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TJR

Member Since 07 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Aug 29 2015 09:06 AM
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#91499 Qotw: Is Your Artistic Practice A Product Of Genetics Or The Environment?

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

Diesel;
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.
TJR.[/quote]

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.
Callie

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!

Tom.




#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!

Diesel;

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.

TJR.




#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?
Mark

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.

TJR.




#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.

Dh;

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.

TJR.




#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....

 

Evelyne

Evelyne;

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.

T.




#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. 

Grype;

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.

TJR.




#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.

TJR.




#90824 Hello From Oklahoma

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

ShellS;

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.

TJR.




#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.

TJR.




#90707 Wedging Tables

Posted by TJR on 12 August 2015 - 08:27 AM

We covered this topic a while back. There are many surfaces that people use. Only about 50% wedge on plaster.

I wedge on canvas covered plywood screwed to a table top. It's been 26 years plus with the same piece of canvas. I have a one inch square hole wore in it. I just work around it. Might change the canvas when I turn 90.

Other surfaces;

Slate, marble, plywood without canvas.

TJR.




#90570 Bisque Blowouts

Posted by TJR on 10 August 2015 - 07:34 AM

Chris, that sounds a lot like the Scientific Method, and there's no place for that kind of thing here...

Don't we just go by the seat of our pants? Chris is being too methodical. Logical.

TJR.




#90506 Bisque Blowouts

Posted by TJR on 09 August 2015 - 10:06 AM

Firing too fast. I put my kilns on low for 2 hours, then medium for an hour then all switches on high. Your rate of temperature climb should be 100 degrees per hour. Should take 8 hours to fire a bisque give or take.

Is she using a computerized kiln? Maybe adjust the rate of climb.

Funny that the recycled clay didn't explode and the new stuff did.

TJR.




#90442 Raku Results Home Made Kiln

Posted by TJR on 08 August 2015 - 09:40 AM

 

Hey, Ian;

Looking good!

A couple of suggestions;

1.Use a small broken kiln shelf on the flue exit. That way you get a bit of back pressure and not all of your heat is lost out of the flue.

2. Build yourself a reduction box out of brick, or metal-not so tall, with a sheet of metal for a lid.

If you are firing in the fall-you can use leaves that your neighbours have bagged up.

Nice looking tiles.

I used to make Group of Seven landscape tiles with my students. Have you heard to Tom Thompson? Just kidding. :rolleyes:

TJR.

Hi TJR

 

The advice around a brick reduction chamber is very sound, in fact I received very similar advice from my father who although has a different core medium (casts bronze sculpture through the lost wax process) feels that I could use fire brick to increase the size of both my kiln and my reduction chamber.  And because I am using a 500,000 BTU torch I should still be able to reach upwards of 1850F given the correct exhaust size.

 

Taking on a project like that would be very exciting and I would love the learning I would get, but my backyard is also a playground for my children and the permeancy and real estate required for a brick kiln or reduction chamber would more than my lovely wife would be willing to give.  Great ideas are fantastic.  All advice I get I very much appreciate as I work somewhat in a vacuum, and I haven’t really done ceramics since I left college 25 or so years ago.

 

Thank you again!

 

Ian

 

Ian;

Here's a couple tips for increasing the size of your combustion chamber;

1. Build a layer of cinder block for the kiln to rest on.

2.Build a softbrick floor-2 to 3 layers, with one hard brick target brick to aim your burner at.

3.Fill in the big hole in the side of your kiln with fiberfax.

Back in the day, we got a grant to travel around rural Manitoba teaching art to country students. We had 6 of us in a van, one art history person, one drawing, one dance, a coordinator, and two raku potters. We could tear down our kiln in 45 minutes from red heat. It was a blast. It was the 70's.

TJR.




#90400 Raku Results Home Made Kiln

Posted by TJR on 07 August 2015 - 11:05 AM

Hey, Ian;

Looking good!

A couple of suggestions;

1.Use a small broken kiln shelf on the flue exit. That way you get a bit of back pressure and not all of your heat is lost out of the flue.

2. Build yourself a reduction box out of brick, or metal-not so tall, with a sheet of metal for a lid.

If you are firing in the fall-you can use leaves that your neighbours have bagged up.

Nice looking tiles.

I used to make Group of Seven landscape tiles with my students. Have you heard of Tom Thompson? Just kidding. :rolleyes:

TJR.




#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

Hey;

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.

T.