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Member Since 07 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 08:21 AM

#92785 Show Us Your Teapots

Posted by TJR on 17 September 2015 - 04:31 PM

My handles don't get hot and they are clay. You pull them from the back end opposite the spout.

See gallery.


#92730 Artsy Babble Translation Please

Posted by TJR on 17 September 2015 - 07:46 AM

When I was an IT trainer/courseware writer I had a sticker on my monitor:  "Why use a big word when a diminutive expression will do?"  Perhaps it should have said "Why use one ordinary word when 35 mismatched words will do?"


Now I know why I'm not an artist.


This is why I went into pottery instead of painting at Art School. The rest is history.


#92579 Low Fire Or Mid Fire For Elementary School?

Posted by TJR on 14 September 2015 - 09:09 PM

I agree with Ben. Purchase your glazes for cone 06. You can bisque in the bottom of the kiln while firing glaze in the top. I teach high school as well. I use Duncan commercial glazes.


#92363 Newbie Question: Mildew On Kiln Shelves

Posted by TJR on 10 September 2015 - 02:34 PM

Thanks, I was wondering if that would be ok.  Sorry if it was a silly question; I'm slowly moving from making work in a community studio to my home studio.  Thanks to the wonderful CM community I can find the answers to most of my questions.


I will be test-firing the kiln later today and hope to run my first bisque load later this week.


I'm still working on getting my image gallery set up; if interested you can view some of my work here:





I did not think that this was a silly question. I also knew the answer, so jumped in. Welcome to the forum. Please ask as many questions as you wish. Someone here will know the answer.


#92091 Credit Card Gateways For Online Store

Posted by TJR on 07 September 2015 - 09:04 AM

Mark, Etsy uses their own proprietary system to take cards.  I'd have been fine using them exclusively, but they decided I shouldn't be selling porcelain water pipes, so they suspended my shop until I removed them.  I can still sell certain kinds of pipes, but I really like making the one-piece water pipes.


I'd intended to start a blog anyway, but Etsy's decision accelerated the process.  Also, I got an offer to review the pipes, from a major trendsetting site, so I need to be able to take advantage.


I have to say, it's been an interesting process so far.  For example, if you Google Image Search for "effigy water pipes" lots of my stuff is at the top.


Well, live and learn, I guess.

Don't call them water pipes. Call them "historical reproductions". Sign your name as Prof. Aldrige.

TJR. :lol:

#91820 Cracked Skin And Broken Fingernails

Posted by TJR on 01 September 2015 - 03:14 PM

I use Bag Balm. Farmers put it on cow's udders. Most potters around here use it for chapped hands. I get it at Lee Valley Tools, but you could get it at any farmer's supply store.



#91499 Qotw: Is Your Artistic Practice A Product Of Genetics Or The Environment?

Posted by TJR on 27 August 2015 - 08:54 AM

It sounds like a lot of people had this experience with their families. People denied their talents and interests in order to support a family.I'm glad that you were able to go to art school and make your own career choices.

You and me both, Brother!!
I have been blessed with some supportive people in my life, as well as some good circumstances. Having seen the denial of ones voice cause so much grief, it seems a sin to waste what I have been given by not using my own.

One of the happiest days of my life was when I got the letter saying that my portfolio had been accepted for Art School. My dad quietly asked how I was going to make a living, but he was artistic too and never caught the breaks. I went for 4 years, got my degree. Put myself through by teaching. I realized that the teaching could give me the opportunity to have studio time. I crossed over to the dark side and got my B.Ed. Been teaching high school art for 29 years. I go back Sept.8. Still looking forward to it.I think this will be my last year, but I have three teenage mouths to feed. Didn't plan that very well!


#91460 Qotw: Is Your Artistic Practice A Product Of Genetics Or The Environment?

Posted by TJR on 26 August 2015 - 05:25 PM

This one was actually a little hard for me to answer. I don't want it to sound like a therapy session. I have had a sometimes bizarre combination of unconditional acceptance for who I am, and a never ending stream of variations of the question "are you sure about this whole art thing as a career?"

