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Member Since 06 Apr 2010
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#63652 Top 20 Potters From Ceramics History

Posted by JBaymore on 01 August 2014 - 11:35 AM

Probably the "BEST" potters......... none of us have ever heard about by name.  But their work was great, and was important in their time and some of that is likely sitting in museum cases all over the world.


Not a lot of time right now... and don't know how "contemporary" you really mean by "not contemporary"........but a few immediately come to mind:


Paulus Berenson

Lucy Rie

Hans Coper

Bernard Leach

Hamada Shoji

Peter Volkous

Rudy Autio

Paul Soldner

Robert Arneson






PS:  I could list a lot more Japanese names......but likely not your focus.

#63563 Air Release Mold Dies

Posted by JBaymore on 30 July 2014 - 11:05 AM

You are hydraulic pressing, right? What is the press pressure you are using? That could give you a hint if the lower psi material is at all suitable. Most of industry is now dry pressing.... with very high pressures. If you are using a SM process, your press pressures are likely lower than the "industry standard" these days.






PS:  Sheffield's "good folks".

#63430 Where Does Clay Stand In Fine Art

Posted by JBaymore on 28 July 2014 - 07:20 PM

Simple.  I don't acknowledge the distinction.  It is all art.  Some works of art are more successful than other works of art.... but it is all an art form.





#63372 How Do You Deal With Injuries?

Posted by JBaymore on 27 July 2014 - 10:31 PM

Also make sure that you are throwing in a good bio-mechanical way.  Get someone who KNOWS what that means to watch you and provide feedback.  I see so many people beating up their bodies without realizing it, it is amazing.





#63354 How Much Testing Or Tweaking Of Glazes Do You Do?

Posted by JBaymore on 27 July 2014 - 04:36 PM

Unfortunately this kind of understanding takes time.  Particularly since the firing schedule/profile is such a big part of the results.  Plus you have a whole heating/cooling cycle of time lag between every iteration of testing.  It is just like pretty much all other parts of the art form........ each one has a good solid learning curve.  That is why it will NEVER be boring ;) .


FYI......... as far as glazes go...... a 15 week, 6 hour class time per week, plus outside homework and testing time college materials course will get the typical relatively motivated student so that they understand the glaze slurry mixing aspects, the raw materials sources for oxides, the chemistry aspects, and core firing issues at a BASIC level.   As well as using Insight glaze calculation software at a basic level.  Basic body information is covered as well, but we start with a focus on glazes/glass/ceramic chemistry. This class (along with the kiln design and operation one) are both required courses.  That is what we consider the minimum to graduate with a BFA tacked on after your name. 


We just added a Materials II level course as an elective option for those that are interested in pursuing more.






PS:  Personally I am always messing around with something experimentally.  But rarely does it go into production on my own work.  Been using the same main stable of glazes for 35 years or so.  Just added a new Hare's Fur tenmoku to the line... I think.

#63331 Critique My Work - Anyone? - I Want To Send You A Bowl.

Posted by JBaymore on 26 July 2014 - 08:26 PM

Somewhere here John Baymore posted a regimen he gives his students to improve their throwing skills ... I can't find it but many have used it and liked it.


It is not on here as a downloadable file, but I will send a microsoft word .docx file to people who send me their email address via a PM.  It is a class handout for one of my intermediate college throwing classes.  it is important to note that it is just a PART of an overrall strategy in teaching how to throw well........ and while it is useful... it is not the ONLY things to do.  Nothing beats hands-on face-to-face instruction.





#62994 Granite For Wedging Tabletop/element Wire For Fixed Cut Wire ?

Posted by JBaymore on 21 July 2014 - 11:06 PM

Guitar strings make great cutoff wires. Put a stiff spring on one end. I've got one that's going on 13 years.


Fender Super Slinky E.





#62934 What Makes A Good Mizusashi Good?

Posted by JBaymore on 21 July 2014 - 07:25 AM

There seems to be a lot of small details like that to take into account in proper tea ceremony ware.


Yeah, there are.  Spending some serious time in a Tearoom helps a potter understand what those aspects are (see my Raku Chawan comments elsewhere).  Also talking to real Chajin (Tea People).


Nothiong beats having a Chajin pick up one of your Chawan and say something like "Very interesting bowl."  (That is a SLAM of a critique.)  What that polite comment really means is, "Someone who understands Chanoyu (tea ceremony) would never have made a bowl like that. Can't be used for X reason(s)."


