Jump to content


Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 06:33 AM

#65781 Container For Dip Glazing Plates

Posted by Pres on 07 September 2014 - 09:58 PM

Nice dip tong tip. . . . NOw try saying that 10 times fast!

#65740 Container For Dip Glazing Plates

Posted by Pres on 07 September 2014 - 09:47 AM

Build a Plywood box to the dimensions that will work, something maybe 14X7X16 deep. Seal it with some spray sealer that is so popular in the home improvement area.  You can dip easily, and consistently. Much better than a large plastic bin. It works well for me. If I want an uneven surface with glazes that change as thicker/thinner, I pour the plate in the box.

#65451 What Is Your Favorite Source Of Information? You Tubes, Magazines, Internet,...

Posted by Pres on 01 September 2014 - 02:56 PM

All of the above. I peruse the internet on all sorts of sites including blogs, pinterest, You tube, forums, and ceramics specific sites. I also get subscriptions to Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making and Clay Times. I buy books that I am able to peruse, or find multiple positive reviews about. I have bought, and been given DVD of ceramic specific information. I use the local library, and if really in need go to the college library. I am trying to get to more workshops for broader exposure, I love museums, and anything I can find about clay, but everything in general. I sponge it all up, hoping to retain as much as I can. However, I do have specific memory problems, even though I recognize when I have seen something before, or relate the work to a style, or some more historic precedent, for the life of my I can't really remember names of artists, or most people in general. Especially when stressed, or queried about them.


If I am stumped, usually I go into "cocoon mode" protecting myself from outside distractions, and feeding on information specific to the problem. After a lot of time of thinking and mentally solving the problem in multiple ways, I experiment with the best options until one works. Many times this gestation process involves sketches or flow charts, outlines or other organizational devices to help me visualize the situation.

#65131 How Would You Describe Your Current Studio Location. Suburban Garage, Urban B...

Posted by Pres on 26 August 2014 - 01:56 PM

Urban one car garage, not attached to the house. Electric heat, brick uninsulated walls. Garage is built over underground river. Previous owners put drain in floor-dumps to river. I don't use it. Space is cramped, and I have two kilns, one CXC Brent wheel, a wedging table, long rolling cabinet form Sams club with a butcher block top, and 3 shelving units. One of the shelving units is industrial and keeps powders up off of the floor in bags or bins. I also have a workbench for house tools in the area, so there is just too much.

#64769 Dripping Kyusu

Posted by Pres on 20 August 2014 - 08:03 AM

In the design of pitcher pouring spouts, a curve in the spout causes a withdrawal of liquid from the pouring edge. This is evident in the Hagi Kyusu example. You will also see that even though the glaze is thickening the edge a bit, did have a thinner edge not as rounded as yours. The design of a pitcher type spout is based on a lot of factors, and has been approached in several different ways.

Lots of variation occurs in the shape of the pouring edge, with some people using a sharp edge to cut the flow, some using a squared edge with sharp upper to cut the flow, and others using a double edge where one cuts the flow and the bottom catches any drip. However, most successful pitchers have a breaking curve in the spout to retrieve the flow when the pitcher is moved back to vertical.

#64666 New Hampshire Institute Of Art Anagama Build - Images

Posted by Pres on 18 August 2014 - 10:04 AM

Yeah, took some judo/karate when I was living at Hikam AFB in the late 50's. Best I came out with was how to fall.


Sorry about the high jack here, John. Point being it is great to see the harnesses in use there.

#64443 Pinch Pots

Posted by Pres on 14 August 2014 - 02:02 PM

You might find that the way you pinch is important also. I use the ball of the thumb to start an opening, then work with the end of the thumb the deeper I get sort of like opening up when throwing. The next type of pinch is the thumb opposite of pointer more like a caress, don't pinch hard, just often. Keep turning the form in your hand, working all of it at once, not just one area. Then you can start a sliding pinch, where the thumb slides as it pinches moving the clay in the direction you move the thumb. . usually upward. Keep the rim thicker, for this use a three finger pinch, thumb on inside, pointer on top of rim, and second finger on the outside with others. Hold the clay between thumb and second while you pinch/press the clay downward with the pointer working around the pot slowly thickening the rim. Continue to work until the desired thickness and shape. Often you will see folks using water, but use it very sparingly. If you work around the piece slowly stretching evenly not much water is needed. If the clay seems to be getting too dry, spray lightly, wrap in plastic tightly and let sit for an hour.


