunky ash tray, I decided to make an pendant for a necklace, being a voracious reader I had just read about Mau cats in Egyptian art. When I touched the soft clay and discovered that the magical material could turn into a beautiful cat pendant I was in love. My pendant hung in a display case the rest of the year. Denice

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OffCenter    82

My father used to sell dirt to the Highway Dept and they would leave acres and acres of land with no vegetation or top soil and huge ponds of clay would form. It was similar to a famous American clay, Lizella Red, since this was in Lizella. I would scoop us huge handfuls of it, round it into baseball-sized balls and throw them at other children in clay battles sometimes involving 10 or so kids, then we would go throw clay balls at cows and when really bored to a cliff over a road and throw clay balls at cars. That's when I realized clay was cool stuff.

 

Jim

 

 

Jim;

This is the second post about Lizella clay. I am not familiar with it, and I know a lot of stuff. Is it a ball clay?Sadly, my local clay is called Manitiba Gumbo. As you walk down a road, your feet get bigger and bigger as the stuff sticks to it. Good for slip glaze[like Albany], but that's about it.

TJR.

Oh,yeah. I started throwing pots in grade 10. Had to teach myself on a kick wheel. Then went to art school. The rest is history. Actually, it's all history.

T.

 

 

You asked the same question in another thread and I answered you in detail.

 

Jim

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My father used to sell dirt to the Highway Dept and they would leave acres and acres of land with no vegetation or top soil and huge ponds of clay would form. It was similar to a famous American clay, Lizella Red, since this was in Lizella. I would scoop us huge handfuls of it, round it into baseball-sized balls and throw them at other children in clay battles sometimes involving 10 or so kids, then we would go throw clay balls at cows and when really bored to a cliff over a road and throw clay balls at cars. That's when I realized clay was cool stuff.

 

Jim

 

 

Jim;

This is the second post about Lizella clay. I am not familiar with it, and I know a lot of stuff. Is it a ball clay?Sadly, my local clay is called Manitiba Gumbo. As you walk down a road, your feet get bigger and bigger as the stuff sticks to it. Good for slip glaze[like Albany], but that's about it.

TJR.

Oh,yeah. I started throwing pots in grade 10. Had to teach myself on a kick wheel. Then went to art school. The rest is history. Actually, it's all history.

T.

 

 

You asked the same question in another thread and I answered you in detail.

 

Jim

 

for those of us who missed your detailed answer, would you mind linking to it?

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TJR    359

My father used to sell dirt to the Highway Dept and they would leave acres and acres of land with no vegetation or top soil and huge ponds of clay would form. It was similar to a famous American clay, Lizella Red, since this was in Lizella. I would scoop us huge handfuls of it, round it into baseball-sized balls and throw them at other children in clay battles sometimes involving 10 or so kids, then we would go throw clay balls at cows and when really bored to a cliff over a road and throw clay balls at cars. That's when I realized clay was cool stuff.

 

Jim

 

 

Jim;

This is the second post about Lizella clay. I am not familiar with it, and I know a lot of stuff. Is it a ball clay?Sadly, my local clay is called Manitiba Gumbo. As you walk down a road, your feet get bigger and bigger as the stuff sticks to it. Good for slip glaze[like Albany], but that's about it.

TJR.

Oh,yeah. I started throwing pots in grade 10. Had to teach myself on a kick wheel. Then went to art school. The rest is history. Actually, it's all history.

T.

 

 

You asked the same question in another thread and I answered you in detail.

 

Jim

 

Obviously, that post is no longer up. At the risk of getting slapped, could you tell me what post, and I will read it.

Thanks for your patience.

T.

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TJR    359

Jim;

I went back and read your post in the clay and glaze technical section. No need to reply.

TJR.

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

I have to include building drippy sand castles almost daily in the summers in South Jersey and fine powder on the sidewalks at Grandma's house. But the first time I actually sculpted with real clay, I was 11 and taking art classes on Sat. at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art.

After that it was another 6 years until I took a 3-D design class and made a coil-built sculpture.My dippy sand castles gave me an instant liking for Gaudi's Sagrada Famila.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9lwb-M0w1bE/UAKhKObiQrI/AAAAAAAAAvk/LqHJ27cBYx4/s1600/gaudi+sagrada+familia.png

 

I got hooked on throwing in a sophomore class elective in Ceramics.

