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Lena Arice Lucas

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About Lena Arice Lucas

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  • Location
    Tennessee, USA
  • Interests
    Pottery, clay sculpture, painting, songwriting, cooking. Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenaAriceLucas
  1. Hi James, Try dipping the pipes quickly in water prior to dipping (or you could spray/mist/spritz with water). That will decrease absorption and thus reduce glaze thickness. Experiment with amount of time you dip into the water (or spray), and thus how wet the piece becomes, and the amount of time between water dipping and glazing, since the thickness of both the bisque and the glaze will effect glaze absorbtion thickness. (Spraying water on vs dipping in water may keep moisture more consistant.) Depending on the thickness consistancy of the piece, you may opt to only wet the thicker (if there are any) parts, or wet thicker part more thoroughly to assure more consistant wetting. Experiment with how long you dip/spray. You could try simply, more quickly, dip "in and out," forgetting "how many seconds" for now... Also after dipping/spraying, have a dry towel ready to quickly dry off any areas that are wetter so glaze absorbtion will be more equal. Good luck.
  2. You are centering the clay not the wheel ;-). Right? Use your force on the clay. The wheel is doing exactly what it is supposed to do and does not need to be pushed on like that...
  3. As they say, "Imitation is the most annoying form of flattery." That said, it is useful to copy your teacher (if they demand or allow it) when you are a student. If you can use the same techniques but apply them to your own forms (again, if they demand or allow it), better. It is also useful to copy the "Masters." A good pottery/clay sculpture teacher (hopefully) does not create potters "in their own image," meaning, hopefully the technical aspects and physics of clay have been learned by you from your teacher(s), or by years of focused trial and error. Therefore you will learn enough some day so clay can serve your personal creative vision's intent, and you will not just be another one of those potters whose works all look like each others... I find my greatest personal clay breakthroughs have taken place between the hours of 1 and 3 AM (spent alone in the studio). I do not usually stay up that late... I think my tired state of mind lowers filters and helps release some inner something (wading boots needed, getting deep in here). It may be worth a try for you... Luck.
  4. This is not about firing times, but will hopefully help folks to position the cone or mini bar correctly. (There is "Kiln Loading" section in the front, with cone info in the back.) If your cone is not set right, the whole load could mess up... (overfiring is one typical problem). (I put this together years ago for my students {and teachers} who were getting their own kilns that had kiln-sitters.) See PDF. Luck! Lena Kilns and Cones, a Simple Guide by Lena Arice Lucas.pdf Kilns and Cones, a Simple Guide by Lena Arice Lucas.pdf
  5. Looks like something made by a promising student in a hand-building/clay sculpture class. Typical doilie impressions on slabs, whimsical, stifly rendered hands way small for head, hesitant brushstrokes in glaze/decoration, crudely done oversized hole cut into bottom, perhaps someone dipped some lace into slip for the collar and dress hem? Lena
  6. Why not? Humans separated themselves from non-humans by making tools and art... decorating their tools, bodies and early utilitarian objects, dwellings, etc., for various sacred/magical/pleasurable reasons. Some pots want/ask for decoration, others don't. Decorating a pot to me is no different that painting a painting or making a sculpture or composing music... It is a a journey in the moment to be taken and enjoyed. Why make food attractive? We don't have to, but it sure makes eating more enjoyable. Okay, where are my wading boots? We could get into "Why make art at all?" in no time, but that's another subject...or is it?? I'm just gald people do make, decorate, enjoy, use, collect, admire... pots. Lena Lena Arice Lucas - Art
  7. I use #10 cotton untreated canvas duck. It shrinks nicely. Yes, nicely. Staple it under the table top edge/board. Don't worry about "how tight." Then, just get some hot water and sponge it to soak the canvas. It shrinks up like blue jeans... and does not loosen with use. Here' a photo of my wedging table. I also have two large work tables also covered with cotton duck. It lasts for years, and mine seem to stay tight forever... Luck! Lena
  8. More suggestions (trimming this time) following your comment to my posting to you above: After trimming a groggy clay body pot, you can take a damp sponge and as pot spins med. speed, apply sponge to trimmed parts of pot to raise a bit of slip. Don't over do it or you'll just wash away fine clay and leave a groggier pot than you started. You can often dampen fingers and treat foot like you would a rim-compression, depending on wetness level. sometimes that is enough. Or you can take the burnishing end of the modeling stick (the curved rounded end of stick some use to trim away support clay ay bottom, etc.), and while the wheel still turns, burnish in the grog. This "packs it back" into the surface. Don't leave the part of the pot you intend to glaze "burnished" though (the glaze could be more likely to crawl there). Go over that part again, as wheel spins, to quickly raise a slip surface that will now resemble the untrimmed surface, thus the glaze will behave closer to the same way on all surfaces. Finish with a final burnishing with the modeling stick, and you may use finger "foot compression" move again too, to make a nice smooth foot that will not be as likely to scratch furniture. Have fun learning! Lena P.S. Here are some trimming demo photos (start there and click forward). https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201698754417846&set=a.10201698722737054.1073741831.1449636499&type=3&theater
