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About Ren

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  • Birthday 10/28/1979

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  • Location
    Vancouver, WA
  • Interests
    Photography, Winemaking, Playing Music (cello, violin, guitar, piano), Pottery, Anything Outdoors (hiking, camping, fishing, snowboarding, etc), Martial Arts (Chen Taiji, Yin Bagua, MJER Iaido, Shinkendo)
  1. Ya, drilling seems like a simple fix.
  2. Can you take a pic? Kind of confused at what you mean. For me, I put the bolts in, tight as can be on my wheel (bare metal), so the bolt heads stick above the wheel, nice and tight. So that way I can just slip the bat on and off, without ever taking the bolts off.
  3. Ya I'm going to give that a try. It seems like a sound technique builder. And i always have to remind myself that it's all about having fun doing it. Often times my OCD kicks in and I obssess about details and technique, that I forget to have fun.
  4. So too much water I takeit weakens the walls, so hence, throw as dry as possible for taller pieces?
  5. Sorry, I should have warned you guys that I ask lots of questions while learning something new. And BTW, I threw today, with all the advice from my other question, and I have to say, starting again with a focus on centering, really seemed to help. The end result was less lumpy at the rim (although still a trace, but as with any new person, I blame that on myself), and more sound, and solid. My question this time though, is about height/length. Up to now most of my stuff has been at highest 6-8". I've tried for higher, but it flopped, because the walls got too thin, or it pulled apart, because while pulling it just tore off. I guess my question is..how much clay should I start out with, to make taller pieces? How thick do the walls need to be, to be structurally sound, or does it vary with height (the higher it goes, the thicker the wall needs to be)? Is there a uniform thickness that applies to all pices, big, small, short, or tall? I guess I should get a scale LOL. I try to go higher all the time, but after a point, when the clay doesn't seem to want to go any higher, I get fearful of trying to force it to do so, so I just work in my usual height range.
  6. It seems to be turning evenly with no noise, or noticable wobble. But I'll take a closer look just in case. The wheel is 10 years old, but was barely used by the first owner, and never used by the second owner. I'm the third, and the belts looked practically new on it, but maybe a drop in its lifetime could set it off center, too.
  7. Yes, exactly. Maybe I have to take a step back and go back to basics. Maybe what I thought was right in centering, is wrong, and I've programmed myself to think it was right.
  8. Thank you so much, and it's great to know there's someone close. There is so much information that at times it seems overwhelming, that's why I'm taking things a step at a time. Right now I'm concentrating on turning, and getting the basics right, then I'll tackle things as I need to. Glazing, and firing seem so intimidating to me that I don't even want to read or look at that stuff right now. It's already getting into my blood. I know the feeling well from diving head first in many things throughout my life that capture my imagination. I tend to wake up early in the morning just so I can throw some clay before the family gets up, for some solo time. Because when the kids are up they are in there with me bugging me for wheel time LOL. It's actually folded into other facets of my life quite well, too. I'm a practicing Buddhist, so I love anything that I can get lost in meditative movement with. And clay is the perfect exercise in meditative moving. I can use it as an exercise to be mindful about every little thing I do, and engross myself (mind, body, and consciousness) totally into this one thing. It really is quite amazing in so many different ways.
  9. I noticed that most times when I'm throwing, I always end up with a lump at the rim, or some other kind of uneven quality, but mostly a lump. How does this happen? The rest of the body will be uniform, but my rim will have a problem. I pinch and level the rim every time I pull, but no matter how smooth it goes the whole time, by the end there's a lump in it. And then I end up having to spend extra time and effort cutting off that section, repulling, only to find another lump. I'm guessing it's my technique at the end of the pull. Maybe I'm doing something wrong at the very end right as I'm leaving the rim? Also, I've played with the throwing stick tool, and have a 50/50 record with it. Sometimes it works awesome, but other times, all it does for me is scrape out tuns of clay on the inside, and making uneven lines inside. I'm assuming the stick should be wet? How fast should I use it on the inside? Any other tips?
  10. Hey all, thanks for the warm welcome, and helpful advice. I never really thought about the trade in services. Great idea! I'll look into it.
  11. Thanks for the encouragement...I really appreciate it. Yes, I figured i would stop standing on the wall and just dive in, and it helped justifying the purchase of the wheel, because it's something the whole family can (and has) enjoy. The Youtube videos help a lot, and the books I've gotten are filled with examples, but as someone who also understands the fine details of being taught face to face and in person (from martial arts, and music), I can appreciate the fact, that maybe I'm missing out on some of the finer points that might only come with a student/teacher dynamic. But for now, I'm having a blast just making stuff. I always laugh, because my efforts seem to always end in the same way. I have a vision/idea of what I want to make...I accomplish it, then my OCD overworks it trying to make it perfect, then it flops...Then i take what remains and "settle" on making something else LOL. For instance, the other day I was trying for a sake bottle, came out with a decent one. Spent so much time trying to get it just right, that it flopped, and I just had to take what remained and make it into a vase. I typically love things that utilize both sides of my brain: art and science. That's why I love photography, and why I apprenticed as a winemaker, and why I love cooking and other activities of the same type. And it's quite dangerous that I see that in Pottery (art in creation, and science in the details, especially in the glaze, that I haven't even touched on yet...I've been cranking out pieces that haven't even been fired yet), because if I make that connection, I will become obssessed with it, until I become profficient. But in the end, it's been such a blast.
  12. I thought I'd say hi and introduce myself. My friends call em Ren, and after a week of trying to get registered, I'm finally on (thanks to whichever admin is responsible after I had to go the creepy backdoor/Facebook route to contact someone). I'm pretty green to pottery. Always fascinated with the idea of starting, but never actually pulled the trigger until last month, when I finally dove in and got a pottery wheel (a barely used 10 year old Pacifica GT-400), and I've got to say, I wish I did this earlier as I'm in love with it. I'm a husband and father of two girls who are 9 and 3, and we live in Vancouver, and I work in Portland, OR. I am going to school for my BS in Photography (you can view some of my work, although severely outdated, as I haven't uploaded anything new in almost a year, at: http://www.studio4115.com ) This seems like a community of pretty established ceramic folk, so hopefully you don't mind a newbie around. Also, unfortunately, I can't afford pottery classes at the moment, so I have to self teach from youtube videos and books. Is it possible to get pretty decent doing it this way? I plan to go to classes later on, but the cost of classes is pretty prohibitive at the moment. Usually one can find a major message board for every topic under the sun, but for some reason, I can't find anything (that is larger than a small group of people) for ceramics/pottery. Is there another message board out there, that I missed? No insult to this one at all, as I've noticed there are a ton of very knowledgeable people here, and a wealth of old info to sift through, but I was just wondering as I just thought it odd, that I can't find a major forum/community/message board on this topic. I heard claystation.com was one, but they seem to have been hacked and are still recovering from it. Anyway, I'm sorry...I seem to be rambling now. Pleasure to meet you all, and I look forward to learning from you.
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