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  1. Just to let people know about an educational opportunity in the Michigan area: E.M.U. (Ypsilanti) will have Daniel Johnston, from N.C., visit us for much of the winter semester. He will make work, demonstrate, and lecture, as well as visit and present at other educational institutions in the area. His presentations are free and open to the public. Diana Pancioli
  2. Excellent Work! I saw it at the last NCECA. Diana Pancioli EM.U.
  3. Hi: This is a bit off topic--but also about kilns. Our university is going to have a North Caroline potter Daniel Johnston join us for the winter semester. He is a phenomenal kiln builder. Please take a look at his website, use his name, where he shows the new huge kiln he is building. He learned to do it in Thailand. Diana Pancioli
  4. I am in the same camp as the others who believe you begin working first. Some famous potter said: "I never had a good idea until I started working". But I do admit to have a mind that wanders, even while driving, and occasionally I think of some new form I would like to try. It eventually shows up in the work. Diana
  5. I teach a lot of new throwers, so I will answer my own question about heavy bottoms. When the pot is heavy, I suggest that they cut the bottom off and roll it (the bottom) to proper thinness. Then with a knife pare out the extra clay on the inside of the piece (usually the bottom 1 inch). Then, if they choose, at this point they can alter the form, for example, oval it, or make a leaf shape of it (a pointed oval) or a triangle ,etc. Then put the form back on the bottom, cut the bottom to shape, scratch and attach. This tends to give the pot a "front and back" or "two fro
  6. What do you do with pots that (accidentally) have heavy bottoms? Do you have any tricks to fix them? I teach my students a few fixes and I notice that the fix actually allows them an opportunity to be creative.
  7. I have talked to many potters (and student potters) and there seems to be a divide between those who like to trim and those who don't. (By "trimming" I mean the usual thing that potters do to a thrown piece-- turn the work upside down on the wheel, center it, and carve the underside with a specialized tool, to enhance the basic form, and add a foot. Personally I love to trim. It is a nice break from throwing and it really improves the forms--especially bowls. I love the way trimming puts air and light under a piece. And you???
  8. I was wondering if you have some favorite items in your repertoire. I know i do, and I make them more often than other things. There are some items that I don't like to make and thus, make them rarely. My favorites are mugs, bowls, and spoon jars, although for show work I make larger pieces, especially covered jars. How about you?
  9. Do you make small pieces on certain days, or certain weeks, then switch to medium or large? For example, If you are going to make larger pieces, it requires having a lot more clay on hand, so it must take some planning, right? How do you decide every day what to make??
  10. How much studio time can you fit into your life and still take care of household chores, gardens, family, etc. I have to PLAN to reserve a block of studio time, because I am still teaching, while also caring for a house (solo), tending a few tomato plants, cooking for friends occasionally, visiting grandchildren, etc. I was wondering how much time you manage to get into your studio to work--daily? weekly? monthly?
  11. The replies are tas I thought they would be. And John Baymore hit the nail on the head as usual. Pottery isn't a job, it is a life, a mission, and an identity. I may retire from teaching but I always imagined that I would be making pinch pots on my death bed!!
  12. Dear All, I visited Robin at his shop at Christmas. While he may not be actively potting, he is doing some great tiles with a new technique. It is still very much ceramic based. On this trip, I also visited Walter Dexter. He too is still potting in his 80's. Great work too. He has gone from what I would call functional pieces to sculpture. Beautiful work. In both cases, these artists have adapted to something new. Maybe that is part of the secret of staying in it. Finding a new niche that works for you. I hope, like both of these successful artists that I too will be potting
  13. How long do you think you will be making pots? I am asking myself this question lately because I am nearing retirement age. Also, I read lately that Robin Hopper is no longer making pots; do you know anyone else who made the decision to stop potting?
  14. Does your work flow from a particular period of ceramic history? For example, when I give my students assignments, I usually show them images which associate the work with a particular period in ceramic history. For example, when we make big pots, we first look at Guan, from Kansu, China, and Jomon from Japan (both about 3500 B.C.) The historical information seems to enrich their approach to both form and surface. Does it do the same for you??
  15. Have you settled on one particular surfacing technique to enhance your work? I teach my students six or seven surface techniques so that they might find one in particular that they like. They experience sgraffito through slip, Mishima, Slip printing (slip on paper that is rolled onto the surface), Paper pattern, and Roller pattern.
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