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Rae Reich

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Everything posted by Rae Reich

  1. I tested all my Mason and other stains and Velvet underglazes on various clays at ^10 on flawed bisqueware pots of each of my clays. First, dip the bottom section in the test glaze. Second, paint stripes of each colorant (in an order that you can keep track of) down the pot, over the raw clay and over the glaze. Third, dip the upper section of the pot in the test glaze, being careful to leave at least 1/2" to 1" of the middle area unglazed. Fire and label with Sharpie. For consistent color application, I mix the stains (but not the Velvets) in a clear base glaze in little cups, like take-out condiment cups, labelled with the stain number. I just use the last three digits. Between firings, I let the cups dry up, to be reconstituted as needed. Sometimes there is a surprising difference in the three applications. There will be a difference in the colorant's reactions to different bases, too. These are fired at ^10 reduction.
  2. That link didn't work for me, but this one does: http://www.luciapottery.com/urns/urns_biodegradable.php There was a space at the end......... I am going for permanence, not biodegradable. I would not want to drop one of those green urns full of ashes. The ashes are quite heavy. What if someone knocks Dad off the mantel?TJR. I made an unfired urn for a surfer friend, to ride out to sea on an old board . . .
  3. Mark;What were those two times when you shaved your beard? Probably something serious,like a girlfriend. TJR. First time was when I turned 30 to see what I looked like.Second time was after being married 10 years to surprise my wife who had never seen my face. Both times where BAD ideas.I'm done with the thought of it again Mark I can relate to your wife. In the second grade we drew family portraits to be displayed on Parent's Night. I was proud of the carefully drawn "Clark Gable" mustache that signified Daddy to me. On the night, in front of the drawing, I looked up to confirm my verisimilitude only to discover that Daddy had inexplicably shaved it off! And I hadn't noticed from my 3' perspective. I was devastated, as though my abilities had been called into question before the world! As far as I can remember, he never shaved it off again for the rest of his life.Rae
  4. Duh! Elaine Coleman! Let Tom make the pots and develop/perfect the clays and glazes and firings - I want to carve!
  5. I am old now and never had seriously to apply myself to this problem, but here is what I would say today, after all these years: "I want to make ceramics that you want to hold, to have, to give and to share. I will take advantage of every new thing I learn towards this goal." I guess this has always been my implied statement. The hang tags for my '70's mugs said: To choose a cup for you, handle the handle, caress the lip, invite your fingers to fondle. Take it From hand to mouth. - Hand to Mouth Pottery (it was the '70's) Rae
  6. I once had a regular customer, a Chinese lady whose father was a famous calligrapher in China. She asked me if I would reproduce some of his calligraphy on one of my large standard forms. How could she be serious?! He's a Famous Calligrapher! He would laugh (or worse) at my amateur attempts. How could she not know this? I declined, but with thanks that she thought it was worth asking.
  7. I try to make as many handmade gifts as possible for friends and family, whether it's pots or sewing or cooking or any other making skills I have. Buying things that are not unique just seems less acceptable to me. There were many years when it was all I could afford to do and they always seem to be appreciated, but I don't mind if they get re-gifted. Eventually they'll find their owners. Sometimes, when I couldn't decide which mugs should go to which people, I just set out a board of them and let everyone choose their own. Mugs, in particular, should fit the hand and lip and size needs of the owner, I think. One year, the littlest boy chose the hugest mug! I do agree that it's best to give pots that you'll be happy to see when you visit. My Mom kept an early, clunky mug that I was always tempted to, oops, knock off the counter. I would also rather receive handmade things from kids, Grands and GGrands and friends. Even the simplest handcut snowflake is preferable to a purchased trinket, to me.
  8. You could draw them an elephant that has been swallowed by a snake . . .
  9. Just what we were supposed to feel when Yoko destroyed that ancient pot - "speechless with anger" is the perfect description of the feelings of many of us about the death of Lennon. Who is more rare and beautiful, me or a pot?
  10. I didn't see anyone mention that before Volkous, Soldner, Mason, et al, Ceramics was never considered Art. It was craft, maybe Elevated Craft, but not Art. The use of clay to make Abstract Expressionist art conveyed the nature of the material by the actions on it with large, bold statements that caught the attention of the Art World and, ultimately, opened our whole field up to consideration as Fine Art. This is what we owe to those pioneers.
