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  1. Like
    firenflux reacted to LeeU in Pottery Knowledge Quiz Of The Week (Pkqw): Week 3   
    Alumina, fusion buttons (flow test), fritting , & cone packs.
  2. Like
    firenflux reacted to jrgpots in Engobe And Glaze   
    I really like the look you have achieved. I have never been a fan of solid white backgrounds. Your background reminds me on a skiff of snow. A thicker application would fully opacify the background. What you have now is more interesting in my opinion.
  3. Like
    firenflux reacted to karenkstudio in Visiting Phoenix/sedona - Suggestions   
    One unusual thing happened when my husband and I were wondering through galleries in Sedona.
    We were locked in a bronze gallery and couldn't exit. The gallery was part of a small 2 story art mall with maybe 5 separate galleries that had access entry off an interior walkway which is where we entered.
    We looked around and began to notice that no one else was in the gallery, not even in the office.
    We tried to leave by the same door we entered but it was locked and could not be unlocked from the
    inside. There was another door facing the
    street and it was also locked. There was no way of unlocking either door Which we thought was really
    strange. After waiting and no one returned, we contemplated calling 911 but found a phone number on
    some of the printed information available in the gallery. The owner/manager was out of town so he called the individual who was covering the gallery. He had gone to the post office.
    Enjoy your trip!
  4. Like
    firenflux reacted to Mark C. in Case Of An Enlarged Bubble?   
    Small chance this may be a extinct dinosaur egg growing in the clay pocket-you could keep it warm in the oven a few months until it hatches?/Just thought. Most clays come that time frame.
  5. Like
    firenflux reacted to GEP in How Much To Make?   
    I looked up an inventory list from a three day show last year: 
    $20 and under = $890 (10%)
    $21-$50 = $3861 (44%)
    $51-$100 = $2002 (23%)
    $101 and over = $2065 (23%)
    total $8818
  6. Like
    firenflux got a reaction from terrim8 in Qotw: Are You Throwing Wearing Bling Bling?   
    I take all jewelry off my hands before throwing. I often forget to put it back on again for weeks until my husband reminds me.
  7. Like
    firenflux reacted to Pugaboo in 2 Questions?   
    My current festival range is $50-$150 for a 10x10 space, with a majority falling at $75.
    Most of my festivals are 1 day events, all are local. For me at this point in my life traveling long distances and being away from home overnight just isn't possible. I have found I really like the 1 day events, if it's nice not too hot no chance of rain I don't even put up a canopy. I use an ez-up when I do use one and I weigh it down really well.
    I kind of have a formula that I use to decide whether I return to a festival after the first time. My examples are all for 1 day local festivals which means no hotels, bring a bag lunch from home, only a couple gallons of gas at most, free parking, can walk there from home, etc. My only expenses are fees, materials and what I pay myself. If I make less than $250 I won't do it again. If I make $250-$350 I will give it another shot, this is especially true if there are other factors like weather that I think contributed to the low amount. When I reach $350 it goes into the lets try this again and see if my sales increase as people learn to look for me there. Anything over $500 is a definite do again. When I reach the $1000 mark it's skipping home clapping my hands in glee hugging the festival promoting on the way out. I have had a few $1000+ one day shows but around here with the average attendance of less than 3000 people I usually do between $500 and $750. I have had a couple that even though the sales were low, under $300, but I did get a large custom order from, that was delivered and paid for later, that I will do again since the custom order shows that there IS money to be had at the venue.
    You have to kind of decide for yourself what your comfort level is and what amount makes it worth it for you to do it.
  8. Like
    firenflux reacted to neilestrick in Throwing Challenge   
    No matter who I'm teaching, their age, body type, etc, I first present my typical methods that work for most people, then adjust them as needed for each person if I see them struggling with those techniques and it's not just because of lack of experience. Every body is different, every muscle is different. Some people are really dominant with one hand, so that has to be dealt with. Some people have short arms, so that has to be dealt with. Some people have little hand strength, some people are obese, some people have no confidence, some people are too aggressive, some people move to slowly or too quickly, etc. There are techniques for dealing with all of it, and sometimes you just have to give the person permission to experiment a bit within the parameters of 'good' techniques to find which one works best for them. I stress all of this to my beginnings students, and try to make them feel as comfortable as possible, which can be difficult when they are struggling while the person sitting next to them is not.
