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About ~janie

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  • Birthday February 17

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  • Location
    Hot old Texas Coast
  • Interests
    clay, woodworking, glass work, gardening, garden Art, learning Spanish language, clay, clay, clay.
  1. I also use leaves in my pottery work. Confederate rose is a favorite, wild grape leaves, Burr oak (from a tree my husband grew from an acorn)and lots of others. I have mulberry, lots of Spanish mulberry, golden rain tree, etc., etc. Also, I have lots of hyacinth bean vine seeds, very easy to grow. Would larkspur work for you? I wanted to share that if you carry zip lock bags, with a just damp paper towel thrown into it, and place the leaves in the bag to get them home safely, then close the bag- almost- and BLOW into the bag to blow it up like a balloon, then quickly close the bag. The bag is now full of carbon dioxide, which is what plants need to live. This will allow you to keep fresh leaves for a long time. This also works very well for cuttings that you wish to propagate.
  2. You might could grow some, but I could not guarantee that it would grow. You can buy bamboo stakes for plants at some plant nurseries. You can also use wooden dowels, drilled, for handles, and old knitting needles make great handles for all sorts of tools. Use dental floss to tie the hair into a nice bundle (unless it is still attached to the hide) and dip in epoxy glue. Insert into the handle and allow to dry well. I like to try my tied 'brushes' with water before gluing them in, just to be sure I like what they do. I happen to know for a fact that UK has a lot of bunnies running around. We lived there for 3 years, loved, loved, loved it! I am now beseeching my son the Duck Hunter to bring feathers from the ducks. We shall see. I was planning to use them for raku.
  3. You don't really have to pick up dead animals on the road to get hair for your brushes, although my husband did volunteer to get a skunk tail for me.... Any of the sporting places, like Pro Bass, Cabala's, etc., etc. carries supplies for fly fishing and the guys who tie their own lures. I have ordered Artic Fox, squirrel, and elk, and they have a ton more. My grandson is also a prime supplier of fur and hairs. He saves tails from deer, squirrel, fox, rabbit, raccoon, and anything else he harvests during hunting season. He saves horse hair from grooming his horse and hair from the bull's tail when he is being groomed for show. He is a really good grandson! (and an excellent hunter) Oddly enough, the one species that I am coveting and have been unable to find is from a goat. I want some hair from between the shoulder blades of the goat, but I don't know anybody who has goats who will share a bit of hair. We also have a never ending supply of bamboo for handles. I do mean a NEVER ENDING supply! I have an abundance of hairs, tails and etc. If you will send your address, I will be happy to share.
  4. Organizing my studio is an ongoing thing for me. I have many jars of glaze, and many sizes of jars, and, I also mix glazes and have 2 gal. and 5 gallon buckets of my favorites. So you can probably imagine that I was not the least bit organized. I try to be, but I had glazes in this corner, on that wall, everywhere! I emptied out a shelf unit that I had been storing things seldom used, and designated that end of my studio as the glazing area. I organized my jars of glaze according to brand and type, and I have included all my tools associated with glazing in this area too. My drill and mixers, a hand-held juicer, and large whisks hang on the wall, for example, ready to be used. I have two work tables in this area. One is an old library table, stuck in a corner with buckets of glaze on wheels underneath, and a shelf atop that table, secured to the wall behind it. I keep paperwork on those shelves. Not bookkeeping paperwork, but patterns, books, transfer paper- supplies, in other words. Buckets of glaze go under that worktable. The other table is used in a similar manner. Brushes, sponges, and a wax skillet are kept on this table, and a shelf on wheels in underneath. I keep things like clean towels, cotton cloths, masking tape, foam plates, and small pieces of foam in bins on the shelves. Both tables have Shimpo turntables. These are my most prized possessions- do not know how I worked without them. They are different sizes, the tallest one, and the shortest one. I plan to purchase the one with the widest table, and I will be done buying Shimpo turntables. I am still in the process of building shelves for my chemicals. I keep what I buy in large amounts in those tall plastic keepers for birdseed. I bought them at Lowes, about $13.00 each. They have worked out perfectly. I have 6 plastic units that have 2 drawers each, and Bobby built a shelf unit for them to keep my chemicals that are bought in smaller amounts. Stains also go in these drawers. Once I get this bit of construction done, I think I will be pretty much organized. I have an area for throwing and keeping clay, an area for hand building, a damp closet, and an area to glaze. It is pretty tight, every inch of space is valuable, but I know how fortunate I am. When Bobby gets his new shop built, he will empty this shop of his belongings, and I will have a much larger area for my studio- about 3 times the space. We have the kilns out there, and my pug mill and slab roller. We are going to build a station for Bobby to pour the mold he makes. There is always something more to do. My organizing is not nearly finished.
