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Member Since 02 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Jul 26 2015 02:29 PM

Topics I've Started

Views And Reviews On Various Continuing Education Opportunities

13 June 2015 - 12:30 PM

I would really like to hear forum members' thoughts and experiences with continuing ed they have taken part in.  I understand that much of the value of a workshop, conference, or whatever, will be directly related to a specific instructor or presenter, but what about the other parameters?  Facilities, length of course, etc.   I haven't yet done any of the non-participation workshops and will be interested to discover how much I like this and how much I will actually learn from this type of conference as I have signed up for the Mid-Atlantic clay conference in Front Royal, VA in Oct.


My only other experience was at the John C. Campbell Folk school for a week of class. It helped that the instructor was fabulous (Nan Rothwell from Charlottesville, VA), but I also found the school to be excellent.  I thought the cost was pretty reasonable, the studio facilities were very good, and the food was oustanding.  If anyone goes, definately pay for the full meal option, it's worth it. (Much of it is locally grown).  One thing I really liked was that meals were family style and you might find yourself next to weavers, instrument builders, wood turners, poets, or blacksmiths.


The town, Brassville, NC is in the mountains of SW NC, so a bit remote and not cheap or easy to get to, but it might be a good option for a "vacation" of sorts for the family since your travelling companion(s) could sign up for some other courses that interest them.  My companion took a course on Nature Studies.


I'm wondering about places similar to the folk school.  Thoughts on Penland...others?  Most interested in the eastern side of the US, but also thoughts on length of course, non-participatory conferences, any general recommendations, and of course and interesting tales.

Searching The Forum

17 May 2015 - 09:18 AM

Wasn't sure where to put this topic, so I figured studio operations would have to suffice.


I have always been a bit frustrated when trying to search previous topics on the forum.  Well yesterday I was reading one of Marcias comments about "bray wax" and as I had no idea what that was, I googled it.  Came up with a great previous forum discussion on wax resists.  Interestingly, when I then tried to search the topic on the forum search tool using various relevent words, I got no results.


So, from now on, I'm just going directly to google.

When Do You Keep Your Own Stuff?

08 May 2015 - 08:15 AM

I recently tried a new technique.  It was a rather busy underglaze decoration in pastel colors on speckled clay with satin clear on top. I am normally not a pastel person.  I absolutely love it and just can't bring myself to sell it.  I also can't bring myself to make more because it was far too time consuming for my sensibilities.  It's small, so plenty of room on the shelf.  The stuff I keep is usually slightly flawed, or not quite up to snuff.


How about you.  How many times have you not been able to sell a particular piece.  Do you eventually sell or gift it?  Do you have any "rules" about when you can keep something....like, "one pot in, one pot out."???

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".