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Member Since 06 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Mar 20 2017 07:52 AM

#124027 Claystories 3 At Nceca

Posted by JBaymore on 19 March 2017 - 11:15 AM

CLAYSTORIES is one of the "must sees" at NCECA.





#124003 Case Of An Enlarged Bubble?

Posted by JBaymore on 18 March 2017 - 05:36 PM

 An enlarged bubble can sometimes be caused by irrational exuberance. 





Oops......... I thought this posting thread title was about the stock market.  ;)

#123998 Potters Council Members / Show / Reception / Portland Nceca

Posted by JBaymore on 18 March 2017 - 03:04 PM

As always....... NCECA is an exciting "gathering of the clan" kind of event........with total clay overload. I'm looking forward to maybe seeing some fellow Potters Council members at the Portland NCECA. I'll be at NCECA all week, some times at the NHIA (non-profit area) table, and for sure at the PC Reception.   In case you forgot, remember that you got this notice in you inbox a little while ago:



Join us! We have two great events you won't want to miss at NCECA March 22-25 in Portland, Oregon.
  1. 2017 Potters Council Juried Show — We have such talented members and we're excited for you to see their works in person! The display will be open March 22-24 in the exhibit hall. Click here to get a sneak peek of all of the pieces selected. Then stop by booth #602 in the Resouce Hall to see them in person!
  2. Member Reception  Come see us on Wednesday, March 22 from 5-6pm in the Skyview Terrace inside the Oregon Convention Center. There will be food, a cash bar, prizes, and friends. Feel free to bring a clay buddy as well!
We have a special offer for those of you coming to NCECA: Renew onsite and receive an extra 10% off any book or dvd purchases in addition to our show specials!



#123984 Is Anyone Going To Nceca?

Posted by JBaymore on 18 March 2017 - 10:41 AM

Coming down to the wire for NCECA departure............

#123983 How Do You Mark/sign Your Work?

Posted by JBaymore on 18 March 2017 - 10:40 AM

One of two ways at the moment. 


One is a small hanko (carved signature stamp) that I made while in Japan in 1996.  Took a few hours to carve.  (Would have been less time without the sake. ;) )  Carved out of stone, it is a stylized JB.  It is also used with red ink on wooden boxes and on some pottery documents.


The other is simply my hand scribed signature engraved into the clay written as JBaymore.  I use a rounded stylus to write it so that it does not have harsh edges.


In the rare occasion that I forget to scribe the signature (getting old)... I use a black oxide wash to write JBaymore with a small brush.





#123587 Front Loading Electrics

Posted by JBaymore on 11 March 2017 - 01:15 PM

Man. Those front loaders are insanely expensive. The ones John linked woooo weee. Had no idea. 


Get out your nitro glycerin pills....... and take a look at decent commercial gas kilns ;).  (Don't forget to add the hookup and ventilation costs.)


Yes those Fredricksons  are pricey.  But they LAST and also fire very evenly.  VERY well insulated (for an electric).  Long slow cooling cycles that develop good glazes.  If you want to fast cool.... have top vents.  VERY thick elements that last.  Refractories are over-rated for longevity.  Machining is precise.  Frame (including door hinges and racking bracing) is heavy for longevity.


College students have a hard time wrecking them.  They have to really work at it.  That says a lot.  :D





#123586 Shinos

Posted by JBaymore on 11 March 2017 - 01:04 PM


I wish I had brough seaweed to Montana. I may get down to the gulf before the firing.


Do you have a Japanese grocery store near you?  For a small amount of glaze..... maybe buy some Kombu (type of seaweed...........usually NOT washed of sea salt when packaged) and use that to make the binder syrup. Boil the living crap out of it until is turns to a mushy pulp and mix that up and use like a gum solution.





#123538 Shinos

Posted by JBaymore on 10 March 2017 - 01:34 PM

 I some day want to be a part of a wood firing, just to have a yunomi glazed in a beautiful wood fired shino. 


Save you pennies.  In the summer a couple of summers from now we are bringing in a major Japanese woodfiring artist and a major American woodfiring artist to do a two week-ish combined workshop and firing of our college's anagama.  (New Hampshire Institute of Art) It will involve bringing bisque ware, loading and firing, and then during the cooling a series of demo/making workshops sessions... and of course the unloading of the fired work of the participants. 


I can't say the artist's names just yet... because we want to keep that under wraps for a while yet.  But you will absolutely recognize the names.  (The artists are already booked.)


Details when we can release them will get posted in the "Events" section here... and at the college's website (NHIA.edu).


There are lots of opportunities to get involved in wood firings these days. 





#123537 Shinos

Posted by JBaymore on 10 March 2017 - 01:25 PM



Someone else beat me to fixing the "shinos" typo.


Thanks for the kind words in the post there. :)  


I personally like to make the clear distinction between "American Shino" and "Japanese Shino".  The "look" of what most Americans (and many westerners) think of as "Shino" is quite different from the Japanese antecedent.  In workshops and class I've often pulled out a real Japanese Shino piece... and people have not recognized it as Shino.  American Shinos are certainly gorgeous... but they are VERY different from old Japanese and most contemporary Japanese Shinos..


