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Member Since 07 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 08:22 PM

#70746 Sub For Epk, Which Is Better: Tile 6 Or Om#4?

Posted by TJR on Yesterday, 10:40 PM

You guys didn't think of this..

What kind of pottery supply store runs out of EPK.? This is a pottery supply that will soon be out of business.

Tile 6 is a kaolin, Om4 is a plastic ball clay. If you are raw glazing, the ball clay would be a better substitute for glaze fit, but it is not a kaolin.

Why not test both?


#70544 Holy Oldschool Goodybox!

Posted by TJR on 23 November 2014 - 10:58 AM

I wanted to name my daughter Velva -Glo, but my wife said "No!". :D


#69874 Use Of Plastic In The Studio

Posted by TJR on 13 November 2014 - 10:00 PM

When I am in production mode going through many 25 lbs. bags of clay I can really see how fast the plastic bags accumulate. I've tried to find uses for them, but there are too many and it is very time consuming to try to clean them. Not sure if one can recycle them or not. Wish B-mix 5 came packaged a different way. Maybe Laguna will start using wet leaves, etc. if we agitate enough? Seriously though, does anyone have good ideas for reusing or recycling the plastic bags commercial clay comes in, or other suggestions?

I let the bags dry out, then beat the clay crumbs out of them. I use them for recycled clay-trimmings etc. that I slake down and then dry on a plaster bat.

Come to think of it, I do have a lot of bags folded up under my wedging table. I do know that Safeway collects plastic bags, but I don't know about heavy duty clay bags.

Can anyone come up with a use for them? Maybe Christmas wreaths spay painted green?


#69622 Handmade Bead/ornament Holder For Firing?

Posted by TJR on 09 November 2014 - 08:06 PM

Get a soft brick. Poke some Kanthall wire into it.[element wire].


#69445 Poppies In London

Posted by TJR on 06 November 2014 - 06:37 PM



It's so hard to get my head around this number ... that likely doesn't include later in life deaths from shell shock, poison gas and suicide.

What is amazing is that they went on to fight another.

I don't see the poppies worn in the States, but they certainly are in Canada.


I wasn't aware that Americans didn't wear the poppy. In Canada, all of us wear them, right from little children up to grandparents. Some people wear a white poppy, but most of us wear red.Monday is Remembrance Day. Tuesday, schools are off.


#69432 For Christmas.

Posted by TJR on 06 November 2014 - 02:37 PM

You can't go wrong with candles or candle holders for Christmas. See my gallery for small rimmed bowls with spirals. They get a squat round candle in them.


#68644 Tinkering With Commercial Glazes

Posted by TJR on 26 October 2014 - 09:12 AM

why do you want to brush glaze on?  it seems to be the least efficient way of covering a piece.  commercial glazes have emulsifiers that cost a fortune so most potters do not have access to them.  

Ben is teaching high school. You do not want students dipping and pouring as then you have huge buckets of glaze. you want them sitting quietly with brush in hand putting on three coats of glaze on each piece.


#68590 Need Help Learning To Throw While Standing

Posted by TJR on 25 October 2014 - 01:37 PM


 Unfortunately, I am not allowed to vacuum. Too hard on my hip.



How much did you have to pay the doctor, to issue that restriction?


I have a note from the nurse. I actually have two copies. My wife wasn't very happy about it-but doctor's orders,what can you do.


#68540 Small Jugs Pour Badly

Posted by TJR on 24 October 2014 - 05:04 PM

Spouts need to be three times as big. Your spouts are like those on glass measuring cups that never pour. Also, the rim needs to be sharper. You pull the rim up, like you pull a handle, then squeeze it to form the spout. They always want to relax, so you have to squeeze them a couple of times. Save the butter for your toast and smash the three dud pitchers with a hammer. You will be much happier.


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#67851 Teaching ..stressed....

Posted by TJR on 15 October 2014 - 01:58 PM

I didn't reply to this post at first, because it made me really tired out to read it.

You need to set clear parameters for your class.

