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Everything posted by lgusten

  1. I start with daydreaming....see some images in my head and play with them. Then I sketch...because I will never remember the details of a daydream. Then I mess around with the clay to see if any of the ideas really have merit...it takes awhile but I sometimes I can get some good results. I also use props...fancy word for old junk that I collect that has a pleasing form or detail that just screams out to be part of a pottery project.
  2. Been a long time coming...finally firing my first load of bisque.  HooRay!!!

  3. I have not made glaze in a while so as I get back into business here I will be using a combo of the mixing techniques Magnolia Mud suggested and that great new brush tool Liambesaw has found!!! Thank you both! Just order the brush thing. Thanks for the link!
  4. But I guess, that we are all "preaching to the choir" otherwise why would any of us be part of this great on-line group!
  5. I have a favorite mug that I bought at a pottery sale years ago. I use it alot. When I put 2 chips in the rim, I was upset...like I lost a friend. Luckily, the artist scrawled his name across the bottom of the mug with a little internet search I found him and was able to have another...not exactly the same, but it has the same feel. Also, this time, I had a great conversation and got to know more about the artist...making my mug more valuable to me. Now a tile maker that doesn't get handmade....wow....nothing feels like an handmade tile....I don't care how many tiles a factory can churn out...they still do not feel like the handmade ones.
  6. Our main studio where the restoration work is done is where I keep my slab roller and do that part of my clay work there. This building has its own heat and air...kinda like the ones hotels use. It keeps the studio comfortable. The kiln and glazing part is in the basement...which can be a little cold in the winter, but not unbearable. So no downtime. Though we do close for occasional snow days here in NC just because the rest of the town closes.
  7. Yappy, while I agree that those who are poor do not have an equal opportunity for higher education today, I think that not all folks that had the good fortune to earn a degree are bad because of their good fortune. Rather it is the artists, gallery owners, sometimes collectors who only value the piece of paper and do not accept those who learn their craft through different channels . This type of condescension reflects on their personal issues and their insecurities and not education. I was fortunate to attend college in the mid 70's with scholarships and grants (that would not begin to cover the costs these days). To please my family, I took art classes but did not major. My experience was a series of very condescending art teachers that belittled whatever we did. I was never able to afford to go back to college again....needed to keep the roof over head and eat. But I still had the fire....even without the degree...worked with textiles. Never gave up thinking about art as a career. Fast forward to 2001...I moved to Winston-Salem, NC....they have a community art school, Sawtooth...they teach ceramics. I was able to take some classes to learn basic techniques, asks questions, pursue some of my own ideas...and ask more questions. Everyone I worked with was willing to help anyone move along on their artistic journey. So I would call this art education invaluable. Informal only if that means no degrees offered but the education is key to my basic understanding of the craft. Now it is up to me the learn the nuances...find my voice....listen to other potters ...and not worry about the piece of paper.
  8. Finally was able to fire the new kiln yesterday.   Would not fire...just gave  a strange error message.  The problem was the  Genesis controller was wired incorrectly.  With help from Steve at Bartlett...changed 2 wires and it fired right up.  

    1. Min


      Glad you got it working! I love my Genesis controller. With my last glaze firing I had a "Fail" warning come up when one of the thermocouples went. Knew straight away that there was a problem.

    2. lgusten


      Thanks, Min.   I feel much more comfortable.  It was actually good to experience this issue and have to fix it.  Felt more in control of the controller:D

  9. Wow!! Thought a guild that you are a member of would be more accommodating. I don't think you should withdraw, but you may consider making a formal request for them to explain what in their rules prohibit them from accommodating your needs. I don't think that they would want to be linked with a discriminatory process.
  10. That is beautiful!!!!....Love the form and the glaze!
  11. New kiln arrived and is in place.  Got the kiln vent installed too.  If the pending hurricane doesn't drop too much water on us...should  be able to test fire soon.


    1. Show previous comments  8 more
    2. Benzine


      Best of Luck to you, with the weather.

      I have good friends, who live in Western N.C. .  They didn't sound terribly worried, the last time I talked to him, a few days ago.

    3. lgusten


      Thank you.  So far, so good. Just really wet.

    4. lgusten


      Update to the update.  Yesterday relentless rain resulted in water in the basement  and under the kiln.....not too much though.  We caught it just in time.  Best news is we found the source of the leak.  Patched a little after we sucked up the water...  Looks dry this morning.    I am relieved!!!!

  12. Love the pic. Maybe your cat wants you to make a cat bowl.....he/she has already stamped it.
  13. Well, the kiln arrived, but it was damaged.  So after a few hours, back it went.  Guess I got more time to organize for it.:(


    1. LeeU


      Bummer-super bummer:wacko: Like your banner up top, by the way.

    2. yappystudent


      I'm angry for you. How annoying! 

    3. lgusten


      Thank you both.  Not sure when the replacement kiln will be sent....presumably after they receive the one I sent back.  This time, I will remove all of the wrap on the truck before I sign off on it.  Both UPS Freight and Clay King have been helpful. 

      Lee, thank you.  The banner is a picture of one of the last items I made before taking  a break and deciding that I needed my own space and studio.  I named it Winter Puddle.  

  14. So excited I can barely contain myself.  Kiln is ordered!!!! Space is ready for it!!!!  Been a long time coming.


    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. Denice


      Interesting idea but my husband and I are old enough that moving a kiln out of a basement is getting too  hard.  Besides my kiln room only hold three kilns and my husband wouldn't give up any of his garage space.     Denice

    3. Roberta12


      What did you order??   You will love it whatever it is! Congrats!