  9. You are trying new glaze applications/new glazes, so you are a beginner in that regard. You are experiencing what I used to tell (before I retired) my beginning pottery students, a "What you do is what you get" result. Then I'd explain why certain glazing problems occur and how to prevent them. You have been given some good advice here already. You are trying to get more even coverage. Here's my addition: I wax first so wax dries faster (on a dry pot). I then always very quickly rinse my pots and very quickly dry off with a clean, dry towel, to both remove dust and prevent the glazes from going on too thick (especially if overlapping/double dipping). I then wait a few minutes before glazing... (Other potters do it differently yet we are all making pots, so, whatever you like's okay as long as it's working.) Brushing? Are you using a good, "fully charged" (full of glaze) "Mop" style brush? Google it to see. Use a mop brush and apply with pot either on a real good, heavy, long-spinning banding wheel, or place and center the pot on your potters wheel and turn slowly. Fewer brush strokes will show. I have applied glazes this way before (without adding fillers, since I like glazes to be a brush-able and dip/pourable), to fine result. Better still, dip or pour or both. Mix enough glaze to pour the inside. Fill to about half way, pour back out while turning pot to coat inside. Allow to dry. (Practice application on bisque ware/any suitable container half filled with water until you get the technique down.) Have enough glaze so you can dip the outside, holding the inside with both hands with fingers pointed outward if possible, keeping pot right-side up and horizontal. I dip in and out. I do not "count." That's because I have mixed my glazed to a thickness I desire, no "counting" is needed. Keeping the pot level, I dip in and out at a reasonable speed but not so fast as to splash or so slow as to saturate the pot with water. Allow to dry. Touch-up the rim by scraping off (use a blade of some kind) uneven areas and painting/banding on - with a "fully-charged" brush (meaning one that holds enough glaze to make it around the rim) (use poters-wheel or banding wheel) about 3 med-thin coats to equal same thickness as poured/dipped glaze on pot. If you don't have enough glaze to dip the outside, after glazing the inside as described above, place pot - upside-down - on a couple of dowels/small sticks over a container, and pour glaze over quickly, starting on one side. Best if you make it all the way around before the glaze "start" side dries. Allow to dry. Clean foot completely (so you won't have to handle it much after finishing lip/rim), and scrap uneven areas off this blade where pot and dowels/sticks met to create even appearance. Or, use a scraper/blade to remove all glaze from rim/lip and apply fresh, even rim glaze with brush on banding wheel/potters-wheel. These techniques make it easy to apply different glazes on inside than outside. I suggest always finishing all glaze coats on the inside before glazing the outside, unless you are using dipping tongs. (Glossy glazes are desirable for the inside of functional ware.) Dipping tongs are another story... "In and out and upside down" quickly enough that glaze is still flowing as the pot is removed thus evening out... Have sponge ready to dab glaze off bottom. Keep upside down until it dries enough to not drip when you turn it right-side up. I won't get into tongs any further for now. Decent tong glazing (sans "snake-bite" tong marks, etc.,) is a whole, long explanation. Advice on your pots? When looking at people's pottery, look as closely at the foot and bottom as you do the rest of the pot. How did the potter complete the bottom? The shape and size of the foot in regards to the overall pot? Are there feet you like? Try them out on your pots. Footless? Fine, just remember the bottom of your pots is where one's name usually is, so be tidy. Good pottery designers have a 360 degree involvement with their pottery. Also, Make lots of pots. The more clay that passes through your hands, the better you'll get. Best of luck! Lena
  10. If it is a fine, even-appearing shine/sheen, my guess it this, and my solution(s) follow: I've actually seen this many times during my 3 + decades as a pottery and clay sculpture teacher at studios that have been in operation a long time... Including those I taught in. Often, the bottoms of the shelves will become thinly and evenly "glazed" over several years of use via the glazes "fuming" minute amounts of gasses/glasses/glazes into the air as they as they melt and become molten. The fumes circulate around the kiln and adhere to the shelf surfaces (and posts and kiln walls too, to a lesser degree), building up over a long time. A kiln shelf that is not re-kiln-washed very often will also build this shine/sheen up on the kiln-washed surface, developing a sheen there, too. This will result in pots sticking regardless of how "dry" the foot is. Often, this happens when the potters/students have gotten so good at glazing that they do not/rarely have drips, so the shelves are rarely resurfaced/re-kiln-washed. Or, the kilns have been used for low-fire ceramics, fired on stilts exclusively... If there is kiln wash under the shine/sheen on the "top" of the shelves, and you can't get a chisel to work, get out your powerful grinder (a Google of "hand held grinder concrete ceramic" should show you what I'm talking about). Take the shelves outdoors. Put on your heavy-duty dust mask and safety goggles and grind the sheen down. Then use a silicone carbide rubbing block to even out the surface. Wash both sides with water. Apply new kiln wash. The shine/sheen remaining on the underside/bottom/un-kiln-washed surface will not be a problem unless you flip the shelves over... I noticed that little or no shine is seen where posts are placed under the shelves or on top, because the posts simply protect the shelves from the fuming. If for some reason the places on the undersides of the shelves where you wish to position your posts are shiny, simply grind those areas off, gently, being careful to not mess up the levelness. If no kiln wash is present/under the shine/sheen on either side of the shelf, try grinding one side and washing with water and applying kiln-wash and grinding (gently and carefully) the areas on the underside where you plan to position the shelves. Also, if firing, always give the shelf a tiny little sideways horizontal wiggle to detach any posts that may have fused to you shelves. I hope this helps you get some use out of the shelves.
  11. Art Pottery By Lena Arice Lucas
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