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Everything posted by alabama

  1. Hey Rebekah, I trim everything right side up. For things like pitchers I trim the top and incise the lip before I pull the spout. I used to trim like everyone else but over the years, have morphed into this method.
  2. If you're interested in Black on black pottery...you need the book "The Living Tradition of Maria Martinez ". Last month I got mine off Amazon for about 10 bucks including postage...used! It's a huge coffee table type book! Check out the Facebook "the wild clay club"... they deal with natural clays and are based out Australia. Primitive Pottery by Hal Riegger is a good book you might should ought to read! Firing greenware will give the best results for Black on black pottery.... The reducing material used for the black should be DRY, not "it looks dry", or "it should be dry"....even a smidgen of moisture will cause a mottled exterior. What less videos and read more, if you're serious about learning about southwest USA black pottery . and make lots of notes.
  3. You might want to check out the annual book series..." Ceramics in America ", By Hunter (I have about 7 issues) and On the Facebook "Research of Ceramics" - with Justin Thomas... there is a featured vessel and the archives on the inside page!
  4. 18th c. Reference books: 1. German Stoneware...by D. Gaimster 2. French Colonial Pottery: an International Conference ...edited by George Avery 3. If These Pots Could Talk...by Ivor Humes 4. Pre-industrial utensils... Indian pottery book... "Sun Circles and Human Hands " by Funderburk Pit fired pottery book ..."Primitive Pottery" by Hal Riegger
  5. You may need to read and research more, and avoid modern books that require bisque firing. Primitive Pottery is a good book, articles or books about traditional pottery of the potters on the Ivory Coast, the book Traditional pottery of Papua New guinea is good, Sun Circles and Human Hands has examples of pottery. Most of the unglazed ancient pottery were used for dry storage, like beans, corn, smoked jerky, etc. The large ceramic cauldron used for cooking stayed hot pretty much 24/7 like a crock pot so food was safe to eat from it. Pit fired is a term that is a misnomer, kind of like "home cooked meals in a tv diner" , Pits for the purpose of firing pottery are a modern invention that you'll see and understand after reading those books. Good luck!
  6. Is there an example of what you're trying to accomplish, on this cuerda seca du jour? Alabama
  7. Just received book, "Ceramics: A World Guide to Traditional Techniques by Bryan Sentence. My initial 5 minutes of looking thru it is positive! Seems like more wheel throw pottery than coiled but that's fine. Its not real in depth cause it covers a lot. I give it two opposable thumbs up! :)

  8. If you didn't know about crushing shells for pottery, you should burn the shells first...then you should be able to crumble them in your hands. As for the percentage, figure 35%-50% or by the look! . But expect the opportunity to watch it disintegrate after a while.
  9. The way I use shells the most in the associated with hand built pottery are ribs. If you can find one that is smooth and somewhat oval and the right size, it can be used as a rib. If you flip the same shell over, its a scraper. The shell tool is unlikely to wear out in your lifetime! . If you find a shell with a wavy edge it can used as a rocker stamp for texture and designs. See ya Alabama
  10. Shells are made from layers with a type of adhesive or bonding agent between the layers. The adhesive burns out above 451 degrees and the layers change to calcium hydroxide over 951 degrees. Calcium hydroxide is a powder that absorbs moisture from humidity, expands, and if there is enough crushed shells in the clay... The vessel will disintegrate with in a year! I know this is true about mussel shell... And assume sea shells are the same/similar! But then it doesn't hurt to experiment.
  11. Bought two more books today...got my own copy of Traditional Pottery of Papua New Guinea and ceramics:A world guide to traditional techniques, which I haven't read! I read TP of Papua NG about 30 years ago.....

    1. glazenerd


      Such announcements require pictures of the end product.

    2. alabama


      I did a senior research project in college identifying 36 methods of decorating primitive pottery and making an example of each one. So this new book should have examples of modern pottery I guess!!! We'll see. The book should be here in a couple of days!

  12. I like the dark water jar and then either bowl. The dark jar is a copy of an se Indian jar from about 1625 thru 1710 a.d.
  13. Thank you Ms old lady. Heidi is hanging in there. You know she's getting old when the wild rabbits in the yard out run her by walking! . I'm starting to make of this type of pottery... Yesterday I bought a 5 gal.bucket of sand and today a friend of mine brought me 50 lbs.of Tallapoosa River clay he dug Sunday. So I'm on my way home to start making more items. Some for me and some for the animal shelter auction in July!!
  14. From the album: pit fire

    Yesterday's firing. The black spiral design is new and required practice.!! And there are 6 spiraled designs, not the normal four!!! Try it!
  15. alabama

    pit fire

    Pit fired pottery from Saturday. Four bags of wood fired 5 vessels.
  16. When I was teaching pottery at a community college the dept teacher wanted to change the canvas on the existing tables. Mind you when they re-canavassed the time years before, they put new canvas over old worn out canvas...so they pulled off the newer canvas black mold had grown between the two layers! Solid black mold! Not sure if there is a good black mold and bad mold...we assumed it was bad! Speaking of tables and dust in the studio, does CAD recommend an air purification unit? I looked at different modules on Amazon and the price ranges from $30.00 to $500.00! Any thoughts? Alabama
  17. We're experimenting with melting glass in the kiln. The kiln wash didn't work so we're using parchment paper next time. The paper normally will take up to 500 degrees, so we're using 3 layers!
  18. alabama

    melted glass

    Testing broken glass in kiln
  19. I hate filling out employment applications and resume even if it means a 75 percent wage increase...now the wait for the call begins! :)

    1. Mark C.

      Mark C.

      I have no idea what that feels like -my last one was in the middle to early 70's

      I do know about waiting for the phone to ring

    2. Evelyne Schoenmann

      Evelyne Schoenmann

      My fingers are crossed for you Alabama! Hugs

  20. Just ordered "In The Shadow of the Secret Grove" by Carol Spindle...It should have a section on pottery of the Ivory Coast!!

    1. alabama


      Dear spell check, the name is C. Spindel.

  21. Hey Old Lady, This jar is an example of vessels I make. I had access to the archaeology lab and spent 100s of volunteer hours cleaning and sorting sherds from field school, all the while examining them for tool and handbuilding marks, decoration methods, etc. So I use what I noticed and documented on vessels I make in order for them to appear as though they just came out of the ground!! . It works for me... BTW, when I began to make them faster and cared less, the pottery results improved!
  22. Thanks for the compliment. If I had to guess this firing was somewhere the 2000th to 3000th one. Wish I had kept notes, now. I started out with piles of pots and a bon fire, but now the "pit" aka firing area is about 18 to 24 inches wide. For the first year of pottery, I learned how to fire, and the 2nd & 3rd year I learned how to coil pots. The archaeology lab had pottery collections from all over the USA and SE Asia that I got to study. My field archaeology was mainly at Fusihatchee(1EE191). Oh, I never bisque anything first...its all greenware when I start.
  23. From the album: pit fire

    The sun came back just after the sticks burned away. The bowl is finished. Alabama
  24. From the album: pit fire

    Firing greenware pottery on Massacre Island in the pouring rain. One vessel is getting soaked, while the other is under the pile of sticks, fixing to be fired. Alabama
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