Jump to content


Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 09:37 AM

#111889 Qotw: Epic Failures Anybody?

Posted by Pres on Yesterday, 08:21 AM

I think one of my worst catastrophes was not in the studio, but pottery related. I was putting up a library showcase of student pots. This case loaded from the back. It had glass shelves on metal brackets that were movable that hung on rails in the back rails of the cabinet. Yeah you guessed it! I was putting one of the last pots on the top shelf, and the whole thing gave way somehow. Broke 4 large sculptural student pots and two shelves. It was a total disaster at the time. I spent the next month after school repairing the student pots with epoxy putty and super glue with touch ups with various acrylic paints to bring the pieces back to life. I told the students about the accident the very next day, as I did the librarian. I bought replacement shelves out of my pocket, and made hearty apologies all around. In the end all was good, the students said it really didn't matter, and the librarian would have replaced out of her budget. I knew it would have meant a few less books or materials. 


Over the years, I have spilled glaze containers(5 gal), blown up pots in bisque, had loads with spiral cracks in every large pot in it(bisque), fired an entire salt load with out the damper closed at any point, fired a salt with the door nearly collapsing at cone 7, and lost a box of pots when the van rear door came open going down the road. 


Its all about surviving. Surviving each day enough to learn from your mistakes and make the adjustments so it does not happen again.





#111452 Do You Employ A Kiln Watcher?

Posted by Pres on 16 August 2016 - 08:27 AM

Kiln gods I do not use or employ. However, I always have a few cone packs drying on a firing. As to employing someone to watch my kiln. . . . I could not pay them enough to do the hours I do, from 5 or 6 pm til 2 am. Rather do it myself anyway as I use as much temp color to watch the kiln as I do the cone packs. Cone packs are only so good as long as you are near the end of a firing. I don know of anyone that sets kiln packs for quartz inversion or other stages in the kiln. In the long run there is as much wizardry of science as there is precision of science.





#111179 Wheel Head Rusting Centering Circles Disappearing

Posted by Pres on 10 August 2016 - 07:39 AM

I would try some steel wool on it then use some rubbing compound to finish up. I am assuming that this is a bare wheel head, ie no paint surface on it. If the lines are engraved in the wheel head they should become exposed after the steel wool. In the future you may try a little car polish or light coating of oil every once in a while to protect the iron based metal.





#111130 Classroom Work Surfaces And Clean Up Materials

Posted by Pres on 08 August 2016 - 09:29 PM

I assume you have cabinets under these square work tables. No storage necessary if you cut a 4X4 in half, and hinge it to either side, then it could swing down when not in use with clay and back up when using clay.




just a thought,



#111088 Qotw: Clay Poem Anybody?

Posted by Pres on 07 August 2016 - 06:47 PM

Just a quick offering.




When I was much younger,

I learned to throw.

Worked forever trying to get the clay to center you know,

then even longer to make the sidewalls grow.


The years went by, and older I grew,

but my poor throwing skills did a little too.

I picked up a little about glazes, and tool making along the way,

all in the pursuit of working with clay.


I taught others my craft, while the years continued on,

and they learned some and taught me more.

Some went on following as I had before,

becoming teachers, and potters adding to the score.


I make pots, big and small, fat and tall

some for service, and some for the ball.

While I am never settled, always questing,

I begin to wonder if I should be resting.


Time is wasting, and my years are long

Teaching is never over, even today

the message is the same though the classroom is no longer,

it is still about the clay.


Tomorrow brings another day of work, and fun,

working with the clay.

Questions and solutions are part of my day,

how to approach them others may say.


That is part of the wonder,

of working today.

Help is often

only a keyboard away.


So when my journey comes to an end

and my fingers no longer will bend,

remember my moments,

among the best of friends.






#110947 Classroom Materials

Posted by Pres on 04 August 2016 - 09:50 AM

Along this line, how many posters on the forum out there would allow an individual to use pictures from their gallery to create classroom teaching materials? Of course I would think that permissions would have to be posted, that credit given in the classroom material for the pictures of pots or processes, and that the poster would have to be a one time production for in the classroom. How about it, would any one allow this?





#110811 To Me

Posted by Pres on 31 July 2016 - 02:22 PM

I hoped it would hit some with a feeling of truth.




#110640 Qotw: Are Our Expectations Too High?

Posted by Pres on 27 July 2016 - 11:11 AM

I totally agree! This is one of the reasons that I advocate for the arts in the public school system. This is probably the only area where early learners can find a talent, by doing. I believe that having Ceramics classes in HS that include such things as hand building, throwing, and firing will allow a student to see if they have some sort of feel for clay. I never had a clay experience of this sort until college, and that hooked me. Printmaking, Weaving, Jewelry and metalcraft, Sculpture, Painting and so many more venues of expression in Art, not to mention Drama, Creative writing, and Music, of often the first to go under the pressures of high stakes testing and budget constraints. Kids need to find out early where their talents are, otherwise they may not ever find them. Even in a college situation there is a limitation on how many electives you can take, even if you think they may just be fun. . . heaven forbid! 


