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Isculpt

Member Since 03 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:26 PM
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#63228 What Are You Working On?

Posted by Isculpt on Yesterday, 10:10 PM

This has gotten way off point, but out of curiosity I just Googled 'echidna' and found a bizarre you tube video entitled True Facts About baby Echidnas" that starts "The echidna was created 54 seconds after God created marijuana..."

 

Oh my, the things I have learned reading the ceramic Arts Daily Forum!!!!




#62685 What Can I Make Besides Food-Holding Stuff?

Posted by Isculpt on 18 July 2014 - 02:50 AM

lidded boxes

frames

tiles

simple animals & birds as decorative ornaments

jewelry pendants

business card holders, desk accessories

nonfunctional decorative teapots

small reliquaries to hold written prayers/thoughts

lamp bases

wall-hung decorative platters

 

Visit Pinterest for a zillion ideas.  I have created a board of functional and non-functional pieces that I've found online that appeal to me at http://www.pinterest...nal-decorative/.  There are many other boards on Pinterest with many other ideas. 

 

Jayne




#62312 Image Envy ...

Posted by Isculpt on 12 July 2014 - 09:44 PM

Chris, you perfectly expressed the "artist's angst" that is the downside of today's easy access to the work of so many others. 

 

As I wrote the word "angst", I wondered if that was too melodramatic a word for the way most of us feel when we look at the work of talented other folks.  So I looked up the precise definition and found:  "Angst is a transcendent emotion in that it combines the unbearable anguish of life with the hopes of overcoming this seemingly impossible situation". 

 

Yup, that about covers it!




#61487 Real Time Preheating Question

Posted by Isculpt on 28 June 2014 - 08:36 PM

Oldlady, as you can see, neither of the dark washes was obscured by the acrylics, although the Mayco wash is definitely more assertive than the copper carbonate.  Copper carbonate used this way is a little unpredictable, but I have added more cc to the water and gotten a darker effect, although not as dark as the Mayco "Stoneware Wash".  On the other hand, the Mayco "Stoneware Wash" may give a lighter effect if greatly diluted.  Time for more experiments!

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Attached Thumbnails

  • green mansions sm size.jpg
  • memories become bouquets sm image.jpg



#61263 How To Strengthen Delicate Ceramic Parts After Firing

Posted by Isculpt on 22 June 2014 - 12:47 AM

Thank you all for a mind boggling array of ideas.  As for you, Babs, I can assure you that I do indeed have lots of problems.....and some of them are even ceramics related! ;) 

 

Jayne




#61142 How Do You Run Clay Through Your Slab Roller?

Posted by Isculpt on 18 June 2014 - 11:31 PM

Wow, that's a wide range of ideas for ways to handle this challenge.  I'm gonna try several to find the one that easiest/best for me.  I don't quite understand the diagonal cut that Mark mentions, but I'd like to.....

 

In answer to Mark's question about why I'm cutting the block into thin slabs, I had a problem last year (and posted about it here) wherein my 30" wide roller table (two cabinets joined together, 72" long overall) began to wriggle apart just enough that the canvas was getting sucked down into the crack between them when I tried to roll canvas and clay through the roller.  I took it all apart and reassembled the two cabinets with much stronger joins between them.

 

Since then I've had no trouble with the tables being pushed apart from the pressure of the slab roller, but I'm afraid that if I send too big a chunk of clay though, it might force the cabinet bases apart again. In the image attached, I'm showing the 25-lb block of clay that i get from Highwater Clay.  Surely no one is suggesting that I try to force that big modacker through those rollers?  How thick a slab should I feel comfortable forcing through my slab roller?

 

Attached is an image of the cabinets as a slabroller table...And yes, I've been told that no serious clay studio uses expensive cherry cabinets for storage, but I was building my studio just as the housing bubble burst 3 years ago. That bust cost me my construction job, but it gave me a studio full of functional and beautiful solid cherry cabinets ... for cheap!!  BTW, that's Mr. Evans and Mrs. Jones bookending the slabroller.....

 

Jayne

Attached Thumbnails

  • slabroller.jpg



#60089 White Spots On Bisque-Fired Brown Clay

Posted by Isculpt on 05 June 2014 - 08:54 PM

Thanks, Roberta, for the compliment.  My mentor taught me that there is no such thing as a ruined sculpture and I have taken that as a challenge, devising lots of ways to fix my mistakes! 

