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Member Since 21 May 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 02:18 PM

Topics I've Started

Trying To Figure Out How To Measure Hand-Built Top Before Curving

Yesterday, 10:48 AM


So say I have a pot I want a lid for and I want to cut out and hand build that lid. A simple lid, nothing fancy. And I want to put a round, normal curve in that lid.  Once I cut out the lid, I can simply put the slab over an object like a bowl to get the curve, but how do I know how large to cut that lid before curving it?  Am I making any sense? Cutting to size when flat wouldn't work, cause it will be more narrow when it has a curve in it. Yes?


This is probably ridiculously simple and I'll be really embarrassed that I couldn't figure this out, but I've been trying to figure this out for a few days and I'm stumped.



Stumped Nancy

Any Good Extruding Tutorials?

21 September 2016 - 12:34 PM

I'm wanting to start handbuilding and extruding forms. I'm working on the handbuilding techniques, but does anyone know of any good tutorials or videos for extruding? Much appreciated! 

Getting Fail Message On Skutt Kiln

12 July 2016 - 07:03 AM

My 3 year old Skutt kiln, which I've probably used once a month on average, had a FAIL message when I went out to check on it this morning. I was firing to Cone 5 and it got up to about 480 degrees. My dealer is an hour and a half away, and I'm going to call at 10, but was hoping for some trick or quick fix for this, since I have a full load of custom urns in there.

Thanks in advance,

Help! I Can't Center Anymore!

24 June 2016 - 03:43 PM

For the last 3 or 4 months, I haven't been able to center clay after figuring it out finally a few years ago with no problems since then. The way I was taught didn't work for me, so Two years ago, I found a video on YouTube that helped: 2 hands on either side to push up; one hand on top, one on the side holding to push down. This worked for me the past few years.

Then one night at the studio I couldn't center. My teacher has helped me, I've watched videos, and tried to do it hundreds of times. I can "bully" any clay under a couple of pounds into center, but over 3 pounds, no. What happens is as soon as I start to center a piece of clay, it gets a "twist" in the middle and even when I bring just that twisted piece all the way up and then all the way down trying to fix it, it's still in there. I bring it up, stabilize it with my left hand as I push down with my right, it seems centered, but isn't. There's still a twist in the middle.

I thought maybe I'd done something different wedging, so I tried my usual Rams head, did the other twirl one, and tried clay right from the bag that I just would drop on the floor to get anything out. Nope. Twist shows ups soon as I touch the clay. My teacher made sure my hands were equal and opposite on the clay, a twist shows up.

I've tried my usually, BMix and 60 clay, then tied 55, 65 and 80. Can't center any of them

I have a lot of pieces to make and I'm about to start hand building them. I'm desperate. I'll try any suggestions.

B-Mix And Me - A Contentious Relationship

24 May 2016 - 09:53 AM


I have long had a contentious relationship with B-Mix, Cone 5. When making mugs, more often than not the handles crack, pull away or fall off. When putting any kind of surface decoration onto the piece, it cracks, pulls away, or falls off. I've dried it naturally and slowly, with a dryer and a torch - they still fall off more often than not. I've used this "magic water" at class, slip, water, scratched the daylights out of it - they still often fall off. 


Last week, I picked up a still pretty wet urn about 7 or 8 inches tall I had thrown from the studio where I still take classes. I had thrown it two weeks earlier. It was B Mix, which is the only white at the studio. I let it sit out for a morning, dried it a bit, trimmed it, dried it a bit more with a dryer, and put it in the kiln. I then threw another urn the same size, using Laguna 65 clay - a greyish looking clay that turns white. I dried it, made the urn top, dried that, put it in the kiln. I usually preheat soak for 12 hours but it all seemed pretty dry, even the new piece that I put a heart onto, so I only soaked for 7 hours.


When I opened the kiln the next day, my B-Mix urn had exploded, taking three other urns with it. Ugh. It know it was that one, because there was nothing left and everything around it had damage on the side facing it.


I have decided that I am never using B-Mix again. My teacher loves it, she doesn't find it tempermental at all, but I think I get my pieces into the kiln more quickly, as I am making to sell. I'll stick to the 65, 60 and 80, thank you.