drmyrtle got a reaction from Oddisgood in Another Newbie Question
Just to be clear, plaster molds are dynamic tools. By this I (we, see above) mean that a plaster mold does more than form the shape, but also absorbs moisture from the slip or clay. Using any oil substance (WD40, Vaseline, silicone-a non carbon oil-, etc) will ruin your mold for absorption by blocking the surface 'pores'. As you cannot bisque plaster, the oil stays in your mold. Murphys soap will not block the plaster, and is ideal when making the mold, but not necessary when using the mold.
For non plaster molds, others here have much more experience. I prefer using cornstarch lightly dusted on the non porous surface, or even strips of paper. IMO, WD40 is a toxic solvent, and shouldn't be casually used in your processes.
P.s. Old lady, the white paint anecdote may explain the disappearance of a dark cat, and the appearance of a calico in the neighborhood...
drmyrtle reacted to Mark C. in Stoneware Hanging Planters
I used to stack them up larger to smaller about 4 to a pile and would glaze all but the bottoms so they would not stick. As time went by(the 70's) I glazed all parts except the bottom where the foot is. I think they held up better outside as the glaze would keep water out and no freeze thaw issues-the body was a tight one.
A pot is stronger with glaze on inners and outers as well.
drmyrtle reacted to rayaldridge in That Moment When You Realize You're Going In A New Direction
I have to agree with Nerd on this. Don't hammer good pots, even if they're not what you want most to make. If someone loves them, gift them or give them to Goodwill. There aren't enough good handmade pots in the world, and those that do exist cost someone time and money and effort to create.
Joseph, there is nothing at all wrong with quiet pots. As I alluded to in my initial post, my favorite potters are makers of quiet pots. Currently my favorite contemporary potter is Richard Batterham. Clearly he is an esthetic descendant of Bernard Leach,though he is a much better and stronger artist than Leach, in my opinion.
One of the problems with ceramics as an art form is that clay is so protean. It can be made to look like anything; there are almost no intrinsic limitations on what can be done in the field. Limitations, in my opinion, are what make it possible for great artists to exceed the expectations inherent in an art form. As an example, I had many years of flirtation with another art form that is almost defined by its stringent limitations... stained glass. The windows I designed and built probably were better examples of actual art than anything I've done in clay, but as an iconoclastic designer, my windows were looked upon with varying degrees of horror by the art establishment. The most ambitious of my windows were built around science fiction concepts (which was helpful to me when I became a sf writer) and were blatantly erotic in intent. I had more than one gallery showing taken down right after hanging due to outrage among the locals.
So with clay, we have to make our own limitations, because intrinsic limitations really don't exist. One of mine is functionality, and I have a much narrower definition of that than many other potters. If it can't be used in the kitchen, or in some other aspect of daily life, I'm not interested. So that self-imposed limitation pares away a huge segment of the ceramic oevre-- no purely sculptural forms for me. No concept art, no art for the sake of art alone.
In a lot of ways, the process of becoming someone with a personal artistic vision is the process of establishing the limitations you want to accept.
For anyone who is interested, a window called "Purple Slavery."
drmyrtle reacted to ChenowethArts in Claywork While Going Thru Chemo
@Diz I'd go with John's counsel on this...much better to make a professionally advised decision than depend on advice from even the well-meaning people here on the forum.
From my experience in my own family, toxicology isn't the only challenge. Chemo can completely suck the energy out of an individual making it difficult to do even basic things that involve arm/hand movement. It may not be an issue with your friends, but just be aware that limits shouldn't become a demoralizing influence (i.e. biting off more than they can handle at first).
Sculpey may be another option for small projects. If nothing else, it would be easier to identify the physical make-up of the material to share with a physician...and it lends itself well to small projects and easy clean-up.
Count me in that camp that considers (safe) clay work to be good therapy,
drmyrtle reacted to oldlady in Please Help A Frustrated Newbie
it really is hard to explain in terms a non-potter can understand. do not lift the clay. put the clay on a small support, a board or something it can then dry on top of. do not try to peel it off of whatever it is on. let it sit and dry thoroughly for days if necessary. do not disturb the print at all.
once it is totally dry, you can remove it from the board and fire it. talk to a potter about this.
drmyrtle reacted to Chris Campbell in Bathroom Tiles
Then I guess a good question to ask you is ... how much clay experience do you have? Have you ever made flat tiles before?
