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Member Since 07 Apr 2013
Online Last Active Today, 09:46 AM

#56802 The Dangers Of Advice Without Experience

Posted by Wyndham on 16 April 2014 - 07:08 PM

We might need to define "Shortcut" as either a better method based  on  validation and experience of a technique or a shortcut based on an  assumption.without validation.

The shortcut "leave to the expert" can be a two edged sword. My personal experience of experts on the issue of reduction methods for gas kilns leaves a wide path for many different methods and opinions , some good, some not so good.

Education comes at a cost, whether academic and/or sweat equity. It sometimes takes a long time and a lot of clay to find the shortcut.


#56609 The Dangers Of Advice Without Experience

Posted by Wyndham on 14 April 2014 - 01:50 PM

The ER would be empty if people followed your advice, gotta keep those Dr's working. BTW What's the emotocon for a sarcastic,eybrow twisting,self deluding potter?

I've been at mudslinging for 27 years and every shortcut is the longest, hardest lesson to learn



#54192 An Artist's Life (Continued)

Posted by Wyndham on 08 March 2014 - 04:40 PM

They do NEED a painting but the need to survive trumps art.

My concession to function is to make beautiful glazes that allow me the satisfaction of painting but on a different medium.

If we allow ourselves to become devoid of beauty in our lives, whether clay or canvas, we've become the drones of our own creation.

The mugs are too wet for handles so I blather on , too late to start another project, too early to close the shop for the day :).


#52625 You Know You're A Real Potter When....

Posted by Wyndham on 15 February 2014 - 12:18 PM

An artist who is a  painter does not need to weave the canvas or make the paints to be an artist. Same goes for potters and glazing.

Look at the video on the African women potters, not a lot of glazing going on. If I compared my work with these folks, I'm way behind the learning curve.


#52524 Told To Get A "real" Job

Posted by Wyndham on 14 February 2014 - 11:08 AM

Your "advisor" showed his true colors. He and many in the finacial profession look to clients as a food source. Remember they make a living from your money. He wants clients that have "Money".

Just as a visualization, make a form, a mug will worlk fine. At some point about soft leather, start carving chunck out of your mug, each repesenting your cost of living, biz cost,(what you would be paying him or her) etc. You will find the more you learn and take charge of instead of  what you pay others , the more you keep for yourself.


I've had student groups come by my studio/gallery from time to time, who are in various art/ceramic classes. They would be better served by these classes incorporating finacial issues in the class and less time spent on the "Myth" of being an artist.


When asked, I tell them the cold hard truth about making a living as an artist, most want to "get by" few want to learn. This goes for every area of making a living.

Learn from this and expect more from many different sources. Do what you love but keep your eyes wide open.

Just my thoughts on a snow covered studio day in NC


#52514 You Know You're A Real Potter When....

Posted by Wyndham on 14 February 2014 - 10:25 AM

When you're so disgusted by a glaze test that turned out so totally off that you smash it in the shard pile, THEN.......

six months later while walking to the kiln you see this GREAT shard on the ground. You race back to your notes only to discover that page is missing.

You put that shard on a shelf to remind you to let the glaze live long enough to talk to you.


To err is human but to lose a great glaze is unforgivable.


#52226 Glaze Formulas Without A Picture

Posted by Wyndham on 11 February 2014 - 04:47 PM

I see a glaze recipe is simply a starting point for me  but instead of a starting point on a line, it's the starting point in a 360 degree radius, which is fine

Recently I was short of frit 3195 for waterfall brown but saw that 3134 + some aluminia would give me a roughly the same results but it came out a bit  different and better for me. This has allowed me several variations that I also like. and I'm seeing iron blues that were not present before.

It has taken more than a few years to understand that recipes are not fired in stone.

Float blue has a nasty habit of pitting on my clay body, so instead of 2 iron.4 rutile,1 cobalt carb; 2,2,2, where the rutile is replaced by titanium and this works better for me. As for others it may be a great or not.

