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Mudslinger Ceramics

Member Since 16 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Mar 03 2015 09:48 PM

#76240 My Angelbun's Urn

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 26 February 2015 - 07:32 PM

Timely post!! .....good suggestions.


My beautiful and very gentle spirited male fox terrier 'Ärgie left the world yesterday and I'm tearing up constantly. Have asked for his ashes to be returned to me for keeping until his daughter 'Nina' follows him in a few years time so have been thinking last night how to best make a 2 chambered vessel that will suit now and for later. Have never made for anything like this before and don't yet know how big it should be so am taking notes from the posts here.



#72314 Critique - Worst You've Heard

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 23 December 2014 - 02:02 AM

Hi Paul


Am quite competitive but I didn't expect great marks, I liked my concept alot but I knew with such a diverse group in the class across so many disciplines that the assessments would be somewhat subjective, that bit was ok. We did have a 1 hour discussion session with the lecturer near the beginning while we outlined and explained our projects. She did say she didn't 'get' ceramics so I expected she wouldn't love my plate but I did think we were on the same page about the whole concept. So the comment in the review about the plate not suiting the Asian market was so left field!


What shocked the class was that the sustainable design taught by some genuinely remarkable designers and acedemics for 3 years did not match the concept of 'design' expected at assessment.  Had 'Etsy' design (for want of a better word) been what was wanted from us then we would have obviously approached the final projects quite differently.


Love study wont put me off, just a bit wary



#71325 Re-Firing Commercial Porcelain

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 06 December 2014 - 05:17 AM

Hello Dave


Welcome to the forums. 


I have fired decals onto commercial pottery and most results were good but you do need to know if the piece is earthenware, stoneware/porcelain or bonechina as the glaze chemistry for these categories of pottery are different and may change the colour of the design on the plate or the decal as the glaze softens and starts to activate again. All metal accents on a piece will permanently tarnish or burn out completely because the layer of metal is so thin, ditto with lustre colours and  porcelain painting because these colour films are also very thin.....


....having said all that, decals are great fun and will fire onto most china most of the time with very little trouble because the firing temperature of the decal is much lower than the glazes on the piece.


I am Australian so I think metric.... my firing schedule is...60C/hr to 150C to thoroughly dry the decal, 120C/hr to 570C hold 10mins, 120C/hr to 810C hold 10mins, off.


Would also suggest doing a test piece first.  Good luck and show us the results.



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#69449 Lowfire Glaze Depression.

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 06 November 2014 - 07:31 PM

Look at British potter Kate Malone's early work.....all about striking form, all about unashamed colour, all about multiple glaze layering of commercial glazes...many a straight clear e/w commercial modified by herself with colour and/or texture ingredients in the one glaze bucket .................her Masters degree was spent on a massive commercial glaze testing regime....and there is nothing ''meh'' about it and what lowfire can do




 OR...if it has to be the high fire look, do the real deal...bisque at home and share a high fire gas or wood kiln with others


Take time to show us your experiments!


#68750 How Quickly Do You Get Rid Of Failures?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 27 October 2014 - 05:53 PM

The really horrible ones get binned quickly but the others hang around a while until I finally am willing to get rid of them, or decide on a refire or post-fire treatment......


Had a big clean out of a storage shed recently and found pieces from the last 12 years of my pottery making.....had smiles and cringes as I looked over my making history......many at bisque stage where I wasn't sure how to finish them, some glazed at Cone 10 reduction in soft muted colours- which in my current C6 electric phase almost don't look like my work anymore......and a whole bunch of newbie rejects I couldn't part with at the time....have binned some but letting the others sit around the studio for a while as they have sparked my renewed curiosity in their form or glaze. 

(also shocked and delighted I found 300g cobalt oxide! that I paid an arm and leg for and 'lost' during a house move)


With some work I photograph it to remember form or glaze before smashing incase I later regret not keeping it for some reason.


ayjay...you're on the right track, have a look at FB page  'Art Abandonment'   there is a US and a UK chapter of this group.....if I can erase my name off the bottom of my so-so pots I think I'll start one of these in Australia



#68399 Well Said

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 22 October 2014 - 06:46 PM

Come back to this thread and am quite surprised by the level of cynicism to the quote.  


