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Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 10:49 PM

#82677 Drying Bowls - Rim Up Or Rim Down

Posted by Pres on Today, 09:41 AM

Just finished throwing a few bowls yesterday. I even left one, last of day, right on the wheel head to stiffen through the night. This morning it is 67F but humid, went out to check on pots from yesterday, casserole sides and base, 5# wide bowl on wheel head, 10 mugs sitting on drywall ware board. Mug bases were stiff, and rims were nearly leather hard, flipped them over onto rims. Bowl sitting on wheel head, rim is stiff, cut from head, and flipped onto head, wheel off! Casserole walls cheese hard, cut from wooden bat, placed on separate base, ovaled it, marked outer edge, lifted off and on base added magic water with toothbrush working up good slurry, added walls and ribbed onto base, trimmed outside excess and place clean bat on top to flip whole mess over onto rim. Bottom was still a little damp, but firm enough to hold shape. Once this dries to leather hard I will scrape edges, but later today I will re-flip it and lay a decorated slab over rim slumped to form the lid. This is my first attempt at an oval casserole, so I am learning as I go. Does not seem to be much of a problem.


So from this, yes I flip, to dry evenly, and to protect the rim, and make certain rim is even flat. Sometimes I even thumb an extra flair into a cheese hard rim at this stage. I like bowls that have larger rims that flair out to allow for easy lifting out of hot oven, or hold in arms while mixing. this always seems to allow missed flour or such to hit the bowl instead of the table! :huh:

#82579 Are You Making Your Own Pottery Tools?

Posted by Pres on Yesterday, 09:09 AM

  I usually use a altered bamboo

skewer,(found in grocery stores). 



See ya,


Like Alabama, I like bamboo. I have found a variety of uses for bamboo chopsticks. Sharpened in different ways they make great calligraphy tools, soften the edges to cut down on burrs in the clay. If you drill a hole in one end, then sharpen the end until you get a u-shaped edge you get a nice double line tool. Rubber banded together in a cross, you can use them for measuring tools for bowls and mugs or other things that need to be the same size and depth. 


Bamboo spoons are all the rage right now, and bamboo is a pretty environmentally friendly. Cut the handles off the spoons, reshape on a belt sander, reshape t he handles also, and use for ribs. Bamboo seems to hold up really well in water with little care.


Arch cutter is simple using a hacksaw blade. These blades have a hole on each end. Place a string through one hole, run to hole on other side and through the hole. Then going to the loose end of string before tying together, wrap around the string a few times- about 3-4. Tie the two ends together after you have bent the blade into an arch. This is pretty good as is, but for a little adjustment, place a short bamboo stick in one of the loops so you can wind the string tighter to make narrower arch. Tuck the stick into the string to hold in place.

#82288 Refiring Glaze - Food Safe?

Posted by Pres on 23 May 2015 - 09:31 AM

I agree with John, but if you like the piece, fix it, and use it at home.  I have some bowls that we use at the house from earlier years, no cracks in bowl, but cracked underneath. If I tried to remove them now, it would be grounds for divorce as my wife loves them, and uses them to mix up all sorts of cookie dough at Christmas time and uses them for marinating at other times. They really won't be a problem for your home use if not cracked through.

#81384 Any Way To Get An Off Topic Forum?

Posted by Pres on 12 May 2015 - 07:58 AM

We do get off topic often in the forum. That said, I really don't want an area where the subject matter could turn into an informational archive for Romance or Mystery novels. :unsure:


As we all know once posted, in the heat of a moment, in despair or whatever, it is there forever!


I love working with the forums, and the good people here, and at times have to do very difficult things to ensure that the forum stays healthy. These things are not done without consulting with all of the moderators and sometimes the administrators. A lot more goes on in the background to protect the forum, and the folks in the forum than many might believe. All this very , , , carefully and emphatically.

#81284 Any Way To Get An Off Topic Forum?

Posted by Pres on 11 May 2015 - 11:48 AM

Thank you Sherman, and Chris.

Some nightmares are best avoided.


Best, as always,


#81123 Buying A New Wheel! ^_^ Yes!

Posted by Pres on 09 May 2015 - 08:51 AM

I often change the way that I pull, finding that different hand positions use of fingers or knuckles, different positioning can relieve the stress of repetition. That is one of the reasons I use an elbow for opening up larger bowl forms or a spoon rib for opening smaller bowls. We do know that repetition of stresses on the hands and wrists are ways of developing problems in the joints and muscles. That said, I have been watching a series of videos by Hsin-Chuen Lin, Guinea, you may find his method of opening up and of pulling interesting, maybe even helpful.


#81023 Buying A New Wheel! ^_^ Yes!

Posted by Pres on 07 May 2015 - 03:18 PM

Quality over quantity, Guinea. If you wedge well, or use deairing pug, use the arm to start centering then finish a bit with coning, you should be fine. You may even find it works well without, but well prepared clay to start with is very important, as we all know.

