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Celia UK

Member Since 01 Jul 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:50 PM
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#63211 A Change Of Direction

Posted by Celia UK on 24 July 2014 - 06:01 PM

Put it in a damp box for a few days and it will moisten up evenly, then get it to dry leather hard and use hole cutters. I use the boxes all the time with my pieces - sometimes to re-hydrate a piece, sometimes after adding decorative elements, so that everything moistens/ dries evenly - it increases success rate enormously. 'Damp box' (AKA 'Magic Box' - see Youtube video by Tim See)= standard lidded plastic crate with 1/2 " plaster, cast in the bottom. My best piece of equipment ever!


#63119 What Are You Working On?

Posted by Celia UK on 23 July 2014 - 06:17 PM

I was persuaded to make my own prizes for my Lady Captain's Day at the Golf Club and it's now 2 weeks away! This needed 17 prizes of varying 'values'. I've been 'playing' with clay for the last couple of years, but haven't got beyond the - 'gifts for friends and family' stage, so this has really focused me and I waiver between feeling v proud of my work so far and mortified at the prospect of the glazing going wrong and not having prizes for this big day!!! have enough pieces made and need to do one more bisque fire (small kiln!!!) to ensure I have spares for when the glazing is not acceptable or breakages.

I have some test pieces ready (underglazes, oxides etc) and now need to fire them and then use a matt and shiny transparent on each to help me decide how to finish the prize items. As I haven't mastered glazing, this is potentially where the plan goes pear-shaped! Dip, pour, spray, brush on? Glaze tongs or finger grips? Wax bottoms or wipe? Oxides under or over base glaze? While I've made quite a lot of pieces over the past 2 years, I haven't yet got to a position of confidence with colouring and glazing.

So......tomorrow is final bisque fire day and a good clean up in the studio. Then I have Saturday & Sunday clear and must bite the bullet and decorate the first few pieces - oxide brushed on & wiped back on one, sprayed on another and underglaze painted into carved areas on a third, then transparent glaze over, but dip, pour, spray? Decision, decisions - it's making me nervous just posting this. Brush on has been the most consistently successful transparent glaze to date, but I don't have glossy brush on and haven't yet tried the matt. Also I WANT to develop my dipping, pouring, spraying skills and get right away from brush on glaze. Perhaps this project isn't the time to be brave...or perhaps it is? In case you're wondering...I DON'T have a back up plan! If I think about it and have the time, I'll post some pics - successful or otherwise, of the finished items. Wish me luck!


#62045 Bad Habits You Would Like To Break.

Posted by Celia UK on 08 July 2014 - 04:47 PM

Mixing very small quantities of slip, oxide, glaze etc. for decorating and leaving them in small dish without labelling - sure I'll remember what they are. 2/3 days later looking quizzically at the same mixture wondering exactly what it was!


#58985 Treating Rust On Kiln Lid

Posted by Celia UK on 21 May 2014 - 05:16 PM

Bricks etc are all in good condition. It is the edge of the hole cut in the lid for the bung. See photos. Looking at it, myself, it's more exterior than interior so I'm thinking the rust killing paint Hammerite will do the job.
Photos too big to upload my screen is telling me. Thank you for your responses anyway.


#56969 What The Heck Is Glaze Chemistry All About? | Sharon, Nh | Sat July 26, 2014...

Posted by Celia UK on 18 April 2014 - 05:03 PM

Sometimes I WISH I was living in the U.S. - with access to courses such as this. I've spent hours looking for a ceramics course here in the UK that includes the theoretical and chemistry side of things, but to no avail! There are a few short courses covering various ceramics techniques but precious little else. I'm a retired 59 year old and would love to take a formal ceramics course - something more structured than the standard adult education evening courses - pinch pot, coil pot, slab building, throwing - work at your own pace......... If anyone in the UK can point me in the right direction I'd be really grateful.


#54727 Artist Statement

Posted by Celia UK on 15 March 2014 - 11:47 AM

Just to clarify - I wasn't really commenting on spelling, grammar etc. on the forum, simply referring to it as an example of where these mistakes commonly occur. GEP I totally take your point about 'typing' on mobile devices - whoever has fingers that small anyway?

So my suspicion about practice was correct. As a former head teacher in the UK, proof reading hundreds of my teachers' reports to parents, this was one that I had to pick up on. Many of my staff confused the two, which doesn't go down well with parents. (Well, those that know the difference that is!)

Also, I have to add one more thing before someone else picks me up on it - I do know that 'effect' can be both a verb and a noun, whereas 'affect' is a verb. The common error being to use 'affect' as a noun, when 'effect' is the intention.

And as for text speak - well that's a whole new language!!!

Context is definitely the key here.
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#54710 Artist Statement

Posted by Celia UK on 15 March 2014 - 04:06 AM

This probably won't go down well with many people, but if the adjudicators (or just one of them) are like me and find poor spelling, grammar and punctuation infuriating, then it's got to be worth getting these spot on.
Those that crop up fairly regularly, on this forum for example, include:
incorrect use of practice and practise (there is the possibility that this is an Americanism from the English where 'c' is the noun and 's' is the verb form. Think 'advice' and 'advise' if you struggle to figure this out!
using effect when it should be affect - another noun/verb confusion - 'effect' is the noun and 'affect' is the verb
it's when its is required and
misplaced possessive apostrophes (".....my mentor's as their years...." Which should be ".....my mentors' as their years....")
and please....there is no such word as 'gotten'.

Does anyone have any more that drive them crazy?

I know you could argue that as long as the reader understands what it meant it doesn't matter, but if it's the difference between selection and non-selection, then it has to be worth it.

