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Chris Campbell

Member Since 07 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 03:28 PM

#63655 Top 20 Potters Form Ceramics History

Posted by Chris Campbell on Today, 11:55 AM

There probably is no one potter by name here ...

But I think the story of the European quest for a porcelain clay body would be very interesting for this age group. It has everything from weird alchemists, kidnapping and holding prisoner of them by kings, hostage takings, recipe stealing and accidental burning down of wood and stone buildings where they were trying to fire hot kilns.

Most kids would never suspect that a pottery tale could be so adventure filled.

#63351 Facebook Page For Colored Clay

Posted by Chris Campbell on 27 July 2014 - 03:48 PM

I hope this is an appropriate posting as there is no commercial value ....


At the request of former students I have created a color in clay page of facebook.

I really dislike it when people add me to a group or page without my permission, so I thought I would invite all of you ...

'in person' ... sort of ... :P :D :lol:


I hope this page will become a resource for all who work with color in earthen clays and slips as well as those who want to learn more.
It will be a workspace/lounge where we can share information, provide critiques in a constructive manner so we all learn and hopefully widen the field of people involved.


See you there

#63349 Online E Course/august 4-Sept. 11/ 'understanding Porcelain'

Posted by Chris Campbell on 27 July 2014 - 11:47 AM

I have not taken the course but Antoinette is a friend and we have talked a lot about the content and presentation. She is an excellent thrower and a very caring teacher.
You watch the classes live online, then you can access them as often as you want for ... I think ... Two months after the class is done. She also has a private Facebook page where students can get even more feedback and help.
For $159 ... I don't think you can beat it.

#63315 Critique My Work - Anyone? - I Want To Send You A Bowl.

Posted by Chris Campbell on 26 July 2014 - 03:55 PM

I want to make sure you are also aware of the Ceramic Arts Daily link at the top left on this forum. If you go there you will find a lot of throwing videos, articles and advice ... All free.

At this point in your throwing life you will get a lot of good feedback from posting images of your newly thrown work cut in half. People who throw can look at it and know what happened ... and tell you what you are doing right or wrong. The bare clay does not lie because there is nowhere to hide!

I never weigh clay so someone else will have to answer that. Not that you shouldn't weigh it ... Just that it is not in my nature to want to.

#63299 Critique My Work - Anyone? - I Want To Send You A Bowl.

Posted by Chris Campbell on 26 July 2014 - 12:14 PM

Joseph ... Congratulations on wanting to progress and looking for feedback.

A good technique for checking your progress is to throw cylinders then slice them in half vertically ... You will instantly see if the bottoms and walls are even. You will see areas where you have left clay behind. Then throw ten more and slit them ... Look for where you are doing well and not so well. You should not leave this exercise until you can throw a cylinder at least twelve inches tall with even sides, top to bottom. Once you can do this other shapes will fall into place much easier.

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.

#63185 How Do You Deal With Injuries?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 24 July 2014 - 11:03 AM

I am by no stretch of the imagination a medical professional ... -_- ... but that never stops anyone does it?


What I would recommend since you are young and at the start of your career is that you find a way with clay that involves several different kinds of activities rather than just the constant repetitive motions of throwing, trimming etc. Try some handbuilding, or different techniques of decorating ... just some ways to give your wrist a rest from the stress of staying in one horizontal, elevated position.


If you can vary your wrist activity several times a day you might get more time before discomfort starts.

#63133 What Are You Working On?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 23 July 2014 - 07:23 PM

I was persuaded to make my own prizes for my Lady Captain's Day at the Golf Club and it's now 2 weeks away! This needed 17 prizes of varying 'values'. I've been 'playing' with clay for the last couple of years, but haven't got beyond the - 'gifts for friends and family' stage, so this has really focused me and I waiver between feeling v proud of my work so far and mortified at the prospect of the glazing going wrong and not having prizes for this big day!!! have enough pieces made and need to do one more bisque fire (small kiln!!!) to ensure I have spares for when the glazing is not acceptable or breakages.

I have some test pieces ready (underglazes, oxides etc) and now need to fire them and then use a matt and shiny transparent on each to help me decide how to finish the prize items. As I haven't mastered glazing, this is potentially where the plan goes pear-shaped! Dip, pour, spray, brush on? Glaze tongs or finger grips? Wax bottoms or wipe? Oxides under or over base glaze? While I've made quite a lot of pieces over the past 2 years, I haven't yet got to a position of confidence with colouring and glazing.

