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Nancy S.

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Everything posted by Nancy S.

  1. C'mon, spring! I'm just itching to rewire the tin shop and get my own kiln up and running....

  2. Springtime warm-up! First day after the winter hiatus. :D

  3. You can also try using a very soft rubber rib, like the red ones from Sherrill, to do a final smooth-over on the rim. Or, after bisque firing, use a stilt stone to grind down any rough areas...though this is tedious and makes a rather annoying noise...
  4. Hi! Quick question for you. I noticed on a post that you mentioned having worked with Standard 365 porcelain, and I'm wondering if you have any experience with 551? Also, how foolhardy would I be to go from stoneware to porcelain? ;) Thanks for your thoughts! (I can give you my email address if that's easier for you.)

    1. neilestrick


      I have not used 551. I have tried a couple of their other porcelain like bodies, though, and was not impressed. Their 365 throws beautifully, so I don't feel like theirs any reason to go to a white body that is supposedly more plastic. I do 45 pound planters with it with the 365 with no cracking or warping problems. The transition from stoneware to porcelain can be awkward, but you'll get used to it. Any particular reason you want to switch?

  5. Thank you!! I just added a few more I found.
  6. I have added glazing info to my pottery gallery online, if anyone's interested -- it's mostly Coyote Glazes, but I'll be adding more Amaco and Mayco colors soon (once I test them and get photos)! http://smg.photobucket.com/user/rubian77/media/Pottery/blueapplebakers.jpg.html?sort=6&o=0
  7. I remember reading somewhere that you should flip your shelves with each firing, so the kiln wash should go on both sides. I have no personal experience with this, so....anyone? How true (or necessary) is this?
  8. I don't have any experience with Mason Stains, but I have used Amaco's zinc-free clear (HF-9) - on white ^6 clay it's slightly off-white (kind of "antique-y" looking). I'd love a ^6 clear that lets the whiteness of the clay come through, but I'm not sure I'm ready to make my own glazes yet. :/
  9. Well, I don't have any actual scientific fact or study to back this up, but here's my educated guess based on what I know of kinesiology: The "dominant" or "active" hand (right hand in a right-handed person, left hand in a lefty) is better suited for fine motor skills like writing, design carving, etc. The "passive" hand (the left hand in a righty; right hand in a lefty) is better suited for what is called "gross motor movements," using large muscle groups. Many times, the passive arm is actually a tiny bit stronger than the active arm. The body adapts to have a 'right tool for the right job' -- the passive hand does the brute force work so that your active hand doesn't get damaged (which would make it unable to do those fine motor skills). Applied to pottery, as a right-handed person I am better able to center clay using my left hand - a gross motor movement, brute force. The counter-clockwise motion of the wheel brings the clay toward the heel of my left hand, making it easier for me to maneuver the clay without it catching on my hand. My right hand holds tools (fine motor movement) at an angle to the clay such that as the clay comes around (counter-clockwise), it again does not catch on the tool. If I were trying to do a scribbley design on a clockwise-moving wheel, I'd have to hold the tool at a very different angle to keep it from jabbing into the pot as the clay moves *toward* me instead of *away* from me on the right side. A left-handed friend of mine who also does pottery has her wheel going clockwise for the same reasons, just reversed. Some lefties will throw "right-handed" (counter-clockwise wheel) in the same way that some southpaw athletes will do things right-handed. I know very little about Asian pottery techniques; maybe they don't do the same things to their pots as Westerners do. Maybe they have a cultural tendency toward something closer to ambidextrousness (even if you aren't born ambidextrous, you can train yourself to do more with your passive hand -- I knew a gal in college who learned to write with both hands because the nuns always took the pencil out of her left hand and put it into her right!). Not that it's good or bad, just different. I suppose that if your wheel is reversible, you can do what works best for you. And if it's not, you just have to adapt your techniques to work with what you have....
  10. My friend and fellow potter Carrie Althouse has been using discarded scraps of stained glass -- the brighter the colors, the better they turn out. Here's an example of her work with it - http://carriealthous...2%20%284%29.JPG She just puts oddly-shaped shards in little bowls that have been glazed and fires them to ^6. She said they can have a tendency to "crawl" up the inside of the bowl at times, but I tried it myself with a chunk of random glass I found in my backyard, and it turned out just fine. It does have a tendency to crackle, so I wouldn't recommend it for food use (as previously noted by another poster). I don't know if a lower firing might reduce the crackling or not - I haven't had much of a chance to experiment with it other than the one piece.
  11. I don't know about Bag Balm, but I personally swear by Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme. It comes in a little tin and all you do is rub your fingers on the waxy stuff and then massage it into your nails and cuticles before bedtime (do it every night whether you've been potting or not). It helps moisturize without petroleum products, helps your nails to grow and strengthen, and also works on those little cuts as well as chapped lips. Lemon has antiseptic properties, plus it smells refreshing and tastes great! It's all natural as well and easily found at many stores including CVS. If you don't want to spend money on the Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, go with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Rub a dab into each nail/cuticle until your hands don't feel greasy. If you do it at night you don't have to worry about contaminating your clay, etc. PS, clip your nails...don't bite! That can worsen your problem. But I do echo the sentiment about keeping them short.
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