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Member Since 07 Dec 2011
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#89957 Can This Piece Be Salvaged?

Posted by TJR on 01 August 2015 - 08:34 AM

For those of us this side of the pond can someone explain what Caro syrup or sugar syrup is?

I've used vinegar slip on greenware with mixed success, perhaps syrup will make all the difference?

On the other hand I've had good results with Mayco's clay mender on bisque and even glazed pieces, where very small (3mm broken surface) pieces have been knocked off. See pic. (these bowls are generally 5-6" diameter). Takes a lot of patience and a delicate touch, but so does the initial making, so I've deemed it worth the investment - time & emotional!

I have learnt to only work on these pieces when I can give them my full concentration - the slightest carelessness will see a piece of the 'stencil' on the work table. I have to tell myself when to stop clean up at the greenware stage - and leave it until it's bisqued. Also, I now sandwich the v thin slab for cutting the stencil, between cling film throughout the whole procedure, including drying.attachicon.gifimage.jpg


We can't buy Caro syrup here in Canada either. It's any cheap syrup. Aunt Jemima works. It's the stickyness you want.

Don't be using your good Canadain Maple Syrup for this job. Make some pancakes for that.


#89857 Can This Piece Be Salvaged?

Posted by TJR on 30 July 2015 - 06:24 PM


1/3 your clay body

1/3 vinegar

1/3 Caro syrup or other cheap sugar syrup.

Mix it up. Put it on to repair. Let dry and sand to taste.


#89514 Pots in Movies

Posted by TJR on 24 July 2015 - 11:30 AM

I just watched The Magnificent Seven on Netflicks. Eligh Wallack is the bad Mexican with 40 raiders.

Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner get together 7 gunslingers to save the town.

Lots of terra cotta pottery. Even in the bar, they are drinking out of terra cotta mugs. Some coloured slip application.

2.In the "Good, the Bad and the Ugly," there is a great scene at the beginning of the movie, where the "bad" is staring down the farmer over a big plate of salad and squash. Looks delish. They are eating with hand-carved wooden spoons. You know that the farmer is going to;"bite the farm", as it were, and he does.

Nice big platters though.

Eligh Wallack is the ugly in this one. Can we say; "type cast"

Love that movie. A bit long though.


#89499 Sitting On My Hand(S)

Posted by TJR on 24 July 2015 - 08:19 AM

well its been a week and i am doing pretty well.  mostly glazing with a paint brush and running out of bisque ware.  I made a couple of little slugs yesterday with hand in a latex glove.  should be back in full action in a couple of weeks.   so grateful i didn't need a full surgery.


everyone out there with hand issues - I feel your pain.   One of these days I am going to get my hand therapist to do a workshop on how to take care of your hands if you are an artist.  rakuku

There was a great talk at NCECA this year on carpal tunnel syndrome and just taking care of your hands/arms to avoid numbness. He even had slides of dissection.Not creepy at all.

His brother is a potter. He is a medical doctor. Can't remember his name at the moment. We were waiting for John Baymores' talk.


#89418 Designation--"Master Potter"

Posted by TJR on 23 July 2015 - 01:55 PM

I've been thinking about this one for a couple of days.

Chris hit the nail on the head. If you have to say that you are a Master, then you are not one.

If you have a sign over your display that says;"Master Potter, or Worlds Greatest Potter", then you are not.

In thinking of past masters at NCECA, I would definitely include Don Reitz and Val Cushing.

Looking at that video of the Robin Hopper talk, I would definitely include him.

You do not have to be dead, or be male to acquire the designation of Master.

You need the respect of your peers.

You definitely would have had to give something back to the medium, as in books, lectures, shows of your work.


#89286 Are There Any Laws Of Pottery?

Posted by TJR on 22 July 2015 - 07:36 AM

The law;

1.Do not do custom orders.

2.If you make orders, make three, as two will break.

3.Do not make custom orders.


#89015 Gustavo Pérez

Posted by TJR on 16 July 2015 - 01:54 PM

Having seen the work of Gustavo Perez at the NCECA workshop and also seeing his video, you realize that he is a Master. To take away something obvious from his work and copying it would not be a way to achieve his technique. He is on a journey like the rest of us. To take a cylinder, make it into an oval and begin slicing it would not give you Gustavo's work.

There are reasons for the slicing. There are reasons for all of his design choices.I would never attempt to duplicate his work. I can appreciate the beauty of his pieces though.


#89012 Pacifica 800

Posted by TJR on 16 July 2015 - 01:44 PM

I have had a Brent CXC for 35 years. Bought a used B for $750.00. So now have two Brents. Don't mind the noise. I always thought it was in my head.


#88604 Quality Of Work Sold?

