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Member Since 30 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 01:37 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Black Clay

19 November 2015 - 11:50 AM

Black clay that you find naturally is often black because of organic matter which will burn out when fired. The color could change to something brown or red after firing. One way you can test it is by making little cones and pinch pots which you fire first to bisque temperature, and then higher if it survives. You can also make a clay ruler to test for shrinkage and another piece to test the amount of water it absorbs after firing so you will know if it is vitrified.


To protect your shelves, make sure to fire the test pieces on a piece of scrap shelf or a pad of bisqued clay with raised sides. I have seen tests of these natural clays that have totally melted at high fire temperatures, but are great at lower temperatures. If it has a low melting temperature but a nice color when fired, you may be able to use it as a base for a slip or glaze.

In Topic: Can't Rub Anything But India Ink Into Cone 5 Clear Crackle Glaze

16 November 2015 - 12:28 PM

Someone I worked with used to use a permanent black sharpie magic marker to highlight the crackle glaze on his pots (exterior only). Whatever solvent is in the ink really gets down into the cracks and the marker is not too difficult to wipe off the surface of the pot. I do not think that the color will survive through another firing, though.

In Topic: Hydrobat Complaint

27 October 2015 - 01:16 PM

If they are not helpful perhaps you can try adding a little bit of clay to the batt pins to fill in the extra space before attaching the batt. I have several hydrobats and have found some of them fit better on the bat pins than others. The extra dab of clay on the pins usually solves the problem for me.

Good luck.

In Topic: Recommended String For Cutting Off The Hump

02 October 2015 - 12:13 PM

I throw off the hump most of the time and have found that if you want an commercial clay tool, the 'nylon clay cutter' from Kemper Tools is what I usually use. It is like their wire cutting tool which comes with two wooden toggles on the ends, but has a soft braided nylon string instead of wire. When I buy one, I cut it in half in the middle of the string so that I have two matching string tools. I hold onto the wooden part and the loose end of the string wraps around the clay on the wheel (in the cut line that I have marked under the pot with a wooden tool or rib - like Pres said) to cleanly slice off the pot.  I rarely have to tug the string, just let it wrap around and pull gently to slice straight through the bottom. 

Now that I think of it, I believe that there is a Van Gilder string tool that is specifically designed for this as well.

In Topic: Qotw: Are You A Thrower Or A Hand Builder?

28 June 2015 - 01:35 AM

About 90 percent of my work is thrown and trimmed on the wheel, though sometimes carved and altered, too. I find it easy and satisfying in a way that I just do not ever feel about hand building. Pretty much the only time I do hand building is when I am showing someone else how to make something - then when I'm done, I go back to my wheel. 


Beatles, Stones, Classic Rock and Classical - all good.