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  1. Dear All, A number of years ago I took a course at the Medocino Art Center. It was a sculpture course. We made some large head sculptures and marionettes. To be honest, I do not recall the name of the instructor. She was originally from Saskachewan, Canada. She was then a professor at an art school in California. She did life-like doll type sculptures where she used the hair from barbie dolls. I am not sure if this rings any bells for anyone out there?? I would like to replicate the technique we did in this class but am afraid of what metal to put, if any, in my cone art kiln. When in Medocino we impregnated the clay with those simple metal loops (eye loops) you can purchase from hardware stores. These metal pieces are those that have a loop and some screwing ege on the length of the shaft. We fired these eye loops into the clay. After glaze firing they were used to suspend wire to connect the pieces of the marionette. The pieces of the marionette had terra sigilatta applied to the surface before the final glaze firing. After going through a raku fire we put them into garbage cans with colored paper. Given that I plan to do a raku fire in the next month I want to repeat this process. Does anyone know about whether I should purchase any special type of eye or loop screws or if they have the possibility of causing problems in my electric coneart kiln (i.e., melting and destroying a kiln shelf). In speaking with Tucker's in Toronto, they had no idea about this process. Has anyone fired with loop screws in an electric kiln and is there any special eye screw I should be looking for when I go to the hardware store? Please know I will be using Michael Sheba's raku clay for this project. I will be doing my bisque firing with these screws in place at a regular stoneware temperature. If anyone has any advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Sincerely, Nelly
  2. That symbol looks like a cross.....Is that a sign?..... He seems like a great potter and teacher. I'd just love to sit down, and have a conversation with him. Dear All, What an interesting discussion. Just yesterday, a friend of mine came to visit. He said "your work is good but you are not going to make it with only focusing on functional pieces." He then pointed out some of the artistic work collected in my home. You know the stuff done by real potters who can command high prices for their work. He said, they made it in the "big league" because they did something different rather than bowls, plates and mugs. I found myself really thinking about it after he left. I wondered, do I make enough work that is non-functional or simply pieces that are for aesthetic reflection?? Am I in a functional rut?? I do not see myself now or in the future entering "the big league." I do this for relaxation and fun. I like my pieces to be held and used. But there is still this nagging part of me that is saying, you may want to consider reaching out further and trying to extend your vision at least for a period of time to see where it takes you in moving away from functional ware. You know...try it for something new and different. I still have three months left for the summer. Who knows...maybe I will try to move gently away and try more artistic sculptural pieces. Nelly
  3. Dear John, Yeah, he was my dad... Nelly
  4. For my understanding, very few professional/educated potters do. I think I know why: It gives you more control over what the glaze gonna look like. It is less expensive. What else? Dear All, I would call myself a medium level potter. I too have always wanted a perfect red. I used to use something called "Rosie's Red" but now use something called "Saturated Iron" in my little studio. Saturated iron is brownish. Not a true red or I would send you the recipe. Ron Roy does have a recipe for a raspberry colored glaze in his book "Mastering Cone Six Glazes." I know in speaking directly with Robin Hopper and asking about red glazes he said "you have to know your glaze chemistry." I think, if my memory serves me correctly, I have heard it said that "red" is one of the most complex of colors to achieve. But again, I could be wrong. Given that I do not want a lot of extra dust in my studio from open bags (due to the space in my garage), I simply order my recipes through my supplier. I send them the recipe and they simply make it up for me, I add water, sieve and I am done. Given my small operation, this works perfectly for me. Yes, it is more expensive but it suits my needs. This is what I do and it works. But do look at the Ron Roy book for his raspberry colored glaze. This may provide you with a start for the color you are trying to achieve. Nelly
  5. Many things can be "done" if the right person is attending to them. Every "rule" can be broken wit hthe right signature on it. You need to get someone at your college in a "high position" to be an advocate for you. THAT is you goal right now. Find that person. If you have to go to the college's President... then do so. You have NOTHING to lose. And again... they created this problem for you.... let them help to solve it. The short answer is that the better your credentials... the higher up the "potential hire" list you are. There are lots of people with "......a strong portfolio, workshop background, and assistantship experience" that ALSO have a BFA or MFA that will be looking at the same positions. The same thing I said directly above applies here. best, .........................john This makes a lot of sense, I suppose it works like most other jobs. Another thing, if I stuck with getting my BA but in a different dicipline, will that hinder me just as much or is that where that "piece of paper" comes in? Thanks. Jobs are jobs. Business or corporate or academic politics exist all over. It is a fact of life. You learn to deal with it. Part of the "college education" you get is just this... learning to deal with other people and operational structures. While there are no guarantees on anything in life, if you have a BA in Art, a strong ceramics portfolio, and some ceramics teaching experiences