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Celia UK

Member Since 01 Jul 2012
Offline Last Active Feb 08 2016 06:35 PM
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#100025 Disastrous Glaze Prep How Do You Recover

Posted by Celia UK on 18 January 2016 - 04:35 AM

I share your pain Andrea. Glazing is my downfall too. Done the scraping, starting again thing many times. Worse still just crossed my fingers and been totally disappointed after the firing!

All I want is to find/develop 3-4 reliable glazes that I can have sitting there in buckets - knowing that all they need is a quick stir and then go! When dipped the glaze will cover my pieces smoothly with no drips or runs. Any bare spots can be touched up without a problem and the pots can be easily handled thereafter. I'll press the buttons for my preset glaze program and when I open the kiln 24 hours later, I'll be greeted by an array of evenly glazed, beautifully coloured, shiny pots - no thick / thin spots, no crawling, no pinholes, no runs on the shelves. I'll be as excited as I am when I open a bisque firing. (....she woke up and it was all a dream....!)

I discovered a most forgiving low fire transparent that behaves just as described above, which was designed I suspect, for hobbyists, inexpert potters, or even those 'decorate your own plate' places that then glaze & fire for you. I tracked it back to an Italian company, and did once find a UK supplier, so when mine runs out I could replenish it, albeit expensively. What stops me doing this, and seeing if the same company also makes a mid-fire transparent, is the fact that over time and by various means, I have acquired various glazes, including this one, inexpensively - school/ college closing, potters retiring etc. and I'm loathe to waste things. I therefore spend /waste time and energy using a mishmash of glazes, whose ingredients I don't know (so can't 'tweak' if things go wrong) and could never replicate them if they turn out brilliantly. I have done test tiles, but the reality of using some of them on a pot doesn't always match the test. Also, I'm still experimenting with different clays, which adds another variable into the equation.

If I wanted to save my sanity and shed fewer tears, I'd dump all the tubs, small buckets, large buckets of 'stuff' I've accumulated over the past 3 years and start over. In fact, now I've written that down, the idea is most appealing!!!! I'm also thinking of looking up the 100% reliable Italian glaze supplier - see what this forum does for a person! I've rambled on to no good purpose, other than to offer sympathy and air my own angst, but hey ho that's not always a bad thing. Good luck!


#99987 Business Advice Aka How Not To Eat Cat Food For Dinner

Posted by Celia UK on 17 January 2016 - 03:53 PM

Nancy - I can't contribute anything about pricing your work, making a living etc. as I'm only a hobby potter. I am a retired teacher with a reasonable pension and to be fair we don't have to worry about medical insurance here in the UK, so my experience may have no bearing on your situation BUT, for what it's worth - it costs much less to live in retirement than you may anticipate. When I looked at what my money was going on, post retirement, the biggest chunk is on 'extras' rather than essentials. You can't beat doing what makes you happy and getting away from the stresses of teaching has a lot to be said for itself! Good luck!


#98423 Goals For 2016

Posted by Celia UK on 31 December 2015 - 11:47 AM


 anyone else in England? near Lincolnshire ?[/font][/color][/quote]

I'm in St Ives Cambridgeshire - not far away (next door in U.S. or Canadian terms!!).

I certainly understand you wanting to decide what to make - for 3 years I've been saying I'm just playing with ideas and trying things out. I really need to make a concerted effort to develop a few ideas and decide on the clay to work with. I AM going to do a few sessions on glaze mixing and that will help, I'm sure. If I don't get my finger out, I'll still be 'playing' this time next year. Making a profit isn't one of my aims, but to submit pieces for a selling exhibition would be a good step forwards!
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#97725 Holes In Collanders

Posted by Celia UK on 22 December 2015 - 03:59 AM

I don't do colanders but my 'shell' bowls have areas with holes. I cut them with hole cutters at the leather hard stage too. I've also experienced cracking between them, on occasions. I think it's the thinness of the remaining clay in these areas as opposed to the more solid, unpierced surrounding areas - different drying rates and tension. Whatever you can do to slow / equalise the drying rate could help. How about a small wad of cling film (think you call it something else over there - the thin, off-the-roll plastic sandwich/food wrap), rolled and put through each hole and the whole area covered in plastic, and the whole bowl loosely wrapped? My very fragile pieces with thin clay additions that also crack in the same way, I put into a damp box to even out for about a week, before removing and loosely wrapping the thinner parts as above.

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#97611 Bisque Firing ?temperature Reached

Posted by Celia UK on 20 December 2015 - 09:56 AM

I love the one with the black& white triangles. How did you get them so neat?


White underglaze all over then Small paper triangles cut out, dampened and laid in position as resist. Black underglaze and the other colours painted in triangular spaces left. Carefully lifted paper triangles and a little tidying up when dry. Very satisfying if you like this sort of fiddling!!


