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Burtis Bills

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About Burtis Bills

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  • Birthday 03/08/1949

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  • Location
    Payson, Utah
  • Interests
    Hi, My name is Burtis Bills. I resided in Payson Utah , married, three children, ten grandchildren, and live in the home my great-great Grandfather Built in 1872. Working with clay started in the fall of 1967 when attending Utah Valley University (Utah Technical College). The first touched I was hooked. The summer of 1969 I was drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam. Returning I rerolled into Weber State College in Ogden Utah. I taught Pottery at Ben Lomond High School three years then moved back to my home town Payson, Utah and finished my teaching career. I've attended classed at BYU instructed by Warren Wilson. I would also have to mention all the evenings setting around the fire pit talking to my Older Friend "Luck" Wayne Pickering who openly shared many of his secrets with me about throwing, glazing, firing, and working with native clays. Over the Forty years of working with clay I can truthfully say the majority of my Education has come by trial and error. The past ten years I've served as a City Councilman and Mayor. My wife and I continue serving by volunteering at a Employment Service Center to help others find jobs. Now that I'm retired I have all of these Pots in my head that need to be built. So I've converted my shed into a pottery studio. It's been so relaxing and fun to have found a friend that I've ignored.
  1. I found Pam Spray Cooking Oil works well as a release agent, Mineral Oil works good, I've also used Vaseline but you have to be careful not to get it too thick. Using Murphy's Oil Soap is a good idea I haven't used yet but will give it a try. Regular Dish Soap didn't work very well for me I had sticky molds.
  2. I found some Utah deep red native clay that fires to a cone 5. Straight off the hill, screened once it throws wonderfully up to 18 inches without grog. Is there a quick and easy test for lead? I would also like to explore using the clay as a slip glaze. What would I add if the glaze test appears under fired or over fired at cone 10?
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