 

Tenyoh, the reason that the woman holding the bird has such a matte finish is that I used a wet sea sponge and when the piece was leather hard, dabbed her face, neck and hands so that it had a velvet-like "nap" to the surface.  I've only used that technique once, but I really liked the effect.  It's nearly impossible to do on a small, detailed sculpture, though. That piece wasn't large (maybe 12"), but it didn't have lots of nooks and crannies to try to get the sponge into.  Using watery washes works best on a piece that hasn't been fired to vitrification. 

 

I have hard water, but I have a salt-based water-softener unit, which may have something to do with the white spots.  It seems somewhat logical that applying water softened with salt could cause a similar effect to "scumming".  I wonder ......

 

jayne




#59868 White Spots On Bisque-Fired Brown Clay

Posted by Isculpt on 03 June 2014 - 03:42 AM

Beautiful, creative sculpture!  I've had the same problem on red earthenware pieces that I didn't intend to glaze, but was then forced to color with underglaze to hide the white spots.  One option, if you don't want to fire it again, is to touch up that area with watered-down acrylic craft paints.  It's a slow process and difficult to match the color of the fired clay, which is why watering down the paint is a necessity.  On occasion, I have had to color the entire piece with watery acrylics that still let much of the clay color show through, in order to get a consistent color. (See image of woman holding bird)  Another option, shown on the "Brazilian" bust, is to use a watered down ivory colored acrylic paint to dry brush the piece, hiding the over-bisqued areas and adding texture and depth while leaving the natural clay color exposed.  (On both of these pieces a second firing was done at 06 after I added a copper carbonate wash to create the black shaded areas.  That firing was done before I added the acrylic washes.)

 

I haven't tried firing the pieces to cone 5, but I'd be surprised if that resolved the issue.  I think High Bridge is right; the area is over bisqued, and it's not likely to revert to a uniform color.  But please let us know the outcome if you do fire it to cone 5.

 

jayne

Attached Thumbnails

  • JAYNE HARRIS SCULPTURE 312.jpg
  • JAYNE HARRIS SCULPTURE 364.jpg
  • JAYNE HARRIS SCULPTURE 307.jpg



#59534 Firing Clay Experiments Going Wrong, Please Help

Posted by Isculpt on 30 May 2014 - 02:47 AM

Chad and Benzine, thanks for the compliments.  I have to say that I haven't had great success with pit firing or trash can firing since those early attempts.  Chad's website is full of helpful information offered in an entertaining way.  Chad's site lists a number of potential colorants, with the usual suspects like banana peels. I always hear that banana peels are good for color in a pit fire but I can't help wondering how a person stockpiles enough banana peels to make a difference!  As for the other colorants -- Well, Chad, I'm just not sure I'm ready to start stockpiling road kill!!  :wacko:

Jayne :P




#59359 Firing Clay Experiments Going Wrong, Please Help

Posted by Isculpt on 27 May 2014 - 10:08 PM

Benzine, I bow to your knowledge about clays.  I am a rank beginner with a grain of knowledge and a lot of good intentions!  But when I first started working with clay 4 or 5 years ago, I used white earthenware.  Sometimes I used smooth earthenware, sometimes I used earthenware with just a little bit of grog.  Not knowing that I couldn't or shouldn't, I pit fired these ladies without a kiln, and they survived.  Was the success of that firing sheer beginner's luck?  I don't use that clay anymore, but you've made me curious! 

Jayne

Attached Thumbnails

  • sm Pit fired Tree Women.jpg



#59134 Firing Clay Experiments Going Wrong, Please Help

Posted by Isculpt on 24 May 2014 - 01:34 AM

It's all well and good to tell someone that they can buy a used kiln for $400, but if they have no means to wire it, or if they can't put their hands on $400, other solutions can be found.

 

If you will Google "Youtube Pit firing" you will find dozens of videos showing the many ways that other people make pottery without a kiln.  You can certainly make pottery without a kiln, but you will need to use a strong clay, with grit.  Raku clay is designed to withstand thermal shock, so it's a good choice.  It is certainly more difficult than firing in a kiln, and the losses are much greater due to cracking in the fire, but it can be done and has been done for millennia.

 

My husband's tribe uses no kilns, but they do warm their pots in an electric stove, a modern version of setting the pots around the fire, then moving them closer and closer until they are warm enough to be placed into the ashes and embers of that first fire. Using the electric stove, they slowly raise the temperature from the stove's lowest setting, keeping the temperature below 200 for the first few hours.  But then over a matter of 4 or 5 hours the temperature is slowly raised to get to the maximum heat setting, usually 500 degrees.  Then the pots are loaded in a towel-lined basket or even a cooking sheet and quickly moved to the ember and ash-filled remains of a fire that was built when the pots went into the oven, and that has since burned down.  That fire was built from brush topped with roughly 2" diameter branches or split dried wood.   Whatever bits of wood are left in the fire "pit" are pushed to the sides, the pots are laid into the ashes and then split dried hardwood or branches are laid over the pots.  The wood quickly catches fire from the embers and ashes, which raises the temperature of the pots further, and tree bark is immediately laid over the pots to cause reduction.  This is only one method; many other variations are available on Youtube.  But as mentioned before, these pit-fired pots are fragile and meant to be decorative items only; they will not hold water. 

