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Pres

Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active May 26 2017 01:32 PM
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#127218 Where Are The Good Stamps?!

Posted by Pres on 25 May 2017 - 03:17 PM

I had the luck to get a few lead type set letters, but not nearly enough, I also use a full set of leather stamps, and I have a fancy set of kids letter stamps for playdoh that is made of hard plastic-work really well.

 

 

best,

Pres




#127101 Qotw: What Movie Best Describes Your Adventures In Clay: And Why?

Posted by Pres on 22 May 2017 - 09:12 PM

Thank you Terrim8, Hmmmm drooling is not included in a vocabulary of legume base cuisine for me. . . . What are you firing your kiln with? -_-  

 

 

best,

Pres




#126879 Pottery Knowledge Quiz Of The Week (Pkqw): Week 8

Posted by Pres on 18 May 2017 - 07:54 AM

18 X 24 X 1" shelf in cordierite is 21#, a silicon carbide 3/4" is 20#, and a 3/16" bonded nitide is 9.5#!

 

Weigh the price against the advantages, and make decisions on your own. Mark has spoken with his choices.

 

 

best,

Pres




#126828 Help! Newbie Struggling With How Much Water?

Posted by Pres on 16 May 2017 - 09:53 PM

I started students with 3# of clay. This was enough to get a feel for centering, and at the same time once they could throw a cylinder out of that to 9 inches, I allowed them to explore other forms. The most basic of forms to master on the wheel is the cylinder, after that the bowl, then the plate. From these, all other forms are derived in one way or another. So concentrate as a beginner on the cylinder with 3#.

 

The clay should be soft enough that you thumb indents it easily without over-stressing the thumb. Next, before using any water, slap the round ball into the center of the wheel. I mean to actually throw the clay into the center onto the damp wheel head, and then while the wheel is moving slowly-very slowly, slap the clay with dry hands on the opposite sides at the same time-not hard, as if you are slapping someone for a naughty word back in the 40's. Do this until you notice the clay more in the center of the wheel head. Then bracing you arms onto your legs, do what is known in lots of circles as Mastering, or coning. You apply pressure with the mid palm area of the hand on both sides of the clay with wet hands now-you can even use a sponge to add a little water to the clay. The object here is to make the clay rise into a tall cone. Doing this is not as easy as it sounds, but it teaches you the amount of pressure needed to get the clay to move, without breaking part of the cone off. If you do break it off, set the entire ball aside and start with a new one. Once you get the hang of going up, use your right fist on the top of the clay, as if there were a bell handle at the top of the cone that you are holding onto. Push downward with the right fist while you brace your left arm into you hip, and use the palm of your left hand hand at 7 with the knuckle line perpendicular to the wheel. Pushing down with right, and in with left should dome the clay. Do this process a couple of times. Then start by opening up with either your Right middle finger, or RT thumb. Others may do it differently, but try what works for you. I am sure you are getting to the point where you understand centering and opening up, but. . . . .

  • Check your centering by moving a needle tool in slowly toward the dome/cone parallel to the wheel head. If you go in slowly enough, and the clay is centered there will be an even line all the way around the clay, if not centered, there will not be a line all the way around the clay.  
  • The most important steps to the cylinder are Centered clay, Even opening up, compressed flattened bottom, well established donut at the start, and strong even pulls that start strong, and then as the clay begins to move pressure is relieved somewhat. Always make a pull that directs inward, so that you pulled form looks more like a slight cone with an open top always. This helps to counter centrifugal force of the wheel.

Hope this helps at your starting level, there really is no other substitute for practice. 

 

best,

Pres

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#126784 Where Did This Yellowy Colour Come From?

Posted by Pres on 16 May 2017 - 01:28 PM

For bluish, I would have tried replacing the titanium with zirconium, of 50/50 zirconium and tin.

 

Yet you may not want to use the tin, as you are including chrome in you glaze. Could cause pink flashing.

 

 

best,

Pres


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#126691 Advice For Centering Clay - Slipping

Posted by Pres on 14 May 2017 - 06:39 PM

Damp wheel head, no water on clay. At 1.25 lb (550 g) I would thing that this is a technique problem, not the wheel or clay or even the bat. I would also suggest you are working too small, maybe go up to 1350 g. This larger amount is usually a beginners amount. As crazy as it may seem, working with the smaller amount is more difficult for a beginner. When you say a little while at the throwing, how long?

 

 

best,

Pres




#126651 How Clay Has Shaped You?

Posted by Pres on 13 May 2017 - 03:52 PM

Hi folks,

You know me as a retired art teacher. I grew up in a family where my Dad had two wives, my Mom and the Air Force, or rather flying. We traveled all over the US, with stations every 3-5 years starting in Washington DC, to McCord, Washington, to HIckam, Hawaii, and to Warner Robbins, with short stops here and there all over. He retired in the 60's, just before I started my Senior year, and moved to Mansfield, PA.

