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Chris Campbell

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

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Marian65    7

When I first learned to throw about 1983, and ever since, instructors tell me that potters don't need strength, just leverage.  Bunk ... in my personal experience.  The people, women and one man, were bigger than I and younger (except for the first one) and naturally stronger.  I kept telling the man who taught the last class I took that I couldn't brace my elbow into my body because it just doesn't fit there!  My strength is waning in my "more mature" years, so I can't center more than about four pounds now, but I tell my few students to get their clay centered any way they can and that strength DOES help!  I show them the positions and then leave them to work out what works best for their individual bodies.  By not stressing over prescribed technique, they get it quickly after a few tries.  By working at it with the different methods I've shown them, they just naturally fall into the one that gets the job done.  It's the centering that matters, not the method, in my opinion.  (My occasional students are adults). 

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Chilly    329

Being told that you can't use ^06 glaze in a ^6 firing or the other way round. 

 

On asking "why not" I was told "because". 

 

No reason given, no suggestion to test and find out for myself.  Maybe my teacher thought she was saving me the time and effort, but I've since found that some do work and yes she was right some don't.  Some don't fully mature if fired too low, some over fire and run, some colours burn out, some change to something different but still acceptable.

 

Some glaze manufacturers actually print lists of what happens to their ^06 glazes at ^6, more helpful than my teacher.

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Babs    386

Teacher was prob. trying to discourage students from making a big mess on the shelves of the kiln she was responsible for.

Avoiding disasters is a general rule of teaching!! And placing students in positions where they will have success, well most of the time, another one if the time available for the course is limited.

A life time to try , then go for it in your own studio.

The "because' prob was the inadequacy here.

Like languages there are rules but then there are all the exceptions to it.

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JBaymore    1,432

There are lots of potential reasons.  The teacher was most likely also aware that the CHEMISTRY of a glaze which is underfired or overfired changes.  And that change in chemistry can affect lots of things that affect the overall durability and potential food safeness of the glaze.  Sculptures that change over time in acid rain...... plates that dukll in the dishwasher....... glazes that leach toxinx..... and on an on.  There is far more to the techincal side than the "Mark I Eyeball" test that is the only thing that so many potters use. ("It looks good.... I'll use it.")

 

 

best,

 

 

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

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Pres    896

On teachers, the classroom, and success, I came to believe that in Elementary school the success of the art lesson was 90% dependent on the teacher, choice of media, teaching style, supervision, and organization. In Junior High it was more like 60/40 with the onus on the teacher. Then in HS more like 50/50. So in my ceramics classroom, there were some cone 6 pots with cone 06 glazes on them. Specifically, reds, and greens that really could only occur at low fire. They were not red, and had run to the base of the pot glueing down to an old crusty shelf piece that they had been on. I also had a piece with a particular ^6 glaze that really was ^5 called sea green pearl.  The demonstration pot showed that the glaze could not go below 2 inches from the bottom of the pot without running off. Part of my 50%.

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TJR    359

 

 

6 years ago I was given a small programmable kiln. I was reassured that since it was computer controlled it didn't need to be watched.....you guessed it. One fried mother board, one garage fire later; and $139,000 poorer, I learned that that was not a good rule

 

Sorry to hear about that! My kiln shed caught on fire once, but I saved it and even if I hadn't it would have only cost about $1,000 to replace it. The problem was that the plug on the small kiln had worked lose and caused and arc. I've never heard of a kiln actually causing a fire because the kiln would just burn out before doing something to cause a fire (unless the potter did something really stupid like placing the kiln too close to something flamable). Was your fire caused by the wiring?

 

Jim

Mother board burned out, drew too much power so the wiring arced. The bad thing was that the wiring was behind a cabinet filled with reloading supplies....Yup, gun powder. I now have a dedicated kiln shed with seperate sub panel. The walls are cinder block and thewiring comes up through the cement floor.

 

In Canada we always store our gun powder right on top of the kiln. otherwise it freezes.[the gun powder, that is]

TJR.

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