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Karen B

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Everything posted by Karen B

  1. After 30+ years of potting, I inherited a few thousand. I bought a Bailey slab roller and a Shimpo pug mill. I pug the clay and cut it when it is the length of the slab rollers width. Place the long clay on the slab roller and pat down the side and roll. So much faster than doing by hand. Random info: Had to hire a big guy to lift the pugmill onto my table as it's so heavy, even in pieces.
  2. I have a single car attached garage which is my studio, with family room above. I use envirovent with metal dryer vent to the outside. I have a regular side door and single window which I keep wide open when firing, even in winter as it gets too hot and sets off my heat sensor alarm (which is the type of "smoke" alarm standard for garages). My clay and other things wrapped in plastic do not dry out, but anything left out will. I fire over night so I can be there in the am to check the shut off and enter in my cool down program. It is only too hot to work near the end of the firing, but no detectable fumes. Had to fire once without vent, and even with everything opened, it was very fumy. Even then, no detectable fumes in room above. Good ceiling insulation. BTW, it is really great having the cement floor for drying flat things, easy washing, and the garage door for getting large deliveries or packing up the back of the car! I got a permit from my town to have the business, and they had no concerns about the kiln. Insurance concerns already covered by others here.
  3. Dear Marge, I have gone to great lengths to make slip using Robin Hopper's recipe. People in my old studio laughed that I was taking dry ingredients and making slip in this manner. It was, however, great slip and stuck to everything. I think if you google his slip recipe you should be able to find it on-line or at the very least in one of his books. Now however, what I do is take some of either my reclaimed clay or cut off slices of the clay body I am using, dry it throughly, put it in a bucket with some water and let it slake. You don't want to add too much water but just enough to really cover the dried slices. After a few days of slaking, I then take a hand held mixer or you could use a blender and simply mix it up to the consistency I want. I try to really make sure if I am adding Mason stains that I mix these really well so no spots or speckles come through in the initial bisque firing. This is quick and easy and serves all my purposes. I store the slip and simply use it as required. For example, I will take some out of the storage container, mix it up again well and add my unique colorants bit by bit as needed. Works great for me. I am sure it would work equally well in a slip trailer but you may need to water it down to the right consistency. Not so watery that it runs but not so thick that it clogs the end of your bulb or bottle. Good luck. I love working with slips. Nelly If using clay other than porcelain for this process, I would recommend screening your slip after slaking and before adding Mason stains. This way you will filter out the grog in the clay and have a nice smooth slip to match your clay body.
  4. In my experience, it is only porcelain that has memory. If stoneware is lifted like this and not bent, then laid down carefully, it will be fine.
  5. I believe it was Randy Johnston who showed me how to make one. 2 pieces of oak sticks with notches cut in equal increments. Hold them upright with a wire stretched between them like a tightrope, and pull toward you over the block of clay to slice. Move the wire down a notch and slice again, etc...
  6. A simple method is to use picnic table clamps. Even better. Thank you Sir! For future reference, some put screws or bolts, or even nails close into the sides of the table to hook the grommets onto. Canvas is then easy on and off.
  7. When I lived in Washington Heights in Manhattan, there was a local who had a license plate "ART4BUX". I laughed every time I saw it.
  8. I find that wooden stamps work the best, they don't stick. Rubber sticks unless you use cornstarch. I haven't used metal. If I want to write on the clay, I have found that a pencil with a rounded point makes a nice line. If there are edges scraped up when I write, I wait until they are harder, not dry, and just brush off with my fingers or a flat trimming tool.
  9. There is also www.freecycle.org, which is for free things to have another life. They are organized by area to simplify things.
  10. In addition to these helpful comments there may be times when you want to do a little wedging. What I did after healing from carpal tunnel was readjust my hand position so I do not bend my wrists. Most of the pressure goes to the inside of my thumb pad. Good luck with healing.
  11. These are a few things that could cause the difference. -If these are cone 5 glazes and you hold at the highest temp for 30 mins, this could change the color as the hold can take the temp up a bit higher. -The samples you posted appear to be on a white clay. The clay body you use will affect the color. -The thickness of the application will have a big impact. -Does the glaze sample say if it is fired in oxidation or reduction? -Usually this is not an issue with premixed glazes, but worth checking to see if the glaze was mixed well. If you post pictures of your results, that could help figuring it out.
  12. Wax won't prevent the glaze from running into the hole as it will melt away way before the glaze runs. Scratch away the glaze from around the hole a bit.
  13. This links to an easy system for bats:http://ceramicartsdaily.org/ceramic-studio-equipment/pottery-wheels/tip-of-the-week-quick-change-artist/
  14. Hi David, I'm sorry I don't have anything to add, but I wanted to ask you about the Laguna Frost, which is what I have been using for a few years. I find it difficult to throw and have never been able to make tall objects from it. I have been throwing for many years and have no problem with the other clays I use. Do you have any particular method to throwing it? Thanks and good luck finding the right ^10 clay. ~ Karen
  15. I did what most here do, pushing a bit at 300, taking plugs out etc... Then one day at about 250 degrees, I got to the shelf with the porcelain mugs, (the rest of the pieces were stoneware) and they had all shattered from thermal shock. Since then, I leave it until it is room temp.
  16. I use those little round jar opener cloths to put under the more delicate pot rims when trimming to soften the contact with the wheel.
  17. Thank you for saying this Neil. I learned this 30 years ago and have never been concerned about smells or mold in clay. I was taught that the Japanese used to pee into their clay pits to increase plasticity. No, I've never done this!
  18. I realize this may be a bit late in the game, but when I use paper clay patch, I smooth it (it's more like burnishing as it dries so fast) with a rounded wood tool as sanding is iffy.
  19. Mikail Zakin (1920-2012) We were saddened to learn this past week that Mikail Zakin passed away after a short illness. She spent the last part of her summer teaching at Castle Hill on the Cape and encouraged her students to keep going and growing their work in clay. Mikail was the co-founder and president of Old Church Cultural Center in Demarest, New Jersey. She helped teach and inspire two generations of potters. She was a force right up to the end of her 92 years. Anne Bailey was involved in the early pottery shows that were organized by Mikail Zakin and Karen Karnes at Old Church Cultural Center in Demarest, New Jersey. These shows still go on today. Anne remembers, "Mikail was such an inspiration to so many potters. When the shows at Old Church first began back in the 1970's, we would all gather at Mikail's house for dinner to share stories and food. Mikail along with Karen were strong advocates for the creative life and helped many aspiring young potters find their way. When I last saw Mikhail last year she was as sharp and interesting as ever! She will be greatly missed." A memorial service will be held at the: Art School at Old Church, Demarest, NJ on October 6 at 6:00 PM Click here for the Old Church website for more information: http://tasoc.org/
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