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About Bette

  • Birthday 05/27/1951

Profile Information

  • Location
    Morgan Hill, California
  • Interests
    Introduced to pottery in my 50's at a community college class, and knew I wanted to make this part of my future. Dabbled for some years as my career (healthcare org management & training) allowed. At 60, semi retired, I was thrilled to set up a pottery studio in my home. I am mostly throwing functional ware, building skill, experimenting, learning a lot, dreaming of possibilities down the road.
    My pottery is part time. Life is full with family (3 adult sons+), part time work, community, gardening, reading, and my other avocation which is aviation (I have an airplane that I use for business and pleasure).
    I would like to be more connected to a potters community and intend to make more time for that some how.

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  1. Hello and thank you for all the knowledge sharing here, which has helped me so much. What differences should I expect in specific gravity and firing results with different types of water for mixing up a glaze dry mix? My options are distilled water, very hard tap water, or softened water (a salt process).
  2. Thanks for this tip! Do you do anything special to prepare a Mack brush before you use it? I'm reading about trimming and oiling for other applications, but I don't see guidance about their use with pottery underglaze.
  3. On occasions when I've had the dreaded pinging and crazing - not often, and not recently - I don't know whether it had anything to do with temperature shock. I now regularly bisque fire slowly and I have learned more about which of my clays/glazes fit together without crazing, and I suspect that has led to better outcomes rather than temp. Still, I now also wait to unload til max 150F to be safe. If concerned about crazing and cracking, the hugely variable experience reported here is a great reminder that more variables are at work than just the unloading temperature! As for unloading temperature as a cause of bad outcomes, it would be great to know the science, at what cooling temp point does your specific clay or your glaze no longer contract. I am new at this; maybe others have this knowledge? Personally, in the absence of knowledge, I test and expect to slowly learn the hard way. :/
  4. I have a nail problem that I have not heard other potters discuss: my nails easily separate from the beds, not entirely, but maybe half the length. I have learned this is a condition called onycholysis. Even with nails clipped very short, stuff like clay (or garden dirt, or food) can easily get stuck in there and make it worse. I wish there was a better solution, but the only way to manage this is to wear gloves or finger cots. Tried throwing with taped fingers, tried painting finger tips with liquid bandage products, but these don't work for me. So I keep a box of tight fitting nitrile gloves in the studio and in the kitchen, and re-use a number of times before disposing. Any other ideas are welcome!
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