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Member Since 06 Apr 2010
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#118156 Equipment/tool Shaming/bullying

Posted by JBaymore on 09 December 2016 - 08:00 AM


Being able to throw loosely is insanely difficult.



Personally I'd say that more like, "Being able to throw loosely well is insanely difficult."


My belief is that to throw loosely well, you first have to be able to throw really tightly and symmetrically.  Then throwing loosely is all about choices.  This gives you the ability to put the bones of the skeleton inside the soft flesh.





#118103 Qotw: Are There Redundant Things In Your Studio?

Posted by JBaymore on 08 December 2016 - 11:57 AM



I can't imagine completely moving at this point in our lives even if I did not have the studio.  The household and stuff is daunting enough.  Bravo to you for undertaking such an endeavor.


I could not imagine moving to another property even in the same town in which I live!


I actually have the option of moving to Japan should I want to (piece of land with studio and wood kiln access available to me there from a very generous and dear friend).  As a potter...... the "fantasy" come true.  But what a project to actually move.  And internationally to boot.  And such a move would not be good for my wife....... who is not "connected" to the Japanese people like I am and does not speak Japanese at all.  Then there is the idea of leaving the family (kids and grandkids).  Were we rich and could fly them over for visits and fly back to the US on a whim...... that would make it easier... but still not good.   And then there is also living the expatriate life.  I don't ever see it happening.  Still visit, yes....... moving there, no.


Still working on the studio.  Working on a lot of what I now know are "But-fers".  (Thanks!)






PS:  Current "but-fer" is that to get the kickwheel that I plan to sell OUT of the place it is in now, I have to move a HEAVY large 4' x 8' work table.  And to move that table, I have to move all the heavy stuff that is stored UNDER that table.  But-fer that, getting the wheel moved so I can put something ELSE there where the wheel was would be pretty easy.

#118093 How Is The Outside Surface Made - Shino Fresh Water Jar By Suzuki Tomio

Posted by JBaymore on 08 December 2016 - 09:27 AM

Yes... this is Japanese Shino glaze and Japanese Shino CLAY BODY (important part) work.


Traditional Japanese Shino quite often does not look all that much like American Shino.  I have on many occasions taken a piece of actual Japanese Shino work out from my collection in workshops and classes I'm giving and asked the participants to identify what Japanese pottery type it is... and they have missed that it is Shino ware. 


American Shino, like American Raku, tends to be a bit more “in your face” and dramatic than the Japanese source variety.  Japanese Shino is often more understated, particularly the older pieces.  American Shino often has warm-ish overall tones; peach and reddish-brown.  Japanese Shino is more typically generally an overall white, with accents of “fire color” iron red on the thin spots and around the pinholes.  Japanese Shino tends to pinhole more than crawl, while American Shino tends to crawl more than pinhole.  Japanese Shino does not tend to carbon trap, while American Shino does. Some excessively.  There is a variety of Japanese Shino called Nezume Shino (Mouse Gray Shino) that does not look like American Shinos at all.  There is also a variety Japanese E Shino, (Picture Shino) that has iron brushwork under the feldspathic white glaze.


Shino glaze in Japan is more or less.... one specific feldspathic rock.  VERY difficult to work with. 


While glaze recipes vary from Japanese shino ware potter to potter, when I was in Seto/Tajimi back in 1996 (home of traditional Shinos) a shino ware potter told me his specific glaze recipe.  It was 90% of the specific shino feldspthic rock and 10% of a specific kaolin.  This was mixed with water and a seaweed emulsion as a binder.  The rock itself is a high potassium and slightly less high sodium containing (hence alkaline fluxed) feldspathic blend.  For fluxes, it is sourcing mainly alkalis (not including lithium) in a non-soluble form, unlike American Shinos … that usually depend heavily on soluble soda ash to get the alkali content up.  Between the alumina in the rock and the kaolin,… the alumina content is quite high…. giving a very stiff melt with high surface tension in the molten state.


Key points were made that the rock is processed via a stamper mill… and not further beneficiated via milling.  This results in tiny flake like particles with thin edges, not the rounded lumps that our commercial raw materials are.  The second key point he made was the firing cycle.  L….O…..N…..G and to low end point temperature.  Using heat work not temperature to cause the glaze to first sinter… and then  melt.  The sintering happens at the tiny thin edges of the particle flakes.  He was firing for almost 100 hours.  Long cooling cycle also.