G200 has changed and is going to change again, so be aware and change by testing.

It's snowing here in central NC and I love it.

Later Wyndham


#52082 Substitute For Black Copper Carbonate

Posted by Wyndham on 09 February 2014 - 05:04 PM

 Black Copper carb is Likely a misquote. Black Copper oxide and oxides are usually stronger than carbonate's. Here's what I found


Glaze name: Lubbock Red Black Blue

Cone: 08-06
Firing: Raku
Surface texture: Gloss
Color: Shiny Metallic Red, Blue, Black
Date: 07/19/98

Recipe: (Percent, Batch)

Colemanite                 70.00       70.00

Ball clay                  30.00       30.00

                        --------    --------

Totals:                   100.00      100.00

Also add:

Tin oxide                   1.50        1.50

Copper carbonate            5.00        5.00


Comments: Glaze type: Raku (Reduction) Transparency: OpaqueColor: Shiny

    Metalic Red, Blue, Black and Silver Visual texture: Random colors Flow:

    Slight Date: 07/07/97 Comments: This is one of the most beautiful Raku glazes

    I've ever seen. There is a lot of metalic silver with a little gold and the reds,

    blues, and blacks mingle in with it (they are metallic too). Proper reduction in

    an airtight container is a must. I fire the piece until the glaze is shiny.

    Immediately I place it in a trash can filled with shredded newspaper and throw

    more on top after the piece is in. Then quickly secure the lid over it. Seems to

    work even better if the paper is really blazing good before the lid is put on.    The colors are random but nearly all are always present somewhere if reduced

    properly. I use a galvanized trash can with a lid that fits securely occasionally

    I'll use a sand pit with a metal bucket. *Variations: Can replace Copper Carb 5

    with Black Copper Oxide 2.5 - I have gotten the same results *How long have

    you been using this glaze? About 4 years *Where is it used? Texas Tech

    University *What do you like most about this glaze? The metallic look *Is

    this glaze reliable? Yes *How do different firing temperatures/atmospheres

    affect the glaze? We always do it the same. *How does the glaze behave on

    different clay bodies? Pretty much the same effect. Colors are brighter on white

    clays. *What consistency should the glaze be for pouring/dipping? About the

    consistency of chocolate milk. *How thickly should the glaze be applied to the

    pot? Medium. I use two quick dips. *What is your kiln type and size? We use a

    gas burning Raku kiln. It is about 24 in diameter. The base is made from a

    section of an old electric kiln. There is a hole in the side for the burner. The top lifts off and is made of a wire frame with flame blanket for the insulation. (I

    dont know if flame Blanket is the real name but it is a fiberous white material.)

    *How do you typically fire? We fire the pot till the glazes becomes shiny, then

    kill the burner, lift off the lid and place the pot in containers filled with

    shredded paper. When it ignites (instantly) we throw more paper on top and

    close the lid. We leave it in there about 15 minutes before taking it out to cool.



Hope this helps


#49879 G200 In Ohata Glaze

Posted by Wyndham on 10 January 2014 - 12:34 PM

Another area to explore is adding some fireplace ash, which has some basic fluxing materials and start to look back to the origins of this type of glaze.

I think we may have refined our glazes too much from the original early (red)clay/ash glazes and lost some of the natural spontaneous effects that simple materials can give.

It might be worthwhile to explore this area.


#49346 New Trend In Education?

Posted by Wyndham on 04 January 2014 - 11:45 AM


Someone has to make the tools, the Ipads and program in the log tables or algorithm or we'll be like the Geico commercial where the Egyptian engineer sees the pyramids were supposed to be cubes.


Here the thing, with or without  a formal educational system, people learn. It's an eternal truth about human beings, we hunger for knowledge.Our survival depends on new knowledge being acquired constantly.

The fact that the "knowledge" being acquired is not what mainstream society wants or needs only confounds the principals in education who themselves, may have political agenda's not readily seen on the surface.

