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Member Since 06 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:52 PM

#121357 Choosing An Angle Grinder

Posted by JBaymore on 28 January 2017 - 10:57 AM

As already said above ... dust kills the motors.  That high RPM motor has to "breathe" to cool itself.  It breathes in a lot of air... with the VERY abrasive dust. 


I have a "good" one that I use for cleaning up pots.  But for the kiln shelf business....... Harbor Freight.  Decent tool..... VERY cheap.  A "throw away".   I use GOOD wheels on it however... the Harbor Freight diamond wheels are not as good as Dewalt or something like that.


If you are grinding corderite shelves or alumina shelves.... be careful with diamond wheels.  They can eat into such a shelf FAST.  For silicon carbide... diamond is THE way to go.


Some people prefer diamond flat wheels... some cup wheels.  If you have a REAL mess..... the cups are great.


On a safety note here...........


Any crystalline silica that is at temperature over about 2012 F converts to the cristobalite form (different molecular arrangement of the crystal).  The amount that converts is linerally related to the time at temperatures over 2012 F.  Kiln shelves get fired to that temperature and above over and over.  The cristobalite form is more hazardous to breathe than the "normal" microcrystalline form of quartz or flint.  Kiln shelf washes are DESIGNED not to melt the silica component in them.  The more they are fired to high temperatures.... the more of a % of the silica in them is in the cristobalite form.  Kiln shelf dust from grinding is one of THE most hazardous dusts we are exposed to.  Very important to have good ventilation and a well fitting respirator.





#121355 Youtube Video Potters

Posted by JBaymore on 28 January 2017 - 10:38 AM

What I learned that day was I needed to understand not only what the students expected to learn and what they already knew. I had to find a focal point for each person and tailor what I was to teach each individual as I went around the class to each student.


I'm thinking teaching throwing is pretty much the same thing, the instructor need to understand both their craft and how to present it. Sometimes students hear something different than what you meant to say. Being there seeing what they are doing and being able to correct a minor (for the lack of a better word) flaw can make all the difference of learning and becoming frustrated.


Youtube videos have their place but they fall short of the back and forth dynamic between student and teacher.


Very well said.  There is no such thing as a "class".  There is a group of individuals you are working with.  Key words there are "individual" and "with". 


The first day of my classes, or the beginning of my workshops, almost one of the first things I do, is to ask each person to share with the group why they are there and what they want to get out of the experience.  What I had planned to do starts to get instantly revised in my head as I get going. 


When demoing something like throwing a XXXXXXX to a group, I share many different ways to approach that task/problem/challenge.  I use visual information (of course), verbal descriptions, analogies, and tactile sensory cues  to attempt to get stuff across.......  hitting the three main learning modalities.  Then I try to asses each individual's way they process information... and target further individualized stuff to them as I work with them as individuals.


Newer, less experienced teachers tend to use what we can call the "shotgun" method of teaching pretty much all the time.  Throw a lot of information out there and hopefully one of the "pellets" will hit something.  And it usually does.  The skilled teacher is the sniper.  Great skill in assessing the overall situation, understanding the target, the surrounding environment, and a single effective bullet gets the job done.





#121323 Youtube Video Potters

Posted by JBaymore on 27 January 2017 - 07:23 PM

There is a reason that very many educators .... (wait for it)......... study..... (wait for it)................  educational concepts as a formal part of their training.  As Matthew says above, just because someone is really good at what they do does not necessarily make them a good TEACHER of that subject.  You can learn much from such people if you are attentive and patient.... but it is not necessarily "packaged" as well as a less skilled practitioner who know the subject well might........  who REALLY knows how to TEACH.


For primary and secondary education, at least in the public sector, teachers have to have formal training in education.  One problem that is 'out there' in the post-secondary field is that to teach art at the college level, you typically only need an MFA.  You need to be a good artist with well considered work and good hand skills to obtain that degree..  You do not have to have formal educational training at all.  So some college educators are, unfortunately, really "learning on the job".  Most colleges do some professional development seminars and the like in pedagogy for their professors, but that is for people who are already hired and already teaching.


I know some GREAT potters... that are HORRIBLE at sharing what it is that they do.  You learn from them... in spite of them.  So just because someone is "famous" for their claywork........ does not necessarily make them the best teachers of clay working.





#121156 Poor Basic Skill Sets, And Their Consequences

Posted by JBaymore on 24 January 2017 - 11:13 AM

To clarify so I'm understanding correctly, I should rely more on feel than sight?


Both need to be developed... so that you have both "tools" in the "toolbox", and can quickly drag the right one out at any given moment as needed.


Most of us in the visual arts tend to be "visual" learners.  We depend on our eyes a lot to interact with the world.  So our visual skills are often very well developed.  We'll call that tool a "screwdriver".  We tend to use that "screwdriver" a lot in our lives.  (Note that a lot of us WATCH you-tube videos and CDs to learn.) 


Proprioception (awareness of body in space) and tactile sensibility of the fingers, hands, arms, torso, and lower body are often less acutely developed in many of us.  And when you are new to a physical task of interacting with your body into the world (throwing)....... even the sensibilities that you've developed in the rest of your life are likely not refined in the way that they need to be for working with clay on the wheel.  I'll call this "tool" in the "toolbox" a "hammer".


