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Member Since 31 Mar 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 12:02 PM

#101448 On The Topic Of "soul" ....

Posted by Min on Today, 11:50 AM

Good question Chris.


I don’t think it matters if it's a potters first attempts at clay or if it’s from someone who makes work seemingly effortlessly. I think the soul or quintessence of a person is there all along and must come out; creating something is an extension of their existence. A take on Descartes’s “I think, therefore I am.” for a maker of things “I create, therefore I am.” Not that the two thoughts are mutually exclusive though.  :P


I have always been a “maker”, clay was the last medium I chose, if I take a break from it for too long I get fidgety. Doesn't matter if the results are stellar or not, (usually the latter), it's the process. Making things is what I need to do to stay sane.

#100789 Earthenware Vs Stoneware

Posted by Min on 27 January 2016 - 11:25 AM

I think the main advantages of earthenware over stoneware would be the savings in firing costs. Electricity used, element life and less warping of kiln shelves. Disadvantages would be the high porosity, durability and glaze fit. Not a problem for non functional stuff.


Would be great if there were some good ^1 or 2 stoneware bodies but I think the amount of flux needed in them to make them strong and of low porosity would make them cost prohibitive.


I make functional pots for the most part, ^6 porcelain and a bit of stoneware.

#100733 Qotw: Can You Show Us A Cute Picture/video Of A Potters Kid?

Posted by Min on 26 January 2016 - 12:57 PM

Not mine but I love this cutie

#100667 Sharing Recipes

Posted by Min on 25 January 2016 - 04:51 PM



just a note to those of you real chemists who know all the technical reasons for why a certain ingredient does what it does in a certain glaze.  those of us who only mix glazes so we can get a particular color and shine and transparency really do not care about the technical reason, just give us a recipe so we can cover out pots in things that are pretty.  if it doesn't work on our clay, in our kiln at our favorite temperature, we will just look for another one.  we appreciate you and your efforts to try to convert us to chemists but would rather just have the recipe, please. :)


we are part of a cult and just want you to try the kool aid  


#100666 Heating Source In Pottery Workshop Besides Kiln

Posted by Min on 25 January 2016 - 04:47 PM

 Plunging my hands in cold water or slip is the worst !


Small crock pot on low or immersion heater for throwing water is just bliss. Have to turn it off after a bit or else it gets too hot.

#100619 Mason Inclusion/encapsulated Stains Containing Cadmium For A Glaze

Posted by Min on 25 January 2016 - 09:51 AM

Yeah, I just wanted to point out the obvious to anyone new to glaze chem reading this thread and unfamiliar with the fact that it's not just the Cd reds that contain it.

#100374 Creating Product Lines / Over Time

Posted by Min on 21 January 2016 - 10:21 PM


Dude! Where's the link?


I don't think we are supposed to link to our shops, but if you go to my profile there is a link to my website, then from there you can go to my shop from the link. I don't wanna break any rules.



Good luck and all the best with your new Etsy shop! We all know how hard you have worked at perfecting your forms and glazes, cheers to a very successful launch!

#100287 Glass Trims On Porcelain

Posted by Min on 20 January 2016 - 06:46 PM

A lot of useful info in this: http://www.glassart....my Kelly Thesis  might cut out some of the experimenting for you. 


Have you seen Misa Tanaka's work with porcelain and glass? I'm guessing she uses something like the cold technique used on page 59 of the above link.


Some of Tanaka's work: https://www.facebook...32591525&type=3

#100199 Cooking Pizza In A Pottery Kiln, Toxicity ?

Posted by Min on 19 January 2016 - 10:19 PM

I'm curious to know how the pizza was and now he's got me thinking of barbecuing in there. Stick the franks on bead racks and stilts to raise the burgers of the kiln wash?


or franks on a stick through the peephole might be fun

#100049 Knitting Bowls

Posted by Min on 18 January 2016 - 11:06 AM

Can I ask another question please Min?


What clay do you use to make your bowls? I'm having endless issues trying to find the right clay body that will hold up without slumping/warping.


Do you have any 'slumping/warping' issues with your bowls at all? 


