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Member Since 06 Apr 2010
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#79221 How Do You Plan For "a Show"

Posted by JBaymore on 13 April 2015 - 09:18 AM

Before you can begin to plan, you have to decide what your goal is. What are you hoping to get out of it?
Visibility? Reputation? Income? Are you trying to impress or earn?


Chris has it nailed there  (no surprises there... smart lady).


And sometimes the "impress" point she mentions is an "impress now, make money later" approach.  So not without financial recompense..... just some "delayed gratification". 


Study the venue a bit.  The physical space you'll show in is an important aspect of the planning process; what work will it show well? 


How big is it?  Can you 'make to the space' to take advantage of the location, while still staying true to your artistic standards and aesthetic approaches?  A small space with larges scale sculptures might not work so well....while miniatures in a huge high ceilinged room might also not be easy to pull off effectively.  And so on.


The clientele of the particular venue can have an impact on the planning process too.  WHO is going to see the show?  YOU can control some of that by whom you yourself invite and where you advertise.  Will there be people who can offer other exhibition opportunities seeing this show?  If so, what kind of work would fit in THEIR venues and work with their clientele?  Try to think more broadly than just the current show, if you can.


Plan to make enough work so that you can "edit down" during the installation process.  Just because you have it does not mean you need to show it.  Put time into installation work; it can make all the difference in the world to both impression as well as revenue generation.  The installation is a piece in itself.





#79056 Pottery Add

Posted by JBaymore on 11 April 2015 - 07:50 AM

Stay calm and make pots.

#78929 Well Met At Nceca

Posted by JBaymore on 09 April 2015 - 01:32 PM

Tom: I'am sure you could tell some more interesting stories. Didn't we agree to have Steven's Clay Stories event at every NCECA now?!!




As I promised, I will send that proposal to the NCECA Board.







#78921 Bailey Ceramics

Posted by JBaymore on 09 April 2015 - 10:24 AM

Bailey is a great company.


We had scads of Brent wheels when I was working at MassArt.  The older ones were really good stuff.  At NHIA we have a lot of Brents also, Cs and CXCs.  Still good.


I have my own CXC that has been in constant use in my studio for almost 40 years.  Love it...... except for the noise.  In all that time, for repairs, I have only replaced one rectifier diode in the power supply (easy stuff, being a general class ham radio operator).  Not even any belts needed.


I never use a splashpan...... they come off all the wheels I use.... even when demoing in classes and workshops.


In the classroom at NHIA I like the Shimpo Whispers we have....... specifically for the quiet they give in a classroom setting.  But I find they are lacking in torque for throwing large pieces (30-35 pounds and up).





#78910 Rope Impression Decoratio

Posted by JBaymore on 09 April 2015 - 08:47 AM

I've been doing this technique a long time.   Years ago I had the pleasure and honor of having Shimaoka-sensei personally show me a bit of the ins and outs of the technique and some "tricks" in using it one of the numerous times when I was at his workshop. Shimaoka-sensei's father was a maker of the cords that are used in tieing the traditional kimono..... hence the "connection" to his work.


I now frequently go to hardware stores and buy 6" sections of every rope they stock.  Yes, they look at me very strangely.  ;)


(Hint: rock climbing ropes produce great subtle patterns!)


These sections of rope are then pressed into a small pad of clay to test the patterns they make.  The ones I LIKE are then prepared for actual use.


The pieces are usually trimmed a tad to shorten them to between 4" and 5" long and to also clean up the end cuts from the store. 


Then if the rope is a plastic one (gasp!) that will melt with some applied heat... I use a small flame like a butane lighter to "seal" the cut ends (ventilation please!).  If the ends sort of get uneven and bubbly doing this, I use a file and sandpaper to smooth them off to a rounded taper.


If the rope is a natural fiber one, I drag out that old Boy Scout skill that I learned years and years ago: whipping.  To "whip" a rope end you get some strong thin thread.  Lay the thread along the long axis of one end of the rope with the loose end about in the center of the section and the piece that you will use to "whip" projecting off the cut end.  Carefully loop the long part around and over the piece that is laying along the rope..... and catch it under the first winding.  Wind the thread neatly around the rope with the one strand of thread laying along the rope under all the winds.  Do this neatly, with each new thread wind tightly pulled and right next to the one before it.  When you have wrapped about 1/4" of tight winds, take the remaining loose ends of the thread and tie them tightly.  Trim the excess thread off.  Repeat this procedure on the other end of the rope section.  Now it is ready to use.


To get the rope impression onto the wet clay piece, you simply roll the rope section either up the sidewall of the work or down the wall.  Use the pads of the flat palm fingers to get even pressure.  Don't try to press too hard.  Move the rope slightly along to the adjoining bare un-patterned clay and repeat this move.  There is no real need to try to "align" the rope pattern...... it sort of takes care of itself.  Alternately, roll the rope around the piece.


