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Marcia Selsor

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Posts posted by Marcia Selsor

  1. back in 1971 I was a caretaker on a religious estate.I had a pottery set up in a cabin and I mixed clay every morning in the basement of the mansion. There was an abandoned greenhouse with lots of earthenware flowerpots. I lined the pots with a little piece of newspaper over the drain hole and cheese cloth inside the whole pot. I had shelves of ware boards facing the boiler lined with these flower pots. The would dry to workable consistency in 3 days.I just kept a steady pipeline of clay coming from these flower pot. My slop was in a 50 gallon garbage can. This method makes the most plastic clay. - Slop too workable.

    I bought a used Peter Pugger around 1980. It was badly rusted with big chips of rust coming out in the clay. They went to stainless.

    Today I have an old Soldner mixer formerly belonging to Tom Coleman, then his apprentice. I got a nice de-airing Bailey pug mill at NCECA reduced as a floor model. (when I drove it back to Montana from Portland , I had it wrapped in newspaper and started the heater in my van several time at night to keep it from freezing on the way home. It was full of demo clay)

    you can get good deals at NCECA (National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts) the trade show. Coming to Richmond, Va  march 25th  to 28th of March in Richmond, Va. Great trade show is part of it. Tool vendors from all over.



  2. I put 2 foot rings on porcelain dinner plates. Probably serves the same function as Liam's button. I also trim when the clay is a bit stiff. Cut off the plate.  I place a soft piece foam the keep the center from slumping if the clay is soft. Sandwich the plate with another bat and flip. Put it on the wheel trim and start drying. I flip the plates several times during the drying and dry them in a bakers rack wrapped with plastic. In Texas it was humid. In Montana it is dry. All depends on your studio atmosphere. Avoid drafts.



  3. On 10/7/2019 at 7:50 AM, MotownPaul said:

    I believe I need to fire to cone 10, because the clay is labeled cone 9/10 and the pre-mixed glaze I have from Spectrum is labeled 9/10.    Do you know if I should be concerned about the clay sticking to the shelves during  the cone 04 bisque firing with porcelain?   I will be sure to have a fresh coat of kiln wash on the shelves.  Do I need to take further measures?

    I add alumina hydrate to my wax resist for bottoms of porcelain AND flanges on lids. I put about a cup in a jar and stir in about a tablespoon of alumina hydrate. Porcelain can flux enough to "pluck" or stick to shelves and where bare clay touches bare clay as in flanges.  Alumina in the wax prevents that. 


  4. As Liam says,  follow the reference codes on the mason Stain http://www.masoncolor.com/reference-guide.

    You need to use a slip base that accommodates which ever stain you are using AND use a glaze that will enhance the color. Mason stains are expensive. You need to use them according to Mason's guidelines. One size does NOT fit all. Val Cushing base for low temperature underglaze use was

    Frit 3134  33%, EPK 33%, silica 33%  then add stain 10-25% depending on the intensity of the stain and the hue you want.  This is for low fire 06-04.  You could possible re-formulate for what ever temperature you are looking for.



  5. 7 minutes ago, Marcia Selsor said:

    Mark, I answered this days ago. Must not have saved it correctly. I got the shelves from Cedar heights Clay. They had a cancellation on a big order a few years ago.




    7 minutes ago, Marcia Selsor said:


    On 10/4/2019 at 11:07 PM, Mark C. said:

    Tell me aboub that shelve with the holes in it?? what temps does it take and wheres it from? what size is it as well?




  6. On 8/18/2019 at 9:00 PM, jrgpots said:

    l found the Frank Goydos frit substitution chart.  It is 30 pages long.  Can I post a pdf file here? If so, I need some instructions to do so.   

    If others are interested in the chart,  pm me and we can exchange e-mails so i can send the pdf file to you.  The chart is quite extensive



    Franks sent me his 32 page Frits html that doesn't work. I also put it into a PDF. Not allowed. We need a tech person to let it get posted. Frank says enjoy!


  7. Liam said 

    "I'd say the biggest risk involved with barium for the Potter is inhalation of vapor during firing and inhalation of the raw material, this is a direct pathway to our internal organs.  The occupational safety limit for airborne barium oxide is under half a milligram per cubic meter which is an extremely tiny amount, wear your respirator!"

    Dave Shaner attributes his decline to the fumes from his kiln. Hans Coper who also used manganese extensively, declined so much towards the end that he needed a rope alone the walk to his studio. Nervous system deterioration.



  8. It isn't something mentioned in everyday conversation. You need to be proactive in researching what you are using. You can check individual materials MSDS sheets. Check some of the Black clays for example for their manganese content. When I was teaching at the university, we had to eliminate Barium from the studio back in the 80s.



    We do know that Hans Coper and Dave Shaner were both  poisoned by Manganese in their work and eventually died from it.

    . It is good to be aware of your materials. Heavy metals accumulate in the body and over time can take their toll.



  9. Dannon Rhudy suggested decades ago on Clayart, to tie jean legs win a knot, hang on a clothes line and fill with slop and Ley it dry. 

    I try to keep up with my porcelain slop and add some of Glaze Nerd's additive to restore plasticity. (recipe is the studio)Then I dry pn plaster slabs or in large plaster bowl forms.

    I also like to use the wet tee shirt soaking system for softening hard clay (found on youtube)  and the softening of hard bagged pugged clay by putting the bag in a 5 gallon buckets, add a 1/2 cup od water and tie the bag shut and let it sit for a day or two. If it needs more water, do it again.

    I live in Montana , far away from most suppliers. Shipping is expensive. It pays to manage the clay and recycling. Shipping costs are equal to the cost of clay.


  10. Thanks Babs. Hi Linda. I have used the San Ildefonso process in teaching many years ago. Basically, you burnish the pot . Then , before bisque firing, paint the patterns over the smooth finish with a type of terra sig. Ball clay based TS works.   It looks like your clay is a little rough. What are you using?

    If you could find a tempered earthenware that is smooth but has fine grog, you would get a smoother surface. The pot on the right looks smoother but has a little color showing. Bisque to ^08.  Do you have access to dried cow pies (frisbee quality manure)? We used this in some large pits intermixed with sawdust. Smothered with sawdust towards the top of the pit . Once the flame appears at the top, we covered with more sawdust and sheet metal or corrugated metal and let it smoke and cool. 

    Hope this helps.


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