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Member Since 04 Dec 2009
Offline Last Active Apr 13 2016 10:09 AM

#105182 Embed Instagram In Posts

Posted by Sherman on 13 April 2016 - 10:12 AM

Hi everyone,


YouTube provides embed links, and we allow html in posts so they happen to work just like other links, etc., with no extra "weight" on the site, since the video is fed from youtube. We're not actively trying to incorporate social media feeds, since this is really not meant to be a social media interface, and that would add far too much moderation load to our awesome moderators. If Instagram offers embed links, then it may very well work the same way, but it's not something we are able to add to the forum ourselves.


Thanks for understanding.



#81862 Searching The Forum

Posted by Sherman on 18 May 2015 - 08:50 AM

Rebekah, that's a great point. I just tested as admin and as a regular member, and it worked just fine (with the very search flowerdry mentioned)---but then I have made that mistake before and have long since forgotten it was something folks might do.



#81263 Any Way To Get An Off Topic Forum?

Posted by Sherman on 11 May 2015 - 09:55 AM



We have considered this idea very carefully, but feel it is important for this forum to maintain a focus on ceramics. An off-topic section would add moderation duties to already busy volunteers, and adding more at this stage would get quite unwieldy.

We understand that users are forming personal friendships here, which we encourage and support. There are many other places on the Internet where friends can connect and share the non-ceramics aspects of their lives, such as Facebook and Twitter. If a forum user establishes a Facebook group (or a similar online space) for this purpose, that person is welcome to announce it here—though it cannot be named after this forum or website in any way.


We have carefully considered and understand your request, and I hope you all understand the necessity to keep this forum focused on ceramics.

Sincerely, and on behalf of the mods and admins,



#73767 Community Challenge Idea

Posted by Sherman on 21 January 2015 - 12:00 PM

By all means, have a go at this. It will be exciting to see how it could work.


That said, it's really not the role of the forum admins or moderators to host such a contest. It does not fall within the mission and purpose of this forum, which is to maintain an open forum for dialog and the exchange of knowledge—etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah—there are more reasons but I'll stop there. The ONLY thing I mean by this is that we would not start, host, or run it as admins or mods. We will not prevent a user or users from proceeding with it using current forum functionality (though the forum software is really not set up to implement contests or voting in some of the ways being discussed here).


So, one thing that might work to organize the images is to ask folks to post images to their own galleries with the images titled with a specific hashtag, so that one could search the galleries for that hashtag and see all of the images together.

The other option would be to simply ask users to add images to posts within the topic for that particular challenge (keeping in mind that you cannot limit posts in a given topic to only those you want to see in there).

The polling function in a topic has an option for up to 20 answer choices, and the topic poster would need to populate those, but that means only 20 images could be considered for voting. So, it's possible someone could launch the project (start a topic), and tell people to post images using either method described above, and then open the voting through the topic polling function, but it would be limited to 20 "finalists" or 20 participants to begin with.


I suggest someone try it and see how it goes.



#55938 Can't Download My Purchase

Posted by Sherman on 02 April 2014 - 09:34 AM



Yes, we do rely on a third party to fulfill our orders (for magazines, books, and DVDs), but you are also correct that if we state something ships out at a certain time, then it should in fact do that. That is the part I am concerned about. It could very well be that a generic confirmation page and email were used, even though it was a presale. I'll look into this to see if there is anything we can do to clarify that communication. 


Thanks for the heads up---and for your understanding.



#54120 Nceca

Posted by Sherman on 07 March 2014 - 03:29 PM

Well, I'm not a student (except of life), so I can't really participate—but we'd love to tack on some magazine subscriptions to the prizes. Just send me the winners' names and addresses, and we'll get them set up.


And we'll see you in Milwaukee!



#46322 Gallery Commentary?

Posted by Sherman on 21 November 2013 - 04:36 PM

Update. We have a help ticket in with the forum software company to address this, since we've "allowed" comments on images and bypassed moderation everywhere we can find in the admin tools.


