Jump to content


Member Since 01 Jun 2010
Offline Last Active Mar 13 2015 09:31 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: *gasp* Handle Sacrilege!

24 February 2015 - 01:13 PM

Steven Hill has worked out a way to pull without holding the clay to put stress on the back.  Benzine, this might be good for a laugh with the more serious students. Just make sure the clay isn't too stiff or you may have to finish up high anyway.



I think what he said about the thickness taper is where pulling handles naturally accomplishes the taper.  You can get the taper with handbuilt, it just takes more work. 


I alternate between a handle that uses a Bill Van Gilder ribbed board to texture and shape, and pulling, attaching and final pulling from the pot. 



In Topic: Trouble With Closed Lidded Forms

06 February 2015 - 11:02 AM

They may just be throwing drier than you throw, or forty years of experience gives them a leg up on this activity.  In my experience the wettest place on the pot is at the top; particularly when you are collaring in the top as lubrication is required for success.  Try using slip from your throwing to lubricate instead of water.  It is slick, stays on the surface, and doesn't wet the pot as much.


Here's what I do after I have closed up the pot. I first clean all the slurry off the outside of the pot, then make the "groove" where i want it.  I keep a heat gun next to my wheel.  When the "groove" is set in how I want it, I turn on the heat gun and direct the air to that location while the pot rotates slowly on the wheel.  It doesn't take too long to firm up that area. I will dry the rest of the pot some too, so it will be firm for my next step. Then, with the wheel turning slowly,  I carefully use my needle tool to cut into the bottom of the groove.  Patience here is important, as you want the wheel to spin several rounds as the needle tool cuts the clay and makes it release the top.  Once it has cut through, I carefully remove the top and set it aside.  I clean up the inside of the pot wall, cutting any clay from the inside without expanding the wall.  I carefully pick up the top and compare its outside diameter to the inside diameter of the pot wall to see if the fit needs to be adjusted.  I firm up the top of the pot wall with the heat gun, then turn the, now lid, upside down and set it on the wall so I can trim it, dry and clean up its interior, and adjust the fit. It takes me five minutes to do all of this, as I have 11 years experience, not 40  ;-)


The idea is that the lid will sit inside the bottom pot wall.  I use this technique in making animal figure treat jars (see example in attached picture), as well as other lidded forms.  It takes making a few before it starts to get easier. 



In Topic: Thrown Form Help

06 February 2015 - 10:27 AM

If you closely examine the turn in a the bottom, you can see from the texture that there was clay cut away and grog revealed and not smoothed over.  So the suggestion to trim to shape from rayaldridge seems to be what the maker did. 


Grype, one wonders how the maker didn't notice the kiln wash in taking a picture to display for the world to see.  I guess the maker doesn't think having a clean, smooth, foot is important.



In Topic: Wax Line For Weird Shaped Pieces?

09 January 2015 - 02:11 PM

If you have any container that your work will fit, then put a 1/4", or just under that, of water in the container. Then carefully keeping flat, set your piece in the water. The water will make an even line all around. If you let the piece soak up water for a short time, the piece will resist glaze, or make glaze easy to wipe away, leaving a nice separation. Try it out on a smaller piece to get the timing down, and see how it works for you.

In Topic: Why Porcelain?

15 December 2014 - 08:31 PM

I take a Summer course in alternative firing and really like Coleman Porcelain for work that will be soda fired.  You do have to cover it up as I find it grays out and looks dull without something on it.  There is a local group studio near Atlanta that fires Coleman Porcelain to Cone 6, electric and gas.  I never used the Coleman Porcelain for that cone, but I didn't hear any complaints when I asked about it at Cone 6.  I preferred Standard 365 for Cone 6, so that was my go to.


I do insist on porcelain with grolleg rather than the US domestic porcelain. I feel that it has a translucent, luminous, quality that domestic porcelain lacks, even at Cone 6. I have recently purchased a couple of bags of porcelain that has a New Zealand clay in it that is supposed to yield translucency at Cone 5/6, but I have not made anything with it to fire yet.  It came clear across the US from Washington State to Georgia, so it may not be a regular in my studio, although USPS fixed rate packaging kept the cost down (although the clay and boxes had been through a lot it appeared.


I did steer clear of porcelain for quite a time before I tried it, hearing and thinking it was difficult.  Once I tried it, I did not find it so, but by then I had increased my throwing skills.