I am working on larger ( greater than 8 inches) bonsai pots. What I have learned to do it make extra feet to support the bottom of the pot. The bonsai pots have feet, but they are heavy and have the same issues with cracking as a flat plate. The feet are not attached and travel with the pot from making through drying, bisque, and glaze firing. They are then thrown away as each pot is unique. I have also done this with a large 24 inch platter that I made with feet. I place the extra feet about every four inches.
Ray, your right. I am wasting a lot of time messing around with a finiky glaze. Works at cone 5 slow ramp, over done at cone 5 1/2 med ramp.
So I have gone back and studied my cone packs and kiln log. Everything looks good, but now I am confident about it. Using the kiln vent helped even out my kiln. The bottom shelf is still about a quarter cone cooler than the top but it is not a problem. When I pull the cones out of the kiln I mark them with the firing number and T, M, or B for top shelf, Middle, or Bottom. Detailed notes, change only one thing at a time, and be ready to trash a bunch of work before getting it right. Now you know what to do with that 100 bowls you made for practice.
Next firing I get to see what happens when you accidently pour the freshly mixed glaze into the wrong bucket. I now have three gallons labled with a question mark.
My dream studio is not much different from my current one, except you can see out the windows, (currently covered in foam insulation due to 1/2 inch gaps that air flow through), there are not stairs, and I have air conditioning and heat. Not asking for much, really!
I started painting at age 7. Had already been drawing since I could hold a pencil. When I started college I took ceramics for an elective. The hardest thing in the world was to tell the instructor no when she repeatedly told me to stay with it for awhile. Same as others, pottery wasn't a "real" job. So, I almost got an accounting degree. After 5 years of office work I couldn't take it any more. So I decided to be a nurse. Got my degree and worked for 9 years before being a stay at home mom. Dad was in the military and traveled a lot. At night I would go into my "studio" and paint after my kids went to bed. About three years ago I showed up at art class without my paint. The instructor gave me a ball of clay and said to make something with it. It is like I found my life long partner. The paints went into the closet and for the first time in my life I had a real studio. Thankfully my kids are older and I can devote some time to pottery. Now, like many of you, if I could only get over the health issues. I have the will, but the body just isn't cooperating much.
I think it is the same for many, musicians, dancer, carpenter. It is a passion. I believe everyone has special gifts. For some it just takes longer to find them, or give themselves over to them.
Glazing is at the top of the list of least enjoyable part of the process. It takes a lot of skill to get your pots glazed with no runs, globs, finger marks, dripped wax, .... Oh lets not forget the splashing when the whole pot is dropped in the glaze bucket. I have figured out to always use the heavy Iron receipes last. Iron oxide apparently stains everything.
I would be happy if I could just sit and throw and trim.
Thanks for the kind words. I spent 22 years trapped in an abusive marriage. I have so much to be grateful for now. My kids are constantly shocked an amazed at the immaturity and selfish behavior of their peers. The future of our country is in great trouble when today's youth become in charge of things. My kids are 19, 15,15,and 14.
I started your throwing exercises last year. I didn't make it through very many but what I did cover made a huge improvement in my skills. I have about 400 lbs. Of clay to recycle. I also use the method when trying to learn a new form. I just want to say thank you for being so generous with your time.
I live in the Village of Chester, Virginia. Unfortunately someone had already taken The Village Potter. Chester is right next door to Richmond which the James river runs through. I thought of River's edge Pottery. Getting a divorce so will probably just use first and maiden name, Chantay Mitchell Pottery. The spelling of my first name is french. It means to sing, which most people are grateful I don't do.