Also, we have located the place where admins can approve the comments that have been held up to this point, and are in the process of approving all of them, so those should go live soon.


Its not ideal, but will at least get the comments posted, and the forum software folks might learn something.



#44940 Change In Leadership At Paragon Industries

Posted by Sherman on 31 October 2013 - 01:30 PM

Responsible, conscientious leadership transitions are not always possible. It's really gratifying to see it happen at Paragon.


All the best,


#44328 How To Keep Cas At Show/sale

Posted by Sherman on 17 October 2013 - 03:52 PM

Yep, we're looking into this now to see if one or both accounts were hacked, and if so how to prevent it.


In the meantime---CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD. This is the first and easiest thing to do (if you can get into your own account). Send me a PM with your email from any account you happen to be logged into, and I can change your password and send the new one to you directly via email.


Note that this is very different from the malware redirect issue we were having, so it should only be a new-forum-update issue that the software company should be able to help us with---and it seems to be about posting spam.


PotterGrl, sorry about the thread hijack---seemed easier to respond here than move to a new topic.



#44106 Anybody Else Use The Daily Clay App On Their Ipad?

Posted by Sherman on 13 October 2013 - 03:48 PM



This issue has been addressed now, and the app should be functioning properly (in time to not have lost access to any but the one offending image (there was an issue with it playing will with the app that was not apparent during the preparation and loading into the database, but once the image cleared, the rest of the images for the week showed up just fine.

Sorry for the glitch. Hey, one in six-hundred-and-some ain't bad...



#34725 Two different worlds out there.

Posted by Sherman on 13 May 2013 - 09:21 AM

I was hoping a good discussion like this would result from that article. It's not as easy a topic as many of us sometimes assume. As several have stated already, in very eloquent terms, things often look different from the inside of a practice than from the outside. The article on Scott Cooper originated from a discussion I had with him about a blog post he wrote on the topic of difficult choices he had made in his career (primarily the choice to "kill the dream"). His perspective encapsulated what I have been seeing in the course of publishing articles about folks in this field for about a dozen years now: that most people seriously working in clay are not able to, or have chosen not to, exclusively pursue making pots as a livelihood. I've also seen that the idea that this is somehow a failure of fortitude has waned. In it's place, there is (appropriately) the understanding that people build their lives and livelihoods in ways that make sense to them personally, that fit their family obligations and lifestyle preferences. And of course, it resonated with me personally.

I remember having a discussion with my brother once (he's younger, but wiser, than me) a few years after setting up my studio after college and trying to make a go of pottery as a profession, and I was lamenting how much work it was, and all of the potential hazards and difficulties involved (I probably just had a very bad firing). He asked me the very simple question, "Why do you want to do this?" I was honestly stumped for several moments, which surprised me. I had been so focused on making this happen that I never bothered to revisit my original motivation for pursuing ceramics in the first place, which was a love of the material and the satisfaction of making things by hand—a good deal of which I had lost in the course of being in business in just a few short years. Not long after that, I realized that, while I may be interested in making pots and selling them, I was not going to do well if I was the one in charge of running the business as well. My decision to stop trying to make a living at it wasn't a pottery decision, it was a business decision.

So I find the part of this discussion that has to do with our own personal assumptions and fantasies about what it might mean to turn our passion into a profession very interesting. I suppose what I think about Claypple's original question is that there are about as many types of potters as there are people pursuing that dream. That's overly simplistic, of course, and perhaps an easy way out of answering the question, but I hesitate to claim one camp or the other. I've been making pots for a lot of years, and when I'm in my studio I feel confident and assured like a production potter might. I don't really lose pots anymore, and I can be as efficient or as inefficient as I choose with my studio time. So, in this respect, I feel I have professional skills. But when I look from the outside (on paper, so to speak) it is clear that I am a hobby potter. I don't sell work (I make gifts), I don't spend much time (a few evenings a month) in the studio. So I guess I'm both—and I would guess that many of us are some mixture of both.

Thanks for posting, Claypple. And thanks to everyone for thoughtful responses.


