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Everything posted by kheicksen

  1. We are artists and each of us produce something at least a little different from each other with our own personal flair and energy given to our work. Each type of piece appeals to a different kind of person. There is a huge diversity of taste in style. We are not competitors. We are fellow travelers, students and teachers. Being offended and annoyed by critique, unrequested or otherwise, is a waste of your mental space and emotional time. Take it. Learn from it. Perhaps all you will learn is that your work isn't appealing to the sort of person that made that comment. You can use that info to better identify and target YOUR market. I don't envy other potters. I admire. I am in awe. I hope to reach their level some day. That does not mean that my work will look anything like their's though or that we would be competing for sales from the same types of customers.
  2. kheicksen

    In the Beginning...

    Just getting started - here's what I am doing. I appreciate unsolicited advice :)
  3. I have lots of groggy clay. I have stopped using sponges on it. I have started using a rib to smooth out what the rib can access on the pot. Even so, my pots have rough spots. They are cone 5 stoneware and thoroughly glazed and sealed, but grainy in places. People want to buy my mugs but I am nervous about selling them when they are not perfectly smooth. Is this considered substandard? What is your take on this?
  4. Hello! Has anyone tried adding Floetrol to their glaze to make it easier to apply? Did it work out for you? Is there any reason this obviously would cause problems? Thanks
  5. Hi, I have am a newbie and having issues I would love your thoughts on. I started with earthenware - mostly white, but also some sandy red. Every firing and every glaze I used, except for one firing using the same glazes, have had pinholing problems - multiple glazes, all commercial, and multiple clay bodies. I brush my glazes. I have used different types of brushes, including foam brushes. The kiln I have been using is a used Duncan Artists +, small in home electric. It uses a kiln sitter and has a timer but no peepholes. I tried leaving the kiln to cool for 24 hrs after firing as well as propping the lid at the beginning to allow gasses to escape. I can't get a piece to come out with a smooth surface. I am really frustrated. Now I have moved on to midfire stoneware. All the clay I have been using is quite sandy. I thought that glazing would create a smooth surface over the natural roughness of the clay. Once again I am brushing commercial glazes. My surfaces are even rougher after firing. It almost looks like pinholing but I think its just the sand in the clay. I even burnished a piece before glazing it, and its still rough with a clear glaze over it. Its almost like the glaze enhanced the rough texture. Seriously frustrated. What should I try next? I have a lot of sandy clay and I want to use it. I don't know if it matters, but the clay is all Laguna clay. Also, not sure if it is relevant, but the earthenware comes out of the kiln sounding like stoneware or porcelain when you strike it... . . Not sure why. Its still very absorbent. Are my rough textured glazed stoneware pieces that are made with food safe materials actually food safe? What about the pieces with pinholes? What do I do to create a smooth surface? I never had this problem when I was using school materials and dipping my glazes, but I can't dip at this point in the game and have very limited resources.
  6. Well, you were all correct. Trying to "fix" pieces is a big waste of time and sets one up for multiple disappointments. Trash. Must remember, for now especially, its all about the process, and learning. Let go and move on. Ceramics is great zen training.
  7. So, some of the underglaze and sgraffito decoration is just right. Some have colors that annoy me. I didn't mix the clear glaze properly - it was my first time. It was Laguna cone 5 transparent with no directions. I read that clear glazes should be thin like skim milk so that's what I did and I didn't put it through a sieve. Also, I didn't realize that the Laguna dry glazes need more additives to stay suspended. Anyway, it left my speckled buff clay mugs feeling sandy and therefore not functional? And yes, when they tipped it pulled a small piece off one and stuck it on the other. I can't get more clear to stick to them. Tried heating them and hairspray (read in a blog). Some 05 glaze I have sticks though
  8. I did some sgraffito and underglaze decoration covered in clear glaze on some pots with nice form. I don't like the decoration though and some of my pots tipped over in the kiln and stuck together marring the glaze. Can I reglaze over clear glaze? Also, can I put an earthenware glaze over a fully fired stoneware piece with a clear glaze and refire at the lower temperature with a decent possibility of success? Or is this futile? Thanks for your insight
  9. I really like your work.

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