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Everything posted by LeeU

  1. This topic was retired years ago...maybe post a query in Studio Operations and Making Work.
  2. This should be fun and interesting---only 3 hours from me, in central NH, so I'll get to see it.
  3. What Bill said--I have had no luck/success at all trying to find "an easier, softer way" ---with few exceptions (not including intentional experimentation or deliberate applications for artistic purposes)--- my attempts to use materials outside of their tested, identified boundaries have usually gone down a dead end.
  4. Books are essential and imperative! For retention, ease of looking something up, tactile pleasure, art history/historical and modern ceramics images that I can revisit easily, and the best in-house source for well-rooted wisdom. My go-to's are textbooks from the '70's: Rhodes' Clay and Glazes for the Potter and Lawrence's Ceramic Science for the Potter. Add in Branfman/Raku, Miller/Surface Design, Tristram/Single Fire, & Pitkelka/Studio Handbook and I have more than I need for today's endeavors. Videos are fun, but I get quickly bored and have no retention. I do use the good ones (as Chilly notes) for a visual overview where actual hands-on images are helpful. For images of contemporary art & ceramic art/craft the Internet is invaluable.
  5. If you note the detail and technical info in all the above responses, you will see that claywork is not intended to be a quick and easy process that will require very little proper training and education. Some of the community studio rental/fee-based spaces are not designed to provide correct and comprehensive ceramics instruction. As a business, they are offering a somewhat limited opportunity to make things and get them fired, usually with a number of restrictions necessary to accommodate highly varied groups and levels of expertise. Some owners (reasonably) don't want to provide their customers with a free education and hours of instruction that may have cost them thousands of dollars and many years to learn for themselves. Becoming proficient with the chemistry and other ins & outs of claywork takes time, money, lots of trial & error, a hefty dose of pain of some sort (guaranteed) and ideally, one's own kiln and studio space. That doesn't have to be fancy if you are not into volume/production/a commercial livelihood. Mine is in an unused bedroom w/a kiln on the back porch. Being able to control my clay, glazes, firing schedule/type makes all the difference in the world. My area did not have a community studio adequate for my purposes. If you are serious about ceramics, don't settle. But if you can't or don't want to make the investment (time/money) that is actually required, then either accept/adapt to what you do have access to, or perhaps find another creative outlet that is more realistic. Not trying to sound discouraging-just pragmatic.
  6. Even with low production I may need to check it out. I used my white board like that, divided into rectangles w/lists & check-offs & notes. Now I use it to keep my muscles toned. See pics LOL.
  7. As Old Lady noted, some specificity is needed. Are you referring to decals? There are several main types and the applications are varied. Instructions for using differ as well, so look first to whether you used the right decal for the purpose and applied it correctly. A photo would help, and a name/description of the product used. You also might say what it is about the "way it looks" that you do not like. Include the glaze cone & the firing temp/cone.
  8. I have an L&L EZ Fire and would be lost without the wonderful selection of pre-programs that are clearly described and explained in the manual. If I were doing more than I am or different items I would set custom schedules but I simply have no need to at this time. I've found the pre-sets to be accurate and consistent, and still with some flexibility (hold times, fast or slow glaze, for example). The computerization really makes my life easier and keeps things simple.
  9. My cut & slam set up is portable. My studio is in a former bedroom in my trailer, but I can move the station anywhere. Mine is a bit heavy because the guy who made it for me (as a freebie) chose a steel plate for the base, but it does the job superbly. I use cut & slam all the time and dislike wedging anyway.
  10. Yes--bags!! Locally I couldn't get my usual small blue bags for the street art event I was in, a few weeks ago (sized for tea light holders, pendants etc.). I still can't get some colors I prefer to use from my regular online sources. Looking for anything Halloween related is already too late-the shelves are empty and people are already snatching up supplies coming in for Christmas, right off the stocking carts. Saw that today when I was looking for autumn colors for tissue or little boxes/bags for my smalls---not happening! I don't need huge quantities, so sometimes not needing wholesale/bulk works out OK, like for plain white tissue, from the local Dollar Store. I've got enough clay & glaze but I am hearing from others (here in NH) who also deal in smaller quantities that they can't get certain popular commercial glazes...lots of backorders.
  11. I reach the 404 error message upon hitting the Join button, regardless of the route of access to the website (I am not a member) ---so it is probably just that the internal link for new applicants is not connected yet, as Min noted.
  12. Well, "T", the truth of the matter is you probably have zero chance of duplicating a glazing process that complex--I bet even our seasoned long-term professionals might have a tough time with figuring that one out and then duplicating it. Good luck--hope you post more about what you're doing with your ceramics.
  13. My challenge is to be more attentive to constructing an intentional palette in the first place. I gravitate to favorite combos and then sometimes just get spontaneous with whatever strikes my fancy at the moment. I make plans to develop a couple of palette schemes, and cut out glaze swatches from catalogues or print them out from web sites and tack them up on my inspiration board...and usually never look at them again.
  14. Well, Primal came out looking less exciting than I hoped so I am going for a refire. Not Broken broke a little bit again and did not get the super colorful treatment I'd planned---I decided to keep it simple. Here is the finished wall piece.
  15. Pleased with myself--had a good time peddling my wares at the First Friday Art Walk, Portland, Maine, a sidewalk event held on the main drag near the fine art museum.   No registration fee, no tent required, close-in parking, & I had a helper!  

