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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Feb 20 2017 07:27 PM

Topics I've Started

Does Anyone Use Continental Clay As A Supplier?

19 February 2017 - 10:55 AM

Greetings All,


As I slowly get my home studio up and running, I'm starting to decide on a clay body.  


I use Continental for my classroom, and am happy with them as a supplier.  In my classroom, I use a low fire clay.  It works well with our classroom glazes, and is in my opinion, perfect for my classroom.  


However, I'm looking to make functional wares, in my home studio.  So I am looking for a Cone 6 body.  Despite my preference of the company, there clay descriptions are not great.  Most, if not all, of their clay bodies are listed with a WIDE range of firing temps.  The mid-fire clays are listed from Cone 6-8 or even 6-10.  Even the low-fire clay I get for my classroom is listed from Cone 05 up to Cone 1 or so.


Is there anyone here, who uses Continental for a mid-fire supplier?  If so, can you recommend a good Cone 6 clay body from them?



Wheel Speed When Trimming

21 December 2016 - 09:55 AM

After doing some trimming the other day, and looking at the scattered clay scrap carnage that it creates, I thought I'd create a poll to see how fast everyone keeps their wheel, while trimming.

Extruder Dies

30 November 2016 - 09:40 AM

I'm preparing to make a couple dies out of the blanks, that came with my new extruder.


In the past, I have used a die that made four half inch coils at a time.  This was very handy, and will be a big improvement to my two hand held extruders. 

Would there be any benefit to adding a fifth opening?  So it would be four half inch holes towards the "Corners" (It's a circular die), and one in the middle.

Would this be pointless, would it weaken the die too much, etc?


Also, I'm trying to think of what to do with the other die.  I could make it a handle extruder, though I do like to teach the students to pull their handles.  Not sure what other shapes I would regularly need.



Mounting Extruder To Block Wall

25 October 2016 - 08:57 AM



I'm pretty excited, as I finally got a brand new Scott Creek, aluminum extruder for my classroom.  I had one at a previous district, but the past several years here, I've made due with the handheld variety.


Anyway, I need to get the extruder mounted to the wall.  The instructions suggest mounting it to a wall stud.  The only studded walls in my classroom are metal studs.  Those are not ideals for mounting anything.


But I do have a concrete block wall to use.  What kind of anchor is recommended, that will stand up to the repeated force of using the extruder?


Anyone have any experience with this?



Classroom Work Surfaces And Clean Up Materials

08 August 2016 - 10:04 AM

Ever since I started teaching, I have used canvases to cover my classroom tables.  I realize that many here do not like canvases because of the trapped dust, which I fully understand.  The main reason I have used them, is because they are a lightweight option, to keep chunks of clay off the tables.  A little dust may make it through, but some sponging takes care of that.


But lately, I've been thinking of trying something different.  I thought of plywood or cement board, which could be temporarily bolted to the tables, when in use.

I know Pres said he used boards that laid over his tables, in his room.  I don't have space to store any rigid covering surface, that is the same size as the tables.  My tables are 47" square.  I did think however, that I could halve or quarter that size, which would give me the space to  store them.  This would also allow some versatility, as sometimes the tables aren't full.  So one students wouldn't have to get a large board out, when they are only using a quarter of the space.



Also, I am looking for something better than my current sponges to clean the tables.  I've tried numerous sponges over the years, and they just break down too fast with our use.  I went away from them and started using synthetic chamois.  Those work great, and just do not break down at all.  However, they are not quite as absorbent as a sponge, which frustrates the students.

Do those thick grouting sponges hold up pretty well?  I've seen potters mention them before, but never tried them myself.


Thanks for any suggestions you have.