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Member Since 03 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Apr 13 2014 10:13 PM

#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.... 




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

#54683 Raku Clay For Functional Teapot ?

Posted by Isculpt on 14 March 2014 - 04:25 PM

Thanks so much for the information and the kind words. The current project is a boat with a Native American woman and a bear. Her braid is the handle, the bear's mouth will be the spout and the flat bowl in her lap will be the teapot lid, with a channel undeneath it that leads into the body of the boat. The bear will be treated like a fetish with a raven and a few other things "tied" to it. I'm not sure about this bear in the design but I've gone this far, might as well keep going. I still have a ways to go but thought I'd share an image of it under construction.

Thanks again, Jayne

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#51093 Photography Isn't Just Pressing A Button

Posted by Isculpt on 27 January 2014 - 12:05 AM

I agree with Mea, John, Mark and Chris. I used a large Thunder Gray back drop for large pieces. The roll lasted a very long time. Then I went with the easy cube for table top sizes. That also has lasted years. I have two Varitone backdrops. One is large for large work. The other fits inside the easy cube.It is worth the investment and it lasts a long time.


Marcia, sometimes I miss the obvious, but I really would like to know how you use a Varitone background inside a cube.  My cube has a round cutout in the top, which means that the rear panel has a lip at the top that forms part of the topside. I can see no way to affix the Varitone sheet to the back wall. I would love to use the cube I paid good money for, if I could just figure out how to use the Varitone with it!  


And for the record, when I read John's answer to Kevinharr I couldn't help smiling and shaking my head in wonder.  It's a tough world out here, and making and selling art is a pretty tough way to go. When I see a fellow artist take the time to share, in detail, his vast knowledge, I can only marvel that there are still people who will go out of their way to help someone else. I am constantly awed by the the magnitude of the generosity I find on this forum.    

#47012 Crack In Floor Of New Kiln

Posted by Isculpt on 03 December 2013 - 08:26 PM

Thanks, Stephen. Yeah, it's such a crapshoot to take your work out into the world, but seeing your work sell is always a kick -- as long as you know that the value of your work isn't determined by the sales tally at the end of any one show.    And even though the business hasn't changed much in the 7- or 8-year hiatus that my hand injury forced on me, the details are different -- digital images instead of slides, artist websites, disporporionately higher show fees, and a clientele that is spoiled for choices (more galleries, shows, etsy,.....).  The transfer of skills to sculpting clay from carving wood wasn't especially daunting, but the limitless possibilities of clay finishing is often overwhelming.  I wish that I knew much, much, MUCH more about clay and firing and glazes! 


whispering (and i still kinda wish i hadn't messed up my kiln) <_<



#46974 Crack In Floor Of New Kiln

Posted by Isculpt on 03 December 2013 - 11:46 AM

Boy, I get that whole "sworn to protect" thing.  I can't believe that a month after delivery, I have a couple of big ol' cracks in the floor and a huge discolored area on the exterior.  When I used the top of the kiln to dry some work while other work was firing, I got big dark splotches on the top and said "ok, that's it -- I'm through worrying about aesthetics!!"  Thanks for asking about my show, Stephen.  I've only been working in clay for 4 years, and this was my first show in 3 years. I sell my work through 2 galleries, but I supported myself doing shows for 20 years as a woodcarver until a fall wrecked my hand.  When I started tackling the issue of displaying ceramic pieces that are heavier and more breakable than wood, I got lots of help on the business forum regarding my booth display and lighting.  As you can see by the attached image, I haven't got the lighting down yet, although things looked much better when all the convention center lights were turned on. And the short answer (too late for short answers??) is that I sold 30 of the 40 pieces that I took -- which, for me, was a great show.  The work priced in the $150-$300 range sold better than the higher priced work, which is something to keep in mind for future fall shows, although maybe the bigger pieces were useful for attention-grabbing.


Booth image 50%.jpg

#43452 Fertilizers For Pit Firing

Posted by Isculpt on 29 September 2013 - 11:35 PM

Thanks Bob, Peter and John.  I'll certainly read up on making ferric chloride before I attempt it!  Can you tell me what color(s) ferric chloride contributes in a pit-fire?  For that matter, what effect does copper sulfate have? I know that personal experimentation is the best way to answer these questions, but pit firing is so labor intensive that I'd rather not spend half a day firing just to create a test tile or two...or even worse, to experiment on a sculpture that I've put lots of time into!  


I searched all three guys' galleries hoping to see an example of a pit-fired pot using those chemicals, but no joy. (It was a pure pleasure searching the galleries, though -- John's yakishime with youhen charcoal finish is breathtaking and Bob's electroformed pots are truly fascinating).   Nonetheless, I'm wondering if anyone knows of an image of pit-fired pots using those chemicals.

