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Benzine

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  1. Like
  2. Like
    Benzine reacted to mgtmeehan in QotW: What is your most unapologetic, shamelessly proud, pat-yourself-on-the-back accomplishment of any type in Ceramics?   
    My answer may be a little different, because it concerns someone else’s ceramics... but I was his HS teacher.  Many years ago, I had an extremely gifted student who was enrolled in each of my art classes throughout  his 4 years of high school.  I needed to be a Jack of All Trades, as the only art teacher in a rural high school... taught First Year Studio, Drawing and Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Sculpture and of course, Ceramics. His 3rd year, after Studio, and Drawing and Painting, he enrolled in Ceramics.  However, he always seemed to gravitate right back to his easel... he really was getting better and better at painting, BUT he was ignoring his Ceramics.  I knew he had a bright future, and was trying to help him get a scholarship to college... BUT did not want to mess up his chances with a low grade in Ceramics... so we made a bargain.  I would sustain his 4.0, but he had to put in double time after school or whenever, to get his Ceramics done.  Well, he did it. Then went on to win  a scholarship to the Boston Museum School (affiliate Tufts U, at Boston Museum of Fine Arts.). His first year in Boston, he excelled in Ceramics and became a fantastic, prolific, creative  potter. (but still painted :-) That young man went on to work at the Guggenheim, then the Smithsonian.  Now in his forties, he just completed a book, and has created an exhibit comparing Matisse’ inspiration to the work of native Alaskan indigenous peoples.  He has made me proud. :-)
  3. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from GEP in QotW: What is your most unapologetic, shamelessly proud, pat-yourself-on-the-back accomplishment of any type in Ceramics?   
    That's a very tough question.  It's a great question, just tough to answer.  
    I would say the thing, I am currently most proud of, is having myself and my Art Club make mugs for all the Staff, in our Building.  It ended up being about 90 mugs.  I did most the heavy lifting, in regards to throwing, as I wanted them to be consistent, but the kids added handles and a raised mascot head, that we press molded.  They also glazed everything.  
    The Staff seemed very appreciative, especially the Associated, Kitchen Staff, and Custodians, who don't get a lot of credit and recognition.  The Head Custodian, came up and gave me a hug!
    We are still making them for new Staff as well, as a Welcome.  The goal was only to do a few here and there, but we've had quite a bit of turnover, for various reasons, so we've been busy...
  4. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Chilly in Determining bisque cone   
    Or if you're like me, someone does that, and you get a cheap kiln out of the deal...
  5. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Chilly in QotW: What is your most unapologetic, shamelessly proud, pat-yourself-on-the-back accomplishment of any type in Ceramics?   
    That's a very tough question.  It's a great question, just tough to answer.  
    I would say the thing, I am currently most proud of, is having myself and my Art Club make mugs for all the Staff, in our Building.  It ended up being about 90 mugs.  I did most the heavy lifting, in regards to throwing, as I wanted them to be consistent, but the kids added handles and a raised mascot head, that we press molded.  They also glazed everything.  
    The Staff seemed very appreciative, especially the Associated, Kitchen Staff, and Custodians, who don't get a lot of credit and recognition.  The Head Custodian, came up and gave me a hug!
    We are still making them for new Staff as well, as a Welcome.  The goal was only to do a few here and there, but we've had quite a bit of turnover, for various reasons, so we've been busy...
  6. Like
    Benzine reacted to preeta in Japanese Pottery, Break from Tradition   
    In a way i feel this change is actually a way of continuing tradition. The tradition of Japanese pottery responding to huge cultural change.  I think its the history of Japan, except this time they did not have to kidnap makers from any other place. 
    I am excited by En iwamura’s work. Ive seen his demos and I’m blown away by how fast he works. His work, similar to Otani’s is actually inspired by the Haniwa’s which is his basis to which he tries to involve cartoons he grew up with or were inspired by. 
    What i really find inspiring is not so much their work changing - that is a given, but its that philosophy - the philosophy of the maker - whether it be sculpture or pottery - is still passed down from generations past. Yes there is money issues, but the makers thoughts feelings, why they are making, how they are making, how they see their world i find its still the same. Ive run into students from China and Korea who are not in the art field just for the money. It was very inspirational to hear these young people talk - because so far i have only come across that amongst the Native American makers here. I’m so glad they are not a Jeff Koons or Damien Hirscht.
    so what one calls modern Japanese ceramics is really japan evolving to catastrophic change much like the tea ceremony that is not all that old - 1300s? Which evolved again in the 1500s. 
    I wonder though are we going to go back to ceramics if we try to cut down our use of plastics and paper?!!!
    and I’ve also seen this whole Sculptor vs potter attitude from all over - from artists in the Middle East, to Europe to the Far East.  In fact people make faces when i say i do mostly pottery and not sculpture. The whole art vs. craft deal.
