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Member Since 02 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Apr 22 2015 07:12 PM

Topics I've Started

Peas And 6 Story Buildings. Thank You, Pete Pinnell, Flocculation Finally Makes Sense.

21 April 2015 - 12:27 PM

Just read the short article "adjusting glazes" by Pete Pinnell which someone recently was kind enough to provide a link.  WOW!  I can finally picture flocculation which previously was totally counterintuitive to me.  A while back, I think it was on this forum when someone with a background in wastewater treatment gave the tip to add a flocculant to your throwing water so the water would clarify, inessence so the clay would separate out.  Now that made total sense to me.  Everybody else, of course was crying "foul!".  Flocculation prevents settling!!!!  It almost came to blows and eventually the opponents agreed to disagree.

OK, so now I can picture the little flocs of clay particles joining forces and in their strength in numbers, holding up the floating boulders the size of six story buildings...the non-clay portion of the glazes.

And it's easy to see that flocculation for waste water treatment makes sense because there are no boulders, just a lot of organic material that flocs together, gets heavy, and separates out.  But that was always easy for me to see.


Definately a journey.

I'll Never Be A Real Potter.

23 March 2015 - 08:53 AM

I have reached an important decision in my clay life that I want to share with my forum friends.  I love my journey in clay and want to always be moving forward, improving and learning.  I have always assumed that since I want to be a good potter I would eventually need to start mixing my own glazes, but have been putting off that step. I have been dreading all that glaze mixing entails and I know you all know what I mean by that.

Last week I realized that clay is something I do because I want to do it, not because I have to, and mixing glazes because I feel I have to will take too much of the joy away for me.  So I'm not going to do it.  Why should I, when OTHER PEOPLE have done it for me, and very well at that.  I am happy with the commercial glazes I use and am always trying out new ones and new combinations and techniques.  I teach a few beginners classes and sell a few pots at a gallery and that pays for my habit and makes me happy.


I feel as if a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders.  I am at peace with never becoming a "real potter".

Covering Greenware After Attachments

18 March 2015 - 08:43 AM

So, yesterday I felt like a kid who was told that Santa doesn't exist.

I was taught that if I make any attachments such as a handle, I need to cover the piece for a while...like overnight...for the moisture levels to equilibrate.  I thought this was one of those absolutes in clay.

Turns out it's not so, as long as the piece doesn't dry too fast and attachments are made at the right stage of dryness.


Who out there covers and who doesn't?  Have any of you had experiences where you didn't cover and it didn't work out well?

Burnishing Terra Sig

18 February 2015 - 10:43 PM

So I messed up my first try at Terra Sig...didn't burnish just after applying. (Don't know what I was thinking).  Reading in Sumi vonDassow's Low-firing and Burnishing book she describes in great detail about wetting the pot,and using oil, but not in conjunction with terra sig.  For that, she only describes burnishing between coats or just after applying. I have tried polishing now, but the terra sig just seems to be rubbing off slightly.  No sheen.   Can I use either water or oil at this point or is it too late to do anything?

Trouble With Closed Lidded Forms

06 February 2015 - 09:45 AM

I've been experimenting with these forms....the one where you throw a closed cylinder, push a channel in, then cut the top off in the channel creating, in theory, a perfectly fitting lid.  Aside from the fact that I managed to drop 2 of the lids after they were done, I've had real trouble doing these with any speed as it's taking me so long to trim.  I've watched Bill Van Gilders video and another I think it's Mark Peters and I just don't get what they're doing that allows them to trim these things in 2 minutes.  Anyone doing these and have any tips for making the lids fit without spending a huge amount of time trimming?