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  1. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Rae Reich in How to stop stamp sticking to clay   
    An easy trick is a plastic grocery bag: : works nice for signing leather clay with a dull pencil too!
  2. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from GreyBird in Bone Head Mistakes   
    Have we all put a pot on the wheel to trim it, turned on the wheel without making sure pedal was off and had the pot (always a good one) fly across the room, or just me?
  3. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to Marcia Selsor in Clay Additives   
    "My Idea was adding percentages of iron oxide to the buff clay, ranging from 1%-5% to 15%-25%, mixing it with dry ground clay and then mixing as a slip then firing to cone 6."
    First, taken to ^6 you could not grind this without a hammer mill. Try taking it to ^08 and small with a hammer.
    Sounds like you are after a reduction look on your clay. You won't get that by adding iron and using an electric kiln.It is the reduction that brings the iron to the surface of the clay.
    Also 15-25 %iron would make the clay brittle, unusable in a microwave, etc.
    The most simple thing to use and what oxidation potters used for decades is granular ilmenite.
    As for the runny streaks, you could dry up a dark graze, gently pulverize it without getting too fine. then try rolling a damp leather hard for over the glaze bits so the enter the surface of the clay. You really don't want runny streaks throughout the clay body and onto the kiln shelf or slumping your forms.
  4. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Rae Reich in Ceramic Question For A Project   
    Maybe line with this castable refractory:
    Probably your best bet
  5. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to neilestrick in Cutlery Marking At Cone 6 Ox   
    I strongly disagree. The materials used in cone 6 glazes are no more toxic than those at cone 10. In fact, many of the cone 6 glazes I use have the exact same ingredients as cone 10 glazes, just in different proportions. Cone 6 glazes are no more complicated. I have many cone 6 glaze that are cone 10 glazes with as little as 3% Frit 3134 added to it. Take a look at a bunch of cone 6 glaze recipes and you'll see that the materials are mostly the same, with the exception of frits being used more at cone 6. But frits are no more toxic than anything else, and actually make glaze formulation simpler because they contain so many oxides.
    As for a durable matte glaze: there are different ways to achieve matteness. One is by not melting the glaze enough. Any underfired glossy glaze will be matte. This is not a good way to make a matte glaze, because it is not fully matured. It will scratch very easily. The other way to achieve matteness is through crystal growth. Magnesium matte glazes are examples of this, and they can be quite durable. I've got a couple of magnesium mattes that are harder than some of my gloss glazes.
  6. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to rayaldridge in Cones Do You Bisque The Packs   
    Yeah, don't bother bisquing cone pats.  Just put them in the clay pat and then use an old cone to poke lots of holes in the clay, so it can dry out without exploding.
    Also, if you're bisquing them with the cones in place, you will reduce the accuracy of the cones, since they have already had a fair amount of heat work.
    It's been decades since I had a cone pat blow up.  But to be honest, I glaze, load, and fire on the same day, and a just-glazed pot has enough water in it to be troublesome.  So I always pre-heat my glaze firings, and I'm sure that makes it less likely that the cone pat will explode.
  7. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Clay Butterfly in Shimpo Wheel Starts Making A Shirking Noise,   
    They often make a noise that is easy to fix: take off the head: if you see a round metal cover that the shaft goes through: slip  take that off, put a little grease on it, or if you don't have any: use your finger to pick up a little grease from the bearings there and rub it on the underside of that disc. It doesn't take much.
    When that disc gets a little dry, it spins with the head rotation and rubs there: common shimpo squeak even on new ones,
  8. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Judith B in Bone Head Mistakes   
    Have we all put a pot on the wheel to trim it, turned on the wheel without making sure pedal was off and had the pot (always a good one) fly across the room, or just me?
  9. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Amy Eberhardt in Bone Head Mistakes   
    Have we all put a pot on the wheel to trim it, turned on the wheel without making sure pedal was off and had the pot (always a good one) fly across the room, or just me?
