Jump to content


Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:19 PM

#82113 It's Too Big..she Said

Posted by Benzine on 20 May 2015 - 08:47 PM

I think I can speak for the rest of us, when we assume all Canadians are polite.  I for one, poke fun at the notion.  A stereotype, does not define a nation.  Though, all things considered, that's not a bad one to have.  When people think of the U.S., they think we are overweight, gun-toting bullies.  


I've heard enough of your classroom stories, to know, that there are quite a few Canadians, that are far from polite.  I of course, can relate.  I also work with the same clientele you do.

#81865 Jar Lids

Posted by Benzine on 18 May 2015 - 09:22 AM

It would be a shame to glue them. How about buying some sheets of cork, cutting it to the diameter of the jar, then glue that to the underside of the lid. The lid will have a nice snug fit, and be stable.

#81750 Accidentally Left My Plugs Out... My Reds Look Fabulous

Posted by Benzine on 16 May 2015 - 07:50 AM

Well, there is that story, of the potter years ago, who couldn't replicate a beautiful red color, the local ruler really liked. In frustration he threw himself, into the firing kiln, the result was a beautiful red, due to the reduction he caused.

So what I'm saying is, who or what fell in your kiln Pugaboo?

#81711 Mug Sizes

Posted by Benzine on 15 May 2015 - 04:30 PM

I make mugs, for Graduation gifts. They are generally made from 1 1/4-1/12 lbs. of clay. They are about four inches tall, by about the same wide. I like them to be all purpose, for the college/ career bound. They are good for coffee/ hot chocolate, cereal, ice cream, soups/ ramen, etc. They are not, however, to be used for PENCIL HOLDERS!!! *Shakes fist at people who coddle their functional wares*

#81497 When Do You Keep Your Own Stuff?

Posted by Benzine on 13 May 2015 - 02:31 PM

Made a bowl, using glazes, that I've used many times before. This combination, and the way it was applied, turned out very well. I really like it, so it was made for an "Empty Bowl" event. So, charity is more important, than my desire to keep something I can make again, many times over.

#81346 I Need Help With Bone Dry Clay

Posted by Benzine on 11 May 2015 - 08:10 PM

How thick is the slab you molded?  Slabs do dry, relatively fast.  They also can warp, because they dry so fast.  One issue, with molding slabs, is that they can kink, and create spots that end up being thicker, than the item overall.


FYI, grog is ground up ceramic, that is added to a clay body, to make it less prone to cracking, when drying and firing.

#81340 I Need Help With Bone Dry Clay

Posted by Benzine on 11 May 2015 - 07:28 PM

Yep, a large fan, with the ware on a rotating surface is the way to go.


The clay you describe sounds like both, the stoneware my studio used in college, and the Raku clay I use for my classroom now.  Both have grog, which meant they were forgiving, when it came to quick drying.  Does your clay have grog as well?


A hairdryer can work, but it's a bit tedious, as you have to move it around a lot, so you aren't drying one area quicker than another.  And, as Chris stated, it might feel dry on the outside, but still be damp on the inside, and that's where the risk for explosion lies.


What is it, that you made?  Wheel thrown, slab and/ or coil built, sculptural, etc?  How thick would you say it is overall?

#81230 Cone 5 Kiln?

Posted by Benzine on 10 May 2015 - 09:40 PM

bciskepottery is right.  It is a great idea to think about future needs, with any piece of ceramic equipment, because the cost usually  means, they have to last you a while, so they should be versatile enough to change with you.


I didn't have to plan ahead with my kiln, because I got it for free.  I wasn't turning that offer down...

#81204 A Blast From The Past

Posted by Benzine on 10 May 2015 - 09:45 AM


It is great to see former students, and hear that you made an impact.

I just went to a Graduation party yesterday. This was for a talented student, who I only had twice, once as a Freshman, then not again until this past year, as a Senior. I told her, that she may not have taken a lot of Art classes, but made up for it in project quality. The last class she took was my 3-D Art class, where we do our clay work. She put in endless hours making her projects, and it showed.
Both her parents thanked me at the party, and said that I rekindled her interest in Art. She is not majoring in it, in college, but might work it in to her major. She also wants to take some type of Art class while she's there.

