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About CarlCravens

  • Rank
    Long-time Dabbler
  • Birthday 08/02/1968

Profile Information

  • Location
    Voorhees, NJ
  • Interests
    All kinds of stuff. Making things myself and learning new things are at the top of the list.

    I've dabbled in pottery for many years, but have never gotten "really" serious, despite having my own wheel and two kilns. (Craigslist is great if you're patient.)

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  1. Naval jelly (phosphoric acid in a gel form) will remove rust. I've used it on my table saw surface when the garage ceiling leaked and I didn't catch it before it rusted. It may leave the metal discolored, but it'll remove the rust. Whether you want to wedge porcelain on it afterward may still be another matter, but it never stained any of my woods.
  2. It may be they *couldn't* put up more signs. When my wife helped run a farmer's market, they were allowed two free-standing signs, which had to be on the same property as the market. The couldn't post signs down the street, they couldn't attach signs to poles or buildings, they couldn't have more than 2, and they had to fit within certain dimensions. And that was with a special exception for the market.
  3. large plastic bowls kitty litter buckets in my case.
  4. And that's where 3d printing really shines... in producing work that can't be done with traditional means, or would be very complicated to do so. Say, an engine part that requires a complicated multi-part mold is no harder for a 3d printer to produce than a straight piece of pipe. The trick is making a part that actually holds up to use in an engine. The future of 3d printing... when it's cheap, durable, extremely high-resolution and capable of producing replacement parts for your car's engine, or for making a toaster from scratch, from a machine affordable that everyone can have one: when the 3d printer is essentially Star Trek's "Replicator"... that's when it will get really interesting. A sculpt a piece. It has some value as art. I make a mold and slip-cast reproductions of that piece. These have some value as art, but it's generally agreed that they are worth far less than the original. What is it worth when you can download a file describing the geometry of my piece off the internet and print it for $1 worth of material/energy/time... and that piece can't be differentiated from the original sculpture, down to reproducing the pores in the finger prints I left on it? I think part of society will always appreciate hand-made goods... to me, the value of hand-made is a connection to the maker. I think that connection is tenuous at best in a piece replicated by a machine.
  5. If we're talking about experimenting on my printer, it most certainly is an all-plastic contraption , and primarily designed to print PLA or ABS. Anything more exotic that that is still going to have to meet the general performance requirements of PLA plastic. (Which, for those who might wonder, is a biological product (usually made from corn) and is bio-degradable.) Even if I change the hot-end nozzle for a smaller orifice, I'm still not going to get a resolution fine enough for "micro-pores"... any pores made are going to be large enough to show up in a sprig. Which is why, from my point of view, it's much simpler to use the printer to produce a master to pull a plaster mold from, which brings the process back into something completely within the well-trodden realm of standard pottery practice. If you're talking about a printer that can print micro-pores or Teflon, you're talking about something that likely costs in the six-digit range... not a tool you're likely to use to make sprig molds. I have seen, a few years ago, someone who was already printing porcelain with a 3d printer... the design had been originally engineered to print chocolate. It worked, but for typical pottery, it's more cost-effective to slip-cast. Even if you discount the cost of the printer itself, 3d printing is expensive... from designing 3d models that are suitable for printing, to the time it takes to make a print, and often the cost of the medium (PLA filament is not cheap... porcelain is probably one of the cheapest mediums I've seen). This is why 3d printing has been around for years and doesn't edge out traditional manufacturing... it's great for one-offs and iterations of prototypes, but it's very slow and expensive for mass production of identical goods.
  6. Totally. I've exchanged email with Tony before and he's been very friendly and responsive. I helped him help his ISP sort out a problem with his email delivery, and he was very accepting of my unsolicited advice. (It was causing some mail from digitalfire.com to be filtered as spam.) I'm sure he'd be very glad to receive reports if some of his data is flawed. Tony's a great guy, and a real asset to the community. I've been away for awhile and had just started to use the online Insight before I lost easy access to studio time... I was really surprised to find he'd made the downloadable Insight free. For someone trying to obtain just compensation for his efforts, that was pretty generous.
  7. Oh, yes... there are 3d printers that use sintering (a laser melts metal dust together to form each layer), but it's still not suitable for a lot of applications. And those printers are extremely expensive. There are very high quality plastic printers (some use sintering with plastic dust), but those are also very expensive. (Both in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.) We've got a long ways to go before really high quality, reliable printing, plastic or metal, hits the "garage shop" affordability level. But the hobby level printers can make some useful stuff if you have the right requirements... about a third of my printer is made of parts printed on another plastic printer, including the gears that drive the plastic filament through the hot-end, and the carriage that carries the whole hot-end/drive assembly. It's generally tough stuff, but it has poor shear strength along the print layer axes because the layers can break apart. I could easily print custom-shaped pottery ribs, because the axis of greatest strength would work in its favor. It would be like a wooden rib... no flexibility with the kind of plastic I use (PLA). But if you wanted a lot of different foot or rim profiles, it would work. (But it would cost more than just cutting up a sheet of plastic or wood.) I was also interested in making sprig molds, but I have a feeling the surface would be terrible at releasing without a release agent. But even there, you could print a positive to use as a master to make a plaster mold. But getting a good, smooth surface would be a challenge, because each printed layer leaves a ridge. (If you print in ABS plastic, you can use an acetone fog to soften the edges, which probably made a few of you rightly cringe at the hazard involved.) If anybody is interested in experimenting, I can have it set back up in the next month and we can run some ideas through it and see what we come up with.
