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Member Since 15 Feb 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:42 PM

Topics I've Started

Using Pam On A Mold And Having And Issue With Fine Cracks

26 October 2014 - 10:15 PM

Can using Pam cause your seams to crack?

I haven't really used any kind of mold for making stuff before oh and I am not talking slip casting more like a hump or slump.

I found this old green plastic bowl, atrocious color but interesting shape it's round on the bottom but square on the top. I liked the shape so got it brought it home and made a stencil shape from the sides to use as a guide to cut out my clay. I need to add texture to the surface of the clay and it needs to be shaped in a curved manner, etc so I decided to build the form around the outside of the bowl using it like a slump mold. I have heard of Pam being used to "grease" a mold so the clay won't stick to it so sprayed the outside of the bowl with Pam. I built my bowl finished the outside seams, added my texture, firmed it up a bit with my blow dryer and using a piece of drywall flipped the bowl upside down and off the "slump mold". I sprayed the inside of the mold aka plastic bowl with Pam and then carefully settled my clay bowl into it. I added coils of clay to all the seams after scoring and slipping. I smoothed out the seams and even used a pony roller to make sure they were really nicely joined. I sat the bowl aside in the mold until it shrank enough to pull away slightly from the interior edges of the bowl. I then removed it entirely from the mold to dry on its own.

The first time I had a problem with the bowl it got through the glaze firing but came out with all these fine cracks on the inside and upon examination it looks to me like the cracks follow the seams and even radiate out from them... As if where I smoothed the coils into the surrounding clay also cracked. The second time I had a problem it didn't even make it to bone dry when upon very close examination I noticed these same fine cracks appearing. The cracks are only on the interior of the bowl not on the exterior at all.

Question... Can using Pam contaminate the surrounding clay so that when joining two pieces of clay together they will not meld and blend properly and cause cracks?

I am VERY familiar with building boxes, trays with handles, embellishing pieces with other pieces of clay etc and have NEVER lost a piece to cracking until I decided to try and use a mold sprayed with Pam. oh and I didn't use a plastic sheet as I have noticed it can leave creases in the clay if pressed up against it too tightly which inside of a mold would do even more than just wrapping a box to stop the drying.

Additional details:
Little Loafers cone 6
the bone dry bowl I already tossed into reclaim
the fired bowl I could try and get some pics of but the cracks are very fine and the camera might not catch them.
Nothing else in the kiln load cracked and I let it cool all the way down
Yes I have used the glaze combination before with no issues.
No the pieces were not dropped or banged in any way, it's my private studio, and I was extremely careful.

Soooo any suggestions why the cracks are appearing when they never have before? Any suggestions on what to use to get the clay to release from the mold?


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

01 October 2014 - 05:02 PM

I was just reviewing what I sold this past Saturday at a one day festival. I took this photo just before the festival and used it as one of my images to apply to another festival. Everything in this photo sold. I don't normally use bright colors like this, orange especially but was feeling kind of "fall" and made the leaves then decided to make the bowl to display the leaves had extra clay so made the spoon rests and mini dishes, etc etc. Next thing I knew I had enough to create a grouping and titled this line of work, "Falling Brightly".

I wonder if buyers were also attracted to the fall colors and that's why everything sold from this one line of work? I sold other stuff, a lot of other stuff but this line was obliterated. This got me wondering, do you focus the colors you use on your pots to the season?


Collaborative Work

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?


Technique Question...extruder Tree... Any Suggestions?

19 July 2014 - 09:57 PM

I have this vision of a tree it's made up of tiny extruded strands of clay wrapped, twisted and warped together to make the trunk then branching out and ending with a leaf at the end of each strand. The bark is finished in red iron oxide and the leaves I am thinking Oribe.

The thinking behind the design is that our lives are made up of individual strands that wind and grow together. Each strand of our lives enable us to bloom in different ways, together yet unique.

I work in Little Loafers, electric, cone 6

Is it even possible to do something like this with clay?

How best to go about it to prevent cracks and utter destruction from happening?

I realize there will be some movement of the branches in the kiln but as a tree if they change shape somewhat that would just make it more organic looking.


Holiday Festival

30 May 2014 - 05:39 PM

Oldlady asked me to put this out here for those of you that may be interested. It's a holiday festival in Washington that she was contacted about. I pasted the info from the email she forwared to me and I also went to their website and got the link for the event. Even if you don't want to do it you have got to see the booth fees! I thought Ann Arbor was bad all those years ago but this is... yikes!


