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Member Since 29 Jul 2010
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#65916 Learning To Use Colored Slip...help

Posted by oldlady on 10 September 2014 - 08:58 AM

mermoose, your message to me mentioned my avatar. thank you for your kind words.  i have been using colored slips since 1972.  it is a very wonderful substance for decorating pottery. it is one of potters'  favorite methods and has been used for centuries all over the world. 


slip is simply very wet clay.  the kind of clay you are using to make the pot will make slip.  just keep the trimmings of your pots dry and save enough to fill a container.  add some to water.  let that container sit overnight to thicken.  you can add color to the wet clay and cover the pot or part of the pot with this wet clay and let it dry.  if you brush this slip onto your wet pot,  you have simply thickened the clay that will become the pot by a layer of additional clay that contains color. it becomes part of the pot, not something additional that might need an adjustment in chemicals.  keep it simple. 


this works so easily that there is probably no reason to add other ingredients.  if the clay you use normally is very grainy, you might choose to screen out the large grains before applying the slip.  i used to use this kind of clay but do not anymore.


since the slip is simply wet clay, the time to use it is immediately after throwing when you can see the shine of water just leaving the pot you have made.  it can be added later by dampening the pot so it is in a condition to receive the wet clay but it is much simpler to do it when the pot is in the correct condition.  putting pots inside plastic bags and keeping them damp works to preserve the correct condition until you are ready to carve later. 


there are many tools and ways to carve through the new layer of color into the underlying clay, the part you formed into the pot.  when you finish your design and let the pot dry totally, you will see that there is a difference between the clay of the pot and the colored covering you put on the outside.  a transparent or translucent glaze will allow this difference to be seen and admired.


this is a very simplified version of how to use slip, colored or not.  there are infinite possibilities for the use of slip.  one of the very best books for a newcomer to this style of work is a very old one written by Charles Counts.  it is called Pottery Workshop.  it is not perfect, some glaze recipes have errors in them but it contains basic knowledge that is of value to beginners.


if you will S T U D Y this simple book with its progression from how to throw a simple small cylinder to the final decoration of all the styles of pots shown, you will have enough knowledge to take you in any direction you want to go.


you tube is a valuable tool.  but you need a foundation of knowledge to use any tool well.  please start at the beginning, you will find it a better way to proceed.

#65728 Production Potter Rate

Posted by oldlady on 07 September 2014 - 12:02 AM

actually, it sounds like nashall only wants to know how much to pay a potter.  


in his/her area (not specified).


for making something (not specified).


:) if  it turns out that i am in that area, i will do whatever is needed for $4,000 per hour. :D

#65436 How Do You Select The Equipment You Want To Purchase?

Posted by oldlady on 31 August 2014 - 11:13 PM

psc, the lightweight slab roller fix is an easy one if you have the blue painted metal legs on the northstar.  get two  3/8 inch 3 foot long threaded rods from lowes or home depot.  get a slightly larger drill bit and drill holes so you can run the rods from the front to the back of your slab roller.  cut the 36 inch rod down so it fits through the holes and leaves an inch or less for the nuts that will hold them in place.  you do not want to have excess rod sticking out and hurting someone.  the rods form a solid support for a  thick shelf that will almost be the same size as your table top.


the good part is selecting the exact height of the rod location.  if you put it in the approximate center of the legs you will have about 12 to 15 or so inches of space on which you can put a 3/4 piece of plywood to hold kiln shelves, boxes of clay or anything else bulky and heavy.  your slab roller will no longer travel as you use it.  you could even put two shelves in that way.


sorry i cannot send you a picture of the setup i made that way.  in the stolen camera............ :(

#65264 Input On Studio Setup

Posted by oldlady on 27 August 2014 - 10:37 PM

one more thing.  recently there was a thread about notifying your insurance company about the presence of a kiln on your property..check that out, too.

#65263 Tips & Tricks

Posted by oldlady on 27 August 2014 - 10:32 PM

depends on whose it is.

#64938 Do You Donate Your Work For A Worthy Cause?

