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Member Since 07 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 02:05 PM

#56645 What To Make?

Posted by TJR on 14 April 2014 - 09:15 PM


I like the word;"crapton", but couldn't work it into a sentence.


Many years ago I helped with the circus when it came to town.  Amoung the more noteable jobs was hauling the elephant waste to a dump site out of town.  That is the first thing that still comes to mind whenever someone makes reference to a crapton of stuff.


At the San Diego Zoo, instead of hauling away the craptons of elephant doo doo, they bag it up an sell it as "Zoo Doo". Apparently it is quite good for your garden as it is full of chewed up grass.

Remember, someone's crapton is someone else's zoodoo.

You heard it here first.


#56626 What To Make?

Posted by TJR on 14 April 2014 - 04:50 PM

I always start out with mugs. I make 50 or 60 at a time. Then match them up by height so they can be sets, but no one ever buys sets. I love the fact that if I throw 15 mugs, I pull 15 handles and they all work.[pauses to reach around and pat himself on the back]. If you like making bowls, people respond to them as well.

People must see an obvious use for something before they take it home.

I like the word;"crapton", but couldn't work it into a sentence.


#55703 An Apology

Posted by TJR on 29 March 2014 - 02:28 PM

Please accept my sincere apology for a couple of posts that I made this week. I corrected some spelling and grammar errors on two posts in this section. I have sent personal apologies to those people that I corrected. It is not my place to be correcting peoples' posts. I am a poster just like yourselves. I in no way wish to discourage anyone on this blog from asking questions. I also feel that in a lot of areas, I can be of help, as I am an advanced potter.

My head was getting a little too big, and people kindly reminded me that I was being gruff. I will not be correcting anyone's posts in future. We all make mistakes.

Sincerely, Tom Roberts.

aka TJR.

#55576 Lava Glaze

Posted by TJR on 27 March 2014 - 06:18 PM

I am hopping somebody can help me out with a dilemma I have concerning a lava glaze I have got from ceamicsarts daily.

There are two versions of this cone 6 lava glaze. One says 0 .34% silica carbide and the other says 34%.

The current stoneware one I am using used 2%, so one seem a bit low and the other way to high.

Thanks for any help avaibale.


Here we go again.

Lyn-you are not hopping, you were hoping, unless you are currently standing on one foot.

Please reread your post and "edit!" Available- not avaibale.



#55556 Drawing Through A Glaze

Posted by TJR on 27 March 2014 - 02:39 PM

i am interested in a glaze that will allow me to draw threw it while wet to show the glaze or clay body beneath, and display the form outlined by the "drawn thru"  glaze.


thank you 


cp dunbar

Mr. Dunbar;

Through is spelled "through". You have misspelled it two different ways in your post. There is an edit button on the bottom right.I would be grateful if you used it.


#55314 Why Decorate Pots?

Posted by TJR on 24 March 2014 - 02:52 PM

I am actually in a group of artists called the GAWMYS. Good art won't match your sofa. We have a group show coming up in 2015. All of us are art teachers or retired art teachers. None of us make work to match furniture.


#55046 Expectation And Appearance

Posted by TJR on 20 March 2014 - 08:01 AM

This is the classic;"escape the studio/shop scene"

If she had a smoke bomb, she would have thrown it down and disappeared. I have heard;"Do you have that in green?",or" I am just going to get my wallet/purse/backpack,money."

Who walks around a craft fair with their money in another location?

I also have beautiful hair and nails, and ironically, am still able to make pottery.

File this one under the"crack-pot pile."


#54990 What Has Been Your Worst Re Encounter Of A Piece Of Your Pottery?

Posted by TJR on 19 March 2014 - 08:26 AM


I think you just have to move to another town!

I went to a garage sale last summer with my kids in our old neighbourhood. The woman running the sale was my daughter's dance teacher. Her mother had passed away, and she was selling her stuff.

She had this butt ugly pot of mine-made with Valentine fire clay. Nice toasty body, very shapeless form. I turned it over. THERE WAS A CRACK IN THE BOTTOM.

My kids said;"Dad, you should buy it!."

It was $8.00. I couldn't justify spending $8.00 on that ugly thing just to smash it.

Now I lie awake at night in a cold sweat wishing I had bought it just to smash.


#54922 How To Turn Cobalt Blues Into Something Much More Subtle?

Posted by TJR on 18 March 2014 - 07:49 AM

You could try adding tin or zircopax, you can also cut it with iron oxide. Give me a day and I will send you a recipe for my blue colourant. I am not in the studio right now. Actually, I am on my way to teach my bad Gr.10's.