I have a lot of broken artists in my family tree. People who were creative, but not allowed a "high A" artistic outlet.
It was said in my family that if my Dad couldn't fix something, it couldn't be fixed. An inventor, he was always tinkering, his mind never still. He was obliged to go into Telecom, a "smart" profession by his Dad, my Opa who was from Germany. My Dad was miserable doing this, as he bowed always to what was "needful" and doing the right thing by being a provider to the family. No room for unmanly frivolities like art. Opa was fighting for Germany in WW2 and was in hospital when the war ended. He escaped a Russian Gulag by forging documents using a hand carved potato stamp. He might have been an artist had circumstances been wildly different.
My mother's side were farmers, and often if you wanted something purchasing it was out of the question. So you made it. No one considered artistic merit in what they did, even though its present in spades. It's simply what one did. Like breathing.

There is much inherited skill in my hands.

I was expected to get a degree of some kind, and I had chosen physiotherapy. I am not sure that I was expected to actually have a career, rather I was supposed to find a husband in college. I can't confirm this; My Dad is gone and my Mom isn't saying. When I told them I was going to art school, I was told I should keep art as a hobby because no one ever makes money at it, and did I really want my heart broken that badly when I failed? After making it clear that I was doing it regardless (I have much inherited stubbornness!) my parents shrugged and helped me through college as previously agreed. And then 5 years later my Dad told my husband that he was relieved someone was there to look after me, and would see me housed and fed. (Face palm). He was deathly afraid of self employment.
Thing was, I saw how miserable he was by denying his own creativity, and I wanted nothing to do with that. As much as you try to do things to please others, they will never quite be happy with you. If what you are doing to please others make you unhappy too, then you are both miserable. And I am not responsible for anyone's happiness other than my own. So clay it is!


It sounds like a lot of people had this experience with their families. People denied their talents and interests in order to support a family.I'm glad that you were able to go to art school and make your own career choices.


#91299 Qotw: Is Your Artistic Practice A Product Of Genetics Or The Environment?

Posted by TJR on 23 August 2015 - 09:33 AM

Mother taught high school then collage-Older brother taught art (lithography) at UCSB in Santa Barbara for 25 years-older sister taught elementary for 35 years-Father sold insurance?? ya square peg in a round hole -another older brother was an artist who enjoyed clay(had a class from Paul Soldner) in Pasadena in the 60's- All gone now except my sister.
SArt is in my blood-creative thinking is the usuall around here.
TJR-I have had a large garden for 42 years now-whats up?

Long story. My great grandmother was an Austin-as in Austin cars-Austin -Healy, Austin Cambridge. She was a millionare-her family was that is. She fell in love with the gardener and was disowned. So we didn't inherit the money, we inherited the green thumb. My sisters both garden as well.


#91169 Qotw: Is Your Artistic Practice A Product Of Genetics Or The Environment?

Posted by TJR on 20 August 2015 - 05:51 PM

Dad was a 30 year career Navy officer specializing in security. Mom was a housewife. Grandparents did as Pres's did - helped in the war effort by welding in the Mobile, AL shipyard. Grandma was the first woman welder in Mississippi. They went back to being a truckdriver and housewife with huge gardens. Grandpa on Dad's side continued in welding as his profession - mainly repairing logging trucks and farm equipment in Mississippi. Grandpa on Mom's side could play most any musical instrument he picked up. This would be the only artistry in our family.


When I was a kid I loved to buy the model planes and cars and such and painstakingly put them together in a neat manner with decals in the right places. Little brother would gob glue on everything and just mush it all together - I guess that could be creative in a way.


I too was groomed for college, no art classes, ever. I just kind of fell into pottery in college and it was fun. Started taking art classes, it was fun. This just irked Dad to no end - he wanted an accountant. Took a 7 year hiatus from college. Went back and got 2 degrees the accountant for him and the programmer for me. And I just pushed the artist in me further into the background for 30 years.


Till now.