Good exercise to try once you get the basics is to try to get a piece as so thin it almost is pinched through. As far as your aching fingers, by the last day of the class, you should be just about to the point it doesn't hurt as much. :(

#64438 Wedging

Posted by Pres on 14 August 2014 - 11:52 AM

On 1# of clay, that spiral means very little. I will wedge up 15# at a shot, cut and weigh 1# balls, hard slap to form a ball. I really slap hard to compress and get rid of corners. Most of the time anymore, I just throw off the hump.


Babs, I have arthritis in my thumbs also, had surgery in the Winter on my rt thumb. Wedging seems to alleviate some problems, but it does pain in the beginning to get that spiral going. In the long run, the pug mill would be nice, but justifying it is difficult for the little that I do. As to the surgery, if I knew what I do now. . . I would have never had it.

#64108 Monkey's Fist

Posted by Pres on 07 August 2014 - 09:25 AM

I think you have solved the problem. Sorry, I did not understand what you needed. If you had said knot in your description, I would have understood. Guess I just skipped over the Nautical part.

#63999 Why Is Our Work Better Than Imported Work?

Posted by Pres on 06 August 2014 - 10:08 AM

Patsu, nothing negative here. However, your even though your search for creating commendable glazes is commendable, and when used in the strictest of parameters the "safe" commercial glazes are such, you should realize that one cone difference in firing, changes in application and other variables will render many of them unsafe. At the same time, we should all realize that commercial materials are not necessarily safe by future standards. Case in point, Enamels that my school purchased as safe in the early 70's were considered unsafe by 1980. Turned out that the manufacturers were using uranium and other radioactive materials for certain colors. When we walked through the room with a Geiger counter we found all sorts of things we had to dispose of. We have no idea what future knowledge will bring us in the understanding of much of what we use. All we can do, as you are, is the best we can with the knowledge and understanding we have

#63925 Hoo Boy, Did I Get My Butt Kicked!

Posted by Pres on 05 August 2014 - 11:31 AM

I approach a lot of forms from a what if situation. Looking at them upside down, or up.

#63819 Wedging

Posted by Pres on 04 August 2014 - 08:41 AM

In the past, I have often written that I wedge all of my clay even though I take it right out of the bag. There are several reasons for this, and I wanted to take a few lines to explain them further and throw out some ideas for thought. My reasons for wedging clay for the last 30+ years are as follows:

  • If the clay came out of the pug mill, it usually needed to be blended to an even consistency, remove air bubbles, dry it our some, and line up the particles so that for better strength.
  • If out of the box at home, it had usually frozen over the Winter here in Central PA. Freezing drives water out of the clay to the outside, and leaves all sorts of striations in the clay block. I start wedging this by turning all sides into the center with cut and slam, then cut and slam the entire block about 5 times, finish by spiral cone wedging the clay into weighed out pot sized amounts.
  • Wedging as exercise. I wedge clay for exercise, as crazy as that might seem, but when throwing for hours at a time, the break to wedge up the ball of clay to be used on a pot down the line is a welcome way of stretching the back and shoulders. This also brings me to the final reason I forced myself to not be lazy about wedging clay.
  • Finally, wedging as therapy. Years ago I was in a bad auto wreck that left me with some damaged vertebrae. This caused lots of pain in the lower back for decades. Some days I could hardly get out of bed without levering my body out of bed with the weight of my legs. I found that hanging from an overhead bar would stretch the back and help some. However, my go to exercise became wedging because of the way the process worked. . . .  at least for me. The process of wedging lifts the shoulders upward and back as you push against the clay and at the same time the shoulder lift and the body movement stretches the back muscles and the spine itself. With regular rhythm and movement in the wedging process where you are not trying to hurry the job, or wedge too much clay you can do wonders for you core and spine.

So, I leave this open to comment, and I am sure many of you will go on about getting a pug mill, which for me would be a big investment, but as I get older I have been looking for a good used one. However, even with a deairing pug mill, I would still probably wedge for the last two reasons above.

#63727 First Day Of School Clay Activity

Posted by Pres on 02 August 2014 - 09:24 PM

I would start the first period with the oooh, what is this stuff we are going to be spending so much of our time with. Animal, vegetable or mineral, Smell it, feel it, listen to the sound it makes on your fingers and hand-by now there are all sorts of giggles going on-"This guy is really nuts" . However that small one pound ball of clay ends up as a pinch pot, first pot experience. It usually at some point involved the closing of the eyes to find out what thicknesses were like. I had slab sticks around for them to compare feels with. In the end, everyone had fun, everyone experienced clay, and no one was hit by having to make something great, just touch the clay.


Syllabus time came within the first week, as did a wedging demo and practice time, tour of the room explanation of the steps in finishing a piece, clean up duties and time requirements for these, opening duties, and my rules of conduct. By the end of the week they had started sketching ideas for their first projects.

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

Posted by Pres on 27 July 2014 - 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.