Posted by TJR on 09 July 2015 - 10:56 AM

This isn't just a problem in the market place. At art school, you see platters with big cracks in the bottom being offered up for a critique. I have also seen grad students carefully gluing work together to last long enough that they can take a photo for their portfolio.

Of course this is not the case for everyone but we need to make pretty sure that "craftmanship" is involved in the process.

If students are flogging questionable work, there is justification by admin for closing ceramic programs.Once these programs are gone, they are difficult to restart.


#88463 Quality Of Work Sold?

Posted by TJR on 07 July 2015 - 10:02 AM

I agree with Chris that there is a lot of cringe worthy work out there. There are also questionable "craft sales" at every hospital and church do. I try to walk past before the spirits of the bad pots get to me.

I don't know who is the arbiter of good technical skill, but I would say that you shouldn't be selling anything for at least the first two years.

Like I told my 17 year old daughter the other day...she won't be dating until she is AT LEAST 35.


#88397 Gustavo Pérez

Posted by TJR on 06 July 2015 - 12:23 PM

Here's a quote from Pablo Picasso;

Art historians discuss art. Artists discuss where to get cheap turpentine.

My take; "Potters discuss where to get cheap glaze buckets."


#87782 Vent Not Turned On During Bisque

Posted by TJR on 26 June 2015 - 08:15 AM

The purpose of the vent is for the potter, not the clay. As pots are bisqued, they give off sulfur dioxide which is nasty to breathe. If your bisqueware made it, no need to re-do it.


#87475 Newbie Needs Help With Measuring Glazes!

Posted by TJR on 19 June 2015 - 06:38 PM

In an ideal world, glaze recipes should be written in percent, with the BASE glaze totalling 100%, sometimes with additives for colour or opacity listed as the last couple of ingredients that will add up to a larger percent. The base glaze is supposed to be a clear(ish) shiny, balanced glaze that you can then adjust by adding other ingredients to for colour, opacity, special effects, etc, etc.
So this can look something like:
10 ingredient one
20 ingredient two
30 ingredient three
40 ingredient four
100 total
3 colour
10 opacifier
For a grand total of 113%.
This is normal. Sometimes you get someone who is mathematically adventurous, and turns that whole 113% into a 100 gram recipe, and that can get confusing.
A typical test glaze batch is 100g, because it makes enough glaze to give you an idea of what it looks like on several test tiles and/or a small pot and you don't have to do any math. 20% of one ingredient equals 20 grams of that ingredient. This amount fits nicely into a plastic drink cup.
If you decide after testing that you like this glaze and want more of it, you can multiply the numbers by ten to get a 1000g batch (about half an ice cream pail) and try it on a few more things. Using the example above, this would look like
100g Ingredient one
200g ingredient two
300g ingredient three
400g ingredient four
Total 1000g
30g colourant
100g opacifier.

If that doesn't help, pm me the recipe that has you held up, and I can offer better advice.

Great job explaining this Diesel. You forgot to mention that in Canada we use Timmie's cups for glaze testing. Unfortunately, the bottoms come unglued if left overnight with liquid glaze in them.


#87455 Gustavo Pérez

Posted by TJR on 19 June 2015 - 12:05 PM

Thank you Judith for sharing the video! Well, that's some dream studio of his! So much space, so much light... sigh...


Oh yes, that was a wonderful demo we got from Gustavo (together with Linda Christianson) at NCECA Providence. I didn't know my colleagues Pres and Tom were in the room too. I was sitting spellbound for 2 hours in the second row and could almost touch the objects Gustavo made. He is a very humble and nice person. I met him at the IAC conference in Dublin, and then again this year in Providence. In Dublin we sat at the same table over lunch and discussed ceramics, what else. A person that not ever put on the airs of a star.


(whispering to Tom: the "girl apprentice" was a boy. Long, pinned up hair and female feature, but definitely a young man.... ;) )


Chantay: oh, he made tools out of box cutters three and fivefold, to be able to cut parallel lines without messing up the clay. See my QOTW of April 14.... How come you have a surgical blade? :D



Well, now I am embarrassed. Beautiful red hair. I was actually looking at the pots and not the apprentice. Sheesh! :wub:


Of course we sat quite a bit further back.

#87451 Perfect Dip - Level Glaze All The Way Around The Cup? How?

Posted by TJR on 19 June 2015 - 11:40 AM

That is a good idea. So wax is really the only way to do this? 


Maybe I will pick up this : http://amzn.com/B005ZSOOCC

No, hot wax is not the only way to do this. I always get a blurp of melted wax up the side when I use the electric frypan method.

I wax all of my mugs while they are upside down and re-centred on my wheel. I go pretty fast as I tap centre them.

I first sign my name with brush, then wax.

I also completely submerse the bisqued mug in a bucket of glaze for a count of 5.

Inside and out are the same glaze.