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Member Since 02 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 09:09 AM

Topics I've Started

Small Versus Large Cones

23 November 2015 - 10:31 AM

A question came up recently as to whether it's not a good idea to use small witness cones instead of the large ones.  I thought someone on the forums made a case that it wasn't a good idea, but I can't remember, who, or why or when.

A forum search (done properly from the main page) came up empty.  The orton website says the small cones can be substituted in cases where space is an issue.  Well, if they're interchangeable, then why not just use them since they're cheaper and take up less space?  Unless, of course, you're trying to see them in the kiln, in which case the large ones will be easier to see.


Anyone have input on this?

Mug Broke With First Use.

20 November 2015 - 10:15 AM

This was really embarrassing, and the first time this has happened to me.  I took some mugs to a friend and let her pick one out as a gift.  The next morning she poured boiling water into it for tea and the water came pouring out the bottom onto the floor!  I brought the box of mugs back and she settled for her 2nd choice.  I'm so grateful this was not a sale.


The mug was made with standard 112, using studio glazes, fired at the community studio which usually runs a high cone 6.  My mugs have a glaze catcher channel around the bottom rim and I use runny glazes.  The crack occured right at the glaze channel and ran halfway around the mug.  Liquid in the mug literally pours out.


Some folks at the studio looked at the mug and one thought was that the problem could be that the walls at the channel were very thin and a lot of glaze ran in there creating some tension.  The thermal shock was too much for it.  One person suggested that people should never pour boiling water into a room temperature hand thrown mug, but I feel like this is expecting too much from tea drinkers.  If they can't pour boiling water into the mug, then it's not a useful piece for them.  I have always poured boiling water into my and others' mugs without any problems.


Has anyone had this or similar problems?  I would appreciate any thoughts.

What Do You Call Those Heavy Pots?

13 October 2015 - 10:47 AM

Reading the revived thread about christmas tales brought up a new topic when folks mentioned their names for their too heavy pots.."boat anchors", and "insulated".  One of my old instructors called them hurricane ware.  They won't fall off the table in a hurricane.  That's important to us folks here on the US east coast, but maybe you west coasters could call them earthquake ware.


What other terms of endearment do you have for those clunkers?

Professional Courtesy

07 October 2015 - 09:43 AM

This is a topic I want to throw out there for comments and discussion as I've never seen it addressed anywhere.


At this past weekend's conference, most of the presenters had some of their wares for sale.  There were 3 main presenters, 2 of which are wheel thrown artists and very well known in the pottery world.  Their work fetches a good price and as far as I could tell, was not discounted for the conference. Others were there offering various workshops on a particular technique. I couldn't tell if the other folks discounted any, except for one who had fairly low prices.  I asked him about this and he said he was offering his work wholesale to his fellow potters since he didn't have to pay his distributor, gallery fee, whatever.  I told him this was very nice of him, thanked him, and bought a piece.


This got me thinking.  In my other life, I was a professional.  If I went to someone in the same profession, it is pretty much the norm to offer a professional courtesy discount. (Usually about 10%)  I would do the same if someone in my profession came to me for services.  I think it would be great if potters did the same thing.  Maybe not in regular sales, but for something like the conference.


What do you all think?

Repairing Cracks In Primitive Fired Pots

04 October 2015 - 10:38 AM

I just came back from the Mid-Atlantic Clay conference in Front Royal, VA, where it never stopped raining.  I participated in the primitive firing workshop and did some pieces in a barrel fire.  4 pieces with the full range from "Oh wow!" to "meh".  The largest piece got some good colors and marks, however, it is seriously cracked to the point where I have to handle it very carefully.  Some portion of the cracks have widened to a a significant extent so that they are visible from a distance.  


I would like to keep this piece 1.  as a memento of the experience  2.  I like the pot and the marks.   So I am looking for ideas that will  1.  enhance the cracks to make them part of the decoration, and 2.  Stabilize the pot so it doesn't fall apart.


I don't want to do the gold lustre thing...I can't remember what that's called.  But that's kind of the idea.


I would appreciate your collective thoughts.