1. If it's a two hour class, allow for 15 minute clean-up within that time.

2. Write out a course outline e.g. week one centering. Week 2 cylinders. 3. Bowls. 4. Trimming. 5. Handles,etc.

3. I also always began with hand building. If people don't like throwing, they can always go back to hand building.

If it is a 10 week course, you should not be accepting students in the middle.

If it is a year long course, you could accept the newbies at the beginning of the month, or some agreed upon time with your boss.

I taught evening pottery classes at our city art gallery for 8 years. I have now been teaching art with a B. Ed for 27 years, I earned my degree while teaching at the art gallery.

The flaw with teaching evening classes, is that it is a bit thankless. You never get past the beginning stage, then the class is over and you get a new batch. Like Sysefas. The guy pushing the rock up the hill. Eventually you get tired, and the rock rolls back and crushes you. Too synical?


#66918 Who Is Your Favorite Potter Or What Inspires You Most In Your Pottery?

Posted by TJR on 30 September 2014 - 08:11 AM

There are a lot. I am looking at Bede Clarkes' work in the latest edition of Ceramics Monthly. I like the colour decoration and use of slips. I also like his wood-fired work.


#66758 What Do You Do To Energise Yourself In The Studio?

Posted by TJR on 27 September 2014 - 12:46 PM


I have found a cup of expresso gets me in production mode.


How strong?? Just finished a big batch of work and my other life is pretty busy so I thinking it is going to be a bit hard to get a start on another batch.

Drunk in you r work area?


break that not quite good enough to keep thingy that you made a long time ago and trash it.  very liberating.

Tha sounds ok to me, I'll go down tomorrow and borrow my partner's hammer, he says that I destroy the surface of the hammer, is this possible??


Hammers are inexpensive. Buy your own, paint it pink so your partner won't borrow it, and smash away. Cheaper than getting a new partner.


#65745 Production Potter Rate

Posted by TJR on 07 September 2014 - 10:57 AM


you are correct. we should be taking the high road here. I have been a production potter in my life. I have taken on orders that were thankless. This request just seemed to be a bit mercenary to me.

Why not buy the stuff from China and mark it up?


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#64920 My New Kiln Lid

Posted by TJR on 22 August 2014 - 06:39 PM

A year or two ago I posted some photos of a new experimental kiln lid for my large DaVinci kiln. Instead of being mortared together like the original lid, it used a compression frame to hold it together, similar to a Minnesota Flat Top design. That lid held up very well for a fair amount of time, but the bricks eventually started to crack. Seems they do not like being compressed along their narrow side. I had though this might be a problem from the beginning, and it eventually was. So this time I rebuilt the lid with the bricks being compressed from the large side, spreading the pressure out over a much larger surface area. I also mortared the bricks together so give it even more strength. The lid is made in two sections, held together by the compression frame. Making it in one big slab would be too large and cause a lot of cracking.




The best thing about this lid is that it's now 4-1/2" thick instead of the usual 3". The added insulation should help with the efficiency of the kiln quite a bit. The lid weighs 250+ pounds, more than the original lid springs could handle, so I attached an electric hoist to raise and lower it. The hoist hangs on a piece of 1-1/4" pipe, which allows the hoist to swivel as it works, and line up in the direction it's pulling.


So far it all seems to be working well. I did my first bisque with the lid last night, and nothing fell apart. The first cone 6 firing will be in a couple of days.

I didn't know Leonardo Da Vinci made kilns! Go figure!


#64892 Do You Donate Your Work For A Worthy Cause?

Posted by TJR on 22 August 2014 - 09:07 AM

I am frequently asked to donate my pottery to various charities. I was recently sent a letter on expensive paper, asking me to donate some work to our city gallery. I have now received a nice email from same director. I also get asked to give to the Folk Arts Council, which promotes local traditional dance. I also donate to the Manitoba Crafts Council.

I do not donate to the annual Women's Golf Tournament.

Where do you draw the line?

How much do you give? Do you see a benefit in promoting your work, or are you just a kind person?