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Member Since 15 Feb 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:18 PM

#67066 Everything In This Photo Sold At 1 Day Festival... Why?

Posted by Pugaboo on 01 October 2014 - 09:12 PM

Babs - I use mostly different colors of hemp, but also use leather and suede. Currently I am working on perfecting my own beads to use for the closure so I can stop using commercial ones. I'm attaching a picture of some of the bracelets for those wondering and haven't been to my gallery.

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#65498 Collaborative Work

Posted by Pugaboo on 02 September 2014 - 04:48 PM

Old lady and I collaborated on a small dish and thought it would be interesting to post it on the forum. She made the dish and the relief design, bisqued it before sending it to me. I painted the design adding color and texture to the piece, then glazed with a clear glaze and fired it. It was fun working with her on this. She started the vision and I completed it, kind of a neat way of trying something new for both of us.

Have any of you ever collaborated on a piece with another potter? If so did you learn something new? Did you enjoy the experience and would you do it again?


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#65389 How Do You Select The Equipment You Want To Purchase?

Posted by Pugaboo on 30 August 2014 - 06:32 PM

For me setting up a studio and deciding which major pieces of equipment were needed was helped by my husband and my other art revenues. Before I bought any of what I have though I weighed the cost versus the gains. I researched each piece of equipment to the best of my ability if you search you can read a lot on that here on the forum.

If I got a kiln would it help make me a better potter? I could have let the studio I belong to continue to fire my work and never learn what I need to about firing work, never have control over the schedule, etc. I had power limitations, a 50 amp max so that's where I started, I have serious back issues so ended something I could reach into with shelves and ware that wasn't too big or deep. I looked at all the brands, really wanted an L&L but Olympic kilns are made a couple hours from me, the owner is friends with people in the studio, and I got to tour the plan and try out all the different sizes and styles. I have not yet had to replace anything so can't say whether I regret not getting the L&L or not but my kiln has been great for the 1 1/2 years I've own it. It's the perfect size for me I can fill fairly quickly learn, adjust and fire some more.
Next purchase was a slab roller, I looked at how much hand building I do and whether it would speed up production and give me better quality slabs. Looked at several online, used the one at the studio and ended up getting the Clay King version. I have no regrets and am really pleased with it. My husband still covets my big control wheel in it says none of his stuff has a wheel like that.
I build boxes lots of boxes in all shapes and sizes. I have also find people really like little collector boxes so looked at an extruder, would it make me better faster more efficient. The answer was yes. I bought a Scott Creek Aluminum extruder without ever having used an extruder. It's a great buy I think I chose wisely. I am looking at getting the expansion box with future revenues since I really want the hexagon box plate.
At this point I was happy with my setup then my husband announces I can't be a real potter without a wheel and he is going to get me one for Christmas last year. Told me to research it and pick the one I wanted or he would just pick one. So researched and ended up with a Bailey. I love it. I did try out several different brands at the studio and decided on the one I preferred then in research discovered I couldn't afford it but found the Baileys and they are REALLY similar and had all the features I liked plus a couple more like the claning slot that I have come to really like that the other one didn't.
I haven't even considered a pugmill so that basically completes my major equipment. Medium level stuff I am waiting to earn the money to afford are as I said the expansion box for my Scott Creek, an Airpen Pro, and a silk screen set up. I like to do surface decoration so the last 2 would make me more efficient and expand my repetroi in clay. I have just started buying the stuff to experiment with mixing my own glazes, drill mixer, 5 gal 80 mesh screen, buckets, gram scale, an a small quantity of dry chemicals.
I approached each buy from a do I really need it, can I really afford it, and taking those 2 things into account which one can I get that will do what I need. Used really wasn't an option small town, limited mobility issues made getting new the best choice for me.


#62673 Does Your Dominant Hand Dictate Form Or Are You Ambidextrous.

