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Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:23 PM

#122602 S-Crack

Posted by Pres on 20 February 2017 - 07:02 PM

I really don't like throwing a downer into the parade, but why worry about fixing a cracked pot. Any sort of crack in the pot is just a weakness waiting for something to happen. Could you sell it?  Could you give it away to a friend or relative? So you might use it yourself? If it is not cracked all the way through, sure use it at home, enjoy it until the next one come along. In the long run, best to not get into the habit of fixing cracks for any reason. The time you spend repairing it could be better used with a little more time making a replacement. At the same time, maybe lesson learned.  Hope I don't sound to harsh, but that is my take on cracks.




#122549 Is Anyone Going To Nceca?

Posted by Pres on 20 February 2017 - 09:35 AM

I won't be making it this year, couldn't fit it in the budget. However, I am looking forward to 2018.







#122353 Throwing Challenge

Posted by Pres on 15 February 2017 - 12:23 PM

Standing wheel is an option, or having them brace in to the thigh half way down the leg. 





#122247 Clay In Glazes.

Posted by Pres on 13 February 2017 - 04:27 PM

Clay for me is not a bad thing, as I understand it, a certain amount of clay allows the glaze to stay in suspension longer thus not needing constant mixing. Pinks are big culprits when using tin and chrome, as they often have to be kept mixed to get the tin pink coloring as shown on test tiles. At least this is how I have experience it, and I do also add Epsom salts to aid suspension in the glaze.





#122213 How Much Should I Have Made For My First Art Show?

Posted by Pres on 13 February 2017 - 08:24 AM

I often wondered that myself. In the beginning though there was no set strategy. Later as I understood the whole "fair" thing, I realized that I needed some smaller stuff(mugs, bowls, boxes, etc) and some larger stuff(tall jars, vases, casseroles, large bowls) to sell also. As my work became more noticed, I needed more of the larger stuff. It is always evolving, and each fair requires a different stock, all dependent on the clientele.






#122024 Why Is This Happening?

Posted by Pres on 10 February 2017 - 09:05 AM

Looks like to me you are leaving a bit of an the wedged area pocketed when wedging. Do you cone wedge, or rams head? I cone, get the clay to an cone, and then end up the wedging process with several short strokes where you roll and smooth the sides, and round in the bottom to a lightly domed form. You will end up with a a low bowl shape with a cone on top. This should get rid of the area you have in your pictures. If you are doing the rams head, then keep working again with shorter strokes to smooth in the sides, and just cut off the bottom, or slap it into a low dome.


Hope this helps out,





#121934 Qotw: Do You Feel You Have To Buy Work From Potters You Visit?

Posted by Pres on 08 February 2017 - 05:34 PM

I have gone into a lot of studios over the years, not really introducing myself as I was usually on vacation with my family. I never felt under pressure looking around the studio, or the gallery, like any other tourist/gawker.  Often I have found a style or work that strikes me in the way it is made, decorated or glazed, and if I could afford it I would purchase. Often I would not find anything that really interested me also, being cordial have left without a purchase. There have been times when I have been at a studio where I could not afford a piece representative of the work I liked. I would not purchase something I could afford if it was not representative of the work, and walk out empty handed. 


All of this is basically gallery visits, open studio etc. To visit a potter personally, sit down and chat, have a personal tour etc. I would be so inclined to purchase something. I may even be so presumptive as to take a fine piece of my own work as a gift.





#121910 Help Keeping Clay Centered On Wheel

Posted by Pres on 08 February 2017 - 07:48 AM



Ty for the explanations. One thing about watching your throwing videos, I have the luxury of asking questions about specific parts: most helpful.

This is where I am making my mistakes. I think I am trying to pull too much clay up in one pull???


When pulling anything, start with a stronger than you think pressure, and  get a healthy roll to start moving, then ease up on the pressure to move this thickness into the walls, not for added height in the beginning, then as you pull this "extra" clay is there to extend and thin the walls.

How many pulls total did it take you to reach your finished height?

They usually take about 4 pulls +/- one.

How much clay do you leave at the top-to further expand?

Rim of the raw form is between a 1/2 to 3/4.

What was the wall thickness of the final thrown piece?

Wall thickness is 1/4 to 3/8


Matthew V pointed out to me that I was not opening my form wide enough before I began to pull up. Now you are addressing my other weakness- not controlling my pulls.  Very much appreciate you taking your time to help me fine tune my throwing skills.