The rock that forms the core Japanese Shino glaze has a chemical composition that is NOT like what has evolved as "American Shino".  The work of Virginia Wirt back in the 60's actually kind of sent things off on a tangent in America and the West.... when she added lithium oxide sourced via the raw material spodumene.  No lithium is in the Japanese stone.  Then Malcolm Davis' work with carbon trap (considered a clear DEFECT in Japan) further sent American Shino in a different direction.


Another KEY point is the clay body that Japanese Shino is normally fired upon.  It is a white-ish NON-VITREOUS coarse sandy clay body.  High in alumina.  From the western standpoint it is BAD CLAY!  Unglazed it will often leak for long term liquid storage.  The surface texture of that sandy body assists in causing the glaze textural qualities.  Often the potters cut and scrape the body in areas (or do this overall) to get the glaze to act differently in some areas from others.  The slight amount of iron content in the body also assists in the tendency of the high potassium and sodium glaze layer to “break” to the characteristic “hi iro”…. fire color……. on the thinly glazed spots.


To truly understand the allure and significance of Shino ware in Japan, you have to do some real study.  You must study Japanese Tea Ceremony.  And also study the Japanese aesthetic sensibilities that developed during the awful extended period of warfare that formed the core of their culture and world view.  So you are into studying history too (integral part of my “History of Japanese Ceramics” art history course).   That will eventually lead you to the Momoyama Jidai, the “Momoyama Revival Period”, and the difficult concept of “wabi-sabi”…..which takes a long time to actually understand in any significant way.  (Too many people thing “wabi-sabi” just means sort of “rustic”.)


American Shino has its roots loosely planted in Japanese Shino…… just as American Raku has its roots in Japanese Raku.  It is evolving from those origins in a different culture.  And the contemporary Japanese artists are also looking at this, and trying new approaches to their own tradition as processed thru a foreign culture and eye.  Exciting stuff on both sides of the pond.






#118018 Stoneware Limit Study

Posted by JBaymore on 07 December 2016 - 10:27 AM


One of the assumptions about stoneware clay, was that all the clay particles melted to form a vitreous body.



Actually..... no.  I don't think that ever was the assumption by folks that are "into" this stuff.


Stoneware clay is more like fiberglass cloth with fiberglass resin.  The crystalline materials (cloth) are bound together with the glassy phase (resin). 


The fact that it is NOT fully vitreous (which would basically be glass) is the reason that no one has ever been able to develop a computer model for predicting the performance of a clay body for such stuff as CTE.





#117960 Electric Vs Gas Firing - Surface Look - Clothes Or Skin

Posted by JBaymore on 06 December 2016 - 01:33 PM


John That is the answer i was looking for. the interface layer. i have not seen any ^10 electric that i am aware of. would melding together apply in the ^10 electric too and so the surface would actually feel/look like skin rather that something sitting on top - similar to ^10 reduction?   YES   therefore does that make the surface stronger? YES  meaning restaurant ware which takes a lot of beatings. i know here at the state university they went through a lot of ^10 testing (both wood and gas) to get the right combination for a particular restaurant a few years ago. and it has held up very well. 


if the body and glaze are one, could it mean they wont chip so easily? YES   meaning is it melding that makes the surface stronger or is it the right combination of glass formers or bit of both? BOTH


is the melding happening to some degree at any temperature in the kiln and as it goes higher the line between glaze and body becomes more hazy? YES .... except at the lower ranges........ and this is an somewhat arbitrary point I'm drawing but maybe below cone 04...... not much interface  is it some degree of melding that makes the glaze stick instead of falling off? 


All of the above "yes's" also have the standard ceramic "it depends" aspect.  So those are broad generalities.

#117957 Qotw: Are There Redundant Things In Your Studio?

Posted by JBaymore on 06 December 2016 - 01:07 PM

I'm in the midst of a big cleanout / rearrangement of my studio right now.  It currently looks like a bomb went off.  (And I'm also producing work for a firing.... bad combo.)


Changes in the direction for the future is part of it.  Getting older is dictating part of it too.  Settling in for the "next chapter".


