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Member Since 28 Dec 2013
Offline Last Active May 27 2017 06:34 PM

#126723 Clay Trap Suggestions?

Posted by ChenowethArts on 15 May 2017 - 03:21 PM

Gleco works for me.  It is relatively easy to install and cleaning out the trap is a breeze (albeit a 'stinky' breeze).


#126618 How Clay Has Shaped You?

Posted by ChenowethArts on 12 May 2017 - 02:23 PM



Congratulations on the completion of your undergraduate studies...certainly in the world of clay arts, this is known as the commencement of life-long learning :)


I didn't know what to think when I would discover ancient pottery shards in the red clay creek banks where I grew up in Middle Georgia. Visits to museums probably opened my eyes to the vast history that clay has played in civilizations past and somewhere along my path in architectural studies, I ventured back (mentally) several hundred years and wondered what shared experiences we all have had (to some degree) in working with clay.  That historical connection continues to contribute to my growth and learning. My questions have lead me to historical sites on three continents, archeological digs that I found hypnotic, and more museums than I even want to think about.  I may have several answers to  the "How Has Clay Shaped Me?" question, but I seem to return to connections that I make with clay today with the hands of those from ions ago whose shards I found on the banks of the creek. I have been humbled many times by thinking that something I have done is fresh and new, only to discover that someone several hundred years ago created something frighteningly similar and with far less sophisticated tools.


My friends here on the forum would understand a simpler pun for my answer..."Clay just keeps me grounded."




#123104 Foodsafe Glaze Over Non-Foodsafe Glaze?

Posted by ChenowethArts on 02 March 2017 - 08:41 AM

Unless you are willing to do a lot of lab tests, expend a lot of energy, and still find your self asking this question...the answer is still 'No'.  It simply isn't worth the risk to use a known recipe ingredient that is harmful/toxic, especially on functional ware.  As Babs recommends...find another glaze that achieves similar results and breathe easier knowing those who enjoy your work are safe.




#120333 Challenging Undertaking - Outdoor Pottery Workshop, No Power. Advice?

Posted by ChenowethArts on 10 January 2017 - 05:19 AM

With the time constraints and all the variable that go with an outdoor show, have you considered a community 'tile' project?  The tiles could be formed and stored in advance...allowing the workshop to focus on stamps, imprints, stains and perhaps a one-fire process.  Have users make 2...one to take home and one to make a community tile project of some sort to commemorate the event.


Very ambitious project...would make for a cool documentary-type video project,


#119884 Not A Qotw, Just A Q.

Posted by ChenowethArts on 05 January 2017 - 06:35 AM

My (latest) "What was I thinking" moment.  Being so very proud of myself to lay out the studio so there is a natural 'flow' from wheel (or slab) to drying to bisque to glaze to storage...and then bringing in my 1st 500lbs of clay and having to ask, "Uh...where does this go?".




#119180 Qotw: What Are The Top Five Things In Your Studio That You Would Not Part Wit...

Posted by ChenowethArts on 26 December 2016 - 04:54 AM

Most are done posting for now: so I will make my observation.


Everyone selected their personal choices of "must haves" for clay. But did you notice, no one said: " I would rather quit."  So it is not the space, the abundance of tools and clay toys, nor did it matter the kiln size you are forced to take along. It is YOU, your love for clay endures regardless of circumstances.




I'll borrow a quote from Theresa Sjoquist: "Knowledge is addictive. Keep it up.” 

My translation: "Working in clay is addictive. Keep it up"




#118362 Had My First Sale Event This Weekend...and So Many Questions!

Posted by ChenowethArts on 13 December 2016 - 08:52 AM

I love the advice that Diesel Clay offers on two types of work,  "One that is the bread and butter, put the food on the table sort of items, and the items that feed their souls".  With your experience, kilningit, I would bet that there are items that you can produce quickly without sacrificing your personal creative mission...and if not, that might be a worthy consideration.  I am not there yet, but I am certainly enjoying the journey.  I produce limited quantities of what I consider high-end pieces for galleries because I enjoy the relationship and feedback that I get from the wonderful people I get to work with.  I do push the envelope on functional ware with the full understanding that not everyone is going to pay $40 (or even $30) for a mug...and if they do, it is likely because they know the story behind it, want something that is truly unique, trust that the quality is high, and likely have a better-than-average understanding of the process.