That's a tough story. I have taught many a student in my high school art classes who may not persue a career in art because of their culture or parents. They are forced to do statistics, or accounting. Nothing wrong with those directions, but if you have an artistic bone in your body, this is where unhappiness starts.


#91063 Qotw: Is Your Artistic Practice A Product Of Genetics Or The Environment?

Posted by TJR on 19 August 2015 - 08:36 AM

I hope this QOTW get pinned to the top soon...


Very interesting backgrounds here. Thank you all for providing.


My background is not filled with artistic people. My Dad was not artistic at all, but he had a green thumb!! He could get everything to blossom. Despite working at Swiss Railway in an office, he always was in his garden after work. My Mum was very good in drawing when she was a kid and was singing in a choir as a young girl. After the marriage she was looking after 3 children and was helping her sister in their hotel. My sis is a naturopath and my brother a kindergarten teacher. Seems I am the only artist in the family. My husband is a Business Consultant/Advisor, no help there too....




I also look at gardening as being creative. I have a large garden by the river and am out there every morning. I can hear the bush beans rumbling from here.


#91061 Qotw: Is Your Artistic Practice A Product Of Genetics Or The Environment?

Posted by TJR on 19 August 2015 - 08:33 AM

My family is full of artist. None of them pursued it as a profession. However my dad can carve or paint or do anything artistic with his hands, and my brother is the same. My wife creates beautiful quilts.


We were always encouraged to do anything artistic that we wanted. I took painting lessons, and drawing lessons when I was a kid, although I never stuck with it. Clay has always been my truest joy.


When I was a kid I would buy Sculpty clay and make figurines and animals. I still make them today, except that now I do it for my son and he plays with them as toys. Every time he finds a new show he likes or a game he enjoys, I always get the classic, "Daddy, can we build 'insert character name' out of clay today." Of course I usually end up doing it, and I get great joy out of it. He never really made anything he wanted to keep. Recently now that he is almost 5, he has been making a lot of stuff out of clay and having me cook it. It is nice that he is becoming creative because of the stuff I have been making him for several years.


I think most people secretly wants to be artistic in some way. It is just rewarding to work with your hands. I think a lot of our creative sides get placed into the gutter because we need to "find real jobs". However a lot of that is changing now. Artist and Graphic designers are needed in much greater quantities than before thanks to all the games and animations being created these days. 


I think you hit the nail on the head here. I think almost everyone is visual or relates in a visual way some how. Picture the lecture where the guy gets up and reads the text from his Power Point. Way more interesting a talk if you include pictures of what you are talking about.Art is still not that valued in school for some reason, but in industry people are crying out for creative people.


#90892 What Mesh Sieve Do You Screen To For Dipping Glazes?

Posted by TJR on 15 August 2015 - 01:52 PM


I have always sieved to 80 mesh. No problems. The finer the particles, the easier they melt. However the screen isn't reducing the particles size of the materials, it's breaking up clumps. Enough mixing and you don't need to screen at all.

So screening is not  necessary if you mix well, say with a stationary blender or stick blender? Are there other mixing alternatives that would be satisfactory for larger volumes?  What is the largest batch you would use a stick blender on?


I would always screen through a sieve. If you ball mill your glaze, you can make large amounts depending on the size of the ball mill.The glaze comes out at 200 mesh after ball milling.


#90824 Hello From Oklahoma

Posted by TJR on 14 August 2015 - 08:32 AM


Welcome to the forum. Everyone feels isolated at some point. I live in a mid-size Canadian city, in the very middle of Canada. I work alone in my cadillac of a studio. The closest big city to us is Minneapolis which is 500miles south.

I gotta say that I have really enjoyed this forum. You will see that I am on it all the time.

I have made some great friends here.

So, Welcome.


#90768 Pie Dish Dilemna - Rough, Porous Clay

Posted by TJR on 13 August 2015 - 08:12 AM

You do want coarser clay for oven ware to handle the heat shock. She has added sand into her clay. It should not be coming off the bottom. I am assuming that the inside is glazed so not a problem there.

If this sand issue bothers you, contact her and ask for your money back.