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Member Since 20 Jun 2012
Offline Last Active Jul 22 2014 04:56 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Anyone Else Interested Or Know Anything About Firing Leopard Spot Shinos?

15 July 2014 - 07:27 PM

So, my thoughts are, a pot wrapped in styrofoam peanuts will have areas where the styrofoam is in direct contact with the pot ("contacted areas") and other "open areas" where the styrofoam doesn't actually touch the pot's surface. As the wash or glaze dries, soda ash evaporates/migrates to pot's surface in the "open areas", but no evaporation or surface migration of soda ash occurs in the "contacted areas" (i.e., where the styrofoam touches its acting like wax resist).  Carbon trapping will occur in the open areas where there is soda ash present.  Conversely, no carbon trapping happens in the "contact areas" because there is no evaporated soda ash on the pot's surface at these touch points. 



 Yes but the wax resist (I have done this, rubber bands are good for straight lines :)  ) makes the soda migrate to the sides.  You don't get carbon trap where the wax is (we get pretty good orange usually with a malcom davis).


 I think maybe the popcorn actually sucks moisture out where it is located (maybe sponges would work too). Thus causeing the opposite effect. More carbon trap in the spots that are touching.


 I'll have to try this out soon, am curious now.

In Topic: Mixing Black Clay Body - Cone 10 - Need Expertise

13 July 2014 - 03:41 PM

 I take it that it will have an effect.


 I will be remixing some clay next week to find out :D

 Would have been much easier to mix up five small balls with different amounts of feldspar and thrown 5 bowls to test first though,.

In Topic: 10 Cool Trends In Contemporary Ceramics

13 July 2014 - 03:39 PM

I can't say the article is wrong.


 First it is contemporary 'ceramics' not contemporary function pottery.


 I have seen works that would fit each group just fine. I think they left out 'cabbage leafs', seems certain types of vegetable leafs are popular to recreate these days.


 But you also can't discredit 'graffitti' art or culture as a passing fad. Times are changing and the world I grew up in and my influences are completely different than my parents. Though classics are still a strong influence there is desire to go beyond, create new stuff with new visions.


 I agree though that technique is still required. Just slapping stuff together as opposed to thoughtful and technical work will result in different work. Slapped together stuff can often fool those who know no better but the same item finely crafted will be recognized as such.


 For example, Face jugs have always been hideous imo. Though I can appreciate the history of them. But without the history making them now is just copying an old culture. Judge that how you will. The face jugs in the article imo are also hideous but don't really represent the origins. I don't think they even look finely crafted, but that's also hard to say looking at small pictures.

 On the other hand face jugs could inspire finely crafted ceramics that are marketable. Take for instance 'thebigduluth'.



 He has set his own standard in face jugs, is very creative, a great sculptor and artist.


In Topic: Mixing Black Clay Body - Cone 10 - Need Expertise

13 July 2014 - 01:07 PM


Maybe the instructor would have NEVER anticipated that this particular student would suddenly go off and produce a whole body of work with the untested reformulation and even plan on showing the work produced....... without taking all the knowledge that they already had about ceramics and doing things like the necessary TESTING WORK before ever doing such a thing. 


I again come back to the fact that we have NO idea the context of this whole discussion.




 I worked on this stuff over the course of weeks, 4-5 hours a day (6 days a week) in the same studio as instructor open studio AND class time . Sitting at wheels where we could talk and look each other in the eye. Even discussing the forms (he complimented me on every one of them) as I went. It's the yearly student/instructor show (so I know he knew I was working on pieces for it, we discussed it). In fact the pictured piece was fired in time for the show only because he announced there would be one final firing for it.


 All my work isn't lost, I still have 5-6 on the shelf, change of plans, they just won't be glazed.


 But again, I didn't go off on a wild tangent, I just didn't test with any amounts of feldspar. This is the first time I have formulated a body and I did it to his exact specs. (at least the ones he gave me). He watched me mix it, he had me test  a coil for color (only), and I made about 10 test tiles with glazes (the test tiles haven't cracked). Then he watched me make 50 lbs of work and start mixing up another 50 lbs batch (as I still assumed his guidance was right) .