 

Marcia

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Mark C.    1,807

Third grade-studying the spread of the California Misssions and their takeover of the locals. I made a pinch/coil pot like the locals did. Still Have it somewhere.
Mark

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Pres    896

When did you first touch clay? What were your thoughts and feelings?

 

I always enjoy hearing stories about people's first time working with clay. Some people take to it immediately, some are not so sure about it, and some people can't stand it! My first experience with clay was at a community art center class. I was a little nervous, but when I got started, I thought, "Clay, where have you been all my life?". How about you?

 

 

 

 

 

Elementary school, Tacoma, Washington, first experience, and I was lousy. Second experience JHS Warner Robbins, GA-dug some clay to make a car model 1/4" scale-never finished-clay dried up. Third experience,Media & Design, Mansfield State College, slab built box form 6X6X6-bitten, Full addiction, Ceramics 1, Mansfield State College,

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OffCenter    82

My father used to sell dirt to the Highway Dept and they would leave acres and acres of land with no vegetation or top soil and huge ponds of clay would form. It was similar to a famous American clay, Lizella Red, since this was in Lizella. I would scoop us huge handfuls of it, round it into baseball-sized balls and throw them at other children in clay battles sometimes involving 10 or so kids, then we would go throw clay balls at cows and when really bored to a cliff over a road and throw clay balls at cars. That's when I realized clay was cool stuff.

 

Jim

 

 

Jim;

This is the second post about Lizella clay. I am not familiar with it, and I know a lot of stuff. Is it a ball clay?Sadly, my local clay is called Manitiba Gumbo. As you walk down a road, your feet get bigger and bigger as the stuff sticks to it. Good for slip glaze[like Albany], but that's about it.

TJR.

Oh,yeah. I started throwing pots in grade 10. Had to teach myself on a kick wheel. Then went to art school. The rest is history. Actually, it's all history.

T.

 

 

You asked the same question in another thread and I answered you in detail.

 

Jim

 

for those of us who missed your detailed answer, would you mind linking to it?

 

 

TJR found it. Maybe he will do it. I have no idea where it is.

 

Jim

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I was 10 and my Mother took me to a fellow teacher's house for lunch, her younger sister was there and she was working with clay, she asked if I wanted to play with it, I was thrilled, I made a cat, better than I could draw a cat, from memory and feel. The coolness, the texture I knew I wanted to do this. I fell in love with clay that day and was unable to work with any until I went to LSU and met Joe Bova, the teacher and artist. Changed my life.

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MMB    17

I guess at first was kindergarten and maybe once more in elementary school. Cant say anything really sunk in. Art was always in my life but I guess the real love and realization didnt come till highschool. I remember it was when we were doing masks. We were supposed to use mannequin heads from our old cosmetology to start our masks. I hated the idea of "cheating" as I saw it by getting the head start with a perfect form. So I started with a giant chunk and carved and shaped from there. Ive always been thankful for my high school ceramics teacher. I remember that I always loathed coiled bowls. The time of year that project came around I pursued another alternative. I remember classmates going "how come hes not doing a coiled bowl?" and my teacher going "because he doesnt want to do one. Ill grade him on what he does do." Man I loved her. We had to do animal whistles once so instead I did a hamburger whistle and a spray can whistle.

 

I dont think it was just my love for clay that struck me then I think it was my love for anything and everything off of paper. Three Dimensional art really. Forms of sculpture and fabrication.

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oldlady    1,323

i grew up in detroit. outside the city is a wonderful art "place" called Cranbrook. many famous potters learned there and the instruction was top notch. my family was not into education at all but i kind of knew something about it from visiting it as a child tourist. my interest was the architecture. the fountain is spectacular.

 

when i was 10 in 1950, there was little shown on television until prime time and people would buy an odd 15 minutes to show off their daughter's skill at tap dancing or whatever. (imagine that today!) one lady showed how to make a clay Kukla, Fran and Ollie alligator, (that was Ollie). she showed other things too but Ollie was great. i wish i could find out who it was, i think it was someone from Cranbrook.

