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Chris Throws Pots

Member Since 27 Jun 2012
Offline Last Active Jul 28 2014 01:17 PM
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Topics I've Started

Raku Burner Question

23 April 2014 - 07:24 PM

Hi All,

I'm in the process of doing some upgrades to the studio's Raku kiln and equipment. The burner head (a Ward MR100) was all rusted out so I ordered a replacement, but I have a question about sealant used on the threaded connection.

When I removed the old burner head from the valve section of the rig, I noticed some sort of sealant had been used where the male and female sides meet. It had deteriorated over years of use, but it was obvious something had been applied. What is this stuff? Is it necessary if the connection is tight? If necessary, how is is best applied? Once it's on there, is it permanent?

Thanks!

C

How Bring My Reclaim Back To Life

11 December 2013 - 02:08 PM

Hi All,

 

The studio where I work collects everyone's throwing slop in large garbage barrels to reclaim into clay for youth programming and drop-ins. The clay is feeling like it's met its limit in terms of reclaim cycles and the kids are finding the clay impossible to work with. The clay is very fibrous, tears easily and lacks elasticity. 

 

I'm thinking about adding dry ball clay and vinegar to the mother barrels to bring the dead clay back to life. Will this work? Is it worth my time? How much of each to add? Should I add something different? 

 

I'm fearful that mixing in ball clay will throw the chemical composition way off and will leave us with clay that doesn't fit our glazes. The current reclaim is a mix of four ^6 Laguna bodies (90, 66, 55 and 16) and lots of the cyclically recyled clay.

 

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

Chris


Instagram

27 November 2013 - 04:31 PM

*To the Admin: This topic could probably also be posted in the In The Studio or Potter's Council section of the forum, but due to my use of Instagram for business I've started it here. If it should live somewhere else, please move it.

 

Hi All,

 

Who's using Instagram as part of their clay life? For me, it's been a really helpful, monetarily beneficial, and FUN tool. It's helped me connect with fellow artists and customers, and it's played a large role in building my brand. I've had a great experience with the tool, and I figured I'd share. For those using the forum who don't have Instagram on their radar, it is now.

 

In short, Instagram is a photo sharing application that allows user to upload, edit and share photos with the Instagram community at large, or (by using the private profile option) specific users who have been granted permission. The application also allows users to "filter" photos to make them look like they've been Photoshopped. Users can include a caption when they upload a photo, as well as hashtagged terms (ie #pottery #ceramics #puppies #tacotuesday) to make photos easy to locate using the application's search feature. Users "Follow" other users to subscribe to their photos; the homescreen is populated by the most recent uploads from all the users one follows. Users can "Like" and/or leave comments on photos. The application is available for iOS and Android and is primarily used on smartphones and tablets; recently a view-only version became available for folks using a traditional notebook/desktop browser. 

 

Mixed in with all the users posting pictures of their kittens, babies, hipster parties, adventures with bacon, etc is a large community of ceramic artists sharing pictures of their daily process and their pots. I open Instagram on my phone and scroll through my homescreen feed a few times a day, and I'll be greeted by pictures uploaded from folks like Adam Field, Michael Kline, Alex Matisse, Birdie Boone, Brett Kern, Justin Rothshank... The pictures are visually fun to look at, and give a look into the life of the artist and process behind the work.

 

For me, Instagram has been a versatile tool, and a source of both give and take. I get inspired by posts made by others, and others (hopefully) get inspired by posts I make. Through comments left on photos, I have gotten a lot of quick troubleshooting support and have provided a lot of this as well. I have found potters who's work I've begun collecting, and I have received a good bit of business from customers who find me via Instagram then connect to my website. It's also a great tool for promoting an event or an Etsy sale code. 

 

If you're not on Instagram, give it a try. Whether for business, pleasure or both, a lot of us are already posting daily, sharing images of our studios, processes, firings, pots and lives. If you decide to take the plunge, here's my shortlist of 20 clay-related must-follow accounts to get you started:

@adamfieldpottery

@alexmatisse

@archie_bray

@ayumihorie

@btotheb

@brettkernart

@chris_throws_pots (shamelessly, me)

@dougpeltzmanpottery

@el_ceramica

@forrestmiddleton

@jrothshank

@kilngod

@klineola

@kylecarpenterpottery

@lornameadenpottery

@lyonclay

@pdxceramics

@shinygbird

@stvdiobrooklyn 

@williambakerpottery

 

Cheers,

 

Chris

 

 


Seeking Foodsafe Glaze Recipes For Wood Firing

10 August 2013 - 04:13 PM

Hi All,

In about a month I'll be participating in a woodfiring, and I'm hoping to find a few recipes for cone 9-10 glazes. The kiln fires FAST! Cone 10 in 12 hours. Its design was based off of the Phoenix Fast-Fire built in New Hampshire in the 70s. The speed of the firing is great, as we'll be firing as public demonstration in downtown Burlington, Vermont, but it doesn't allow a lot of time for ash build up. Some, but not enough to just rely on the ash for aesthetic. With this in mind, I'm planning to glaze my work. We'll also introduce some salt through the fire box at the end of the firing. I've only fired on wood a few times, so I haven't had the opportunity to mix, test, tweak my own glazes. I work primarily in functional forms, so food safety is super important. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

I'm looking for:
- a tenmoku to be used as a liner
- a clear to be used over silkscreened slip transfers
- a celadon
- a shino
- anything anyone feels like sharing

Thanks!

Chris

Best Wire Tool - Diy

23 July 2013 - 09:08 AM

Hi Folks,

 

I manage a community clay studio which serves roughly 100-200 people each month - students, renters, beginners, professionals, kids, adults. We provide all the tools one needs to work in clay, and for the most part our tools stay in good shape.

 

That said, I struggle to keep our wire tools in decent condition for more than a couple weeks. I have been buying the Kemper Cut-Off tool (~$2.50 each), but with such constant use, the wire frays and becomes uncomfortable/painful to use pretty quickly. Getting poked with frayed wire is an annoyance to our long-term customers and a turn-off to studio participants new to clay.

 

Does anyone have suggestions for a DIY wire tool? 

 

Past attempts:

* Deep sea fishing line/wire - When the smaller gague Kemper wire frays or splits, I'll use this heavier gague wire in the Kemper dowels. These last longer, but ultimately suffer the same fate.

* High test thread tied to washers - These do a great job and take much longer to brek down, but they tangle something awful. These feel like i'm just trading one problem for another.

 

Current DIY ideas:

* Kevlar string/thread - I'm fearful this will tangle just as badly as the last thread.

* Hemp string - I think this would probably break down with repeated exposure to water.

* Tennis racket stringing - I don't think this would tangle or kink, but it's generally very thick.

 

The wire tool may simply be pottery's version of the foul ball... constantly lost and replaced. But I'm on a mission to figure out a better way.  Any advice or ideas will be appreciated.

 

Thanks much,

 

Chris