#8436 What is this?

Posted by Sherman on 04 September 2011 - 09:45 AM

Hmmm...interesting well I didn't say it wasn't an 'open book' quiz. I noticed a few said they 'knew' but they didn't say. Were those trick answers??

Hint #3 some of these vessels were made with three or more handles, why?

Here is another vessel of the same style,
from the Netherlands.

I think, since the posset was thought to be (and perhaps actually was) a remedy for many ailments, this would have been often used to administer to the infirm, or children. So one handle on each side for steady handling, and a third handle on the back side for the caregiver/parent.

This is from my recollection of similar pots seen during ceramic history class, so it's the old-fashioned kind of searching (that of the human memory). I suppose you can consider it a wild educated guess...

#8421 What is this?

Posted by Sherman on 03 September 2011 - 01:51 PM

What is this and what was it used for?

I feel a bit guilty in answering this question---so I won't---but I'll tell you how I know the answer: Google images. Anyone who is interested, take a screenshot of the pot, go to Google, select "images" from the search options, and drag/drop the screenshot into the search box. It works like magic---such a cool function. I encourage everyone to check it out.

Lucille, I hope you don't think I'm a spoiler for this---I really think it's an amazing research tool.

Be good.


#916 How To Post Events

Posted by Sherman on 01 June 2010 - 11:11 AM

This forum is for clay events only; non-clay events will be removed.

Enter the location, then date, then and topic/focus of your event in the "Topic Title" field. People need to know these three things right out of the gate.

Any other explanation, including specifics and links to more information, should go in the body of the post.


#17 Plaster Mold Of Wooden Object

Posted by Sherman on 22 March 2010 - 03:04 PM

Molds are like magic, and like magic, they can be mysterious. One CAD subscriber wrote in with a questions that is typical of folks just getting into making molds:
"I was wondering how I would go about making a plaster mold for a clay form if I wanted to use a ready made wood molding? How would I prevent the wood from sticking in the plaster? Would I need to use a pliable substance instead of the plaster whereby being able to pull out the clay once formed? Thank you for your help."---Janet Gattsek

Your mind is guiding you in the right direction: You need to keep plaster from sticking to the item you are making the mold from by using a release agent. You also need to avoid undercuts so that the mold can release from the clay when the plaster mold is in use.

If only a pliable casting media will make it possible to get the cast separated from the mold, then it is not a mold that will work for ceramics. Place the item you want to cast on a flat surface and look straight down on it. Run a finger or tool against all of the now vertical surfaces of the item, starting at the table surface up the side toward you, ending at the top. Do this for every surface. If at any point the tip of your finger or tool disappears behind part of the form, then it will not release from a one-piece mold---that point will "lock" the form in the mold. You will need to cast several parts to the mold, so that each will release cleanly at different angles, designed around these undercuts.

A good basic mold release is a 70/30 dish soap (or Murphy's Oil Soap) and water mixture. You'll want to brush it on your model and mold forms, being carful not to raise suds, and let it dry before casting the plaster. Usually one good coat will do it---you don't want to use too much, because it can then "melt" into the plaster when the plaster is curing.
Porous surfaces need to be sealed. If the wooden item you are talking about is not already sealed somehow (with some sort of varnish, paint, or polyurethane), then you will likely want to do that and let it cure before using it to make a mold---and you still need to use the mold release.
Wet clay does not need to be sealed, because it does not stick to plaster, but almost everything else does.

If you want to make your wooden form as it is, just made of clay, then the plaster cast will need t be taken from the form itself. If, on the other hand, you want to make a negative, then you can press clay onto the wooden form itself and you're done! The wood (if not sealed) will absorb some of the water from the clay and release it. You could also bisque fire the clay impression of this wooden object and use that as a mold. It acts very similar to plaster in that it will absorb water from wet clay pressed against it and will release it. The detail is often not quite as fine, and you have to take the shrinkage of the clay into account, but it can be a good alternative to plaster.

Hope this helps!

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