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Everything posted by alabama

  1. 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.
  2. I have a Pacifica 400 and when my belts broke, I tried ordering some, but that fell thru...so I tried fixing them and that didn't work...so I went to the local auto parts store and bought a 520k4 serpentine belt ... The ridges from the pulleys fit inside the grooves of the belt...not perfectly, but good enough! about $13.00
  3. On the Facebook there is a pottery instructor based in Pennsylvania that has taken a broken electric kiln and turned it into a cone 10 woodfired kiln! It is raised off the ground, I guess for convenience! In the bottom of the kiln are 2 nine inch intakes above the fire box and in the back is a 12 inch exhaust for the downdraft! His results are great, plus it only takes about 8 hours to fire a load! I plan to do this with an old electric kiln we have in storage at the art center...it has two sections, so the plan is to add height to it by adding fire bricks between the sections...so I can still use the lid! I suppose this plan could be switched to propane gas...and if i happen to do this with the same kiln or build another, i already have a 250 gallon and a 500 gallon propane tank! And if by chance you interested in making a refractory fiber kiln..you need to look on the YouTube...for "Salt Glazing at Clay Art 2007"...!!!
  4. 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!
  5. 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
  6. 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!
  7. I wouldn't buy anything written by McPherson, not sure about Gibbys book, but have doubts...I have Simpson's book,(It won't help) ... I like Hal Rieggers book "Primitive Pottery ". Alabama
  8. The day before this new format came to be was a really good day. I'm surprised I remembered my double secret password!
  9. I knew a girl who used to fire pipes in her campfire. She used a grey earthenware clay and hand formed pipes during the day as a demonstration, Then as she cooked her supper the pipes were preheating until they sintered then they were laid on the coals and sticks were piled over them heating them to about 1000-1100 degrees or so. She was the girl who when I saw her pile of green pine needles, offered to get some dried pine needles and leaves, but she was quick to Tell me that it was the green leaves that turned her pipes purple and red like she wanted. When I fire pipes I push a stick in the ground and suspend the pipes off the ground on the sticks while they heat up. That way there is seldom any losses.
  10. Is there an example of what you're trying to accomplish, on this cuerda seca du jour? Alabama
  11. Add water, sieve, add more water if needed...then start making test tiles and recording results! Alabama
  12. Take a wooden ruler or stick and push a brad (small nail) at the height you want, then slide the bottom of the fuller around the bottom and the nail cuts off the top! If you want to make sure the top is level, after its bone dry spread some water on a flat surface and touch the rim to the water for a sec or two... The highest point of the rim will be wet. Alabama
  13. If all the elements are the same length they should have the same resistance if you ohmed each one. If its a relay, try finding a part number on it to cross reference. Should be able to find one at an electrical supply store near Auburn. Good luck! Alabama
  14. 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! :)

  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. There was in the 18th century up north a type of crock called coarse-ware and it was wheel throw with sand in it. Any sand that is the same size is probably what you're looking for. A couple of weeks ago I bought some "course sand" from the local sand and gravel company..its mixed with the larger particles a little larger than rice! Its for hand building! Do more experiments and let us know the results!!!
  19. There was a glaze heading in the www.potters.org site long ago when it existed... There was a fake ash glaze recipe there... Pick an easy ash glaze to try then experiment... Then branch out from there... Alabama
  20. 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!

  21. We might need a photo or two... I add dripmarks to many of my vessels... I like the way they look! I accept every mistake and flaw on my stuff now a days... But there was a time when I'd freak out over drips, finger prints, runs, bare spots, etc. But I no longer do... What I tell the students who bump and cause fresh glaze to flake off is there's a 50/50 chance that mark will improve the surface. It's hard to convince them!! I'm not sure what would set me off...but rest assure it's not anything near a drip!
  22. I make pipes by rolling out a 6 inch piece of clay on the table. Take a long stick or artist paint brush handle and stick it thru the 6" stem by wetting the end of handle, stopping 1/2 inch from end, leave the handle in the clay and take a needle tool and probe the clay til you find the end, then mark it by wallering the marked area out. Then make a bowl in hour hand or rolling out a piece of clay on the table then attach the bowl to the stem...with the bowl attached, remove the handle... allow it to become leather hard, than carve it when it becomes leather hard with a pen knife to get the shape you want. All my pipes have two openings on each end. A pipe isn't something you need to over think!
  23. While some glazes break down over time, most do not. If it were my glaze, I'd add water stir it up, sieve, and use it on some type of test tile. I've seen where some type of chemicals were used to thicken and thin glazes and wasn't impressed. Just use water.
  24. I was told to improve plasticity to pour the water of boiled potatoes or rice into the clay. That water by itself doesn't work as well. I never tried it though since if I didn't like the characteristics of one clay I'd find another clay vein at another river bank or add regular store brought clay to the bucket of local clay. I did find one dark blue clay that would only shallow bowls, The Gray clay below it would make anything so I mixed the two together then only dug the lower clay. And I've had to mix two different store bought clays together to improve one of them!
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