The clash between political agenda's in a formal education setting and the political agenda's of "3rd world Street smart education" is as unrecognized but equally important as (and also unrecognized as) the barbarian invasion of Rome.

Teach a 9 yr old kid that he can make $1000 as a lookout for a drug dealer, why would he want to work for Micky D's

At 15 he's a dealer and at 20 he's dead but the 3rd world cartel doesn't care nor do the kids that will replace him.

Not only drugs but poverty and corrupt governments push people to migrate for a better life and the predators are waiting like the crocodiles in the river.  


So we have to recognize we are at war outside and inside. Surrender and we fall, do nothing and we fall or fight and we may possibly survive.

I don't see anyone(on either side) in Washington willing to take on the battle.

The one's on the front lines, in the school don't have the support needed to wage this kind of battle, pop guns vs bazookas

My old soapbox is getting rickety, later


#49343 G200 In Ohata Glaze

Posted by Wyndham on 04 January 2014 - 10:53 AM

you might try a line test by  boosting the bone ash to 10% cut the iron to 9% and/or subbing some of iron with Spanish red iron ox.

When and how much reduction do you do, purple sounds like reduction issue. Anyway, just a few ideas to try.



#47621 Weird Cones From Elec Firing- Update

Posted by Wyndham on 11 December 2013 - 11:47 AM

From a cold start, relays can work fine,but after some hours it may fail. Easiest and in the long run cheapest is to replay all the relays. Relays take more electrical abuse than elements and seem to fail  more often with older elements, just my experience.


#47422 Can You Sell Both Apples And Oranges In The Same Show?

Posted by Wyndham on 09 December 2013 - 11:38 AM

Both apples and oranges sell if the people want and can afford them, but I doubt you can give a gold bar away at a flea market.


#46727 Poor Instruction And The Cost

Posted by Wyndham on 27 November 2013 - 10:48 AM

Ok, here's the course of study, throwing hand grenades. If you pay attention and do as I instruct, you will not only learn to throw a hand grenade but live through this experience(army 101).


What about marathon runners, is it a commitment or a social thing?


Most potters are intensely committed to their craft and expect others that want to learn to have that commitment.

This is my livelihood, my passion and joy. If you don't understand that this is a real profession, then form a knitting circle and have a social life.

From time to time I have people come into my shop and comment to one another, "What a nice hobby", without considering what I or any potter puts in to make the simplest of forms appear effortlessly made and at a modest price.


When I teach, it's a one to one situation and I expect 100% attention and respect. Since each person who teaches, teaches differently, the  people that have done the best in learning pottery, are taught from potters that expected outstanding results from every student.


The student needs to become the clay to be formed into the potter they aspire to be. If the clay has to be wedged, why shouldn't you.

Just 2 cents and change.


#46244 Another Pricing Topic

Posted by Wyndham on 20 November 2013 - 04:08 PM

Whether consignment or gallery, understand that the shop also has cost.The cost start at rent, electricity, phone: on to employees, taxes, credit card fees(5-7% when you add all the added fees, taxes, ins, etc). These are just a few of the cost of any shop.

How about the days that no one buys, the cost still go on


This weekend we will do a pottery show and the booth fee is $550 for 2 days, Most shows are higher than this but it's close and good sales. I've got to sell $1100 or more to pay the booth and cost of goods.


I too have been burned by a bad wholesale check or by customer that claims a broken piece or one not shipped. These are not just in crafts but Walmart has the same problems, it's the cost of doing biz.

That 40-50 % is no longer the real markup. If you buy for $10 you need to sell for at least $30 or more to be close to profitable.

In the last 13 years, the value of the dollar has crashed. $350 bought an oz of gold back then, now it's around $1400, that means the dollar is worth pennies compared to the year 2000.


This is not new, everyone here knows it, it's just that hidden inflation creeps up on us and steals our profit not realizing what is really happening.