#80396 Finding Your Own Style...easy To Say

Posted by Pres on 29 April 2015 - 11:09 PM

So artsyfartsyweirdo, you want people to appreciate your pots for their function, their affordability, and that they will use them and love them. I think a lot of us here like that sort of standard, and it does speak to efficiency of form, reproducible work, and selling lots of pots at reasonable prices. None of this speaks of style. 10 potters in a room, each of the, with 10 mugs, you could mix them up, and still separate 99% correctly to each potter because of style-placement of handle, type and shape, treatment of lip and base, treatment of belly and neck, and treatment of the inside of the form. All of this before ever getting to surface treatment and glaze.  People that pick up my mugs notice a lot from the handle, most notice the treatment of surface, and glaze. However, my style is evolving as it is not as tight as it had been even a year ago, and hopefully will be different in 5 years. Not necessarily a bad thing, as when someone buys that first mug that they really like, they can come back in a few years and buy another that is similar, but totally different, because my style has evolved even though my beliefs in form and function may have remained the same.


After all of this diatribe, I hope you understand my following suggestion: make lots of pots, don't worry about style, just let it happen, and every day you unload the kiln crit your work to see where your style is taking you.


Have a great journey


#80050 Glaze Settling Out - What To Add?

Posted by Pres on 25 April 2015 - 09:24 AM

I used to use epsom salts in every glaze I had. I kept a lidded container of water with as much Epsom salts in it as would dissolve. Every time I made a new glaze I would add 2Tbsp of this liquid to the glaze liquid, helped to keep glazes from settling or worse yet hard panning. If I had a glaze that settled out quickly, the next time I made it up I would add bentonite before mixing in water. When mixing up 15 glazes for HS studio, you get to learn your glazes pretty well after a year of so. Back then, I would look at the recipe and take interest in how much clay was involved in the formula, and how the glaze settled after mixing. Now I am more aware, and using Insight for more understanding of the glaze chemistry.

#79896 Humor: The Best Way To Learn!

Posted by Pres on 22 April 2015 - 06:25 PM

I agree TJR, I don't think there was really any ill will with the video. But, like I said, I just didn't find it funny. What they could have done, is focus on the pottery student "characters" we all have to deal with, that give us a chuckle. The big, strong athlete, who thinks they can throw a two foot vase right out of the gate, but then realizes that a pound of clay, can put up a good fight, and won't quite give you enough clay, to get to two foot. Then there's the gigglers, who secretly make something phallic, when you aren't looking, or just laugh at anything that has that look, i.e. coning up clay, pulling a handle, etc. And there is the student, who thinks they will be the first to successfully sneak a pipe or bong past the teacher, because obviously, the teacher is oblivious to such things, having just been relesed from the "Art Factory/ Farm, where they were isolated from all the outside world....

In my opinion, focusing on those types would be more amusing, than the struggles of a student sincerely trying to do something.

Used to love challenging the biggest jock in the class to a "wedging contest". This after everyone was worn out from wedging, but getting the hang of the Rams Head or Cone technique. All of the complaints about my muscles hurt, I am not strong enough, I can't do this had been heard, and whined out. It was time for a laugh. So I challenged a student. First to choose the right student big, strong, not self conscious. Then to have him choose a weight of clay to wedge, and I double that. So then to wedge, any technique he wanted. As would always happen he would be worn out in 5 minutes, and I would still be going on. After everyone would get over the laughter, I would explain as I already had, that it was about the rhythm and the body movement. If using your arms to wedge and not your body you would get worn out easier. If using your body, with legs spread as in walking, right height of table, and movement from legs up to shoulders you don't have to move your arms so much to move the clay.  Lesson learned, break in class period, and proper reinforcement of good technique.

#79776 Does Moving In Social Media Circles Support Your Clay Career?

Posted by Pres on 21 April 2015 - 08:39 AM

I had always "lurked" in the background on CAD, while teaching. I found solutions to problems, ways to organize, little helps on studio, students, glazes and techniques. When I retired, I came out of retirement in that I stopped lurking and tried to get involved, filing the void. I found out about the NC potters conference, attended it, started a blog to be able to "teach" somewhat. Then for some reason the folks at CAD asked if I would moderate here. I jumped at it. As far as facebook, and linked in, really not there yet, but otherwise I am getting enough to keep me busy.

#79746 Humor: The Best Way To Learn!

Posted by Pres on 20 April 2015 - 04:51 PM

I had a more hands on approach; I would often use the students hand to make a pull, center the clay, or open up. I usually had them working on 3# balls so I could get my hands in there with theirs. I usually asked questions about how the new positions were in contrast to the ones they had been using. In long run, different strokes for different folks, no two teachers are alike.

#79707 Some Restrictions On Posting To Stop Spam?

Posted by Pres on 20 April 2015 - 07:54 AM

In the last two weeks, I think I have deleted at least 5 pieces of spam with no reports. Actually have not deleted spam, but marked an account as a spammer. The control of spam in this way is pretty non reversible, as the ID goes in to the black void. I would not want to have just anybody with that sort of power, not that I am above making mistakes, but I hope to never get vengeful or petty.

#79664 Humor: The Best Way To Learn!

Posted by Pres on 18 April 2015 - 11:30 PM

I always had a rule about questions, sometimes bit my tongue about it, but for me there was never a stupid question as long as it was about the classroom material.

#79567 Humor: The Best Way To Learn!

Posted by Pres on 17 April 2015 - 03:31 PM

Do you think a group of students would find it. . .  funny, or otherwise?

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