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  1. Hello SAS, I can't supply a recipe for you but I can provide a bit of clarification on what you might need to be looking for. First, you might be on the right track as far as looking for a glaze similar to the M. Davis Carbon Trap Shino recipe as I think the Leopard Spot shino does indeed have a decent amount of soda ash from what I have heard. With that said, the Geil Kiln workshop is going to show you how the kiln needs to be fired. Specifically, how to reduce and introduce a larger amount of soot into the kiln. During the firing, there are certain times where the temperature rise is much slower as this is the time to "smoke" the kiln. Literally, reducing to the point of smoking pouring out. I believe the first piece they got the affect of the spotting was on a smaller cup with T.C. Carbon Trap with various flashing of cream, tan, orange, red, followed by black spots and fading halos around each spot. This piece came out of a typical heavy, reduction schedule and it wasn't until recently that Tom found some older articles on smoking the kilns and Paul Geil started tweaking the firing and recipe. I would suggest to attend one of the workshop in Huntington Beach at the Geil factory or at least get in contact with Paul and try and confirm if what I said is around the right track. Coleman Carbon Trap: Soda Ash 16 F-4 Soda Feldspar 9 Nepheline Syenite 39 Redart Clay 6 EP Kaolin 17 OM#4 Ball Clay 13 __________________ Hope that helps and if your looking for another interesting is the sharkskin shino from the rare to find book named American Shino. Best Regards, Zac H.
  2. I first would like to say that these leg extensions that various companies make are very nice and sturdy but I would suggest trying 3 cinderblocks stood up vertically and then for the wheel to be put up on those. It will save you $197 and that could be used for whatever but I personally don't care for Brents, they aren't bad but they can be noisey and like I said before, the way the wheelhead spins and stops is hard for me to get used to. But I guess to answer your question, I would say that it would not be worth buying a $500 more expensive wheel compared to the Bailey. If I didn't say before, I think that the Bailey throws similarly to my VL Whisper and even though the body design is much similar to a Brent, I would prefer a Bailey over a Brent. The Bailey should be fine for the weights of clay you throw. Hope this helps and best of luck.
  3. Hello, I have read most of the posts with everyones views on the various wheels and would like to give my input. I have a VL Whisper and have owned it for 3 years now. It was the first electric wheel I used and still remains my preferred choice. I was debating years ago whether to get a Soldner or a Shimpo and ending choosing a VL. I would still love to try the Soldner wheel with the VL body shape (meaning no large table attached.) Heres a quick pro con of various wheels. Brents Pros-Have lots of power and various models for specific amounts of power needed. Very good splash pans. Cons-Wheelhead slowly comes to a stop after stopping the foot pedal. Pacificas Pros-Good power and seem to be easy to move around. Cons-Not an easy reversing switch compared to the smooth VL knob. Plus splash pans have to go on a certain way with one needing to be in front. Also seems to be a very low wheel, but could be a complaint since I am very tall. Thomas Stewarts Pros-Solid wheel and can be great for throwing large amounts and keeps things clean. Cons-If you have the solid body, since the wheel head is set below the walls, you cannot use bats that are larger than I would guess 18 to 20" unless you use 2 to 3" of clay on the wheelhead to lift and set the bat on top of. Also, very very heavy, although a relatively small wheel which is nice. Bailey Pros-Good power and easy cleanup. Not sure if the 12" wheelhead size is an issue for many people but can be nice for getting most 13" or bigger bats off since you're not trying to wiggle tools in between a bat and wheelhead which are the same diameter. Cons-The foot pedal is a little bigger than I care to have and would suggest using a brick under the opposite foot while throwing. Soldner Pros-Large work space and good room for tools. Also the model with large table top is very easy to clean as well as having a very sturdy body. Has great power and from what people say, they really love the foot pedal and a lot would say there is not a better controlling foot pedal from what I hear. Cons-Personally, I hate how bulky the Soldner foot pedals are. I also would say that they can have a fast wheelhead speed, but honestly, every single Soldner I have thrown on, it always slows down when centering which always suprises me due to their reputation. And as said before, very heavy and would only fit in the back of an suv or truckbed. Shimpo VL Whisper Pros-Good power for most hobby and pros that are throwing less than 50lbs. I hear that people have burned out the motor on throwing 50lb platters. But I have no issues of the wheelhead slowing down during certering. I think this is due to the wheelhead being controlled by computers that compensate when more or less pressure gets applied and the wheel can stay at the same speed while not touching the clay or literally trying to hold the wheelhead from spinning which I think is impossible. The foot pedal is an appropriate size and not too high off of the ground. The reversal switch is so easy to use and the smoothest I have seen and used which is great because I throw counter cw and trim clockwise. Cons-Splash pan is a decent design and good size but problem is it does NOT stay locked. The plastic can wear out and will not stay completely in shape where they connect. I will go through times where I forget the splash pan completely and deal with the throwing mess. I would say the VL is the way to go as far as capabilities and for price. Most places online with ship it for right about $900. I wouldn't plan on getting anything else other than another VL in the future. Hope this helps and happy throwing all!