They say if you want to make good sake botles...... you have to drink a lot of sake. ;)   Time to study up :lol: .





#62932 What Makes A Good Mizusashi Good?

Posted by JBaymore on 21 July 2014 - 07:21 AM



RakuKen is one of the good Chadogu makers out there.


Hay Ken-san.... maybe we can get Cory to come over here to the forms too????? 





#62838 Hakeme Slip Recipe

Posted by JBaymore on 20 July 2014 - 04:23 AM

Nice Rakuken....... :)





#62807 Raku Traditional Japanese Vs. Western/modern Raku

Posted by JBaymore on 19 July 2014 - 08:09 PM

I teach a course and workshops about this.  Here's some "boilerplate" text I have written and given out before in answers to email questions about this. ( the "angle" to some parts is in response to specific questions):


"And yes, the Japanese are not as open about sharing 'pottery secrets' as American typically are. I've seen the Raku family process when I've been visiting in Kyoto..... and hence some of my knowledge. Plus I speak enough Japanese to converse a bit, and that fact along with being a potter myself leads a sense of trust to interactions when I am there. Plus introductions from one potter to another helps over there. While impeccably polite, it is a pretty closed society to "outsiders". I am fortunate that I have been accepted into their culture.
First off..... American raku and the process in Japan known as Raku are quite different.
While generalities are always wrong, there are basically two main versions of Japanese Raku wares....... Aka (red) and Kuro (black). Aka is fired a tad colder than Kuro, due to the glaze maturing difference. Both use a simple lead silicate glaze. The black version uses lead and a ground-up black-ish rock from the Kamo Gawa (Duck River) in Kyoto that is high in both iron and manganese.
For Aka only, the raw clay body is covered with a high iron slip that is bisqued onto the piece. For Aka only, there is an intermediate "firing" (a smoking really) where the bowls are placed in a brick box, interspersed with wood charcoal. The charcoal is lit. Where the charcoal is in strong contact with the red slipped wares and little air gets to it... it causes "fire clouding" of the slip...... smoke marks.
These carbon deposits will later get sealed under the low melting lead glaze...... creating the variegated color surfaces you see on much Aka Raku wares. They are more dramatic after the intermediary smoking... because the early part of the glaze firing causes some of the smoke effects to re-oxidize. But some usually stays trapped in.
Both use the same underlying clay body. It is a coarse, open high-fireclay type body, that in fired consistency greatly resembles SOME American bisqued stonewares when it is fired. The clay is pretty non-plastic, and the traditional forming methods take this fact into account. The most common way is to pinch a THICK general form... and then carve the inside and outside to the desired shape. Some is totally subtractive from a solid block of clay.
For Aka, the slip does not go all the way to the kodai (foot ring). There will typically be a place where the glaze overlaps past the slip and goes directly onto a small bit of the raw clay body. But the foot area is always clear of glaze. For Kuro, the glaze is applied all the way under the whole piece...... and right onto the entire foot ring. It is stacked on small wads in the kiln that are later ground off.
Almost all real Chawan are typically quite light. Raku ones are quite thin.... weight is an important consideration in a Chawan for actual Chanoyu (Tea Ceremony). Raku Chawan are typically at or under 454 grams...... a pound. They average about 13 cm in diameter and about 9 cm in height.
The traditional finish firing (the Raku family tradition) process uses a saggar to contain the bowls set into a small kiln that is charcoal fired, and an apprentice/shokunin (workman) runs a set of dual action bellows to get it really hot. For Aka......... the glaze is caught JUST as the glaze still has a little "fizz" in the melting process...... a tad underfierd. The pieces are pulled from the kiln and air cooled....... no post fire reduction and no water quenching happens. 
Because the tea is in the bowl for such a short period (minutes)... there is no real concern about lead leaching issues. Plus the bowls are washed very well before a ceremony, and then are ritually washed again during the ceremony....so no thin surface deposits of lead oxide coming out of the glaze will be present at use.
Most westerners have never been in a formal tea ceremony. They last a few hours. A lot is involved. Along with garden viewing, a special meal, smoking, and breaks between things, there are different servings of tea.