 

she put together a package designed to introduce pottery done at home. there were 5 lbs of clay, a plaster bat with impressed butterflies and flowers to make sprigs from and a couple of wooden tools. i begged for it and surprise! it was there for christmas. the bad part was that i had to share the clay with my sister who wasn't interested in clay at all. the worse part was that i couldn't fire it so it eventually withered away from handling.

 

it took 22 more years before i began to work with REAL clay again.

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Natania    6

I didn't touch clay before college (art school), amazingly! I must have been a wandering lost soul before that!

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wayver138    0

Last May I finished an Associates degree. At the time, the college I was attending did not offer a bachelors degree in what I was studying so I ended changing my major to one of three bachelors degrees that was offered and began that route last fall. Basically, I tried to force interest into a new major so I could stay at the same college and due to costs. Obviously, I eventually lost interest and dropped the courses besides one to rethink everything. With the extra time on my hands, I decided to try something new and took a class at a local ceramics studio this past November.

 

Since then, I have been hooked more and more each day. Now, I have just finished my first college ceramics course and am pursuing that route full on. It has been great! It is really wonderful when you find something that interests you and you actually want to learn and keep learning rather than forcing yourself into some other academic agenda.

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pattial    13

Three years ago I signed up for a local pottery class. I still remember the feeling of sitting at the wheel for the very first time and letting the clay run thru my hands and thinking omg I'm doing it!!

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Idaho Potter    62

The first time I worked with clay (other than mud pies when very young) was when my daughter (7yrs.) wanted to take ceramics and the only class available said that children under tem must be accompanied by an adult. At the time, I was a woodcarver, so--except for one pot--I produced sculptures. Didn't touch clay again for 13 years when I had a time period between classes (at BSU) that I either had to fill with a class or find a soft place to nap. It was easier taking a class--ceramics 101.

 

Shirley

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Biglou13    202

Getting into dirt as a toddler

Well that's not clay, but clay Like in texture, and every one had their hands in it ........

 

Thinking on next first is early childhood memories Clay dough/pay dough.... Prolly not real clay... But close enough, to plant the seed, not until 40 ish years later, real clay..... fired.

 

Thoughts and feeling first time and every time since....... Same as when I was three.

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My first experience with clay was as a primary student at Beatrix Potter's Primary School in London, England.

My second experience with clay was at Secondary School at Garrett Green's Girls' in Art class. Both experiences prepared me for modeling clay in Sculpture class as part of my BFA at Mount Allison, Canada.

 

However, nothing fully prepared me for the learning curve like the hand-building and throwing classes that I took under Walter Ostrom and Jane Donovan at The then Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax, Canada. Those two potters opened my eyes to a new passion of forming things from mud. It's contagious!!!!

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Wyndham    98

As a child growing up in the low country of South Carolina, I would collect pottery shards from open field near our home. I was impressed by the texture impressed into the clay shards and the red & black colors from the firings.

It was 40 years later when I took a pottery class at a pottery supply shop in Austin Tx. that I got into clay

Gave up my day job sometime later and that was 26 yrs ago, wish now I had started when I was a kid.

Wyndham

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Benzine    610

My first experience with clay, was as a child when I saw my Dad, working on a clay sculpture. He had a ceramics emphasis in college, along with his teaching degree. He learned from a student of Hamada, and as I learned some from my Dad, I guess I can claim, that I have learned some of what Hamada taught......right......? However, my Dad had switched careers before I was born, so I never saw him work with clay until this point. Anyway, he had the idea for a project, and like me, when he gets a good idea for a project, he goes full bore at it. Sadly, it was never finished. I don't know why it wasn't completed, time probably, but alas it wasn't. After writing this, that actually gives me an idea for my own project, which will be to remake his concept. I actually remember it pretty well.

 

I didn't have another experience with clay, until high school. The elementary and middle school buildings didn't have the equipment for ceramics, when I was there. Oddly enough, neither did my high school, other than a kick wheel that was sitting outside the Art Room, in the elements, and couldn't even make it a full turn, when kicked. The only reason we got clay at all, is because we had student taught lessons, for a project. One of the students did a basic sculptural project, with clay. We didn't keep them, it was more of creating a three-dimensional concept. But, because we had the clay, my art teacher, decided to do a small coil pot project. We created a template to follow, and rolled coils by hand. I really liked mine. It followed the template perfectly, though it was still a little rough overall. My teacher said he would fire them, at the elementary, which now had a kiln. I never saw the project again. He says, he doesn't know what happened to the projects. I had a feeling he did, which after teaching several years now myself, I'm almost positive, he just tossed them.

