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About RuthB

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Charleston, SC
  • Interests
    Clay, Glazes, Kilns, Firing, Marketing, Teaching

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8,209 profile views
  1. Try the Mishima technique. Apply the slip to leather hard. Scrape the slip off the piece with a metal rib when it has dried enough to do so cleanly. Test a small area before doing the whole piece. Too soon, it will smear. If the body is heavily grogged you may get some drag lines.
  2. This method works very well for me. Just rehydrated a 25lb bag of dry clay in a couple of days. Remove the clay from the bag. Wrap the clay in a fairly wet towel or other piece of cloth. Put the clay back in the bag and close it as tightly as you can.. I use a rubber band. Then immerse the whole thing in a bucket of water. Press a finger on the bag once a day. 2 days is usually enough to be able to wedge the clay again. It will be stiffer in the center. At that point, I slice the clay and restack it, rotating and flipping each layer. Then, slap the clay to join all
  3. The students themselves are the closest contact for transmission, to their classmates and the clay. The virus dies when it dries out. So dry all clay before slaking for recycling. If you can figure out how to work it without contamination, make every student responsible for their own recycling. No mixing of clay. Social distancing and other CDC recommendations will likely be required in schools, so separate all the work areas. It’s possible that certain activities will not be allowed to resume for quite a while, working with clay in a group setting being one of them. Or scale back the wo
  4. Thanks Neil, as a repair tech seeing lots of kilns, you have a large sample. But, in my practice, leaning has not caused any problems for this kiln or the ware. It is 17 years old, and as you can see is an L&L. No brick wear. I don’t make a lot of plates, so maybe that’s why. My brain must be a bit fuzzy right now because usually I place them to span an angle so that only 2 points touch the sides. I am the only one who loads the kiln and I fire very slowly to 1700F, giving time for temp to equalize and burn out any unfriendlies in the clay. Before anyone says I should be firing to 0
  5. I fire plates plates by leaning the first one against the wall of the kiln, then continue with more plates. I’m in the middle of loading a dinnerware set. I’ll send a pic shortly
  6. My 8 year old Shimpo was getting slower and slower. I called Shimpo after trying to adjust the potentiometer. That’s when I learned that it needed a new control board for $317.00. I mostly handbuild so the wheel was not used daily. I did not know that the capacitors on the control board are like a battery and the wheel needs to run to keep them charged. Sitting idle decreases their life span. Am I the only one not aware of this? Is this so with all the newer wheels? My 40 year old year old Brent has been repaired once. I bought the Shimpo for the quiet Thanks to all. Ruth
  7. Great idea! I have made bats from the interfacing used in sewing, available from a fabric store. It's available in various thickness and stiffnesses. I then brush porcelain slip on both sides. Great bats, easy to peel off, take no room to store.
  8. I'm thinking the same thing. The clay does stick to the bat and there may be some drag possibly increased by the wooden tools and the dry clay causing tension in the base. It sounds like it doesn't always happen, but often enough to be a drag ( no pun intended). As Rae suggests doing a little trimming on the back would remove this clay before it becomes a problem in drying. You may want to add 1/8" in thickness to your platters so that you have enough clay to trim off. Alternatively, don't throw them at all. Cut a piece the desired size from a slab and flip on to the bat. Attach to the wheel h
  9. Have you made any videos of the roller tools in use?
  10. Your point is well taken, re squirting clay. To clarify, when opening, I'm pressing from both the top and side of the opening, so the clay can't squirt anywhere.
  11. Compression and alignment go hand in hand. Compressing the base aligns the particles through the base. Hamer and Hamer (The Potter's Dictionary of Materials and Technique) have some interesting points to make about the difference in drying shrinkage vertically through the thickness of the base as opposed to horizontal shrinkage across the base because the particles are aligned differently in walls vs. the base. Somehow, there is uneven shrinkage from the rim to the center happening during drying in these plates. As you wrote, it's always helpful to see how a piece is thrown when figuring ou
  12. The root of cracks such as these is found in the opening process. The clay and the metal wheel head have a terrific attraction for each other. If you opened the clay by starting at the center and pulling out to the edge, clay directly in contact with the wheel head the clay does not move uniformly from the center. The clay particles in the base will not be lined up as they are in the wall at the completion of throwing. The shrinkage will be uneven from the sides/edges to the center resulting in the cracks such as yours. To insure that the clay particles are lined up in the base as they are in
  13. Babs

    Nice to read your words again RuthB

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