#97047 The Great Pottery Throw Down

Posted by Celia UK on 09 December 2015 - 12:15 PM

Hi Louise - I'm an Anglian Potter so I'll keep an eye out for you at the demo days - an absolute MUST, really worth a day out. If you're stuck for transport, I'm in St Ives and can always take a diversion and pick you up. Just PM me.
Am invigilating at the AP selling exhibition tomorrow - penultimate day in Cambridge. 65 potters' work from beginners to professionals, always worth a visit.


#97043 Show Us Your Teapots

Posted by Celia UK on 09 December 2015 - 11:51 AM

My first ever teapot - just out of the glaze firing. Am pleased for a first attempt and might possibly try another one, but not sure. Just made this for the learning process rather than needing a teapot (I'm a teabag in the mug person myself!)Attached File  image.jpg   204.55KB   1 downloads


#96798 Making Spoons

Posted by Celia UK on 05 December 2015 - 05:43 AM

I tried spoons this year. Made a bisque mould by pressing a wooden spoon into a thick slab, then used it as a slump mould. Like pugaboo I merely textured the handles. They were tricky to fire as I wanted all - over glaze. I sponged off a patch under the bowl and rested this (precariously) on ceramic stilts. Firing coincided with a major kiln failure, so the glaze flew off all over the place! They were such a faff (and believe me I do a lot of faffing!) to make, that I just dumped them and decided not to pursue that idea again! No photos of the results but this is the bisque mould.
Just found a picture that shows them before glaze firing.

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#95592 The Great Pottery Throw Down

Posted by Celia UK on 10 November 2015 - 07:41 AM

Really Evelyne - I'm so surprised! I've just watched the beginning again and can barely detect any kind of accent in his voice - Major Tom that is. The presenter (yuk!) and a couple of the others have a bit of a northern twang, a short 'a' (as in cat rather than cart) in for example 'task', but nothing very strong.
Of course if you're used to American Englishwhich isn't really English, then perhaps that's understandable. You'll have to turn on the subtitles!


#95442 "i Covered Expenses ....."

Posted by Celia UK on 07 November 2015 - 01:32 PM

All this makes me thankful that I am retired and therefore simply a 'hobby potter'. I can pot as little or as much as I choose and if a friend or relative wants to buy my work then I have some cash for more clay or other materials. My time is my own and the other costs just get absorbed into the electricity and water bills! I haven't yet even ventured into local craft shows or my Potters group's exhibitions, so have avoided those pressures! I've had one or two 'requests' which I can't call commissions because they have been for non-specific pieces ("Can you make me 5 pieces for prizes..." "I want 4 Christmas presents, what have you got?" - actually just remembered my one commission for 7 commemorative bowls - style to be determined by me!) Even the pressure of these, for someine still in the early stages of learning the craft, took much of the pleasure out of the whole process. Though I must admit the positive comments from the recipients goes a little way towards addressing this...there's nothing quite like someone being prepared to pay for your work!


#94898 Prices?

Posted by Celia UK on 28 October 2015 - 04:02 AM

Ditto above re front left table. Otherwise I think it looks good but would get rid of the check cloths (?covering stock) under the tables. Using the plain fabric you have as your backdrop would keep it looking simpler and keep the focus on your goods. (The eye tends to get drawn to these cloths!)
You can be really proud of your sales - great result!


#94087 Look Mark! My Sponge Holder Prototypes

Posted by Celia UK on 12 October 2015 - 09:43 AM

They're all lovely - poppies are great and I like this shape best. My favourite colour-wise is the blue interior with leaves. How did you do the white leaves?


#91924 Will Cromartie Kiln Fire To Stoneware?

Posted by Celia UK on 03 September 2015 - 10:20 AM

Wow Joel - I'm amazed it reaches those temps so quickly. I have a Hobbytech 40 - old but in VGC and had elements replaced when I bought it 4 years ago. I can get it to 1200oC - it seemed to struggle at the top end but got there in the end - more like 10/11 hours!


#90032 Cleaning Kiln Shelves

Posted by Celia UK on 02 August 2015 - 10:19 AM

A few things to try here - might get my husband on to this - I've just done 3 hours gardening, so he owes me!


#89941 Can This Piece Be Salvaged?

Posted by Celia UK on 01 August 2015 - 04:14 AM

For those of us this side of the pond can someone explain what Caro syrup or sugar syrup is?

I've used vinegar slip on greenware with mixed success, perhaps syrup will make all the difference?

On the other hand I've had good results with Mayco's clay mender on bisque and even glazed pieces, where very small (3mm broken surface) pieces have been knocked off. See pic. (these bowls are generally 5-6" diameter). Takes a lot of patience and a delicate touch, but so does the initial making, so I've deemed it worth the investment - time & emotional!

I have learnt to only work on these pieces when I can give them my full concentration - the slightest carelessness will see a piece of the 'stencil' on the work table. I have to tell myself when to stop clean up at the greenware stage - and leave it until it's bisqued. Also, I now sandwich the v thin slab for cutting the stencil, between cling film throughout the whole procedure, including drying.Attached File  image.jpg   32.79KB   5 downloads