  10. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Patat in Bone Head Mistakes   
    Have we all put a pot on the wheel to trim it, turned on the wheel without making sure pedal was off and had the pot (always a good one) fly across the room, or just me?
  11. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to synj00 in Amber Glaze   
    YES! this is exactly what I was looking for Timbo_Heff! The ball clay I can see as being the binder for this. 11% redart, isnt that just ball clay too or does it influence the color along with the red iron oxide? Man i need to get some yellow iron oxide / ochre! Thanks so much for the starting point!
  12. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Rae Reich in Black Raven   
    A fun and versatile way to get the look of a black clay is to make some slip with the clay you are using, tint it with black mason stain and put that on the freshly made pot.
    You can then  scratch or scrafitto through that to the lighter clay below for another decorative element.
    It is generally cost prohibitive to tint a lot of clay so by just tinting a slip of it, it stays affordable too.
  13. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Juli Long in Vent Not Turned On During Bisque   
    The vent is for the wares and the potter but since the clay is now sintered, rebisque fire will not get any more of the potential problems out; once sintered, the clay cannot release those gasses until near top temp when the clay is as close to molten as it gets.
  14. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to Mark C. in Space Plates   
    I had no idea when shooting those fish folks would comment on the space plate on end of table. These two came out of separate kilns one day apart. Both are cone 10 reduction fired on porcelain and are about 10 inch. Each has three glazes with a slight overlap.
    Glazes where poured (with a funnel pitcher) and a ear syringe is how I applied my white glaze
    These glazes like it a bit cool and unreduced to work best so I put them in my cold spots.
    I have been doing these for a very long time on certain forms
    I'm in deep space most of the time so they seem a nice fit for me. 

  15. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to Chris Campbell in Hesselberth Firing Schedule   
    The 'rough' part of this comment makes me think the load was under fired ... Did you have witness cones?
  16. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to Tyler Miller in What Do You Call Yourself? Artist,potter,ceramist,sculptor,hobbyist,wanna Be?   
    I had a post up in reply to Mike's that said "I like the ring of 'Mike,' I think I'll call myself that too."  
    I thought the better of it and deleted it, lest it be seen as too troll-like, but my intent was to illustrate the insufficiency of names and whimsical titles as titles--that is to say, the position of "I've given up on titles."    
    1) Names aren't titles
    2) In order for titles to be useful in any kind of business setting, they must conform to understood norms of business practice.  This has internal and external ramifications.  Clearly defined boundaries and responsibilities are what make a business a productive, efficient, and comfortable place to work.  While "dot connector" and "Chief Everything Officer" are cute, fun, and flattering, they blur the lines of responsibility and the chain of command to a great extent.  "Chief everything officer," for example, could be a flattering title for a highly productive secretary, or a very intimidating title for the proper head in command.  "Clay boss" could be personnel in charge of materials purchases, or whoever else.  And though I don't want to get too heavy handed with things, whimsical titles can backfire if ever there should be a legal dispute between employee and employer.  Strip the goodwill away from a situation and "chief everything officer," becomes a problematic title within the context of such a dispute--especially if the work setting's informal and things like hard and fast job descriptions aren't a part of the picture.  Something to think about.
    The external ramifications are that such titles have effects on who you do business with and how.  Evelyne's example of "potters" never getting into galleries is a very real and very difficult hurdle to overcome.  Titles have a clear effect on your bottom line.  The price point at galleries and craft fairs is very different, and sometimes with no difference in quality and artistic merit.  It's simply a matter of how you've marketed yourself.
    I'm the kind of person who shies away from titles myself, but as I become more interested in self promotion and marketing of my work, I've begun to realize that titles have real and important consequences for the marketing of my work.  I've also realized that going the anti-title or "I'm just me" route comes across as self-indulgent and arrogant to gallery owners and large scale buyers.  Those kinds of people aren't going to waste time trying to figure out if you're a serious artist/potter or if you're just a hobbyist--they expect a certain kind of behaviour when you approach them, and if you don't fit that mold, well, you're not getting in their gallery.