 

I actually got a little more experience with clay my Freshmen year of college. I took a Three-Dimensional Concepts class, where we used clay to practice creating unified works, meant to be viewed, in the round. We made busts of our classmates, then cut them into pieces with a cutting wire, then reassembled them, in an interesting way. We also did not fire these pieces, but I asked to keep mine anyway, which my instructor allowed. I actually found the pieces I kept, in one of my old supply boxes, still intact. I took them to my classroom, and keep meaning to fire them. The clay was not wedged, but I think the odds of explosion are pretty low, as the clay has had thirteen years to dry out.

 

It wasn't until my Senior year of college, that I actually took a Ceramics class. I had switched from Studio Art, to Art Education, and needed another three-dimensional art class, for my degree. So I took Ceramics, and it was a wonderful experience. My instructor, was not the department head, who taught most of the classes. He was an adjunct, who also taught at a local junior high. He was a great teacher, and I learned a lot from him. I wish I could have taken more Ceramics classes, but never got time to fit them in.

 

Despite that, the person I replaced at my first teaching job, was very focused on Ceramics. So as I took over his position, this was now my job. There's nothing quite like trial by fire. I learned fast, all while pretending, I knew more than I did. Since then, I keep learning more, and getting better.

 

And that's all I have to say about that......

 

 

I should just copy and paste this into my profile page.

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OffCenter    82

My first experience with clay, was as a child when I saw my Dad, working on a clay sculpture. He had a ceramics emphasis in college, along with his teaching degree. He learned from a student of Hamada, and as I learned some from my Dad, I guess I can claim, that I have learned some of what Hamada taught......right......? However, my Dad had switched careers before I was born, so I never saw him work with clay until this point. Anyway, he had the idea for a project, and like me, when he gets a good idea for a project, he goes full bore at it. Sadly, it was never finished. I don't know why it wasn't completed, time probably, but alas it wasn't. After writing this, that actually gives me an idea for my own project, which will be to remake his concept. I actually remember it pretty well.

 

I didn't have another experience with clay, until high school. The elementary and middle school buildings didn't have the equipment for ceramics, when I was there. Oddly enough, neither did my high school, other than a kick wheel that was sitting outside the Art Room, in the elements, and couldn't even make it a full turn, when kicked. The only reason we got clay at all, is because we had student taught lessons, for a project. One of the students did a basic sculptural project, with clay. We didn't keep them, it was more of creating a three-dimensional concept. But, because we had the clay, my art teacher, decided to do a small coil pot project. We created a template to follow, and rolled coils by hand. I really liked mine. It followed the template perfectly, though it was still a little rough overall. My teacher said he would fire them, at the elementary, which now had a kiln. I never saw the project again. He says, he doesn't know what happened to the projects. I had a feeling he did, which after teaching several years now myself, I'm almost positive, he just tossed them.

 

I actually got a little more experience with clay my Freshmen year of college. I took a Three-Dimensional Concepts class, where we used clay to practice creating unified works, meant to be viewed, in the round. We made busts of our classmates, then cut them into pieces with a cutting wire, then reassembled them, in an interesting way. We also did not fire these pieces, but I asked to keep mine anyway, which my instructor allowed. I actually found the pieces I kept, in one of my old supply boxes, still intact. I took them to my classroom, and keep meaning to fire them. The clay was not wedged, but I think the odds of explosion are pretty low, as the clay has had thirteen years to dry out.

 

It wasn't until my Senior year of college, that I actually took a Ceramics class. I had switched from Studio Art, to Art Education, and needed another three-dimensional art class, for my degree. So I took Ceramics, and it was a wonderful experience. My instructor, was not the department head, who taught most of the classes. He was an adjunct, who also taught at a local junior high. He was a great teacher, and I learned a lot from him. I wish I could have taken more Ceramics classes, but never got time to fit them in.

