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Lucille Oka

Member Since 02 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 03:46 AM
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#28994 Tell us a story about your studio. | Q.O.W. 2/5/2013

Posted by Lucille Oka on 06 February 2013 - 10:32 PM

A woman was clutching one of my pots at a craft fair and told me how much she liked it. Then she added, "Is your studio at the Torpedo Factory?" (one of the upscale galleries/artist studio spaces/lofts in town). No, I replied, I work out of my garage studio at home. She looked at me, looked at the pot, placed the pot back on a shelf, and walked out. As they say, location is everything.


No, not location, but education. Next time say,"No I have my own studio." Then give a business card.


#28798 Success - what is it?

Posted by Lucille Oka on 02 February 2013 - 05:40 PM

Success for me is envisioning a project, sketching, planning, making the project and it comes out exactly as envisioned.


#28122 Tumble stacking the bisque-electrics

Posted by Lucille Oka on 19 January 2013 - 12:12 AM

I remembered a horror story of an 'instructor', who was not, shall we say, well versed in the art of firing ceramics, he did know how to kiln wash the shelves however. He once did a stacking of ware in this manner, however he was not aware of one thing you cannot stack this way with glazed ware. He opened the kiln to find one huge paper weight. But you've got to give him credit for sharing his huge mistake which occurred in front of all of his students whose work became part of a 'true class project'.
I am going to try this stacking method tonight with three tall greenware, porcelain vessels. Now all of you brave pottery stackers better be right. If it doesn't come out right "I'm going to blame some of the people in this room and this I cannot forgive. But that aside, I swear on the souls of my grandchildren that I will not be the one to break the peace we have made here tonight".

Not really, I recently watched 'The Godfather'. I will relay the results good or bad after cool down.



#27848 pre dry

Posted by Lucille Oka on 14 January 2013 - 11:57 PM

Rebby, as a rule most potter's know that firing leather hard clay has potential disaster written all over it. But then some 'smarty pants' will come along try it and nothing adverse happens. It ruins what we know and believe to be a mistake. Once an instructor went so far as to put a freshly thrown vessel in the kiln to prove the point that ware must be bone dry before being placed in the kiln. As the class stood around waiting to see the disaster the kiln was opened and there was nothing wrong.
Now fate is fickle this we know, but what do you tell folks after that.
We know that as a rule firing damp ware isn't the best idea and when someone asks about it we will most likely say 'don't do it'. But if you want to try and be a 'smarty pants'......




#27844 How envy killed the crafts

Posted by Lucille Oka on 14 January 2013 - 10:53 PM

I got offended when my daughter-in-law to be looked at my work and said "your crafty like my mom". Her mom makes teddy bears, nothing wrong with that but I quickly informed her I didn't do crafty projects.


Denice, I don't think you should be offended. People have no idea of what to call us. Sometimes I am stumped what to say about what I do, I usually find myself having to clarify in the most simplest of terms what a potter or ceramics designer does. Often I have to say, "I work with clay. I make vases, bowls, plates things like that". It isn't the public's fault; the times have changed, our work has changed, our purposes have changed. Our clientele has changed and we have no dedicated press.


#27763 Why is some bisque fired to cone 06 and some to 04

Posted by Lucille Oka on 13 January 2013 - 06:10 AM

This is not the definitive answer by any means it is just basic. There are many books and other potters that can explain this to you much better than I. I have not made a study of quartz inversion or what else goes on in the firing. But some manufacturers andsuppliers will give you detailed info about how to fire their clays. The book ‘Clay and Glazes for the Potter’ by Daniel Rhodes updated by Robin Hopper is a good reference for this question.

Cone 04 is often times the recommended bisque firing temperature of the clay supplier; they test their products and make this determination. It is a temperature that burns off the impurities, releases all of the gases that are emitted during firing and it also makes the clay sturdier to handle during the glazing.

If you do not do this burning off, your glazes can turn out dull, muddy or interfere in other ways with the glazes. But there are potters who do once firings. I cannot tell you their results. But when I do once firing some of the under glaze colors go fugitive. Some of the other colors are not as vibrant as when I do separate bisque firing.

Some clay suppliers recommend Cone 06 for bisque because the particular clay blends are sufficiently matured at that cone. But you must also pay attention to the recommended cone temperature and rate of heat rise to achieve it.