    I hope this doesn't come across as heavy handed or accusatory, it's based off my own life experience in the art world as well as the writing world.  I hope it's of some worth to some of you.
  17. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Natas Setiabudhi in Ceramic Fiber Body   
    Ceramic fiber is spun Kaolin clay: like fiberglass but much more toxic.
    Paper fiber is just that: paper: easily made by putting a roll of toilet paper in a small bucket of water:
    As Colby said above, the paper does not make it more translucent, but what it does is give you the ability to make super thin slabs : hence you can make more translucent objects.
    The clay is not more translucent but a thinner wall will pass a lot more light than a thicker wall !
  18. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Natas Setiabudhi in Ceramic Fiber Body   
    Hi, You must mean paper fiber !
    If so then yes!!!
  19. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to Benzine in New Hampshire Institute Of Art Anagama Build - Images   
    Was I the only one, expecting the photos to show, John on a throne, being fanned, while directing the kiln construction?
  20. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Min in Cone 6 Body Or Cone 6-10 Body: Much Difference?   
    Here Big Lou:
    This graph shows how little range is where it is vitreous but still at max strength : and this is from a clay that is touted as having a much better range than most commercial clays:
    (Matt and Dave clay: out of business though)

  21. Like
    timbo_heff got a reaction from Patsu in Cone 6 Body Or Cone 6-10 Body: Much Difference?   
    Here Big Lou:
    This graph shows how little range is where it is vitreous but still at max strength : and this is from a clay that is touted as having a much better range than most commercial clays:
    (Matt and Dave clay: out of business though)

  22. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to Chris Campbell in Tenmoku Leaf Bowl Question   
    When using fresh leaves there is always a problem as they dry ... they either shrink or lift off the surface or you have to push them too hard etc.
    One way to avoid this problem is to soak the green leaves in a bleach/water mixture. This dissolves the green of the leaf leaving only the skeleton and veins. They are much more pliable and can be easily soaked in other colorants and glazes. The pattern stays as delicate as the one on the pot you like.
    Each type of leaf demands a different time in solution ... thin, soft leaves dissolve much faster than thicker, tougher ones ... so just stay near the mix and get ready to rinse them off for use. You can keep them on a damp towel until ready to use. The one in the image looks like it ripped a bit, but even that helps the pattern.
  23. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to Tyler Miller in Peggy Attends An Art Show--A Philosophical Short Story   
    I wrote this a few years ago for fun, in light of Wyndham's thread, I thought it was worth sharing.  The ideas expressed are those of real people, however not necessarily my own.
