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Member Since 07 Apr 2013
Offline Last Active Jun 19 2017 06:23 PM

#64928 Do You Donate Your Work For A Worthy Cause?

Posted by Wyndham on 22 August 2014 - 08:38 PM

Donate to local fund raising for medical issues. When the charity drives a better car than I...red flag.

Once I had  folks from a nearby city seeking donations to send their children to Australia to experience a different culture. I noticed their car was a Lexus.

Worthy charities outside the area, I'll offer 50% off. Some understand, Most don't have a clue what it takes to make a living as an artist.


#64265 How Much Testing Or Tweaking Of Glazes Do You Do?

Posted by Wyndham on 10 August 2014 - 06:16 PM

Testing is part of every firing, gas, electric, anybody I can get a piece into their firing.

My gas firing is the most active for testing because I can expect some major changes with small ingredient changes.

Test for changes in % of copper in copper reds as well as fluxes in those glazes.

With the thread on the temoku & leaf bowl discussion, I have some thoughts that I want to see where that may go.

If all I have to do was glaze mugs with the same glaze day after day, I'd go crazy......


I got the testing bug when I used to rummage through Harding Black's boxes of glaze test and notebooks full of his cryptic recipes and comments.

Toward the end of his career, I asked him about a test bowl of his that was great but not marked with any info. It was both a funny and sad moment because his memory was starting to fade.

When I asked,He said, "that's  beautiful , who made it?"

So many test, so little time.


#63586 Air Release Mold Dies

Posted by Wyndham on 30 July 2014 - 02:19 PM

I have used  a hand press  for  a home made tile air release system. The hydrocal should be fine but if you wanted a little softer die then add about 25 % plaster to the hydrocal. Hobbylobby should have some silicone rubber for the masters.

If you need another source, give Rampress a call and find out what they recommend.


#63582 Where Does Clay Stand In Fine Art

Posted by Wyndham on 30 July 2014 - 02:04 PM

Therefore I am a brain surgeon, what ever I wish to be, but does the outside world agree?



In the movie example:

Mel Gibson has a good line in the Expendables 3 movie; he is observing a painting in a gallery, in a discussion with the gallery owner as the owner's assistant looks on.  It is of an abstracted American flag. Mel's character says something like, "Look at this.  It's just some paint, brush strokes on a cheap canvas, What do you want for it."  "3 mil."  "Done."  Assistant grins ear to ear.  Could be, that ARt is what the money says it is, & everybody follows.


For a certain segment of the population, this is entirely true, which argues for my previous point that  in an affluent and segmented society, art is what that group says is art or values, morels, etc.

Thre is a very good definition  that states, "all art is regional", which could imply geographic,social,ethnic, economic, etc regions.


So is there crossover between the production region and the academic region, the studio regions, of course but there are those that try and protect their regions.


#63401 Where Does Clay Stand In Fine Art

Posted by Wyndham on 28 July 2014 - 02:45 PM

I have seen and been part of discussions about art and clay that have degenerated into mediocre slams on both sides.

I would like to open a discussion on what makes a clay pot more than the sum of it's parts. Is it an illusion that there are artist that rise above the production genre, that make pieces that even the untrained eye recognizes it's artistic merit?

With so much hype about emerging artist and the wish to leave the constraint of form and function for some new vision, where is the common sense line of design and art, or is there one?

Though I won't be able to go to this talk the information below might spark some interest and comments.




Is the production potter destined, either by choice or chance, only to live in production.

Is the university trained potter, destined to live in an academic clay circle?

Are the prices the public is willing to pay either exclude or include either group?


I hope this elicits some deeper insights into where clay, as a expressive medium ,lives in the real day to day world.


#63135 Found A New Tool

Posted by Wyndham on 23 July 2014 - 07:41 PM

Well at least for me. I have always had problems glazing berry bowls(colanders). This version of my berry bowl has no foot to hold on to while glazing. If I hold the bowl with 2 fingers on the rim and thumbs on the bottom, finger marks on the glaze is annoying.

Several days ago I found a spatula in the kitchen was coming apart so I took the handle to the studio thinking to make a trimming tool.

What I did was to grind the bent end enough to fit into the center hole of the berry bowl. The bent end(about 45 deg) created a hook that held the bowl and balanced with my other hand made the best tool yet(for me) to glaze the difficult form.

Hope the attached photo shows this well enough to possibly help others.



Attached Files

#62299 Help! Not All Elements Are Working In My Kiln.

Posted by Wyndham on 12 July 2014 - 04:36 PM

.The current in kilns can be very dangerous so get an electrician to trace the problem.You need to get someone familiar with kilns to determine where the problem is. The mfg of the kiln will have  a manual that can help trace the issue, maybe give them a call first of the week and explain what's going on.

Do you see any breaks in the elements? If not it may be a loose or shorted wire, get help finding the problem.


#62293 Getting The Perfect Gloss From Terra Sig.

