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Mudslinger Ceramics

Member Since 16 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Jan 12 2017 06:52 AM

#106037 "functional" Low Fire Clay

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 30 April 2016 - 09:27 PM

Do you have sales orders to fill with your C6 porcelain?  If so, you'll have to wear the expense of firing while you're at the cottage.


If you don't have to think of orders...... then leave the porcelain at home and spend the summer experimenting with all the low fire techniques, clays and processes that you don't get to do normally.....and not just more of the same stuff you already do.

Try raku, black firing, pit and bin firing, local clay slips and engobes, burnishing, hand building.  Maybe build a small wood fire kiln and see what happens to your C6 clay and glazes when they're exposed to a live flame.  

Make sculpture, wall plaques, ornamental pieces, garden pots (where porosity is a virtue!)


You know......lemons to lemonade.   Couple of months, out of town and experimenting with all the techniques and processes you don't normally use......sounds good to me.



#105101 I Got Asked If I "wholesale" And If I Wanted To Do A "pop Up"

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 11 April 2016 - 07:50 PM

Pop-ups here are about peppercorn rent in unused shopfronts for a limited time while the building owners decide what their long term plans are. Good for artist with very, very cheap rent and good for building owner as the shop is not empty and vulnerable to vandals.  Not a long term option in central Sydney, 2 weeks -3 months usually, as our real estate turnover is fast but suburban ones in the artsy hip suburbs can last for 1-3 years.


Did 2 weeks with 4 others once 8 years ago right at Sydney Harbour international cruise liner wharf. Was a good sales run because of the transient tourist trade who were not going to return again and didn't have to think of luggage limits when they left. Our shopfront cost $200 all expenses, made $20K profit and was a great promotional tool as well for our local customers.


So my 5c worth is do it but pick the place that suits your business and products and not just the shop owners want for something unusual to show off to their customers.




#104232 Retirement Plan?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 25 March 2016 - 11:33 PM

Now, I have bigger goal than making money. I am working to create a community that is interested in pottery. So far my approach has worked for me: more people are joining classes and the retention rate has been high. In a year, I expect to have a very nice studio space for myself (and others) which pays for itself and provides an income for me (teaching classes, selling pots). When all I have to do is mop the floor at the end of the day, I will call this retirement.    MatthewV


Reading another topic I saw this quote.  


I am getting to an age where the physicality of production pottery is starting to bug me.......old injuries from years ago are protesting miserably, volume sales are not the 'professional' markers they used to feel like, income diversity is becoming more important than volume, a functional pot for someone else is holding less interest than a sculptural one made for my own creative passion....


...... so some post production pottery planning (say that fast 5 times!) is now in the early stages.  I do teach a couple of classes a week and hire out my wheels and equipment occaisionally but I want to wind down my production studio over the next couple of years yet keep my yearly exhibition work going. My mind has recently been following MatthewV's train of thought.......


This week I have been offered a community arts space and a local council grant to lay the foundations for this venture.........my question here is that I would like to see this idea brainstormed in the forum by teachers, students and administrators alike...........so please lend me your thoughts, experiences, initiatives and original insights!




#104093 Perfect Imperfection Collection

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 24 March 2016 - 01:48 AM

They are like some wonderfully macabre wedding service!!



#104025 Charging For Studio Time

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 23 March 2016 - 02:48 AM

Hi Roxy


Welcome to the forums!


I only have 2 people who may use my studio and I charge $50 for 5 hour lots on the wheel ( I have 3) ONLY on the days when I am there and have to do other things.  


They use my clays and my glazes so I know the chemistry in advance and can use coloured underglaze, oxides and engobes.


I have 3 different sized kilns and they may use one depending on load size. $5/kg bisque, $8/kg glaze.  Yes, I like simple maths.


I do this for the extra income and some company at times but my people know it's MY studio and my workload has priority and that they share it under my conditions.  Arrangements can very during my really busy periods.


Share with others by all means, it's a generous thing.... but never lose sight of the fact that it's YOUR studio, not a playroom for others, and that your needs there come first.


Enjoy your new 'dream space' and please post us some photos of your work........it's ok, we'll be gentle!



#103494 Qotw: Is Art Pointless?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 13 March 2016 - 02:01 AM

I'd say "Yes.  Pointless indeed.  To those in low to no income sectors.  Of course it's pointless.  Oh I do see one of my best patrons over there.  Excuse me."


