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About OldUberGoober

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    Missouri City, Texas

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  1. I'll second Marcia's suggestion of Frost. My first experience was TERRIBLE, but throwing it a little stiffer made all the difference; when it is very soft it just falls down (for me, anyway), but I generally prefer harder clay unless I'm throwing really large. I normally use Armadillo's Cone 5 porcelain (at a hot cone 6), but it doesn't go transparent and isn't quite as white as Frost. It is easier to throw, though, cracks less, and a is bit less expensive in Texas. Both work well under crystalline glazes.
  2. "Wood Duck Mug Wip" -- Have you been playing Mad Libs while you were convalescing? Beautiful mug; wish I had your skill at decorative (underglaze?) work.
  3. Perhaps a very thin oxide wash, sponged off the high parts; perhaps manganese or iron oxide. Wouldn't be silver, and wouldn't suit everyone's taste, but I've seen some excellent lace textured pieces done this way. Caveat: my experience is with mid or high fire, and this may not be a winner at earthenware temps. One could also apply an shiny or even opalescent glaze and sponge it off the high parts. All that said, I agree with others, the white is beautiful; it has the advantage of being easy, and you won't please everybody no matter what you do.
  4. And of course much depends on the desired goal. I like throwing marks and Asian-style glazes, celadon, shino, and tenmoku, but not every mug wants to be that. The basics of throwing, trimming, and assembly will certainly speed up with practice, but how long you take to decorate and glaze are completely up to you. My skills at 2D decoration are near zero, so I don't usually spend any time there, but many folks spend lots of time drawing and decorating on their works; sounds like you are one of these talented people.. Despite my simple taste in glazing, even for me creative decisions are often the biggest time-killer, as mentioned by several of the previous commenters. That's perfectly OK for a hobbyist, as I am now, but a killer if you're doing it for money.
  5. I love the Mudtools sponges. They cost too much, but they hold up well and feel really good, so they are worth it to me.
  6. We use mostly handmade stuff, some our seconds, a few firsts too precious to sell, and a lot of stuff we've collected over the years. Our vacations tend to include at least a couple of stops at pottery studios, and pretty much every time something follows me home. Mugs in particular I prefer to use someone else's; Warren MacKenzie said that using your own work is like shaking hands with yourself, and I find this truest while drinking coffee.
  7. Consensus among the potters I hang with is to add some fine white clay (EPK is usually handy) to the oxide wash for C10, and I've had good results at C6. it does settle quickly, as I'm sure frit would, but I just realized I've never flocculated it, and that will be the subject of tonight's experiment. Epsom salts is our friend! BTW, Iron Chromate seems to yield a nice chocolate brown, less red than the various iron oxides.
  8. Late to the party, but I have a fair amount of experience with Brent and Shimpo. The RK Whisper is very quiet (hence the name), which is nice. Also the best if you move your wheel around to do demos and such; much less likely to get hurt than a conventional 3-legged wheel. I'd probably choose a midrange Brent if I had the only vote, but the wife likes the RK, so that's what I have at the house. I seldom throw more than half a bag per pot, and I've never ever had an issue with torque, even on my forays into full-bag pots. The splash pan is easily removable for cleaning, and I know of RKs that have been use daily for classes for over a decade with no ill effects. Downside is the smallish wheel head and moderate sized splash pan, but it is (slightly) below the wheel head, so when I put on a 16" bat the only issue is a mess on the floor. Based on my statistically unsatisfactory sample size, it seems that the pedal action on the Shimpo is a bit less prone to issues than the Brent, but both seem to be workhorses.
  9. A smart meter will give you a very good idea. I get a weekly email from the power company that includes a graph of that week's usage with about 1 hour resolution. When I fire (computer controlled) you see a ramp up to the max temp, and the peak is several times my normal high hour for the week, even for bisque (cone 06). For glaze firings you can watch it hit peak, then drop while my kiln gyrates for the crystalline schedule. Great fun. All that being said, it looks like it costs on the order of $10-15 to do a cone 6 crystalline firing. Your mileage will vary.
  10. For me it's mugs. There are some I love to make and some I hate because I can't quite get what I want. There's this space-capsule shaped coffee mug I bought years ago at Enchanted Circle pottery (thanks, Kevin!) that I can't quite duplicate adequately that has been a source of endless frustration, but most mug forms I find comfortable and pleasant to throw. Unlike Ronfire, I like pulling handles; not sure what that says about me...
  11. In Texas, the Armadillo clay tends to be inexpensive and easy to get. For handbuilding, the Grande is hard to beat; off white, VERY groggy, but outstanding for sculpture/handbuilding and throwing large. It is very resistant to cracking. The coarse grog makes it less pleasant for throwing small, though I still prefer it to the ubiquitous Balcones. Balcones is a good clay for learning throwing, and is a pretty good compromise clay, but it is a jack of all trades and master of none. I love Dillo for throwing, especially small to moderate sized pieces. It is very white with some speckles. It is very smooth, and handles relatively close to B-mix in most ways, but probably cheaper where you are and I like it just a little better. Like B-Mix or porcelain, it is much more likely to crack than the Grande. These are all C10 clays. For C6, their cheap C5 porcelain is actually pretty easy to get along with as porcelains go, though not as white as some, but for handbuilding I'd probably pick Cinco Rojo with grog.
  12. Artspeak has been a pet peeve of mine for years. At one show I do every year, I create lttle sarcastic art-speak tags for my pieces. Had one otherwise very nice lady get mad at me because it took her a while to figure out I was blowing smoke. It was worth it.
  13. To minimize warping I'd want a hollow circular foot under the disk that attaches to the bar; wouldn't have to be more than a mm tall. Think a flat topped dinner plate with a foot.. Don't forget an air hole. I think there's a more serious risk or warping/cracking if it is just a flat plate directly attached to the bar. Can't prove it with math, but that's what my gut tells me. On the other hand, sprig molds don't generally crack, so I may be nuts. I am certain that a thin flat disk would be more likely to slump if unsupported for several inches, though probably safe at 1-1.5". You could slightly underfire to protect against that.but your finished piece would be weaker than normal.
  14. My wife and I signed up on on short notice for a salt firing workshop to be held last weekend, and since we work Cone 6 at the house, I brought home half a bag of cone 10 clay, which was about enough to make one piece each. As I always say, live dangerously - don't have a backup plan!. Being in a rush, I got too thin on the bottom and my piece cracked. Hers appeared to be nice and dry but blew out one side of the bottom during bisque. She'll have a one-sided piece, and I'll have a vase that won't hold water. We had a good time at the workshop anyway!
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