Students need to be reminded that all things take time to grasp, and that there are some that may grasp them quicker than others, and just because they may not be able to draw, does not mean they could not sculpt or pot, or something else. We all come to realize, even here on the forum that there are those of us with inherent strengths, and as a group we recognize who to go to for specific areas. This is a realization that our personal expectations have been met, but we need help. One of the great reasons to be a participant in a forum like CAD. B)





#110575 To Me

Posted by Pres on 26 July 2016 - 09:03 AM

The first 6 months of my experiences with clay started in college. I was torn between having to produce something for grade, and wanting to produce something of quality. I made lots of pots, and put all of them into the slop bucket even before firing. Not good enough. Then the realization came that I had only one more week before production cut off. Kept 9 pieces for the first class, glazed and finished. Next class, much the same. Then I started teaching, didn't keep anything the first year, or the next, but threw nearly every day on after school time. Then I started teaching Ceramics, and had to demonstrate, which was not a problem as I had lots of practice on basic forms. Through all of this time, I read everything Ceramics I could get a hold of, magazines, books, journals etc. Very little internet in the 70's. :wacko: I realized that I needed to expand my throwing experience into a wider variety of forms, including all sorts of functional and non functional forms, along with more hand construction and combinations of techniques. The next 20 years were spent trying to learn forms. In the end, I found that if a student wanted to learn to make a specific form, I could do it, even though I might have never done that sort of form before. When your knowledge base becomes large enough, and your hand eye coordination and understanding of the limitations and strengths of the clay becomes great enough, almost anything is possible. Sitting at the wheel, or the banding wheel and just making is a symphony of movement, in silence, that sustains you through each day, no matter how difficult the other aspects of the day are.





#110486 Skutt or L&L?

Posted by Pres on 24 July 2016 - 03:07 PM


Reading the specs on the e28t in reference to the needed single Phase 240 and 208 voltage, it is not recommended for consistent cone 6 firing. I direct you to http://hotkilns.com/e28t-3. 


Now as to the condition of the kiln upon receive, I that is a problem. However, under all circumstances in my experience they have stood behind the product.





  • GEP likes this

#110475 First Post, Seeking Feedback

Posted by Pres on 24 July 2016 - 09:21 AM

As everyone else has stated, the forms are strong in themselves. It is the use of the multiple or breaking glaze on the deep relief that causes a problem. Imagine what camouflage would be like on your pot. Your present treatment of the surface is much the same. Now imagine using a white interior as you have with possibly a pearl luster, and an exterior with a plane medium range color or unglazed, stained surface.  You have so many shadows produced by the deep relief, that not much is needed.


Good beginnings, and high hopes for your future. . . 




#110097 Do You Wrap Your Tools To Make Them More Comfortable To Hold?

Posted by Pres on 13 July 2016 - 09:30 PM

I approach the tool problem from a different angle. You know those really soft work gloves with the grip buttons on them, yep. Works real well for me. At the same time, I use a little over the counter arthritis cream on my hands before putting on the glove. 




#110042 Managing A Peculiar Problem When Pulling Pots

Posted by Pres on 12 July 2016 - 05:53 PM

I'll post a bit of video in the next weeks or so.



#110016 Managing A Peculiar Problem When Pulling Pots

Posted by Pres on 12 July 2016 - 08:13 AM

Over the years, I have used a sponge, moved to a knuckle, and now use an index finger tip supported by my thumb. Years ago throwing was not much of a problem-other than lack of experience. Now, because of nodules on my finger tendons, my fingers will snap at inappropriate times causing a gouge. So the tension of pushing the finger tip against the thumb helps to keep from doing that. The knuckle technique works also.  Quite frankly, what you are dealing with is not unusual, especially for potters that now know as "seniors". :unsure: I guess the golden years have some tarnish on them. Go figure.




#109872 Spraying Mugs.

Posted by Pres on 08 July 2016 - 06:44 PM

Spraying mugs has their own problem, and as Johnny alludes to setting the piece up on turntable helps, I use an upside down small bowl to do this, I spray with the turntable moving slowly, changing direction often,with the gun angled away from the mug so that the spray hits the mug going away or coming in toward the sprayer. I try not hit the handles directly by turning off the spray over the handles trying to hit the mug itself. After setting up a sufficient coat on the mug, and the inside edge of the handle. Then I take time to work my spray on the handle itself. Big deal is distance for spray, and if you have a sprayer that allows for some head control. I prefer to not get any closer than 12" and do not allow my spray to get puddly on the pot. I apply a lot of textures to my mugs before shaping now and then spray different colors from different angles to bring up my textures.