Throwing well requires both screw drivers and hammers.  When all you have is a screwdriver... and you get handed a nail........ you are going to try to twist that sucker in there... or beat on it with the handle of the screwdriver.  Neither will work as well as the hammer.


So you need to develop both aspects of your skills.  Otherwise your toolbox is missing a few needed tools.






PS:  "When all you have is a hammer, the world looks like a nail."

#121129 Poor Basic Skill Sets, And Their Consequences

Posted by JBaymore on 23 January 2017 - 09:30 PM


Have you ever seen someone struggle because of poor or erroneous understanding and control of the basics?


All the time.  A lot of people want to just 'skip ahead' without putting in the basic learning that would develop skills that will allow them much greater ability to realize the objects that they want to produce.  They "trade off" some instant results for the long term consequences of the "skipping".


Another factor I see a lot is people teaching that don't bother to do the fundamental educational step of "checking for understanding".  The teacher presents material and he/she knows what they THINK they communicated.  The learners are getting something different than what the teacher thinks.  But unless there is that check for what is actually getting transferred for information........ you really have no idea what the learners picked up.  Then you see them later... and they are saying or doing something that flabbergasts you.


Teacher screw up.... not learner.





#121008 Just Dreaming ...

Posted by JBaymore on 21 January 2017 - 11:31 AM

My personal studio here at my current home has been slowly evolving over 40 years.  I now look back at that 'dumb' college student so long ago that decided to switch majors from a "respectable" scientific major..........


......and realize that it can be done.  It takes persistence and determination and hard work.... and the idea that .................


"I have a dream............."


Still working on that dream.  I am very fortunate.





#120948 Electric Kiln Reviews

Posted by JBaymore on 20 January 2017 - 10:25 AM

Unfortunately, no independent reviews out there that I've ever found. 


Boy................. do I miss the OLD Studio Potter magazine.





#120924 Opacify For Cheaper?

Posted by JBaymore on 19 January 2017 - 10:03 PM

The zirconium variations of opacifiers give a "cold" white.  Tin gives a "warm" white.  Just the way it works.





#120727 Is Cone 4-10 Clay Fired To Cone 4 Underfired?

Posted by JBaymore on 16 January 2017 - 09:04 PM


I would think because of liability issues they would also include: For Non-Functional Use Only.




You would think that.... BUT... and that is a big BUT.........  the ceramic suppliers do not indemnify the end users of their products.  So it I buy clay from XYZ Ceramic Supply...... and I make functional ware that explodes in the microwave....... it is MY problem with the consumer that bought that explodo-work from me.  I can't defend myself by saying, "Not my fault... it is XYZs fault".  I would have to settle with the client myself. 


THEN I would have to go after the XYZ place to try to recover my losses in the other situation.  Separate case.  Bet that they can afford better lawyers than I can.  And.... their product literature and websites and bills say quite clearly that they are not responsible..... test, test, test, ..........and that it is the end user's responsibility to see if their product is suitable for what they make.


So...... I'd lose.


Case of "Caveat Emptor".





#120587 Is Cone 4-10 Clay Fired To Cone 4 Underfired?

Posted by JBaymore on 14 January 2017 - 09:12 PM

So Nerd, I was hanging in and ignoring the brownies talk and all ... then you mentioned cooking a PRIME RIB roast to well done!!!
That is just an expensive, over fired error.


I think that qualifies as "carbon coreing".   ;)





#120563 John Baymore Solo Exhibition, Thayer Gallery, Ma Feb-Mar 2017

Posted by JBaymore on 14 January 2017 - 12:56 PM


#120408 Which Model Brent Wheel For School Use?

Posted by JBaymore on 11 January 2017 - 02:05 PM

I've had Model C-s stand up well at Massart and at NHIA where I've taught.  The CXC will stand up better though.


The reason for the CXC is not centering power,.... it is that the motor will be "cruising" in use.  less strain on it over time.  Also... that have better belts on the drive.





#120339 To Wholesale Or Not?

Posted by JBaymore on 10 January 2017 - 08:51 AM

 Marking up your prices, then giving a discount, seems like unnecessary steps.


Works very well for car dealers!  ;)  :ph34r:





#120290 How Much Does A Refractory Castable Shrink On First Firing?

Posted by JBaymore on 09 January 2017 - 06:22 PM

If you are using a commercial grade castable, they specify it so you can get that #.  In all cases commercial ones shrink very little from the mold size.


A home-made castable... it all depends on how you make it (ingredients proportions).  Test a sample.


Casting full arches is tricky.  There are some tried and true aspects that you need to follow.  If you have never done it....... try to get with someone who has and learn how to fabricate it well.


Fired in place large casts are NEVER fully fired thru.  The hot face is fired.  The cold face isn't.  This sets up micro stress fractures parallel to the hot face.  This results in early spalling when compared to previously fired products.  The best way to use castable is to cast it, fire it to maturity ion another kiln, and then place it.  With large casts... obviously not a possibility for most folks.





#120152 Preventing Glaze From Running On Pipes

Posted by JBaymore on 08 January 2017 - 11:25 AM

Maybe James should expand his product line to include bongs to fill in the taller spaces. :rolleyes:



I'm not going there......... ;)