    As for obese folks specifically, or anyone with a body type that's outside of 'average', whether they be really tall or really short, I leave my instructions for body positioning a little more open ended, and instead focus on the goal rather than the specific technique. Instead of saying 'rest your elbows on your thighs', I say 'brace your elbows', and give them a few options, like 'thigh, knee, rib, sides, edge of the wheel- anywhere but out in the air'. That gives them permission to accomplish the goal within the limitations of their own body. Instead of 'sit with your stool all the way up to the wheel', I'll say 'sit so you can comfortably reach the clay, while reaching out as little as possible. Keep your elbows as close to your torso as you can'. As you watch them work, suggest techniques that play to their strengths, like coning with their fingers laced, which gives more leverage in the wrists and focuses on the hands rather than the arms, etc.
    People know their bodies- they live with them every day. So if you just give them the goal and support them they'll figure out how to get there. 
  9. Like
    firenflux reacted to Mark C. in Qotw: Ceramics In Action Pictures Anybody?   
    Heres one of one of my  thrown sinks and my tile wrap around-I made the tile tub to ceiling in shower on all three sides  and around a window and it flows into the sink-it stoneware cone 10 from the early 80's. This is our bathroom at home.
    Its held up for 35 years now.

  10. Like
    firenflux reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Qotw: Ceramics In Action Pictures Anybody?   
    Thanks to the joys of social media marketing, there are days in my life where I spend entirely too much time posing pottery for the Internet >.<. The things we do to sell pots....

  11. Like
  12. Like
    firenflux reacted to ChenowethArts in Uncommon Functional Forms   
    I still make drums, rattles, udus, ocarinas, whistles, and other aerophones (and for my smart-a friends, an aerophone has nothing to do with being able to make calls from an airplane).

  13. Like
    firenflux reacted to Denice in Qotw: What Means "imperfection" To You?   
    Imperfection is in the mind  of the beholder.  I usually have some small pieces around my shop that have glaze imperfections in my opinion.  I use to trash them, but now I will let a visitor take one.  It started when I had a visitor fall in love with one of my imperfect pots, she said the glaze bleb made it look more homemade.  So I decided to let visitors choose one and why, most thought the glaze bleb was beautiful or didn't care if it had one. A lot of visitors were drawn towards work that I didn't care for at all.  The experience  has left me wondering about my own artistic sensibility and taste.   Denice
  14. Like
    firenflux got a reaction from GiselleNo5 in Qotw: Is It "hands Off!" In Your Studio?   
    1. JUST thrown wet pots
    2. Handles on wet or bone dry pieces
    3. me when I'm doing anything in there
    4. GLAZE mixer
    5. Tickle spots
  15. Like
    firenflux reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Qotw: What Form Do You Least Enjoy Creating, Whether Thrown Or Handbuilt, And Why?   
    I can't bring myself to make yarn bowls. As a knitter, I think they're a poorly designed tool. As a potter, most of them are just ugly. It's not always the potter's aesthetic choices, they're just bad as a form.
    I make a knitting jar with a wide opening in the lid instead.
    edited to add photo.

  16. Like
    firenflux reacted to curt in Clear Glaze Forms Bubbles At Edges & Rims   
    Looking at the pictures, particularly the second one, it almost looks like deposits of something cracked or possibly crystallising around the edges of those little craters. Reminds me of how around the high flux corner on a Currie tile the glaze just crawls up the walls of the cell, and which often looks crazed due to the excessive flux content.
    I am wondering if you have a solubility problem.