#54724 Cobalt Spreads To Other Glazes In Kiln?

Posted by TJR on 15 March 2014 - 10:49 AM

I agree with Neil. This looks like a glaze application issue.The middle photo the glaze looks to be twice as thick as it should be. Cobalt is a very stable colourant and does not normally fly around the kiln like copper would. It's a strong colourant. You could be contaminating your wares with your hands/utensils.

Pin-holing can come from dust or too rapid a rise in glaze temperature.

Ain't ceramics grand? Give it 20 or 30 years and you will be O.K.


#54294 Smooth Bottoms On Kiln Fired Cups

Posted by TJR on 10 March 2014 - 05:26 PM

I like a smooth bottom as well.Just sayin'


#54172 Doomspiration - Analogy By Robert Genn

Posted by TJR on 08 March 2014 - 10:23 AM

This is why I agree with John Baymore about not using the term; "playing with clay". I never refer to clay as mud. Clay is a mineral. Yes, I feel that I have a monkey on my back. Yes, I feel that when the winters are long and cold and dark, it's tough to get into the studio. I put on my parka and boots to walk 15 feet out my back door to my heated studio. Sometimes the door is frozen shut and I have to get a hair dryer to thaw the lock. But the thought of not being able to spend time in my studio makes me walk back to the house to get the dryer.

Even if I just stand in my space. Even if I just move stuff around. Even if I sand 40 mugs-I'm in there thinking. Even if I look at glaze test tiles.I am now mixing up that Reitz green from the John Britt high fire book.

For me it's not the selling, it's the making. The selling is a hassle, but I do it.

I also teach high school art. I had a conversation with a first year teacher who is teaching one art class in the afternoon to Grade 9's. I had to explain to him that you have to teach the basics. You have to teach the colour wheel and complementary colours before you can expect to get a good painting out of these students. He went to art school for performance art. I don't know how you get through drawing without using a pencil, but there you go! I am now old and set in my ways.

Still loving making art and teaching art.


Great conversation.

#53743 Glaze Waste Hazards

Posted by TJR on 02 March 2014 - 10:42 AM

I have a bucket in my studio for glaze washing. All dipping containers, tongs brushes etc. get rinsed in there. Having said that, I realize that I wash out my glaze sieves in the laundry sink in my basement.[so some stuff goes down the drain].

The glazes that result from this glaze rinse water are quite beautiful, and have a richness that you cannot get with the pure chemicals from the supplier. I have a Korean celadon type glaze, and a blackish, oilspot Temmoku. Of course I test these glazes before applying them to my pots. They don't usually run, but can be butt ugly occasionally. Then they get relegated to the back corner of the studio with the label; "Don't Use."

The really good slop glazes get used all the time, but then you cannot repeat the results when the bucket is empty.


#49538 Teapot Spouts 'unwinding' When Fired?

Posted by TJR on 06 January 2014 - 03:18 PM

I'm left handed,Marcia is left handed, Michael Cardew was left handed. We all throw with the wheel turning counter clockwise. I have made a heck of a lot of teapots I my time. I don't bother trimming the tip. They look fine. It has nothing to do with handedness, but the rotation of the wheel.

#49261 New Trend In Education?

Posted by TJR on 03 January 2014 - 01:00 PM

Going to have to weigh in AGAIN! Last day of my two week Christmas holiday. Back to the high school art teaching job Monday.

I have the lazy kids at the back of the room. You spend time with them to show that the sky is full of multiple layers of colour. They paint it a solid blue like a fence. This is watercolour-has to be tranluscent. There is a silhouet of a black tree in the fore-ground. Left it out.Mark-55%.

You get the kid in 40s-specialized art. I find out he is also taking 20g art  with the other art teacher at the same time. Then I find out he has a credit for 30g art which was taught last semester. How can you put a student in grade 12 art at the same time as he is taking gr10 art, and with an existing credit for gr 11. Obviously he has been placed here because he is not good at anything else. 58 absences later, he is finally dropped from the course.

I do have the class with the two hoons that want all the attention and are disruptive-swearing, eating, dipping out to have a smoke. Admin do not want to know about them. We will be starting our clay unit on Monday. They will be the one's throwing clay. They won't be withdrawn. There is nowhere for them to go.

Just don't be afraid to fail students. Just make sure you have documented evidence that they have done nothing.

I also have some really talented gr.12's. The class where you go;"Holy Crap that's good!"Thing balance out luckily. I still like getting up in the morning to teach school.