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Posts posted by LeeU

  1. I am using all the pre-programmed settings on my L&L Easy Fire and have never once had anything go off track. I'm not in a position (some cognitive deficits) to fiddle much with math/science etc. and the fact that I can rely on my kiln to do its thing consistently (it is not old or worn) is a blessing. By using a highlighter and some stick-out tabs I can easily look up whatever program settings I need and follow along on the programmer. 

  2. On 2/7/2020 at 1:16 PM, CactusPots said:

    An arts and crafts hobby is the perfect foil for today's stress jobs.  As you build a retirement, you invest and improve to the point where you can have a functional engaged creative  life when the regular working life is over. 

    I think this is the heart (and soul and mind and body) of the matter, whether people making this kind of shift, or evolution, into a different type of work, a different expression of creativity, are particularly aware of it or not. Tho I suspect most people would have a sense of whether their stress is reduced and/or their creative bent is enhanced.  I agree w/Liam, the best thing would be doing what you want all along, and I deeply admire people who are able to pull that off.  What's that saying? Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life? On the other hand, "work" often gets a bad rap, when it is often not so much the work per se, but the trappings of any less than really good working environment. Bad conditions, bad bosses, bad pay, bad schedules, bad systems etc. can be so toxic and damaging that the work-a-day world can be hell (we'll see if the auto censor picks that up!).  I am so very grateful to have made it to retirement--the odds were high for a long time that I would not--so doing art/photography/claywork etc. now is just a pure delight, i.e. "a functional engaged creative life"!   

  3. My sister lived with the American Surrealist painter, Donald Nield, for many years, in NYC.  He died in '84 and she hauled his cremains around in a box for decades. Last summer she decided it was time to let go, and put most of the ashes into a ceramic jar. We buried it in the space he had reserved for himself at the Woodstock Artists Cemetery.  She kept some of the bone ash aside and made small flat ceramic pieces for people close to him. Hedgehogs! Here's mine.  Actually-Don is the one on the left and the other one is Larry, another very close friend from NY who passed during the time she was angsting over Nield's "burial" being a bit overdue.  I think the idea of having two such boxes laying around  goosed her into action.  I'm going to make myself a jar ahead of time,  and I have a spot in a cemetery in Roanoke, where the maternal side of the family is buried.  My friend will make some of my ash into  some simple ceramic object, and then bury it (when no one is looking) in the ground of the NY Public Library, near Patience and Fortitude, the lions.  Maybe I'll be a turtle.



  4. Somehow I missed this QotW when it was posted. I have a nice hot and cold water utility sink set into a large closet, next to my  shelves for glazes, in my home studio (aka former master bedroom).  I had a Gleco trap but for some reason my landlord decided he could do something just as effective at no charge and I could sell my trap.  So far so good!  It is such a blessing to be allowed to have a studio in a rented mobile home & a kiln on the back porch-properly wired/vented etc., that I don't mess with him when he wants to do something his way! Plus, amazingly,  they haven't raised my rent, so there is that. It is great not to have to haul water, that's for sure! 

  5. Well, look what I found in my in-box this morning! A wonderful bit of essential information  by Neil Estrick (one of the CAD Community Forums experts and moderators ) on how to wrangle the beast of burden that is getting your work to and fro, safely.  As always, Neil is a generous and knowledgeable resource for all-things-clay! 

    Screenshot (1967).png

  6. No food, since my studio is in my trailer (pardon me--mobile home) and I usually eat at my computer, in the living room.  In the studio, coffee, tea, water, always. Mostly coffee, and in my favorite mugs by Steven Zoldak (slip trailed) ,  Andy Hampton (genuine tea dust glaze), and my own. The red clay one gets the heavy traffic.   


  7. 22 hours ago, PD Murphy said:

    They come from the roof of "Castle In The Clouds" in Moultonborough NH.

    Wow---I am now ashamed to admit that I live in NH (Lakes Region) and have never been to Castle in the Clouds! I go through Moultonborough frequently, on my way to see friends in Conway. Will be rectifying that soon, for sure! PS-you mentioned "here in NH"--where 'bouts are you based?--just curious.

  8. On 1/20/2020 at 3:07 PM, neilestrick said:

    You can go to affordable state schools and still become a great artist. Find a school with decent facilities and a teaching staff that fits with your style and you'll do well.