Lots of the "might be good someday" is heading out the door ;).   Someday just seemed to not arrive yet.  I can't wait.


Another example:  I used to run a summer woodfiring workshop here at my studio every year.  Did that for a LONG time.  Then slowly I was spending just about every summer in Japan... and had to cancel doing those.   (Once I ran one of those here a few days after I returned from 2 months in Japan...... BIG mistake.)  Now I know that I'll not do the workshops here anymore.  So two Randal kickwheels, one Brent kickwheel, and one Lockerbie kickwheel are headed out the door.


Heavier wareboards that are still good.... but are heavier wood than what I now use (light, thin birch plywood).... away they go. 


And so on.





#117941 Electric Vs Gas Firing - Surface Look - Clothes Or Skin

Posted by JBaymore on 06 December 2016 - 08:33 AM

An aspect that maybe you are picking up on is what is known as the "interface layer".


At high fire temps, there is a melding of the glaze eating into the body and the body growing crystalline intrusions into the glaze.  As firing end point cone goes down, this aspect lessens.


So at say overglaze enamel temps....... it is very much like a layer of paint on wood.  At cone 10 range....... in the cross section of the piece... you can't tell exactly where glaze layer starts and clay body ends.





#117938 Bisque Ware History

Posted by JBaymore on 06 December 2016 - 08:17 AM

Bisque firing in the USA (and other industrialized locations) became highly prevalent because of mass production issues.  It was actually driven by profits.


The application of glazes to greenware and "once firing" can and was done historically in folk type potteries in the USA.  Doing so actually makes a LOT of sense.  Only use all the heat energy to get the kiln, furniture, and pots to bisque temps ONCE.  Only handle all the ware and kiln furniture ONCE for stacking and unloading.  Problem was..... green glazing and once firing required skilled labor; potters who were quite good at DOING that stuff.


As industrialization came about to meet the needs of the growing masses of people wanting/needing pottery, production techniques had to get stepped up.  Lots of potters were needed.  So the small folk-type potteries with their long study apprentice systems and long training times for developing skilled potters started to morph into small (and then large) ceramics "factories". 


These businesses were becoming more truly "businesses"... in the sense of the word meaning profit driven versus product driven.  Eventually many were owned by business people who were not skilled potters themselves, but managerial business people.  No different from manufacturing cars.


To hire skilled potters to do the green glazing and once firing work was kinda' expensive (on a relative scale here).  Skill equaled a bigger paycheck.  A bigger paycheck spelled lower profits for the business owners.  So bisque firing allowed the business owners to hire and quickly train lower skilled labor to handle the application of glazes to ware.  Training time was lessened, and the labor pool to DO the job got way bigger.  No longer did they have to pay someone like a "master potter" to do the job.  This also drove heavy job specialization; people ONLY knew how to apply glazes to bisqueware.  Other people ONLY knew how to stack kilns. And so on.


This aspect also drove the rapid developments of things like jigger and jolly wheels.  Skilled throwers were expensive.  And took a long time long to train.  And got paid better than lower skilled people.  (Not that potters were EVER paid well!)  Training someone to use a jigger or jolly well was a very short term affair.  And the production rate was high and highly consistent.  Great profit incentive.


Another factor that impacted bisquing was the development and demand for more elaborate surface decoration.  Skilled hand painters of patterns and decorations also were paid more highly and were harder to find and train than less skilled labor.  Various transfer techniques were developed that allowed less skilled labor to apply sophisticated looking decoration onto the work.  These techniques either were easier to do on bisque work (for those less skilled workers)... or HAD to be done on bisque work.


So bisquing before applying surface decoration and glaze sort of became the "norm" for a lot of claywork. 


Green-glazing and doing decoration work directly onto raw unfired clay work is certainly possible.  Try it for a while... and you'll understand why bisquing became so prevalent in world ceramics.  It makes things SO much easier.





#117478 Milling The St Cloud Granite

Posted by JBaymore on 29 November 2016 - 10:48 AM

If any of you have some successful recipes that you have used with granite, I'd love to know them.


Run a triaxial with your granite, any local clay, any local wood ash.  That likely will keep you in ideas for a long while.


One of my glazes is 33.33% granite, 33.33% local red clay from up the river from my house, and 33.33% mixed hardwood ash from my woodstove.  Another is 25% granite, 25% (milled) sand from the riverbank on my property, 25% mixed hardwood ash, and 25% of local clay.