 

While in GA, I dug some red clay to make a model for an Industrial Design competition, never finished it, it cracked apart. Until then I had only had a few Elementary school experiences with clay, nothing of consequence. All through HS I had Art classes, except for the Senior year at Mansfield, where it was not allowed for the College track. Never much showed in the way of talent, just really enjoyed art. Come senior year and graduation at the small HS, very little to say about performance. Went to a Community College in Williamsport and after two years of Math and Science, took a deep dive in the grades. Begged my way back in under probation, met a nice young lady later to marry, aced the new year, and transferred back to the Mansfield area to the state college there, Art Education. Found something that I didn't have to work at, it just happened. I really wasn't the most creative, or the most skilled, or anything else not even the highest grades, but put 100% on the line everyday, every class. It was easy, I loved it, and then I took a Summer class in Ceramics, and I was totally seduced by the clay side! I had to have every waking moment in the pot shop, throwing, wedging, pulling handles, anything and everything, felt like a kid that had to go to the bathroom, but couldn't leave because I would miss something! 

 

I had a colleague later in life tell me that I drew to many mandalas, and circular patterns that were spirally concentric, not a good thing. He was majoring in Art Therapy, and tried to analyze everything. I told him one day when he was going on about this that it was perfectly logical, my doodles were that way because of the wheel, the wedging in spiral shapes, the way I centered, and looked down on those circles in the clay to the extent that I even dreamed about them, or had nightmares of the piece of clay that I could not center constantly throwing my arms out of place and the bucket of water out into space. Like a dog with a bone he would say see, you need help!

 

Clay has shaped my life in so many ways, and made so much of the rest of it better also. My wife, whenever I seem restless even after working week and coming into a Thursday would say, you need some rest go out an make some pots. Like a charm. For me the question would be how hasn't clay changed your life?

 

 

best,

Pres




#126542 Bottoms Chipping During Firing

Posted by Pres on 11 May 2017 - 03:44 PM

Looking at your kiln shelf pic it also looks like your glaze is running more than you are allowing for. During cooling, if the glaze is stuck to the shelf you will lose a little of the pot. I don't have much experience with porcelain, but know that many times they will run unless the glaze is properly adjusted for the clay.  Knowing that I am not that experienced, I could be completely off base, but that is my opinion. Bruce is also correct about the term, plucking, and that give you a starting point for an internet search.

 

 

best,

Pres




#126457 Qotw: The Psychological Ups And Downs With Clay

Posted by Pres on 09 May 2017 - 02:21 PM

RonSa, You will never have control of the clay! Once bitten it controls you.

 

 

 

best,

Pres




#126454 Nine Warning Signs Of An Amateur Artist

Posted by Pres on 09 May 2017 - 01:28 PM

 

If you come up to a problem or some sort of limitation to moving forward, and cannot figure a way around or through it, and just give up then what?

 

 

best,

Pres

 

 

I've always felt that if I can only come up with one solution to a problem I'm doing something wrong,

 

While teaching, it was my set policy to always give the student at least 3 choices when asked to solve a problem for them. Kept things from being too much the "Teachers pot". Also demonstrated on another piece of clay whenever possible, not on their pot.

 

best,

Pres




#126439 Pottery Knowledge Quiz Of The Week (Pkqw): Week 7

Posted by Pres on 09 May 2017 - 09:29 AM

Hi folks, again we have another quiz based on a book. I chose some of the questions this week to clarify terms that I have heard potters use interchangeably when they shouldn't be, so be careful.  

 

 

Week 7

  1. _______________ is the ability of liquid to penetrate and be distributed through a material. It specifically relates to the working action of a dry clay surface when in contact with water.

      1. Porosity

      2. Shrinkage

      3. Marbling

      4. Absorption

  2. _______________is the quantity of the pores or voids in a clay body.

      1. Porosity

      2. Shrinkage

      3. Marbling

      4. Absorption

  3. _________ _____ is caused by a contamination in the clay, best described as a half moon shaped pit in the pot, with a light or dark nodule in the center. This can occur immediately after firing, or several years later as calcium chloride expands.

      1. Contaminated grog

      2. Lime pop

      3. Alkali salting

      4. Wet blistering

  4. Preventing S-crack formation in pottery in thrown pottery is dependent on __________________ alignment of the clay platelets during the throwing process. Much of this is dependent on the coning , opening up, and compression stages of the throwing.