    4. lgusten


      Denice -  That garage space is sacred isn't it.  That's why I am in the basement.  We shall see about getting it into the basement.  I bought the smaller one...less weight...but it is still 200 lbs.  So we will be enlisting more help and taIking it apart to get it downstairs.

      Roberta - Ordered a Olympic Medallion 1823.  It is small but large enough for my work.....When I outgrow it......I envision it being my bisque and test kiln.

      Thank you all for the support!!!!

  15. I always have a bag on the table where I working to place scraps which I try to add as I go so they are not dried out. I mist inside the bag. So the clay says moist. When I have enough, I plop the contents of the bag out and smoosh (Technical term) the pieces together into a rectangular shape. Then I set the roller on high setting then roll, then set it lower and position the clay the opposite way and roll again....and do this again until I reach the thickness I want. What I found about changing the direction each time was that I reduced the amount of air pockets. I also waste very little clay and don't generate so much dust.
  16. Lee, I like the notion of knowing that we are not alone. We can still be creative and support each other's journey. Finding ways to move forward despite the odds is acting creatively. Gabby's idea is a good one. Does someone teach pottery making in your area? A interested student may want to help just to add to their education. Acceptance of the physical limitations that our bodies are putting on us is very difficult for me. I worked on the wheel for a short time several years ago but stopped because of the pain in my hands....ended up have surgery on my right hand...nothing as extensive as Mark C and Johnny K have had done...but serious enough for me to examine how I work with my hands. I still experience weeks of downtime if I overdo it. Was thinking for a while that I would not be able to make pottery. That was a depressing time. After feeling sorry for myself for a while...decided to figure out how to rearrange my life so that I can follow my dream of making pottery. Here's what I got so far: We have stopped taking large and heavy work in the restoration business ....yeah, we can do it, but the downtime needed to recover is not productive. When was doing my work at a local community art center, I started testing out using their big Bailey slab roller to help with wedging....works great....so I saved up and bought one of those. Also, I have chosen to go with a small kiln to start, it has 15" shelves (I don't always make large things...It will also challenge me to come up with creative ways to design and make something large. I have the name of a guy who can help with the big gardening things I do...like move the giant plant pots or big plants. I am even researching easier plants or shrubs to grow in the yard so that I can maintain the use of my hands. Thanks to all for sharing.
  17. Gabby, I cannot begin to imagine how you do it....or any of you who have experienced or in the midst of experiencing great medical challenges. My heart goes out to you all. My troubles are small in comparison. I am 61 for a couple more months and have always used my hands whether in fiber arts or 25 years of restoring ceramics and making ceramics for 15 years... all stuff that is hard on the body. My hands, wrists, back and shoulders have given me trouble for many years . Most of the time I don't think about it....it is my normal. I had to put the studio on hold for a few years for a variety of family and financial reasons, but with the arthritis pain increasing in my hands, I feel driven to get moving on getting my studio up and running and me back to making pottery....the road before me doesn't seem without end like when I was younger. I just want to be able to give my craft a good 25 to 35 years....or as long as the hands and back hold out. Oh....I hand build.....there is something very comforting about building with the clay...cut and formed very much like the textiles I worked with years ago. Thank you, Pres for starting this thread.
  18. Sorry to hear that. He is a great image...looking forward to see the next one. On the warping, I usually take a very long time to dry my stuff. I leave it wrapped in plastic letting only a little air in then slowly bring it out. Not unusual for me to dry something for more than a month sometime 2 months. (I do like making tiles and low bowls).
  19. I don't mind the words if they relate to the story your piece tells. What is the owl's story? Why is he/she there? Just thoughts. I do like your owl!
  20. Finally, going to take the plunge and buy my first kiln.  I am feeling a little scared....I have some  experience firing someone else's kiln...but it has been a few years.  

    My space in the basement is all wired, got a great vent area....the house had an old oil furnace removed 30- 30 years ago, but the chimney still has the vent and the opening is close to where the kiln is going.  

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. lgusten


      I have been reading them.  Will be reaching out when I run my first test run.  I am becoming more excited than scared.  Need to get going on my glazes in prep.  Used to help make them at a local community art school.  Think I will look for 1 good recipe and go from there.  

    3. yappystudent


      Reading about kilns helped to raise and answer a lot of questions I had when I was getting my kiln. Your challenges might vary but they are worth pushing through. I'm only on my 8th firing next and it's actually getting more exciting because things are turning out better and I've more confidence using the machine itself. 

    4. lgusten


      Glad to hear about how you are moving ahead.   I am looking forward to that feeling more confident.  I used to help with the loading and unloading and occasionally the firing of the electric kilns at the community art school.  But I was following directions.  It is going to be different to have to fire on my own.  Lots to learn.

  21. I am finally ready to get my pottery studio ready.  It has been several years in the making.  Very slow..sort of glacial.  Ordering a kiln this month.  I am excited and scared and euphoric!!

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. JohnnyK


      Took me 3 years to get mine together and couldn't be happier. My wife wanted to turn it into a "crafts" studio and I told her that if it wasn't clay, it wasn't happening! Now she refers to it as "Your Studio".

    3. LeeU


      Nothing more exciting than finally pulling together one's own studio! Wait 'til the kiln arrives :)

    4. lgusten


      Good to hear that I am not the only one to take so long to pull it together.  I am going to have a party when I get a good kiln load out....for my friends for listening to me for years about these plans and never doubting me.  

  22. lgusten

    Daydreamer Arts

    Some items that I made in the past few years.
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