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Darcy Kane

Member Since 29 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Nov 21 2014 07:15 AM

#64079 What Are You Working On?

Posted by Darcy Kane on 06 August 2014 - 09:50 PM

I finally gave in to pressure from a few orders and sat down at my wheel this week.  I threw a bunch of stuff but here is a few of the things drying for the bisque.  Now if I could just get motivated to do some glazing.  I have about 4 kiln loads of bisque ware sitting on the shelves waiting for the mood to hit.  I hate glazing.  

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#62759 Non-Legal Ways To Address Copying Issue

Posted by Darcy Kane on 18 July 2014 - 09:40 PM

Energy, both physical and creative, is a valuable commodity.  Letting this conflict suck energy away from what you want to be doing is much more harmful to you than her.  Make your peace with the notion that she can and will continue on her path, and you can either aid her and have some input into how she adapts the process/product to fit her own needs, or you can squander your time and energy trying to prevent the unpreventable.  I would share with her but then, I am a teacher by occupation as well as by nature, and can't keep a secret to save myself.  If I know it, I have to share it.  Collaboration is the lifeblood of education.  If I am excited about it, I feel the urge to share it all the more.  One of the things I enjoy the most about the clay arts is the willingness of potters to share.  A simple example of that is this forum.  Or, like others have suggested, move to a singular studio situation.  

#60529 Garlic Plates

Posted by Darcy Kane on 10 June 2014 - 07:31 PM

I have a friend who makes these and she has thick slip in a bottle and pipes a spiral of dots in the center of a small dish/plate.  She sells a buttload of them.

#58130 Maybe We Have Been Missing A Trick.

Posted by Darcy Kane on 08 May 2014 - 07:08 AM

These must be the same people that eat all the paste.

#57337 Foot Rings And Puddles

Posted by Darcy Kane on 25 April 2014 - 07:46 AM

I do my best not to be the one stuck emptying the dishwasher, but when I do end up with the job I hate the puddles that form on the bum of bowls and mugs.  I usually use a dishtowel to mop up trapped water before removing the cups/mugs/bowls.  I make a majority of my pieces flat on the bottom so they don't need to be trimmed but occasionally one has to use a foot.  I don't remember where I saw it, but some ingenious potter put a few small notches in the foot ring to let the water drain out.  I might see if I can incorporate a notch or two with a signature, two birds; one stone sort of thing.  Anyone else cooked up a good solution to trapped water?


#57260 What To Make?

Posted by Darcy Kane on 24 April 2014 - 07:36 AM

There are at least two types of people in the world, those that follow the rules to the letter and never deviate from the norm, and those that can get the job done and fool around a bit in the process.  Guess which group I fall into‚Ķ  To those that find the silliness inane and beneath them, I do not apologize for my outlook on life and I won't let you bully me into changing.  That said, I think shitton is preferable to crapton because it can be employed in two ways.  Shitton as in a LOT, or shitt on as in how one can be made to feel when enough negative people gang up and try to squash a bit of good hearted tomfoolery.  Great word, tomfoolery.  Thanks for that Stell.


On a pottery note, yes the bullets are simple closed forms with holes cut into them.  Some I stamp, some I add handles, and I make a variety of sizes.  


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#57210 Reduction - What Is It Good For?

Posted by Darcy Kane on 23 April 2014 - 01:55 PM

From the title of this thread...... I want to reply :


"Ab-so -lutly nothin'.  Say it agin ya-all.  "  (Only the old folks might get this ;).


Got it, loved it, and killed a few brain cells listening to it :D

#57175 What To Make?

Posted by Darcy Kane on 22 April 2014 - 09:07 PM

Attached File  553524_4381992156524_1136254766_n.jpg   48.6KB   2 downloadsOh I forgot to answer the question, when in doubt I make flower bullets.  People love em and they are fun to make.


#55660 Using A Dust Mask, Breathing, And Seeing At The Same Time. Is It Possible?

Posted by Darcy Kane on 28 March 2014 - 07:11 PM

My husband the Safety Professional concurs with John on Northern http://www.northerns...g-kits-supplies saying they have a plethora of respirators/filters/good prices/and speedy delivery.  He said the one he ordered for me was a small and he insists I wear it snugged up tight.  He also insisted that I buy one and use it even for the littlest jobs.  Remember, you only get one set of lungs.

#53503 Help. Where To Start? Clay-Firing

Posted by Darcy Kane on 26 February 2014 - 06:36 PM

There are zillions of videos on youtube on how to convert an electric kiln to gas.  You may be able to pick up an old beat up electric kiln from craigslist, convert it to gas, and see if you are going to like it before investing (and we are talking $$ here) in building a kiln.  As far as clays go you do need to decide what cone you plan to fire to and many clays will work for reduction or oxidation.  If you are looking at gas you will be firing in  reduction.  Read down through the clay descriptions and find one that is for wheel work and fires to the cone you are interested.  I would ask your clay supplier for a recommendation.  They will know what their clients like best.

Again, you can watch videos on youtube and get lots of free instruction but remember, often free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it :)  I too first learned to throw in high school and then took weekly private lessons from a potter whose work I admired.  Her technical skills are impeccable.  That may work for you if you cannot find a community college or art center to take lessons at.