    1. Denice


      I am happy you had a good day,  you deserve a rest.   Denice

    2. JohnnyK


      Way to go, Lee! Any day you can sell a piece of  your work is a good day, especially when there's no overhead and a lot of exposure :)

  16. I'd put money saved on gas for a distance I probably would get tired of real quick into hours I could book nearby at my convenience--getting out and doing something is better than staying in and doing nothing. I make decent small items that I can peddle locally and that helps me at lease break even. Personally I can't stand unanswered questions-I'd rather get a "sorry, no time to answer, try someone/somewhere else" than dead silence. There's a lot of inadequate-poor-just plain wrong-info about claywork on the Internet /FB, as well as "taught" in some community studios, but I can trust the recommendations found here, especially for online resources like specific workshops/videos. For me, since I am not into production or making money, my best approach is to keep it simple and just have some fun while I explore & learn whatever it is I'm focusing on.
  17. I am so tempted to just write "Run, Forest, run". Long silent pause. But, OK, I'll play. 1. Unless you have zero debt and zero money concerns, determine a realistic budget strictly for the studio and it's operations. 2. Include all things ceramic, such as related travel, major & minor supplies, overhead, fees for participation in exhibits/craft fairs/conferences/local potters guild etc. 3. Set the financial projections up for about 3 years--it will take that long to see what the real expense is for your mode of claywork is going to cost you. 4. If by now you're saying to yourself but it's "just a hobby", run, Forest, run. 5. Stick to the budget and if it is not working, don't delay making the necessary adjustments. I check my budget monthly to see if I'm on track, and I enter expenses when they occur--not 3 weeks later when I can't remember what I got or what I paid, and I've lost the receipt (which should be in a file but sometimes isn't).
  18. Unless of course you make some of your living by selling beautifully glazed tea light holders! (Could not resist. )
  19. I'll second that emotion (or rather the emotion that comes with overthinking). I was quite relieved when I learned in art school that "Less Is More" is a thing.
  20. You do not say whether this is solely a kiln room or a studio w/kiln. Personally I think 10' x 16' is large enough for a small well organized studio & a modest kiln. Judicious choices and placement of shelving and storage will give you plenty of room for a non-production enterprise. If it is more than just kiln usage I'd want water if possible.
  21. I use the protected porch year round, except the wheel must be moved inside in deep winter if I want to use it then- -tho I mostly hand build. I think Callie notes the best solution-build an insulated enclosure outside against one wall of the pool house, for the kiln
  22. I started out very focused, learned the basics quite well--got a good comprehensive ceramics education (and a BFA in crafts). Then I became engaged with experimental techniques/more sculptural work, while still in VCU art school. (I was going to out-Voulkus Voulkus, don'tcha know). It became a moot point when I took a detour into a 25 Y career in the addiction treatment field. I thought it would be short lived, because voc rehab was willing to bankroll my Master's if I committed to working in public service for a few years. I turned out to be very good at specialized program design & getting federal grant funding, so ceramics went into the attic to gather dust. After I retired (State Planner in Behavioral Health for NH DHHS) I constructed my little studio in my trailer (bedroom & back porch). However, I have lost so much ability (physical/cognitive) that I can't get back to where I once was. So, my present place is some "other direction". At the moment, I'm just looking to satisfy myself and make enough (local smalls of the home decor variety) to break even, which I am finally doing. Probably the most consistent thread from then to now is I am continuing my Hidden Mask series, which I started back in '81.
  23. I just around to this post since I don't do shows, but am always interested in food. OMG--Soylent Green...the movie!! I saw it when it came out in '73 and it was fairly horrifying! It made entirely too much sense, as a possibility, especially after reading things like Brave New World, Animal Farm , 1984 etc. in H.S.
  24. I'm in central NH--it gets around 2-20 in deep winter. I use a small ceramic heater or oil-filled radiator for my ceramic work on my back porch (10 X 12-but only about half is dedicated to claywork & my kiln). The screened porch is sealed with restaurant patio-quality clear vinyl . Snow & rain can drift in a bit and of course winter is very cold here but it is workable even in February with the small heater. I just can't use the wheel out there from Jan-early March. Personally I like shelving & storage to be lightweight and/or have wheels so I can change configurations as needed. Stacking totes are also my friend. I use a folding utility table w/Hardie Backer on it and have the same for safety underneath the kiln, an L&L 23s, vented to the outside. I fire year round. What fun you're gonna have!!
  25. My daughter was just diagnosed with this last week, after being dismissed for years by practitioners who told her to just put on a sweater, some people just get a bit colder (her "bit colder" was almost debilitating; being discounted over & over didn't help any. @Hulk--I'm gonna pass along the tip about cutting the socks for extra warmth on the ankles.
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