#41213 Making A Good Living With Clay Work At Shows

Posted by Isculpt on 22 August 2013 - 12:03 AM

Nancy, I feel your pain!  I'm basically shy, so my first shows were agony.  I supported myself for nearly 20 years doing craft shows with work that ranged from $50 to $1000.  My selling style necessarily differed from that of someone who sells $5 and $10 items, but I think that the lessons I took away from all those shows would serve anyone well.  I learned that most people attend shows with the intention of enjoying themselves and maybe buying something from a craftsperson whom they feel a connection with.  So I stopped looking at every visitor as a potential buyer.  I treated the visitors as I would treat a guest in my home; i.e. I chatted with the ones who wanted to chat and I left alone the ones who didn't.  It took some acting skills, but I took the dollar signs out of my eyes, hid my financial anxieties and made them feel that they were welcome as visitors, not as buyers.  Most people are very sensitive to the vibe that you put out, and if you can relax and share with them the joy that the work brings to you (whether it's antiques or handcrafts), then they can relax and enjoy the work, too.  Enjoying it is just a step away from buying it, if they are acquisitive people and can afford it.  One of the nicest unintentional compliments I received from a fellow craftsperson was that he thought I was a "trust fund-er", because it never seemed to concern me whether my work sold or not. Believe me, it concerned me deeply, but putting out that vibe made people feel safe.  And feeling safe meant that they could relax, enjoy the work, make a personal connection, and maybe even buy something.



#41191 How To Get Emailed Notifications Of Replies To Posts?

Posted by Isculpt on 21 August 2013 - 02:21 PM

Thanks, Karen!  It's always the obvious stuff that plumb evades me!  :blink: Jayne

#29416 Is there a way to bookmark a post?

Posted by Isculpt on 15 February 2013 - 01:52 AM

Is there some way to bookmark posts or create a file of posts here on Ceramic Arts Daily's forum? And a similar question -- I've posted a good bit on Trip Advisor in preparation for a ridiculously over-planned trip to Ireland, and on that site I can click on my user name and see all my posts listed chronologically. That would be really useful here, since the advice I've received on C.A.D. is priceless, but my memory is a sieve. Is there anything like that here on C.A.D.? (Glad we now know how to force those recalcitrant little emoticons to do our bidding - just click and drag!)
JaynePosted Image

#23353 what is the best studio advice you have received?

Posted by Isculpt on 09 October 2012 - 01:02 AM

This isn't about pottery per se, but it has resonance for anyone who loves clay (or any other pursuit, for that matter). It struck me as the truest thing I've ever read about happiness, and it helps to adjust my atitude when I'm feeling sorry for myself because I won't be retiring with a big fat pension -- (that's assuming I ever DO retire!) !

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about."
Charles Kinglsey 1819-1875, English novelist & historian


#5755 "glazing Pots With Lids" 101, Please

Posted by Isculpt on 26 March 2011 - 09:10 AM

I accidentally posted my question to "Clay & Glaze Technical", but no joy there. You folks, however, always help me out of the jams I get myself into. So...
I've been following the post regarding lids stuck to pots by glaze, and it has raised some basic questions for me. I make sculptures, paint them with underglazes and fire them to cone 06. No sticking glaze issues because I only use underglazes. But I was invited to enter two sculptural teapots in a teapot show, and I suddenly find myself with glaze issues! I have bisqued the "pots", underglaze fired them (both firings at 06), and now it's time to add a clear satin cone 5 glaze. I had assumed that the lid and pot would be fired separate from each other, but after reading the post, it looks like that's not the way it's done (perhaps because they need to stay together to avoid warping differently from each other?). If I'm understanding this correctly, and I am supposed to fire them together, what is the secret to keeping them from sticking? Does it all come down to waxing? (Do multiple coats of water based wax help?) And do I have to worry about the glaze melting and running past the waxed area into the well where the lid and pot fit together? For that matter, since the two sculpture "pots" don't have a foot like typical functional ware, how far up the side of the pot must I wax to avoid glaze running down and sticking the sculpture to the shelf?

All of this leads me to what may be obvious to a functional potter, but seems like a stumbling block to me: I would rather that the pots be completely glazed around the neck openings, but if I have to fire the pots with their lids in place, it seems that it isn't possible. Today is glaze firing day, so any help will be appreciated!

#5560 Terra Sig To Smooth Out Groggy Surface

Posted by Isculpt on 09 March 2011 - 12:14 AM

This is the novice question of the day (read: dumb) -- I understand that slip is made from the same clay as the pot, but I keep seeing recipes for terra sig, and that confuses me. Can you just use any terra sig recipe and slap it on any unfired clay pot? Is there not a problem with shrinkage differences? Is there some magic ingredient in terra sig that makes it "one size fits all"? I've been wondering this for awhile, but it has suddenly become relevant. I've just made some coil pots from a clay that turned out to be groggier than I realized. After burnishing the pots with a river rock as I normally do with the local hand-dug clay, it looks like the surfaces are not smooth enough to be simply bisqued and pit fired. There's just too much grog showing on the surface. Can I "save" these pots by making a batch of terra sig from a recipe out of a book and coat the pot with the terra sig, then -- what? burnish it with a river rock or rub it with a cloth? And while I'm dreaming up ways to save the pots, what would happen if I made a slip out of the hand-dug clay and painted it on the groggy pot, then bisqued and pit fired it?