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Marcia Selsor

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Posts posted by Marcia Selsor

  1. My Botanist friend took a group on a nature hike  along Fox Creek and up a mountain. Most of the group had a good background in Botany. I was along for the wildlife observance and new material for patterns of leaves and plants. My old Faux celadon is at a good stage. I had made my friend a watercolor brush holder and glazed it with my old bucket of glaze which seemed to be at a perfect consistency. I carved that vase before my Obvara class in July. I am going to carve some mugs for NCECA and elsewhere.

    Thanks for the compliment. I'm enjoying my time back in Montana. 

    Best wishes to you Pres.


  2. I brought in my herbs two days ago before the frost hit. My plants sit in my window. I can also see the ski runs on Red Lodge Mountain.

    My cats and dogs come in and visit regularly. My studio is in a overside 2 car garage of the laundry room. It is very quiet here and I work in peace. I am posting a photo of a hanging pot drying to stein up and continue to form. It is a funny technique but I have saved some larger porcelain pots this way. It takes a few hours. I continue working on other pots while a clapping one regains it's strength!




  3. Liam's answer is very similar to mine. I am pursuing another rabbit hole...soluble salts. I began working in clay 53 years ago. I started working with ceramic sagger about 20 years ago. Then foil saggers using soluble salts. Since May 2018 I have been focused on Soluble saltsand exploring low fire temperature and varying firing temperatures and processes. I also explore Obvara in warmer weather as a fun workshop topic. I have a copy of Arne Ase's watercolor on Porcelain which discusses using soluble salts in higher temperatures. It is a good resource for my exploration . BUT he is not environmentally aware that these hazadous chemicals can no longer be tossed down the drain. I am experimenting with salt that is used to melt sidewalk ice...both Magnesium Chloride and calcium chloride neither of which is considered toxic.


  4. I have been working with Coleman Porcelain to use in Obvara as well as sagger and soluble salts. This is not fired to maturity. Porousity is needed for the absorption in the lower temperature.I have been testing numerous ^6 porcelains to use in this process also. I have Linsay Porcelain ^6 from Archie Bray  Photo#1  and a ^6 Plainsman Translucent porcelain for actually firing to ^6. #2 was fired yesterday using soluble salts.I fire soluble salts from 1250F to 1700 depending on the colors I am trying to get.



    Selsor_M_Mermaid's Breath_Porcelain3 copy.jpg

  5. On 1/3/2019 at 7:52 AM, glazenerd said:

    My personal favorite- Taxtile Doat. - most crystalline glazers count him as the godfather of this speciality glaze.


    check out the 4 foot wide porcelain bowl he threw in 1910. 2 assistants turned the wheel. 

    Help found the University Pottery (University City, Mo.) 1910. Proceeds funded the Woman's' Sufrage Movement.

    Teachers - he also wrote some of the earliest curriculum for Art Ed. 

    Have toured what is now called: University Museum.  

    Taxile Doat is one of my favorites too. He came from the Sevres Porcelain factory in Paris at the invitation of Adelaide Robineau who's the Editor of Keramos and founder of the Syracuse National which established the collection at the Everson Museum. Robineau and Doat worked together in St. Louis at the University in the teens (1900 teens).


  6. I am teaching a workshop on soluble salts in low temperature saggers at La Meridiana next May 31-June 6, 2020.


    We'll be covering several firing processes using ceramic sagger and foil sagger because it protects the kilns from contamination. I sometimes fire without saggers in my own kilns. Here are some examples of soluble salts in low temperatures. We will explore color development and using protective gloves. The course is limited to intermediate and advanced students with some ceramic chemistry knowledge. Course size is limited to 12 and is 25% booked already. If interested, please register soon to guarantee a spot. My 2 workshops in the UK are sold out already.



    Aug22tabbefull copy.jpg

  7. I taught primitive pottery during summers in Montana. We used a 2-3' deep pit. half way up the wall was a ledge to support refrigerator shelves.  We started a fire with wood to create a bed of hot coals. We preheated the pots along the edge of the pit. When we had a bed of coals, we placed the pots , inverted, on the shelves. Then we added sawdust and dried cow manure , some thin sticks, in a pile up to 2 feet above ground level. Covered it loosely to contain materials. the flame would burn through in 2-3 hours. Then covered it tighter with more pieces of steel to cool. This is a Maria Martinez firing style. We processed the clay and added some grog. Very good success rate. I taught this class for rural teachers with zero budgets.

    Marcia Selsor

  8. I began firing to ^6 reduction in 1980 after 14 years of firing ^9-10. 6 reduction glazes teaching glaze chemistry to students.I developed many  ^6 glazes for functional pottery which looked like ^10 stoneware or porcelain. Several of those glazes have been published in Michael Bailey's Oriental glazes and are the only 6 glazes in his book.

    After leaving University teaching I began developing glazes for ^6 oxidation. With help from others like Sandy Miller's explanation of holding temps, I worked on glazes for my functional ware and I was satisfied with the results. ^6 Oxidation is a popular method of firing particularly for people with restricted access to other kilns. ^6 clays are available as well. It reduced the carbon footprint by using about 1/2 the fuel to fire to ^10. Pyrotechnic manuals from refractory companies show diagrams of fuel consumption for temperature ranges. It ,makes more sense to me to lower temps. to ^6.


  9. One way to patch soft brick holes was something mentioned on clayart years ago. I used this method when I was teaching at the U of Hawai Manoa. i - Use ITC diluted 50% with water are described on the directions. Soak the ceramic  fiber with ITC and push into holes, cracks, glue chunks back together. I repaired several kilns that had been neglected for sometime plus some were damaged during a flood in the previous semester. This worked great and no need for rods.

    Marcia Selsor 

  10. I read ages ago and use this method. Fill a 5 gallon or slightly smaller free ice cream buckets with water around a bag of stiff clay in the bag. Open the bag and put 1/4-1/2 cup water and re-seal the bag. let it sit overnight or for a few days. This really works. I also saw a method for softening pugged clay. Dampen tee shirts. Put the stiff pugs inside the tee shirts and lay them into a shallow plastic storage container (like for under the bed) . Put the lid on and wait 3-4 days. very evenly moisturized.



  11. My next online Alternative Firing Class starts July 1. Early Bird discounts on Registration Ends June 14. This course covers several firing techniques using Raku kilns: Raku, obvara, foil sagger, and ceramic sagger.  Also how to make fast terra sig, how to build a small Raku kiln, how to make crackle surfaces with sodium silicate. For more information, go to 
    https://teachinart.com/alternative-firing.html. and for description https://vimeo.com/205317659
    and here is how I fire large slabs in raku

    2Obvaraorangeblackcracks copy.jpg




  12. I use liquid latex to peel away. I have used both water base and ammonia base. I don't like the ammonia base. Besides using ceramic suppliers I sometimes use liquid latex for facial sculpture. It is brushable. I get it on eBay.  I  draw on slabs, paint the latex where I don't want glaze. Spray the background glaze. Peel off the latex and apply a thin line of luster. I use this primarily for Raku pieces.




  13. My favorite suppliers are Brackers, Archie Bray Clay Business, Aardvark, The Ceramics Store in Philly, Bailey for larger equipment, Axner's, U.S. Pigment, Alligator Clay, and Seattle Pottery.

    Never have had any problems with any of the above. Excellent customer service with Bailey's tech support.  Replaced a gear (my fault) on my slab roller, a controller on the rheostat on the foot pedal (has a name but I forget what it is) and the pressure gauge on my vacuum control on my pug ,mill which got broken when I moved to Texas in 2006.




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