thank you, John, for putting into words my feelings.
IMO all visuals for the last ??years have screamed.
paintings from the late 1800s showed life as it happened and we see city scenes of buildings, people walking, riding in carriages, the way the light changes, bucolic scenes with trees, sky, etc. restful things that were thought representative of what was around people and attractive to the viewer.
the frenetic jumble of images presented to the average person these days is astoundingly complex and not at all restful. just think of the hundreds of 10 second multi-shot commercials that go past our eyes endlessly in one day.
lots of the pots i see are similar in their lack of focus and intentional distractions. maybe i am just too old to LIKE my mind being attacked at all times in all ways.
i take a number of used bags to offer a choice of recycled or not. most people remark that they like the idea of a recycled bag and many who buy small things, do not want a bag, just put it into whatever they are carrying. my friends in fl are very happy to use new fancy bags and colored tissue paper but they are not selling to support a family, just having fun and being able to buy more clay.
lee, the video you suggest is one of the worst i have seen. the person doing the glazing is using his hand without any gloves, scraping dry glaze off into the air, and not explaining why beginners should do the inside first clearly enough. his demo is for "advanced students", whatever that means is his definition. there must be a better example for a truly new person.
i use the wd-40 liquid all the time. ketchup bottle, into a metal altoids box lined with a sponge. dip metal stamps into sponge, press into clay. close box. ketchup bottle squirt onto glass form, spread with sponge brush kept in a different closed box, rolled clay slab draped into glass form.
dirt roads, the nozzle size is important. no, you will not be able to pug clay to the exact size it was when it came out of the box. it works beautifully, i have used it for years. if your pugs are cut to the length of your slabroller width, you can slap down one of them and then slap down a second one overlapping the first so you have a wide amount to roll. your slab roller will produce the same kind of slab as you did with the fresh out of the box clay.
i am making some assumptions here, thinking you work the same way i do. i roll a large slab and cut several things from it leaving the scraps for small things. sometimes i roll the scraps thinner and sometimes i lay several scraps next to each other and roll out one larger slab. you do the same??
grype, the electric WARMING pot you are looking at will not get hot enough to melt your wax. why does the line have to be perfectly level? a factory could do that, why do you want to copy a factory?
tjr, the blurp is because you are putting the mug straight down into the hot wax. that causes a bubble of air which causes the blurp when it escapes. try to put the bottom down at a slant and circle the bottom around. (there must be a word for that, it is similar to pouring glaze out of an interior only in reverse.) that will allow the air to escape without being trapped and blurping.
i am very pleased that you noticed my favorite solution to the problem of "now, where did i put that ^&^*(&** needle?"
it is a needle that i dipped into a bottle of yellow or orange acrylic paint so i could see it wherever it went and then i taped a holster to my water bucket. the holster is the narrow end of a plastic ball point pen so the tip of the needle sticks out just a little. there is another one on the slab roller right at the place the handle goes into the roller. i have three needles and four knives. some in the plastic boxes that are screwed onto the slab roller table to hold the tiny crumbs left over from cutting a slab and two in reserve.
it was a revelation to me that i was allowed to buy more than one of a tool. seems silly now, but i find that having scissors in every room keeps me from running around looking for the only one in the house.
my problem is that i have solved problems that were not even problems before i solved them. "think out of the box" was never my problem, i never knew there was a nice, comfortable box to think inside of.
the level of the wax is raised so i do not have to worry about putting my hand deep into the hot pan. there are 3 stacks of tiles to do that. i work outside with a fan behind me and use melted candles and whatever i find.
there are potters who can dip greenware but it is not something i have ever done. i use a sprayer. i do not thin the glaze at all. just turn up the pressure so that the normal thickness of glaze is pushed out in a fine spray all over the piece. it dries immediately and can be handled right away. you have to realize that most of the things i make are flat and rarely do i throw any more. look at the things in my gallery. i love to make bowls and they are sprayed, too.
occasionally a particular glaze may have more water in it than it should. if i spray it and it drips, i know it is too thin. so i do another color and let the first one evaporate or scoop some of the water off after it settles overnight. watery glaze does not coat the pot enough and makes it too wet.
maybe a tiny experiment would help. roll a piece of your usual clay out flat about 1/4 inch thick. let it dry totally. then dip it halfway into water for only a second or so. break the wet part and notice how little of the clay is actually wet. i find that people say they cannot trim their pots because they forgot to cover them and the pots are totally dry. well, as long as you have a damp sponge (on the wet side of damp), you can trim a dry greenware pot. it just takes a few minutes longer to wet the clay enough to cut some away a little at a time. cut and wet, cut and wet, and it is done.