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Nancy S.

Member Since 05 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Oct 30 2015 08:54 PM

#93777 Show Us Your Teapots

Posted by Nancy S. on 05 October 2015 - 12:49 PM

Funny you should bring this up! I just finished this here teapot not too long ago:


Attached File  teapot.jpg   103.98KB   1 downloads


I'm drying it verrrry slooooowly for obvious reasons. :) The spout really does come up over the top of the lid (barely), it just doesn't look like it from this angle.


(This is actually the second time I'm making this teapot. The first time the spout was too short and when it was fired, the lid was fired on the pot accidentally - and not by me!)


#81804 Setting Up Studio In Basement

Posted by Nancy S. on 17 May 2015 - 06:54 AM

Depending on how old your wiring actually is, you may wish to upgrade anyway. I used to live in a house with 60amp service, and we couldn't use the toaster without tripping the circuit! And once you get the electrician there to do the work, you may as well have him wire for a kiln...no sense in paying for a second visit.

Good wiring also improves the resale value of your home, and if it's knob and tube now, you may also get a discount on your hazard insurance by upgrading!

#79065 My Extra Large Mug Is On Tv Tonight

Posted by Nancy S. on 11 April 2015 - 10:01 AM


My connection's acting up, but I think this is it?

#77810 Brushing Glaze Smoothly

Posted by Nancy S. on 21 March 2015 - 07:12 PM

I like the hake brushes and fan brushes for smooth and even coverage.

#75184 Purple Haze, Opps No Glaze

Posted by Nancy S. on 11 February 2015 - 04:57 AM

Amaco has lilac (a pinkish purple) and amethyst (a darker eggplant purple). Verra nice but purples are pricey ($20-30 per pint). They're also food safe!

You can also buy Mason stains and add to a base glaze. I don't have details but that's what my local studio did....though the Mason stains are also expensive - $50 a pound!

#71946 What Kind Of Glaze?

Posted by Nancy S. on 15 December 2014 - 09:23 PM

I believe Coyote has a series of crawl glazes. :-)

#71326 S Crack.

Posted by Nancy S. on 06 December 2014 - 07:47 AM

Sounds like Spooze is for greenware and Bisqe Fix is for bisque. Am I correct?

#55991 Mesmerizing Slip Decoration Video

Posted by Nancy S. on 03 April 2014 - 09:22 AM

My cousin sent this to me, and I wanted to share it because it's not only fascinating to watch but also inspiring!


#55972 Different Ways To Sign Pots

Posted by Nancy S. on 02 April 2014 - 07:55 PM

I carved a "sigil" that incorporates my initials into a plaster bat, then pressed a bit of clay into that to form a stamp that was bisque fired. The past few years I've used a date (also a bisqued stamp that I made from carved plaster), but obviously that necessitates a new date stamp every year, so I'm pondering that a lot lately. I don't sell a lot; most of what I make is for me and my family. :) And they don't really care when it was made anyway!


I like using the stamp, because it makes for a clean, incised line that is also consistent. I started out hand-carving the sigil, but sometimes it didn't come out right, sometimes it was too deep or too shallow, etc.

#51527 Going Over To The Dark Side With A Pug Mill-Never Thought I'd Say That

Posted by Nancy S. on 01 February 2014 - 08:58 PM

I've got a Peter pugger for mixing scrap and making blends of clays. The pugger in not a de-airing, just a mixer. From this I take the fresh clay to the Bluebird de-aring pugger. If I use "Store bought" clay the de-airing Bluebird keeps me from having to wedge. The main thing about using clay from the Bluebird pugger is that I place the de-aired clay on the wheel lengthwise "------" then center, not vertically "!"  to eliminate "S" cracks in my work. It changes the spiral orientation of the clay and keeps "S" cracks from forming.

Without the pugger I couldn't get enough work made to make a living in clay.



Forgive me if this sounds like a stupid question, but why run it through two machines? Does the Bluebird not mix the clay?


Also, when you say you put the pugged clay on the wheel "lengthwise -----" do you mean that it comes out of the pugger as ------ and you chop it up into little "logs" and put those on your wheel with the non-cut surface on the bat/wheelhead? Just curious - I don't have a pugmill, and unless I can find one that's stupidly cheap (i.e., free), I'm probably not getting one anytime soon because I just don't do the sort of volume some potters do. :)

#43015 Grinding The Bottom Of Your Pots

Posted by Nancy S. on 21 September 2013 - 01:58 PM

I had the same problem!! So now I burnish the bottom of my pots when they're leatherhard, using the back of an old spoon. Pushes the grog in and makes it nice and smooth.