Posted by Pugaboo on 17 July 2014 - 09:32 PM

Shhhhh that's our secret revenge we're hoping all you righties will wander out into the woods start up your chainsaws and never return. We shall just shake our heads and say, "Well if only they had taken the time to learn with their other hand like us "normal" people." Then sadly turn away to hide the grin on our faces that we are now the majority and can finally design a decent pair of scissors, move all those attached pens at the bank to the other side, remove those awful pencil sharpeners from schools, make cars have the key on the other side, set computer mouses on the right track and never again be embarrassed when somebody says you are writing in the spiral notebook backwards!

#62644 Glaze Making Issue

Posted by Pugaboo on 17 July 2014 - 05:52 PM

You can also buy a Talisman test sieve, it's small, comes in different mesh sizes and fits inside a small plastic container from the paint aisle. You can use a rib or a brush to work it through. I bought mine for making small batches of colored slip up so I can mix the mason stain in evenly but now that I am starting to test glazes find they work for that too. I don't have a stick blender yet will have to see if I can find a cheap one but until then the sieve seems to be working.


#60625 10 Cool Trends In Contemporary Ceramics

Posted by Pugaboo on 11 June 2014 - 04:25 PM

That article just tells me I'm trying to hard. Trying to make usable items USABLE. Make items that are beautiful. Make items that show a high level of technique. Trying to get better with each piece I make.

I guess I should toss some clay on the floor and let my dogs drag it around and fire it then I too can be in a national museum.

Sorry if that sounds negative. I just tossed a bunch of items in the recycle bucket because they just weren't doing anything for me. Also have spent the day second guessing my choices to try and jury into a local higher end gallery tomorrow and the whole process has me stressed out. All this reminds me why I no longer do high end art fairs and such it's better to do small local and not have a heart attack from the stress of it all.

If anyone has work shown in the article I do not mean you lol. I hope you continue to follow your artistic muse successfully. I just recall from past nose in the air venues, questions like what is the meaning behind this particular painting. Hmmmm it's pretty? I liked the colors? The location was awesome! But no they want ehem... The juxtaposition of the many complex forms captured in mid movement convey a dream like quality of the tortured psyche. Blek artistic dribble.

I like to say I no longer do art I do craft and it's way less stressful because I can make what I like and not have to have a reason for doing so.


#58241 Can I Start With A Block Of Clay?

Posted by Pugaboo on 09 May 2014 - 08:03 AM

I vote for playing with air dry clay. You can hand build, sculpt, coil a piece then just let it sit until it dries then paint it or whatever you want to do. If you don't want to go that way look around for a local arts group, studio, art center, etc and see if you can pay them to fire your pieces but find a place to fire BEFORE buying your clay so you can get the correct clay. Most places only fire to a certain cone and you need to make sure the clay you get meets their criteria. The studio I am a member at actually requires you to buy your clay through them so they know it's the correct cone, they had an issue with someone in the past stating it was a cone 6 clay when it was low fire... Not pretty inside that kiln afterwards. Buying through them also includes glaze and firing costs. So check around and I bet you can find a place as long as you meet their criteria.


#58124 Do You Use Reflecting On Historical Work To Improve Your Own Work? How Do You...

Posted by Pugaboo on 07 May 2014 - 10:33 PM

The first coil pot I made was inspired by Roman amphora. I saw tons of them all over the place on my trips to Italy and the shape just stuck with me its pretty much perfect as far as I am concerned. I am fascinated by ancient pottery and have tons of books, gone to many galleries and watch all the archeology shows I can on tv. You watch these shows and people all seem to get super excited about gold and jewels whereas for me it always the bits and pieces of pottery they uncover. Maybe it's the puzzle lover in me but I would love to be able to reassemble a piece of pottery or sculpture that has been buried for centuries just to see if I could and what it would look like once it's reassembled. I got to watch them make pottery in Egypt and Peru where they used ancient tools to do so and it was an amazing thing to experience.