  11. Back when Orton packed their cones in vermiculite, I saved it all. I wedge a little bit into my groggiest stoneware and then make the coil to set my cones. Trim excess clay around edges of base. For bisque cones, I also poke holes with a needle tool (not too many or the pad will be weakened). Dry completely. I make a lot of high-fire (8/9/10) pads at once and put them all into a bisque firing so they never blow up on my glazes. When I'm caught short (eek!) I have quick-dried pads in the microwave. (Poke holes in these.) NOT on high power, go slow and low and stop it often to turn the pads from side to side on paper towels.
  12. Porcelain has finer particle size so can be more finely detailed. And translucency.
  13. Is this just for bottoms, or decorative work? Canning paraffin melted in an old electric fry pan works well for dipping bottoms, you'll need dedicated ware boards, tho, if you set them upright after dipping because they'll leave wax on the boards.
  14. I have a few porcelain bisque stamps, but rarely use them. I like to sign my name and it requires no back-pressure. I use a sharpened end (worn down a bit, not pointy) of a wooden needle tool. I used to date my pots, but it became embarrassing to display years-old-still-not-sold pots at sales, so I started using a code for the date.
  15. Marcia, is that "freeze-proof in the raw" or freeze-proof after firing, like for outdoor pots and sculpture?
  16. I signed up for a ceramics class at my local j.c. in '72 to learn how to make a barnacle-y thing that I saw in a teachers' magazine. First day, when George Geyer sat down at the Lockerbie kick wheel and magicked an elegant 14" pot in a minute (whatta hunk and a showman- he kicked with both legs simultaneously to avoid lopsided leg muscles), I was hooked! I, too, am still drawn to watch every time, still looking for new/better/other techniques.
  17. Viscosity is less of a problem if you're working flatter (er, firing the surface in a horizontal position), like a tile or plate or shoulder of a pot. For those recessed outlines, I would mix a black Mason stain with water-based wax resist. Make some tests, but don't hold back on the concentration. Apply with a brush or slip trailer. There are some nice fine-point steel-tipped ones of various sizes at Aftosa that I've used for black slip (Amaco) outlines on tiles for a similar effect. Not sure how easy those steel tips would be to clean the wax from, maybe nuke in a cup of hot water?
  18. Wasn't that other one un-fired? I imagine it looks more like this now. GuineaP, I really really really love your work and especially the critters!!
  19. Clay lover, since you're presenting items that can be combined to custom-make sets for the buyer, try to leave a little space for them to build their own collections - an area that is not in the way of your sales table would be good.
  20. Your State Sales Tax number will allow you to buy materials for resale without paying state tax, but the State will expect to hear from you at tax time. Invest in a tax preparer the first year so you will have a template of the forms you'll need and the blanks to be filled.
  21. Hi, Jason, welcome to the club! I like your combined forms, they look bold and inventive to me. I won't add to all the good advice on income projections and business plans, since that is not my strong suit, but I will say about your booth set-up, quoting the last words of William James, "More light!" You will need a good light set-up, definitely, and I would advise you to, whenever possible, lose the side walls of your booth. When someone at another booth looks toward yours, they should not see a blank wall, they should see enticing pots! You've got a great way of writing - I feel like I already know you somewhat, by your thoughtful and thorough presentation, and I'm looking forward to learning more. Best of luck!
  22. Are you trying for a granite effect? When you find your grey base, try adding ground-up pre-fired porcelain bits or other vitrified, sifted for size, particles. Maybe grog would work. They would not soak up your glaze color, but might make the surface rough, depending on particle size, because they won't melt in the glaze. Apply the glaze like those low-fire "sprinkle" glazes, stirring up the heavier bits and brushing on. Thinking more about the commercial Sprinkle glazes, I wonder if those bits of color that don't dissolve in the base glaze but melt in the firing consist of partly fired glaze, or even ground up completely fired glaze that would re-melt. Hmmmm. How to do that?
  23. The reason it's called rice grain is this: grains of uncooked rice are pressed into the surface of porcelain when it's almost leather hard. The dry rice and the damp clay equalize when the timing is right. They are not pressed all the way through. They burn out in bisque firing, leaving pockets that fill with the transparent glaze. The contemporary piece seems to use the same technique, but with shapes other than rice. My guess is thick watercolor paper cut into various shapes with those cool cutters that scrapbookers use.
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