Posted by oldlady on 22 August 2014 - 11:49 PM

you all must be tired of my going on and on about the empty bowl in winchester.  the charity is a battered women (and their children) shelter.  i am so fortunate never to have experienced their problems that i happily donate to them.   it is also my way of testing things that i might like to do once but not make a part of my inventory.  our entire guild donates and we all have a great time at the event, asking people why they chose a particular thing and seeing everyone else's work makes a delightful change.  450 bowls picked up and put down and then picked up again while people decide what they cannot live without. 


and it helps that our holiday sale is about 2 weeks later.

#64936 Single Fire A Sculpture

Posted by oldlady on 22 August 2014 - 11:21 PM

very nice! :)

#64935 New Kiln Questions

Posted by oldlady on 22 August 2014 - 11:20 PM

congrats!  you will love your kiln for a loooooonnnnnnggg time.  great test tile firing rack!  you might want to enlarge the holes if you plan to hang them.  glaze will fill those holes up each time.  use the tubular thing from the pottery store, the middle size one.

#64879 Do You Have Any Big Goals For This Fall's Production?

Posted by oldlady on 21 August 2014 - 10:55 PM

sorry denice, it must be hard to work at all, i admire your courage.

#64732 How To Get Started With Old Stains, Etc

Posted by oldlady on 19 August 2014 - 03:26 PM

dani, great start for you.   there is one thing to check, that is whether there are any really toxic things in your bags.  carefully, without raising dust, check each bag for any printed or written information that might be on the bag.  once you have found the name and other details for each item, make a list of them.  it would help if you could weigh each item as you list it.  


once you have a list, post the names here so some of the real experts can tell you if there is something you may not want to touch until you have LOTS of experience.  if there is nothing on the bags, set them all aside and ask for help to dispose of the contents. 


when you have found the things you will want to keep and use, put them in tightly sealing plastic labeled containers and carefully, again so as to not raise dust, throw away those bags.  the continual opening and closing of paper bags will cause clouds of dust in your studio which could be bad for you.


i once was given the contents of a potter's studio whose family simply wanted to regain the space and knew nothing about what they had in their basement.  it was VERY hard to find a way to safely rid myself of the uranium i found in a glass jar.

#64668 Disasterous Firing, Work Looks Salt Fired

Posted by oldlady on 18 August 2014 - 10:53 AM

having so many successful firings made me careless and even though i learned this lesson years ago, i still fall for the STUPIDITY OF USING A NEW GLAZE ON LOTS OF POTS !  (well, it wasn't really a new glaze, just a new batch.)  see, i am still trying to talk myself into believing that THIS TIME IT WILL WORK RIGHT.  


just took everything out and still trying to analyse  the results.  took pictures, will ask neighbor for help posting them.  


will refiring them do any good or do i have a lot of new dog bowls?  A LOT OF THEM! :huh:



#64498 Pinch Pots

Posted by oldlady on 15 August 2014 - 01:49 PM

there is an exhibition of pottery in the Hagerstown, md art museum running til October(?).  there are a number of tiny but tall (5 to 7 inches) vase shapes that have been pinched by Joan Michaud.  the necks are at least 3 inches tall and as big around as a pencil. 


many other things in the exhibit, but these are PINCH POTS????????

#63955 What Is The Most Unconventional Item You Have Ever Used To Decorate Or Create...

Posted by oldlady on 05 August 2014 - 07:28 PM

tyler, there is a potter who comes to the St. Petersburg Mainsail show in april.  he does this to big and small pots.  he washes them with dark oxide and other things similar to mishima  but the pot is basically unglazed.  fabulously beautiful.  this year i gave him a tiny pinecone (i think) from some trees at the beach.  they make a star pattern when the end is pressed just deeply enough.  i can't wait to see what he will do with them by next april.

#63037 Glaze Stoneware Or Earthenware?

Posted by oldlady on 22 July 2014 - 05:17 PM

if this works out like the usual Murphy's law, you will have a great glaze that you want to duplicate and use all your life and will not know anything about it.   :)

#62438 Pencils To Mark Clay & Glaze Samples?

Posted by oldlady on 14 July 2014 - 06:34 PM

if you number the tests with a stylus and keep notes on what is on each test in a paper book or a computer, you will be able to make a longer note.  then when you decide to alter the test recipe in some way, you will have a place to write results and additional notes.  later, if you really want them on the test itself, write the notes in a fine point Sharpie once they are fired.  this all assumes the tests are large enough for notes.