#121681 Diamond Router On ^6 Bisqueware

Posted by Pres on 03 February 2017 - 05:25 PM

My lids always fit well, guess I'm lucky. However, I never liked the rough feel of the clay rubbing together on a lid and rim both being unglazed. My solution is very simple. I spread a solution of soft scrub and comet or other type of abrasive cleaner on the rim of the pot the lid goes on, then turn the lid back and forth to polish the clay surfaces. Extra step that takes little effort, but is noticed.




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#121628 Help Keeping Clay Centered On Wheel

Posted by Pres on 02 February 2017 - 08:00 PM

Couple of things can help correct this:


  • Use the same position for your left hand as when centering, and then use the right hand braced against the left at the wrists to give support. If using the thumb, or fingers, use the top thumb section of the left to support the thumb/finger while opening.
  • Use a moderate, but not fast wheel speed
  • Stiffen the finger/fingers, and don't let them snap away from each other while opening
  • Always move hands away from the clay slowly so as to let the clay readjust to center after pressure, which pushes is off slightly.





#121468 Poor Basic Skill Sets, And Their Consequences

Posted by Pres on 30 January 2017 - 11:28 AM

As I have said before, there are so many ways to center, and to throwing. I was demonstating this weekend-bowls. I did a 3 lb bowl, opening up with my hand, and throwing with only the aid of a sponge. This to show the "purist" attitude that I dealt with 30 years ago, where ribs were crutches. Then I threw a 15 lb bowl using my lft forearm to center, and my rt elbow to open up supporting the rt wrist with the left hand. So this showed that well centered piece of clay could be opened without using support on the outside. I also used ribs at in the shaping showing that you could move a rib up and down to expand the form without a hand on the outside to support the form. Again lots of fallacies out there, and habits that get broken after more experience on the wheel. Should a beginner try to open without the other hand for support, probably not. However, the options are there as you get comfortable with throwing, and the only way to get comfortable is throw. . .  throw . . . throw! :)




#121308 To Blog Or Not To Blog ....

Posted by Pres on 27 January 2017 - 11:53 AM

I have been posting on a blog for a few years now. In November I had a mention in Clay Blog Review under the "Can't Miss Blogs". I use my blog site as a classroom, posting old handouts, ideas about pots, different techniques. I am sure several from here have gone to the site as my Stats show that traffic. I don't get to it every month, and sometimes I have an article that takes a few months to fill in,  but I find it fun, and rewarding. Old teachers really never retire, they just find new venues. . . .  :rolleyes:

#121220 Poor Basic Skill Sets, And Their Consequences

Posted by Pres on 25 January 2017 - 03:29 PM

My thought on youtube only learning is you get what you pay for-that is there are so many wrong youtube things that you have to know whats not good and that as a beginner is almost Imposable to know that. Hence you will be learning the wrong way just as likely the right way.

Learning to throw at some point you need to have a Human in the flesh be around a little-my 2 cents

I was thinking on being a brain surgeon and was going to learn from youtube-what could go wrong?I was going to work on potatoes for a few weeks first.

I have watched youtube vids, and find my self thinking. . . It only makes sense because you have the same or better skills than the demonstrator. It is memorizing at times to sit and watch a time lapse set up where the ball of clay appears, is centered, the form grows, becomes inflated for volume, is cut from the wheel, trimmed and bisqued and then glazed. WOW too bad things didn't happen so magically! I really don't learn a whole lot new, except for different throwing positions, hand positions, and sometimes a new trimming quirk. 




#121180 Poor Basic Skill Sets, And Their Consequences

Posted by Pres on 24 January 2017 - 10:38 PM

Squeeze really hard in the beginning of the first pull to get a good roll to start to move up, then let up and let the rest happen. The base of the pot is pretty stable early in the throw, if you squeeze with your left, thumb at the bottom, and press in on the donut to control its motion going up and inward, the clay will want to rise on itself.  Squeezing harder than you would normally in the very first pull at the very beginning will move a lot of excess out of the base early. This moves it into the walls of the pot to be thinned later.





#121152 Poor Basic Skill Sets, And Their Consequences

Posted by Pres on 24 January 2017 - 10:56 AM


When centering and getting the pulls for height, rely on your sense of touch more than sight. When expanding the form for volume, use both. When expanding the form use your sense of touch to not over do, and your sight to come to a pleasing form. Remember that you can not expand the form in one motion, but in several motions a little at a time to allow the clay to stretch slowly. Think of someone who gains too much weight to fast, or a pregnant woman stretching the skin quickly causes stretch marks. In clay stretching too quickly causes stretch cracks.


I have often done complete demonstrations, blind folded to stress the need for the sense of touch over sight. It really is not too difficult for one with some experience. I also do it for myself when alone, just to learn more about the process.