    “Excuse me,†said Peggy as she tapped the shawled shoulder of a woman with long, dangling, folk art earrings ahead of her. “Were you the girl who gave that lovely speech about the importance of art in a person’s life?â€
    The woman turned around to see a petite lady of at least eighty wearing thick bifocals, an overcoat, and scarf smiling back at her. “Yes, that was me who gave the speech,†she answered. “You liked it?â€
    “I liked it quite a bit, actually. You were very articulate and had such remarkable passion for your craft. Besides, it’s rare to see someone as young as yourself with such broad experience and learning. You certainly know more about art than I did at your age and more than I know now, even.â€
    “Aw, well thank you.†She was surprised and flattered at the old lady’s praise, but still it was hollow. She would have preferred it come from a fellow artist or at least someone who could know about art. “What brought you to the show?â€
    “My granddaughter Mackenna,†Peggy replied. “She’s an art teacher at one of the high schools benefited by tonight’s show. If you’ve had a chance to look at any of the kids’ exhibits, her class made the mind maps.â€
    “I haven’t had a chance to look at the students’ exhibits, yet,†she lied. The truth was that she didn’t care to see them. “What was the idea behind the mind maps?â€
    “I didn’t catch all of what Mackenna told me about them, but from what I can remember it was a sort of structured collage. She had them collect images and small objects representing objects of thought in their everyday lives. When they had those together, she got them to arrange what they had collected into either a picture or sculpture depicting how they thought.â€
    “Oh,†the woman said with some disappointment. “So most of the thinking was done for them.â€
    “Yes, I suppose that’s true,†Peggy conceded. “All the same, each one was very original and there were very few images or things in duplicate among their work. I have to confess, though, that I was a little concerned by how many mind maps were mostly empty space.â€
    The woman smiled at Peggy’s comment; she liked the old lady’s wit. “I’m sorry, I don’t believe I caught your name.â€
    “It’s Peggy,†she replied and offered her hand to shake. After a long, awkward pause the woman finally took Peggy’s hand. “And if my program here is right, your name’s Jenna. It’s nice to meet you and I feel rather fortunate to have found you.â€
    “Oh, why is that?â€
    “I had a question for you about your speech. It might be nothing—I’m getting old and my hearing is certainly not what it used to be but I couldn’t help but wonder about something. Would you forgive me if I ask you something silly?â€
    “Certainly,†Jenna said. She thought it was sweet that Peggy wanted to know more. Maybe she could improve her life a bit by helping her understand art. “There’s no shame in wanting to know.â€
    “What a nice thought,†Peggy said and smiled. “My question,†she continued, “is how do you know when you’ve created art?â€
    “How do I know when I’ve created art?†Jenna repeated in bafflement. “What do you mean?â€
    “In your speech, you drew a great deal from your own experience talking about the rewards art has given you as an artist throughout your life, specifically by creating art, did I hear that correctly?â€
    “Yes, you did.†Jenna answered.
    “I assumed you kept this fairly general, not mentioning your own preferred media because you didn’t want to make them seem more legitimate than others, is that right?â€
    “That’s exactly it,†Jenna said, impressed with Peggy’s perception. “Tonight’s supposed to benefit all the arts programs at the schools; music, visual art, and drama.â€
    “This is where I became confused,†Peggy began. “When I thought of all the different creative media together as simply art, I could follow your sentiment that creating art helped to expand and improve someone’s mind, but when I took any individual medium and thought about it, I could think of instances when that medium wasn’t artistic.â€
    “How’s that?†Jenna asked. She thought Peggy sounded more than a little confused.
    “Hm, well, take the art that’s on the wall, here.†Peggy gestured towards the walls of the room while speaking. “If these were technical illustrations on how to repair a car or a telephone, no one would come and see them.â€
    “Well, not usually,†Jenna corrected. “Technical drawings are quite often very well composed and so it’s not unheard of for the best technical artists to gain gallery recognition for their work.â€
    “My goodness! The things you learn.†Peggy exclaimed. “Let me see if I can make my point another way, including your example too. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve got the firmest grasp on this, so let me try and explain.â€
    “Okay, do your best.†Jenna condescended. Really, she was curious to see what mixed up idea the old lady was getting at.
    “ WelI what I think I’m trying to say is that there is a difference between art and a simple drawing. I was trying to make the distinction based on the content, thinking that because one drawing showed, say, an exploded view of a car engine and the other more moving stuff than that.
    “But you seem to be saying that I should base my distinction on something else, hinting at how we treat the works themselves and value them, right?â€
    “That’s it exactly,†Jenna agreed.