 

Jayne

Attached Thumbnails

  • Catawba firing Process1sm.jpg
  • Catawba Firing Process sm.jpg



#58307 Carving Stamps - Any Tips?

Posted by Isculpt on 11 May 2014 - 01:08 AM

Stellaria, I made my living for 15-20 years carving wood with a flexible shaft dremel.  That dremel and I were great friends, but you are smart to be a little afraid of it! 

 

I have had a hank of hair get caught in the spinning dremel head and leave me with a painful bald spot.  I've had the dremel sanding burr get caught in a bind so that the shaft became rigid and smacked me in the face with shocking force.  With the tool hung on a stand beside me, I've lowered it towards the floor, letting go of it as it was slowing/stopping and had the dremel burr catch in my dog's fur.  He quit sitting beside me in the studio after that!  I have numerous scars on my hands from holding small items while the dremel burr, instead of drilling down into the item, ran across it and across my fingers. Trust me, flesh is no match for a coarse dremel burr.  I've lost several fingernails because the burr ran around my finger and paused long enough on the nail to sand it down to the flesh. 

 

Pres has the right idea, although I could never get used to clamping my work in a vise. Whatever you do, don't work on small pieces unless you have experience and good control of the tool.  I had both, but it didn't stop me from getting my hands ripped up from time to time.  A dremel doesn't make a nice clean cut, it chews flesh, and those injuries take much longer to heal and are much more painful.

 

I still use a dremel in my clay work on occasion, and I promise that a dremel won't kill you (probably), but it can definitely leave you in a world of hurt!   Jayne




#56910 Clay Scraps Question...

Posted by Isculpt on 18 April 2014 - 02:34 AM

Pres, if you don't mind my saying so, that's old wives' TALE!  Completely different mental image there!   :unsure:

Jayne




#54914 Video "a Love Story In Clay"

Posted by Isculpt on 17 March 2014 - 11:28 PM

I don't normally like pit fired work but those are just great. Reminds me of baking bread in their colours and textures.

Bill loved the idea of his pots as crisp, crusty homemade bread. At least that way when the pot breaks in the fire we could eat it!


#54842 Video "a Love Story In Clay"

Posted by Isculpt on 17 March 2014 - 03:28 AM

My husband Bill and I are very private, low-profile people, but when Piedmont Crafts Guild, the oldest crafts guild in NC, asked us to participate in a series of short videos about guild members, we couldn't say 'no' to a guild that has done so much for so many.  Consequently, we spent a day last summer with a mini film crew at our rural South Carolina home near the Catawba Indian Nation, whose thousands of years of pottery tradition my husband carries on.  In contrast, as some of you know from the outpouring of help that I've received from this forum, I am a self-taught sculptor.  What I really like about the video is how it shows that, like everyone who chooses to work in clay, our love for the medium enriches and defines our life.  (What I don't love, having just seen the film, is that it now occurs to me that taking a few minutes to apply cosmetics (on me, not Bill) might have been a good investment of my time before the crew arrived to make a high def video!  :huh:)  Oh well.... 

 

http://shawneestreet...d-jayne-harris/

 

Added note:

 

Thanks, all of you for your kind words and warm response to the video.  I have to say that the decision to focus the video on our relationship along with our work was the choice of the makers, and it struck us as slightly ironic.  After the intensity and intimacy of a shared life in craft, we were adjusting to a new reality that took Bill away from home and studio for all but a few hours a day.  After 25 years of working side by side, our new reality is that his days as Chief of the Catawba Indian Nation are filled with administrative duties for a tribe of 3,000, lobbying Congress on Native issues, and handling intense political pressure as he works to regain some of the sovereign rights lost to his tribe. Meanwhile I keep the homefires burning and look forward to the day when his crucial work on behalf of his tribe is done and I regain my studio partner.

 

The video shows us working on several pieces that are pictured in their completed states below.

B Harris small image.jpg Bill Harris Pottery_054 small image.jpg BLUEBIRDS SWIRLED AROUND HER clay sculpture by Jayne Harris.jpg JAYNE HARRIS SCULPTURE 46 SMALL IMAGE.jpg