Everyday in the 'Studio' and 'Technical' threads there are potters experiencing 'hundreds of hours of failures and experimentation' who don't give up 'after days, weeks and months of frustration and the moments of pure joy' that final success brings, we help them, cheer them on and celebrate them.... otherwise why would we persist in further developments and problem solving


'Business' thread is full of congratulatory posts when a potter takes a chance at selling their hard won and beloved works.....often after long considerations of 'am I good enough?', 'will people like them enough to buy?' and 'is my display good?'.....if there were no heart and a bit of 'soul' in them, and us as their fellow potters, we wouldn't care


...and if there was no buying of the pots we are so passionate about making then what's the point of being in this business (or hobby)....there are MUCH easier ways of making money


I don't understand the cynicism when just reading through almost any thread on this Forum supports the sentiments expressed in the quote.



Phil, you dropped a bomb, but what's your rationale? 


Chris, your commitment to excellence completely flies in the face of 'cute' .........and experience teaches there's certainly nothing 'quaint' about a week long anagama firing.....


My experience echos GEP in that a bit of the handmade story does make a difference to the buyer.....if not directly with a product sale at the time then with a statement like 'Oh, wow, I didn't realise what it takes to make one of these'..........which is so much a part of the handmade vs store bought conversation


Agree, I wouldn't advertise or display such a sign in my workplaces.....it's inappropriate in a 'business' context, but looking at potters websites, profiles, gallery photos and Forum posts the sentiments expressed certainly seem to be the foundational rationale of why we commit to something as complex as pottery making.



#67868 Well Said

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 15 October 2014 - 09:04 PM

A good part of the 'why is handmade better' question asked so often in our profession......



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#67534 What Do You Do To Energise Yourself In The Studio?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 09 October 2014 - 08:31 PM

A strong coffee and dance music....LOUD....can't throw then at all, but gees the clean up sure gets done at the end of the day!



#66534 Dry Glaze

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 23 September 2014 - 08:19 PM


Thank you for the link. Beautiful work. I wonder how she creates the coral reef texture.





Hi Evelyne


Yes her work is genuinely beautiful and very, very 'touchable'.....the indentations for her original work were done by throwing a cylinder, pushing out the 'belly' of the pot from the inside while standing up to reach one hand into the pot for structural support (some of the pots are quite large!)

....then slowly revolving the wheel by hand while using a finger to push hundreds of dents outwards from the inside the pot starting at the bottom and working her way up the pot walls, the current work I have not seen made but looks pinched from the outside with fingers while supporting the wall structure inside with the other hand


We all tried to emulate her work while at university but it is patient work and much harder to do than it looks!!



#65972 Have You Ever Done A Crazy Experiment Just To See What Happens?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 10 September 2014 - 08:23 PM

Oh YES!!!....drove my instructors, kiln technicians and fellow students mad at college firing all sorts of things in the kilns to 'see what happens'.......


......steel at 1280C liquifies and burns through the kiln shelves destroying everything in its path


......hay/papers/woods/leaves/seaweeds etc smoke out the kiln sheds and encourage the college neighbours to phone the fire brigade


......tin/chrome formulas made whole kiln loads turn out puce-y red affecting everyone elses work as well....not popular


......the leftover slops glaze that ran and glued everyone's work to the kiln shelf


......the crackle glaze applied over a glassy parian clay body that ripped all the work apart in cooling


....etc, etc, etc.....I spent my whole undergrad experimenting rather than producing a coherent body of work, I wanted to know what 'everything' did knowing I would not have such a fully resourced ceramics studio and college library again when I graduated so wanted to learn as much as possible,..... still experiment but far more carefully now!



#65579 Is Is Possible To Calcine Your Own Kaolin?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 03 September 2014 - 09:36 PM

Here I am eating my biscuit sorry, cookie, should that be bakie, and wondring why one would want calcined kaolin?


........because it makes an excellent facial cleansing mask!!





#63342 To Share Or Not To Share

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 27 July 2014 - 05:32 AM


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)







Ah John, you just made my day!....my vanity is soothed a little after the last weeks......


Min, Mea, ...I'm in your camp.......I believe in sharing most but not all.....and I learnt this from my son when he was 4!!


My son's little friend would come to play at our house and like a dutiful mum I told my son to share his toys, 2hours and the all contents of the toy box in backyard later his favourite toy lay in pieces, many tears and a trip to the toy store replaced the tip truck,


The next time he comes the friend wants the truck again and at first I said yes....but as I watched I noticed the little friend keeping the truck to himself and denying my increasingly stressed son access to it while ignoring all the other toys available, he wanted it because he sensed it was my son's favourite....knew I had made a mistake....


during their lunch I put away the truck, they came back to the yard asked about it and then got on with playing together with all the other toys.....after that I would always ask my son to put away any really special toy and openly share the rest and we didn't have the same competitive issue again.....