listed on the resume', I think it certainly can't HURT you when compared to not having any degree at all. BEST would, of course, be having the BFA in Ceramics after your name.... but if that is not possible.... the BA in Art might be the "best of the available options". Sometimes you have to make "lemonade" out of the lemons. But don't get out the lemon squeezer just yet! You said you "talked to the department". I am thinking that means that you have not yet gone to someone ABOVE the department level to get some options and answers????? Depending on the school..... there are usually a couple of layers of people ABOVE the people at the Department level that CAN help sometimes. Just make sure as much as possible to not "tick off" the art department people as you approach this problem. Don't "throw them under the bus" too directly unless you have reached the absolute "end of the line". Work your way slowly and politely up the line of "powers that be" until you reach the last of your options. That last option may actually be someone a bit "outside" the college in a sense.... a member of the Board of Directors of the college. Most schools have them in one form or another. Get one of thei Board's member's ear... and somtimes amazing things can happen. Suddenly, all the BS goes away. (Unfortunately.... this is the way the world works in SO MANY things.) But you absolutely must show that you have worked you way up the ladder if it gets that far. And be able to show that your actions were professional all the time as you dealt with it. Inside you may want to kill somone.... but don't let a speck of that show on the outside. Follow up every meeting / conversation with a polite written piece that expresses your thanks and states your undertstanding of what went on and what options were discussed. You might find that you have more options than you think you do to solve this. Persistence and determination go a long way to succeeding in life. Go get em'. BTW........ See your profile... I left a note there. best, .......................john Dear All, I am not a professional potter and have no academic credentials in art. I am, however, an academic. I teach at the university level. Do know that increasingly, everywhere in the job market, degrees are fundamental. Agencies (whether schools or community centers) put out a job description. They develop this description hand and hand with those in positions of power within the setting. This is done so they can make sure they all agree about the type of person they want to fulfill a variety of different aspects of the job (i.e., skills, future funding, accreditation, identifying the qualifications of their staff in their marketing brochures etc.). Thus, my advice, while not solicited, is to stay in your program. Grin and bear it. Finish it with style. One more year, when you think about it can easily be reduced to weeks if you think about it in those terms. I know when I have students who lament their time in the classroom I try to break it up into small chunks. I say, it is now the fall term. You have exactly 12 classes in this course and you will be that much further towards the end. The idea of say having to do one year can be overwhelming. Think of it in small steps leading to a big goal. The goal is the piece of paper. This piece of paper will open doors that may and likely will otherwise be closed to you if not completed. My father had a saying he told me repeatedly as I lamented going to school. He said 'education is hard got but easily carried around." I remembered this through my many, many years of study. It helped keep me focused. Today I have those pieces of paper and they are light in my pocket but they are heavy in terms of trying to get jobs that would not be open to me otherwise. Your goal should be something like, I want to work the least amount for the most money. This will free you up for what you really want to do in life. Think of it as finishing this degree, maybe giving yourself a break and then assessing your situation more carefully. You may find the MFA is where you really should be but without that other piece of paper, you will have to go back to this step and complete it. In short, finish the degree to "keep all your options open in life." Whether you are in pottery, psychology, political science or architecture, today's employers want that piece of paper. You may not make that cut in the job posting if you do not meet their really basic standards posted. And yes, you need a strong ally who will stand beside you to recommend you for any position (with or without the piece of paper). It is just too, too competitive out there in the world today. Jobs are at a premium today. My two cents worth. Nelly
  6. Dear All, My first batch came out without any big problems. Please know I have a new camera. I am trying to figure out how to connect it to my computer. Once I get this done, I will send an e-mail to show you my specific learning in majolica. I am putting one more batch into the kiln this week. Thus, I should have some images from last weeks firing and this weeks to show the forum or discussion group. I am going to experiment with spray starch on the outside before decorating some new bowls and see how redipping an already fired piece works. My main learning from last week is that it is "all in the dip." If you start off with a poorly dipped vessel it will carry through in the firing. You need a good solid coating of the glaze for optimum coverage. Just give me one more week and I will send you some images to pour over. Sorry but when it comes to technology, I am not the brightest. But I will figure it out. You will see my bowls once I figure out how to put them on the computer and then transfer them to the forum. Thank you so much for asking. Nelly