    There could be some soluble material either in your clay itself, or introduced by you in your slips or other parts of your making process (even possibly a frit or stain) Soluble materials, eg the sodium in nepheline syenite, start as a solid, but eventually dissolve into the moisture of the liquids that they are exposed to. Once incorporated into the liquid, these soluble materials then migrate through the clay with the water as it moves around while the piece drys. Since the rims or outer edges of plates and other vessels dry first, the soluble-carrying water in the clay prefers to migrate there on its way to evaporation. Of course the water evaporates into the air, but it dumps its passenger - the soluble material - at the last stop, which is at the edge of your plate. This would explain why this problem only appears around the edges. As this process continues while you are working on (carving) your slowly drying piece, more and more soluble material builds up. When you fire your work, since this soluble material is a flux, it mixes with your glaze and makes it much more fluxy in that area of your pot. Glazes which are too fluxy bubble a lot when because they are effectively being over fired in that area. And voila!.... Bubbles in just one place.
    Look at Digitalfire and see the DFAC test, which is about drying stresses, but can also reveal the presence of soluble materials in a clay. Egyptian Paste and other self glazing ceramics also come to mind, as they exploit this mechanism as part of the making process. If this is indeed happening, you may have seen yourself the occasional buildup of a light dust (almost looks like white mold) around the rims of your pieces, which seems easily brushed away. Actually these are small salt crystal structures, which are effectively the soluble material resolidifying. Those of us who recycle clay on plaster bats will surely have seen this.
    If this is indeed your problem, you need to go through your raw materials and see which of them contains things which might become soluble over time. If (when?) you find them, try eliminating them and see if that helps.
    Hope this helps you resolve your issues. Good luck!
  17. Like
    firenflux got a reaction from GiselleNo5 in Qotw: Epic Failures Anybody?   
    When I started working with a potters wheel, I could never get the pots thin enough or tall enough. In my frustration over trying to re-center the clay to trim it and get it thin enough, I started hand carving my pots. Initially I used a fetling knife and it was very haphazard, but I ended up liking the look and feel of the textures I created. Many many years later I can now control the thickness of my pieces to allow for purposeful carving and texture. In essence, my struggle led to my esthetic.
  18. Like
    firenflux got a reaction from glazenerd in Qotw: Epic Failures Anybody?   
    When I started working with a potters wheel, I could never get the pots thin enough or tall enough. In my frustration over trying to re-center the clay to trim it and get it thin enough, I started hand carving my pots. Initially I used a fetling knife and it was very haphazard, but I ended up liking the look and feel of the textures I created. Many many years later I can now control the thickness of my pieces to allow for purposeful carving and texture. In essence, my struggle led to my esthetic.
  19. Like
    firenflux reacted to Marcia Selsor in Qotw: Epic Failures Anybody?   
    As Mark C. says the school of Hard Knocks is the best teacher. I taught for 29 years in various schools mostly in Montana for 25. I have seen some big mistakes by students, but we all learn somehow. Experience is the best teacher, I think.
    When I was in grad school, one young woman wanted to cast her foot. She and her boyfriend mixed a bucket of plaster and she put her foot into it and let it set up. Her boyfriend spent several hours chiseling away to free her foot. 
    As Mark C. and Patti warashina both say, Clay is a humbling material. 
  20. Like
    firenflux reacted to Mark C. in Qotw: Epic Failures Anybody?   
    Had a manual electric in the 70's on porch of house get stuck in the on position and I noticed it late that night glowing at the joints. I cooked the elements-thankfully it was a bisque so I all I had to do was throw it all away.
    More glaze batches gone wrong in the 5 gallon size than I care to admit or can recall.
    Let a friend put in a 100 starfish shaped forms in a glaze fire (he was using them for annealing glass between forms in his glass oven) He said the clay was high fire. It was not . It was cone 6 so the piles of forms only slumped and ruined only some of my stuff.
    I let a friend light my kiln as I was at the movies he blew the load over messing with the pilot and then turned it off- thank god.
