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Member Since 28 Jun 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 09:03 PM

#89532 Designation--"Master Potter"

Posted by bciskepottery on 24 July 2015 - 09:20 PM

Obviously, we need Congress to enact the "No Potter Left Behind Act".

#89317 Going Price Of Mugs

Posted by bciskepottery on 22 July 2015 - 12:20 PM

Another aspect to pricing is venue . . . where you are selling and who is attending and buying. People shopping in a gallery are not put off by gallery prices; it is something they expect (along with gallery quality wares). People attending a street fair or community art and craft show are not looking to lay down $500 for a Judy Duff or John Baymore tea bowl -- nor would Judy and John bother to bring such wares to that type of event. I do events where there is no need to bother packing higher end/higher cost items as I will only bring them home at the end of the day; other events, I know I can sell those items at that location.

#89013 Potters.org And Other Sources?

Posted by bciskepottery on 16 July 2015 - 01:48 PM

ClayArt is still active; here is a link for signing up:  http://lists.clayart...istinfo/clayart


ClayArt was actually a predecessor to this forum and supported by ACERs. ClayArt was a listserv forum.  Some liked staying in that mode; others wanted more of a blog approach (aka, CAD).  When ACERs went the route of blog/CAD, ClayArt migrated to new servers -- actually, it is hosted by Paragon kilns. 

#88780 Sand With Cone 06

Posted by bciskepottery on 12 July 2015 - 04:06 PM

You might also consider grog in place of sand -- grog comes in various types, coarse, medium, fine . . . which could give you a more interesting finish.  Another option is to start with a groggy clay body (one with a high percentage of grog, kyenite, or molochite); after the items are bone dry, take a damp sponge and gently wash the surfaces to remove the fine clay particles and leaving the groggier/sandpaper texture. 

#88777 Designation--"Master Potter"

Posted by bciskepottery on 12 July 2015 - 02:58 PM

So, why am I now thinking of a new side-line -- a take-off of the diploma mills:  for the mere fee of $150, I will confer upon you a certificate that recognizes you as a Master Potter.  Just send me a check, three photos of your work (so my staff of highly qualified pottery experts/minions can jury them), and I will send you your certificate, suitable for framing.  And, for only an additional $25, I will include a laminated wallet-size version of your Master of Pottery certificate so you can walk into any gallery on the street and show off your specialness.  But, act now -- this is a limited time offer only. 


Just wondering how long this Master Potter stewed before summoning the courage to travel to your studio. 


Recognition as a Master potter is a respect that is conferred by your peer's (not the media or event sponsors). 

#88732 Any Flashers Out There?

Posted by bciskepottery on 11 July 2015 - 02:14 PM

Dick and Jed, Thanks much.


Re: Paul Soldner -- think he graduated from flashing to just plain "clothing optional". 

#88547 Fair Price For Used Kiln

Posted by bciskepottery on 08 July 2015 - 02:32 PM

Definitely recommend getting a kiln.  It is just not a matter of time to get things fired at the community studio, but you'll have more control over all aspects -- doing holds, slow cooling, etc.  Just remember, it will take a fair amount of wares to fill -- what is the capacity?  Are you comfortable making enough wares to fill it and fire it? 


Also think about adding a vent kit.  Is the brick 3" or 2 1/2"? 

#88433 Quality Of Work Sold?

Posted by bciskepottery on 06 July 2015 - 09:38 PM

Just a couple random thoughts . . . a few years back I was looking through the pottery at a Sugar Loaf event (juried entries/high cost booth fees). Was surprised at how many pieces had bits of kiln wash stuck to the pot feet. Talk about detracting from the wares. Just no excuse for that lack of workmanship.

Sometimes, I think we potters are even more critical of flaws than the general buying public. Mostly, that is a good thing. I've tossed many pots my wife thought were okay to sell. I keep reminding her, it is my name on the bottom, not yours. I am not comfortable selling crazed wares, especially if it is intended for food use.

This summer, while visiting New Mexico, stopped by the Taos Pottery to find something to take home with me. After much looking, I found a teapot that begged to be taken home. The potter had several available and it was a tough choice. While wrapping up the teapot, the potter working the gallery asked why I had picked that particular teapot. I told her it had a glaze flaw that made it unique. A potter's teapot.

And a quote from Picasso -- Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. At times I think we have too many potters working that backwards; they want to break the rules before the learn them.