If you want a more Japanese type look .... stay away from iron, keep the clay content VERY low, and use mainly feldspars and feldspathic type rocks like Nepheline Syenite.. No spodumene (or any lithium bearing material).  Little to no soda ash. 


The recipes I have been given by a few Japanese Shino ware potters are basically this:


THE specific feldspathic rock    between 90 and 95%

A Japanese kaolin        between 5 and 10%


That is it.


For a suspender and binder they use seaweed that has been boiled in water until it basically dissolves.  This adds TRACE of salt (from the seaweed) to the water (additional source of Na+ ions), and helps keep the glaze, which is basically one milled rock, on the pieces.


The rock is stamper milled.  This gives tiny rock "flakes" that tend to sinter at the edges long before real melting takes place.  This too helps keep the glaze on the piece in the firing.  Firings are LON G..... days long on the heating cycle.  Cooling is long also.  And the end point temperature is low compared to our fast up to cone approach.


For the Japanese look, the clay BODY is as important as the glaze recipe.  Make up a "bad" white stoneware.   One that does not vitrify at the cone you are firing.  Put in a bunch of fine silica sand and maybe also some molochite grog.  Pick large grained materials for the clays.   NO ball clay.  Tiny, tiny amount of iron.


For the wood firing you are doing, if you are looking for a more Japanese type look.... put them in the back of the kiln and well away from the sidestokes (if it is an anagama-type kiln).  In an open saggar even.


Have fun.





#123296 Qotw: Are You Afraid Of The White Gold?

Posted by JBaymore on 05 March 2017 - 08:22 PM

Here  are porcelain artists whose work I find very successful.   kato-san is very materialistic in his approach to what happens to clay and glass in fire.  Fukami-san's has a bit of a "fire and ice" quality about it that is less "warm" than what I try to achieve.  Very powerful forms.


FUKAMI Sueharu 深見陶治




And another:


KATO Tsubusa 加藤委











#123271 Qotw: Are You Afraid Of The White Gold?

Posted by JBaymore on 05 March 2017 - 01:54 PM

I have never yet made a piece out of porcelain that I felt was really successful.  The pristine refinement of the material and the purity of the white just do not seem to mesh with the geologic and metamorphic aesthetic I am trying to capture.  And like other's here .... I do not like the "touch" of the clay in my hands. 


That being said... I do use porcelain for the lids of my chaire (tea ceremony matcha containers).. Keeps me away from ivory.  I can make it work for the lids.  The white and smoothness gives me a nice bit of contrast to the usual stoneware.


LOVE many porcelain works ....made by others.





#123226 Foodsafe Glaze Over Non-Foodsafe Glaze?

Posted by JBaymore on 04 March 2017 - 01:41 PM

Almost looks like I am being overcareful, best to err on the safe side I guess.


Thank you, John.







There is a lot of "hysteria" out there in the ceramic community over manganese, Pres.  Yes... manganese compounds have the potential to be an issue.  But it is not 'crazy bad'.  And it is the firing issue that is the main concern. 


Micro-crystalline silica is the BIG one for us.  Because it is EVERYWHERE.... and pretty much impossible to get totally out of ceramics.  And the hazard is to us... not our customers.  Diffuse sources... not easy to control via local pickup ventilation.  Main control is working and cleaning practices and general dilution ventilation.





#122866 What Exactly Is Shino

Posted by JBaymore on 24 February 2017 - 11:05 AM

WAY too long to get into fully here.  Sorry.  I do a full 3 hour class on this in my "History of Japanese Ceramics" course I teach.


"Shino" is actually a type of WARE that arose in Japan in the Momoyama Period.   Shino ware is composed of a combination of a very high alumina and very refractory clay body combined with a feldspathic glaze that was one of the first truly white glazes in Japan.  It was produced in the Mino region of Japan, and was produced for only a pretty short period (in the original form).  It was highly prized for its aesthetic qualities by certain tea masters because it "meshed" with the emerging "wabi-cha" aesthetic that was developing as a reaction to the ostentatious "gold plated tastes" of the Feudal Lords at the time.


The main characteristics of this clay body and glaze combination include: 

  • the basic white color of the glaze on the very light and non-vitrified grainy clay body
  • a soft almost bisque ware quality to the fired clay body
  • a tendency of the glaze to pin hole
  • a tendency for the glaze to get reddish "hi-iro (firecolor) where thin
  • a typically casual approach to forming and finishing

It is not "speckled", if you are looking at Momoyama Japanese examples.  You are likely seeing the fire color of the thin glaze along the pinholing. 


There are variations on this work.  Nezumi shino has an iron/cobalt slip under the glaze that gets "mouse grey" areas, often with scraffito work.  Also e-shino.... picture shino that has brushwork sometimes in cobalt blue or in iron. 