If you are comfortable with slab work, go for it and have fun.
If you have never made tiles before ... well, it might be a long time before your tiles are ready to install ... but worth it if it is what you want to do and you are willing and able to wait.
A great reference book is "Handmade tiles" by Frank Gorgini.
drmyrtle got a reaction from Min in Thumb Injury
Simple things to consider:
Try taping the thumb that hurts to the rest of your hand. It's one thing to "try not" to use it, vs. "not able" to use it. Awkward, but it works by forcing you to use everything else but your thumb. If tape adhesive bothers your skin, put a non-latex glove on your hand, then tape that together as above. I suppose a plastic bag would do the same, but the goal is only to trap the thumb, not your whole hand. If you're throwing more than 7-8lbs of clay, use the butt of your left hand (clay spinning counterclockwise) while holding your thumb out of the way with your right hand. Think of "persuading" the clay, rather than forcing it, since you'll have no counterbalance. Also think of putting the force down towards the wheel head and curling under it with your left palm. When the load is centered, tape your thumb as above. (There are probably videos of this technique on the intertoobs.) Get an ice pack, and ice your thumb (where it hurts) after you throw whether it *hurts* or not. Be super careful not to freeze your skin, by keeping some type of cloth between the ice bag and your skin. This just helps back the swelling process off just a tad. If this injury continues, play with gentle heat if that feels better. Massage the muscles all over your hand, fingers, palm, etc. including the wrist. Enlist helpful beings if necessary. Dogs with big tongues can be helpful (I suggest Newfoundlands, but I'm partial, and they're so handy for me.) Finally, although no one has mentioned this I think, strongly consider getting a referral to an Occupational Therapist from your doc. OTs deal with hand issues, and they can give you more in depth information about exercises to counter balance the weaknesses that have caused this. (Don't be surprised that they start working on exercises for your shoulders; it's very likely that you are overusing your thumb because the general strength in your arms and shoulders is inadequate for wheel throwing.) It's worth paying for a session for the exercises, do's and dont's that they dispense, and way easier than getting shots or surgery, depending on the diagnosis.
drmyrtle reacted to email@example.com in Fusing Glass With Clay
I make spoon rests (small, flat dishes) and melt various bottle glass in them; at cone 6 Brown beer bottles are generally too dark (Shiner seems a little lighter than average), but green generally works great and wine bottles have a whole spectrum of colors. A couple of notes:
1: It's gonna crackle. Pretty, but not particularly food-safe. I wouldn't use if for anything you're going to eat out of.
2: The inbound color is not necessarily what you end up with. Sometimes it changes substantially; I saw this a lot with the little glass floral marbles, less so with bottle glass, which is one reason I switched..
3: Everything I've tried at cone 6 melts pretty thoroughly. I break up the bottles in a metal bucket with a sledghammer used vertically and get the pieces to under 1/2". Wear safety glasses and gloves!!! I store the glass in jars and just pour an appropriate amount from the jar into the piece. Bigger pieces iof glass are more dangerous, but they all melt into a puddle.
4: Don't overfill your piece. Glass on your shelves is bad, very bad, m'kay?.
5: I generally use a glaze under the glass, usually white. The glass doeesn't seem to wet the bare clay as well and you can end up with irregular edges to your puddle, which is less attractive.
6: Using clear glass with a strongly colored glaze underneath can be interesting. The glass can pick up colorant from the glaze; cobalt is a good example.
7: Texture under the glass looks great. Spirals, concentric circles, etc show up well and look great; I generally shoot for about an eighth of an inch deptth.
drmyrtle got a reaction from AnitaMarie in What To Do With All My Early Pieces?
Current things that mess up in the glaze firing meet what I call "the hammer of under-performance". ;> Do warn people in shared studios "...something is breaking but nothing is wrong...", or you'll have a couple of people climb up the walls unexpectedly. However, a long time ago, I realized that by the end of each year, completely functional stuff without flaws was tucked here and there in the house and garage. The solution to clearing this out was to put ridiculously low prices on it, and sell it through a December high school ceramics department sale as a consigner. I never put bad stuff in that sale. That way, the HS gets money for their program, I do almost nothing, and my space is cleaned out for the non-sellers in the next year.
drmyrtle reacted to Babs in Dippers, I Need Glazing Ideas For Many, Many Bowls
I remember a short clip of a potter glazing bowls by swinging a pendulum in an orbit above the bowls onto which a glaze trailer was attached. Like Mathews, glaze your bowl and place them close in a square or circular patten, fill a couple of glaze trailers and whoosh them randomly over the bowls. A family of bowls should emerge....
