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LawPots

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  1. I think my problem is that industrial pottery often doesn’t do functional better. They make cheap. They make identical. They make shiny. They make inoffensive. They make boring. It’s like, why eat at a locally-owned restaurant? Friday’s has a good selection of food. There’s one 20 minutes away from everywhere. It’s consistent, cheaper, often faster, and clean. But, it’s also pretty much aimed at the inoffensive middle of taste in every dish. Life is more than that. In pottery, I want variety, visual interest, consideration of the user’s comfort, pleasing design, natural appearance, and superior function (not just average function). I want a little imperfection; because perfection isn’t beautiful to me. These are all thing industrial production struggles with, but handmade functional potters are magnetically attracted to those things.
  2. I don’t right now, but I’ve used a standup powered wheel I liked. The wheel head was at bellybutton height. It was comfortable without a backrest, and I braced my arms on the splash pan. Folk potters in the Southern U.S. almost all worked standing up at kick, treadle, and powered wheels that had “backrest” that they braced against to help center. I’ve read that one of these potters insisted that it was a terribly bad habit to even learn to throw sitting down.
  3. You might try carving into leather-hard and then tear.
  4. I use amaco velvet underglaze two different ways: on leather hard clay for sgraffito, and on bisque to bring out the lines of intaglio. Both work at Cone 6. They also fire ok to Cone 10 in salt and wood.
  5. You could always make your own. http://jeffcampana.com/clay-body-revisited/
  6. One if my fav techniques. No substitute really, except you can try to brush or slip trail into the groove and wipe excess. But, it really is different when you wipe glaze off the whole pot, because some small amount of glaze stays behind on the raised areas.
  7. I end up using mugs I recently made the most often. I also try to make mugs I'd like to use, so I end up using ones I make. I do have a mug from Matt Hylek I like a lot (really great handle and lip) and I've made mugs that my wife likes to use that I don't. I made the pictured mug as a decoration and glaze test. It is at my parents house, and my wife or I tend to seek it out and drink from it all day. It holds about 30 oz.
  8. I've been on Pinterest for a long time. I don't use Pinterest to sell, but I'm not sure how you could value it's impact on your business. I suspect it's probably better to use Pinterest to drive people to your website or online shop: pin from your website rather than upload, and see if people will click through. Pinterest requires really great quality pics that you want people to share. You need to update often so that your followers will see new things periodically. It's kind of a rummage sale though, with most new pins getting very small re-pins. Really striking pieces get shared around over and over. Usually something about those pins makes them unique - age, color, the underlying website content, or imagery. Most pieces I like still rarely get pinned more than a few hundred times. Often less than 50 times. This includes pots from Mea Rhee, Byron Temple, Jeff Campana, Kyle Carpenter, Matt Hylek, Sam Taylor, etc. But, any one of these potters can have a pot pinned several hundred times as well. And, it's happening mostly because other people promote them, not because they have a strong presence on Pinterest. Jeff Campana has a board full of his work with less than 100 pins on any single pot. But I've got a pin of a teacup he did I found on theclaystudio.org: 299 pins.
  9. I have used spray shellac and hairspray to fix glaze in place to move pots. I have not noticed negative effects. Glaze fire gets so hot that the organic material burns away long before the glaze actually starts to melt. I do know that there is one glaze that might be affected by this treatment: carbon trapping shino. Not because of the contents of the hairspray, but because of the movement of soluables in that particular glaze.
  10. Wire wrapped pots are mentioned in Japanese Woodfired Ceramics in the chapter on pit firing. Copper wire, especially, is mentioned as creating dark lines on the pot.
  11. We seem to have never stopped debating what C.F. Binns said at the beginning of the last century: "The trend of the present demand ... is toward a personal and individual expression in the crafts or industrial arts. This is tendency is the natural swing of the pendulum from the machine made product of the manufactory which in its turn was the inevitable result of mechanical invention." How much expression is sufficiently personal in craft, when faced with mechanical sameness of things?
  12. The crocks my great-grandparents used were salt glazed (interior was albany slip - an earthenware clay slip that formed a brown glaze at higher temps). They used stones to hold down the cabbage under the water to make sauerkraut. Mold was skimmed of the top, if it formed. As far as I know, they didn't always have lids - they just used cloth to keep dust out. Cocks like this could be thrown or molded. The crocks we still have are thrown white stoneware clay. These didn't have the water seal lip, which I've only seen on crocks in stores recently. I've read that these stonewares often didn't get actually get to cone 10 - most only fired at cone 6-7, only hot enough to vaporize the salt. The largest were cylinders about as tall as a 5-gallon bucket (taller than wide, nearly 1ft in diameter).
  13. LawPots

    Mugs

    I know you make teaware for the Japanese market; so, is there a Japanese buyer for this sort of american woodfired mug?
  14. I am no expert in lead, and I certainly wouldn't put it on any of the functional work that I do. Its just not worth thinking about from a liability standpoint, and the lawyer in me says "Who knows what some kid would do, even with a sculpture?" That said, I have read some older ceramics books that contained extensive discussion on using lead in glaze. At some point I read The Potter's Craft by C.F. Binns, and I recall that he discusses in detail the chemical formulas and differences in red lead and white lead. I believe he had a variety of recipes for lead glazes. You can get electronic copies through google play.
  15. You didn't include any pictures on the inside of your shop. I visited your website and I was particularly impressed with the displays inside. You experience in retail really shows in all aspects of your operation.
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