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Mark C.

Member Since 09 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 07:40 AM

Topics I've Started

Clay Brick Factory In Cambodia

16 February 2017 - 08:39 AM

In the pottery area about 2.5 hours outside Phnom Penh there is a very old brick factory.

This country is built on these type of bricks. They are used everywhere for everything . From buildings to walls .They are usually skim coasted with cement after laying them up..This factory is very old the 5 kilns are huge long camber kilns on a hillside-fired with local wood.

Two of the 5 kilns where firing when we dropped by for a look . One woman was lightly stoking one kiln. They mine the clay from river and extrude the bricks  and slow dry in shade and fire -They haul them up hill by hand and load kiln in side chambers-after firing they unload and carry down the hill. I crawled into one empty chamber about 1/2 way up hill and took the photo looking down hill toward stoke hole-these kilns are a few hundred feet long.This place was all manual labor except for a backhoe and power extruder..The clay is brown until low fired to an orange teracota color. All bricks have 4 holes in them.

Cambodia Japanese Sponsored Pottery

16 February 2017 - 06:36 AM

I'm in Cambodia  with my wife and am visiting my sister for 10 days who lives in Phnom Penh for six months (retired school teacher from US) for fun.

We hired a driver and went on a long day trip out of the city to the area that is known for making pottery. Its about 2.5 hours out. Most is earthenware but there is a Japanese sponsored pottery where they make the clay and glaze from traditional materials and fire to high temps(cone 10) with wood. They sell this ware to  a few high end restaurants in a few cities. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap where we just spent 3 days viewing the Temples.

In the potteries in the country each house in up on stilts and the pottery in underneath. They fire with rice hulls and wood to low temps.

The only exception is the Japanese Pottery.It a low production deal. They had about 4 treadle wheels (sit down) They did have a huge pug mill and a few power grinders to crush stone/rock and shells for glaze and clay making.

Heres the kiln-I will post more on this area next month when I'm back home. My trip is packed full and not much down time until I'm home.I have taken lots of photos. We leave for Indonesia next week and not sure on internet connections on small island we will be diving from.


Brent Controller Woes-Well Not Really

20 January 2017 - 10:10 PM

I had a post about wearing out my 1982 CXC wheel head bearings last fall. I did not mention the controller has had a few hiccups in speed control for about a year or two. It likes to jump around a bit. I have just worked with it for the past years until today.I thought ok I'm fixing it.

I had bought a circuit board a year ago to fix it but ended up using it in another wheel last year so today I took it apart and took some photos.This is the wheel I have used full time since 1982 along with my 1970 model C I bought in High school.

Seems whenever I want a Brent part they never have it in their photos-today was no different. My controller which is original from 1982 (which is written under my deck  when I bolted the new head on a few months ago) it not want to come apart-so after some Dremel grinding I got it all apart and noticed it did not match any of the control box photos on Amaco/Brent website. Alas I will have to call on Monday and order the controller-I did notice for about $50 more you can get a whole new controller vs just the board. Lets see what they say. Most of the new folks there where not born yet when they made this wheel so finding someone who knows what it is is key. I will add that 35 years full time of using this wheel it as held up well.

The motor is about all that left to quit working.I'm going to use stainless screws to reassemble .The steel ones go away after 35 years with rust.

Wholesale-Know Your Limits

11 January 2017 - 07:43 PM

Here’s a story about wholesale from the early 70s

I had an art professor friend that taught art and ceramics as well for a short time at a JC in our area.

He decided to build a kiln (I was one of the crew that later dismantled it) and get a slab roller and start making flat items. He got some samples together then decided to head down to SF wholesale gift show one winter to get some orders. His plan was to hire students to crank out the work.

He took all the orders he could-at that time I think it was over 80K in orders which is 1972 or 3 was no small number. He came home with several years’ worth of orders to do that spring and fall. He hired whomever he could find to crank out wind chimes and X-mass ornaments etc. In about 3 months he had a mental breakdown as there was no way he could ever get the volume of items needed. He sold all the clay stuff bricks slab roller clay etc. and I got the job of taking the kiln down and the bricks away.

Just stating that one needs to know your output before taking orders of anything.

True story

I can tell it now, as he is not on this planet anymore and theirs a great lesson here.

Cambodia Ceramic Villages-Suggestions?

04 January 2017 - 08:58 PM

Anybody have any suggestions as to some pottery villages to visit? As I’m going to Cambodia to visit my sister next month who is living there for 6 months now. We'll have some fancy digs which are in Phnom Penh so we will day trip from there.

I’m interested in visiting some non-tourist pottery villages in this country.I'll have almost 10 days there.

We plan on a few days at Angor Wat as well as a side trip.

Other than the Kampong Chhnang – Khmer Pottery what does anyone suggest?

I know this potter somewhat over the decades but he has not responded to my e-mails



Marcia? John, have you been in this country visiting any ceramic places before?


We will also be in Indonesia for a few weeks on a small Island (Wakatobi National Park) but we plan on spending most of our time their underwater taking photos. We have spent a month on a boat in Indonesia sailing New Guiana to Bali 10 years ago diving so I'm familiar with this area more than Cambodia.

Indonesia is huge and extremely varied.

Looks like Cambodia has at least two ceramic making areas.