#88426 Looking For Honey Colored Slipware Galze Cone 6

Posted by bciskepottery on 06 July 2015 - 08:48 PM


thank you, for this glaze I add 3% red iron oxide and 0.5% manganese dioxide with some red clay body and it gives a lovely deep honey colour. Give it a try on a small batch and see what you think, happy experimenting :-)




So, is that for 100 grams, 1000 grams, 4000 grams or 8000 grams of red clay body?  Experiment, indeed. 

#88385 Large Flat Pieces Cracking During Glaze Firing

Posted by bciskepottery on 06 July 2015 - 10:19 AM

I would likely go with adhering post firing; that way, if one layer does crack, you can choose to either use it or discard it.  And, until you get the cracking figured out, I'd play it safe . . . especially since the layers are all flat.  Stacking in the glaze firing will add  weight and bulk to the items and that can affect cooling. 

#88379 Large Flat Pieces Cracking During Glaze Firing

Posted by bciskepottery on 06 July 2015 - 09:39 AM

It is not the kiln. These are stress fractures -- could be the result of uneven heating/cooling or the forms getting snagged on an uneven kiln shelf surface during expansion/contraction during firing. They can also result from construction of the ware.

Getting them up off the kiln shelf -- using sand, grog, cookies, coils, slats, etc. -- is a good step. That will give the form a floating surface for the expansion/contraction that occurs during firing and more even cooling. Should this happen again, notice if the cracks are starting from the edge closest to the elements or to the center of the shelf. When you have a firing issue like cracks, take a second and photograph the shelf before unloading so you can figure out what happened. How densely is the kiln loaded? Are the shelves close to each other or do you have some spacing for air circulation -- the shelf above will also heat the items below. And, are there rough spots on your kiln shelves where a flat item could get snagged as it expands/contracts during firing?

And, as Benzine suggested, work on reducing/smoothening sharp notches . . . a place where most cracks start because folks tend to overlap their cuts and the deep part of the notch is not a strong. A good method is to use a needle tool or nail to make a hold at the point where the cuts join, then use your fettling knife or x-acto knife to cut to the hole. The round of the hole will make that a stronger notch.

#88161 Qotw: Would You Fire Your (Smaller) Work In A Trash Bin Kiln?

Posted by bciskepottery on 02 July 2015 - 12:06 PM

Link to photos of kiln building:


Link to his website:


#87963 Changes In Glaze And Clay Over The Last 30 Years

Posted by bciskepottery on 29 June 2015 - 05:15 AM

Here are links to technical info from two sites, Baltimore Clayworks and Highwater Clays, that discuss some of the recent changes . . . Other sites may have similar info.





#87949 Recipes From Britt's Mid Range Glazes In .xml Format.

Posted by bciskepottery on 28 June 2015 - 08:36 PM

Sounds like a terrific summer job opportunity for a neighborhood junior or senior high school student. "Look, Mom. He's paying me to work on the computer!"

#87541 Pug Mills :)

Posted by bciskepottery on 20 June 2015 - 06:33 PM

Probably a couple ways to look at this for your situation.

If you are only thinking of only recovering clay, then you would need to recover an equivalent of about 174 boxes (50 lbs each) to hit break even. That is assuming you buy at a bulk rate of about 30 cents per pound for mid-range stoneware. To recoup $2,615, you'd need to recover about 8,700 lbs of clay. In that sense, clay is cheap and that is a lot of reclaim. Add to that your cost of labor for time spent reclaiming.

For your work (high volume production), where it might become more interesting is the potential of using the pug as an extruder -- notice the special deal for the tile extruder die. If you can reclaim and pug to a form that does not require re-rolling on the slab roller, you are saving labor and possibly increasing productivity. Not sure how many $$$ of product you aim to get from a box of clay; but look at the 174 boxes of reclaim clay not as clay, but as items made. Let's say your goal is $500 of gross sales from a box of clay; recovering 174 boxes equates to about $87,000 in sales -- sales you are missing now because it is potential scrap being tossed. Against the sale potential, the investment looks rather affordable -- especially if your are doing production volumes. In that sense, the addition of a pug to not only recover clay but also produce product can make this more interesting to your operations. And, if you make lots of flatware, you could have custom dies made to suit your product line, thereby growing productivity.

Disclaimer -- I was really bad in economics. So, I apologize for any faults in logic.