You may also want to consider picking up some raku clay and do some pit firings just for the learning.  

Working with clay is a real roller coaster, complete with great highs and low lows with a pretty steep learning curve.  And, considering potters work with "dirt" it isn't cheap to gear up for.  Enjoy the adventure.

#52749 You Know You're A Real Potter When....

Posted by Darcy Kane on 17 February 2014 - 10:31 AM

You know you're a potter when each step could hold the mistake you are looking for.

and you know it when you see it!

#52646 You Know You're A Real Potter When....

Posted by Darcy Kane on 15 February 2014 - 04:45 PM

1.  people order pieces and don't ask you to change anything :)

2. you cull ruthlessly *after* you have put handles on mugs and finished all steps to berry bowls but before bisque firing.  (i recently tossed two berry bowls because the holes didn't come out exactly as i wanted.

3.  you wash the glaze off a piece and redo it because you have learned through trial and error that proper glazing does count and crappy "get by" glazing ruins a great pot.

4. when you can recreate the same shape over and over, even if you don't want to.

5. you set aside a large trash can for fired pieces that don't cut the mustard and smash the pieces in it so that you (and others) aren't tempted to save them 

6. and most importantly to me, you continue to try new things and take risks that can end up in the reclaim pile/trash heap.

#39585 How Do You Know When The Clay Is Dry?

Posted by Darcy Kane on 25 July 2013 - 07:02 PM

Ok, was I the only one that thought to themselves:

1. I'm sure work is dry when it doesn't explode in the kiln when I fire it. 

2. I'm sure work is dry when a piece comes off in my hand when I pick it up.

3. I'm sure a piece is dry when it shatters to bits when I drop it off a ware board. 

It might be interesting for you to make a few blobs of clay the approximate size of your miniatures and break them open at different time intervals so you can get a "feel" for what not nearly dry, almost dry, and dry as a bone looks like and feels like.  I have learned much more by the pieces I have bashed than any I have fired and sold.  Congrats on finding clay, enjoy the journey!

#19336 Did you start with pottery by accident or by design? | April 22, 2012

Posted by Darcy Kane on 14 July 2012 - 06:47 PM

My first spin at the wheel came about in high school. I lived in the art room in high school, all four years. The joke at home was that my art teacher saw more of me than my family. My beloved art teacher was a self proclaimed craftsman and wood was his medium, so when I expressed a desire to work on the wheel he had an upper clansman work with me. It was a passion for me that lasted until graduation. My art teacher was a fabulous mentor and supporter. He taught me to not be obsessive about what I produce. I fired very very little because I was always cutting my work apart to see where I could improve. His motto was, "Keep it small, it is easier to bury." Once it is fired it is on the Earth forever. His gentle direction guided me through school.

So looking back, it is strange that it never occurred to me that I could leave northern NH and peruse an art degree. I came from a very practical "back to the earth" family. Great importance was placed on being able to support one's self and to have health insurance. Really! Health insurance was a really big thing with my mom. My dad was a self employed contractor so health insurance was always an issue. It was the first bill my mom paid every month and with a family of four kids that skied, rode horses, and played all school sports I guess that was practical enough. Anyway, I decided after a year off to go to college for teaching. That went well enough until some personal issues bumped me off my path. I moved on to hair school, got married, had a family, cut hair, and then when my children were older (one in high school, one in college) I returned to college to finish my degree. While I was finishing my teaching degree I also stopped talking about getting back into pottery and actually started taking lessons.

I was very fortunate to stumble upon a kind, patient, technical potter. I took private lessons from her twice a week for two years. She taught me so much! I finished up my degree and started teaching elementary school which left me with little time to think about pottery. When I finally got my feet under me in the classroom my mind returned to clay. I went back for more lessons. This time my patient and supportive husband asked why I didn't get my own wheel. Well I explained, wheels are very expensive (I am as cheap as an old Yankee can be). He laughed and asked if I wanted to add up all the lessons I had taken over the years just so I could keep my hands in the mud. I had a wheel of my own by week's end.

Since then, I have bought and sold a second hand kiln, and now finally have a great kiln. I'm having the time of my life. I had a wonderful lady let me join her for a soda firing and I know that wood and soda are my preferred methods but I am happy with my oxidation firing for now. I am still working in ^10 but strongly contemplating a switch over to ^6. Luckily people buy my stuff almost as soon as I pull it out of the kiln or I would be drowning in the stuff :) I am a very prolific potter, after throwing everything away that I threw for the first six months I had a wheel I am starting to keep more. This is the first summer I have taken off from teaching summer school or taking further classes (I went on to get my masters in Administration) and I'm just focusing on building up enough stock to do a few fairs and/or holiday shows. I've given a passing thought to applying to the NH League of Arts and Crafts (my mentor is a member as is her husband). I try not to be so ruthless in my culling these days. I also have a few of my past and present students that take lessons from me, which I enjoy. Now if I could just stick to what is safe and stop trying to melt wood stove ashes all over my kiln shelves...