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Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 06:34 AM

#63356 How Much Testing Or Tweaking Of Glazes Do You Do?

Posted by Pres on Yesterday, 04:49 PM

Ah, to have the luxury of the time, opportunity and money that was there when I went to school in the last century! :lol: I am still looking for a good work shop close to me that I can get into on a commute, or live in basis. I do believe that I have come to understand much more than I think, but it is always nice to be assured after putting several hours of work into a classroom situation. The other part of my problem is that I have been to the front of the room for so long, wonder if I could sit through a poor presentation without saying something. B)

#62910 Do You Teach To Throw Off The Hump?

Posted by Pres on 20 July 2014 - 09:36 PM

It also helps to dip the knife in water just before cutting.

#62395 Where To Start With Wheel Newbies?

Posted by Pres on 13 July 2014 - 10:27 PM

My two cents? How big is the guy? If he has big hands, less than 3lb will frustrate hiim. Smaller hands 1.5 to 2lb. Start with mastering/coning, and work into centering. Lots of hand on hand instruction, correct throwing positio, use his hands to pull. Hard to do in afew days, but with an adult that is physically aware, it can be done. If he lovesit he'll be hooked the second day. Do you want to create this beast?

#62041 Bad Habits You Would Like To Break.

Posted by Pres on 08 July 2014 - 04:23 PM

All too often when working in studios by ourselves with no one else around, we get poor habits while working. Maybe it is something we have had for years, or something we just picked up within the last few years. A few of mine. . .


  • wiping my hands on my pants instead of a towel or rag while throwing.
  • waiting too long to clean the wheel up, everything is crusty, and so has to be soaked down to soften before cleaning.
  • Doing the same with the floor.
  • Not putting tools away once I use them, either that or developing a better tool organization system.

These are just a few of mine I have noticed lately, what are yours?

#61974 Does Your Dominant Hand Dictate Form Or Are You Ambidextrous.

Posted by Pres on 07 July 2014 - 10:06 PM

Congratulations on the big "65" I will approach it in a few more weeks. Is it really so big?




#61386 Tips & Tricks

Posted by Pres on 25 June 2014 - 09:37 PM

On throwing larger, try pulling normal, then after beginning cylinder pull top third, then middle third then bottom third of pot. This allows me to often get taller and thinner forms.

#61304 homemade trimming tools

Posted by Pres on 23 June 2014 - 05:27 PM

Hmmm today I was trimming some canisters. I wanted a multiple bead on the sides 3 or 4 deep. There did not seem to be a tool that fit the job in all of my different tools-and I've got a lot. So one of the wooden tools that was a duplicate came out, the dremel came out, and in a few minutes the dremel was away, and I was trimming in the beads on the pots. I have always believed that my making or modifying my tools made my work more mine.


That said, there are a pile of great tool makers out there, and many of them are getting the message about more variety in shapes other than the small and large loop, spade or flat. I like variety, and if a manufactured tool is something I don't have that I like, I usually have it once I see it.

#61114 What Is The Most Dangerous Thing In Your Studio?

Posted by Pres on 18 June 2014 - 03:39 PM

I fall in the 98% category as I am the most dangerous tool in my studio, not only to myself, but to others. Thank goodness I am usually alone. Some days I am stumbling around with vertigo, other days with dizziness from the Niaspin I take. Soft hands from being in water a lot get cut easily, shins get bruised and it seems like my genetic make up makes me a bleeder with thin fragile skin. There are weeks where I am constantly scarred up. But you know, I love the clay, so it is what it is. Sometimes we have a price to pay. Good thing about genetics though, my Dad similar to I in almost every way(except for politics) just drove his 33' motor home pulling a car back from Florida last month. He is 87 and still going strong. I tell him you lead and I'll follow. (I hope) :rolleyes:

#61058 Canvas Texture On Handbuilt Work

Posted by Pres on 17 June 2014 - 09:00 PM

Hmmmm, I won't shout it, but I'm really not impressed. How about a little art speak about how the natural forms pictured in the article relate so to the pieces, boulder dash. Color comes close second to the natural forms, but the lichen and mosses are so much richer than what I see in any of the pieces. I have no problem with texture left on slabs from the canvas if there is a reason for it. In her case, it is the entire motif with some contrast where she applies glaze. So if she is selling, and the buyers are happy, I feel like I am reading Fountainhead all over again.

