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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
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#56647 Fusing Glass With Clay

Posted by Benzine on 14 April 2014 - 09:35 PM

Remember that some marbles (and other glasses) may potentially contain lead as a flux.

So exposure to marbles, can cause you to lose your marbles?

#56576 Fusing Glass With Clay

Posted by Benzine on 13 April 2014 - 10:00 PM

I've heard of quite a few people doing the marble thing.  I've never tried it myself.  


If you are looking for glass marbles, check antique stores, garage sales, or the good ol' internet, at places like Amazon or eBay.  For colored glass pieces, you could check with places, that sell such glass, and you could probably get a deal on the small scraps they have.


The problem you'll have with using glass and ceramics together are, that they'll do different things in the kiln.  The glass, clay body and glaze will expand and contract at different rates.  This can lead to some defects.  


It's definitely worth exploring, and I'd try some tests first.  In those tests, I'd put the glass material on the inside of the vessel, so that way, any glass bits that might fall/ crack off, or run, don't end up on the kiln shelves.


Also, what kind of clay body are you using, what cone are you firing to, and what type of kiln?

#56406 Expectation And Appearance

Posted by Benzine on 09 April 2014 - 07:11 PM


P.S. Benzine is that a lounge suite you're sitting on in your profile picture?!


It's comfy, but not quite a lounge.  Just my basement studio, that was used as a wood shop by a previous owner, that before that was the coal room, for the house.  Basically, the room has never been clean.



Now don't get ideas from Benzine AnnaM!



I tell my students the same thing daily.


Here is my 13 yr old daughter throwing in Leggings, winter boots, a shirt that is too small for her, and my potters apron.   ;)   


Awesome, get them started as early as you can!  Sadly, I don't think I have ever had a student come in to my classroom, with wheel experience.  The closest I've had is "Oh yeah, I know those things, like in that scene from the movie 'Ghost'"........

#56184 Expectation And Appearance

Posted by Benzine on 06 April 2014 - 10:29 PM

I wear a tie, every once in a while, just to mess with students.  I normally don't, so it throws them for a loop, and they think something is going on.

Generally, it's just some khaki dress pants, and a button up...Though this winter, it was usually some type of zip up sweater, by necessity.  Fridays, we can wear jeans.  It's been that way, at two of the three districts, I've taught at.  The other, we were never really supposed to wear jeans.  Even on days, where no students were present, jean were not allowed.  

To me, the teacher sets the tones, by how they handle themselves and the classroom, not by what they wear.  I can wear jeans, and look professional....and quite suave....

#56165 Expectation And Appearance

Posted by Benzine on 06 April 2014 - 04:46 PM

I must be honest, when I was at nceca I felt a little out of place because I was not 24yrs old with dreadlocks or a guy with a beard.  I felt a bit  "yuppy ish" being 34 and a stay at home mother.  

It was the same for me in college. The "Artsy" students, were wearing paint splattered, retro clothing from the local second hand store, mixed with band apparel from someone I had never heard of. The Graphic Design students wore khakis and button ups or polos.
I took a wide range of classes, so my dress never fit in with either, as I was constantly in sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt.

I never felt out of place, as I wasn't aware there was a required "Artist Dress Code". Since, I'm apparently incorrect, I guess I will have to invest in some berets and smocks.

#55925 Election Results-Drumroll ++++++And The Winners Are?

Posted by Benzine on 02 April 2014 - 06:58 AM

Maybe waiting for the Supremes to have a reunion tour and weigh in on the vote count? Regardless, everything in ceramics is controlled by "Big Clay".

And don't expect "Big Clay" to help out anyone. They still haven't responded to the evidence that clay is addictive, and a gateway art, to other media.

#55333 Latex Resist

Posted by Benzine on 24 March 2014 - 06:41 PM



Yeah, all that I've ever used smelled to high heaven.  The odor that comes off of it, is like a litter box, that hasn't been cleaned in a week, that's sitting in the middle of an ammonia factory.


Also, when I'm try to remove the resist, I just rub across it, like when removing excess rubber cement.  That usually does the trick.

#55106 Pots Cracking Way After Firing

Posted by Benzine on 21 March 2014 - 06:57 AM

There is a discussion of a similar issue here: http://community.cer...s-then-failure/

However, in the case of that topic, the cracking was probably related to cooling too quickly. In your case, I'd wager it was a matter of improper glaze fit. The glaze and clay body are expanding and contracting a different rates, during heating and cooling. The stress from that doesn't always manifest itself immediately. Glazes can craze hours or weeks later, and dunting in the clay body can as well. I had the same thing happen to a small vase I made a couple months ago. It was fine out of the kiln, and even a couple hours later. Sometime after that, the tension between the glaze and clay body was too much, and CRACK! I have no one to blame. It was a new form I was trying along with a new glaze combination, bad things were not only possible, but likely.

#54807 Casual Workshop Questions

Posted by Benzine on 16 March 2014 - 06:26 PM

When working with adults, especially ones that want to be there, whether teaching a class or giving a workshop, there is one thing to remember, they want to know everything you know, and right then and there. When doing any of these things a day or two or a week, my best advice is to get plenty of sleep before hand, because you will need everything you've got, they will drain you. :rolleyes:

Basically what Pres is saying, is that it's like Ceramic Highlander. They want to steal your ceramic power!

#54754 Casual Workshop Questions

Posted by Benzine on 15 March 2014 - 08:12 PM

A lot of great suggestions, I'll add another. While you are demoing, always check for understanding. No matter how well you explain what you are doing, or how many times you ask "Do you get it?" there will be a few that don't. People are shy about speaking up, for fear of looking "dumb". So it never hurts to ask the students to see if they know exactly what you just went over, or are just pretending to.

#54717 Cobalt Spreads To Other Glazes In Kiln?

Posted by Benzine on 15 March 2014 - 09:18 AM

Nice wares. The glazing reminds me of the style/ approach my Dad used in college; a gestural approach to application, with some exposed clay body.

#54701 Parrot

Posted by Benzine on 14 March 2014 - 10:05 PM

An air vent will help it dry a bit faster though.

#54313 An Artist's Life (Continued)

Posted by Benzine on 10 March 2014 - 08:44 PM

One reason, I decided to not go into graphic design, was because of how much input the client has, in the creation process, to the point of making the final product worse.  That was, of course, my interpretation of said career.  As I have never worked in the filed, I can't say for sure.  Though, I have done enough graphic design, side projects for the the school and faculty, that I feel I have a small idea.


Now that I'm a bit wiser (that doesn't necessarily have to come with being older does it?), I realize, it is just another part of the challenge for creating the artwork. 


I see the art market in the same way.  Sure, the market dictates, to some extent, the work that you make.  But it is up to the individual artist, to make it their own.  There's a demand for green bowls.  OK, so make some green bowls, but make them unique to your style.  Cubist landscape paintings are all the rage.  So make some Cubist landscape paintings, but with your take on the style and subject matter. 


The demands/ requests of the client(s), is just another part of the artistic problem solving process, and part of what makes it simultaneously frustrating and rewarding.

#54218 Best Time To Buy A Wheel?

Posted by Benzine on 09 March 2014 - 12:34 PM



#54207 Timing ? 3Rd Grade Project?

Posted by Benzine on 08 March 2014 - 11:16 PM

The key is kid:adult ratio. 18 is too many to handle by yourself

Tell my Guidance Office that.....

The last two terms, my Ceramics classes have both been over 25. Four wheels, one kiln, two hand held clay extruders.