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#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. 





#122244 Clay In Glazes.

Posted by JBaymore on 13 February 2017 - 03:02 PM

In case people don't know..... this is what "fettling knives" are made for.  When you have a drippy run of glaze that is then thicker than the surrounding uniform part, and hence has more general opacity and coloring impact from the surrounding glaze layer,..... when dry you "fettle" it down to the same thickness as the rest of the glaze layer around it.  Basically... it is a straight razor and you are "shaving" the glaze off.





#122222 Do You Have Seasonal Lines?

Posted by JBaymore on 13 February 2017 - 10:11 AM

 Eveyone emphasized the notion of needing to use what you love and what you're passionate about, and how to find the people that share that passion for the feeling you're trying to create with your story. Every presenter there spoke about the importance of building your own story and how integral that was to their success.







#122137 John Baymore Solo Exhibition, Thayer Gallery, Ma Feb-Mar 2017

Posted by JBaymore on 11 February 2017 - 08:36 PM








#122122 Do You Have Seasonal Lines?

Posted by JBaymore on 11 February 2017 - 06:28 PM

Closest I come is Summer Chawan and Winter Chawan.  And ones good for either.  And I make any/all of them at any time of the year .


As an artist, I've always taken the approach of "Make what you love... and find the market for it."





#121730 Fractured Kiln Shelves...

Posted by JBaymore on 04 February 2017 - 01:21 PM

Given the scenario you are giving...................


I'd be looking at how the shelves in question were stored BEFORE you received them.  Were they all in one shipment?  Were they all tat the distributor before you go them or shipped direct from the manufacturer?


To me this sounds like either an original manufacturing defect, or a defect caused by the way the shelves were handled in storage or shipping. 


How do you STORE the shelves in your studio?


Failures happening in too large a range of conditions.





#121617 Define Plasticity

Posted by JBaymore on 02 February 2017 - 05:33 PM

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Might be a mallard, or a wood duck or a pintail but it’s a duck. I don’t need to take it’s vital signs to know its a duck. Get your hands into the clay, make some pots and you know if it’s plastic. (think I might have to rent space in Bruce’s cave)


As a bit of a "tech weenie" myself .................... I have studied these aspects of the craft heavily .... so that I can own them well enough to just let them go and work very intuitively. 


I got this core philosophy from the "folk potter"....HAMADA Shoji.  (Who had a formal post-secondary technical ceramics education before becoming a handcraft potter.)





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#121584 Define Plasticity

Posted by JBaymore on 02 February 2017 - 10:37 AM

 It would be much more accurate if we used the word "workability."


And what you want in a throwing body is not what you want in a handbuilding body. 





#121583 Cheap Wax And Methane Musings

Posted by JBaymore on 02 February 2017 - 10:35 AM

Are there any other waxes I can buy that are cheap and work. I remember seeing something about painters wax.


What is going to be the quickest way to wax big platters to save on time wiping glaze back?


I use hot paraffin wax when waxing.  Well ventilated and temp controlled.  NOTHING works as well.


Set up a sodden sponge on a tray of water.  Brush the UNWAXED and glazed plates over this in a twisting motion.  Alternatively... build an attachment to get that sponge spinning on a potters wheel and hold the plate on it.  This is how industry (used) to do it FAST.  Expensive commercial alternative is a belt sander like device that runs a wet sponge belt.





#121582 Cheap Wax And Methane Musings

Posted by JBaymore on 02 February 2017 - 10:31 AM

..........I am not sure how to explain but inside the kiln looks so much brighter and cleaner, it is like a summers day compared to the cloudy overcast look propane has. Has anybody else noticed this and understands why they have a different look?


Ratio of carbon atoms to hydrogen atoms.  CH4 versus C3H8.  1 to 4 versus 3 to 8.  2.7 times more carbon to the hydrogen.


During the "cracking" of the fuel gas in the initial (less than nano-second) breaking up of the molecular bonds in the fuel molecule, the higher carbon content produces "luminous carbon"..... little "particles" of glowing carbon that exist for a brief instant before being oxidized into CO and then CO2.  Makes a "yellower" flame when oxygen starved in reduction conditions.


Industry even makes a "luminous flame burner" that takes advantage of this fact to cause better radiant heat transfer.





#121533 Define Plasticity

Posted by JBaymore on 01 February 2017 - 11:18 AM

I don't totally agree with the argument that no ball clay = no plasticity. Fireclays and stoneware clays certainly have plasticity. Maybe not the same as ball clay, but they're way more plastic than kaolin.


I'm with that thought also. 


The best clay body I've ever used is from Japan... and there is no ball clay in that.   Mostly (90+%) it is a naturally occurring stoneware clay from 1/4 of a mile from where we are making pots, plus a little fireclay addition from Shigaraki.  The processing is the key to the amazing plasticity and strength.  Dug with heavy equipment, left outside in a pile to "age" for a year, run thru three separate blunging operations (first one screening out the bigger stuff), filter pressed, batch mixed in a blade type mixer, then pugged.


Feels nothing like any clay body I've used in the USA.  When you first touch it for something like wedging... you say "UGH!"  Grainy, soft, mushy, come to mind.  You'd swear that you'd never be able to work with it.  Then you put it on a wheel............






PS>  Fired to Orton cone 14.

#121487 Poor Basic Skill Sets, And Their Consequences

Posted by JBaymore on 30 January 2017 - 08:29 PM

 i wish profs would do what you did. but i see now a fear of touching. esp. if you are a male teacher. most of the students are female. it makes such a big difference. since i have lots of gray hair i no longer am afraid and girl or boy i touch and show the pressure. i always get a shocked response. 


I have a significant background in sports education (former Ed. Staff member for the Professional Ski Instructors of America organization) as well as ceramics.  (Lots of transferable biomechanics training :) !)  One of the things common from sports is doing "hands on" work to get an athlete to kinesthetically understand the way his/her body is currently being used and what the desired outcome might be for a more effective method.


I use that understanding in teaching throwing.  And I ALWAYS involve some touch with the students.  And ....male or female student... just like in sports education..... I simply ASK before I touch them if it is OK to do that.  I have always (in both fields) gotten 100% affirmatives.  I don't do "private" lessons in clay... so there are always others in the room also.


I cannot IMAGINE not being able to share tactile and kinesthetic aspects of what it means to do various activities in throwing.  Analogies and "word pictures" and technical descriptions and visuals are NOT enough to teach well an activity that REQUIRES human high touch on materials.






#121455 Who Do I Contact About Video That Wouldnt Download And Now

Posted by JBaymore on 30 January 2017 - 12:27 AM

Sent a message to the Admins.