As a potter I have learnt to share almost but not all as well, I worked exceptionally hard to develop my signature work and I don't have to give it away just because someone else wants it, especially when they intend to directly compete with me,....... yet having said that I teach and give away everything else which can be quite a lot!! ........have had the  lazy, rude, selfish etc people Chris mentions many times and they're not fun at all


So for me I think it's good to share....LOTS! but not all.... at least not until I'm ready to publish it!



#62765 Inspiration?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 18 July 2014 - 11:08 PM

Am naturally inspired heaps by other ceramic artists work but also by printmakers, papermakers, painters, sculptors, textiles, Japanese sand gardens, Ikabana flower arrangements, Korean tableware, Chinese calligraphy, Art Nouveau jewellery, beaches, water, pate de verre glass, plants, micro organisms, astronomy etc, etc...............it will be a colour, a shape, an approach to an unfamiliar medium, a concept, a social issue.....the choice is honestly diverse and limitless


I try and synthesise what I see, touch or feel into my own responsive interpretation using the ceramic and mixed media materials and processes that I love and think best express my response to that inspiration.


Without a broad curiosity, study and analysis of those things that inspire me I become creatively blocked, limited and repetitive..........horrible!!



#62764 10 Cool Trends In Contemporary Ceramics

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 18 July 2014 - 10:46 PM

I have been riding along this post for several days, thinking about various viewpoints. ...what makes a trend, who defines what, the role in art criticism that provides verbal skill as a stand in for pieces being able to speak by themselves without linguistic interpretation....

Then, I thought about how many art/ceramic students I've met over time, and how I am frequently amazed by their profound lack of technical skill, and simultaneously dumbfounded by their gift of opinionated description. To date, I have met three technically skilled individuals: two trained at Alfred, the other ignored all advice until given the degree that allowed them to go make and sell pottery. These thoughts are not unique.

Today it occurred to me: this stuff does represent a trend, perhaps. People who graduate from art schools are not learning solid technical skills. They are taught how to wax on verbally about "eh" work.

I understand the place for verbal skill. After all, the art critic of Artnews needs a job. But the abstraction of "pointed, political edge" from the work highlighted in the "anti ceramic mush" section seems to prove my point of b.s. making the art have a story that a nonverbal viewer would NEVER create themselves. I realize that story sells the art, but doesn't it seem reasonable that skilled artists strive to make technically proficient art that can stand without the artist or critic explaining it for the viewer?

Thus my proposed trend: language substitutes for skill in ceramic arts?

(Water buckets ready ;o)


drmyrtle, you make me smile.......studied my undergrad at my first college that was all about skills, materials, processes, experimentation etc by local and international practicing potters, the idea of 'learn to make a 'good' pot first before you go off with all your ideas'...


did not understand how grateful I would be for the solid foundational training I was given until I went to my first post grad in a college renowned for its contemporary approach..... standing at the photocopier in the post grad room I see a PhD student copying passages of a book on contemporary Chinese ceramics, so to start a conversation, I said hello and commented on the work she was studying and asked her about what kind of ceramics she liked to make.......the look on her face!...... you''d think I had just spat on the floor!!


"I don't MAKE ceramics,'she said 'I STUDY ceramics. If you want to make ceramics then you go to a technical college.' She picks up her bits and leaves the room!   I was stunned both by her rudeness and by the concept that you could 'study'ceramics to PhD level and seemingly not MAKE/MADE any!!??   It was my first close up experience with the truly ''all icing/no cake'' defensive nonsense some conceptual artists operate by....


the kicker to this story is that the head of ceramics department was retiring the year later and she, as the only graduating PhD student that yea,r secured the job!    

She has been head of ceramics for 8 years but to this day I still don't really know what her oeuver actually is!


drmyrtle, maybe I'm conservative and old fashioned with my 'skills first 'approach, but I'm with you on your 'trend ': language substitutes for skill in many quarters of the (ceramic) arts field statement!!



#62317 Good Days, Bad Days

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 13 July 2014 - 02:15 AM

Oh goodness YES.....just climbing out of a month's slump where 'everything' was crap!!!!......forms, glaze application, experiements....all horrible.....some really horrible....some awaiting further judgement.....


.....but it all looked like crap until late last week (I hope), where I ended up with a kiln load of beautiful pale water blue glazed bowls

.....whenever I lose momentum I simplify back to basics which for me are bowls (my favourite form) and my most reliable water blue glaze.....reminds me I can be a decent potter