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Member Since 02 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Jan 23 2015 10:00 PM

Topics I've Started

(Un)Happy Accidents

22 January 2015 - 07:42 PM

I recently made a bowl and spent some time on it: squared, rolled and stamped the rim.  After breaking the rim twice, I finally just took it off and bisque fired a plain bowl.  A bit funky and uneven since I had messed around with it so much.  Then, the glaze tongs broke off a piece of the rim, so I broke off a piece from the other 3 sides so they would match, and sanded the edges a bit.  At this point I'm thinking, glaze tester, I can just use it at home.  (I actually don't have much of my own stuff at home.)  Then, someone walked by, looked at the pot and commented, "Oh, that's nice."


Ka-ching. (Sound of cash register).  I'll let you guys know if it sells.

Adventures Of A New Wheel Teacher

26 December 2014 - 10:49 AM

So, I have my first beginners wheel thrown pottery class for adults under my belt and it was a satisfying and wonderful experience. I'd like to share with you a tale of two students, neither of which had any clay experience.  One centered almost immediately and the rest of us watched in amazement.(student A)  One still couldn't even get close to centering after 3, three hour classes. (Student B ).

I started them out with cylinders. Student A just wanted to make bowls since they were easier, so I let her do her thing.  Student B continued to struggle with the basics and told me she came in during the week to practice.  Poor thing, she just seemed so hopeless.

At the last class, (6 Sat. mornings), student A had a bunch of failed bowls, and student B managed to produce a single, well formed, low cylinder for which the entire class stood up and clapped.  JOY!!!!

I must admit to a bit of guilt for not pushing A harder, but she seems happy, and I do advertise the class in the catalog as fun and relaxing....

Is There A Way To Distinguish Low-Fire From High-Fire Clay Piece?

30 November 2014 - 10:48 PM

This didn't happen to me, but got me to thinking and looking for an answer.  A potter friend found an old piece she made a long time ago and bisque fired but never glazed.  Now shes not sure if it's low fire or high fire.  I can't imagine a way to figure this out but thought I'd ask if anyone out there knows.  At any rate, it would be okay to apply low fire glazes and fire appropriately, correct?

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

13 February 2014 - 06:14 PM

I got this idea from Marks pictures of his very nice, minimally bloated mugs that he tossed in the trash.  I was thinking that mine would have been used as tool or pencil holders, or whatever.  He's been doing this so long he is overflowing no doubt with vessels used to hold just about anything.

I'm just not there yet.  Are you?

Hobby Potter Teaching Others.

25 January 2014 - 04:21 PM

I would really appreciate some honest opinions from this group.


First, I need to give you some background about myself.   In the 80's I had a year of community college ceramics and spent about 2 years potting on my own.  About 5 yrs ago, I rediscovered clay and began to take continuous (wheel) lessons up until about 1 yr ago w/ 1 teacher at a small community based art center. This instructor was very rigid, not a very good teacher, and not a professional potter.   I augmented this training with some classes at a larger, more urban art center with excellent teachers and have done some 2 - 3 day workshops, and a week at John Campbell.  I bought my own wheel, and have a kiln although these have had limited use since I need to set up a studio. I consider myself a fairly good hobby potter with lots yet to learn.   I am not a teacher and have no formal art training other than my pottery.  I do have a fair amount of teaching experience, and have been told throughout my life that I am a natural teacher.


There is a fairly new small non-profit art center in the area that has been trying to set up a clay program.  I have stepped up and agreed to partially fund the start up and basically volunteer my services (gas money only) as a beginning wheel teacher.  I'd just like there to be an inexpensive place for people to enjoy themselves and play with clay.  If they discover they like working with clay, then they should go elsewhere to continue training with a "real" potter/teacher, which will be farther to drive and more expensive.


I recently had a potter friend tell me that I am doing these (potential) students a disservice because I don't really know how to throw since I had poor instruction from the beginning, and will pass on "bad habits".


I haven't figured out how to put images in my gallery so I've attached some examples of my work.



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