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Member Since 29 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:48 PM

#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.

#62108 Does Your Dominant Hand Dictate Form Or Are You Ambidextrous.

Posted by oldlady on 09 July 2014 - 12:53 PM

you have used the propaganda yourself, pug, your special minority group does not need special "rights", you need special "LEFTS". -_-

#62107 Bad Habits You Would Like To Break.

Posted by oldlady on 09 July 2014 - 12:32 PM

my studio is clean.  that is the problem. I spend time keeping it clean.  now I have to make a mess of some area or other.  as I said once, I am a Pro-crastinator, not and amateur-crastinator.


I did once rent space in a studio that was so dusty that anyone walking in created a cloud.  I did not go back after the first month.

#61935 Inspiration?

Posted by oldlady on 07 July 2014 - 06:15 PM

judith, thank you for www.potter.cm.  there are some really beautiful things on that site.  i cannot believe some of the delicate tracery in the porcelain work.  i am inspired.  i have to get over the unimaginative critic who is still in my mind from years ago.  i asked an "instructor" if she thought my dripping colored porcelain slip into a plaster cone mold would result in a delicate form (i could imagine) and she said "no".  so i didn't.  


i will now!

#61438 Building a tandoor - what type of clay to use and...

Posted by oldlady on 26 June 2014 - 09:13 PM

indigav, you are correct about ice cream cones and they are completely different from firing cones.   I can try to explain firing cones to you and Mart. 


ceramic  materials are hardened from dry clay to something you are familiar with like a dish or bowl, by heat.  the process is called firing, not baking or cooking, firing is the correct term.


clay is so varied in its character that it can be fired at many differing temperatures depending on its content.  in times past the only way to tell if it was finished was to pull rings made of the same clay out of the hot firing to look at them.  several were used in each firing until the potter was satisfied that the pots were finished. this was a judgment made by an expert based on experience. 


to standardize the process, something was needed that would be consistent no matter who was firing the clay. the hardness of  various clays was tested and their ideal melting temperatures were then known. temperature is not the only factor in hardening clay into a ceramic item, the amount of time it is heated is also important.


so, combinations of known clays blended together in the correct proportions are used so a pot can get to its ideal finishing point in the firing and not be heated to the point where the clay melts into a useless puddle. these blended clays are shaped like tiny solid triangular ice cream cones, and were invented to tell when a particular temperature was reached after a sufficient amount of time had passed.  these cones were assigned numbers to identify the proper time and temperature for a particular clay, so a potter would know that the clay item had been sufficiently hardened to be used for whatever purpose the item was made.


that is why we in the US refer to a clay as a "cone 6 stoneware or a cone 10 porcelain or stoneware" or whatever cone is the correct finishing point for the hardening of the pot. 


many of us use electric kilns which have a method of holding the cone in a position that allows the electricity to turn off automatically when the cone bends.  if you look at the Norm Stuart post above, you will see a drawing of 3 of these cones in a holder at the bottom of the post.  these cones have melted in a firing and show that the correct temperature and time have been reached.  three cones are used so the potter knows that the first (guide) cone, which has totally melted over the end of the holder and the actual (firing) cone the potter wants to reach have melted properly in this firing.  the upright (guard)cone at the opposite end of the holder has not melted so the heat has been just right and not so hot as to melt this higher temperature cone.


I am sure you could read a better description of how to use cones at the website for the ORTON brand cones which we use here.  SEGER cones are European.

I submit this information in an attempt to explain what must be totally confusing to someone unfamiliar with making pottery and hope my simplification is not insulting to others.

#61389 How Did You Choose Your Glaze Pallet?

Posted by oldlady on 25 June 2014 - 10:05 PM

at some point, the buckets will tell you.  the ones that are pushed aside as you work will gradually fade into the back of the line of buckets.  when you realize that you need to make more of something, you will see that it has become a favorite.


anyone want some Randy's Red, Amber or Midnight Blue?

#61120 Why Is Our Work Better Than Imported Work?

Posted by oldlady on 18 June 2014 - 05:16 PM

Nicole, you live in a perfect place to get a good critique.  there is a local potters guild you can join.  talk to employees at the gallery downtown whose name escapes me right now but I remember "Mother Goose".   (I think)  Portland is one of those places where if you twirl around and throw a rock it will probably hit a potter.  most potters are very happy to help a new person. (I am now going to look up that gallery)


Found it, the Real Mother Goose, Portland.

#60851 Why It Goes Off Center?

Posted by oldlady on 15 June 2014 - 04:37 PM

release pressure when you get to the neck but keep your hands on the pot all the way to the top so you stabilize it.  never take your hands away part way up.  touch it as lightly as a butterfly would touch you.

#60630 Inspirations From Travel

Posted by oldlady on 11 June 2014 - 04:56 PM

thank you Irene.  checked out your website again.  still enthralled by your selection of delicate pieces juxtaposed with the rocky looking bases.  art.................

#60621 Kiln Disclosure

Posted by oldlady on 11 June 2014 - 03:42 PM

my smoke detector lets me know that dinner is ready.

#60532 What Would Your Ideal Workshop Be? Topic , Teacher, Location?

Posted by oldlady on 10 June 2014 - 07:39 PM

I was just empathizing with the lack of joy that Joy finds in her studio.  I still want 2 weeks with Ellen Curran in her Oregon studio.

#60526 The Day Between Firing And Opening

Posted by oldlady on 10 June 2014 - 07:16 PM



the temp is down to just over 300 degrees F.  I cracked it open (wearing heavy gloves) to look at the top shelf.  BEAUTIFUL RED !!

GORGEOUS COPPER PENNY OVER BLACK!  closed it within one minute of opening it. 


am now grinning and smiling and very happy!  those were the tests, if I can get pictures to work I will show you and if I can get permission to share the recipes, I will give them.


think crocus martis, think mason Lobster stain, think $$$$$$$ and then $$$$$$$$$$$$ shipping charges.

#60525 Super Amateur Needs Help With Porosity

Posted by oldlady on 10 June 2014 - 07:07 PM

a bucket is too small, try a Rubbermaid 30 gallon trash can.

#60470 The Day Between Firing And Opening

Posted by oldlady on 10 June 2014 - 01:02 PM

yesterday was the final of 3 days of glazing.  it was so great to turn on that kiln and sink into a chair.


today is the hard part, I cannot open the kiln until tomorrow morning.  there are 3 new glazes and several tests in there. 


what do you do on this waiting day to keep yourself from going crazy? 



#60469 Garlic Plates

Posted by oldlady on 10 June 2014 - 12:58 PM

difference between plate and dish isnot having to type five letters instead of four.