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TwinRocks

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Everything posted by TwinRocks

  1. Is the regulator a nessasary part, I see they sell them with and without?
  2. Ah, I see. A dapping iron might do it, but that could also dull the edge at the same time. The k27 looks like it might be shaped more like what you are describing but it's hard to tell from photos, the Cls is sort of spoon like but might be too wide. I sometimes use a cheap set of Japanese block printing gouges for scgraffito, they are pretty much the same as a Speedball linoleum cutter, but the blades are heartier in my opinion & they hone easily with a slip strop. Might be a pleasing alternative to try before finding a custom tool?
  3. I use some old Gare clean up tools that sounded similar to what your describing but the blade is rather wide. I looked at Georgies website because I knew Kemper made a version of the tool I use and I think the dcl, dcs, and k26 look like a more "claw like" version of the blade in various sizes. Hopefully helpful? http://www.georgies.com/gcc-shop-tool-ceramic.shtml
  4. Not a big fan of the porcelain stilts either. A lot of the time the fine points are already broken off, and if you reuse them, you have a thicker nub stuck in the glaze so they are pretty much one time use. I went back to dry foot, some with glaze inside the footring. I've also had pieces drift a little on stilts, leaving the mark off to the side rather than centered...looks terrible.
  5. Alcohol wipes will also take sharpie off a smooth surface, and they are cheap.
  6. I haven't used a reader recently, but I've noticed when using a chip card to pay the transactions take at least twice as long regardless of the retailer, even with it plugged into a line. It's clunky technology at this point.
  7. Georgies is great! Id bet the hot water is to dissolve the gum Arabic, it's the same thing used as binder for watercolor paint and can be bought in liquid form from any well stocked art supply shop but then you don't know the dilution compared to the recipe. Since it is syrupy, I'd assume that's why some other other variations use corn syrup...the kitchen cupboard is easy to raid! I am glad I saw this thread, I'd thought about trying a commercial greenware mender but since the pieces I have are just rim chips this sounds more practical...usually I just scrap broken pieces, but I have two that I invested 4+ hours each in carving, so I'll see if this works for porcelain since I've got nothing to lose since right now the effort is for naught anyway!
  8. I couldn't help with the warping, but I know Georgies carries non-metallic stilts that are supose to be able to go all the way to cone 10. They would leave stilt marks though.
  9. I made my kids some name mugs when I started throwing again. I used a set of alphabet stamps ($1 bin at Target, already had them around) and just stamped into the wet clay. I brushed a dark glaze into their names, then wiped it back and covered the pieces in a paler color of glaze. Worked just fine, used Georgies cone 6 glazes on one of their clay bodies (I've tried almost all of their mid range clays, pretty sure I was using G-mix at the time though). Carving through wax resist does get a nice crisp line though! It's important to be honest with yourself about how much time you want to invest in this type of request though. If it was a piece for a wedding or birth, hand carved lettering would be a nice way to elevate the work. Name items? I'd stick with stamping, but that is just my point of view. Stamps can also be used to add decorative motifs, and either left plain (just a recessed design) or filled with a contrasting stain, underglaze or slip.
  10. The rough foot thing seems moot to me: if you are concerned for the surface of your furniture, you should be using coasters, placemats or trays regardless of how smooth or rough the pottery is to protect the surfaces from heat, moisture and staining. Even though a lot of my parents furniture was litterally found in allies (or otherwise rough antiques), there was always a couple of coasters where ever someone might place a cup...and woe be the soul who didn't use them!
  11. Straw and pixies made me think of Pixie Stix: an alternative to offering salt or sake? Maybe it would end up an offering to studio ants instead of kiln gods!
  12. Part of the oil bottle vs mug thing would also the mental comparison to mass produced retail items. With dollar stores and big boxes, an array of mugs can be had for $5 or less. Sure, a handmade mug adds to the coffee experience, but most people are too precious: they would fear chipping a $60 mug and would rather buy and cast aside a dozen junk mugs than drink from one good one. Imports ruin consumers. An oil bottle isn't as common, yet it is an item most cooks would like to have. A plain ceramic cruet from a big retailer is $20-30, decorated ones are even more...and they tend to be low fire pottery that crazes, turning that pricey olive oil rancid in a hurry! I can see how a quality, handcrafted oil bottle could sell like hot cakes compared to a mug of the same price. For table items, the buyer isn't looking at an item from the same angle as us: they can't measure the effort and materials, they are mentally comparing to the market in general (even if they are not doing it intentionally). People base decisions on prior experience, and low end buying behavior tends to be impulse driven. The greater question is what your goal is in mug making? If you want to sell in volume, they need to be attractive yet quick to produce for a relatively low price point: production pottery. If your mugs are your art, or you are using them as a canvas to test out more complex and time consuming techniques, than you need to account for that. Both are valid, but the pricing should diverge depending on your chosen path. There are only so many hours in the day and only so many inches on your shelf, fill them with what you want to be making!
  13. See if their is a fixture scrap yard in your area? Because remodeling is such a huge industry, fixture salvage is getting to be more common. You might be able to find older sinks, or at least get sinks at a fraction of their cost (plus, you could use their reclaimed status as a selling point). A lot of these reclaim hardware stores are also charity run, people donate the items and the profits go to the charity. The one nearest to where I am at is run by the recycling center, and attached to the store is a gallery where they feature artists who use recycled materials, they also do a couple larger shows each year.
  14. Cross your fingers and get a wristwatch with a timer? Hope you have some lucky surprises, some of the most inserting pottery skirts the line of heat tolerance, getting up to the melting point but backing off before it turns into a puddle.