Clay consistency at this point is crucial.... experiment a lot.


To do the Jomon Zogon technique (Shimaoka-sensei's adaptation of the Jomon rope impressions and Korean mishima) you let the rope pattern set up a bit.  Then liberally cover the whole surface with some contrasting color slip.  Let this slip (and the piece) then stiffen to a consistency beyond leather hard but not the level of dusting when worked.  Using a SHARP (sharp, sharp, SHARP) trimming tool, shave (not really scrape) the surface so that the high points of the main clay body are revealed.  Do not over shave. 


The sharpness of the tool matters a lot.  If it is dull, it chips and creates a rough surface.  If the clay is too wet when you shave, the pattern smears and blurs.


Before glazing fix any serious roughness by LIGHT sanding or scraping any "nasties" off. (ventilation again!)


Then cover this with a glaze that reveals the contrasting colors of the slip and the clay body.





#78341 Justifying Class Costs (Warning Long)

Posted by JBaymore on 31 March 2015 - 09:05 PM

I'm right there with the 'red herring' comments. 


It is also very possible that they hope you'll quit if they make your life difficult enough ........ so that they do not have to make the hard decision to actually fire you (to be replaces with spinning classes or yoga in that space).  If you quit... they can stop the program with the explanation to the people who do participate that the person who was teaching left and they can't find another person.  They don't have to do something "nasty" ...... and they get a 'win' on the explanation for the end of the program.


One of the problems that often happens when someone goes 'above and beyond' to make a program (any kind of program) work and keep it alive thru super human efforts is that they eventually get taken for granted.  When YOU are always finding bandaids so that the administration does not have to confront those issues......  they EXPECT you to find the bandaids. 


There is a reason you have no budget.  YOU will go out of your way to find the solutions.  Why should they give you money iof you go out and find it yourself?


I think you'll be forever searching for bigger and bigger bandaids.  When you stop...... then it will be YOUR fault that there is a problem!


Does the janitor guy hate to do cleaning in the ceramics areas?  Does his boss give him crap about the mess in the ceramics studio?  Did you ever cross this person in some way and "win"?  Is it possible the administration has set this guy up as the "hit man" to harass you into quitting?


Sounds like you care.  Sounds like they do not care.


Harsh to say......... but I'd be finding another place to teach.  (Check out the place that has a budget......your student might follow you.)  Or just get into your own studio and make stuff.


Sorry you are dealing with this.





#78280 Help With My Nuka Glaze

Posted by JBaymore on 30 March 2015 - 10:08 PM

It might be cheaper just to get rice hulls from a farm supply store and burn them.  They're used as chicken bedding in much of the US.  Far greater control over how they're burned, too.


Thanks Tyler.  I've thought of that in passing ....... but adding yet another "labor factor" into what I do with the already crazy wood firing aspect is not all that appealing.  Particularly as I get older ;) .  And I imagine that it'd take me a good while of failures to learn to burn them correctly to get the black ash. 





#78233 I'll Never Be A Real Potter.

Posted by JBaymore on 30 March 2015 - 09:38 AM

My "pet peeve" topic lately is when people say to me (or in workshops or classes) " I only fire with an electric kiln."  That word 'ONLY' has such negative implications.  Like they are admitting they are a second class citizen or something.  Arrrgggghhhhhhhh.  Drives me crazy. 


Raku kilns do stuff.


Gas kilns do stuff.


Wood kilns do stuff.


Electric kilns do stuff.


Just make sure the stuff they do is GOOD stuff!





#78209 I'll Never Be A Real Potter.

Posted by JBaymore on 29 March 2015 - 10:32 PM

Everyone knows that Real Potters fire to cone 16 with wood over a minimum of 10 days!




.................john  ;)

#78199 As a potter/ceramic artist, which IRS business code do you use for taxes?

Posted by JBaymore on 29 March 2015 - 09:57 PM

I subscribe to the Japanese approach.  I do not separate "craft" from "art".  It is all art.





#78180 2015 Potters Council Election Results

Posted by JBaymore on 29 March 2015 - 05:28 PM

Back from NCECA.  Exhausted, as always.


Now that the in-person Potters Council Advisory Board meeting held in conjunction with the annual NCECA conference is over, the new Board is seated, and the information was then released to the membership in attendance at the annual Member's Reception..............


The Potters Council is very pleased to announce that Vicky Hansen is the new Chair Elect.


The two new Board members are  E. Preston Rice (who will continue as CAD Forum Moderator also) and Evelyne Schoenmann, our first international member of the Advisory Board.


Steven Branfman moves to one year as the Immediate Past Chair,  and Kevin Crowe is the new Chair for the next year.  Retiring from their terms on the Board are Diana Pancioli and Lyndsay Meiklam.