    anyways i am rambling, just trying to make sense of the thoughts running through my head.
    i wonder are potters now going to treat cobalt blue like blood diamonds? Whole ‘nother Subject.
  7. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Min in QotW: What is your most unapologetic, shamelessly proud, pat-yourself-on-the-back accomplishment of any type in Ceramics?   
    That's a very tough question.  It's a great question, just tough to answer.  
    I would say the thing, I am currently most proud of, is having myself and my Art Club make mugs for all the Staff, in our Building.  It ended up being about 90 mugs.  I did most the heavy lifting, in regards to throwing, as I wanted them to be consistent, but the kids added handles and a raised mascot head, that we press molded.  They also glazed everything.  
    The Staff seemed very appreciative, especially the Associated, Kitchen Staff, and Custodians, who don't get a lot of credit and recognition.  The Head Custodian, came up and gave me a hug!
    We are still making them for new Staff as well, as a Welcome.  The goal was only to do a few here and there, but we've had quite a bit of turnover, for various reasons, so we've been busy...
  8. Like
    Benzine reacted to Mark C. in QotW: What is your most unapologetic, shamelessly proud, pat-yourself-on-the-back accomplishment of any type in Ceramics?   
    For me it may be building two salt kiln conversions at a Molkai Art center on two different trips. Pro Bono as well. I am in the giving back space of life and passing on knowledge is part of that process. It felt right and was for a good cause . It still feels great years later
  9. Like
    Benzine reacted to GEP in QotW: What is your most unapologetic, shamelessly proud, pat-yourself-on-the-back accomplishment of any type in Ceramics?   
    Smithsonian Craft Show.
    20 years ago I thought it was an impossible goal. 20 years from now, I'll be thinking "I can't believe that really happened."
  10. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Hulk in QotW: What is your most unapologetic, shamelessly proud, pat-yourself-on-the-back accomplishment of any type in Ceramics?   
    That's a very tough question.  It's a great question, just tough to answer.  
    I would say the thing, I am currently most proud of, is having myself and my Art Club make mugs for all the Staff, in our Building.  It ended up being about 90 mugs.  I did most the heavy lifting, in regards to throwing, as I wanted them to be consistent, but the kids added handles and a raised mascot head, that we press molded.  They also glazed everything.  
    The Staff seemed very appreciative, especially the Associated, Kitchen Staff, and Custodians, who don't get a lot of credit and recognition.  The Head Custodian, came up and gave me a hug!
    We are still making them for new Staff as well, as a Welcome.  The goal was only to do a few here and there, but we've had quite a bit of turnover, for various reasons, so we've been busy...
  11. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Pres in QotW: What is your most unapologetic, shamelessly proud, pat-yourself-on-the-back accomplishment of any type in Ceramics?   
    That's a very tough question.  It's a great question, just tough to answer.  
    I would say the thing, I am currently most proud of, is having myself and my Art Club make mugs for all the Staff, in our Building.  It ended up being about 90 mugs.  I did most the heavy lifting, in regards to throwing, as I wanted them to be consistent, but the kids added handles and a raised mascot head, that we press molded.  They also glazed everything.  
    The Staff seemed very appreciative, especially the Associated, Kitchen Staff, and Custodians, who don't get a lot of credit and recognition.  The Head Custodian, came up and gave me a hug!
    We are still making them for new Staff as well, as a Welcome.  The goal was only to do a few here and there, but we've had quite a bit of turnover, for various reasons, so we've been busy...
  12. Like
    Benzine reacted to Bill Irwin in Clay Cat Litter   
    I live in central Missouri, USA. And have dug and used a local clay that has been used commercially for over a hundred years for firebrick at the A. P. Green Co. in Mexico, Missouri and is currently used to manufacture kitty litter at a facility east of Columbia, Missouri. The natural clay is loaded with a lot of organic material, like plant roots. When fired it produces an almost snow white color too a very light pinkish off white. The surface is open and course when fired. I am planning a pit firing this coming Fall, 2019, with a blend of quartz sand in the clay. The vessels will have a bisque firing before their sawdust and charcoal pit firing. when brushed with a large wet house painting brush the quartz sand produces a linear patterned texture. This batch will be colored blue with lye water from ashes and the browns from pit firing. Like always we’ll see how it goes. 
  13. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Rae Reich in Determining bisque cone   
    Or if you're like me, someone does that, and you get a cheap kiln out of the deal...
  14. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Babs in Determining bisque cone   
    Or if you're like me, someone does that, and you get a cheap kiln out of the deal...
  15. Like
    Benzine reacted to Cherry in Cotton fibers for paper clay   
    I learned about paper clay from Jerry in about 2003 but stopped using insulation because I was finding black specks from it in my clay. And they didn't burn out and the discoloration seeped into the glaze. I've been using cotton for years but I just get it at Michael's.  I store small amounts in the freezer and that seems to work as well as the fresh made stuff. 

