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Everything posted by Stellaria

  1. No progress since March - I got a job that's fairly physically exhausting, and my studio time went right out the window. I have found one new glaze combo that I love, though.
  2. I paid $600 for my used Shimpo! Looks like you found a deal. And buying a 2-part replacement splash pan for it should be easy enough to do. For cleaning out a non-removable splash pan, you just use a sponge to mop out the water, scoop out the sludge with your hand, then sponge it down thoroughly. Our community studio has a Shimpo with a non-removable pan, and that's how we have to care for it.
  3. Be proud of me, guys! I just trashed some work I wasn't happy with, even though it was "good enough". Big step for me!

    1. Pres


      One of the most humbling lessons to learn it to recycle that which is just-"alright".

  4. That totally sounds like a project I would do! I love repurposing old clothes into fun and functional things.
  5. Search for sgraffito tools. You probably won't find both ends on one tool, but I'm fairly certain you'll find them separately.
  6. *grins* my first thought when I looked at my canister of Bon Ami was "I wonder how this would fire?"
  7. Pretty sure the OP just has a couple pots they want to keep, and isn't looking to make further quantities of unfired ware?
  8. I *didn't* have it pounded into me and still think that canvas texture and sharp edges looks hurried and sloppy beginner work. I feel okay saying that because I have plenty of canvas-y crappy-edged stuff of my own and know that the only reason it is like that is because I was lazy and in a hurry. Sharply cut edges are not pleasant textures to encounter, even when glazed, and especially on pieces like plates and trays and cups. Likewise for the canvas texture - it gives a weird, rough, unpleasant tactile experience. I suppose some people appreciate that feel, but I can't figure out why. And it doesn't improve with glaze, either. To see either on a piece for sale, especially a high-priced piece....I'd be insulted, honestly. That's saying "your money (thus time) isn't worth my time." And apparently there are plenty of suckers out there that are okay with that.
  9. If you don't bump it against anything, or get it wet ever, it will last just fine, like any lump of dried mud you'd sit on a shelf.
  10. Yeah, in general, indirect heat from a fire is going to be your best bet when cooking in pottery vessels. Gradual warming of the vessel is an important part of that - you can't really just fill a pot with cold stuff and smack it on a fire of any sort. You put it next to the fire. Turn it occasionally. Gradually move it closer. Put coals around or under it. I mean, once you've got it properly ramped up, it'll withstand sitting in the fire just fine....but you have to do it all gradually. You shock it in one direction or the other, you kill it.
  11. I've used beeswax on some of my milk-fired ware. As far as unglazed table ware, though.... Well, try it. Try drinking out of an unglazed cup. How does that unglazed rim feel? Now run a spoon or fork over the surface of an unglazed bowl or plate. Set your teeth on edge? It does mine. Poly finishes are either not food safe or have dubious wear reliability. Resins smell weird. Beeswax doesn't hold up and doesn't really impart an actual finish anyway. Glaze is the most durable and inexpensive option. Sure you *could* use other things, but why bother when you'd come away with an inferior result in comparison?
  12. I, too, would look into classes, or seeing if there is a community center nearby that has a flat-rate fee for studio use including firing and glazes. I know not every place has them, but it's worth looking into.
  13. Is it always the same glaze? I've had that happen on some of my pieces, and was told that it was because the kiln fired too low (our studio kiln needed replacing badly and that load was the tipping point!) It sounds like mixing your next glazes with distilled water would probably be the easiest troubleshooting step.
  14. That's the thing, though. Much of that list was certainly on par!
  15. So long as there are people who love the simplicity if solid workmanship and are interested in the history of it, there will always be somebody who wants to learn it. Trendy fly-by-night experimentalists will come and go with little lasting impact, as they have in the past and will continue to do. Plus, we now have the field of experimental archaeology to add to it - not only do we have current traditions and knowledge to keep moving forward with, but an active research community working backwards to figure out the practicalities of how things were BEFORE and underlying the traditions we have. I apologize if I sounded harsh. I'm quite aware that my tastes in pottery are quite narrow and low on originality and artsiness, so I'm sure that prejudice bled through heavily. But seriously - I did see a vase on etsy that the "artist" was