DON'T TRUST SPELLCHECK! IT IS NOT RELIABLE IN ALL RESPECTS!


#52064 Troubles With Curves

Posted by Celia UK on 09 February 2014 - 01:19 PM

Chilly - I know exactly what you mean about going over your head! I've read all the posts, and watched the video clips - and I get it a bit BUT the penny hasn't really dropped yet. Is it definitely the Epsom salts for glaze that goes like concrete at the bottom? I've got a jar that I've saturated, but need to re read everything again before I try it! Have also got Dispex but I still feel that some of what I read seems to be saying the opposite of what I thought it was saying! NOT a Sunday night thing. Have just got back from an Anglian Potters' demo day - think I'll mull that over this evening and get on to clarifying the flocc and deflocc stuff tomorrow!


#49769 Opening

Posted by Celia UK on 09 January 2014 - 10:51 AM

Love it! Why is there a little voice in my head saying - "Is it cheating?" Is it because I know I can't yet open up consistently and somewhere feel I can't say I'm a potter until I can?


#49380 What Dvd To Buy...surface Decoration

Posted by Celia UK on 04 January 2014 - 06:43 PM

I can't really help you choose, but have often wondered who buys these DVDs - and if many are sold. As good as they are, they all seem very expensive to me. I would have thought that they'd sell many more if they were less expensive. I appreciate that they take a lot of making, and share a lot of the author's knowledge and skills, but I'd find it hard to justify the cost myself. What do others think?


#49332 $$#x%!&(* Caught The Flu And Let My Bowls Dry Before Trimmi...

Posted by Celia UK on 04 January 2014 - 04:24 AM

MichaelP - I agree with Chilly - mine have been in use for over a year now, no mould whatsoever. I too have small pieces stored from months ago and a bowl waiting to be trimmed - beautifully leather hard!

I have once tipped out the batts and given them a rinse & wipe, but only to clean up the surface as part of a general 'spring clean' & tidy of my studio, not out of necessity. They stay damp (bizarrely) and rarely, if ever need to be re-wet.

They save all that wrapping up and spraying business to keep things workable for the next making stage. If I'd known about these when I ran a weekly pottery club in school, it would have transformed my life! MAKE ONE NOW - you won't regret it.


#48899 Newbie Question

Posted by Celia UK on 30 December 2013 - 04:58 AM

I've always suspected I should do that warm up Marcia, to hone my centring and other throwing skills. I KNOW that in the log run it would be time well spent, but I've never been able to bring myself to throw, then cut open and discard the work. Apart from 'losing' the pieces themselves, it then adds to the recycling job!

Watch this space - there may well be some future regrets because I haven't followed this sound piece of advice. Keep it coming!


#48434 1230 C Semi-Clear Crystal Glaze Problem

Posted by Celia UK on 22 December 2013 - 02:08 PM

No idea why you got the different effects - far too new to this business myself BUT I think the contrast is great and I really like the inside.
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#47712 2Nd Hand Kiln! Completely No Experience! Help

Posted by Celia UK on 12 December 2013 - 11:31 AM

I penned quite a lengthy reply to this post last night, but it seems to have 'disappeared'. Can't get all my thoughts back together now, but found previous posts very interesting, thank you!

Thought I'd solved my problem but am wondering if you're right Neil, along with the fact that I brought the kiln into the house to keep an eye on the controller, so the room temperature is much higher than in the garage - which would also slow down the cooling rate. If I set it off in the garage again, this would tell me if this part of the hypothesis is correct. Hubby has decided that a digital controller will solve his Christmas present dilemma - and I'm not about to argue!


#47539 2Nd Hand Kiln! Completely No Experience! Help

Posted by Celia UK on 10 December 2013 - 06:47 PM

I have a small kiln with similar controls and have been struggling for a year to get my glaze firing right. The biggest problem for me was not knowing what heating rate each number on the kiln controller related to - all the firing programs said things like 100oC and hour for X hours then FULL TO max temperature. I didn't know whether 100oC an hour was ON, 1,2,3, or 4. Though I knew it had to be down the lower end! While brush on earthenware glazes were fine with, for example 2 hours on 2 then FULL to 05 minibar in the kiln sitter, I had crazing problems with dipped/poured transparent glaze over and over again. My 40 litre top loader fired in 4-5 hours, which seemed on the quick side, but it had had all replacement elements when I bought it second hand, so I thought it was just super efficient,

Eventually I called in the kiln engineer who thought perhaps the thermostat (controller) had failed, but on testing, this was not the case. I borrowed a digital controller and was able to measure the temperature for each number on my manual kiln controller, as the kiln fired - and hey presto I have discovered that even number 1 on the controller, was firing at more than 100oC an hour. My crazing problem was the result of the kiln firing too fast in the early stages. At last! Problem solved. I've even refired a number of pieces that had crazed, this time going slowly (100oC / hour) to 600oC then full to 1100oC and they are fine.

The other thing that helped me was coming across a Potterycrafts document (online) called Programming your electric kiln, that explained, the firing process in a very straightforward manner, including the importance of the rate of temperature increase through 573oC. It also gave firing schedules for different clays and making techniques. My wheel thrown, white earthenware with dipped / poured glaze needed to be much slower than I had appreciated, and coupled with a 'vigorous' kiln, had caused me great frustration over the year. I don't want to invest in a digital controller for this small kiln as it will cost almost as much as I paid for the kiln itself, but I do now know the manual settings I need in order to get the right firing speed. Good luck with yours, I hope you get it sussed out quicker than I did,