All of that means that I have to understand my market and adjust with some difficult decisions...for instance, there is a show next April where I will show (mostly) functional ware.  I have been to the show in the past and learned that high quality mugs sell for an average of $22.50 each.  OK, so the vast majority of what I display will be under $25, but that won't keep me from displaying focal/featured pieces that are double (or more) than that.  I am under no delusion that the higher priced items will sell, but I want buyers to see what I feel are exceptional pieces (those that I probably spent too much time on).  And, in due time, I would hope that every artist's reputation adds value to the work they do.

Good luck (and listen carefully to the excellent advice of Mark C.


#117806 Handbuilt Fox Head W/hat Wip

Posted by ChenowethArts on 04 December 2016 - 10:38 AM

I think I'm done with it. :) I had planned on making it a full figure, but after making the scarf, I am actually really happy with it this way. There is a point, I suppose, when one sees a piece of art and just know it's done. ♥ Still can't believe I busted this out in two days..! Gonna underglaze it when it's bone dry and apply a thin layer of clear. :3

Sorry about the lighting... -_-

Can you walk us through your thoughts on how you will under-glaze?  Your prior hand-painted work sets a very high bar...'can't wait to see more :)

#117729 Arrowmont Fire

Posted by ChenowethArts on 03 December 2016 - 07:28 AM

They have set up a donation sight for fundraising to rebuild what has been lost in the fire.


The link to the Arrowmont Rebuilding Fund is under the Support tab on the Arrowmont Home page...quick and easy to apply PayPal funds.

There is another potter severely impacted from the wild fires.  Tim Kerns opened up Bear Trail Pottery in Gatlinburg earlier in November of this year after working 15 years to get to that point.  The business was wiped out by the wildfires...there is no insurance.  By now, CERF is already engaged.  There is a gofundme account to help Tim raise $10,000. This is going to be a tough holiday season for Tim and his family and he desperately needs help getting current orders produced & filled.  If you can, join me in supporting this effort: Wildfire Pottery Relief



-Paul :)

#117600 I'm Never Wedging Clay Again!

Posted by ChenowethArts on 01 December 2016 - 10:05 AM

Paul, do you see the black lines I've drawn on the plastic? They are marked at 6 inch increments so I know when to slice off the Pug to get close to the same size each time. I am doing 15 inches currently since 3 of them will fit nicely into my reused clay bags leaving just enough room to fold and clip the ends shut.

I'm writing the date each bag was pugged on the end since I plan to set these aside for a few month before I use them. From reading up on pugged clay it seems that pugging then letting it age together for awhile results in a better clay that has less of a tendency to be "short". Not sure if this is true or not so chime in those of you that know!

I didn't notice your measuring system, but it makes perfectly good sense.  And YES...The clay that I am pugging this weekend won't see a wheel head until February or March.  I don't have any actual data that would support the 'let it age' concept, but from personal experience the clay just seems to be more homogeneous/consistent when it is allowed to rest a while after pugging.


#117588 I'm Never Wedging Clay Again!

Posted by ChenowethArts on 01 December 2016 - 06:21 AM

Oh Pugaboo I so happy for you! I'm still pugging at school and hauling things home, but I completely understand your enthusiasm for healthier back, wrists, etc. I wire-cut my clay into (approx) 18" lengths as it poops out of the pugger.  Those pugs weight 4 to 6 pounds each and are easy for me to wrap up and store.


Count me in the happy-but-envious crowd,


#114813 Uncommon Functional Forms

Posted by ChenowethArts on 18 October 2016 - 08:41 AM

I still make drums, rattles, udus, ocarinas, whistles, and other aerophones (and for my smart-a friends, an aerophone has nothing to do with being able to make calls from an airplane).

#114654 Tips For A Successful Holiday Season Of Gift Making

Posted by ChenowethArts on 13 October 2016 - 11:23 AM

For handmade items, I put the adults in my family first.  That isn't a huge number, perhaps 10-12.  In the past, I have made chili bowls, mugs, and small bottle/bud-vases (they like mugs the best).  All of that family stuff will be completed by the end of October so I only stress on exhibit/show stuff for the holiday season.


I really like Chris Campbell's ornament idea. Simple. Personal. Relatively quick.



#114339 Qotw: Are You Ransacking Trash Bins?

Posted by ChenowethArts on 05 October 2016 - 09:35 AM

At the end of Spring semester when students are packing up their rooms to head home for the summer...DEFINITELY!  The treasures that they leave behind at dormitory dumpsters is unbelievable.



#113992 Qotw: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall?

Posted by ChenowethArts on 29 September 2016 - 10:47 AM

"I tried the mirror-thing once, but all I ever saw was the clay piece on the wheel."