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Joseph Fireborn

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Everything posted by Joseph Fireborn

  1. --- Don't be afraid to test new schedules, just don't do it at the same time your testing new glazes, otherwise your not getting the complete picture. Always fire a new glaze in your main reliable schedule first! A bit of advice for testing new schedules if you want to eventually try it. When you are making test tiles make a bunch and when you glaze tiles, glaze 3-4 of the same tile in the same glaze the same way. Then when you get ready to test a new schedule you will have glazed unfired tiles ready, after words you can put those tiles beside the other tile from your main firing and see how they vary. Doing this will save you a lot of hassle as you will always have the tiles ready from your main glazes when you come to test new firing schedules. When I was doing a lot of schedule testing I would make 300-400 tiles at a time, and then when I would mix a new batch of test glazes. I would dip the same glaze 5 tiles and line them up on my shelve beside the original tile that I fired in my current main schedule at that time. After I would test a new schedule I would label the tile, whatever it was + the schedule number, which I kept track of in Insight-live. After I had fired enough tiles and glazes I could look down a row of glazes that were all in that same schedule and figure out which schedule I liked best for the glazes I wanted to work with. This helped a lot to determine if a schedule was really worth using as you can see what goes bad and what goes good. The funniest part is I currently use one glaze now.
  2. When I took a workshop with Akira Satake, he said to the class, "try to always fire 95% of the work in your kiln to sale, and have the other 5% to continue to develop your line and test new things so that you don't get bored." I think his advice is very good if your selling work for a living. 5% of your kiln is probably just the perfect amount for a few test tiles and new ideas every load. But as far as your progression of pieces yes, I think that is about perfect: tile -> small cup -> seconds pot of your normal work -> actual pot for sale. Testing firing schedules is a whole different ballgame. I wouldn't recommend adjusting your schedule while you are also doing testing. Only change one thing at a time. Trust me, I spent so much time changing so many variables that I got confused and depressed many a times chasing results. If you really want to test schedules, make very minor changes each time for the specific results that you want. In general the longer the firing and the slower the cooldown the more variation in results you will get, this can be good and bad. Some glazes that are formulated on the border/poorly might all of the sudden become super dry/crystal and some glossy glazes might go matte. It really just depends on each particular glaze and how close they are to the border of being glossy/matte etc. Only you will know once you start testing them out. If you have a schedule that your firing stuff your selling with, I would start by testing all your glazes with the schedule, as you can make money while testing. Last but not least, glazes don't travel well, so don't be upset if you followed the same exact schedule, recipe etc and get a completely different result. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  3. I have never tried to sell any of them. I'm sure they would sell if you made them well. I just throw them quick and dirty to get the pots made for the second glaze test after the original tile. Testing is all about having multiple stages of tests and results. If you go from tile to big pot your destination will sometimes be not a happy place. My other advice is to open your kiln with an open mind. This will help your frustrations. I used to mix glazes open the kiln and get a result that wasn't what I was after. I would instantly be frustrated and completely ignore how good the actual result was if I looked at it independent of my desires. Now some of the best glazes I have ever made are all those frustrated glazes that I hated when I opened my kiln. So just a few things to think about. Testing is such a lengthy process both mentally and physically. Take good notes.
  4. I have a thread somewhere about small bud vases. But they make excellent test pots. Make them have ridges at the bottom to catch running glazes. You get to see how it does over a curve, over ridges, down the side and on the lip at the top. There isn't a better pot to test with IMO. These are made with a very small amount of clay, you can fit a ton of them on your shelves, and they have self catching ridges on the bottom to catch those naughty glazes that run when you least expect it. They are about as big as your index finger tall. You just pull a small cup, and then bend the clay over into your finger and then form a lip, takes a few seconds. Here is an example of what I am talking about:
  5. I should probably be more clear in that I meant as you make better pots the decision to start selling them comes naturally. Not that good pots just sell themselves. Thanks for mentioning that. Definitely don't mean the other way around.
  6. Okay. So today is Saturday. I am just catching up with your threads. How did the show go!?
  7. Before even thinking about it as a career you should spend at least a year minimum with almost all your free time working on your craft. Running a business of any sort is difficult, particularly with no previous business training. I can't imagine trying to run a pottery business while learning to be a potter. Sounds like a nightmare. Pottery is probably one of the hardest hobbies I have ever had, and I have had a lot of hobbies . Still to this day I am unsure of how things will turn out and it can be a nightmare when you open a kiln full of things you were planning on making money with that are just not right. With that being said it is also one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. Creating something that people will use every day and that becomes a part of their daily routine is just fantastic. If you spend a lot of time on your craft and you excel, the selling part just comes naturally. People will want your stuff, and you will know when it is time to sell it. Don't listen anyone who says, hey you could sell this! Those people are morons, no offense those people. Only you know when your making a good product that is ready to sell, because it will be something that happens once you have enough experience. When I first started here, I posted videos of myself throwing, I posted pots cut in half, and I asked questions relentlessly. The people here are happy to help in any way possible as long as you are upfront about what your after and have a bit of skin in the game of learning, we will help. If your goal is to throw pots on the wheel, the best advice I can give on learning is to just get a wheel as fast as you can. If you have to work extra hours for a month to save up to buy a wheel, do it. That will just prove your commitment to how much you want to work as a potter. You won't really make any leaps and bounds learning to throw pots until you have your own wheel. You need 10+ hours a week to get to where you need to be to even make decent pieces. Just as an example I bought a wheel and 100#'s of clay and I threw the same exact same bowl shape for 6 months before I was happy with a rather crappy bowl at the time looking back now. But just being able to throw every single chance I had free time, and then ball those pots up and let them dry up a bit and re-wedge them gave me tons of confidence to know that I could be a potter. Just an interesting story: I went to a talk by a master potter who had been throwing for 30+ years, the translator asked him a question from the audience which was, "Do you think you are very good at throwing those types of pots?" The master potter instantly shook his head no, as if he knew he still had a lot to learn. He truly felt this way, you could see it on his face. I think the more you learn in this field the more you realize how much you don't know. Best of luck to you, and make sure you get on and post lots of questions as you learn, don't be shy, put all ego aside and focus on only learning.
  8. My workbench is empty! Well besides all the non pottery related junk on it. I just pulled out some of the best yunomi I have ever made in my entire life. So that was epic. I am going to make 6 bowls to donate to the Patsiliga kiln in south Georgia, its a big woodfired kiln. I have never been a part of the wood firing, but I would like to be one day. I like supporting stuff like that anyways. I am going to go to the bowl event and deliver my bowls and maybe even buy someone else's work. I might post the bowls after I have slipped them with black crackle slip, and maybe after the kiln as well, since this seems like a progress type of thread! I am glad everyone is still here rocking away. Good to be back even if its only for a few weeks.
  9. I'm definitely pleased. It's a beautiful pot and everything I want. Lots of surface texture color varation and more! Thanks for kind words.
  10. Thanks. Definitely one of the best results I've had in pottery. The other 9 are pretty good too but this one is just right.
  11. From the album: Yunomi