First is what is known as Koicha (Thick Tea). Most westerners have never had this. Most who have, don't usually like it. It is a paste of the powdered Matcha and water that is about like latex paint in consistency. Strong flavor and powerful caffeine kick. If there are multiple Guests, the tea for all of them is prepared in one bowl, and the bowl is passed from person to person after taking their requisite sips.
Second is is Usucha (Thin Tea). This is the typical "Tea Ceremony" tea that is experienced by most westerners. It is the same Matcha and watrer... but the proportion of tea to water is much less than Koicha. Strong, but not as strong. There might be multiple servings of Usucha. Tea for a single Guest is prepared in a single bowl and after consuming it, the bowl is given back to the Host.
Raku Chawan are usually reserved for serving Koicha, not Usucha. In the core of tradition, a Kuro Chawan is reserved for serving only serious dignitaries and royalty.
Far from being considered "disposable", Raku wares are the MOST sought after pieces for Chado (The Way of Tea). The prices for pedigreed Chawan (family name......usage...... etc.) are literally astronomical. There is a "tea saying"......... "Raku first, Hagi second, Karatsu third." That is the 'pecking order' in which Chajin (Tea People) hold respect for the types of wares for Chanoyu.
The insulating qualities of the open porous body are a strong positive for Chanoyu. Makes the bowl feel good to hold........ warm, not hot. As is the fact that it is NOT vitreous.
Not know to most westerners, sound is also an important part of Chanoyu.... and the sound that a whisk makes in a non-vitrified Chawan is VERY different than the sound produced by a vitreous bowl. Raku is "soft" sound...... stoneware and porcelain are "hard" sound. When a Chajin (tea person) plans a Chanoyu (tea ceremony) there is a concept called toriawase. It is hard to translate..... but it is what a choreographers does to a dance performance, and what a conductor does to a classical concert. Sounds that happens during the ceremony is a part of selecting the timing, the objects and so on in the ceremony. Part of good toriawase.
ALL Chawan are treated with great respect.... so they don't get broken often. If you were invited to a real Chakai (Tea Gathering) when you handled the bowl....... you would have taken off all rings and watches and necklaces and such. The bowl would be handled ONLY over the tatami mats on the floor of the Chashitsu (tearoom)..... and you'd hold it literally INCHES from the mats when examining it (part of the ceremony). It will be stored in a cloth bag, then a wooden box, then likely another larger wooden box. Only taken out for use. Treated as more precious than gold.
As to 'studying tea bowls'....... this is important....... get to someplace where you can study TEA. The Urasenke School seems to be all over the place. There is WAY more to making teabowls that are actually suitable as Chawan than most western potters realize. A lot of the teabowls you see made by western potters will not pass muster of a real Tea Master for Chanoyu use. Many western potters don't CARE about the traditional use.... but if you do........ you need to understand Tea.
In fact, I am giving a lecture presentation at NCECA in Providence next spring that is titled, "What makes a teabowl a Chawan?" where i will address some of the stuff that is not as evident as it might be. If you are going.... stop in and say "hi".
There you have it.
Here are some student's work in the Aka Raku intermediary firing process.
Here are some student's fired Aka Raku Chawan.

#62671 How Fast Do You Run Your Wheel When Centering?

Posted by JBaymore on 17 July 2014 - 09:24 PM

The speed of the shell isn't what dictates the function of the outcome. it is the skill of the hands.


Amen... and amen.


My favorite wheel is a Korean/Japanese wood kickwheel.  No momentum to speak of.





#62630 How Fast Do You Run Your Wheel When Centering?

Posted by JBaymore on 17 July 2014 - 03:43 PM

SLOW>>>>SLOW >>>>>>>SLOW.


Speed is the Dark Side........ decieve you it will. :ph34r:


Also...............don't confuse speed of revolution with torque (power).  Wheel HP affects torque rather than than speed. 





#62617 To Share Or Not To Share

Posted by JBaymore on 17 July 2014 - 12:19 PM

So when does copying happen between professionals?


It doesn't happen.  Because if one is copying in that fashion....... there is only one professional present. B)





#62616 Hakeme Slip Recipe

Posted by JBaymore on 17 July 2014 - 12:08 PM

Try the broom bristles..... I have one made with those to that works great.


Try every stiff coarse brush you can find.  I've used a toilet bowl brush in the past... that works good. (I'm a frugal potter like most, but in this case...... new... not used ;) ).