  4. If you are alive, you are eligible to answer this question. I would like to hear from as many people that decide to reply to my questions that I would love to hear everyone's personal thoughts of clay and what are the common thoughts and remarks associated with clay. Here is questions we can start a discussion and I will give my opinion on how I am affected by this question. (Q)Was your progression at ceramics difficult, or what was your biggest obstacle in clay to overcome? (A)The first thought that comes to mind is that I was always confused why I was the "prodigy" kid in ceramics back in high school, or apparently to many people around me. My struggle was how to he bring my classmates along with me and how to explain to everyone else how their pots could easily be better than mine, but it seemed more of a mindset problem for people. I always, my best to let people know that my pots are based on my knowledge and enjoyment for the dirt, not about how I can boost some ego I have because of some nonexistent so-called talent I was given. It is my approach and thought process that is different from yours which allows me to progress, not some super=human hands that some people off the street seem to think us potter's have. I am sure we have all seen at least one potter that maybe be missing fingers or an entire hand. I have a 2 foot goblet made by a one handed potter, which by the way he made after doing ceramics for only two years, while still a kid in high school. He threw it away and I see it as, to him, that pot wasnt worthy to him. I see it as, it isnt his disability that he focuses on, its the fact that his challenge is in how to make his pots better so he doesnt have to make anymore two foot goblets that he will end up throwing away again and hopefully avoid some weirdo writing a story 5years later about a stupid pot that got thrown away. I hope some people will realize the reality of how objects such as pots can affect so deeply inside. I guess I am rambling here but my point is that, if you are reading this right, I assure you that through a little bit of knowledge and understanding, anyone with the right attitude can take a lump of dirt and make a name for ourselves without hesitation. We can all be Coleman's, Soldner's, Voulkos', Leach's, Hamada's, or Ohr's of our time. Again, I TELL YOU! You can be whoever you want to be in the world of art. No one person is special in any way but where they might differ is their "thoughts on pots". It was not the proportions and materials that Otto found to create his famous yellow glaze recipe that made him a pro potter, but it was his DETERMINATION to revive a glaze buried with history that made him a hot shot of his time period, but that is just what I think if you ask me.
  5. I do something of similar purpose, to reset a rim to make it more round, and I would use plastic cups, like party or normal size drink cups. If I were to need a similar tool for a deep bowl, then I would throw a low bowl or shallow bowl whose rim was maybe a few inches wider than the untrue bowl I would like to reset. That way as you get better and bowls may get bigger, you dont have to make another bowl/tool. I would just call it a centering chuck or maybe it would be the name of the technique that should be more technically fit. I would then bisque the bowl and if it retains a sandy surface, sand as needed. Then to use it, invert it and set it down on a table and then hold your bowl upside down by the foot and then slowly and then more firmly press down the rim of the bowl onto the shallow bowl and it should do a decent job correcting any unroundness. I would suggest that if you did make this tool from clay that I would suggest a smooth clay for the shallow bowl so that you do not scratch or misaligned clay particles on the rim by doing it on a bowl that is gritty. Smooth and clean, decent sized, shallow bowl will allow to accomadate using it for various sized and shaped bowls with different depths, also helping you visually how to see if your warping your pots more or less than last use and will make you think of how to fixing it in whichever step it may be. Warping can come from a lot of different minor difficulties at different stages of dryness. My bowls usually warp due to my lack of bat discipline with pots and in the end, I warp the bowl at the point of moving it off the wheelhead. Now even though some beginners use bats, they still warp their pieces because they are ignorant and may blame the bat for not doing its job. If it is warping when you take it off, then the thread should be more of a focus on fixing the initial source of warping instead of how to stop tripping over our untied shoes in a marathon., haha. I also have problem with not properly covering my bowls between thrown and being ready to be trimmed. My bowls are thrown to the absolute thinness to my abilities and capabilities but as your walls and rims become thinner, you can learn that a well compressed rim will help, and that means all the way through the throwing or forming stage. I also learned that the thinner the rims get, they get drier quicker compared to lower walls and they shrink faster due to less water to be evaporated. Hope this helps and happy potting to all. Sometimes we think we have a problem to solve when sometimes we have to go back and look more clearly at our initial protocal of the equation.
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