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Chris Campbell

What Is The Most Incorrect "rule" You Ever Heard For Pottery?

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In the "Broken" thread we are going sideways a bit and pondering what is the most outrageous false pottery "Rule" you have heard, learned or even passed on unknowingly?

 

My first pottery teacher was just a treasure trove of false information and iron clad rules that were her opinion only and nowhere close to the truth. She proudly claimed to be totally self taught ... or not.

 

It has taken me years to discover most of them and I constantly trip over them. "You can't do this and you must always do that." Maybe if enough people contribute to this thread I will find a couple more!

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Chris,

When I first started with clay it was with cone 04 slip.  The rules were pretty clear and on the mark.  But when some years later I moved into using pugged clay cone 6 for hand building and wanted to use more than one color or type ie: porcelain and stoneware.  I was told hat I could only expect failure.  What a joke that turned out to be.  I always question and try things out for myself unless shown concrete proof.  So not only do I mix porcelain and stoneware. I also mix my brands, Bray, Laugna, Immco ect.

I also mix different colors, blacks,browns, reds and the list goes on.  Presently I have 7 different colors and 6 different brands in my studio.  The only thing I look for is the firing cone and shrinkage rate.  Now I am not building any large or heavy pieces but I haven't had any problems in the last 15 years.  My advice on taking advice is take it with a grain or shaker of salt.  And experiment we all learn alot from sucess and failures both.

RJ

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I was told many years ago that the pre-made clay from a bag had to be wedged before using. This year I took a workshop in which the teacher told us that was bunk. Well I have now thrown from many bags of clay without wedging, with no problems at all.

Claypple likes this

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NOTE:  I'll just repost mine, from the other topic:

 

I propagate a few of the myths myself, mainly to make my students more cautious.  I figure that, if I tell them to do something a certain way, they will cut corners here and there.  So if I didn't "scare" them a little bit, in regards to certain things, I'd have a lot more issues. 

 

I had a coworker, who didn't think you needed to put an air hole, in large hollow sculptures.  So I made a fairly thin one, and didn't put any vent in it at all.  I let it dry a few weeks, and fired it.  There were many pieces after the firing.

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The most prevalent one is that (1) air bubbles cause pots to explode. The most contentious one discussed on this forum is (2) clay fired to higher cones is stronger than clay fired to lower cones.

 

Jim

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Well, here is one!  

You never rework clay for throwing.  If you mess up and want to try again, you could not rewedge the clay.  You had to get a new piece out of the bag.  

That and the air bubble thing.  It would cause pots to explode.   (I had nightmares over that one!)

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I was told many years ago that the pre-made clay from a bag had to be wedged before using. This year I took a workshop in which the teacher told us that was bunk. Well I have now thrown from many bags of clay without wedging, with no problems at all.

 

Agree with this one, although I do play with it a little before I throw it. Just to shake it and  wake it up.

Cyndi likes this

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1. Never trim the inside of a bowl. I don't do this often but recently tried it after watching the video of the potter trimming the large, porcelain bowl. It works.

 

2. Never throw down. If a cylinder gets off-kilter or torqued, throwing down toward the wheel will often correct the problem.

mregecko likes this

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Always throw counterclockwise-oops I throw both directions, sometimes on the same pot to smooth out aripple.

Shape from the bottom to the top-shaping down will collapse the form. Asian throwing shapes top to bottom. I shape up & dowc.

Freezing clay ruins it. No, it just means it has to be wedged.

 

Just a few I've heard, but not propogated.

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The most contentious one discussed on this forum is splash pans which are reported to not be needed. As the car guys say BOOGUSSSSSSS- Each to thier own I say-some like them so do not.  Just another tool to be used or not.

People do use them to collect great slip for additives to clay or slip and also for keeping an area clean.

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The most contentious one discussed on this forum is splash pans which are reported to not be needed. As the car guys say BOOGUSSSSSSS- Each to thier own I say-some like them so do not.  Just another tool to be used or not.

People do use them to collect great slip for additives to clay or slip and also for keeping an area clean.

 

Splash pan. Simply look at Jim: he was swearing he would never use one, and guess what? Just the last week he admitted he started using it a lot after his roof started leaking (to catch the water). So, never say never! 

OffCenter likes this

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I think Mark and Jim should meet in a neutral point-say Canada. Mark can try cone 6 clay to see if it is stong enough. Jim can use a splash pan. Later, they can drink some stong Canadian beer, and laugh about their differences. Leave your guns at the border.

TJR.

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I think Mark and Jim should meet in a neutral point-say Canada. Mark can try cone 6 clay to see if it is stong enough. Jim can use a splash pan. Later, they can drink some stong Canadian beer, and laugh about their differences. Leave your guns at the border.

TJR.

I support this idea.  Though, to be fair, isn't saying "Strong" Canadian beer a bit redudant?

OffCenter likes this

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The most ridiculous one I heard from another potter is that using metal wisks for mixing glazes ruins it by leaving microscopic pieces of metal behind'  she always used wood spoons.     Denice

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I think Mark and Jim should meet in a neutral point-say Canada. Mark can try cone 6 clay to see if it is stong enough. Jim can use a splash pan. Later, they can drink some stong Canadian beer, and laugh about their differences. Leave your guns at the border.

TJR.

I support this idea.  Though, to be fair, isn't saying "Strong" Canadian beer a bit redudant?

 

Made me laugh! Clever and witty at the same time.

T.

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The most contentious one discussed on this forum is splash pans which are reported to not be needed. As the car guys say BOOGUSSSSSSS- Each to thier own I say-some like them so do not.  Just another tool to be used or not.

People do use them to collect great slip for additives to clay or slip and also for keeping an area clean.

 

You're confused again, Mark. There has never been a RULE that you can't use a splash pan. I'm flattered that you think I can make rules, but I can't. I just make fun of splash pans because for me personally they are unnecessary, in the way, something else to clean, and add to the cost of a wheel. I do have to admit that I do use them when my roof is leaking. Splash pans, Griffin Grips, and the Quick Centering Tool are just tools that anyone is free to use or ridicule.

 

Jim

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The most prevalent one is that ... clay fired to higher cones is stronger than clay fired to lower cones.

 

Jim

 

Does the higher cone do a better vitrification? Any other benefits of the higher cone at all?

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