Friday, November 28 -
Tuesday, December 23
Noon- 8 pm

Downtown Washington, DC
8th & F Street, NW

DC’s Unique Seasonal Shopping Experience in the Heart of Downtown

Announcing the 2014 Downtown Holiday Market

Dear Exhibitor,

We are pleased to announce the 2014 Downtown Holiday Market exhibitor application process is now open. Celebrating its tenth year, this event boasts one of the most spectacular outdoor shopping environments in the region. This year the Downtown Holiday Market (DHM) will operate for 26 consecutive days and will have 4 weekend dates. Opening on Friday, November 28, it will run continuously through Tuesday, December 23. Hours will be from Noon to 8 p.m. each day.

The market is held in the vibrant Penn Quarter neighborhood in DowntownDC with the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture as its backdrop. The festival will again be located on the wide sidewalk on the north side of F Street, stretching from 7th to 9th Streets NW. Both ends of the market are within view of entrances to the Gallery Place Metro. Adjacent to the market are the Hotel Monaco, the Spy Museum, the Verizon Center and the bustling 7th Street Gallery Place corridor with many upscale restaurants.

DHM has experienced tremendous growth in stature, sales numbers and customer attendance. This success can be attributed to the hard work of the event producers, the variety of on-site features and the caliber of participating artists and businesses. Additionally, DHM is well promoted by media partners and a considerable PR campaign.

The event continues to be a juried, high-quality crafts and gift market featuring a diverse display from exhibitors of many types of merchandise, as well as prepared food and beverage vendors. The Market will accommodate 55 exhibitors each day. As it has done previously, the market will continue to rotate exhibitors through the event in segmented schedules, thus allowing for a rich variety of products and businesses to participate. The market will accommodate a select number of professional retail-oriented exhibitors to be set up for the entirety of the event, for an added fee. Creation of an exceptional booth design to enhance appeal as a “storefront” business will be required. Price increases also apply for participation on the second and third weeks of the event and the final weekend, traditionally the most requested set of dates, and there is an added fee for special space requests. As always, exhibitors benefit from excellent amenities: all spaces are 10x10' and sheltered under high peak tent structures with raised ground covering, walls and closable front. Electricity is provided to accommodate additional display lighting. A loading area will be available at the curbside of the Market. For added convenience, nearby off-site parking is included in the fee.
All exhibitors wishing to participate must complete an application and pay a $40 application fee. A jury will review applications, images of products, and booth display. Upon notification of acceptance, the space fee will be due.

The jury will grant awards to 7 qualifying hand made artists for 25% discount on their booth fee.

The jury will review digital images on the following criteria:
Uniqueness of Product(s)
Craftsmanship of Product(s)
Professionalism of Business
Market Appeal- The contribution to a vibrant environment of varied high-quality gifts
Display Presentation- Inviting, professional and thoughtfully arranged booth
Only pre-approved products will be allowed to be displayed. DMM reserves the right to restrict or reject any exhibitor with products deemed unsuitable. All decisions are final.

Booth rates are $200 per day during WEEK 1, $250 per day WEEK 2, $300 per day WEEK 3 and $350 per day for the FINAL 5 DAYS. Additional fees apply for premium placement requests and to participate for the entire show. Double booths are available. Half booth requests must be accompanied by a partner half booth applicant for same dates so as to complete a full booth assignment. Preference for acceptance is given for exhibitors requesting complete segments or weekends over those choosing selected and non-consecutive dates.

Includes early load-in on 11/27
7 days
Fri 11/28- Thu 12/4 $1400
WEEK 2 7 days Fri 12/05- Thu 12/11
7 days Fri 12/12- Thu 12/18 $2100
FINAL 4th WEEKEND 5 days Fri 12/19- Tue 12/23 $1750
First 3 weekends
2 days Sat 11/29 - Sun 11/30
Sat 12/6 - Sun 12/7
Sat 12/13 - Sun 12/14
25 days Fri 11/28- Tue 12/23


Applicants must complete the online application form, include 3 images representative of the products to be sold and a booth display image, and pay $40 application fee. Information and application is available at diversemarkets.net

Upon notification of acceptance, the space fee will be due. There are no refunds after November 1 or for non-attendance. A $50 fee will be applied for dishonored checks.

Application Deadline
Notifications Emailed
August 4 - 17
Acceptance & Payment Deadline
Artist Guidelines
October 1

We look forward to your submission and a very profitable holiday season!

Diverse Markets Management Team
Mike Berman, Executive Director

The Downtown Holiday Market is produced by Diverse Markets Management and the Downtown DC Business Improvement District.

To Register Online:
Diverse Markets.net

For More Information: