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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
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#91614 Cheers To Art Teachers!

Posted by Benzine on 28 August 2015 - 02:50 PM

Not cynical at all Pres. Pretty spot on, in my opinion.

Our Govenor, seems to loves the private sector. He closed down multiple State facilities, like mental health, and juvenile detention centers.
Then, when the two parties, couldn't agree on the Educational budget, for the year, they agreed on the lower percentage allowable growth, but then include one time extra funds. ...Theeeeen, the Govenor came in and vetoed the extra funds, citing he didn't want to allow lawmakers to depend on that, wanting them instead to figure out a budget. Of course, he's trying to blame the lawmakers for failing to fully compromise, while schools are still out the money. My district lost a couple hundred thousand. Larger districts, it was about a million.

I have been fortunate so far. My District and Administrators support me, and allow me to buy the necessary materials. The Visual Arts, and Fine Arts in general are supported here. I would say teachers overall are happy with the district.

This is in contrast to some states, like Wisonsin, who lost a lot of teachers, due to the current administration, or Kansas, who lost a lot of funding, for the same reasons.

And not to pick on the South, but one of my coworkers in the district, taught Art in Georgia. Not only were the kids "rough" (he had Kindergarteners swearing at him), but he was one time forced to paint with clay, he had dug up himself. His funding was so little, that's what he had to stoop too.

#90935 Problems With Glaze

Posted by Benzine on 16 August 2015 - 02:58 PM

You mean after firing it, in the kiln?

Is it popping off, on its own, or kind of flaking off?

There are a couple reasons glazes can do this. One, is there was something on the ware, before you glazed it ( dust, oils from fingers/ hands, etc) and the glaze doesn't adhere to the clay body. It looks like it does, but because of the dirt or what have you, the glaze doesn't seep into the clay body.

The other reason is a glaze fit issue. If the clay body and glaze don't expand/ contract at the same rate, you have problems. If the glaze shrinks more than the clay, you get crazing, which is tiny cracks in the glaze, or daunting, which can cause the ware to crack. If the clay body shrinks more than the glaze, the glaze essentially bunches up upon itself, and then pops off. The latter may be what happened with your work.

What cone is your clay body, and what cone is your glaze(s)?

#90755 Mistake In Firing

Posted by Benzine on 12 August 2015 - 09:07 PM

You can absolutely refire.  


The only big firing issue, with the glaze firing, is over firing, where the wares start to melt.  Under firing, is almost never an issue, because you can refire.

In fact, you can also take wares that were fired fully, touch up glaze that didn't turn out, and refire those.


The only thing you lost was the cost of the firing, and a bit of time.  But better than a load of work!

#90702 Bisque Blowouts

Posted by Benzine on 12 August 2015 - 08:08 AM

I've never heard of an "Energy regulator" on a kiln.  I'm guessing that's just the dials, that control the elements?  Some of the dials are numbered, some just have a low, medium and high.


Also, with step one, and two, most people leave the kiln lid cracked, or even completely open, through this.  It allows the moisture to escape better.  Leaving the bung out will do this to some extent.  It just depends on how damp the load is overall.  


I hope this helps.

#90551 Bisque Blowouts

Posted by Benzine on 09 August 2015 - 08:32 PM

Chris, that sounds a lot like the Scientific Method, and there's no place for that kind of thing here...

#90507 Bisque Blowouts

Posted by Benzine on 09 August 2015 - 10:19 AM

Candling would probably solve the problem. Crack the kiln lid and set the bottom element to low overnight. If it is. Digital controller, there are candling programs.

In my classroom, with the iffy nature of student work, my bisque program takes 12-15 hours. Even then, there can still be issues.

#90422 Raku Results Home Made Kiln

Posted by Benzine on 07 August 2015 - 09:04 PM

Very nice results.


Careful with Raku, it's addicting...

#90195 Could Use Some Throwing Help

Posted by Benzine on 03 August 2015 - 10:25 PM

Those cross sections look good.  Keep at it!

#90116 Could Use Some Throwing Help

Posted by Benzine on 03 August 2015 - 08:36 AM

And to add to what TJR said, the spinning of the wheel, makes the clay want to go outward on its own.  So pulling straight up, or even with a slight inward angle, gives you more control.  Because like TJR said, you can widen it later.  Trying to collar it back in, on the other hand, can be more of a hassle.  

#90077 Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!

Posted by Benzine on 02 August 2015 - 09:03 PM

As an educator, I never like to hear stories of students receiving poor instruction, or just having a poor educational experience in general.


Sadly, I know they are a reality.  I've had a couple myself.  Those inspire me to make sure I never teach in such a way.

#89715 Qotw: What Makes Something Qualify As Hand Made?

Posted by Benzine on 28 July 2015 - 04:25 PM

I like Marcia's definition.


Pres, no doubt the debate, about even what processes are "Art" are still ongoing.  I have students, and parents, that are surprised that I teach Photography.  Why?  Because they don't see it as an art necessarily.  Technology has a lot to do with that.  Taking photos is so simple, they don't see how there is any art in it...  And then I give them the 35mm and teach them darkroom processing...  And usually, that ends up being their preferred process.

#89608 Turning Off Kiln Prematurely

Posted by Benzine on 26 July 2015 - 07:38 PM

I agree with the right, fine gentleman, from California.


We use crumple paper in sculptures, as support, in my classroom and it smells a bit for a while.  

#89508 Designation--"Master Potter"

Posted by Benzine on 24 July 2015 - 09:46 AM

John, I wouldn't say that our society doesn't value Art.  They just value other things more.  And furthermore, in many cases, they value things, they don't actually realize are Art, or exist because of Art/ Artists.  

#89448 New Electric Kiln Advice

Posted by Benzine on 23 July 2015 - 05:08 PM


OK gotta ask ... Have seen this several times lately... "The OP"?

Old people...other potters...


Original Poster - or the person who posted the thread, created it, started it.



Or a variation of "OG (Original Gangster).  In this case Original Potter.  OPs are waaaaaay more laid back than OGs....

#89266 Going Price Of Mugs

Posted by Benzine on 21 July 2015 - 09:38 PM



After looking at your work, I would say it is worth every penny.  Great design, color scheme, and details.