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Everything posted by Stellaria

  1. From the album: Milk-firing

    For this test, I used tiles of the same clay fired to cone 6. The left tile was dunked into very creamy raw milk and air-dried three times, and the right tile was sponged down with the same milk and air dried three times. They were then placed in the oven, and then heated to 550° F. I expected it to take a while, so I waited about 15-20 minutes before checking on them. The left tile was a glossy BLACK. The right looked about like it does in the photo. I decided to see if any of the carbonized milk could be scrubbed off with a scrubby pad and water, and what you see on the left is the results of that. The areas that scrubbed the barest were the areas where cream streaks stuck to the ceramic. I suspect the cream prevented the more sugar- and casein-heavy milk from adhering to the ceramic body, which kept it from carbonizing in the fine texture.
  2. You've got a good goal - one that I share (though I'm a good bit earlier - Iron Age.) Only I know that it'll be a LONG time before I get there, as just building the skills to get to the forms I want, even with well-behaved clay, takes an insane amount of practice. I guess what I'm saying is - try not to think of it as working counter to your goal if you need to rely on a ceramics supplier while you build the skills you need to get you to your goal. There are many many little pieces to build up to it with, and it's okay to take them one at a time, using what you have available so you can focus on that baby step for the time being.
  3. Doesn't stick, and I've had mine fired to both ^04 and ^6 (single fire) to permanence with underglazes, slip, and iron oxide/rutile. So there would be no extra steps involved. The stuff can be painted right onto leatherhard clay if you need to. Or greenware or bisque. Whatever. It's super-forgiving stuff, all of it.
  4. Won't firing a cone 5 clay to cone 6 cause problems?
  5. When I write on the back of my ware, I use underglaze, underglaze pencil, colored slip, or an iron oxide/rutile wash. Practice up your brushwork before you do your trophy pieces, though! (It takes me a while to get my brush strokes right, and to get a feel for loading the brush to the right degree.) (Disclaimer: I am still a beginner. I am simply telling you what I have had experience with. I have no idea what the best option for you is.)
  6. Oh jeez. Figuring out stuff like that was EXCITING to me at that age. Actually discovering what math was used for in art? So much fun! I spent an entire year basing nearly everything I did on geometric constructions learned in geometry class. I learned how to use algebra to write plug-in-the-formula knitting patterns, too. Kids these days. *shakes my head*
  7. Can they be made with holes in the corners to link the tiles together in columns and hang each column with chain?
  8. Figure out the cubic dimensions of a 25lb block of clay, then figure out the cubic volume of the container. Extrapolate from there. Or tell your students to figure it out They're supposed to be able to do stuff like that, right?
  9. For once, I don't feel like I was hit by a truck on Monday morning! Let's see if I can motivate myself to get the necessary cleaning done to swap my sewing room and pottery workroom around. I'll have so much more space!!

  10. From the album: Stamps

    Logo stamp for Julienne Tomatoes, a local café. Carved from hardwood with a dremel.
  11. From the album: Stamps

    Bear paw print stamp and impression, created for a friend who goes by the name Bjornsson. It helps to keep his dishes differentiated from the rest of my stuff. Carved from hardwood with a dremel.
  12. Working in a tiny studio/workroom in my old house with crappy plumbing, I've been avoiding making things with plaster as much as possible. Thank goodness it's getting warmer - I can start doing things outside now!
  13. Yeah, I've had it scare me a few times by deciding to take a jaunt across the face of my stamp rather than cutting into it like I intended. I *am* competent with it. I don't do bad work - I just have to psyche myself into doing it and that takes several days. (Kind of like having to call a place on the phone to make an appointment - that won't kill me either, but it still takes me a few days to talk myself into actually doing it ) I figured carving into leather-hard clay would be more likely to happen, as it is quiet and wouldn't have any fast-moving parts eager to spit small particles at my face. (Yes, I do wear safety goggles. I'm still terrified of getting hit in the face with anything, though. Part of the reason I haven't tried using my diamond cutting wheel to rescue some glaze-accident pieces. Not eager to get smacked in the face with flying bits of glass. Or sparks.) So yeah. Carving clay. Sounds like I should get me a new exacto and some dental-tool-like tools to work with. And maybe some ball-point styluses.
  14. I have one, with a foot pedal control. I use it, and well, but it still scares the crap out of me!
  15. I've been wanting to make some bisque stamps to use on my thrown work. I've been using wooden ones, which I like, but my dremel tool terrifies me so I don't make as many as I'd like. My concerns about carving stamps out of clay center around never being able to carve a clean line out of anything, no matter what tool I try using - I always seem to get "crumbs" all along the line edges. Anyone have any clay carving tips? I have a smooth white clay that gives me fits to throw with, so I thought that might be ideal due to lack of grog or sand. What sorts of tools give the cleanest lines? How stiff do you let the clay get before attempting to carve? Any finesse-y little things that I may not have considered that would be helpful?
  16. I'll ask Jim for his RXWJG formula next time I get a chance, and see how it compares to what you've found.
  17. Good thing there are only a few of us at the studio that throw pots, or people would start getting crabby at me for hogging the griffin grip I'll try it next time.
  18. I used to give French green clay to my stinky kids to consume in a drink. Interestingly enough, it does make them less stinky, and it only had to be done once in a while.
  19. Not me - I just take my stuff to a community center and the clay club head fires it all. He's pretty good at what he does, though. I think the clay color has a lot to do with the result, though. And keep in mind, the stones were fired flat, so no flow.
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