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Member Since 13 Feb 2013
Offline Last Active Mar 11 2015 09:08 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Finding Your Own Style...easy To Say

28 February 2015 - 12:56 PM

What is your desired goal? Do you want a cohesive body of work so you can begin doing retail shows, or consigning to shops, or seeking wholesale orders?


If having a cohesive body of work that speaks to your aesthetics and defines you as an identifiable artist is not a necessary goal at this point in your ceramic career, then exploration is vital in finding that voice (even though exploration continues to vital forever).


There are lots of great suggestions above. Here's another thing you might try: when you see a pot that really speaks to you, make a copy of it. Frequently, in that making process, you will discover the essential parts of the pot that sing for you, and you will have to explore how those features were achieved. Then you can take what you have learned from that exploration and apply the principles to your own work, whether they be about proportion, decoration, color, finishing, edges, attachments, alterations, assemblages, etc. Eventually, the collection of knowledge from all sources will help inform your own voice.


That leaves only one problem...what to do with copies? Give them away or keep them for yourself or consign them to the shard pile. Just don't present them as your original ideas.

In Topic: Scaling Up Glazing Buckets

28 February 2015 - 12:22 PM


  Thanks for the suggestions.  I did look around first.  One thought I had was the large buckets that hold feed/salt for cattle, but they are too thin and brittle.  I looked into the blue barrels, but they run about $20 each on craigslist and I am not convinced they will be very sturdy with a cut rim (that is not rolled over).  Plus, it can be difficult to get a really clean cut and this would make a plywood top not fit as well (and they are not flat on the bottom/top which makes stirring more difficult).  I even looked into various metal barrel options with no clear solution.  In the grand scheme of things, $20 for something I can trust was not a bad option, considering one will be holding about $150 in glaze.

  The chlorine buckets are an interesting lead.  I will look into this in case I decide to eppand the Glaze palate into other large-quantity glazes.




Be careful using chlorine buckets! I almost gassed myself once when taking the lid off of a newly emptied one. Not pleasant. I don't know if chlorine has any potential to affect glaze...


Another alternative for larger containers is rectangular plastic bins with lids (like Rubbermaid). You might try filling one with a like quantity of water to see how it performs before going whole hog with them for glaze.

In Topic: Favorite Online Resources For Pottery Images

28 February 2015 - 11:48 AM

http://rosenfieldcollection.com offers an amazing array of contemporary pottery. Currently over 2000 images representing almost 500 artists with only a portion of the collection documented.


The listings are not perfect (some misattributions, some mistakes in type of firing, etc.), but it's a wonderful resource.

In Topic: New Kiln Or Refit Old Kiln

30 January 2015 - 10:54 AM

In addition to how the elements look, with the kiln unplugged (or power shut off from a duck box), run your finger over the elements. The smoother they feel, the better their condition. Roughness comes with use. If they feel like coarse sandpaper and they're leaning over, bunching up, etc., it's probably more than time to replace. Good tip above about checking for corrosion in the control box.

In Topic: Venturi Vs Forced Air

30 January 2015 - 10:33 AM

I was working in a university pottery studio when they switched from two forced air pipe burners to two venturi burners. We only did cone 10 reduction glaze firings in the sprung-arch hard-firebrick downdraft gas kiln (bisques were all electric). I believe the kiln chamber was about 40-50 cubic feet. It was absolutely wonderful to no longer have to worry about power outages and back burning.  BUT our firings were long...ridiculously long...up to 24 hours versus 12-14 hours prior to the burner change. Long story short, our venturi burners were too small. Changed them out for two larger venturi burners and everything was back to normal. We did not have to add any burners. So, if you decide to make the change, be sure to cover that topic.


I fire all electric now and can tell you that my firings (slow ramp up, no down firing), whether cone 06 bisque or cone 6 glaze, run between $10-15 each.


There is a part of me that wistfully remembers gas firing....