Also I f you haven't already waxed the bottoms, you may be able to save on glaze and time by just glazing the interiors and dipping outsides to part way down the sides, leaving an area free of glaze.
I am not familiar with the Empty Bowl appeal?? what is it about Oldlady?
drmyrtle reacted to Chris Campbell in What To Do With All My Early Pieces?
#One perfect solution is to stop firing everything ... Do some serious editing before you bisque fire pots because nothing that happens after is going to make an iffy pot better.
#Two is hammer & goggles ... Let your stressed out friends have a go at it too. Share the fun. Share the shards with gardening friends .. Shards spread around a flower bed will discourage small animals from getting close and munching plants.
#Three ... Build a wall with them
#Four ... Toss them out.
drmyrtle got a reaction from Val in Is There A Name For This Glaze Technique
Hmm. While that might indeed be the technique, not one line, one circle, one edge is out of place. No overlapping glaze anywhere. The form is also supernaturally round as well.
This makes me think that it wasn't "free-hand" painted at all. Sure maybe the colors were filled in, maybe..., but it couldn't be a hand glazed work entirely because I don't see any evidence of hand-work; glaze moves too much and hands are too unsteady.
I think if I wanted to work at recreating this, I'd have to mold the thing, with circular indentations as a part of the model, perhaps working off of something that was very circular like a plastic ball. Then take little ring cutters to the cast (for the perfection of the circle, again). Recast that. Practice a million times on drawing black resist in the cast circular channels, then apply the color inside of circular barriers so that my stroke-n-coat trailer didn't wander outside of the black lines. Spend a decade cleaning channels if need be.
The Islamic tile at the Met is quite variable in pattern and application. It's brilliantly done, but not "perfect".
drmyrtle reacted to ChenowethArts in Community Challenge #4
These in-progress images are inspiring!
@Sue Edwards The major handle on your piece makes such a strong statement! Would you consider doing something more understated for the side handles? If you did any sort of texturing or sgraffito (in the traditional/historic hydria sense) to accent the elegant handle it would be plenty (that's just a thought, not a criticism).
@drmyrtle I am intrigued by your treatment of the mouth of your vessel. It has a sensual quality that is just super cool!
drmyrtle got a reaction from Don Kopyscinski in Jiggering Conundrum...help With Crack!?
Could someone comment about wedging? Those cracks are all over the place (not consistent s cracks, for example), and made me wonder if the pre-existing planes from machine pugging are simply showing as they dry. I think if I simply sliced off of a block of clay and wrapped it on a form, I'd get the same effect. Those edges also give me the heebie-geebies; I'd at least wax them to slow down their drying. Not to mention cutting them clean before letting them dry and warp.
Anyone have an opinion?
drmyrtle reacted to ernie in Jiggering Conundrum...help With Crack!?
I wanted to sincerely thank everyone for their feedback on this topic, especially David Woodin for encouraging us to stay the course but just adjust things slightly. We look forward to digging up his thesis on jiggering from GW and reading through it with a fine toothed comb.
We adjusted the jigger arm ever-so-slightly (quarter turn of the screw) to make the thickness of the rim uniform to the rest of the plate (change-1). We then slab-rolled the clay (change-2) rather than taking it straight off the block from the manufacturers and cut them close to our form with a template (change-3). After jiggering we covered them for ~12 hours with plastic (change-4). After the 12 hours we uncovered them to dry and let them come off on their own (change-5), carefully monitoring them to make sure to pop them off as quickly as possible without prying them off (change-6). We then set them face-side down rather than foot-side down (change-7) being that the face of the plate was cracking. This I believe provided some additional covering to let the piece dry uniformly from the thickest part at the foot.
And...voila!! Not a one crack throughout the whole batch. Thank you all for such kind help and advice!!! We're delivering 200 of these to Panama in the next few weeks. The restaurant will be happy that they have plates that are not cracked...bonus! And...we have learned a ton in the process.