This statement was surprising in the light of the other responses to the question.     
Honestly,  can only the wealthy and middle class see the point to art?  Are poor people just too intrinsically unable to appreciate or see a point to art?  Can a person without money not have an opinion, for better or worse, anyway? The monied do!
Art appreciation, intelligence and artistic merit are certainly NOT the providence of those who measure art by income........there are more than enough pig-ignorant monied people in our societies.  The 'Art is pointless' stupidity is not income dependant at all.
For the last 15 years I've worked as an art teacher to people with issues of disadvantage, all of then in the 'low to no income sector' and I have rarely found art to be as pointless to them as it often is the the people who only want to profit by art as a product, resale investment or commodity.  There are plenty of people who only judge art by monetary values.
Art is the great equaliser, it is a fundamental part of the human experience and the most wonderful thing about it is that art can be found in mansions or slums, city studios or back sheds, hanging in galleries or the refrigerator door.  Art is very, very important, relevant and precious to the hundreds of low and no income participants in my groups over the years.....yes, even when I take them to our Australian National Gallery to see international exhibitions, and the ballet, opera and theatre performances at our Sydney Opera House.....our 'high society' institutions that all have generous concession fees for low and no income earners so they never need miss out.  Art definitely has a point to them.
I exhibit yearly and I have met the person in the gallery with the 'Art is pointless' attitude who unwittingly provides the evening's 'free entertainment'......I do explain the work and smile....and often they leave anyway as the cloud of the guest's disapproval and contempt closes about them.   It's all good to me.......public relations.... they may not see the point of the art but I want them to see the hospitality of the artist.

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#103125 What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 05 March 2016 - 02:52 AM

Sometimes we just need to take 'time out' from ceramics.....I know....gasp!!.....but are very happy to find CAD still here when we return!


My first experience at posting met with a rude, dismissive and incorrect reply but fortunately 2 years of 'lurking' showed it was not the usual.  So we can't 'diss' the lurkers.


Did not see Mike Faul post, but do think that sometimes we don't READ THE QUESTION accurately.......so we go off on tangents, answer what we THINK we read, or, indulge in some sort of Facebook-like opinion frenzy.......


.........think it comes down to reading the person's question once or twice to get the actual enquiry they're asking from it (and maybe asking one or two of our own questions) before answering 


Also, think the internet has bred the idea of a website ' Chat Help' convenience so much that people no longer feel that they NEED to get back to the people assisting them.   Whole other discussion.


So much reading to catch up on.



#79590 How To Avoid Thin Porcelain From Breaking?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 17 April 2015 - 08:14 PM

Hi lala


take a look at the following forum post (my request from few months ago) and look at the recipie for ceramic tape casting from Alfred university......uses PVA glue into porcelain slip to get 1mm thin sheets. A commercial product called Keraflex is made this way but shockingly expensive so some clever, clever people worked out how to make similar





#79528 Creating A Ice White Porcelain Clay Body

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 17 April 2015 - 05:24 AM

LeeU, SI is 'Southern Ice' a very white porcelain made as  C10 or as 'Cool Ice' at C6.


Antoinette,  I have used a bonechina not-very-plastic body for it's ultra-whiteness. vile for throwing and damn sensitive in firing but slipcast or smaller sculptures were just magical! in their stark alabaster whiteness.  I'm in Australia and it's available as a special order slip but I have the'plastic' body made specially for me every now and again,  so beautiful, so expensive! - I use it for jewellery and treat it like gold.  Have you tried bonechina?



#78956 Newbie Discouraged But Persistent---Help!

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 09 April 2015 - 09:31 PM

Thanks you for showing us your first few pots.  I did not chuckle, but I did smile, since I recognized my first few pots in your pictures! They are absolutely normal early pieces.   Claylover

 It takes practice, discipline, patience, time, mentors, GOOD instructors (some are awful), a support(ive) group, and chocolate--i suggest a fine dark chocolate.  LeeU


Newtoclay54, your pots are just great, we have all made them!!  They WILL get better with time....   

LeeU, where were you when I was learning???  Lindt 85% dark is my favourite!


#78953 Pottery Add

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 09 April 2015 - 08:35 PM

My studio is spread over one 3x3m  working space and 3 storage spaces and a whole 4 level bookshelf just for my pottery books.......so 'mess' is a relative term!

......but, truth is, if you're not using it, and have not used it for some time, and probably (truely!!) are not likely to use it.... then sell it!   More space and more cash is better than many, many 'maybe, one day I'll get to it' things cluttering up your space. It takes one weekend and one friend to get it done. Put it all on eBay or Craigslist and let some young ''eager beaver' enjoy the struggle of it....they're out there!


