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Everything posted by LeeU

  1. In addition to having a kiln that will low fire (ex. 04-05) AND med-fire (ex. 5-6) it is worth it in the long run to assure it is large enough for the larger (wide and/or tall or odd-shaped) work. However, it is possible to go too big (ask me how I know this LOL). Try to estimate the cubic feet needed to fill the kiln without having to wait too long to produce enough wares for a firing.
  2. Becasue I live in a rented mobile home I am not allowed to have any traffic at all and no sales from my location. The master bedroom has been converted and outfitted as my studio & the enclosed back porch is my kiln room. They are nice, tho small, environments, well laid out, and I have all the usual cool stuff of any functioning studio. It's frustrating because I know absolutely that I would do really great if I could have mini-tours/sale days right here. There's enough room open on the back porch and rear deck that I could do a great display. I have inventory, but no ready outlet for it that doesn't involve way (way) too much work on my part to get it where it would have to go--just not up for it. My daughter might help me set up an Etsy store, but even that seem like too much hassle at this particular juncture in my life. I seem to be treading water at the moment. I may do a down & dirty pop-up yard sale with my "smalls" as part of the stuff (we can't have yard sales either, but if it was up & gone real fast-just a few hours & no road signs-only an online ad- I'd probably be OK). I used to go to studios/kiln openings before the pandemic but I'm not willing to chance it (personal risk factors) until the Delta factor plays out & we see whether the vaccines loose effectiveness around 6 months, as is possible.
  3. This discussion is exactly the type I was hoping people would engage in under the post I started in this Forum titled What Were You Thinking? I went to Mike's website and really liked what I found. I "get it" . @ Hulk-there is an article there on function & emotion.
  4. My output is so minimal that bulk purchase does me no good, and yet, of course, the shipping on small orders is beyond do-able. I've had clay arrive so late (by more than a month) that I missed a production deadline. All the prices are creeping up. I have to drive to another state to get anything from a pottery supplier-one is is in ME & one is in MA. Auto gas is up and the electric bill for the kiln is now very discernable-it used to be quite modest. The primary outlet that carried my "smalls" had great tourist traffic & did live online shopping, but effective the end of June, it failed as a new business and and is now closed. Other than all of the above, things are just peachy-keen.
  5. I get the scotch brite-type pot scrubber pads-very thin-from the dollar store & cut them for various clean up/edging purposes-magic eraser, dampened & then & wrung out works well too
  6. just cuz "slump & hump" sounds so cool & simple, is my guess you are slumping the clay into the concave & humping it over the convex; I use light coconut oil on a cotton ball or cornstarch-so no sticking. I use all kinds of materials for half rounds (and other forms) & then bisque the clay molds-polished/smooth wood forms actually work well
  7. I can relate to that, due to age and body issues & doing less production (which for me was not much in the first place/small hobby biz). However, gotta say that to obtain it as you have described sounds like a royal PITA--would it be worth it? As far as the QotW, I have everything I need or want, other than someone to do my reclaim/wedging for me!
  8. None for me, either. I use Vermont's Original Bag Balm (yes, the stuff for cow udders) which is hydroxy quinoline in a petrolatum lanolin base--amazing stuff. But don't get it on bisque-I wear gloves if I need to.
  9. I do the same as Old Lady--in fact it was she who turned me on to single-fire. I very rarely bisque anymore-only if a decorative technique requires it or if I'm going into a community kiln or for a raku fire. You might look up Steven Hill and articles in Ceramics Monthly archives for more info.
  10. I got the L&L 23-S, which is a shorter kiln, and Thermal Light half shelves that are super easy to get in and out. I like the half shelves for flexibility-the kiln has a large capacity so I can do all kinds of varied shelf heights for a mix of different types of pieces, from flat smalls to bead racks to tall vases etc. in the same load.
  11. I primarily use mid-fire commercial clay bodies & glazes from mainstream manufacturers such as Amoco/Coyote/Laguna/Highwater/Sheffield/Standard etc. and have not had any problems whatsoever with clay-glaze fit. I mix it all up and 99% of the time love the result. If you jot down what you used/what you did, if you run into issues you'll have a head start on figuring out what went wrong. Or what to do to duplicate that happy accident! Update--I should add that to some degree I just luck out, re: common commercial bodies/glazes & good fit & lack of (so far) other issues. It is important to know the chemistry in the first place, even if one chooses to take the easier, softer way of pre-made materials. A lot of community classes are woefully lacking in teaching ceramic science and just steer newbies & hobby potters to commercial products & very simple group electric firings, without providing a sound foundation for working in clay. Education is everything!
  12. What are the brown speckles on the white glaze? Me, I'd want to just harness the effect and use it "as is"....love it!
  13. When I retired from my day job, I had 3 choices for my "pay out" of accrued vacation/sick leave etc.: save for the inevitable rainy day; go to Europe to visit art/culture centers like Italy/Germany/France (I've never never been north of Maine) or; make myself a studio. My big treat for myself was buying new equipment-I am a wizard at saving money & have no problem with used/repurposed stuff, but this represented what I had put on the back burner for over 40 years, so brand new it was! Highest costs were my L&L 23s kiln, the Brent ie-X wheel, and my Bailey table top slab roller. Equally expensive was changing the big bedroom into a studio and the back porch into a kiln room, with proper electric, running water, floor covering, & lighting. Even tho I am not doing as much now & the body & brain are resisting a bit, it is still the best money I ever spent!