Deciding whether or not cone 06 or cone 04 bisque is the best it is up to you. If you are doing raku, which is usually nonfunctional ceramics, I can’t really see your dilemma, unless you don’t like your results. If that is the case make a change.



#27199 Finger indentations when handbuilding.....oops

Posted by Lucille Oka on 02 January 2013 - 09:42 PM

For years I have been correcting little slubs, bumps, fingernail gouges, hits, pits and 'pot zits'. I sometimes nick or knock a pot after it is freshly made; it doesn’t happen often but there are times when no matter how careful I am there will be an "oops!" Then out comes the sponges and the ribs; wood, rubber and metal trying to ‘fix it’ and it does get ‘fixed’ and I feel better about the vessel. But for me this tenacity for achieving ‘perfection’ can just get out of hand. I will fix a mishap and in so doing I may lose that perfect roundness so I put the vessel back on the wheel. I get the roundness back, then on the way to the shelf for drying I bump into it, ‘aaahhhh!!!!’

Older, historical, and noted works are my gauges for ‘beautiful perfection’. I discovered, to my relief, they aren’t ‘perfect’ after all. They may have all sorts of ‘slubs’, warping, pinholes, crazing, structural cracks, smudged colors, fingerprints and pattern mishaps. If you take a look at early Meissen there are mishaps galore, the same with Sevres and ancient Asian porcelains. Italian and Middle Eastern makers often times misjudge the size of their quadrants and squeeze the design to make it fit.

But these wares are revered for their innovation, for their style, their usefulness, for their colors and motifs, and how suitable they will be in the rooms in which they will be placed, but not for their ‘perfection’.

To have ‘hand marks’ is a wonderful thing; it is proof of the maker. Proof that the ware was made with the passion and vision of a real live artist and that makes the ware very special and more expensive.




#26646 What would you be doing if you were not making pots? | Q.O.W. 12/18/12

Posted by Lucille Oka on 18 December 2012 - 06:22 PM

If clay did not exist, we would not exist. I wouldn't be. Very esoteric, very left bank, very Jean Paul Sartre, I know, but based upon your parameters, true.




#25904 Creative ways to get clay out of a 5gal bucket?

Posted by Lucille Oka on 02 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

Since you can lift and invert the container wear rubber gloves, turn the container on its side, on to the wedging table, dig it out with a stick or the large spoon as suggested and wedge it up. Store it in plastic bags ready for throwing.



I edited this post.



#25704 Newbie to ceramics

Posted by Lucille Oka on 28 November 2012 - 05:52 AM

The making, pouring, fettling of casts, may not be very creative but it is very technical and not very easy for beginners.
Historically, production potters by order of kings, nobles and patrons had to find ways to make matching ware. So they began casting the wares instead of throwing the pieces. And by the way there were some ceramic pieces that were so complex that only molds could be used for replication. So don't discount the casters, and decorators of molded ware. Look around casted ware is literally everywhere.



#24106 Question on making plaster of paris molds from bisque

Posted by Lucille Oka on 23 October 2012 - 04:03 PM

Scoobydoosie is absolutely right. I felt ashamed after I posted my response. I have contributed to this delinquency; and it may indeed be an infringement of a copyright. Cstovin, try to make your own bird tiles it is not hard to do and making the molds will be easier and better.




#23760 Don Reitz

Posted by Lucille Oka on 18 October 2012 - 02:08 AM

Have a Happy Birthday celebration ( I forgot to tell you on Monday). Hope you all have a great time. Tell hubby to stick to speed limit and no drinking and driving. Sparkling Cider is nice; it is the joy of the company that is the best. Really have great time.
All of the best wishes and prayers to you and your family, God bless you all.

Lucille Oka



#21842 satsuma

Posted by Lucille Oka on 06 September 2012 - 05:19 PM





#21213 Under fire issue -- please help

Posted by Lucille Oka on 23 August 2012 - 10:36 PM

Under fired ware is not ruined you just need to re-fire hotter.

Give more details about your firing-

What temperature did you want to reach?

Do you have a KilnSitter?

What cone number did you place in the Sitter?

What were the results of your witness cones?

Have you checked your elements?

Was there possibly a power outage or brown out?

Having a bit more information can get you many more answers.




#20556 india ink or what else ?

Posted by Lucille Oka on 13 August 2012 - 05:39 PM

What's your point?