  16. Like
    Benzine reacted to GEP in Vacuum cleaner for the clay studio, yes or no?   
    I vacuum my studio once a year, during my big studio cleaning week. I use a vacuum with a Hepa filter bag, and wear a respirator while I’m vacuuming. Even if the bag isn’t full, I throw it away when I'm done, Then I leave the studio and don’t come back for at least 24 hours. 
    I vacuum the floor and every horizontal surface, including the tops of the radiator pipes that run across the ceiling. There will be a fine layer of dust on everything. Without a vacuum I would not get things as dust free. After vacuuming I will wet mop the floor. The floor ends up much cleaner compared to not vacuuming first, because all the clay dust does not clog up the mop water. 
  17. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Babs in Giffin Grip Tips?   
    No need to use hairspray, OldLady.  Hand sanitizer works perfectly, for removing Sharpie!
  18. Like
    Benzine reacted to Pres in What’s on your workbench?   
    Table vase from recent firing. This one used a white glaze on the entire piece inside and out. As compared to the one before you can see how the white glaze bleaches browns on the SS 630

  19. Like
    Benzine reacted to Pres in Ceramic Artist Slang   
    Used to have a ceramics prof that would call clean up bits on clay . . . nerds and ditties.  Asked him where that came from one time, He said under his breath it was better than calling it Turds and T@@??#  ! You often remember the craziest of things.
     
    best,
    Pres
  20. Like
    Benzine reacted to neilestrick in Inherited a kiln   
    Any concrete or red brick will not hold up to high temps. I'm guessing that you plan to fire to cone 10, or at least cone 6? It could be that it was built with refractory castable, but who knows... It could all be concrete. I have a hard time believing the kiln was fired very hot before, based on what I'm seeing in the photos.
    I would not save any of the existing structure as it is currently built. The floor is not safe. Salvage the firebrick from the inner layer and use it, but everything else is trash unless you can confirm what the materials are and if they'll handle high temps. I get that you're trying to make this work, but I don't see how it can be done properly and safely without  getting more bricks, or building something considerably smaller with the bricks you have.
    I don't understand what you mea by 'mount the kiln crosswise' with a stainless beam.
     