This is the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 glaze:  gallery_1543_134_4274355.jpg


With local materials... it is all about testing.





#117301 Milling The St Cloud Granite

Posted by JBaymore on 27 November 2016 - 01:23 PM

I get my granite from a local granite quarry a few miles from my house (NH ->"The Granite State").  From cutting, they produce a lot of what they call "dust".... which is anything from fines up to about 3/8" chunks.  For glazes I ball mill it for 6 hours (used to be in a home-made mill.... now a large double jar Shimpo ball mill). I use commercial porcelain balls.


Because they do architectural work with the granite... they have to have technical data on representative samples for the architects and engineers.......... so I can get analysis of the rock composition that is fairly close for glaze calc use.


It is a nice base for glazes.  I also use a local clay deposit.  And wood ash from my winter heating wood stove.





#117295 The Price Of Art

Posted by JBaymore on 27 November 2016 - 01:06 PM

First of all........ ANYTHING is worth whatever the market will pay for it. 


Is a Mercedes car "worth" what people pay for it?   Is a Big Mac "worth" what people pay for it?


Only the purchaser can decide on that fact.  If you can't afford a Mercedes or a Big Mac......... then you can't even consider whether it is "worth" the money.  That colors your approach to the object.  For some folks... a Big Mac is unattainable.  For some folks the Mercedes is unattainable.  For some folks the Klein is unattainable.


If you have real MONEY (as in capital  M ... O....N....E....Y).....history has proven that artwork is one of the absolute BEST investments you can make.  Beats stocks and bonds.  So many affluent folks buy art not for the appreciation of the piece itself (although that might be a side issue)... but for the potential appreciation in value. 


Artwork from a specific artist is something that is not at ALL "replaceable".  An artist makes a fixed number of works in his or her style in a lifetime.  When he or she is gone... any new work is also gone.  IF that artist is considered important (separate subject) ...... as they get older their work tends to appreciate (as well as get better, one hopes).  When they die.... it seriously appreciates.


The important part of that investment potential is to "buy right".  So there needs to be a consensus that the particular artist is "important".  The art world has to have recognized the artist AS important in some manner for some reason.  Then investors will see the pieces AS investments.  And people like Christies make a killing on the commissions.


Places like Christies cater to investment types.  To investors........ apparently Klein is considered a decent investment. 







#116965 Why Are Some Glazes Nicer To Deal With?

Posted by JBaymore on 23 November 2016 - 08:56 AM

Commercial glazes can have clay/s, gums, or other additives to keep them uniformly dispersed. Although I cannot prove it, I have long held the suspicion that they are also using a dispersing agents.





There are two distinct parts about studying glazes........ ONE is molecular formulas.


But the OTHER ... and often overlooked side.............. is the materials sourcing.  (remember packing density?)


BOTH have an impact.


The second part there has a huge influence on 'what's in the bucket'.


We can ALSO adjust a lot of what is in the bucket... by organic additives... that do not remain after firing.





#116229 An Easy Way To Get Wax Resist Off Of Bisque.

Posted by JBaymore on 13 November 2016 - 06:01 PM

I usually retire in a kiln. I have scraped it off.


I know a lot of people seem to like to retire to a warm place.  But I prefer a cooler climate.  :D





#116188 Contemporary Ceramic Vessels As A Communication Tool?

Posted by JBaymore on 12 November 2016 - 09:27 PM

Try this guy's work on for size...........







#115561 Chawan, Yonomi, Tea Bowl, Tea Cup, Mug.......

Posted by JBaymore on 02 November 2016 - 10:04 AM

"i've lately been questioning the tea pot too. is the traditional design still the best design for today................"


There are and have been many designs for teapots...... not just one.  Serious tea drinkers tend to select the pot to go with the tea type.  Some people use tea bags... some use loose tea.  Some drink Lipton... some drink $100 an ounce olong.


There are lots of options for teapots.  Learn about tea........ and you can learn about making teapots.


If you are trying to make XXXXXXX to use for XXXXXXXX, you either need to know a decent amount about XXXXXXXXX or have a good advisor that does know about XXXXXXXX that can help you understand what the important factors are about the way the piece gets used for XXXXXXXX.