    Took a break from my pottery fast. I just took this out of the kiln. Figured it was worth adding to my album.
  12. How is everyone? It has been a while. Just wanted to check in and say I love and miss you all! Fired my kiln today. First time in 8 months I have even touched a pot. Made me realize how much I miss this community. Hope everyone's pots are great and their glazes are perfection!

    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. Min


      Knowing how dedicated you are you will make an awesome teacher. Kudos on your grades and Masters acceptance. :)

    3. Gabby


      It's a wonderful career to have, Joseph. I too have been an economist but have spent the last twenty years teaching secondary math with a middle grades specialty.

    4. Joseph Fireborn

      Joseph Fireborn

      Gabby that is awesome! I am so excited to be there in a few years. 

      Thanks Min for those words of encouragement!

    5. Show next comments  9 more
  13. That was the crazy part. It was something she sells for 35 dollars which is very high priced for what it is. But the other seller was selling it for 8.50. I have no idea what the plan was. I guess make it as close as they could to the original.
  14. Just some pictures for comparison. Old Red Rock Results: A cup I kept(left) vs the cup(right) that I just pulled out today. Same techniques as before: Porcelain base: I mean I am not unhappy with the result of the porcelain. It is rather beautiful itself, I just am so confused at how it can be so darn different. Anyways, I guess it doesn't really matter. I am firing an old redrock pot and a new redrock pot right now, so we can look at that result tomorrow sometime, although I don't expect to see any difference. I think one of the chemicals in the clay was changed or something, I don't mean as in a new formulation, but as they changed suppliers of a chemical, which I mean happens if you get a better deal. But I think whatever that chemical is, has a drastic effect on this glaze. Thanks for all your ideas and thoughts. It really isn't worth worrying about anymore. I think it just sums up my decision to go back to porcelain and stay there. I enjoy throwing it more than stoneware anyways, and I have less glaze issues single firing it over stoneware(occasional bloating, or pinholes). So c'est la vie stoneware!
  15. That is good info. I wonder if I just got a bad batch or I'm crazy. Both are possible. I really can't explain or figure out why all of the sudden something I did many many times I can't get on the base body but I can on every other body.
  16. So I have been working with a glaze for a long time and I stopped using it for a while and I have since spent some time going back to it. I did a test run and fired it and it came out a completely different color, a pastey yellow. So I thought okay, maybe I just did something wrong. I mixed another batch up and fired it side by side with several other tests just to be certain. The clay body is Red Rock covered with a black slip. In the past, this has came out a nice grey. My other test was Standard 365 and HW Brownstone, both also covered in the same black slip. Everything was fired on the same shelf, right beside each other, glaze batch was applied in the same exact manner, and the slip batch was all the same. Fired with cones to verify temps as well. Again the red rock base with the black slip over came out pastey yellow. The brownstone and the porcelain came out as the redrock used to come out, a light greyish hue. Now I am really confused. I am not doing anything different between the application and in the past, the red rock has come out exactly the same as the other two bodies do. I have a yunomi in my gallery of this exact result. So I am guessing that Highwater must have sourced a new material supplier or the old one ran out? All I know is it is now directly affecting my glaze? I can't be for certain, but I can't think of any other logical reasons for this sudden change. At first, I thought it was something I was doing, but after this test, I am confident that it isn't anything I am doing as the other bodies produce the exact result that the red rock used to produce. Does anyone have any other ideas? I guess I am just going to finish using my red rock and just finally convert to using 100% porcelain all the time. I don't want to throw highwater under the bus here as I like their clays a lot, but I am tired of the quality control issues I keep having with them. I get bags that are too hard to use and bags that I have to dry out. I really enjoyed their clay bodies in the past, but I feel like something is wrong somewhere. I understand that the bags won't always be the same, but still what in the world is going on when glazes are completely coming out differently than a few months ago. I bought these boxes of red rock when I started potting again this spring, so it was different box and batch from the ones where I got the grey result.
  17. This is rampant. I was helping my mother in law with her etsy shop the other day and she called me saying she needed help with a lady who was listing her items in their shop. The exact same picture, the exact same title, and the exact same description. How does etsy not even catch that? Anyways she contacted the seller and the seller instantly removed the item, but still, what in the world is happening to people. I agree with Mea here, using other peoples work and not your craftspeople's work, going to be one horrible show.
  18. Red Rock from Highwater clays would look exactly like this with a white glaze like that.
  19. That is the paste, which is technically a glaze, just very pasty instead of wet and fluid. Like if you put your hands in the batch it wouldn't run through your fingers. I don't usually bisque pots unless I am using a particular glaze that I find needs bisque. I single fire almost all my work. I think you should continue experimenting with the sprinkling stuff. The pot is a real gem.
  20. I have sprinkled dry ash onto my glazes in cone 6 electric. The results are mixed, it just depends on the glaze and how it reacts to additional flux and silica that the wood ash adds. I personally have found better results from making a "paste". I have made a paste out of wood ash. These paste have a slight bit of clay added and a slight amount of a feldspar of some kind, but the majority of the paste is ash(70-90%). The reason I call it a paste and not a glaze is because it isn't liquid form. I apply it with a natural sponge to the pot by dapping it on. It looks something like this after being applied. As you can see it is very chunky. I don't sieve the wood ash. I take it directly from my fireplace, put it in a 5 gallon bucket and scoop out the amount I need and add it to a small glaze container. I found that when you sieve the ash and wash it, you might as well just use commercial glaze ingredients. It takes away all the variability. The result looks something like this: A lot of my work is using wood ash paste now as I found applying it this way sort of duplicates the way ash is probably applied in a wood kiln. It isn't a uniform application, it sticks and clumps and builds up in certain places. Again this is all theory as I haven't fired wood before, but I have looked at a lot of wood-fired pots in person and it appears this is what happens. Of course, I want to say that I am not trying to replicate wood firings at all, but just to get some surfaces that I adore in my electric kiln. There is just something about the randomness of ash that I really appreciate, each tree is unique and thus each batch of ash paste is different. The pot you posted above is very nice in the glaze and I think the ash definitely did it justice. How was it fired? What kind of kiln?
  21. I like the moss. I have been thinking about growing it as well. I want to use it in my seed start mix with worm castings and compost too. I figure if I get it right I can create a seed mix that never needs to be fertilized from seed till in the ground. Of course, it is also beautiful to put over the roots of a bonsai.
  22. @LeeU I definitely think it is important to put a little bit of yourself in the work, and if it isn't something obvious then maybe a little explanation is okay. Isn't that why galleries require artist statements anyways? I think it probably is. We don't get artist statements that get read online usually, so it's best that we put a snippet of them in our product description. I could be very wrong about all this as I don't have a ton of experience with online sales of pottery. I have sold a high percentage of the total number of what I listed in a relatively quick period of time, so I guess that counts for something, but I don't have 1000's of sales to really have valid data about my ideas. It is probably also just as important to leave most of our ego out of the product as well. Let it speak for itself too, so its a balance between too much and too little.
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