  7. I leaned long ago its a paper thickness apart that matters and thats all I have when loading a glaze. When making pottery for living more per space is always better. I do need a few more stuffers-only 120 sponge holders in this load. Mark Dear All, Thank you for posting those pictures. You know, when I see how closely you have placed your work, I am blown away. For me, I am still at the stage where I think about breathing of the glaze or movement onto another pot if placed too closely. But I also think...what kind of extra brain skills does an artist who can see in this type of proximity have that allows him to do this with such precision. Yes, part of me knows it does have to do with experience but I have to wonder if there is not more to it?? Knowledge of space, angles, proximity to elements or fire source, placement vis-a-vis the next shelf etc...I could go on and on.. I have to wonder, at the end of the day, what kind of game of billiards would someone with these skills play?? You'd think they would have some extra talent given this ability to see in such a context?? Can we say it is a talent?? Nelly
  8. Dear Val, I have just used this recipe decorating some pots on the weekend. I must say, all and all, I was very, very pleased with the results. I bisqued some redware to cone 04 and actually did the glaze using the Arbuckle to 04. Yes, it is soft if what has been meant is that when you attempt to paint on the form, it is dusty and can pull the glaze of?? Not sure if that is what is meant by "soft." I used a little glycerin to make my colors run more readily. I used commercial majolica glazes on my work. But all and all, the glaze was great. It performed as expected. My greatest learning from this glaze at this point is that it is "all in the dip." You don't want drips on your work so your work must be exact in how you dip your vessels into the glaze. With beads, you should be fine. Sounds like a great project. Nelly
  9. Dear John, This is really important information. I didn't realize this. While I am partial to a deep foot ring, I also like to put terra sig on the bottom ring. Thus, while my bowls will be fine for everyday use, they likely may not be as waterproof as if the whole vessel had been glazed. Thank you for posting this. Nelly
  10. Hope it comes out great. I love majolica. A big show is coming up and in the gallery part of it you display two of your own pieces plus a pot from your collection. A friend in Colorado does incredible majolica and she is shipping me her most treasured piece so I can use it for the guest piece in the show. I've never done majolica. Finally getting around to my question: Do you make majolica mugs? Is there a problem with leaking--even if it is a very slow leak? Jim Dear Jim, I have only one mug in this load. I will let you know. As I recall, in working with this technique many years ago, they can retain water and as you say have a slowish type drip. They also respond unfavorably to acid type foods. So for example, you cannot put a bowl with say an acid based food in it for long periods or it can leach the glaze...I think. Will let you all know how it turns out. Did blow me away though this weekend as I was working on the decoration to realize I had spent so much time in figuring out the technique that my plans did not include what I was going to do in terms of adorning the bowls?? What's that about??? :rolleyes:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif"> I hope you are all smiling. I mean, how can you go through the entire process of figuring out such a complex process and forget to think about how you are going to decorate the darn things you are making?? Nelly
  11. TJR


    I'd like to see some images of your new Majolica when it comes out. Any chance?


  12. Dear All, I have just closed the lid of my kiln to start glaze firing a batch of red ware I have been working on for about 2 months (i.e., on and off). I have glazed it with the Arbuckle Majolica Glaze and commercial colors. As I closed the lid, I thought to myself, what have I just invested of myself in this load?? Please know this is the first time I have done this glaze technique independently. 1. Reworked some hardened majolica clay to get it ready for throwing. 2. Made the vessels on and off for the last few months (i.e., paying really close attention to drying times for optimum trimming, crack prevention etc.). 3. Purchased and sieved a large batch of glaze. 4. Purchased the commercial colors. 5. Dipped the work to prevent drips and waited overnight for the glaze to dry before painting. 6. Wiped off the bottoms etc., etc., etc. Every single step takes time and knowledge of how to proceed. I cannot even begin to calculate the number of hours my body and mind have put into this project. To learn a new technique takes time. I remember learning to pit fire. This too, took time and great energy to get everything together to attempt this firing safely. So what am I rambling about??? Maybe it is a delayed post to really say, pottery does take time and it is WORK. While my kiln lid is closed and I could have done everything correct today over the past few months, ultimately the load will be what it is. It is clay. All I can do is wait. I don't mean to sound whiny but when I closed the lid it just made me think how much time this took to put together...the steps, the learning, the anticipation, the planning etc. Ironically, despite all the planning, the one area that surprised me was during my process, I never gave much thought to decoration. THIS is what majolica is all about. All I could think about was vivid color. Thus, over the weekend, I struggled to decorate when it should have been a main focus of my planning. Unlike cone 6 where you never know what will happen with the glaze, majolica, I think if done right should be fairly exact. Anyway, I am rambling. Have you ever gone through a type of consideration of your effort or investment (in all senses of the word) in learning a new technique?? Nelly
