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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Online Last Active Today, 09:55 PM

#79668 Low Fire Pottery

Posted by Benzine on Yesterday, 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.

#79639 Humor: The Best Way To Learn!

Posted by Benzine on 18 April 2015 - 08:09 AM

I can laugh at myself, and the mistakes I used to/ still do make.

I just didn't find the video amusing, because of how they presented the material.

Now the platter throwing video someone posted, a couple weeks ago, that was funny. It was a satire of sorts, but presented in a way that worked.

#79602 Humor: The Best Way To Learn!

Posted by Benzine on 17 April 2015 - 09:54 PM

I'm with you Pres. I didn't find that funny, not even a smirk.

#78951 Pottery Add

Posted by Benzine on 09 April 2015 - 08:06 PM


I'd love to be in the position to make my own glazes, but available space, at this time, prevents it. My [so called] studio is a small 10'x12' shed that I share with my husband and all of his tools. For some of us, we don't really have the choice to house  multiple 5 gallon buckets of glaze, nor the raw materials in bulk.That doesn't make us foolish. It just means that we've learned to work within the confines of our environment. ;)


I didn't mean to say that folks who use commercial glazes are foolish. My apologies if it sounded that way. For many people it's the best option. But for that guy to say he didn't have time to mix glazes was foolish.



That's what I assumed you meant Neil.  


I think it's fairly apparent, from previous discussions, no one looks down on anyone here.  Especially for how they come by their materials.  

#78776 Armature

Posted by Benzine on 07 April 2015 - 09:45 AM

An option would be to remove the armature, once the clay has dried enough, to support it's weight. This is usually done by cutting a vertical seam, removing the armature, and some of the excess clay, then score and slip it back together, and hide the seam.

If you are worried about long, unsupported areas breaking from stress, you can build some support props, out of the same clay body, and fire those with the sculpture. They will shrink at the same rate as the sculpture,p so won't cause cracking.

#78623 Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!

Posted by Benzine on 05 April 2015 - 09:53 AM

Welcome to the forums and world of clay.

Don't get frustrated. Practice will overcome any issues, you are having. I've been teaching ceramics for ten years, and I'm still learning and getting better.

In regards to your problem, try applying a little less pressure, with your pulls, and go slightly faster. I always tell my students, it's better to apply slight pressure and move too quickly, because the clay just doesn't get thinned. If you do the opposite, you end up with thin spots that are weak, collapse or tear off.

Like with many things, on the wheel, it's something you have to get a feel for. It will come with time and practice.

Also, in regards to your earlier projects, the slab box probably caved, because the sides were stood up, before they were dry enough, causing them to sag. The cracks could be due to sharp angles left in the corners. I always run a coil along the seam, and smooth it in. Cracks can also be a result of the clay drying too quickly. Just some things you learn along the way.

#78517 Well Met At Nceca

Posted by Benzine on 03 April 2015 - 12:29 PM

I should also note, that with the hair and leather jacket, TJR, you look like a British rocker.... Or at very least their manager.

#78509 Dress Code Issues

Posted by Benzine on 03 April 2015 - 11:07 AM

I wonder if there is any data, that proves that "professional dress" by students and staff, actually improves student learning?


Don't get me wrong, I don't want to show up, wearing an old, beat up t-shirt, basketball shorts and flip flops.  But on Fridays, when we are allowed to wear jeans, I still look professional.  I still wear a nice shirt, tucked in, the jeans are in good shape, not tattered, or overly faded (though that would make me in style these days).


On a side note, I do randomly wear ties, and it confuses the students.  They think it's a special occasion, or some event they aren't aware of.

#78269 Old School Materials Making

Posted by Benzine on 30 March 2015 - 08:13 PM

That seems excessive, I just put in a purchase order...

#77976 I'll Never Be A Real Potter.

Posted by Benzine on 24 March 2015 - 10:10 PM

I guess some artists are not real painters either because they don't make their own paints?



Dang right they aren't!  They are also not real painters, if they don't weave their own linen for canvases, hunt down animals, to shave for brush bristles and chop down their own trees to make canvas stretches and brush handles.


And don't get me started on so called "Potters", who don't mine their own clay and glaze materials...

#77906 Any Experince Teaching Those With Special Needs ?

Posted by Benzine on 23 March 2015 - 05:23 PM

I have had plenty of experience, with special needs students, in my class.  The biggest problem is, that it's difficult to plan for, in advance.  Each student will be a little different, in terms of what they are capable of, and what they are comfortable with.  For instance, I once had a student with Autism.  With two-dimensional work, he was quite good.  He could focus very well, and had an eye for detail.  When it came to three-dimensional work, he also did pretty well.  Both myself and his Special Ed instructor, were not sure how he would do with clay, but overall there were no issues.  I wasn't going to have him try the potter's wheel, but his aid told me, he wanted to give it a shot.  Less than five minutes in, he wanted no more of that.  So he was just excused from that project.


I've also had a couple students with Down's syndrome, who needed one on one, a lot of the time.  Sadly, the Special Ed room, didn't always send an Associate with them.  As it turns out, I either had a student helper those times, or some of the other classmates, were nice enough to help the student out.  It was all worth it though, as the special needs students were always so happy, seeing their projects come out.  


I did have at least one time, where the student had a fairly profound disability (in a motorized chair, non-verbal, limited arm movement).  In cases like that, they are there mostly for the socialization with the other students.  Because clay is too messy, in those situations, I have purchased, or had the Special Ed department, purchase Play-Doh or Silly Putty.  That way the student is still getting that tactile sensation, without getting everywhere.


Generally, I just have the special needs students, do as many of my standard projects as possible (pinch, slab, coil).  But some things will be more difficult, if it is a whole class of special needs students, as opposed to just a few mixed in with the general study population.  


I would suggest making general plans, because things will change, once you figure out how much the campers can do.  I would also inquire, to see how many helpers, aids, etc you'll have with you.  Because you will need all the help you can get, to make sure the campers get the most out of the experience. 

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#77593 Covering Greenware After Attachments

Posted by Benzine on 18 March 2015 - 12:35 PM

In my classroom, I generally have students partially cover pieces, when they have recently attached something.  With that said, if it's earlier in the term, we play it safe and cover things.  However, if it's the last day to work with wet clay, no cover, and it gets put on a vent to try!  


The clay body is usually forgiving enough, that we can get away with it.  Usually the only issue, is when students try to attach wet clay, to dry leatherhard clay... or even bone dry...  I tell them this won't work, but what do I know?

#77377 Planning A Glaze Kiln Load - How Much Planning?

Posted by Benzine on 14 March 2015 - 07:57 PM

I've changed my specifications, for student projects, so I can fit them in the kiln more efficiently.  


Also, I sometime, rarely but sometimes, will stack glazeware.  I do low fire, in my class, so I just use the stilts with the pins, one facing down, the other facing up.  I don't do this often, and never on anything that would require a really smooth surface.  But there are times, where it does help.

#76974 How Are You Surviving This Winter Season?

Posted by Benzine on 08 March 2015 - 07:55 PM

Every day this week, is projected to be in the 50s or 60s, with lows around freezing.  I am fine with that.  I have been "done" with winter, for weeks.

#76782 Shortage Because Of The Weather Up North

Posted by Benzine on 04 March 2015 - 06:12 PM

None of that "Pampered" clay for you Pres!