#60760 Why It Goes Off Center?

Posted by Pres on 13 June 2014 - 05:10 PM

Rebekah, no big deal. I used to do this day and day out with lots of students, you learned what to look for, especially if you were confident with your own skills. Everyone throws differently, but there are inherent basics throughout the process-body posture, body bracing, extensions of the elbows and position of the hands and fingers in relation to the clay, depth perception by feel, measuring by feel whether in distance or pounds, equalization of pressures in all stages of throwing and shaping, stable slow motion movements when needed, graduated pressure as moving upward on the form, and so many others that off the top of my head, I can't think of. People may use different fingers to throw, positions, different wheel speeds, or even use other body parts, but those before are basic, intrinsic, and only learned through many hours of practice.  I learned more about my own throwing by evaluating throwing of others and helping them to correct their problems.

#60729 Why It Goes Off Center?

Posted by Pres on 13 June 2014 - 08:21 AM

Okay, the full critique, from my personal perspective.

  • You have good skills at centering, but need to take just a bit more at the base of the donut to make certain this is centered well.
  • When opening up, you opened up as if throwing a wide canister, yet later you pushed the clay in for a narrow base-this is overworking this stage and setting up week points for later.
  • Your pulling skills are quite consistent, as are your shaping skills. However, when pulling, as the pot gets higher up try cutting down on the water and using smaller finger contact points. Also, you have a habit of what I call "chicken winging". Your elbows are far from your body making you use more muscle to stabilize than needed for the task, bring you elbows in closer to your body.
  • The big problem with your top offcenter comes from the lack of recentering the shoulder neck join on up the neck. I recenter this area everytime I make a shaping move. Oh by the way, you can shape going down or up, does not matter. Recentering the shoulder/neck will help to keep the neck in line. Make certain to use less water on shaping, the more water the more the clay will want to slump, especially with the bulbous form you are shaping that has to support the full neck on top. So do try to cut back on water.

These are my personal observations, they are not meant to be mean, and these are the things I would point out to my HS and adult students when working.


"Chicken winging" I have seen in a lot of potters, and often when they start throwing larger, they have problems with bigger amounts. Moving the arms in closer to the body is tough, but has a tendency to stabilize the hands for more even consistent pulls. I don't have a whole lot of arms strength, but find that I can throw 25-30# when needed. If I chicken winged I know I would not be able to.

#60636 10 Cool Trends In Contemporary Ceramics

Posted by Pres on 11 June 2014 - 06:52 PM

Sorry, I can't get excited by anything that I saw in the article. Not that I don't like funky pots in their time and place, but. . . my HS kids would try to bowl me over with their intellectualism when jockeying for grade. These look like they need some grade boosting also, but not at my expense.

#60612 Need To Make A Container That Looks Like A Loaf Of Bread For Donations

Posted by Pres on 11 June 2014 - 02:26 PM

I would consider throwing a bottomless cylinder with regular shaped line in it for the bread slices if important. Then I would allow it to get stiffen up some, reshape the sides for a standing loaf, then add a top and bottom. After reaching cheese/leather hard, turn on side and finish paddling to shape. Many would do this with wet slabs, but as I throw quicker than rolling out slabs and shaping this makes easier sense to me.

#60296 Onsite Bookkeeping Ideas?

Posted by Pres on 08 June 2014 - 01:58 PM

An easy option is to put a tag on pieces that includes the type of piece, the sales price, and any other pertinent info(color, size, shape etc-even a pic). When making the sale, keep the tag in a box for inventory later. Preparation for most shows is very important, and the time put into prep can mean a huge difference in the stress level at the show.

#59959 White Spots On Bisque-Fired Brown Clay

Posted by Pres on 04 June 2014 - 10:17 AM

I have had this happen in areas where I would work to much smoothing out an area with water and tools, maybe the water was hard(tap). I don't know, I do know that this often happens in some clay bodies and not in others. John is right on about the solutions to it, and I can back it up with research I had done years ago about the same thing. Thing is, I am reluctant to keep barium in the studio, so I have to look for other solutions. As far as showing up after glazing. Never noticed it after the glaze firing.