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Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 11:07 AM

#96166 Handles

Posted by Pres on 22 November 2015 - 10:00 AM

Min, Van Gilder does make these and they are sold in a lot of online stores.  I have been using them for about 15 years now, love them for handbuilt handles. I also will pull a round handle roll it between these and use it as it bends much nicer that way. I have found of late that textured silicone hot pads are great texture tools for pots and handles. I am having lots of fun with these lately.


Most of the video is almost exactly the way I join handles but I do use magic water. . .I find it helps.





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#95655 Setting Up And Basic Tools For The Total Beginner

Posted by Pres on 11 November 2015 - 12:29 AM

Sounds like your hubby is crafts-manly. Good place to start. I have found that making use of things that are pretty common are good places to start.  Look at tools in supply houses for ceramics on the web, this will give you a basic idea of shapes for wooden ribs, trimming tools etc. Then look at some of the old or even new wooden spoons, spatulas and other shapes that are around your house. You can cut off the spoon or the spatula, and with the two pieces make a couple of ribs. I have done this often, only take a saw, a rasp, and some sandpaper to work the rib. Needles will go into dowels that are drilled with a fine drill bit quite well, with a dab of epoxy hold up even better. Cheese cutters work well to cut clay, and many use them. Make larger ones for yourself to cut slabs with. Imagination, education, and elbow grease can get you a pretty good but simple set of studio tools cheaply. Other stuff comes in to play as you go and realize the need. My wedging table is just a concrete slab cast into a wooden frame on a piece of heavy plywood attached to the wall, and with a single heavy leg. Canvas covers the top. Simple.



Good luck, and welcome to the forums




#95285 Qotw: How Do You Stay Creative

Posted by Pres on 04 November 2015 - 04:27 PM

Every time that I start something new, it is not long into the process that I notice something else I could have, maybe should have done. So I am finishing the one when the other as another is being started or sketched out. The process leads to more and more innovation/creativity as I work. For wheel throwing it has started with a wish to throw looser for functional forms. This lead to ribbed line forcing the object cylinder off before shaping, that lead to pressing fingers and shapes into the clay, then the use of the crazy silicone hot pad, and that led to rubber and sponge stamps. I really have no idea where this is leading me, but I like it. Now I am trying to get the foam sheets cut with the KNK Zing air to make slab templates, an on going process not yet perfected. I am sure this is leading to a series of slab and wheel thrown combination pots, but when I don't know. I guess in the end, It is not about being creative, but being playful, curious, and open minded. I have had so many suggestions from folks here about loosening up, that I am using/pursuing, that I need to pass out some thanks on that front. I think working, working, working is the key, the other stuff just happens.





#95274 Nilserik Stool From Ikea

Posted by Pres on 04 November 2015 - 10:49 AM

31xxihjs2gl.jpg115 bucks, but I have been using this stool  in the studio for two years now, and love it. Years ago I bought a bunch of these for the hs, and 30 of the flat ones. They are still holding up quite well for wheel work, and others are working well for the classes that are Art 1 and Ceramics 1. No punctures in stiff padded top, no gas cylinder problems, and no breaking arms. HS kids are rough on furniture and these are tough stools.





#95132 Firing An Electric Kiln In A Garage....

Posted by Pres on 02 November 2015 - 11:21 AM

I do it all the time. garage will heat up, make certain nothing near kiln, I usually figure 2 ft clearance just for safety. No flammable liquids near kiln, or loose paper, rags etc. These things should be a given all of the time. If you think it gets too hot in there raise a window, or open a door. I find that time after kiln is firing is good time to get some work done in the shop. Nice and toasty. 

#94714 Show Us Your Teapots

Posted by Pres on 24 October 2015 - 02:29 PM

Okay, so here is a teaser, as I am trying to get up another page on the blog. You have probably read that my kiln load with 8 teapots, mugs and mortar and pestles fired to cone 7 instead of 6. Yeah, darker pots, but not all a loss.


Check out the gator teapot.


Attached File  no5Teapot2015Gator.JPG   579.22KB   2 downloads                                                                   Attached File  no5Teapot2015DetailGator.JPG   207.25KB   2 downloads

#94525 Qotw: How Important Is It For Children/young People To Engage In The Arts?

