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Celia UK

Member Since 01 Jul 2012
Offline Last Active May 26 2015 05:42 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Qotw: What Would You Have Wished To Become If Not A Potter?

25 May 2015 - 05:17 PM

At grammar (High) school, I was quite academic, but not really aware of it at the time. No history of college or university in my family (grandfather and father both furniture makers, mother - clerical), so parents not really aspirational for me. I first got my hands 'muddy' in art class at age 11 and it definitely sparked something in me. Art at school stopped aged 13 unless you took it as an option for O levels. I was choosing between music (I've always loved singing, but never stuck at an instrument), art and dressmaking & needlework. The latter won the day! At 16yrs old with a wadge of good O levels I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career and had a narrow understanding of what was possible. I started A levels in Biology, Maths and Geography but apart from a real love of biology I really don't know why I ended up with these three subjects - advice to an 'academic' student from teachers I think! I was ill in the first term with hepatitis and glandular fever and after an absence of over 2 months, couldn't motivate myself to continue at school.

I had a friend who had left school to become a Beauty Therapist & I was rather in awe of her. Somehow, aged 17 I ended up at college in Manchester, on a 3 year, full time course in hairdressing and beauty therapy. In my first year, my Mum became ill with lung cancer, and I left college to help look after her. Sadly she died very soon after and the following Autumn I went back to college, dropping the hairdressing, to continue a 2 year course in Beauty Therapy. While the course content suited me well (in-depth anatomy, physiology, chemistry (cosmetics), physics (electrical treatments), nutrition, physical education and ART which I loved, as well as all the practical aspects) I was never really suited to this as a profession. I passed all my courses with flying colours and intended using my qualifications in the Occupational Therapy department of my local hospital - but despite the promise of a position, financial cuts meant this never came to anything.

Various unfulfilling jobs followed for a couple of years - mostly clerical positions, au pair, bit of salon work, lecturing in Further Ed. Then I started nurse training - my true vocation, met the man who later became my first husband. We married 1 year into my 3 year training, 2 years in he wanted to relocate back to our home town, so I transferred my training to the local hospital but never settled and made the fateful error of giving up nursing! Two children followed, and my marriage failed when they were 2 & 4 years old. I was unfulfilled, had no higher education qualifications, so limited career prospects and needed to be financially independent! After working a year as a temp in an office, to keep the wolf from the door, I knew I needed to study for a degree if I was ever to be able to have a professional career.

With 2 dependent children under 5, I wasn't in a position to relocate, so my local college was the only option. They offered a 4 year BEd degree course in Primary Education. This included a specialist subject area which needed an A level (English, Maths, Science, Music etc.) but for Art & Design the entry qualification was an interview and a portfolio. Yay! Now 31 years old, I started my degree course, qualifying with an upper second class degree, 4 years later. In the latter 2 years we had to specialise in either 2D or 3D (ceramics) - 22 years after my first introduction to clay I was getting my hands dirty again.

I taught the full breadth of the Primary Curriculum (5-11yrs) for 23 years, which included curriculum art and an after-school pottery club in the last few years of my career (Headteacher - 'Principal'). In the last 2 years leading up to retirement I prepared to get back into ceramics - bought a small kiln, set up a work room, then bought an electric wheel.

I'm currently closer to being a potter than I've ever been. So .......until now I didn't become a potter, I became various other things along the way. Nursing / medicine would have been my vocation but teaching became my career (never a vocation - I just worked hard to become successful at it!)
MY RETIREMENT HEAVEN: In addition to my pottery exploits I'm now 'scratching' the medical itch AND using the Beauty Therapy training by working as a Red Cross volunteer in my local hospital - offering hand, arm, back, neck & shoulder massage to patients, one day a week and also have plans in hand to set up a clinic as a volunteer in hospital, providing Cosmetic Camouflage consultations. I am also about to start training as a Red Cross trainer for the massage treatments.
So despite many 'failures' and 'mistakes' along the way, at 60 years old it's all coming round and nothing has been a waste of time after all.
Not quite a direct answer to the question in hand, but it got me thinking.......

In Topic: User Program, Does Anyone Use Ramp Rates Different Than The Orton Chart?

24 May 2015 - 03:45 PM

Too much information for me after 4 hours in the golf course and a couple of glasses of wine! I'm not dim, but I need to go back to basics on this and sit and think about it carefully. I do know that cones measure heat work but as I'm not in the habit of using them except in the kiln sitter as a back up, I haven't really got my head round the significance of it all. I think I've generally been ok using the digital programmer and final temperatures because I'm mostly using transparent glazes which I think don't need too much subtlety! No doubt as I get into more complex glazes I'll need to sit down and read this up and get my head round it all.
Thanks for all the info!

In Topic: User Program, Does Anyone Use Ramp Rates Different Than The Orton Chart?

23 May 2015 - 05:08 PM

Thank you Bciske, that's just what I needed to know.

In Topic: User Program, Does Anyone Use Ramp Rates Different Than The Orton Chart?

23 May 2015 - 04:44 PM

Thanks for your reply David - I'm such a Newbie that this almost reads like Double Dutch to me. What I really meant was WHY is there a different ramp for the last 200 oF? I'm using a digital controller on a v small electric kiln and slow down to 80 oC between 500oC and 600oC then go flat out to the top temperature. I haven't got into the habit of using witness cones I'm afraid! What are the pitfalls in this? Should I be programming another ramp for the last 200o??? Does it make any difference if I'm firing earthenware or stoneware glazes?

In Topic: Finally! I Am Learning To Post Pictures!

22 May 2015 - 11:30 AM

Cobalt Carbonate when fired turns into Cobalt Oxide and Carbon Dioxide. The same way that we use Calcium Carbonate to add Calcium Oxide you can use Cobalt Carbonate to add Cobalt Oxide.
'The theoretical oxide form has 93% CoO while the carbonate has 63%. So if you want to switch from the oxide to the carbonate in a recipe, multiply by 93 and divide by 63. To switch from carbonate to oxide multiply by 63 and divide by 93.' 

Joel - I just love these technical glaze chemistry posts despite the fact that they make me realise how much you know that I never will! Oh to be young again..........