#56127 Wheels: Shimpo Vl-Lite Or Bailey St

Posted by Pugaboo on 05 April 2014 - 10:19 PM

I considered pretty much all the brands but some were too expensive like the Thomas Stuart and Brent lines. So I then made a list of what criteria I liked from each brand I was looking at and edited it down to the few that looked to have the features I wanted. I went with the Bailey because of the built in splash pan with the trimming slot and drain hole. I also really like the workstation I got for my Bailey and the leg extensions. I should state I tried out a Thomas Stuart, a Brent and a Speedball at the center and liked the Thomas Stuart the best there. It didn't have the drain hole or trimming slot which my Bailey does have though. I keep my studio really clean and the ease of clean up with the Bailey is lovely. I should state I am left handed so wanted a wheel that would spin to the left or to the right, I also have a really messed up back so the leg extensions, and even the large tray allow me to adjust my position to give me support for throwing but also not stress my back. The Bailey is built really well and I don't think I will ever have to replace anything on it in my lifetime anyhow. I also have to admit I really don't like the color of the Brent wheels, stupid I know but I just don't. My Bailey is pale gray and black. I also bought the ST-1 potters stool as well and like it.

To get a wheel that works for you make a list up of what type things are important to you. do you like a splash pan, do you hate splash pans, do you throw Eastern or Western rotation, how big do you plan to through (ever), is super quiet the most important thing to you, etc. Once you get your criteria set it becomes easier, I got my list down to the Thomas Stuart and the Bailey and went with the Bailey because it was enough less in price compared to the the Stuart to get the workstation and leg extensions for it.

I hope this helps you decide.


#55671 Underglaze Issue

Posted by Pugaboo on 28 March 2014 - 10:31 PM

I wanted to show everyone a drink carrier and tumbler set I made using Amaco Dark Blue. I am very pleased with the way it turned out especially after so many dismal or so so tests that I was not happy with. I painted the entire thing with 2 coats of Amaco LUG White underglaze then did 1 coat with Amaco LUG Dark Blue for the blue flowers and dots. I want to experiment with white slip as several have mentioned its cheaper than underglaze but white underglaze is what I had on hand. You can't see it in the picture but the inside bottom of each section is glazed with Coyotes cobalt blue glaze and it really sets off the blue flowers and dots.

I hope this gives those of you hope for Amacos dark blue LUG as you can see it CAN be a pretty blue.


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#52830 Choice - Which Kiln To Choose?

Posted by Pugaboo on 18 February 2014 - 05:26 PM

I too have an Olympic and went with it for several reasons:
1) their factory was close to me so I could go down and try out the various models to see which one would suit me best. Fit best as in I have a bad back and could I reach the bottom, compared shorter versus taller models and went with taller since I do smaller items and if larger tend to be taller not fat, think vase not tray.
2) since I could pick up the kiln myself I saved a lot on shipping
3) the group studio I am a member of has 2 of them and a lot of the potters also have small versions of them at home as well
4) it came in 3 stackable pieces with an electronic controller, set of furniture, kiln wash, vent, etc
5) price for me was what I could afford

I have fired mine about 15 times and so far I am very pleased with choosing an Olympic. Buying a kiln is a lot like buying a car you have to decide which features you absolutely must have, which would be nice and which ones you can live without or don't need. At times it can be like asking someone whether they would rather have a convertible Porsche or a convertible Volkswagen, I personally would choose the Volkswagen because they have character but a lot of people would choose the Porsche.

I went with the Olympic 1823
It goes to cone 10 but I only fire to cone 6 so should get more use out of the elements by not stressing them to the maximum temperature each time. The digital controller is a dream to use and very easy to adjust as I get better and fine tune my firing schedule
It was the largest I could easily wire into my house and yes I had an electrician wire a special outlet, independent circuit and shut off switch for the kiln. The shelves are big enough for the type items I make yet small enough not to pull my back as I bend over to place them in the kiln. It's small enough for me to fill easily without weeks and weeks of work sitting waiting to be fired. This is important because it helps me fire more frequently so I can learn what it is I am doing right, or wrong, so I can adjust and do better much more quickly.


#51496 How Many Ways Can We Think Of To Put Text On Ceramics?