  15. When searching Google for specific information, a lot of topics lead me to the ClayArt discussions at Potters.org, and while it appears to have been very active, it hasn't been updated since 2012. It's strange when a busy board just goes dead! Are there any other major forums that are still active?
  16. Bumping this, because I am curious as well!
  17. To me, the difference between taking inspiration from an exsisting item, artist or technique and translating it into your own style or using it as a tool to stretch youself in a new direction is not the same as copying. Unless you are blind, deaf, and have lived a life apart from outside influence, we all take inspiration. Generally, the best artists seem to embrace a degree of give and take: exchanging ideas strengthens us all, even if we only try something a few times it still adds to our experience. Copying is more deliberate: intentionally duplicating intrinsic qualities of another persons work for the purpose of siphoning off of their income or fame, or as a form of spite. Intentionally imitating a work should be limited, at most to the class room (with credit given where due). Its not flattery to undermine someone else's concepts by adopting them outright. I guess for me, I try to follow my gut. I wouldnt want to produce work that is merely an echo of someone greater, or even worse: torment someone who's work I admire by knocking them off. No one likes plagiarism. For the most part, if you pick a single element, it's been done already. It's a matter of creating your own combinations to turn it into something that is your own.
  18. There is also a generalized theory that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill (which amounts to working full time for around 5 years). "Worlds Greatest Potter" sounds a lot like "Worlds Greatest Dad": a cute pat on the head if it's on the side of your coffee cup, but rather cocky and silly to go around using it as a title....guess I am just not a fan of people who flaunt praise? As for "master potter" or "master craftsman", that seems like a more reasonable degree of self applied labeling when appropriate: if you've been working in the craft for decades it would seem apt (unless you yourself feel such a claim is false). After all, in any skill there is a flood of novices, a smaller number of practiced craftspeople, and a handful that have reached a pinnacle of skill: even if the label isn't official, it seems worth designating your skill level.
  19. Jolieo brings up an important point to consider: throwing wholesale into the mix means it's a good idea to charge a higher retail price. Essentially, when you sell something yourself, give yourself the addional profit margin a gallery or gift store would take. Asking too little tends to lower people's impression of your work. That said, $20 is a sweet spot for small items, a couple dollars more really slows sales IMO. If only the mint would start producing $25 bills instead of $20s, people love paying with a single bill: makes it a lot easier to buy on impulse it would seem.
  20. At this point, I am thinking about next Summer. A lot of bigger shows jury or simply close applications months in advance, so it would be a rush to schedule (part of that is life outside of pottery though. My workspace is crammed with greenware and I've got no clue when I'll have time to do kiln maintenence and fire). Christmas in July: it makes Fall and Winter easier. Ideally, the best time to plan product for Christmas is in early January when it's still fresh in your mind. It's a good idea to jot down what worked well, what was not worth the time and what you'd like to try next year (for events, your work, and display). It's pretty difficult to remember those details months later without notes. Spring is a great time to work out those new designs, produce heavily in Summer, sell heavy in Fall and for the sake of sanity, pick a cutoff date and stick to it hard: don't ruin your own holiday time stressing over customers who waited til the last minute! Seasonal rhythm is a difficult groove to get into, but since shows and fairs generally land around the same time each year, it's a sanity saver.
  21. I don't know if other suppliers make a similar mix, but Georgies makes a sculptural clay that contains fibers (nylon if I remember correctly) in addition to grog to aid stability. I've noticed some sculptural clays seem short (inelastic) which would make them less suitable for throwing. That said, I enjoy throwing heavily grogged sculptural clays when I want an additional bit of texture, but it is hard on the skin so it isn't my default choice.
  22. Bear in mind your class mates may have prior experience: I enjoyed playing with clay as a kid, and was fortunate to attend the a middle school that was still offering ceramics (sadly, the last school in the district, during the final year of the program...cutting wood shop, home ec and ceramics seems silly when facilities where already in place!). I took an extra class after school, then went to an art magnet for high school and used as much extra studio time as I could....I had a reasonable amount of experience worked up by the time I hit college. When I sit a student down at the wheel for their first time, I tell them to plan on walking away from the wheel without a finished piece. Being attached to an individual piece of work during the early stages of learning is an invitation to self doubt. It take throwing your way through a few hundred pounds of clay to really get the feel for it, so you will only learn successfully if you choose to enjoy the process. It is very easy to set too high an expectation. Expecting a perfect result or comparing is not a helpful mindset. Compare your work to yourself and I am sure you will see you are already making progress. As to the specific issue of thinning and tearing: my suggestion is going to sound silly, but just try to do the opposite! Instead of aiming for an even thickness and ending up too thin, aim to make the wall a wedge with the bottom being thicker than the top. It might bring you into balance, but even if it leaves you bottom heavy, it gives you the chance to pull more successfully until you can fine tune your technique. It is also fairly standard practice to leave slightly more at the bottom to support the weight and strain of the top. Once you are further in your practice, you will be able to trim the excess clay away from this area. It just take practice, and it's easier if you keep your expectations extremely modest as you begin. Turning the learning process into a series of failures will just make you unhappy. Embrace the process. Get use to scrapping work, clay is forgiving: it's not used up until you've fired it. Throw til it flops, wedge it up and try again! Also, music helps IMO!
  23. Ive have two big slabs of wood I use for wedging or extra table space and use various stools as legs. Space is tight, and I need the stools either way. It's about 8 feet of instant counter space though, and I just lean the planks between my stools and shelving when I don't need them.
  24. No vent for the kiln or paint fumes? That's at least a serious health hazard just in terms of air quality. Rags from oil painting are problematic, they should go in a fire proof can (that is emptied each day) or it's considered a fire hazard. Call the fire marshall and let them know there may be a problem?
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