Posted by Pres on 20 October 2015 - 08:01 AM

Don't even get an old Art educator started on the importance of Arts in the schools. I can give you stories of joy about working with materials, kids that come out of their shells in art classes, kids that learn to succeed where nothing else works, kids that go on to be artists in their own right and the kids that learn to think, and put things together to create in other ways. All in the arts. No, don't even get me started here.

#94455 Favorite And Least Favorite Forms To Make?

Posted by Pres on 19 October 2015 - 08:38 AM

Bringing up an old demon. . . .you could get a Griffin Grip and adjust it to fit your wheel.






#93874 Qotw: How About Learn From Each Other’S Mistakes?

Posted by Pres on 07 October 2015 - 08:12 AM

Over the years, I probably have made every mistake under the sun. Everything from design of pots with thin flanges that slump in firing, to not getting a kiln restacked  right after replacing elements. The bad thing about this form of arrogant competence on my part is that just as I am so well seated in my competency to do anything, I make a major flub! So I go back to humble pie for a while as the cycle starts all over again. For me, reading about others mistakes and writing about my own just confirms that there is always something to learn and all too often something to re-learn!  :(


best as ever,


#93458 Show Us Your Teapots

Posted by Pres on 29 September 2015 - 10:14 PM

In college, I was told the teapot was the ultimate test of the functional potter.  Even now I think that is pretty well true. What other form requires the integration and functionality of so many different components?

#93425 Qotw: Do You Have A Plan B?

Posted by Pres on 29 September 2015 - 01:08 PM

AS I told my son years ago, heroes are not always those that win battles, but those that deal with their adversities in a positive manner and come through the journey on the up side. He was studying in culinary school at the time, someone pulled in front of him while he was on his bike going to class. He flipped over the car, landed on his wrist, literally shattering 8 inches of bone. He had to quit school for while, eventually having major wrist surgery to break the healed area, and remove a length of bone along with having the wrist fused. Metal plates and screws held the thing together for a year. As it re healed. He was discharged from the Marine corp due to the injury.  He finished school, and worked as a chef and cook, but in our area where he wanted to be, little in the way of good jobs. He has ended up as a guard at a State prison, but is happy and doing well. It took him quite a while to reach plan B


Myself, I cannot imagine losing the ability to work in the clay, or to kayak, or bowl. I have had a few years of late dealing with arthritis in the right hand, and having to have my ball redrilled many times to get the fit right for the changes in the hand. Hopefully this last change will make the bowling work without pain. I told the bowling ball people where I have them drilled that if I could not bowl without having open wounds on my thumb and sore fingers, I would have to give up the bowling. They assured me they could get it fixed, we'll see.




#93129 Qotw: Have You Ever Taken A Video About Yourself, Showing How You Work?

Posted by Pres on 23 September 2015 - 03:44 PM

I have posted a few on my blog, not showing much of me, mostly of the work. I will be posting a few more in the future about some of my latest toys. I also would like to do one on bowls opening up with an elbow.




#92870 Production Tips For Production Potters

Posted by Pres on 18 September 2015 - 11:09 PM

Tennis ball for smaller, baseball for larger mug.

#92505 Show Us Your Teapots

Posted by Pres on 13 September 2015 - 08:30 AM

I am working on some now for an order for Christmas. I hope to have ten done next month. I'll post then. Some of you have seen teapots of mine on my blog. Glaze changes will be included on the new ones.





#92454 Teaching Throwing To High School Students

Posted by Pres on 12 September 2015 - 09:42 AM

Back to the topic at hand. . . as I have posted much earlier, I required my Ceramics 2's to start with 9" cylinders of 3#. The first marking period was devoted to that concept with no exceptions they had to complete that before going on. Their benchmark/MP exam was completion in 3 tries. If they completed the task early as most did, they would contract with me for their next project. These had to be 5-6 of a type, mugs, vases, lidded jars, bowls, etc. # projects of this sort were to be completed, then a final benchmark of a teapot. In this manner, they got to do projects of interest to them, and develop more throwing skills. At the same time it was all throwing so no like running a three ring circus. There were semesters where I switched in a wheel/hand build combination piece based on preliminary planning sketches. Lots of work, but most students would be successful.