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About Benzine

  • Rank
    Socratic Potter

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  • Location
    The Hawkeye State
  • Interests
    The Arts (Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Graphic Design), Running, Music (Mostly Rock), Movies, Technology

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  1. My clay class is going pretty good, even with the online students. There were a couple more that switched *to* online learning, even though they started in person. We ended up being completely online the two and a half weeks before Thanksgiving, going back to in person right after. I thought we'd all be out again a week or so later, due to a Thanksgiving related spike. That really didn't happen. So here we are, ready to go back after our Winter Break. We have three weeks until the end of the Semester, and we have a lot to do. I am not concerned about my clay class, as much as
  2. I switched my classroom to Speedball based on your recommendation, and am happy with the change. I previously used Amaco, which are great, but Speedball are a much better value.
  3. See, that's why I use a weed burner form my Raku kiln. You just keep it next to the house, and if you have snow on your way to the kiln, just melt a path with the burner... hehe. I actually *have* used that burner to melt a large sheet of ice, next to the main entrance to our house. The shovels and ice scrapper were not getting the job done!
  4. Spent the last couple days getting clay "kits" ready for students to take home.  We had to go to Online Learning a week ago, and will continue at least past the Thanksgiving Holiday.  I wedged the entire contents of our reclaim bin (650 lbs. or so), for the kits.  We have so much surplus clay, I didn't want to add to that by giving them the boxed clay.

  5. I think there some literature from the '90s on the subject, specifically the "Nevermind" album...
  6. Huh, that's funny, I thought lithium was supposed to make things better...
  7. Welp, We made it through our 1st Quarter well enough, then we got two days into our 2nd Quarter and have had to go online, for at least a week. The problem wasn't so much kids being absent, it was all of the teachers out. We just don't have the Subs to cover classes. It also didn't help that we were getting low on Bus Drivers as well. Luckily, we had a heads up, so I was able to go over some things with students, and send a Glaze/ Sketch Journal home with the students. The plan is for me to do a bunch of demo videos, so the kids have that info, when they come back and hit
  8. I have one, but I mainly only use it to add a more defined groove, when I adding surface decorations, or use it to pop out the square insert in my Wonderbat (They get a bit snug after absorbing some water).
  9. In my classroom, I just break larger pieces into smaller bits by hand, then crush those pieces with a rolling pin. It gets them small enough that they slake down fast. I usually only do this to get bone dry bits for my deflocculated slip. For reclaim, it goes from the bone dry bin, to the slip bucket, and eventually into the reclaim bin.
  10. *Imagines a person walking around in public, opening doors getting groceries, with hands coated in clay* I rarely get blisters or anything of the like anymore. The clay I use is relatively smooth. Like others have said, my hands will get dry and crack, especially in the Winter months. To avoid this, I just rinse my hands with water, not wash with soap, until I am DONE, done for the day, and use lotion before I start, part way through, and when I am done. I did have a sore spot on the side of my hand, in my College Ceramics course. The studio clay had some aggressive grog i
  11. I'm with you on that. Read through detailed instructions, watched multiple videos, and my spiral is more of a cone. I'll eventually get there... In regards to the question, I throw relatively small 1-3 lbs. Five pounds doesn't give me too much trouble, 10 lbs. takes a bit of work, and I've never done over 15 at one time. A few weeks ago, I pulled most of the clay out of my classroom's reclaim bin. It was packed full, as last Spring's in progress work got recycled. So there was quite a bit of leatherhard slabs mixed in with the slip bucket and throwing slop. So I was wed
  12. When we were moving my Grandfather into a smaller place, my Dad asked if I wanted the air compressor. Initially I thought, "What am I going to do with that?!" Less than a year later I was using it with a newly purchased nail gun to build decorative columns and finish a loft space in my garage. I have also used it with a paint sprayer. They are indeed a nice multipurpose tool!
  13. Yeah, I entered my bisque program a decade ago. No one knows how to change them except me. Despite this I always check to make sure all the segments are correct. I don't worry too much about the student projects, because I take plenty of precautions with the drying and firing. If they fall apart or explode, there was generally little I could have realistically done. I recently had a batch of Middle School work, and a couple students made what could have been a "bomb". They were thick and barely hollowed out. Despite all this, they survived, and likely tossed, once they got home...
  14. Ditto! In regards to weather, we had a couple inches of snow Sunday early morning, which is not normal for us. So then of course the next day we got several inches of snow to really accentuate that point... Funny thing is, it happened while we were at School, so all we could do was watch. Luckily, it didn't impact the roads at all.
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