  14. The only time I sit is for glazing and only in time limited sessions. I stand for everything else (no longer do much wheelwork, tho if I do I use a chair). My body prefers that I stand, but even that not for too too long. I get consistent bi-weekly chiropractic adjustments and that has been a life-saver for being able to keep working at all! I did not know this was possible, but the chiro has even reduced--yes, reduced--some arthritis in my left shoulder that was restricting my neck movement! The other major assist was getting the Thermal-lite shelves for my large L&L short kiln, so I can load/unload the shelves with relative ease now.
  15. Stephen Branfman is also an expert in Raku; his book Mastering Raku is excellent https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/ican/portfolio/branfman-steven/
  16. Be prepared for a variety of color changes when firing 05/06 to 5/6. Many will wash out or become muddy-ish. Some will stay true, but ya never know. Check the product detailed info on the manufacturer's site AND on the suppliers' sites, because they do not always match. The better labels and descriptions will tell you something like "this 05/06 deep purple becomes pale pink at 5/6".
  17. No, and it is not food safe. This Facebook group may also be of help. AMACO Cone 5/6 Exchange
  18. The Not Broken piece is still greenware, with no glaze yet. It will likely be quite colorful. Primal will not look starkly red and black as it does now-the "reds" are iron rich glazes--could be copper, merlot, rutile??-no idea--I deliberately don't take notes & never can remember what I used after I've made my choices. I like how the "reds" come across & I was tempted to wash them off and actually use some red/red browns, but I am restraining my self. Serendipity awaits.
  19. I incorporate silence & secrets in my work; sometimes rather than provoking a hint of mystery, it runs the risk of just making no sense to the viewer. I tend to be more in need of self-gratification than external communication, however, and I need to appreciate that people are not mind readers. A bit of explanation from the creator can't do any harm! For the No. 8 Not Broken mask, the print block design is a spin off of "energy" from making a previous mask, No. 7 Primal (pictured below-unfinished, waiting to be refired). Assault survivors are often marked (imprinted: psychologically/physically) by the weapons used on them. Rather than incising the residue of stabbings or burns, I did the edges that way (whacking the clay with an object at hand) to thinly represent one attribute of tribal behavior-domination of one/more over another/others.
  20. I think Callie covered much of the territory in dispute of this nonsensical assertion. Lemme guess---made by a semi-arrogant, fairly patronizing, guy who also told you you were being a dilatant. (Opps-that wasn't about your experience, that was about mine!!) When I brought my painter/graphic designer self into the world of ceramics, I got squashed flat by the educational belief that there was only one correct scientific/technically sound way to produce "credible" ceramic work. I totally agree it is essential to learn and know and be able "to do it right". However, once a decent standard is attained, I felt free to fly, no matter what anyone thought about such deviant behavior. Choosing to go off script is not the same as knowing nothing and remaining ignorant while claiming to "do ceramics" or "play with clay" (hate that phrase!). I invite you over to a new topic I just posted in Studio Operations and Making Work: "What Were You Thinking". I posted it hoping to jump start a thread about intention, expertise, what makes the cut in retail, what flaws should never be put out there, serendipity, happy accidents, aesthetics, rules & breaking them etc. There's a thread in this same forum, "Question about alternative finishes for ceramics & acceptance by ceramic artists" that may be of interest.
  21. This is the No. 8 Not Broken piece today-it is indeed already "lighter" in affect, and that is a deliberative part of my process for this mask. When done, it will be more uplifting, bright and pretty rather than sad or gloomy. The edges are no longer so fragile, rough, and craggy, but are smooth and more curved/fluid. The outline reflects the reality that while survivors can emerge from brokenness to thrive, and perhaps attain joy in their lives. The point is to not deny what has occurred and the physical/psychological imprint that may be permanent. This one will be donated for a silent auction fundraiser for a women's shelter. The other one, on the bottom, is a memorial piece I made in personal response to a friend's suicide. It is HMS No. 3 Secrets. It was part of a community mourning event, in reaction to his passing (he was a widely known artist/photographer). So---that's some of what I was thinking!
  22. We have discussions scattered all over the forums about aesthetics, philosophy, deliberate and unintentional technical flaws, art vs craft, the role of things like 3D printers, paint vs glaze and so forth. What we think when we are creating our pieces is quite interesting, but not discussed a whole lot, it seems. I hope this is related to Making Work. If it belongs elsewhere I trust the mods will move it! Anyway, I was reading bits of discussions about these aspects of making work and was thinking about my own focal points as related to creativity, self-expression, archetypes, metaphors, serendipity (that's a biggie) and other attributes of how I do my thing. Today's gleanings from the posts that I read had to do with flaws or failed techniques & what can go to market and what really should not see the light of a retail day or even be given to a friend. I laughed at a comment related to a hairline crack. I had just spent the morning gouging into some cracks in a drying piece, seeing how hard I could work it before loosing what I was going for. So-the pics are the beginning of the next piece in my Hidden Mask series, No. 8 Not Broken. I use clay to represent certain things in life--sometime very clear, sometimes very obscure. So, what was I thinking? In this case, I was thinking about a battered woman I once knew, who survived severe physical/emotional abuse & trauma, and how she may be cracked, but she is not broken. When you make something---what are you thinking?????
  23. I am laughing right now because my reputation depends on selling work with cracks! I'm posting today's new piece in this forum under "What Were You Thinking?
  24. Just curious----what is the clay body, what cone/temp, and what color does it fire out to? The wet color is gorgeous.
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