    Hits the nail on the head! I must put in a plug for my ceramics education---a fantastic, high-quality state school, with top-notch facilities/instructors, the public, non-profit  Virginia Commonwealth University: School of the Arts.  https://arts.vcu.edu/     Do some research on it. Also, if you go to NCECA this year, it is being held in Richmond, which has a  deeply traditional and robust long-standing arts community.  https://www.visarts.org/nceca-2020/

  9. There are so many excellent resources. paid and for free, in person and online, for assistance with marketing and customer service. I like to remind people in the U.S. of  SCORE (formally the Service Corp of Retired Executives ) which has over 350 chapters throughout the country and provides outstanding, relevant, and substantial,  no-cost, consulting for small business owners & people like me (hobby biz).  Their help was crucial to what is now an effectively run  operation, however modest in scale.  

  10. On 1/18/2020 at 6:28 PM, liambesaw said:

    you are the material and the clay is the artist

    Precisely!!! And in my world, that is as it should be!  I have an affinity for Voulkos' observation about technique & having something to say--however one says it. Once I'd mastered those blasted 100 perfectly same, perfect cylinders I was DONE!!! My only consistency is in my inconsistency...which annoyingly enough loops right back around to consistency when seen as a cumulative body of work (mixed media),  even when I thought I had shaken it off. 

  11. Portland Supply is a nice little store, has an attached studio operation,  and also a  great healthy foods cafe right in the shop, which is fun!  They only carry 2 brands of clay and 4 of glazes-mainly Laguna, Standard & Amaco.   I go a few times a year, but  driving from central NH, I do almost as well having my clay/glazes shipped when I want other brands and my order is large enough.  Portland at times has items that are out of stock---I always call first to be sure they have what I'm looking for & they are very accommodating about getting & holding things.  Large orders definitely need a phone conversation well in advance, just to be safe.   You probably know about the Southern Maine Clay Guild, but there is also the New Hampshire Potters Guild, which is open to potters in other states-quite a few are from Maine.     https://www.nhpottersguild.org/  The dues are inexpensive and benefits include a Biennial Exhibition (next in 2021/we're planning it now).  Congratulations on the studio! 

  12. I remember trying vinegar instead of water a long time ago--no success--didn't work,  just as plain water doesn't--the joins needed slip. I use either slip , slip w/vinegar, or, for the best result, Peggy Heer's "Spooze". This stuff generally works miracles for me, when I  can justify a "repair" or just need a super tight join. Once it sets, it may need sanding to smooth it to "invisibility". Here is her recipe from an old post:

    Peggy Heer on sat 26 oct 96

    Hi ...SPOOZE recipe one more time.....

    1/3 dry clay body you are using
    1/3 vinegar, ordinary white kitchen vin.
    1/3 corn syrup, white or brown.
    A drop or 2 of peroxide, out of your bathroom cabinet. This is to keep the
    spooze from fermenting and giving off a real stink.
    Make thin by adding more of the corn syrup or vin. Make thicker by adding
    more of the dry clay body. The above rec. is only a base to start from.
    I use my dried trimmings for my spooze and have a S. jar for each clay body
    I use. Wash tools, brushes etc after using as the spooze will become cement
    like and is not good for tools and brushes if they are left. If left with
    out a good washing, soak in a cup of warm water till the spooze comes off.
    Have a fun, sticky time. ;>}}}
    As Always in Clay Peggy

  13. I don't have a huge inventory so I keep it in several large storage carts with deep drawers, or large totes.  Each piece has an item code and a reference photo that I keep on a spreadsheet, assigned to broad categories, i.e catchalls, bowls, desk top items, wall pieces etc. I can look on the spreadsheet for what I want and go straight to the labeled container it's stored in. Works for me! 

  14. A little more info would be helpful. Is this a clay studio or a paint-your-own facility? Assuming your kiln is electric, what temps/cones are you going to be firing to? You say the kiln needs "love"--what exactly do you mean & what kind of kiln is it? You should be able to re-hydrate the clay but you need to know what they are--low, mid, or high fire bodies? I'd definitely have conversations with the glaze distributors for products that old...make a list from the label info so you can tell them exactly what you have.  What a project-sounds like a great opportunity.

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