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Posts posted by mnnaj

  1. After reading all of this my questions are:  Do you need to reclaim your clay at all?  Could you afford to throw it away until  Covid 19 has a vaccine?

    Does it build up so much that it must be dealt with every week?   When I was taking classes at the U of MN, there must have been 16 to 20  class times a week with 20 students per class.   We reclaimed the clay maybe every other week.   Unless your students produce large amounts to be reclaimed, would there be a place to put the reclaim so it could sit in brutes - large buckets - for a month (or two)? 


    On 5/5/2020 at 8:44 PM, jrgpots said:

    I would love to see any pictures of extruded colored clay.  Any hollow extruded tubes using colored clay would be of great interest.


    Unfortunately I do not have photos.   The school I work in has a red cone 6 clay and a white cone 6 clay.  I have used the two clays together and extruded them as a hollow 6 sided tube.  This is what I recommend;   

    -let the two clays be in the same bag for at least a week to get to the same moisture content.

    -make 2 logs of each clay to slam/roll together,  stack them like a checkerboard.

    - put in the extruder , don't mix the clays too much or it will be one color. 

    Good luck - most of the color changes were in stripes, they didn't move around on the bias.  One of my students made her extrusions solid, then cut them like coins and built a tray out of them, she put them through the slab roller to even  them out.  Turned out great.


  3. I too have made urns for family.  All had seen the jars before they died.  I have made small urns for myself and my husband.  He wants his ashes to be in multiple places.  

    The idea of "parting stones" sounds interesting.  A stone is portable, no one would look twice at someone dropping a stone at a rivers edge, an urn seems to need to be concealed or buried. 

    My only regret would be that I would be unable to do it myself, because I would be gone.


  4. 7 hours ago, CactusPots said:

    So the foam form was an inch or so less than the finished mold?  I could do that with hydrocal and the hand applied technique, it might be tricky to get it uniform.  Lots of work with the surform and eyeball, I think.

    The form that Margaret made out of foam looked similar to the one you just posted out of clay.  She glued multiple thickness together to get the height she wanted.  After carving out the foam, she mixed up some plaster, when it got to the point of being thick - not hard, she spread it on like frosting over the entire top of the hump, she also set the form on some plaster to completely surround it.  I believe she tapped and jiggled  the form a bit to get it to flatten the high spots .  There may have been use of a surform or green scrubby to smooth things out when it was hardened.


  5. She came to the first class and had no problem, her bag of clay was just fine.  The next week the red clay in her bag was was splotched in grey mold, I think from being open, then closed for the week.  That's when she started having trouble.  I told the class that mold was a part of clay, and to most people it was like mold on cheese, no big deal.  I also said if people reacted to mold, or if they wanted to, they should take a claritin or benedryl.   She didn't tell me till later - after she dropped the class about having an autoimmune problem.   

    I have been very diligent about keeping the slop in the buckets to a minimum, they were cleared out over winter break.  

    Maybe mentioning mold on the first day of class would be enough. 

  6. Hi.  I am a teacher at a community education center.  I teach adults.  Recently I had two new students who dropped out after 2 class times.  They both said they had problems with the mold - one is in her late 60's and has autoimmune difficulties.   To prevent this problem (she was sick for 3 days after the second class) in the future, do you think that the program description should say something about mold in clay? Or if you have an autoimmune disease please check with your doctor?  Or do you think that someone with an autoimmune problem should check with their Dr. before signing up for the class?

  7. 7 hours ago, Min said:

    The seashell is supported with wadding, sandwich the seashell between the pot and the wadding. Cockle shells are good, you want the shells or pieces of shell big enough so that the flame can work along it to make distinctive pattern (if you're lucky). After the firing any stuck on bits can dissolved by soaking the pot in water. The place you are firing at might want you to use their wadding.

    I couldn't have said it better, thank you Min.


  8. The ash will affect the surface of the pots, and it could be directional.   If you have access to some cone 10 glazes use them.  I have glazed the inside of my bottles, jars, cups - anything I wanted to make fully glazed and food safe, then put flashing slip, oxides or nothing on the outside and let the fire do as it will.  If you have seashells to put on top of the wadding, you will find it makes an interesting affect.  If you want to try some cone 6 glazes I would suggest you put them on the inside of your pots only.  That way if they run because they are being fired too high they might not hurt anyone else's pots. 


  9. I've mostly been a lurker here.  I comment occasionally and read many of the posts.  

    I have been feeling very grateful for this community of people lately.  I have found answers without asking the questions.  And yes answers to questions I didn't know I had.  Some of the comments are way over my head - technical glazing and electricity posts come to mind.  I may not understand what you are posting, but I appreciate that each of you takes the time to share your knowledge with those of us who want to know.  I am very glad to have found this group of knowledgeable, agreeable and respectful people.  There are too many of you to name and I don't want to miss anyone.  I know if I see a particular avatar that I should read that post.  

    Thank you for your time and experience.  I hope that you all continue to contribute for many years and that I can continue to lurk, while avidly reading the posts.


  10. I also suggest a barrier  cream of some sort, I ordered mine from Walgreens, can't remember the name.  There are barrier creams that act as a resist to water (useful for clay) and barrier creams for oil (working on cars or with oil paint).   I used mine for a while, but couldn't remember to put it on BEFORE touching the clay.  It works when it is used.


  11. We have found ourselves with quite a number of posts that have schmutz on them so they don't sit flat.  Some of them have been ground down.  We now have a pile of posts of various heights, just off by 1/16" , give or take, from each other.  I'm toying with the idea of cutting the posts down to the next full inch to try to get them all the same size.   The formerly 5" posts to 4" ect...

    Are there any suggestions on what kind of saw will work?  I have access to an older type miter saw and a table saw.  How about blades?

    And being kind of new to the maintenance side of kilns and shelving - is kiln wash necessary on the ends of the posts for electric kilns that only fire to ^6?

    Thanks, Nancy

  12. Take classes.  The dream of being a potter or playing with clay maybe upset by the reality of things you can't control, like back pain, allergies to dust, always having rough dry hands.   Your instructor will be able to give advice on how to do things easier - things that might take you months or years to discover on your own.  I also find that the  interaction with other students improves me and changes my work.  Seeing things online are ok, but being able see it done, walk around the demo, look at it from another angle, touch the clay at each stage, that is worth much, much more. 


     by the way I started classes at age 50.

  13. As a new teacher in a community education setting I have a question that I have not seen in the  Forum.  One of my students may be pregnant.  I have looked in books on health and safety by Monona Rossol, Michael McCann,  and Angela Babin.  None are specific to clay, pottery and glazing.

    Other than the basic precautions all of us should be using (wet mopping, dust mask, frequent breaks for back), are there things/chemicals that we should be concerned about?   I'm mostly thinking glazing, are there chemicals she should avoid, or will using gloves and good housekeeping be enough?

    Thanks for your input.

    Nancy Johnson

  14. This was yesterdays two glaze loads.

    I priced and packed them took some to a outlet and loaded the large kiln with a bisque load which I'm firing today as well as firing my small kiln with my cat -doing a cremation.

    I have some new shino like glazes that turned out well in the big kiln.

    sorry to hear about your cat.

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