Mixing one wide firing clear with a 2 or 3 colour or texture modifications that you focus on for now is ok, you can change your modifications as you change your interests.....and if you want to buy premixed paint on glazes because it's easier and you really like the making part of the pottery process more than glazing, then do it, just factor in your extra cost and time as part of your regular work schedule.....focus on the parts of pottery that you really love and simplify the parts that don't hold your enthusiasm as much.  


The IDEA of making ''everything we want to'' is far more seductive than our actually getting around to MAKING ''everything we want to'',,,,,,so some honest self questioning, one friend and one weekend.............. 



#78071 21 Century Customer... Perpetual Replacement Of Pottery

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 26 March 2015 - 07:13 PM

Mmmmmm...... with my production work I do replace either free or 50% or something I organise because I can make enough in volume over time to offset the loss but the gallery works are one-off pieces and they can sell that child to pay me if needs be.....!



#77921 I'll Never Be A Real Potter.

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 23 March 2015 - 09:16 PM

Good post to read, congratulations flowerdry!


I too thought I couldn't be a 'real' potter unless I followed the 4 Heads of Ceramics lecturers in my studies in their male dominated, Bernard Leach, dust covered, rock crushing, gas, wood, bricks and mud hauling, Song dynasty emphasis on 'real' ceramics  (almost felt I should've glued on a beard too)  .....and in consquence I have several books on glaze chemistry, a small glaze lab, SO MANY half used bags and bottles of materials, years of nerve wracking frustration over glaze failures etc ........to finally have come to your conclusion a few years ago......  Duh!!   Have finally settled on a wide firing clear with a few mods for my production work and the beautiful colours, textures and surfaces of unglazed clay in my gallery work. 


Now, to be fair, I'm certainly NOT sorry to have had that grounding in ceramics from my years of study, my mad urge for experiementation in those early years was well satisfied!..... but I do wish the spectre of tough bloke-y, make from raw, gas/wood, guts and sweat C10-C13 Chinese ideal of 'real' ceramics will continue to fade as time goes on. Don't get me wrong, ash glazes can be beautiful but so too can polished porcelain or lush e/w glazes... there's enough room in ceramics for a lot of love.


Glad you worked things out flowerdry, you sound 'real' to me.



#77916 Any Experince Teaching Those With Special Needs ?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 23 March 2015 - 08:09 PM

Taught art at a Salvation Army centre for 6 years and to other community art projects for another 5 to special needs adult groups.....the best and the worst of people in one room at any one time!!....but overall it was a great time! I do love that work.


The 'trick' was to match the activity with the 'issue'....over 55s usually had problems with vision, hands and mobility so we decided on simple card making for family and friends, for unemployed people with $$$ issues we focussed on 'recycled' art making, for disability children we painted flowerpots and tiles, etc. The 'trick' also was to remember that I was not training them to be 'potters' in our limited time but to have an enjoyable clay experience that would bring a smile of delight.


With the actual pottery projects we made things easier for ourselves and the clients,as best we could, by choosing projects that didn't require a second firing if possible.........to prepare for making, load and unload a bisque fire, prepare to decorate and load and unload a glaze fire for 10-25 people is a lot of out-of-class-time technical work in one week.....so unless we got people who specifically wanted a cup, bowl, or plate to eat from then we made things that could be painted with acrylics and sealed with a waterproofing enamel spray.......easier for us....immediate gratification for the client!!  (Did use self hardening clay at times too)


Specifically for children, they mostly want to model things anyway so we concentrated on making characters for their favourite stories, garden creatures and plantings signs, plaques for bedroom doors, pencil pots.....   Painting with acrylics was already 'understood' by them in their school life so the 'dangers' of eating underglaze, and getting them to understand that, was avoided.......and they could take their treasures home with them straight away.


Whatever you decide to do remember to make it easier on yourself.....week in, week out of high needs clients can take it out of you no matter how great they are....and if you're taking on the whole camp......??? then you really need to make things easier. Good luck, is a great project!



#77331 What Do You Get Out Of This Forum Interaction?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 14 March 2015 - 06:35 AM

'Invite every potter you know to drop in and lurk......then hopefully one day they will start to post...' -Chris


'I feel that facebook groups are more about auto-promotion and I don't see what the point is. This forum is more reliable, people are not here to sell their products to the others, but to share their knowledge.  I respect and appreciate that kind of philosophy.' -Judith B.


My experience of joining.... and rationale for staying.... exactly!!