FWIW, if your old spoon is tarnished, using it to burnish will rub the tarnish off and the impurities that end up on the clay will fire out in the bisque. ;)

#41831 Experience with Mayco Jungle Gems and other commercial "crystal" glazes?

Posted by Nancy S. on 31 August 2013 - 07:25 PM

You can buy these metal oxide "crystals" from the largest producer, Rabco Specs, just like Mayco does.




The largest consumers of these crystals are tile manufacturers.


The color blooms to a bigger diameter at ^6 than ^06.  Some contain oxides which will boil-off as you get closer to ^10.


Ooo! I will have to look into that.


If anyone is interested, I have tried the 'Grape Divine' and like the results - it's not runny, is a nice pale purple with yellow spots. I'd add a photo here, but the dang thing just won't work. Here's a link to my ^6 "test kitty" -- http://img.photobuck...y/testkitty.jpg

#41563 Advanced Member?

Posted by Nancy S. on 27 August 2013 - 08:37 PM


It's true that the "advanced" designation is only about your number of posts, and does not reflect anyone's expertise level. You are free to change your title anytime. If you edit your profile settings, you'll see a field for Member Title. You can change it to anything you want, or even leave it blank if that makes the most sense to you. I've noticed that some users have already done this. You can call yourself "student" or "weekend warrior" or "MFA" or "tilemaker" or anything that suits you. I think it is nice when folks feel comfortable revealing themselves like this, it does help with communication. But I also think the internet is a daunting place for many people and I hope anonymous users feel welcome here too. 

Perhaps changing the titles from "Newbie, member, advanced member"  to   "new to the forum, contributor, frequent contributor"  would dispell some of the confusion.  I have changed my member status so it does not say "advanced member."





Depending on the software, CAD may not be able to change the default titles.


Users may just have to remember that although the titles may include "Advanced Member," that doesn't necessarily mean "Advanced Potter"!

#39749 How Do You Know When The Clay Is Dry?

Posted by Nancy S. on 28 July 2013 - 07:37 AM

When I'm in doubt, I put the pieces on a sheet of newspaper and check them the next day. If the paper wrinkles up where the clay was touching it, they're still too damp to fire. If the newspaper doesn't wrinkle at all, it's good to go.


One of the potters at the local studio (where I have my stuff fired right now) does a lot of carving into thick leatherhard clay -- when she's done carving she puts it on the greenware-to-be-fired rack and the studio owner bisques them as-is with a candling cycle. So although I know it doesn't *have* to be totally dry, I prefer that they are so that they don't get damaged in-transit.

#32510 What direction is your wheel spinning?

Posted by Nancy S. on 08 April 2013 - 01:26 PM

Well, I don't have any actual scientific fact or study to back this up, but here's my educated guess based on what I know of kinesiology:

The "dominant" or "active" hand (right hand in a right-handed person, left hand in a lefty) is better suited for fine motor skills like writing, design carving, etc. The "passive" hand (the left hand in a righty; right hand in a lefty) is better suited for what is called "gross motor movements," using large muscle groups. Many times, the passive arm is actually a tiny bit stronger than the active arm. The body adapts to have a 'right tool for the right job' -- the passive hand does the brute force work so that your active hand doesn't get damaged (which would make it unable to do those fine motor skills).

Applied to pottery, as a right-handed person I am better able to center clay using my left hand - a gross motor movement, brute force. The counter-clockwise motion of the wheel brings the clay toward the heel of my left hand, making it easier for me to maneuver the clay without it catching on my hand. My right hand holds tools (fine motor movement) at an angle to the clay such that as the clay comes around (counter-clockwise), it again does not catch on the tool. If I were trying to do a scribbley design on a clockwise-moving wheel, I'd have to hold the tool at a very different angle to keep it from jabbing into the pot as the clay moves *toward* me instead of *away* from me on the right side.

A left-handed friend of mine who also does pottery has her wheel going clockwise for the same reasons, just reversed. Posted Image Some lefties will throw "right-handed" (counter-clockwise wheel) in the same way that some southpaw athletes will do things right-handed.

I know very little about Asian pottery techniques; maybe they don't do the same things to their pots as Westerners do. Maybe they have a cultural tendency toward something closer to ambidextrousness (even if you aren't born ambidextrous, you can train yourself to do more with your passive hand -- I knew a gal in college who learned to write with both hands because the nuns always took the pencil out of her left hand and put it into her right!). Not that it's good or bad, just different.

I suppose that if your wheel is reversible, you can do what works best for you. And if it's not, you just have to adapt your techniques to work with what you have....