The way of making this kind of work was totally lost for a long time in Japan.  Even the place of origin was unknown for a long time.  Look up the term "Momoyama Revival Period" to see how it was rediscovered.


In the USA, the development of Shino glazes was taken off on a tangent by Virginia Wirt in the mid part of the last century.  In her search for duplicating the Japanese glaze, she used a raw material that was NEVER used in the Japanese original..... spodumene.  That then led to the introduction of lithium compounds into the formulation (none in the Japanese samples).  And then soda ash was used to increase the sodium content..... and American Shino was born.  It looks very little like Japanese Shino.  It's main characteristic that it shares with the Japanese glaze is a high alumina very viscous surface.  The carbon trap varieties of American Shino were unknown in Japan.


The Japanese shino glaze is a single feldspathic rock from a specific deposit, stamper milled to get sharp edged particles, and sometimes suspended with a very small amount of kaolin and a seaweed binder.  it is fired to a relatively low temperature, but high cone (heat work) over an incredibly long firing cycle.   There is no single rock that is the same available in the USA.  The closest is Nephelyne Syenite......... and it serves as the starting point for many American Shino glazes.


Hope this helps.





#122479 Really Pushing It And Not Having Problems

Posted by JBaymore on 18 February 2017 - 12:39 PM

If you look at what industry does with firing cycles... there is a lot to learn.


Some industrial "clay" bodies are certainly ceramic products when fired.... but contain little to no plastic clay.  Alumino-silicate materials.... but that pesky clay stuff causes problems.  ;)





#122402 Throwing Challenge

Posted by JBaymore on 16 February 2017 - 12:50 PM

Bringing in some of my formal sports teaching training here (former Educational Staff member for PSIA)........


So... aesthetics completely aside... throwing is a physical activity that involves a human body interacting with the world around it.  Coming into play are biomechanics and physics.  The more you understand these aspects... the more effective your coaching can be.


As a coach, you look at the desired outcome you are trying to attain, assess the current performance, and take your assessment of how the (athlete) potter is currently using their body and tools to offer combinations of descriptive and prescriptive feedback.  You check for understanding, and then watch them perform again.  Assess and repeat.


An important point is that there is no such thing as "one size fits all" in this stuff.  "Obese" is certainly a formal medical designation, but that designation covers a LOT of ground between the "O" and the "e".  I know "obese" people who have shorter legs relative to the human biological norm,... and some with longer legs relative to the norm.  Some with shorter arm length, and some with longer arm length.  Some with body mass concentrated in the lower half of the body, some with is evenly distributed.  Some with mass concentrated in the front of the belly area, and some with it in the hips.  You can go on and on.


Not much different in this regard from the general non-obese designated population.


Each person is an individual.  The job of the coach is to figure out, based on their understanding of the use of the human body, understanding of the physics of the intended activity, and the understanding of teaching and learning styles, how to approach THAT particular person.   How you approach those individuals will vary.  There should not be "one" answer.


Personally, as I watch stuff on youtube and other such places that people demonstrate throwing, I quite often see a lot of throwing activities taught in ways that are not really using the body effectively from a biomechanical standpoint.  This not only can impact the most efficient use of the body to get the job done (less work, less frustration), but also can set the stage for stress injuries over time.


Another important point I'd like to make here is to not ASSUME that the "issues" one is seeing is actually related to the designation that you feel the person is "obese".   You need to be SURE that this is the root of the performance questions you are seeing before "going there".  It is easy to "assume" certain things and miss what is really happening.  Maybe "obesity" is not the issue, but a lack of understanding of some other aspect is what is going on.  Lots of interaction and exploring of what that student has taken away so far from instruction is in order to assess the situation well.


In working with disabled athletes (which I have some training in but have not specialized in), from a biomechanical and physics aspect, we look at "what they have left" as far as physical mobility, perceptual awareness, and proprioception (feeling where the body is in space). Then figure out how to get the interaction with the physical world with what you have available to work with.  This is a fascinating field..... and I applaud those that specialize in that work. 


What is potentially directly related here is the idea that IF the issue really is from something like "obesity", one treats it similarly.  "Obesity" has 'taken something away' that a non-obese person has inherently available to them.  What is that?  What other aspects of their body interacting with space can you use to get the same JOB done to affect the outcome?  How do you share that with them and get them to perform as you are thinking?  Remember that it might be a combination of more than one aspect...... like obesity combined with short arm length.  Or obesity combined with weakness from lack of arm use.  Or obesity combined with nerve damage (and sensory deficit) from something like diabetes.  Lots could be going on.


Sometimes it has nothing to do with what you "'assume" is happening.  While not completely isolated, each of us tends to have a dominant learning style.  It is how we most easily process information.  Unless you've had some formal training, or a LOT of teaching experience (trial and error learning), you will tend to TEACH to this learning style.  This works GREAT if your students share that dominant learning style.  But when they don't, you often miss the mark with HOW you are presenting information, not WHAT you are presenting.