      1. Linear

      2. asymmetric

      3. concentric

      4. random

This weeks questions were taken from text in The Potters Studio Clay & Glaze Handbook, Jeff Zamek, 2009. Quarry Books

Note from Pres: I could have gathered hundreds of questions from this book, but chose those which I thought would be of interest to the largest audience. I believe that I will return to some books after some time to add more. For those of you interested in glazes, and clay bodies, this is a well constructed and informative text.

 

Answers:

  1. Absorbency and Porosity (Answers to both 1 & 2 are included in the text here) 1. (d) Absorption 2. (a) Porosity

  2. Two terms that are frequently used interchangeably but describe different conditions ore absorbency and porosity. Absorbency is the ability of liquid to penetrate and be distributed through a material. It specifically relates to the wicking action of ct dry clay surface when in contact with water. Porosity is the quantity of pores or voids in a clay body.

  3. ( B) Lime pop occurs when moisture in the air comes into contact with a carbonized lime nodule, causing its expansion in an unyielding tired clay body. This can occur when the pottery is removed from the kiln. li can also happen years later, as lithe expands (in the torm at calcium hydroxide). Lime pop is a semi-elliptical 1/8- to 1/2-inch (3- to l3-mm) crack in low-temperature bisque or high-temperature fired ware. A conical hole reveals a black or white nodule (lime) at the bottom.

  4. © concentric  See image below.     

Attached Files




#126434 Nine Warning Signs Of An Amateur Artist

Posted by Pres on 09 May 2017 - 08:26 AM

I think that often whether it is success in business, or with talent, or in most anything in life, being a problem solver is important. If you come up to a problem or some sort of limitation to moving forward, and cannot figure a way around or through it, and just give up then what? There is without the determination to solve the problem, there is not persistence and the tendency to go from on effort to another without finishing anything.

 

 

best,

Pres




#126371 Qotw: The Psychological Ups And Downs With Clay

Posted by Pres on 08 May 2017 - 08:53 AM

Hi folks, 

This weeks Question of the Week comes from Diesel Clay up in Calgary, Canada. She asks: I have questions about resiliency, and getting back to work after various events that have either failed, or gone extremely well. How do you deal wth artistic setbacks, or get back to work after the high of an achievement? Please describe an instance of either. 

 

This is an interesting question, and was hard to put into a title, so I took a little creative license to come up with one that I think fits. For me, there have been several ups and downs with my work, but just one solution to get through it. . . keep on working. Part of working meant getting more aware of what I really liked in pottery I admired, choosing what I believed was relevant to my work, and integrating it into what I was doing.

 

What were some of my set backs? In the 90's I had pots that were white with in-glaze decoration that used a lot of lace, and plant leaves with atomizer shading finished with brush strokes. I was using a white glaze that was eggshell. Some way or other I just completely lost the feeling for it, and couldn't decorate that way anymore. These pots were large jars, and not really functional ware, but decorative, and I sold a lot of them. My smaller ware-mugs, casseroles, bowls etc were using the same decoration and glazes. I found that they were not as durable as I had thought. At the time the larger pots were "canvases" for paintings and glossy surfaces made it harder to see the decoration. Should have used different glazes. So I left the whole idea behind going for other types of decoration. Worked for a long time on developing glazes that were durable and that I liked. Changing my approach completely. 

 

I you haven't posted a question in the pool, please, please do. It makes this job easier!

 

best,

Pres




#126351 Nine Warning Signs Of An Amateur Artist

Posted by Pres on 07 May 2017 - 09:53 PM

Several times as a teacher, we would discuss the types of students we would see. All too often, it was the one that was driven, or worked hard at everything whether they had talent or not, they loved what they were doing and driven to do better. On the other hand we had a saying that will offend some of you. When describing a talented kid, one who had everything going, knew it, acted like it, but were too lazy to finish most anything because it bored them or it was just an assignment. . . . wasted meat. Sad, but all too often would be that way. When talking about a professional in business, how many struggle to learn and overcome, and make it because they persevered. How many that seemingly  had it all in the bag, because they were sooooo talented, were just a flash in the pan!

 

For Mea,

I realize that this is a business forum, but the door about professional and amateur was opened up, at the same time the nine common mistakes, stand for almost anything in life. Just change the titles to see how it sounds, too bad some of the lessons are never learned and things like a business plan are often not taught in many venues.

 

 

best,

Pres




#126337 Can I Include Work I Want To Refire In A Load Of Newly Glazed Work?

Posted by Pres on 07 May 2017 - 07:02 PM

I have often refired pieces that I was not happy with. These had been reglazed by heating up in oven, then sprayed or dipped while hot. Glaze dried almost immediately. I don't normally worry about vitrified ware getting refired as it does not soak up water like bisque does. I always do a water smoke (1-2 hr ) on just glazed pots to help with drying before the firing really begins.

 

 

 

best,

Pres