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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:05 PM

#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.

#89106 Kiln Fibre Board Or Brick

Posted by Benzine on 18 July 2015 - 12:37 PM

Use the free fiberboard, to make a Raku kiln.

#89047 Overfired Gas Kiln Today

Posted by Benzine on 16 July 2015 - 08:21 PM

Have you tried blowing on it, to make it cool faster?...


Best of luck.

#88486 Put Your Lips On...

Posted by Benzine on 07 July 2015 - 05:27 PM


That being said, I think the coffee mug is among the most personal of ceramic items, and the range of preferences is vast, so there's a person for nearly every mug, if you can just put the two together.


Bingo. I used to make a larger variety of mug forms, but I got tired of trying to please everyone. Now I just make two. Take 'em or leave 'em.



So is one the two types called "Take 'Em" and the other "Leave 'Em"?...

#88388 Community Challenge #2

Posted by Benzine on 06 July 2015 - 10:52 AM

OK Paul, now you're just showing off...

#88281 Chalices

Posted by Benzine on 04 July 2015 - 06:57 PM

Pres, is the best person to talk to.  He makes some every year, from the sounds of it.


If it were me, I'd throw it in two pieces; a round bottomed cup, and a stem with no bottom.  


I did find this video, where it's thrown as one piece:  


Usually his videos, he makes note of what he is doing.  Not the case here, so I can't tell, if the stem is open into the cup or on the bottom and he collared the top close.


If they are functional, I would go with two piece.  If you throw it as one, and have that narrow area in the stem, it is very difficult to clean, and would become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.  


I pretty sure Pres goes the two piece route, because he made himself a special Giffen Grip holder, specifically for the chalices.  

#88112 Stream Of Consciousness Back Fires ....

Posted by Benzine on 30 June 2015 - 10:33 AM

Sorry to hear that Chris.  


I've been there before.  Things always go better the next time...  Unless you want to embody the definition of insanity, and continue to repeat the same thing, over and over, expecting a different result.

#87208 Feel Like I Am Hitting A Brick Wall - Perhaps You Have Experienced This?

Posted by Benzine on 15 June 2015 - 07:34 PM



There's nothing wrong, with questioning your direction.  In fact, I think it's healthy.  I do it, not only with  my artwork, but also with my teaching.  It never hurts to ask, "Is this working, and if not, what can I do to change that?"


My suggestion for your path, is at first, just keep doing what you have been doing.  As I commented on your status the other day, your work has come along way, since you started.  Keep practicing and refining your skills on the wheel.  If you do indeed want to add sculptural elements to wheel thrown wares, you'll want the wheel portion to take as little time as possible, because the sculptural portion will definitely take a bit more.  


I've seen quite a few people here mention that they do mostly wares, they know will move.  And they use those wares, to drive their business, so they can occasionally afford to create more in depth, maybe less commercial wares, sculptures, etc.


In regards to classes, there's nothing saying you have to take a semester college class, or anything like that.  I've seen local art guilds have guest artists, who teach a variety of media and techniques.  The classes are usually all day, on a Saturday and Sunday, and that's it.  They aren't too costly, unless you are trying to get a Graduate credit, which is one reason they interest me.  In that cast, yeah it's a little bit of money.  The local art guild here,  had an artist who was teaching figural clay sculpture.  I could not make it, and I'm still kicking myself.  


Best of luck, on whatever you decide.  Like I said, there's nothing wrong with question things.  And there's definitely nothing wrong with a little productive venting.

#87129 Engaging Children - Special Pricing

Posted by Benzine on 14 June 2015 - 10:39 AM


i had a small bowl and gave it to a neighbor child for his 4th birthday, (complete with the counting out of the fingers to four).  a year later i asked him how he liked his cereal from the star bowl and he told me it was on the mantle and his parents would not let him use it.  sigh.............................


Grrrrr.  How will they learn to properly use and respect stuff if it's out of reach.  I made a mug for a four-year-old, and on delivery I asked her what she would like to drink out of it?  It became her "hot-chocolate-before-going-to-bed" mug.  And get's used every day.


I made my daughter a  tea set, for a Christmas present last year.  Four cups, four plates and a teapot.  I also made the storage box.  So I had countless hours into all of it.  But it's meant to be used.  I made everything "heavy duty" for use by a child.


I also make mugs, as Graduation gifts, for my students.  On the card, I include a note, saying that they are meant to be used, and by used, I don't mean decoration, or holding pencils...

#86369 Making Very Fine Lines!

Posted by Benzine on 02 June 2015 - 11:38 AM

When I was going through my last figurative phase, I settled on a technique that reminded me a little of etching.  I scratched fine lines into a leatherhard (on the dry side) pot, then bisqued.  I then wiped a black stain wash onto the piece, which darkened the fine lines, then wiped it off.


This mermaid bowl is an example:


That's awesome!  Very nice illustrative style.

#86345 Chattered Bowl..

Posted by Benzine on 02 June 2015 - 08:49 AM

Very nice work.  Chattering is one technique I have no (purposeful) experience with.  Might have to start practicing and add it to my repertoire.


Also, congratulations and good luck with the wedding, not to mention buying a house.  Ah, life in the "real world".  Things they kept telling us were coming, when we were in school.  Turns out, they weren't just making up stories...