  21. Like
    Benzine reacted to Bill Kielb in Inherited a kiln   
    I am going to guess it’s low pressure residential gas which tops out at 11”  - or less than 1/2 PSI. Medium pressure gas is 2 PSI just to give you an idea. So just working from memory my last design was 800000 btu,  downstream of a 600,000 btu load  all fed at medium pressure (2PSI) and about 50 ft.  Of 1” pipe was needed at 2PSI to support the 800,000 btu load.
    you likely have 1/4 that pressure available (Residential) so maybe a 2” — 3” diameter pipe. So these are wild guesses and I don’t want to discourage you but want to stress that if you are really committed then lots of thought needs to go into this.  If what I speculate is true above then we need to think in terms of minimizing the load, so less gas which means more insulation which means being creative on the disassembly and reassembly of the kiln.. removing the bottom rows of bricks is a pretty big commitment but who knows if there are brick ties  and reinforcement in the existing  exterior brick and what condition they are in.
    but let’s assume you can punch a jack through, retain a section of the brick above and cut out what you need while installing block and IFB or whatever you like to raise the floor. Then on the interior you create a flame trench for two power burners each side and refabricate the flue to accommodate the new height.
    I will stop now as my point is doing this is very possible and there are better and worse ways, but to do this we are really getting into a whole bunch of quality leg work and design so you don’t waste money, effort and risk creating a kiln that just don’t work too good .........of which you do not own actually.
    I love a challenge, but ...... are you sure you don’t want to just convert an electric to gas initially? This could be great fun if it’s your thing but we have not even discussed the operating characteristics of these kilns in which experience is  extremely important to a workable design.
     

  22. Like
    Benzine reacted to neilestrick in What type of plastic should I buy to make my own batts?   
    For heavy classroom use, nothing beats plastic. I personally prefer Medex bats. They last forever with minimal care, but in the classroom they would get torn up. People just aren't careful when they don't own the equipment.
  23. Like
    Benzine reacted to algebraist in Giffin Grip Tips?   
    I'll add this tip, since I just learned it the hard way: Make sure the GG is not propped up on one of the bat pins.  This morning, mine was.  Every pot was apparently off center, and I destroyed 4 of them before I figured it out.  (Finally I started to suspect that the GG was not centering them properly, and I loaded it up with a glass jar.  When that, too, was way off, I was just about ready to take advantage of their 90 day money back guarantee...)  Lesson learned!
  24. Like
    Benzine reacted to Pres in What do you call these in English?   
    Marei, welcome to the forum. 
    As to terms in English, you seem to have a good grasp at the English equivalents.  The process of throwing in English is considered with the following steps: Mastering the clay(some refer to it as coning the clay up and bringing it back down-wedging on the wheel, centering, with the wheel going counter clockwise uses the left hand braced to the hip and the right hand pulling the clay in against or alternatively placed on top to force the clay into the left hand, Then the opening up with the rt hand using the thumb or middle finger or even pointer or two fingers together, next is opening out or forming the donut (which your picture seems to show), then the first pull with the left hand fingers on the inside and thumb at the bottom outside, then pulling with the left hand inside and the rt hand outside pressure point slightly above the inside fingers, shaping   with fingers or hand inside and outside expanding or necking in the form, then trimming the excess and using a cut off wire to separate the pot from the wheel head.
    Your outer hand and inner hand are correct however, they do not take into account which hand is which as when throwing on a clockwise turning wheel the hand are opposite from I described above. Not using the correct hand inside on the wheel turn is really trying to throw with a handicap, it can be done, but with much difficulty.
     
    As to your definitions, we often call the lighteners = fillers.
    The last on the paints, has several different names, depending. . . . some call them overglazes, as it is a glaze applied over another glaze usually already fired. Many times this paint you describe is made up of oils, and when firing releases odorous gasses because of the burning out of the oils, these are called lusters. Lusters are often metallic gold, silver or copper in color, or they could be even pearlescent over top of white glazes. Another paint, is China painting technique, where the paint pigment is again mixed with oil to the consistency of watercolor. The paint is applied light to dark, with the lightest colors applied first. Usually a white glaze is applied and fired first, but there are those that experiment with china paints over other colors.
     
    I hope I have assisted you somewhat,
     
    best,
    Pres
     
  25. Like
    Benzine reacted to neilestrick in Pregnancy And Working In The Studio?   
    Is the kiln vented? There's a lot of stuff that burns out of the clay and glazes during firing, and they need to be vented to the outdoors.
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