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  1. I wish I could hit "like" or comment LOL for so many of the posts above that just cracked me up! Suffice it to say that I know exactly what y'all are talking about ;-) I love this question, because we used to talk about this often when I actually had an archeologist as one of my pottery students. She used to fascinate us with her descriptions of digs she had done in Mexico and other parts of the world. I am also very interested to hear about the connection of Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico with an archeologist who wanted her to replicate some pottery shards that they had uncovered and pieced together. Would an archeologist want to replicate any of my discarded pots? I should hope not! Many pieces have glaze imperfections that would remind them of the moon or some other planet (perhaps exciting to an astronomer, LOL). Yes, I love glazes with textures, but these are NOT like those glazes :-) Other pieces would have been thrown so badly that they might use them to speculate how children were able to pass on such traditions. They may speculate that I was a florist who left so much weight in the bottoms to help counterbalance the the tall flower arrangements. I think I shall have to think about my discarding method, fire a slab of clay with an arrow pointing toward my studio that says "The good stuff is that way! This stuff just makes for good drainage! Please disregard..." and put it on top of the heap of "jewels."
  2. What a great question! Leatherhard hands down. Medium leatherhard to be exact. Soft leatherhard is a good time to alter and perhaps attach small decorative things that won't destort the shape (unless you want to distort it). Hard leatherhard is a good time for detailed carvings. But medium leatherhard is when I like to trim, do larger carvings or faceting, attach handles, hold the piece and feel the cool smooth surface of the clay that looks so rich and natural--a look that I would love to emulate with the finished product. I think that this is why I like terra sigilatta so much. After firing, it still has a smooth sheen similar to medium leatherhard clay. But I still like medium leatherhard the best!
  3. I would love to spend any amount of time with Clary Illian in Ely, Iowa. She is so much fun and is a wonderful living legacy, having spent two years as an apprentice with Bernard Leach in England. She is fascinating to listen to, no matter what she is talking about. My hope is that all potters have the chance to meet and spend time with her. Her knowledge and life experiences are priceless. Whenever I drink out of one of her mugs or look at her pots, I can't help but wonder what she was thinking when she created them. Her latest change to using terra cotta clay has been a most intriquing adaptation following a wrist injury--an adaptation filled with whimsy and creativity that is so wonderful--a wonderful testament to the artist that she has always been and always will be...
  4. Thanks for the practical "how to" advice on making terra sig from my clay. Now, because I've gotten curious about this stuff, I really want to know: Why two clays in the recipe? What does the sodium silicate do? How is it that you can make terra sig from a clay totally different from the one you're using for your pot, and there is no compatibility problem? Does terra sig sometimes crack off in the firing, and why? Coincidentally, I was thumbing through an old issue of Ceramics Monthly (September 2000) and found most of my questions answered in the "Questions" section. Thanks for the information, everyone.
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