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Member Since 02 Dec 2010
Offline Last Active Jul 16 2015 06:49 AM

#48254 How Bring My Reclaim Back To Life

Posted by atanzey on 19 December 2013 - 07:09 PM

I've been thinking about this for a long time - a good many people mention throwing their scrap in the back yard.  Please be aware that runoff from clay, when it enters any waterway or storm drain, would be a pollutant.  Not because of toxic materials, but because of the turbidity it causes.  So, if your yard drains to any waterway without treatment (like a stormwater pond), please don't.  At certain times of the year, the turbidity impedes the development of some of the critters that keep our streams healthy.  Likewise, if it ends up in a bay, it's a bad thing.



#33549 Teaching Creativity?

Posted by atanzey on 24 April 2013 - 05:23 PM

I'm not a teacher; I'm an engineer. So I'll only offer a personal opinion. From the time I was about 10, my piano teacher tried to encourage me to improvise. Not happening. Some 40+ years later, if it's not music on the page, I can't make it up.

Same with ceramics and other arts. People around me would tell you I'm very creative. I know better. I'm a very good, very techincal copiest. I produce good products using other people's creativity. In clay, I prefer functional items, so that's my thing.

So I don't think you can really TEACH creativity. If it's there, you could probably encourage it to flourish, but how do you put thoughts in someone's head. I'd LOVE to write a book (to make my million), but I don't really have anything to say.....


#20788 French drain for studio

Posted by atanzey on 17 August 2012 - 08:13 PM

So, to the question of the french drain. One of our houses had a french drain for the washer. It was something like a 55 gallon drum with holes, set in gravel. We never knew it was there (so it worked great) until we drove the truck around the side of the house, and 'fell in'.

So, here's my recommendation on that. Let me first state that I am a civil engineer, for whatever that's worth, offering mostly uninformed advice! If your soil drains well, a french drain will be really good for this purpose. So if water stands in your yard for a day after a rain, I wouldn't go with a french drain. But if the rain always drains quickly, and you use some sort of decent clay trap (did you see the home-made one featured on the Ceramics Arts page?), a french drain would probably give you years of service. If you didn't filter the water, it would probably still last for a while, but you could figure you're going to be re-doing it.

I've been considering this option for my studio (as yet, no running water). When I do it, it will be about a 3'x3'x3' stone chamber, very coarse grade stones. The drain pipe will come in near the top, and the stones will be covered with a filter fabric, then topsoil, and under grass. If you use fine (small) gravel, it will pack too tightly and not provide storage. But I wouldn't recommend a steel drum!


#16551 slipresist recipe

Posted by atanzey on 29 April 2012 - 07:20 AM

I think we're confused by your terminology. To me, 'slip' and 'resist' don't go together. However, I assume you're looking for the 'resist' part. I use two kinds of wax. Wax resist is a water-bourne wax product that can (mostly) be washed out of brushes (but you have to be quick and through). Paraffin wax is melted, and can be brushed, splattered or dipped.

Wax resist is available commercially from ceramic supply houses, but I don't really think you could make your own. Paraffin is readily available at a grocery store (in the U.S.), or just about any source of clear or white wax would probably work. I'm currently using up a stockpile of white candles that I inherited. It's not as nice as pure paraffin, but it was free.

If you're looking for slip, you can make your own, but I don't use much prepared slip yet, so I can't offer much advice.