I've used a few different clays for yarn bowls. I can't remember which one for the bowls in this thread but it would have been one of these two: Plainsman 370 http://plainsmanclay...p?menupath=8/29 or Glacier Porcelain http://www.clayartce...roducts_id=9576  they are pretty similar, ^6 smooth claybodies.


Yup, I do get some warping. If I see any warping while they are drying they get tossed into the recycle bucket. Right now I would guess I have about 1 in 30 warp. Some do warp a bit in the glaze firing but not enough to worry about. I don't make the cat tail cut out very big and I think that really helps avoid warping.


If I was having your problems I would make a couple test bowls, throw one with the walls a bit thicker than the other one, cut out the cat tail bit on a couple places in each bowl in different styles and fire them without bothering to underglaze or glaze them. See which cut out causes the least problems with warping and go from there. Also, if your glazes can go to ^5 1/2, which they should be able to, then I would consider slightly underfiring the y.bowls.


Hope this helps and good luck!  :)

#99958 Cut, Spiral Bit Warped In Kiln

Posted by Min on 17 January 2016 - 12:23 PM

Your firing schedules look way to fast. Page 25 of this pdf http://www.psh.ca/pd...leteManual1.pdf show the firing profiles for slow and fast bisque and glaze used in the preset profiles for the Bartlett controller.


Also, the pots made with the groggy clay, did you burnish them with a rib after trimming? Pinholes can be a real pain to get rid of, your bisque schedule might have been part of the problem, groggy clay another part if used with a high viscosity glaze.


Your cones look like you went to around 7 and a bit, are you aiming for ^6? If so then use a 5, 6 and 7 in your cone pack.

#99838 Design Trends 2016

Posted by Min on 16 January 2016 - 12:21 AM



Technology wise for pottery, the next big thing is more likely computer-controlled gas kilns.  Just as manual electric kilns evolved into the modern digital, computer controlled electric kilns of today, that same technology will be used in the gas/propane world.  And, prices for the technology will drop, making atmosphere firings more accessible to all levels of potters. 



ta da...here's one, Bailey's Thermal Logic Programmable Gas Kiln


#99662 What Your Worst

Posted by Min on 14 January 2016 - 03:54 PM

Our kiln shed is outside in a covered in deck type area, a few gaps in the walls where they meet the roof. I’ve had squirrels find their way in during the winter months and I guess they were so ecstatic over their newfound warm home they leaped and jumped in joy from one pile of bisqued pots to another. A few casualties there. In their winter vacation home they have also come across pots that were glazed but not fired, who new they would enjoy the taste of raw glaze nibbled off the rims so much? They also seem to think it's a good idea to steal bisqued test tiles and sneak out into the yard to bury them. 


One year we had one particularly “friendly” lodger and he would leave the kiln area during the day and peek in at me through the window in the throwing room. I would let the dog out to chase him off but once the dog came back inside the squirrel would resume taunting me through the glass. We landed up borrowing a live trap and relocating him.

#99656 What Weight Of Clay For Wool Bowls

Posted by Min on 14 January 2016 - 03:29 PM

Babs, maybe we should be saying the finished size of the yarn bowls we make and not the amount of clay we use. I throw with 2lb 12 oz and the bowls are approx 6 3/4" top diameter and 3 3/4" tall, with a trimmed foot. 

#99541 What Weight Of Clay For Wool Bowls

Posted by Min on 13 January 2016 - 07:12 PM

Alan R T Smith is the grand master of yarn bowls. If you're on the potter's network on Facebook, you can easily track him down. Well worth a look.


Wow! I found his etsy page, some yarn bowls posted there. I wonder how many of the 300- price ones he sells in relation to the 75- ones? The more expensive ones seem like they would be far more than 4 times the work. Think he is using molds for some of the animal pieces? On the last pages of his etsy sold pages there are pretty identical looking pots with griffins and elephants.



I make just over 200 yarn bowls a year, all the same size, from 2 lb 12oz of clay. There is always someone who wants one bigger or smaller but the majority of customers are good with this size.