  13. The Clay King Slabmaster is made by Friendly Corporation, same as Shimpo rollers and Axners rolling Thunder. The studio I belong to has the Shimpo version which looks a lot like the Slabmaster and I have used it and like it. I'll take into consideration a longer working surface. He suggested the cover so I wouldn't have to worry about hitting the rollers and maybe that I could use the cover as a shelf to hold whatever tools I needed while using the table. The shelves are a must and kind of planned to measure whatever space I had on the table Slabroller I get and install what ever configuration would work. I LIKE your idea of clay on a rolling platform makes much more sense than hefty those blocks around. My main work surface is a worktable I got a SAMs it's tall enough I can stand to work or use the tall rolling stool I have. I think its 5 feet long and super heavy duty with steel legs and a butcher block top and can take a beating so seems to be working out. Unfortunately the top is sealed under varnish so clay seems to like to stick to it and I have thought about getting out the sander and attacking it but for now a piece of canvas seems to be working. I want to get a piece of that board from a Home Depot next time I head that way but haven't made the hour plus trip out that way recently. I even added a shelf under it, with the bonus of its at a good height for me to put a foot if I want. I keep all my plywood and drywall ware boards standing on the shelf and for now clay, my rolling pin and slats on the other side. If I make the rolling platform like you have for my clay I might add a couple more shelves on one side and keep additional supplies there. I even made a small shelf for the end out of 1x4s with each shelf being tall enough to hold pints of underglaze and glaze it ain't pretty but the shelves are level and I used zip ties to attach it to the table legs so it doesn't fall over. Kind of maximizing my one work surface. I would REALLY like to find another table to have dedicated for glazing but not sure where I would put it, might have to get rid of my easel lol. You have no idea how shocking that idea is to me as a painter; my friends would be convinced i was an alien if they even heard that I would consider sticking my easel in the closet. I also need to figure out someplace to put some shelves to dry ware on, currently I am using a repurposed drying cabinet from my darkroom days to store pieces under construction as well as slowly dry finished pieces. I bought some of that plastic grid made for light covers and use that as the shelf so the pieces don't fall through the widely spaced wire shelves that came with the cabinet. But I can see quickly outgrowing the cabinet as I get stuff made. Just have to decide if I should get one of those rolling wire shelf units from SAMs so I could move it around as needed or just cut up some of the scrap plywood in the garage and screw them to the walls. Will have to think that through some more. So yes I know and understand multi purpose work spaces and the suggestions you made will be remembered and taken into account as I try and get set up so I can work without moving stuff around every time I want to work on a different piece. My main work surface is a worktable I got a SAMs it's tall enough I can stand to work or use the tall rolling stool I have. I think its 5 feet long and super heavy duty with steel legs and a butcher block top and can take a beating so seems to be working out. Several years ago when I was adding furniture to the HS glazing room I purchased a couple of these tables. They worked really well for the glaze room as they were narrow, and had a durable/cleanable surface. I purchased the rolling cabinet with top for my home studio which even though large has great storage. Gotta love some of the stuff at SAMs at their prices. Dear All, I have a slab roller. I think mine is the 18 inch one with legs. It uses shims to guage the thickness of the clay. If, IF I had to do it again, I would wait and buy the Bailey. It is cumbersome to use the shims and you only really get 4 or 5 choices for thickness. I have a friend who comes over who looks at it and all he can think about is making perogies with my slab roller. Please know this is just my opinion. I know many potters who use the small one and get along just fine. I think for me, the sturdiness of a bigger model is what I am after. This one I have does have some limitations. But alas, I do have one and that is what counts for me. Nelly
  14. Dear All, I just wanted to let the group know that I just went out to my studio to glaze a large batch of pots using my Arbuckle glaze. Not sure what happened but am guessing that I put in too much water in during the initial mixing as it was pretty runny. It would not adhere without being transparent on the pot even with a 5 second dunk. At the point of me using this glaze, it has sat for about two month and has been sieved twice. It was mixed well today before I started to consider alternative ways to thicken the mixture. To make a long story short, the addition of just a small amount of epson salts mixed with some glaze (in the same way you would thicken a soup) worked beautifully. I added it bit-by-bit and voila, it passed the glove or finger nail test. While there are still some drips on my pieces from my dunking technique, I know I can work with them. I learned this technique on THIS forum. Thank you to who ever posted this information. I think someone once mentioned using molasses but am not sure how this would work. No need to respond. I just wanted to let the group know that valuable information is transmitted on this forum that I DEFINITELY USE. Nelly
  15. Well, I exaggerated a little. It was gust a drizzle, so they are all dry again. It is Nevada, you know. It rains 4-5 times a year, and when it rains, it is just a joke most of the time. It does snow in winter, but that's a different story. We have had an exceptionally nice weather this year! It is 80-90 F for the last 3-4 weeks. I already have small pears, apricots and peaches on my trees. Peonies started to bloom. TJR, good luck with your sale! Dear All, While you may have rain and hot weather, where I am in Ontario/Canada, we had hail and snow today. Very messy weather. Just last week all the tulips and daffodils were out but right now there is snow. Not much but enough to make me worry about some plants I just put in a little ahead of schedule. It can make for a bit of a slow dry of my pots in my studio if I leave the heat off. Nelly
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