Thanks go to Diana and Lyndsay for their service to the membership.  Thanks also go to all of the other 2015 election candidates that offered their time and expertise to potentially give back to the membership of the Potters Council.


Posting this notice is my last official act (trailing my Board 'retirement' by a couple of days) as the outgoing Immediate Past Chair and the Chair of the 2015 Nominating Committee.  Serving for the past four years on the Board has been an honor.  Thanks.






Immediate Past Chair

Chair, 2015 nominating Committee

#77435 What Do You Get Out Of This Forum Interaction?

Posted by JBaymore on 15 March 2015 - 10:33 PM

Old Lady, 

I have had private conversations with you. Next time I am in your neighborhood, I am going to visit.

I think you contribute quite a bit to this forum and I thank you for it. I wish you had a different call name. Yours makes me feel disrespectful.




I like to think of this one maybe more from the Japanese viewpoint.  Unlike in America, age, and the wisdom that comes from a long life, is very much respected there.  So in a somewhat literal translation/interpretation, the term "old lady" could actually be seen as a honorific term of respect.  :)





#77258 How Do You Deal With Toxic Chemicals

Posted by JBaymore on 12 March 2015 - 10:58 PM

How timely....my copy of McCann's Artist Beware arrived just today! Subtitle is "The Hazards and Precautions in Working with Art and Craft Materials". First chapter is titled "Is Your Art Killing You". Gee, I can hardly wait to read this thing.


Lee, the reason I've been recommending it, and it is on my reading list for the ceramic toxicology section at the college, is because what you don't know CAN sometimes hurt you.  But..... accurate information is important... not a lot of the fear-mongering and rumor mill stuff that goes around in the clay community. 


Also get on the ACTS-NY newsletter list from Mononna Rossol.





#77062 Gas Burner Question

Posted by JBaymore on 10 March 2015 - 11:25 AM


Unfortunately some hot shot engineers were responsible for much of the design layout and ventilation system of the Univ. kiln room.


I've done more work to "fix" kiln installations for clients and also for the institutions I've worked for that were "designed" by "hotshot engineers" than you can imagine.


On one move to a new space/building.... if they'd gone ahead with the original engineers plans.... it would have been the "conceptual ceramics" department.   No firing would have worked after the FIRST firing.


I LOVE telling an engineer that his calculations are wrong on the effluent temperature that the fan at the top of the stack is going to see.... and it exceeds the specified use temperature of the fan unit that HE selected.  And then showing him the air volume dilution calcs on paper... and then having him reluctantly change it.  He was likely getting 10X the hourly rate that I was.


Arrrrggggghhhhhhhhh !





#77060 Porcelain Throwing Method

Posted by JBaymore on 10 March 2015 - 11:11 AM

"True" porcelain is a composition of just a kaolin and a single ground rock  - called p'tunse.  It is a high silica content feldspathic based rock.  Often also called "Porcelain Stone"   磁器石 )  Neil's basic "recipe" above would approximate a true porcelain (no ball clay) ....in basic chemical composition. Not particle size or distribution.


Might be a "Lost in Translation" moment. ;)  


In Japan clay bodies are almost always wet blunged with a great excess of water from far less pure materials, through repeated smaller mesh screenings as it is moved to different blunging batches, and then is filter pressed to remove the last excess water.  This process produces really good quality clay out of materials that we would think of as "inferior" or "primitive" by our industrially refined standards. 


In America we tend to mix clay direct to the plastic state from industrially beneficiated (dried and airfloated, etc) clays with just enough water to make it workable.  This is NOT the way to make really good clay.  It is the way to make cheap (production-wise) clay. 


If we took the same kaolin and ground rock the Japanese (and Chinese) use for porcelain, and mixed up a body the way US suppliers typically do.... it'd likely be totally un-useable for forming.


The reason this labor and machinery intensive process  'works' in Japan is that the valuation for ceramic work is generally higher there.  And they are willing to have material cost a higher percentage of the sale price (indicating respect for good starting materials). Many ceramic centers mix up their own clays from mostly local materials (hence the visual distinction between pottery "villages" work).  Clay prices from suppliers in Japan in many/most places would shock you.  In America... many, many potters will go to another supplier if the price of a pound of clay is even one cent more.  No incentive in most cases for our suppliers to make better clay.


If that clay you got to feel was brought from Japan, Chris, it likely was produced by the blunging and the wet filter press method.  That is likely a portion of the buttery quality you mention.  And the repeated screening and settling process will take out the large particles so that is another part.


PS:  For porcelain (in Japanese "Jiki"   磁器  -gee key-), often in the blunging there is a huge magnet suspended in the tank with the mixing slurry... to take out the hematite (iron) nodlues.