Posted by Pugaboo on 01 February 2014 - 10:16 AM

I bought Justin Rothshanks DVD and it's really good it's all I needed to figure out how to do laser transfers. I don't know about cone 10 but this is what I understand and have figured out for me.

I use Little a Loafers Stoneware clay, bisque fire to ^04, use either Amaco or Coyote glazes and fire to ^6. The laser printer I have is an HP and it was only $100. The importance in your printer is it has to be ONLY black and white it can't print color at all or the ink formula is wrong. No matter what printer you buy the toner HAS to have a high iron content or it won't work. The transfer paper is about $1 a sheet, it gets cheaper the more you buy, I've only bought 25 sheets. The paper comes in a few different sizes depending on your printers capabilities. At that price I fill up every inch of the paper, having photoshop or other image editor helps a lot to control you image outcome. Keep your printer off until ready to print then turn it in and immediately print your sheet. If your printer is on and the heads are hot you run the chance of melting the paper to them... A very bad thing so don't do it. I always print my designs the day before I plan to use them, they can be printed much longer than that and stored just don't let them get wet or hot.
Using the transfers:
Make your ware, if it's really textured you transfer is going to mostly burn off so a smoother surface at least where you plan to put the transfer works best. There can be some curves and such just not a really textured surface. I bisque fire to ^04. I have found smoother less mottled appearing glazes work best though you can get some interesting looks with a mottled glaze kind of old and cruddy looking. A dark with also not work as you won't be able to see the transfer. Glaze you ware with your chosen glaze, I like Coyote White, though am looking for a satin white for non food items. I glaze fire to ^6. Once fired and cooled, of course! Get your transfers and a CLEAN, absolutely clean, tray of water, I use old darkroom trays. You don't want any clay dust or other particles floating in your water of they could make your transfer not adhere to your ware. Cut your image out of the paper, cut as close to the edge of your image as possible as sometimes the edges can remain visible otherwise. You will learn when and why to cut different images closely. Soak your transfer in the water until you can slide it around easily with your finger, do NOT remove it entirely from the paper or it will be really hard to handle. Take your prepared transfer and slide it off a bit on one side. Dampen your ware surface and slide the transfer off the paper onto the ware. You have some movability with it at this point to position the transfer. Once you have it where you want get a damp sponge and smooth it onto the surface make sure you get all the bubbles and wrinkles out anywhere there is a bubble or wrinkle will burn away in the kiln. I let my transfer dry overnight then fire it. I got lucky and my glaze soften pens enough at my bisque temp to allow the transfer to burn into the surface. You will have to play with your glaze, kiln, etc to get it the way you want. I normally just put my transfer pieces in with a load of my bisque and fire it with them and it comes out beautifully.

THATS IT! It's really amazingly easy to do and if you are like me and have a few decades of art and sketches to work with you can get some truly unique pieces adding a transferred image or design somewhere to a piece. My next step is going to be to see if I can do the transfer process then use ceramic paints to color in parts of the design and fire it onto the surface, I don't know if it will work as I have never used fired paints but I want to see what it looks like. It could be interesting but if not at least I've tried it.

If you are interested I might still have some pieces in the studio I can take a picture of. Most of what I put transfers on sold over the holidays.


#51482 How Many Ways Can We Think Of To Put Text On Ceramics?

Posted by Pugaboo on 31 January 2014 - 11:10 PM

Underglaze transfers - print your words in reverse with b&w laser printer or make copies on a b&w copy machine like the library or post office have. Color in the words with underglaze, dry, soak apply to surface. You should put a clear craze over to be sure it's food safe.

Laser transfers - these are applied after your glaze firing. You bisque, glaze, glaze fire, apply the laser transfers fire again around bisque temps. I've seen them done of food items so should be safe. You buy the special paper then print with b&w laser printer cut out soak in water apply to glazed ware let dry and fire very simple and beautiful details I've used it with pen and ink sketches. Oh after firing they look sepia colored not black which gives a really nice tone.

