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About voceramics

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Paducah, KY
  • Interests
    Physics, Poetry, Math, Fiction, Writing, Vegetable Gardening, Baking, Ceramics, Art
  1. A set of tumblers we've been using for a few years. They're light and strong made from the heaviest grogged clay I have ever used and formed from slabs rolled 1/8th inch thick. My husband has dropped them maybe a dozen times even on tile, they have yet to break.
  2. Lots of fantastic milestones in this thread. Ian and I finally figured out a major issue last year. After 4 months of having to destroy kiln load after kiln load of pottery with a hammer because the new glazes we went to kept getting pinholes. Utterly gorgeous colors, beautiful glaze effects, and pinholes. On top of that spending $300-400 per month in power because we tried to solve the problem with extra long holds during kiln firings, controlled cool downs, etc. The answer turned out to be thicker kiln shelves which slowed the cool down enough at the top to allow the pinholes to heal over. By the time we got that figured out in September, we were utterly burned out. Thank goodness that's all behind us.
  3. Our studio is in a commercial building in a residential area. At the end of the day my husband was talking with our neighbor and looking out the window at a squirrel standing in the middle of the road. Right before their eyes a hawk swoops down and snatches the squirrel in it's talons and flies off with it. Life and death in nature, all viewed from the pottery studio. My husband built a 10 x 12 foot shelving unit for the studio which must have weighed 300-400 pounds. It was built on the ground and then had to be stood up, with me pulling on a rope laced through a pulley and the husband lifting from the ground. Once I reached the tiled front entry I started losing my footing and sliding back, he managed to power through it.
  4. The articles are very fascinating. Thank you.
  5. After a couple of incidences with crazing and breakage with large flat pieces, we wait till the pieces are cool enough to hold in the hand to unload. Maybe a quick peek with the envirovent turned off below 300 F, otherwise we wait till below 200 F before turning off the envirovent and pulling a peep.
  6. It looks like your pinholes are at the point where they're trying to heal over with glaze. I had this problem with some of the commercial glazes I'm using, slowing down the cooling really seemed to help give the glaze time to lay back down and flow over the bubbles or craters. You can use a program to control the cooling which can get very expensive in terms of electricity, or use extra thick shelves during firing and stack the kiln fairly tight with a shelf capping the top of your kiln load. The thick shelves act as a heat sink and the cap keeps the cooler inlet air from flowing directly over the pieces. The pinholes happened more with platters and plates for me, rather than bowls or vertical surfaces that allowed glaze to flow more readily. It's possible what's causing your pinholes is different than what caused mine, so slowing down the cooling may not help with the problem.
  7. I usually photograph in front of a north facing window after noon so that the light is warmer and less blue, using a $10 vinyl remnant draped from the ceiling down onto a table as a background which helps to capture as much natural indirect light as possible. White poster board works well too. It helps to use the macro (flower) setting on the camera. I also increase the white balance a couple of clicks because I prefer crisper colors without the moody glow.
  8. I found a book in my library that is a pretty great, it's called "The Essential Guide to Mold Making & Slip Casting" by Andrew Martin. It's better to read the whole book though because the author sprinkles fairly important hints throughout the text.
  9. Creating and handbuilding is my favorite time. My husband and I have worked together in the studio for a long time and we have our process down, so the making goes fast. Neither of us enjoys glazing which is a shame, since we can't foist the work on someone else. We're working with new glazes so it's at that tedious point of detailed note taking and adjusting glaze firings. Firing is nice because it feels like I'm working even when I'm sleeping. But our truly favorite time is winter when we start experimenting and working on new designs or new lines of ware.
  10. Thank you. I have to admit, the pieces with the imagery are the most pleasurable to make.
  11. I've seen photographs of tall cylinder forms being thrown in Korea. Instead of pulling the wall up to create their form, they center and work a very tall mound of clay and then they throw the walls, hollowing it out while working downward. They get their whole arm in there and some of the forms are so tall they use a stick with a nob at the end to finish the bottom. I don't throw, so am probably using the wrong terminology. But the photographs were from a very old Ceramics Monthly article.
  12. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I've been thinking about doing big shows, this really helps me focus on presentation. Your pieces really stand out in your booth.
  13. My husband told me in regards to the first thing I ever made, "Do you want to take a hammer to that, or do you want me to?" It makes me smile just thinking about it. I have to admit smashing that teapot was very satisfying.
  14. Nice and detailed pictures of your beautiful racks, thank you for sharing.
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