I also keep in touch with a couple former students, who did go into an Art-related field. One is a graphic designer, the other works at a fashion firm in NYC. I enjoy hearing from them, and seeing the work they are doing.
The graphic designer, actually sent me a copy of a book she designed, while finishing up college. It is over a local ceramic artist, Dean Schwarz.

#81203 Cone 5 Kiln?

Posted by Benzine on 10 May 2015 - 09:32 AM

Welcome to the forums.

There are some pinned topics on each board that may answer some of your questions.

But in short, here are some answers.

Cone 5 is considered mid-fire, but is hot enough for food safe wares. Of course "food safe" is determined by many other factors, such as which glazes are used. Buuuuut, there are clays that vitrify at those temps, and vitrification is a big part of making food safe items.

Cone 8-10 kilns are pretty common. That tends to be the max end for most electrics. The caveat is, not a lot fire that high in electric, because it wears out the elements much quicker. Many that fire in the high fire range, use gas kilns. People will bisque in electric, and then glaze fire in gas.

To save money, you could use low fire clay and glaze for the non-food ware items, like the Christmas Trees. You would save on electricity, and wear on the elements.

If you post the specifics on the kiln, brand, model, condition, others could give you an idea, on if the asking price is reasonable,

#81133 Solar Powered Kiln?

Posted by Benzine on 09 May 2015 - 10:43 AM

Norm definitely had a lot to contribute, but he made a discussion personal, and questioned the credibility and integrity of some other posters.

That happened with another poster too, though the latter departure was less... "Volatile", I guess one could say.

I think the problem is, we as people, take any questioning/ contradicting of our knowledge, as an attack on us personally. We shouldn't. Things change, especially information. Look at History or Science/ Medicine, the "Facts" change all the time based in new discoveries. If a doctor is not up to date, that doesn't mean they are an idiot. It's our job as humans, to stay up on the changing information, so that we can continue to contribute to one another. And that's why it's sad to see such apathy, in regards to correct information by today's youth... But that's a whole other topic all together...

#81074 When Do You Keep Your Own Stuff?

Posted by Benzine on 08 May 2015 - 09:05 AM

They say, "Never grow attached to your work". The reasons being, it may slump, crack, or otherwise break, glazes will run, or generally not turn out. And if it does survive as expected, you generally have to sell it.

I fully understand that philosophy. But sometimes exceptions can be made. If you really like the piece, and don't see yourself making another, keep it. And if someone ever sees it, and really likes it, sell it to them, or make another, as long as they are willing to make it worth your while. If not, you have no incentive to sell it, and it gets to stay in your collection, win/win.

#81032 Buying A New Wheel! ^_^ Yes!

Posted by Benzine on 07 May 2015 - 07:07 PM

You could also just go, with REALLY soft clay Guinea.  You could even go with softer, than you'd normally throw with, center it, and let it dry, before opening and pulling, so you don't have to worry about it collapsing.  

#79754 Humor: The Best Way To Learn!

Posted by Benzine on 20 April 2015 - 09:57 PM

That would have taken me a little while to work out TJR.  I too am left handed.


It's funny, and kind of sad, that they try and copy a demo exactly.  They don't do any reasoning, as to why you might be doing something different, and why they should or should not follow suit.


For instance, when I do some of my drawing demos, they are on large paper, that I tack to a cork rail.  Because I'm not very tall, I put the paper vertically, so I can reach most of it easily.  However, some of the drawings that I am demoing, should be horizontal.  I preface it, each time with "I'm making mine vertical, so I can reach it easier, but your's should be horizontal."  I still get several, that set their paper vertical, because I did...

#79668 Low Fire Pottery

Posted by Benzine on 19 April 2015 - 08:54 AM



I believe this is the process, that Doris was referring to:




I've used it several times, for fine writing, and creating drawings/ illustrations on various wares.  It works extremely well.  


One extra step, I usually take, is to have the image/ lettering I want done on a piece of thin paper.  After the base coat of underglaze is dry, I'll hold the paper on the clay surface, and trace over the design with a dull pencil.  That will leave a small impression on the surface, that can be seen through the wax resist.  That way, you don't have to free hand, when you go to etch through the resist.