    “Presumably you’d say that this is because both drawings have content to them and valuing that content and the particular way its expressed is subjective. Anything could be art but it’s how we treat it that makes it so?â€
    “Precisely,†Jenna assented. “I believe it was Valéry who said that ordinary language is like a coin we pass around among ourselves in place of something else, whereas poetic language is like gold itself. Or was it Gadamer who said that?â€
    “Well, whoever it was, it’s certainly fitting,†Peggy said warmly and patted Jenna on the forearm. “I suppose I should change my question to something more like ‘when you set out to create art how do you know when you’ve made gold or just paper money?â€
    Jenna’s eyes darted back and forth rapidly betraying her deep contemplation as she stared off to digest Peggy’s question. After a few thoughtful moments, she began, “now, I’m not going to speak in generalities anymore. To answer your question I’m going to have to speak about my own artistic medium of drama.â€
    “Oh, you’re an actress!†Peggy blurted out. “Here I was thinking you had something in the show. You must think me a complete and utter dunce for asking you about drawings and assuming you had one in the show.â€
    “No, it’s okay,†assured Jenna forgiving even Peggy’s dated language. “You were right to believe I have something in the show, but it’s not a drawing but an abstract performance art piece. I’m the director, though, not an actor and as a director I get a unique take on the artistic process. To me, the act of taking words off a page and turning them into a play must be artistic, through the interpretation process itself. So that’s how I know when I create art.â€
    “So it is the act of interpretation that makes a work art?â€
    “Yes, I believe so. The actors interpret their parts from the script, as do all the rest of the cast and stage crew and I try to take all of that and harmonize it with my own.â€
    “So in a way, your interpretation is more important than theirs.â€
    “Well, of course, since my interpretation is the one that makes it to stage.â€
    “That’s a very good answer, Jenna and also very humble.â€
    “What do you mean?†Jenna asked.
    “Well, you’ve made the audience the most important and their interpretation the most artistic—they’re the artists according to what you said.â€
    “What? That can’t be right.â€
    “You said that interpretation is what makes art, right?â€
    “Yes, I did say that.â€
    “You also said that your interpretation is the most important of the creative side because it’s what makes it to the stage, right?â€
    “I said that too.â€
    “So if you were directing a film about how to repair an engine, your interpretation and your cast’s interpretation would be artistic but because the film is treated as plain film rather than an art by the audience when they interpret it, the film would not be art?â€
    “No, I guess not.â€
    “So you really don’t know when you make art, do you?†Peggy asked. Jenna’s jaw dropped at the observation.
    “Well, what we’ve talked about doesn’t show the whole picture,†Jenna said trying to regain her appearance of authority.
    “Then I suggest you reconsider your account. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s late and I’m sure my friend Dorothy is waiting to drive me home.†With that Peggy scuttled off into the crowd.
  24. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to Isculpt in Help Me Decide What To Do About A Cracked Kiln Lid   
    When I purchased a large top-loading Olympic kiln last summer, it arrived with a crack in the lid where the handle's screw had been run in, apparently without pre-drilling.  The crack didn't go all the way through, and I was promised a new kiln lid if I would accept delivery of the kiln.  The lid has one of those hinges that goes all the way down the back of the kiln, which I am told is not easy to replace.  Before delivering the kiln, the merchant from whom I bought it repaired the crack with kiln mortar. It has been 8 months and the crack has not re-appeared.  I know the seller is hoping I'll forget about it, and truthfully, I'd like to.  I fear that things may go from (not-too) bad to worse if the lid is replaced.  Given that the crack hasn't reappeared, should I feel relatively confident that it won't?  Or am I being foolish not to replace it?
    UPDATE:  I received a call from Bob Haugen, president of Olympic Kilns.  The delay of 8 months was not of his doing - or not doing, a fact I was well aware of.  He has promised to deliver and install the new kiln lid himself.  You can't ask for better than that. Thanks again to all of you who advised me to have it replaced.
  25. Like
    timbo_heff reacted to Stephen in Air Release Mold Dies   
    Thanks again Mark for the input, was greatly appreciated. A shout out to George Ullrich at Sheffield Pottery, he helped me source Ceramical on the west coast so I was able to go with it without having to pay three times the cost.
    Shipping 1 or 2 50lb bags around the country can sure get expensive.
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