    I never let anyone since light it. That was in the 70's
    Blown up so many pots in the earlier days pushing the limits I now know what I can do without harm.
    Used the wrong fiber on a roof and had to replace it
    poured a 1/2 bucket (5 gallon)of glaze into my shoes while not paying attention
    Kept the low fire clay outside studio thinking it could never sneak into a high fire load-wrong again it did and it was a mess-had fun with a grinder and lost some work as well.
    Threw in a bunch of green waste into a going glaze fire in 1979  to cone 10 and ruined the glaze load (kiln is not a trash burner)
    Watched a friend put experimental things like tin foil in his high fire bowls in my fire and all his bowls where ruined(heavy hard learning curve)
    Just remember I have a art degree and studied ceramics full time for 5 years and still made these errors. Ceramics it makes you humble.
    I'm here today on this forum in no small part so others do not have to learn these lessons in the school of hard knocks.
    Whats amazing is still folks are trying to use meat grinders as pug mills and galvanized wire instead of High temp wire  and food kitchen items for glazes expecting good results. Its the horse to water saying for sure.Oh well the school of hard knocks always teaches best.
    I have an advanced degree from that school after my BA in art was done.
  21. Like
    firenflux reacted to GiselleNo5 in Help! I Can't Center Anymore!   
    Nancy, from my own experience (six solid months of nothing before I learned to center ... mostly) : the more stressed out I became at being unable to center, the more I was not able to center. 
    If my back is out, my head is hurting, I'm not feeling well, I can't center. I never forget that I have to be centered in myself before I can center the clay. So if you've had a lot of stress or any illness that could be causing the issue. Also the fact that you were expecting to remember and you're not ... that's a lot of mental pressure. 
    That being said, I have recently discovered a new way of centering. Previously I would brace my left arm on the splash pan and lock my elbow against my upper thigh. I would use the heel of my left hand at 8 o'clock and the heel of my right hand sometimes on the top and sometimes at 4 o'clock on the wheel to center. 
    But just a few days ago I discovered that I can lock my two hands together and just sort of shove in and up together at 6-7 o'clock; this cones up the clay really amazingly and then you press it back down with both hands again. LOL My husband thinks I'm insane now because I had to close my eyes and pantomime it on the arm of the couch so I could describe it to you. 
    If you continue to struggle with it at all please feel free to message me and I will happily take a video for you. 
  22. Like
    firenflux reacted to GiselleNo5 in Building A Work Table   
    I like formica or painted wood surfaces for the table as they are easy to clean. Then I use ware boards, newspapers, or sheets of canvas laid on top of these surfaces. This way I can have the best of both worlds. 

    I had the privilege of watching my friend develop her pottery studio from the first year when all she had was a tiny corner of her garage with wheel and kiln; so I saw the problems it caused her to have a canvas covered table. Lots of dust while working (not about the mess, it's really bad for you to inhale!) and also if you use any darker clay bodies you have to use a ware board for lighter clay anyway. 
  23. Like
    firenflux reacted to Pres in Qotw: Did You Already Discuss Glazes With Aliens From Mars? (Wink)   
    As I work at ^6, I can not choose one glaze, as all of my best pieces come from layering glazes, Rutile green over Speckled rust with a white liner underneath, and some shots of Variegated blue and green on a Hazelnut clay, some layers rubbed off, some left alone some dipped, some sprayed different angle and directions. No, for me there is not one glaze at ^6. Sorry it just 'nt gonna happen.
  24. Like
    firenflux reacted to Marcia Selsor in Qotw: What Would Be The Title Of A Clay Book Of Yours?   
    Singed Eyebrows and Burnt Fingers: A Potters Tale
  25. Like
    firenflux reacted to LeeU in Qotw: What Would Be The Title Of A Clay Book Of Yours?   
    Little Wheel, Spin and Spin--nope, that's a song. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble--nope, that's the Bard. Wait, I got it!   Not That Kind of Pot, by LeeU.
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