So......tomorrow is final bisque fire day and a good clean up in the studio. Then I have Saturday & Sunday clear and must bite the bullet and decorate the first few pieces - oxide brushed on & wiped back on one, sprayed on another and underglaze painted into carved areas on a third, then transparent glaze over, but dip, pour, spray? Decision, decisions - it's making me nervous just posting this. Brush on has been the most consistently successful transparent glaze to date, but I don't have glossy brush on and haven't yet tried the matt. Also I WANT to develop my dipping, pouring, spraying skills and get right away from brush on glaze. Perhaps this project isn't the time to be brave...or perhaps it is? In case you're wondering...I DON'T have a back up plan! If I think about it and have the time, I'll post some pics - successful or otherwise, of the finished items. Wish me luck!


As Mario Andretti once said ... if everything appears to be under control, you are not going fast enough!!


Good Luck!! :D

#62732 Mason Vs. Ferro Stains

Posted by Chris Campbell on 18 July 2014 - 05:02 PM

It will look grey before it is fired, but it is black.
I use the 6600 @ 6-8% all the time and get a great black when it's fired.

#62716 Paper Clay Uses

Posted by Chris Campbell on 18 July 2014 - 01:14 PM

Paper clay is not recommended for functional ware.
It is more porous because of the tiny holes where the paper fibers burned out. So, there is concern that it absorbs more water in unglazed areas ... Like the bottoms of mugs or plates. The worry comes from someone taking their favorite mug from the dishwasher and popping it into the microwave ... The water would get very hot and this stress could cause breakage right then or over time.
Don't know if anyone has tested this though so this is only anecdotal.

#62607 Marbling Clay

Posted by Chris Campbell on 17 July 2014 - 10:32 AM

No, it does not need to sit or age after the stain is mixed into the clay.
I have a section of my website with lots of colored clay lessons.


#62472 Where Is The Line For Intellectual Property Rights Vs. Copying Others

Posted by Chris Campbell on 15 July 2014 - 09:43 AM

Well, you cannot borrow or copy experience. You can't simulate it either
You can't steal how it should look or feel.
You can't teach gut instinct learned over time.
So let people take ... by the time they catch up you will be on to something else.

#62470 Online E Course/august 4-Sept. 11/ 'understanding Porcelain'

Posted by Chris Campbell on 15 July 2014 - 09:26 AM

I am posting this for my friend Antoinette who is currently teaching in South Africa.

This is a whole new way of taking a workshop ... A month long course that covers porcelain from pinch pots, to hand building, to throwing and firing.

E-course: Understanding and working Porcelain by Antoinette Badenhorst
August 4, 2014 until September 11, 2014

Registration for Understanding Porcelain e-course:

#62449 Non-Legal Ways To Address Copying Issue

Posted by Chris Campbell on 14 July 2014 - 08:27 PM

>A potter I knew, now deceased along with her many splendid glazes, always put the wrong recipe on her buckets, 2 book system, but again energy expenditure. She went to the grave with her recipes, a winner ???<

Then there is "Malcolm's Shino" in studios all over the world ... You can't hear the name without seeing the smile of a generous, funny and sharing guy ... Sadly gone from us too quickly.

#62433 Pencils To Mark Clay & Glaze Samples?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 14 July 2014 - 04:41 PM

Just use underglaze and a fine brush if it's not too long a description. I have also used an iron oxide Wash I had laying around. Scratching in with a dull pencil works well too.

#62430 Where Is The Line For Intellectual Property Rights Vs. Copying Others

Posted by Chris Campbell on 14 July 2014 - 03:51 PM

In 1996 a woman named Judith Skinner invented a revolutionary new way of blending polymer clay colors. When fellow artists in her group studio saw her results they immediately wanted to know how she did it ...  AND SHE TOLD THEM.  She just called it a blending technique but they wanted to name it The Skinner Blend and they did. This new method spread like wildfire around the polymer clay world.


Less than ten years later you could not open any polymer clay book without seeing the use of Skinner Blends. It is the go to technique ... if you Google the term you come up with over 200,000 sites. So ... what if Judith had hidden her method, refused to tell anyone else, kept her secret to herself for her own work??? Is it a little bit better to have her story be a wonderful lesson on the power of open sharing??


Before I started to teach the Skinner Blend method for our earthen clays, I tried to contact Judith to see if it was OK with her but never got an answer. So I make sure to give her 100% credit for the basic method.


I think it is naive of any of us to pretend we learned in some kind of vacuum with no influences from others. To try to plant our flag in clay ( of all things ) and claim some hill in the territory for ourselves.


It is as difficult to throw off our influences as it is to try to copy someone.