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Rae Reich

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Everything posted by Rae Reich

  1. Ceramic pencils are made of glaze and are meant to be used directly on bisque with a transparent clear or colored glaze over the drawing. They can be fired at low and high temperatures. For "drawing" on unfired glaze, there are "scratch-through" techniques and drawing with a brush using oxides or colorants. The interesting thing about drawing on pots is learning to draw on a surface that is curved, sometimes in complex ways.
  2. Do you know what kind of (species) wood was burned to make the ash? Where was it grown? Local soils might affect chemistry. Sounds like an interesting experiment for fabric/yarn dyes, too.
  3. You might have some brown staining coming through the white. Be sure of an adequate coating. Maybe test some other whites for decorating too, like engobes, slips and glazes.
  4. Thicker walls and rims (sturdy rather than delicate) will help, as long as there's been no distortion before drying.
  5. If your throwing style involves creating large amounts of slip, you can add that back into clay that is a bit dry or if re-wedging wetter scrap you can add a handful of ball clay. The object is to put back into the clay all the fine particles you removed in throwing. You'll know it needs fines when it seems excessively groggy.
  6. You might be wedging air into your clay. Try throwing directly from the pug mill, without wedging. Just pat clay into a ball or cone.
  7. Old credit cards! Excellent scrapers inside glaze buckets, I also use for screening. Cut to any shape for custom jigs, shapers and trimmers. Clean off wheel head and clay tables without scratching.
  8. I think you'll need to do tests on your mug shapes, rather than tiles, because your cracks run horizontally on those thrown shapes. Flat tiles won't behave the same way under stress. Guessing you don't want to modify your exterior glaze technique, so I'd recommend that you throw the forms a little thicker, to stand up to the stress put on them from unequal glaze thickness between inside and out.
  9. Not many people work with leather anymore., but how else to describe that state?
  10. If your porcelain has dried a little unevenly, the difference in 'drag' on your tool can get a 'wave' started that is hard to repair. Stop the wheel immediately and determine where your high/low spot is. You may be able to correct the area by hand scraping before (carefully) completing your wheel trimming. Re-moisten the rest of the untrimmed bases that remain on your board, cover lightly with plastic until moisture is distributed evenly.
  11. I kinda like the casual quality of your uneven cutting. The side of a needle tool rubbed around the holes after they dry should dislodge any little shards.
  12. From what I can recall, in glazes, EPK, China Clay and kaolin are fairly synonymous. Grolleg is (or was) used mostly for purity of whiteness in porcelain clay bodies.
  13. That's perfect! And they can never tell you what they did, or repeat it! Annoyingly, they make some pretty stuff
  14. My fellow demonstrator transformed a lump into a vase for a group of observers. First question, "How did you get it hollow?" ( A patient answer here could create a new newbie.) Zeiner proceeded to make another. The question, "How long will it take?" is easy to answer with "Wait and see," "That depends," and "Take notes." But it's the hardest part to learn about clay, for lots of students - "Patience!"
  15. A spare shelf or two would distribute the weight evenly.
  16. I think uneven heating/cooling is being reflected in the color variations top and bottom - a broad, thin surface in direct contact with the shelf only in that spot, vs the rest of the platter exposed on upper and lower surfaces. A little wadding might be called for. or give the platters some "bubble feet."
  17. When I had to use a carpeted room for clay, I got a roll of vinyl flooring (the ugly ones are cheapest) to keep clay dust from entering the carpet and/or water getting to the underlying hardwood floor. A sheet of 1/2" plywood beneath the wheel and stool area kept their legs from pressing through the vinyl-over-carpet.
  18. Long standing is also tiring for me. I use a tall stool so I can vary the amount of leg extension. My long periods of standing involve dishwashing, which I would do on a stool if I could
  19. Keeping your knees slightly flexed while standing helps. I sometimes also use a little footstool, the size of a cinderblock, to switch off leg positions. If you don't want to keep moving your set-up from stand to table, you could get an adjustable-height stool with a leg rest to take the load off.
  20. New tip! Never thought of that - sometimes use raku tongs, though.
  21. Adding: some Stains look different over and under the glaze.
  22. Very cool, @oldlady!! Great to have new tricks! I think I might have described this technique in a post years ago. I've been using it to decorate on bisque and over glazes, like watercolor or solid color, depending on the amount I dilute the mixture. I make "test tiles" of cracked, bisqued cups or bowls by dipping the bottom half in the base glaze, painting vertical stripes of the color mixes (always in the same numerical order as the mason numbers) from top to bottom, then dipping the upper almost-half with the same glaze, leaving a 1/4" gap between that shows the color on raw clay
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