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Marcia Selsor

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Posts posted by Marcia Selsor

  1. On 2/19/2020 at 9:10 PM, Mark C. said:

    Marcia-sound like the car kiln and swinging door kiln came a but late for you at work. One thing for sure is Pottery is heck on the body-at times I feel it keeps me fit other times I swear it's killing me.


    I haven't had anymore problems with my wrists except from breaking a bone when I tripped over someone's legs sticking out of the wood kiln taking photos. That was 2 years ago. I think lifting kiln shelves and loading so many kilns per week affected the pain developed in back, shoulders, hips, and thighs.I feel the same about sometimes it keeps me fit and sometimes it is killing me. Gave up bricking up doors 40 years ago. I'm 71 now. Enjoying throwing big pots "effortlessly" with 50+ years of skill to do it. I like not struggling with the clay although if I push one too far and it starts to clapse, I'll hang it upside down and let it reshape itself and continue to throw when it is ready. No fear there and maybe no fear anywhere when you've explored so much and keep pushing the envelope. That makes me feel like it is keeping me fit. At the moment  I am working on a batch pots  for sagger firing soluble salts and at the same time engaged in carving porcelain for a celedon glaze just because I want to do it. Got a request from a friend from CAD for advice and critique of her work. Discussed glazes, slips, forms and firing schedules. I enjoyed sharing what I could.She'll let me know if it helped.

     Working with the Community (pop. 2200) efforts on a STEM program turned to STE-A(for the arts)M and developing programs for artists to communicate how they incorporate STEM in producing their work. I feel potters are really involved with that. I work in the studio every day. Maybe because I feel there aren't that any days left or maybe because I am slowing down. My husband will be home for good Sept. 1 when he retires. We want to hang out together stay home since we both have travelled a lot. He wants to play music and write books , and I can hang out with him but still work in clay. We got almost 6 ft. ( 5'10") of snow in Feb. but love living here. Really happy to be back in Montana. 

    This is from a friend of mine from college who taught me to throw. She was the director of Pilchuck for 10 years. She has a hobby after retirement: scuba diving. She  was the first woman President of NCECA, among many other things.  Good video from the Seattle Art Community. 


    There is room for everyone to enjoy their passion for clay.





  2. 13 hours ago, CactusPots said:

    Henry David Thoreau famously stated in Walden that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” 

    Sad lives observed

    Not to say solitude and quietness are not skills acquired  in our age, that like all things: but

    Moderation in all things, including moderation.

    .quote, me


    My HS English Teacher quoted that often . We read a lot of Thoreau.









  3. I retired from teaching University level ceramics 20 years ago when I was 50. And Old Lady, my salary was $50K in 2000 after 25 years and my benefits are based on that.I had bilateral carpal tunnel surgery in 1980 from bricking up kiln doors and unbricking them; 1600 pounds per load 4 loads per week.. I built a car kiln and a hinged door kiln when we moved to a hew building in 1980.  My body was failing by 2000. My sleep was interrupted by pain 23 times per minute (results from a sleep test and wired body) and was getting shots of ladacane monthly on hips , shoulders and back..  I was told if I took disability I would be not be allowed to make pots. I had zero assistants and tuition rising meant students were working 1 to 2 part time jobs and we weren't able to help much with loading and firing kilns for a ceramics program of 60+ students. So, at 25 years I quit. I never competed with full -time potters when I was teaching and still don't. I worked as a full -time potter before I got my teaching job and I know how demanding it is. When I retired I wanted to do a residency every few years to keep in touch with others in the field. I have enjoyed my studio time since retirement and continue exploring this amazing medium we work with. My sales are strictly with galleries. In Montana my sales are better than in Texas and they help supplement my income by 20%. I am enjoying my time and still learning. I have written technical articles in journals from Studio Potter (1973) to British Archeological Reports, to Ceramics Technical, Pottery Making Illustrated, and Ceramics Monthly.I like being able to contribute what I can.


  4. Hi Hopscotch and welcome to the ceramics world.

    you brought up many good points. I am in a thread discussing early studio potters on the Facebook page "Studio pottery Appreciation and Identification. Many there post about their thrift store finds and ask others for help identifying the potters. This current thread refers to early studio potters around the Arts and Crafts Movement 1900. The annual Nat'l Council on Education of Ceramic Arts (NCECA) (US based) always has about 100-200 exhibitions, demonstrations , lectures, and materials for sale in an exhibition hall along with non-profits. I have been attending as an educator since 1971. I enjoy the lectures by Ceramic Art Historians. Market Value can be established by exhibition records, collectors' enthusiasm, museum collections, etc. All that is difficult to nail down.  Mostly "art is in the eye of the beholder" . A good piece of pottery may depend on the buyers' response, how it fits the hand, how it feels to the lip, how is balances, and the aesthetic design appeal to the individual. There are many good potters here. And there are many asking for help from the others. It is a sharing community. Pottery is a complex medium and everyone advances by sharing. There is a Facebook group of South African potters. There is the International Academy of Ceramics with many international members. There is lots of information out there. As for determining who makes the judgement calls, it depends on what is trending. Right now figurative ceramics is on the rise. Social commentary comes and goes. Roberto Lugo gave a very powerful emerging Artist presentation at NCECA a few years ago and he is currently a very hot ceramic artist with shows at the best museums and venues.