  5. I've been considering doing this lately!! I have quite a few round masonite bats, but I tend to make smaller items...so a 12-14" round bat is a lot of wasted room on the shelf, even if I overlap the edges. Do you just sand down the edges so that they aren't as sharp? Do you seal the edges at all with anything? Thanks in advance! He just runs them through the table saw, have not found the need to sand anything. Then we drill the holes and we are done. No sealing. I am sure there are other products, but honestly, for us, this has been the solution. If you don't soak them in a sink full of water, and use reasonable care, they last for a very long time. I have not had any problems with them, nor have I had any warp, and we have been using these for 2 years. Do be sure it is double sided Masonite, the single smooth sided Masonite will not last.
  6. My husband cuts my bats from double sided masonite, $17.00 for a 4'x8' sheet. He cuts them into 10" squares, and drills holes in two corners. Only very large bats are cut in circles. The drops make great little ware boards. We get at least 36 bats from a sheet, with lots of little ware boards, and they last a long time. I prefer the square bats as they don't take up so much room on my shelves, if I need to leave things on the bat.
  7. I keep a coffee pot in the studio, and keep a pot of coffee available at all times. Also, I have a tv in the studio, with a DVD player, and I either watch/listen to the news or watch/listen to a DVD. I know I could probably get a lot more done with no TV, but it is company for me.
  8. When I was in school, we were taught we could open the kiln at 400 degrees. Prop it open, that is. Then when it got down to 300 degrees, we could open the lid fully and unload as soon as we could handle the pots without getting burned, or setting the place on fire. Since then I have read a lot about firing my kiln, and I have always been horrified at the sound of the crazing pings, and that is not something I usually am trying to do, so I leave it alone. I pull a plug at 350 or so, but usually let it get down to 150 or so before I prop the lid open a little. When I can touch the lid after that, and it doesn't feel hot, I open it all the way, and can unload then. I (knocking on wood, here) have never had anything break or explode in the kiln- YET, that is-, and I don't look forward to that. I appreciate all the info here. It is a great help to me.
  9. What Marcia said. Do be sure your edges are nicely damp. I use paper clay for all repairs in my studio.
  10. The juicer is a handheld device for mashing up fruit for drinks. It reminds me of an upside down helicopter, in that the blade is on the bottom and is plunged into a cup, glass, or pot of some sort to reduce the fruit to a smoothie consistancy. They are about $12.00 new at WalMart, but I found mine at a yard sale for $1.00. The lady told me she got it for her birthday, and it made her mad then and does every time she looked at it, so decided to get rid of it. LOL TJR, I think you are right. I think I might try this myself.
  11. What Mark said. About a TBSP epsom salts in about 1/4 cup very hot water. A TBSP would also work for a larger amount, too. I went to yard sales until I found a blender, a juicer, and an electric skillet (for melting wax). Total cost was less than $10.00.
  12. Also.....you can dissolve a small amount of epsom salts in a small amount of very hot water and pour the water into the slip after it has set up, but before you stir it. Let it sit for awhile and then stir. You may need a little more, but try to stir it first to be sure. Once it is usable again, it will not set up like that again. Before I get in trouble, let me say for sure that this works fantastic for glazes. However, I don't see any reason it wouldn't work as well with slip. I would sure use it on mine, just to make sure. Does anyone else know anything about this?
  13. Just repair it and glaze. Let it dry in between, and let it dry well after glazing, before firing.
  14. I use paper clay slip for just about all my joins, and paper clay and slip for repairs. My formula is slip from whatever clay I am using, a drop or two of dish detergent, to help with the mold, and a dash of sodium silicate, or other suitable defloculant (not too much). Add an amount (30-40% volume of slip) of paper that has been shredded and soaked in boiling water until the water cools. Drain the paper, reserving the liquid to make more slip, mix it all together, using a blender or juicer, and it is ready to go. I attach all kinds of things with this stuff. Bisque to bisque, green to green, green to bisque, and repair glazed pieces and refire. You don't need to worry about it drying too fast, it will be just fine. I have used it to adhere different types of clay. No problem seems to be too bad for paper clay. For big cracks, I dry some of my slip mixture on a plaster bat and use it to roll coils. For easy application of the slip in hard-to-reach places, use a cake decorating bag filled with the not-too-wet slip, and pipe it into the cracks. I love paper clay for repairs. I may one day get around to actually making something with all paper clay.
  15. Marcia, are you saying that I should dampen the bowl before I glazed it? Would it help to apply the glaze to the outside of the bowl, graduating the coats at the bottom? I have seen the glaze pool right at the edge of the wax on the bottom. Looks ugly.
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