 This isn't something I did out of sight, it was with his guidance right under his nose and the process lasted several weeks with everyone in the studio asking me about it, etc...He was well aware of every single thing I did regarding this process.

 But at the end when it failed he said 'Well I do put 10% Feldspar in mine', 'You should have tested'.


 The only way I would have known I needed Feldspar would have been to have my instructor tell me, or to second guess and look up recipies online and try to formulate myself.

In Topic: Where To Start With Wheel Newbies?

13 July 2014 - 04:26 AM

 If he wants to throw he HAS to learn to center.


 Honestly I don't think it's that hard but...


 In the community studio I am working at I have helped a few people, but in different ways.


 One guy would sit there and just try and center for days on end. Nothing else. I finally told him 'Just do it' time to pull, you need to finish one piece and work through all the steps. If you only try to center all you will ever have is a lump of clay. BORING=quits. If you jump in both feet first you will have a wobbly cup. What's better? I really well centered lump of soggy clay or a wobbly cup?


 A wobbly cup. Why? Because you have experienced throwing from start to finish and you now have points to improve upon. OR, you could have a really nice lump of clay. Now he is throwing some pretty nice large 'bowls' (more shaped cylinders but...). The point is he kept going and now loves it.

  I think that is what Marcia meant. It is better to have a bad center, keep going and learn to pull, to clean lip, etc... and get through the entire process once. THEN do it again BETTER. Then again, etc.. Spending 5 hours centering is not fun. Spending 30 minutes working through the process is. That leaves 4 1/2 hours to try again, and again, seeing improvement, building muscle memory, achieving something.



 Other people had sticking points. Too much mositure, too dry and sticking hands pulling clay out of round. Foot propped up on pedal throwing off balance, etc...

 Kept using wrong hand positions until I corrected them 20 times in 10 minutes, etc..



 I've been at this for 2 years and have TONS to learn but my advice teaching him is this:


1:Cylinders. They are easier. (with grain of salt, a really tall cylinder is harder than a really small bowl). But a cylinder can be turned into a bowl, not vice-versa. (still best to throw bowl as a bowl)

2: Show him the basics, let him work. Watch him closely and catch his mistakes early. Be patient but diligent. Don't let him develop bad technique, that turns into bad throwing, frustration and giving up. Better to be frustrated for the first 3 hours, then the first 3 days.

3: wedge up 5-10 balls of clay (not one). have him throw one, when it fails scrape it away and start over. Everyone wants to keep first throw, yet it's probably not worth it. Install early that it's OK to toss a bad piece and try again. 1 makes 2 better, 2 makes 3 better...


 3 days is plenty of time to learn (basics) imo, but that depends on time. 30 minutes a day, NO. 3 hours a day, YES. I guess that depends on student/instructor too. I have seen instructors ramble on for hours telling students how, then walk away when students try. Students get frustrated and I jump in and say... let me help you as you do it... and they end up with a thrown item on their first ball of clay (even if horribly rough).

  Throwing is not hard if someone sits with you one on one and catches/fixes your mistakes.

  It is IMPOSSIBLE if the teacher walks away and leaves you to your own vices.


 I have also found strict weights don't matter. Clay is a loose subject. For some 1 pound might be easiest. My hands are fairly large and one pound of clay is TOUGH. My fingers get all bound up on each other. 2 pounds is much easier to handle, I have room to breathe yet it's not too much weight/size, etc... 4 pounds is probably just too much for a beginner though.


 Be loose, but don't let bad habits develop, but don't be over bearing. Sometimes it takes mistakes to realize a bad habit needs correcting. Make it fun first and foremost, if he still doesn't like it he never will. If it's fun and he sees it is possible then he can determine how serious he wants to get.


 The basics of clay are easy with a little help and fun, almost anyone can teach that. To be really good depends on  willpower and nobody can force that on anyone.