Posted by Wyndham on 12 July 2014 - 03:17 PM

Just wondering if that many refinements with such small particle size could also concentrate either natural salts or alkali in the slip water, forming elementary glaze? 

Very interesting line of development, like a good mystery novel.


#61856 Factors In Determining A Successful Pottery Business

Posted by Wyndham on 06 July 2014 - 02:18 PM

I was not trying to be unkind. The fact that in a 6 month period, I have had 20+ people  inquiring about work only to fulfill paperwork requirements for different type of assistance, quite depressing.

I live in a section of NC that has high unemployment, high, high-school dropout rates and a diminishing pottery tourist market.

It really doesn't matter the deeper causes of these issues, because we have to deal with our daily reality in a very slow economy.

What this means for us is to try and keep the retail doors open for those that still come by and scramble for other markets.

Show cost have gotten very high and considering the downtime from production, wholesale is more profitable than shows.

Cost of clay, glaze, and firing have gone up, but there is a ceiling to the price we can charge for a coffee mug(universal example).

If you are not aware of the economy around you, you may make a major financial mistake in your biz plan.


#61852 Opinions On Good (Free?) Glaze Analysis Software For Mac?

Posted by Wyndham on 06 July 2014 - 01:48 PM

You might use an online glaze calc program here's one I like




Give it a try


#61826 How Durable Are Cone 06 Mugs?

Posted by Wyndham on 05 July 2014 - 03:40 PM

If it's a cone 6 body fired at 06 ,even glazed, it's water absorption likely would be high and strength low. so microwave usage would be out of the question for me.

If it's an 06 body at cone 6, hope you have some kiln wash on that shelve, I've done it and got the shelf to prove it. :)

 If on he other hand, you have a cone 6 body for a base of a sculpture and added a 06 clay body and glaze for the top, fired at cone 6, I think that might win in an abstract art competition.

Good luck,


#61806 Factors In Determining A Successful Pottery Business

Posted by Wyndham on 05 July 2014 - 09:58 AM

I think many who come out of our education system have never been schooled in "real world work ethics & economics" . Many students can't balance a check book but want a 100k/yr profession.

Ceramics is a little different than most professions, in that there are fewer limits on structure and more on creativity  and personal expression being taught.

There are  fewer hard facts and information about  ceramics being taught about what makes a technically acceptable ceramic object compared to a welding course at a tech school.

A welder taught at a tech school can get a $50-$80k/yr job as a industrial  welder and a pottery grad has yet to learn how to set up a booth at a craft fair, get a sales tax number and plan inventory.

One field has stronger guidelines and structure than the other. No one needs a coffee mug but a welders skills may have life and death consequences.

If there is no educational structure, create it for yourself and demand from yourself the quality education that other fields demand.

Math,finance,geology,history,marketing and more, are the foundations of a pottery career.

It takes years of hard work and learning and still no guarantees of monetary success, but the self discipline will be it's own reward.

Don't expect to go to the front of the line, without time and hard work, even with all that, you maybe far from the front of the line.


Why are so many beginning potters asking elementary questions on this forum, if there are well rounded courses teaching in-depth ceramics.


Something is missing, such as planning a long road trip and not filling the gas tank.

I recently had a young lady, just graduated from HS come in to ask for a job. She had no idea what was needed for a retail job. She had no training in handling money or what going on in a retail store, she just wanted a job.

When I told her I had nothing she smiled a left as if asking for a job was all she had to do, maybe before going to apply for welfare.

I may have rambled a bit, hopefully not too much


#61478 Calcined Kaolin? (Glomax)

Posted by Wyndham on 28 June 2014 - 09:51 AM

Slip glazes can crawl or pop off in the firing. Using  about half calcined

(or more)and half raw in a slip glaze recipe will help eliminate that issue.

Many slip glazes with Alberta or Albany are almost all clay.

I try not to have more than 10% raw clay in may glazes with the balance calcined clay. For me 10% will keep most ingredients in suspension and not hard pan.


#60905 Unglazed Terracotta For Cooking On Naked Flame

Posted by Wyndham on 16 June 2014 - 10:23 AM

No, the radiant heat from coals/embers is where you need to investigate. If you have a charcoal fire pit or can have access to making a small cooking fire on the ground, that would be the better way to learn from.


#60902 Unglazed Terracotta For Cooking On Naked Flame

Posted by Wyndham on 16 June 2014 - 09:57 AM

I think you have missed a point in the cooking method. They did not have a gas flame. A gas flame is a relatively short, high temp flame where as a wood and ember fire is slower to develop the flammable gas that ignites into a long slow cooking flame.

Most of the heat is derived from the hot coals which is radiant heat.

The second part is that most cooking is wet cooking, where the liquid in the pot, keeps the vessel cooler that that of a gas flame cooking.

I have even seen on a surviver show where a plastic soda bottle , filled with water was suspended over a low flame wood fire and boiled the water without burning the plastic bottle.

Stove top is out of the question, in this scenario.

Hope this gives some thought to work from.