Jump to content

Marcia Selsor

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Marcia Selsor

  1. I agree with theneed for air on the burners. 

    Question: what altitude are you? If you are at a high altitude, is your chimney giving you sufficient draft. when the kiln is empty, light a piece of news paper , put it near the flue and see if the flame is drawn into the flue.

    When reducing you should have a hard flame( bluish) coming out the top peep and a licking flame on the bottom.



  2. On 7/13/2018 at 4:37 PM, Magnolia Mud Research said:

    Have a look at this John Mason sculpture, 

    images are at: 

    John Mason 1963  'Cross Form', Laumier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, Missouri


    http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/drohojowska-philp/ceramics-in-los-angeles-3-21-12_detail.asp?picnum=7 and 

    pictured in the second edition of Daniel Rhodes book "Clay and Glazes for the Potter" has the following caption by Rhodes: "John Mason.  Cross.  This massive sculpture,  made of solid clay,  is 5 1/2 ft.  high.   A mustard-colored glaze partially covers the surface" 

    John Mason
    American, born 1927
    Cross Form, 1962/63
    Stoneware with glaze
    161.3 x 132 x 91.4 cm (63 1/2 x 52 x 63 in.)

    Gift of the Ford Foundation, 1964.71

    John obviously knew how to fire thick pieces without blowing them up. 

    Also remember house bricks are thicker than one half inch! 

    Large sculpture pieces are usually made with a clay body designed for sculpture and have a firing schedule designed specifically for sculpture.  The half inch limit is seems to have developed for table ware and household storage containers.   



    he was one of the 6 ceramicists exhibited at the Whitney as a ground breaking event for ceramic art in 1980.  Gilhooley, Mason, Voulkos, Price, Arneson and Shaw.

    I saw a show of the 6 of them at the San Jose NCECA around that time.Mason's work was powerful. They all were. I digress  https://archive.org/stream/ceramicsc00fole/ceramicsc00fole_djvu.txt


  3. Michael Cardew said it takes 7 years to master the wheel. I think he was correct. I felt very confident after 7 years. I feel more confident after 50 years. It takes practice, observing and persistence. I taught and still teach. I loved teaching throwing and feel I did a good job. Teaching can be trying as administrators required larger and larger classes. Pursuing pottery as a profession requires learning skills in clay as well as kilns, chemistry, firing practices, business savvy, marketing, etc. And lets not forget aesthetics of a good pot, balance, visual appeal, etc.

    There are several professionals here who generously share their knowledge, but you need more than a discussion group. If you are in for the long haul, try taking short term workshops on things you want to to learn. There are many venues for this. Search for workshops in magazines such as Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, or on Facebook sites. Vimeo, Youtube, Periscope, offer good visuals, but individual contact is hard to beat.


  4. I re-pug my porcelain in my de-airing Bailey pugger. I pre-condition it first by softening it by dipping in water and wrapping in tee  shirts for a few days in large plastic containers.. This works well. I have begun remoistening hard/stiffer unused clay using the 1/4-1/2 cup of water added to a bag sitting in a bucket of water. This works surprising well too.

    In Spain I saw clay mixed in a large (several meter basin) then drained onto large shallow basins lined with bricks. This was left to sit until workable, then it was put into a mixer.



  5. 50+  years of working in clay.Just back from Italy and a wood firing at La meridiana, installed an installation and exhibited our work in Faenza plus presented talks at the Carlos Zuali museum. I find the clay in Italy to work like a softener. My hands don't usually look this good when working in porcelain.




  6. On 6/7/2018 at 1:23 AM, yappystudent said:

    Yes I'm aware beach sand is not pure silica. I'm wondering if anyone has experience using it in place of grog. 

    Salt:  I'm not sure of the content, the east side of the dunes haven't touched seawater in at least a couple? hundred years, but the salt spray gets carried on the wind especially in summer, and doesn't get washed off until it rains, heavily, in winter. I can either dig down a bit or wash and strain, probably both. 

    I used it in a clay body out of desperation in 1991 when I was one of the last artists  to arrive at our studio in Latvia. A previous group had worked before the second half arrives. I was given one large lump of Chammotte ( high fire very refractory with gravel like grog, and a lump of red earthenware. I had to make pieces for our exhibition at the end of our visit, I walked down to the Baltic sea and returned with a bag of sand. Mixed it all together. Test fired it and it worked. Made several pieces for the exhibition.


  7. I recommend throwing drier and don't let water sit in the bottom of the pot as you are throwing. Check the depth with a needle tool. i taught throwing for 27 years. Newbies throw too wet. If you throw drier, you can throw larger pieces with stronger walls . Wet  walls clapse.  When you open check the depth. Keep the water off the bottom and keep checking until you cut it off.


  8. I stand and stare in that exact pose. When i need a kick in the butt, I read, start a home improvement project like shelves in the laundry room to raised garden beds, or clean and rearrange the studio. Take hikes, research natural objects, etc. I often get the AHA moments in my dreams.  I just finished some surprise deadlines AFTER I delivered work to a gallery for an Invitational on May 11. I was a featured artist at 2 more galleries this past weekend. Now I am just relaxing a little bit. Fired new work this weekend using a hybrid technique of aluminum foil saggar chemicals in ceramic saggars. Discovered this technique may 5 so the first gallery didn't get any for their show. The second gallery is taking all the larger pots to the potential buyers house to see how they look on the built in shelves. This client purchased 4 $5000 paintings at the opening. Must be a HUGE house. These were large paintings.

    I find pressure to produce to be a stimulus to get the creative juices flowing. I am heading off to a wood firing at the end of next week. Plus an exhibition of our work afterwards.



  9. If you ask 5 potters a question, you'll get 20 answers.<- old saying.

    I missed this conversation as I have been busy. I built a minnesota flat top many years ago. I had been a sprung arch believer before that and had built catenaries too. The Minnesota flat top started slipping bricks in the top. Before getting worse, I rebuilt it with a sprung arch.  It was a large kiln 60 cu ft. so maybe the flat top wasn't a great application there. And yes, Lou was a great guy. I have his book , the Art of Play as well as his firing book which I got after 30 years of experience firing.

    For your stack with venturis, the height depends on your altitude. They are natural draft as compared to forced air which then it doesn't matter on the height. the blowers do the work. I don't know where you are building this. Mark and Neil are good resources as is Magnolia Mud. We all have our favorite way of getting things done.  and they all work. My favorite floor plan for a down draft is burners enter from the back each side of the stack. I love bag walls and put target bricks at the end of the trench, use the bag wall to support the shelves and use the third post in the center front and back in front of the flu but not restricting any flow.  That has been my favorite for 45+ years. I built several this way where I taught at a university for 25 years. I built cross draft catenaries for oil burners made from house hold burners remade for 3 nozzles for adjustable BTU output. Mark Wards Burners are great and he'll make them for your required needs. Good luck with the kiln. Firing your own kiln is a thrill. Then it is confidence. Then it is gratification. Enjoy.


  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.