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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:52 PM

#117542 Adding Low-Fire Liner To Glazed Stoneware Vessel?

Posted by Benzine on 30 November 2016 - 09:30 AM


The glaze has to fit the clay - another lesson in not rushing, how many do I need?


When does time end?


In my experience working with clay, and Art in general, the thought of "Yeah, I should have known better..." comes up often.

#115202 Qotw: What Means "imperfection" To You?

Posted by Benzine on 27 October 2016 - 08:56 AM

Imperfections are aspects to the piece, contrary to what I was trying to achieve.


If I have a piece, where I wanted clean lines, or definition between colors and I have drips or smears, those are imperfections.  If I have a piece that I want to be as symmetrical and even as possible, that is a bit oblong or uneven, that is an imperfection.


However, if I am layering glazes with the purpose that they run and mix in an interesting way, I won't mind some random/ unexpected drips.  If I have a piece, that I ad a groove or swirl, which causes some distortion, I obviously won't care if it a bit off elsewhere.  


And I've actually had the opposite problems.  I've had glazes I wanted to run in an unexpected way, that stayed put.  I've had forms that I wanted to be a bit skewed, that were a bit too perfect.  In that case, the perfection was the imperfection.


So I guess it's all about my intent.

#114687 Oven Safe

Posted by Benzine on 14 October 2016 - 08:29 AM



Several customers asked me at last weekends art show how hot can these pie plates go to-My answer is always the same 2,400 degrees and try to keep the fire dept from spraying water on the house fire when it gets up to that temp as the water will cool the pot unevenly.



I love this response Mark!  Do you get blank, startled stares when you say it, or do the customers get the joke immediately?


Most laugh -I have said this for decades

I have been told I;m hard on some customers.


As someone, who has worked shows for the amount of time you have, I'm sure your demeanor is appropriate.  Plus, your work speaks for itself.  Customers can buy smiles and sunshine from another artist.  Talk to you if they want quality wares.

#114686 Old Chemicals

Posted by Benzine on 14 October 2016 - 08:27 AM

rocks are millions of years old already, a few more won't matter



But how can you be sure?  What if One million and one years is the limit?!!!...Hehe....

#111922 How To Make A Perfect Two Part Sculpture

Posted by Benzine on 24 August 2016 - 07:35 PM

What temperature are you firing at?  


At low fire temps, you can just build the entire sculpture at once, then cut it to fit the kiln.  After the firing, things should fit the same.  But with mid to high fire temps, the pieces can warp, when not fired together.

#111750 Ceramic Buttons Necessary For Fiber Kiln?

Posted by Benzine on 21 August 2016 - 08:49 AM

I like my ceramic buttons.  Myself and my Art Club students made them look like faces.  So when the kiln gets to temp, and we take the lid off, we have some glowing kiln gods watching us unload...

#111685 Qotw: Are You Showing Us The Best Piece You Made When Starting With Pottery?

Posted by Benzine on 19 August 2016 - 09:42 PM

These are some of the first things I made, but probably not the best, from that first class.  That would be a slab sculpture I did, that I don't have a photo of at the moment.  It was a college Ceramics I class.  I had worked with clay for once project, in high school, but it wasn't fired.

First Wheel Set
Album: First Set
1 images

#110953 Classroom Materials

Posted by Benzine on 04 August 2016 - 12:21 PM

I would have no problem with my work being used.  I actually asked the Guinea Potter to show some of her amazing underglaze work.

Students never seem to understand the difference between using glaze and underglaze.  I tell them underglazes behave more like paints, and Guinea's work is an excellent example of that.

#110637 Classroom Materials

Posted by Benzine on 27 July 2016 - 09:52 AM

For Art terms like Elements and Principles, art supply companies like Sax (Now part of School Specialty)  or Dick Blick offer such things.  

Allposters.com has a great selection of Art posters.

Or, depending on your district, you can print and laminate things yourself.  Just be careful of copyright laws.


Of course, I say all this, not knowing where you are located.  So some of my suggestions won't work for you if you aren't in the States.

#110069 Qotw: What Other Things Beside Clay Have You Mastered?

Posted by Benzine on 13 July 2016 - 09:07 AM


#110021 Decorating Fine Relief

Posted by Benzine on 12 July 2016 - 10:11 AM

I agree with Roberta.  A stain is probably your best bet at  highlighting the detail(s) of the impression, without the worry of them being covered.


So get some oxides or Mason stains, mix with water, and a  bit of frit, and brush on/ sponge the excess off post-bisque.


You could also use glaze or underglaze to do the same basic thing.  But to keep the details, I'd recommend applying any of them, after the bisque firing.  Otherwise, you could lose the crisp, detailed edges when sponging off the excess colorant.

#108584 Cleaning Kiln Wash Off Kiln Shelves

Posted by Benzine on 12 June 2016 - 09:25 AM

The only times I've had kiln wash crack, is when I apply it too thick. Imwould say, I apply mine a bit thinner than half and half consistency.
I do three coats, and the first coat looks like I've barely put anything on at all. And that's why I used to have cracking issues, because I thought each coat needed to be thicker to protect the shelf.

#108514 Qotw: What Would Be The Title Of A Clay Book Of Yours?

Posted by Benzine on 09 June 2016 - 09:16 PM

"How to Get Clay off the Ceiling and Spot Likely 'Paraphernalia': A Guide to Teaching Ceramics"


"Well, That was Stupid: My Journey with Ceramics"

#107951 Building A Work Table

Posted by Benzine on 01 June 2016 - 08:10 PM

Plywood would be fine.  Many here will advise against canvas, as it can create quite a bit of dust.  I'm on the fence with canvas myself.  The main reason artists use canvas, is because it's a lightweight material, that can be put over nearly any surface, and the clay won't stick (As much).  It also does a good job of helping to dry the clay.


Plaster under the canvas is another common choice.


Personally, I'm thinking of looking into cement board.  Sturdy surface that I can put over my wood workbench, porous to absorb water, and doesn't hold in dust like canvas can.

#107126 Firing A Bowl Upside Down?

Posted by Benzine on 18 May 2016 - 08:34 AM

Why glaze the bottom?  I know many potters, will glaze inside the footring, while leaving the ring itself bare or maybe underglazed.  That's the route I usually go.