  8. So research indicates this mug was made by Grey Fox Pottery, which specializes in this kind of thing. They're vague about their process... saying that the design is applied with a scrimshaw technique, similar to how sailors engraved on bone. They *imply* that the artist is engraving on every single cup, but that would be prohibitively expensive for such a detailed design, I'd think. Ah, here ya go... a video showing parts of their process. It's a sprig.
  9. The problem I have with older books and magazines is the quality of photos... so many are in B&W and aren't that sharp. Modern printing has come a long way. There was a day I'd welcome scrounging for old books or magazines, but now days, I just want to buy something off Amazon and be done. Ideally, it'd be in ebook form, but that seems not all that common for these kind of books. The book Pres recommended sounds like a good place to start... easy to get from Amazon, not terribly expensive. (It's really amazing to me how little general interest there is in pottery, but how many *books* have been written about its history and artists.)
  10. I built a 3d printer (that prints plastic) and had planned to try making pottery stamps and decorating wheels with it... just didn't get around to it before I moved and it went into storage. Another thing I'm looking forward to getting set up in the new place. That's one of the funny things about it... I wanted it as much to make tools as I did to make finished (utilitarian) goods. Like patterns for sandcasting, stamps or pattern ribs for clay, etc.
  11. So, can someone recommend a book or two on the history of modern ceramics? A survey of artists kind of thing that would be a starting place to learn about the artists mentioned here?
  12. Hi, Jasmine, welcome to the kiln club. It's a whole new world when you can control the firing of your work But as warned above, things just got a little more complicated... there's some basic technical knowledge you need to absorb to learn successful firing. It's not hard, but just takes building up a little know-how. Did your kiln come with a manual? My Paragon came with an extensive guide about how to fire it for different clays and for different purposes (bisque vs glaze). Even if it didn't come with a manual, all the big manufacturers provide a lot of info on their websites about how to get started using your kiln. (My Skutt didn't come with the manuals, but I downloaded them from the website.) I can help you find a manual if you bought a used kiln that didn't come with one, and that's a good place to start. What make and model is your kiln? I have a Skutt KS818 (and a Paragon A66-B made in 1967, and still going strong as my bisque kiln). Do you know the specifics about your clay? The manufacturer may have recommendations, and just knowing will help the crowd here make recommendations. For instance, I throw Laguna WC-401. If your clay came in a box, it should have a label of some kind. That's a good place to start...
  13. Heh... I'm going to have space in my garage to set up my own studio again. So looking forward to that. But when my company's new office opens up in Philly, I'll be working around the block from The Clay Studio, so I'm sure I'll find an excuse to wander by. I'm looking forward to getting hooked into the clay scene around Philly. Already met (and bought from) a potter who works out of The Clay Studio at last year's Manayunk arts festival. I'm moving to Voorhees, NJ. Went to an art fair in Haddonfield, 20 minutes from there and there were so many potters and ceramicists. Between there and the Manayunk arts festival, my "other people's pots" budget has taken a massive hit. Kansas had its share of potters, but they were really spread out... the concentration of potters in Philly is mind-boggling. Time to go pack some more boxes... gotta get this move on.
  14. Thanks, Marcia... I moved from Kansas to New Jersey into an apartment townhouse too small for my family, and no room for my pottery, and the nearest studio is 45 minutes away... I can't make that work. Everything's been in storage for over two years, and I couldn't take watching other potters while not doing my own, so I cancelled my magazine subscriptions and stopped hanging out on forums. This month I'm moving across NJ to a place near Philly... a house with a garage and permission to wire for my kilns, so I've been reimmersing myself in teaching materials, getting into the mindset and brushing up on foundational ideas in preparation for actually being able to throw again. For all the wonderful written material in ceramics, no book matches the information capacity of a video demonstration... even if the person isn't "teaching" just watching a good potter throw is educational. So I'd been thinking a lot about the question being asked here... what is worth watching, especially in the area of "free"? Watching production potters who have to make a certain volume is interesting... you watching them work and think maybe, "That's a little sloppy, " or even, "I can throw straighter than that!" But in the time it takes me to throw a "perfect" bowl, this production potter has knocked out ten, and the finished product looks fine. (I like to see that something is hand-made, so a carefree line is something I value.) Then I watch Hsin-Cheun Lin, who is an artist not so worried about volume, and his slow and methodical approach almost drives me nuts... he can take half an hour to trim the foot of a bowl, but his work is so precise. So it reminds me that everyone is coming from a different place and thinking different things when they teach.
  15. Several years ago, my name, home address, phone number, email address and website got listed as Circle Computer Resources, a computer and equipment dealer. You can find that listing on many, many "business directories" and I occasionally got mailings, and emailings, trying to sell me services. As far as I can tell, there has never been a Circle Computer Resources in Kansas (there is one based in Iowa). I have no idea where the listing came from, and I've never been able to track down a way to get it removed at the source. I'm just glad nobody ever showed up at my door looking to buy computer parts. I've since moved (lived there 20 years), but the listings persist. Circle Computer Resources is a Computer & Equipment Dealers company at WICHITA, Kansas, United States, Tel: ...
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