Stencils - print, cut, lay on ware, paint with underglaze, glaze and fire

Handwrite on with underglaze pencils - this is good and gives more of an artistic flare especially if you have nice handwriting.

That's all I can think of right now to add to your other choices.


#51192 Hobby Potter Teaching Others.

Posted by Pugaboo on 28 January 2014 - 09:40 AM

A little background.... I am a fairly new, 1 year doing clay with 12 weeks of concentrated pottery classes under my belt, potter. I have never done wheel but am taking a class now to learn. That said I have been working with, slab, coil, and pinch techniques. I keep my forms simple and then I decorate the surface, my background is as a painter. I have been painting and doing photography for over 20 years and have been making my living with those for most of that time.

What I do with the surface of my pieces nobody else in the area does. I have been asked to teach a class. At first I was no way I haven't been doing it long enough. Then over the months as other potters came to me and asked me how I did this or that technique and if I would help show them where they are going wrong with decorating one of their pieces. I came to realize I am NOT capable of teaching a pottery class that covers all the basics but I AM capable of teaching a surface design class. Once I realized that I agreed to do a class if it could be on surface design and that the criteria for class would be that the students were familiar with clay already. I can help with creating pieces I just don't feel like an expert in that area. I am not an expert in any way and those taking the class will know my credentials, or lack there of, and decide if they feel I know enough to help them on their artistic journey. I am very enthusiastic about what I do and get a kick out of helping someone and seeing the light bulb going on when they "get it".

I get asked all the time about how to do something and have to think hmm I've never done this before but if I were going to to this I would do it this way or that way. I always try to give at least 2 different ways to achieve an certain affect and explain to the questioner that I have not done this particular thing before but they could try this or that. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting them thinking outside the pottery box. When they start looking at the problem from a different angle that's all they really need to realize ohhhh I can do it like this and get the look I want! It's very satisfying to see them achieve their goals and the pride they have in their finished piece.

The teacher I studied with was a retired school teacher and he was very enthusiastic. I learned a lot from him not only in making pottery but just watching him interact with the other students. He would demonstrate then give us a chance to try it, he would keep an eye on us and gently step in and make suggestions when he would see us struggle. He never said this is how you have to do it, he always asked what are you trying to do here and then suggest a couple ways to get over the hurdle. He was really good about answering all our questions and with me he quickly realized I was there to LEARN. I wanted to know everything about what I was doing and he suggested books to further my knowledge when I asked questions that he did not know the answer to. I was that annoying student that asked WHY a lot, why do you wedge, Why do you tap the mold on the table, why do you scrape the sides of the bucket, why why why. He was great with all that and finally towards the end of my last class handed me one of his college text books to read. THAT was eye opening I spent more time looking up words and terms than reading! But I got a lot of my detailed questions answered and I learned tons. Some of the others were there just to play with clay and he interacted with them totally different than he did with me, that taught me a lot. listen to the student and then give them each what they need. I wanted to know details another student just wanted to make a cool tray for a gift and he gave us both what we needed.

If you have passion for what you do and are honest with your students and give them each what they need by not treating them all the same I think THAT makes a great teacher.

I always say this forum is my second teacher. There is so much knowledge here with all the varied members just waiting to accessed with the right question and that I think is the most invaluable resource in the world.

Sorry it got so long I am just completely obsessed with clay!


#46831 Learning How To Throw

Posted by Pugaboo on 29 November 2013 - 09:41 PM

I too have been watching Hsin-Chuen Lins you tube videos and he is really amazing. I have his videos page marked and watch them again and again. I even sit there and mimic his hand movements while watching the video to just try and get a feel for the positioning even without clay. I might have to figure out a way to have them playing on my computer where I can see them when I get to seriously working on the wheel in December when I plan to just PLAY, yes I said play, with clay on the wheel not even trying for something kiln worthy just getting a better feel for what happens when I do things in different ways. I find I learn better at times when I am not trying to actually make something but just focus on the steps and repeat them until I get them down before moving on to the next step.