  5. Frances Senska always fired at ^7. She used a lot of local ingredients in her glazes. ^7 is a good temperature for a stoneware as long as it vitrifies. I converted to ^6 reduction when I was teaching at MSUB.  I fired to a flat ^6 from 1980 to 2000 at MSUB and lated at UT Brownsville. 

    FYI Frances Senska taught at MSU Bozeman and was the teacher of Peter  Voulkos and Rudy Autio who became the first resident artists at Archie bray in 1951.

    Calcium Carbonate or Whiting will harden a glaze surface from scratching.


  6. I don't think "time" is part of it except that the switch is timed for 1 as low increments when it is on, 2 is more, 3 is more, etc. and Max is on full. I would question why there are few tiles under the kiln sitting pin a wood floor. You need to have it raised away from combustibles. Set it on a few cinderblocks and 18" or 46 cm away combustible walls. If it is in your living space, it should be vented. That nitch is too closed in to be safe.




  7. My computerized kilns are in an unheated shed in red lodge Montana.  Last year, when I was concerned there might be condensation in the controller, I went out there with a hair dryer and blow-dried the board from the bottom and top vents. We had 32 days without begetting above zero Fahrenheit.  I have not had any trouble with them.  I fire them when it is 10 degrees. No problem. It is fairly dry mountain air. 


  8. Another consideration may be the type pf weekend workshop. For example . 35 years ago, Ruday Autio who was very famous, had a minimum of $1000 per day for demo only. He was a wonderful entertainer while he worked and could easily fill a room of 50-100 attendees.  Aside from compensation, does anyone have opinions on demo only type of workshops compared to hands on?

    I have done both. When I taught for Potter Council events it was usually 4-5 artists demonstrating. Individual sessions held 30-50 people and were repetitive so one could try to schedule all the demos over 2 days. 

    I usually do hands on when teaching alternative firing processes because people bring work to fire.

    Just interested to hear people's opinions.


  9. I get a variety of teaching fees. usually I get travel, lodging and food . I am encouraged to bring pieces for sale to help enhance my fees. Get $500/day for a 2 day workshop. If that is too difficult for a struggling group, I can negotiate. I am about to teach a workshop in San Antonio and have been prepping for it for two weeks, wrote a very specific handout so they bring pieces ready to fire in 4 different processes. For a week long class it can also be 1000 for the week. It really depends on what the workshop entails, food and lodging, etc.


  10. I try not to keep it around but I do stock pile in my finished work  basement where my photo setup is located. I have about 5 galleries that I keep stocked. I am having a show with a wood turner next December so I keep a piece for that every so often. The wood turners pots look so much like my clay pots I had to take a close look at one after thinking it looked like mine from across the room.The wood turner came to see me demonstrating last summer at Art in the Beartooth because he saw that our work looks alike. It was an interesting experience.


  11. I have considered buying Liquid Quatz for my soluble salts pots because I always worry someone will want to pout flowers in them. They claim liquid quartz is food safe and there is a restaurant using saggar fired ware with liquid quartz for their tableware.  Which makes me think it would be interesting to fire it and see what it does. I am not sure you can cover Liquid Quartz with a glaze and fire it.  You might be able to fire it without a new glaze. Do a test on a raku piece sealed with liquid quartz and see what happens. It could be a glaze,




  12. I use to use a cup warming coil way back in the 70's Now I fill up a gallon of hot water every morning to take into the studio My studio is close to the kitchen and recently reinsulated the attic and installed a gas shop heater. Last year we had record cold 42 days consecutive days below zero with 72 houses , mine included, losing access to city water because the city pipes froze. I use warm water for throwing and in my cleaning bucket. 



  13. I would like to have read that rant. Having taught in higher ed. I had a list posted on "How to get an "A" in the class. Develop critical thinking, and intellectual curiosity were on the list. Students came to class asking " how do I get an "A", That should tell you what challenges are  in teaching. Bottom line is the GPA. Grade Point Average.

    I retired almost 20 years ago. I hung that list in my classroom during my last 2 years. I taught in 2 more universities after retiring but GPA was always the goal. Not learning. I love teaching workshops. People come to learn something I am offering. That is much more gratifying than "what do I have to do to get an A." Interesting thread. 

  14. I taught University ceramics for 29 years. I agree with Mea (GEP)  that it may not be the right choice. If you can find educational training without incurring lifetime debt, great. I would recommend you  follow youtubes by the likes of John Britt. Great teacher.  Take a workshop from someone offering techniques you want to learn.  Ceramics is a life long endeavor for many. It can keep you searching and researching for your entire life. Very gratifying.  Best wishes to you.

  15. Pres, 

    first what makes me think "I love this" is usually a good comfortable handle and the texture of a glaze. BUT your comment about keeping bugs out o honey reminded me of a honey pot I saw in a old museum in Pontevedra, Spain. There was a ridge in the shoulder of the pot for water creating a mote . It kept ants out o the honey because they wouldn't cross the water barrier. I thought it was brilliant. I loved the ingenuity of the pot.


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