 

Despite that, the person I replaced at my first teaching job, was very focused on Ceramics. So as I took over his position, this was now my job. There's nothing quite like trial by fire. I learned fast, all while pretending, I knew more than I did. Since then, I keep learning more, and getting better.

 

And that's all I have to say about that......

 

 

I should just copy and paste this into my profile page.

 

 

At least you had an "art room" in your high school. Growing up in the Heart of Darkness, my high school (a beautiful building that my class burned down in '67) had no art classes of any kind. I went to a public school but it was not only segregated by race but by sex. So in my all white boys school everyone had to take ROTC and instead of art, ran track with an M-1 over my head and studied field stripping M-16s, aiming mortars, and gutting dummies with a bayonet.

 

Jim

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Pres    896

My first experience with clay, was as a child when I saw my Dad, working on a clay sculpture. He had a ceramics emphasis in college, along with his teaching degree. He learned from a student of Hamada, and as I learned some from my Dad, I guess I can claim, that I have learned some of what Hamada taught......right......? However, my Dad had switched careers before I was born, so I never saw him work with clay until this point. Anyway, he had the idea for a project, and like me, when he gets a good idea for a project, he goes full bore at it. Sadly, it was never finished. I don't know why it wasn't completed, time probably, but alas it wasn't. After writing this, that actually gives me an idea for my own project, which will be to remake his concept. I actually remember it pretty well.

 

I didn't have another experience with clay, until high school. The elementary and middle school buildings didn't have the equipment for ceramics, when I was there. Oddly enough, neither did my high school, other than a kick wheel that was sitting outside the Art Room, in the elements, and couldn't even make it a full turn, when kicked. The only reason we got clay at all, is because we had student taught lessons, for a project. One of the students did a basic sculptural project, with clay. We didn't keep them, it was more of creating a three-dimensional concept. But, because we had the clay, my art teacher, decided to do a small coil pot project. We created a template to follow, and rolled coils by hand. I really liked mine. It followed the template perfectly, though it was still a little rough overall. My teacher said he would fire them, at the elementary, which now had a kiln. I never saw the project again. He says, he doesn't know what happened to the projects. I had a feeling he did, which after teaching several years now myself, I'm almost positive, he just tossed them.

 

I actually got a little more experience with clay my Freshmen year of college. I took a Three-Dimensional Concepts class, where we used clay to practice creating unified works, meant to be viewed, in the round. We made busts of our classmates, then cut them into pieces with a cutting wire, then reassembled them, in an interesting way. We also did not fire these pieces, but I asked to keep mine anyway, which my instructor allowed. I actually found the pieces I kept, in one of my old supply boxes, still intact. I took them to my classroom, and keep meaning to fire them. The clay was not wedged, but I think the odds of explosion are pretty low, as the clay has had thirteen years to dry out.

 

It wasn't until my Senior year of college, that I actually took a Ceramics class. I had switched from Studio Art, to Art Education, and needed another three-dimensional art class, for my degree. So I took Ceramics, and it was a wonderful experience. My instructor, was not the department head, who taught most of the classes. He was an adjunct, who also taught at a local junior high. He was a great teacher, and I learned a lot from him. I wish I could have taken more Ceramics classes, but never got time to fit them in.

 

Despite that, the person I replaced at my first teaching job, was very focused on Ceramics. So as I took over his position, this was now my job. There's nothing quite like trial by fire. I learned fast, all while pretending, I knew more than I did. Since then, I keep learning more, and getting better.

 

And that's all I have to say about that......

 

 

I should just copy and paste this into my profile page.

 

At least you had an "art room" in your high school. Growing up in the Heart of Darkness, my high school (a beautiful building that my class burned down in '67) had no art classes of any kind. I went to a public school but it was not only segregated by race but by sex. So in my all white boys school everyone had to take ROTC and instead of art, ran track with an M-1 over my head and studied field stripping M-16s, aiming mortars, and gutting dummies with a bayonet.

 

Jim

 

My Ceramics room was actually two rooms, one about 20X30, the other that I got eventually was 20X50. When I retired, if I had been paid by real estate, I would have been the highest paid next to the principals. As I had that studio and the Electronic Studio Arts room that was a whopping 20X60! All in the basement one around the corner from the other. It was a great place to work except not a window one.

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