trying to sell for a stupid amount of money that looked like a kindergartener's interpretation of a pile of rainbow poo covered in donut glaze. The listing was chock full of glorification of the rarity of the tinted clays used, etc. IMO, it doesn't matter how much work goes into it, who made it, or what rare materials are used - ugly pots is ugly pots, and if a big name guy can get thousands for a stepped-on pinch pot with a face on it, the third-grader down the street's work should be worth the same. The fact that it's not says that something is amiss. (I am of the grunge/graffiti/all must be unique generation, so I do seriously reject the notion that those trends are universal and engulfing. The traditions will survive the trends. No question.)
  16. Good clarification! 'Cause yeah, I steer clear of people inviting me in to see their things. Something in the selection inside the booth should catch my eye, not the artist or salesperson. But yes, being on your feet, alert, and looking willing and ready to answer questions (or volunteer a tiny tidbit of information about something I've touched or picked up) is a good middle-of-the-road tactic to engage just about anyone.
  17. I don't see it as my duty to keep up with ugly trends in the slightest. If I like something, there are bound to be others out there that like it. Likewise if I think something looks like crap. There are many many many successful artists and craftspeople who make loads of stuff that I think is absolutely hideous, and I think it's pretentious to imply that if I understood the motivation behind it, or the mastery underlying it, then I should like or value it more. Nope. Tastes vary so widely that there will always be *somebody* that likes that bud vase that looks like a dog pooped out a rainbow and then put donut glaze on it. But there will always be people who love and prefer the simple, functional, beautiful work that comes from a skilled Craftsperson just doing their job and making things that they love and would use themselves. Beauty doesn't go out of style. Trendy does.
  18. I think both ideas have their own merits. For a classroom instructional exercise to be sure that every student tries and can identify each technique taught, and evenly sectioned slab with each section designated for a specific technique on EVERYBODY's slabs would allow for easy class-wide comparison. But for just playing around with techniques for your own practice or testing, the free-form sectioning sounds like a lot of fun that could lead to something potentially very interesting.
  19. You may wish to look into ash or fake ash glazes. I just tested out one called Diana's Fake Ash that, when used on white clay, glazes an off-white with beige-to-gray runnels. It's very pretty. I'm having a hard time picturing white and runny, because white is so static a color. You're basically looking for something that will lighten up other glaze colors and cause them to move?
  20. Make a ton of test tiles, bisque and number them, then set up a chart to keep track of which combo is on which number. For the chart we have at our community studio, the glaze name on the side of the chart is the base glaze, and the glaze name along the top of the chart is the glaze layered over. We leave an inch or so of the base glaze uncovered to show any movement from the layering. It's a tedious process, and if you have a lot of glazes you'll get a lot of ugly tiles. But those few gorgeous combos you discover make the whole process worth it.
  21. Vendors at Renaissance Festivals almost ALL take custom orders on the spot, and many of them bring in most of their revenue that way. So that tactic obviously works for some craftspeople.
  22. The person in charge of the glazes at our community studio insists on rinsing, to keep grit and dust out of the glaze buckets. After using a basin of water to rinse a big load of test tiles, I'm a believer - the amount of crud settled at the bottom of the basin once I was done was astonishing.
  23. I'm not in charge of the firing or most of the glazes I use, so my methods work well for my own purposes. Besides, running a pot under the tap takes ridiculously little effort. I usually make my glaze plan and pencil onto the bottom what I'm going to do while the pot dries enough to wax over the pencil. Waterproof instructions!
  24. I run mine under running water. I like most glaze applications to be thin (I dunk everything) so I don't wait very long after rinsing to glaze. Maybe 2-3 hours, tops? So rinse, wait 'till the piece *looks* dry (but really isn't very) and then wax, then glaze. I'll even re-rinse before glazing if I've had a good deal of time lapse between the rinse-and-wax step (which happens because I work in a community studio where I only have access to the glazes twice a week, but access to everything else whenever. I can come in, get everything prepped, planned, and marked, and then just focus on dipping on the glaze day.)
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