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GiselleNo5

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  1. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to Pres in Where Are The Good Stamps?!   
    I had the luck to get a few lead type set letters, but not nearly enough, I also use a full set of leather stamps, and I have a fancy set of kids letter stamps for playdoh that is made of hard plastic-work really well.
     
     
    best,
    Pres
  2. Like
    GiselleNo5 got a reaction from BornonSunsetCeramics in Where Are The Good Stamps?!   
    Oh, and I use a little alphabet set of rubber stamps, they work great for lettering.  
  3. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to GEP in Where Are The Good Stamps?!   
    There are metal alphabet stamp sets made for jewelers. Jewelers use these by hammering them into metal sheets. I imagine they are sharp enough to make a crisp impression in clay. Metal might stick to clay, but a dusting of corn starch beforehand should prevent that.
     
    https://www.riogrande.com/search/go?w=Alphabet%20Stamps
     
    I also like Mark's suggestion of finding metal typesetter letters. These are considered antiques now, but you can still find them.
  4. Like
    GiselleNo5 got a reaction from Sputty in Where Are The Good Stamps?!   
    I used to make stamps and sell them but I have largely lost enthusiasm for it as making pottery is much more fun! 
     
    MKM Pottery Tools is a good source for a wide variety of stamps, but really the best is to spend a little time and effort making your own. I was always so surprised that people wanted to buy stamps from me when they could make their own individual designs! (Don't tell my customers I said that!) Although in the beginning a lot of my stamps were funky so perhaps people make a couple and then get discouraged. 
     
    I like to practice new designs using white Sculpey that I can bake in an oven for twenty minutes so I can test it almost immediately instead of waiting for a ceramic stamp to dry and be bisque fired before playing with it. 
     
    Gary Jackson of Fire When Ready Pottery doesn't sell stamps but his are amazing, you should definitely check them out. I also have seen some really good stamp making tutorials on Pinterest.  
     
    And this is one of my favorite stamp making techniques. 
  5. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to GreyBird in Opening Peep Hole With Vent On...   
    Thanks Everyone, So moisture it is. I am leaning.... always learning  
  6. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to neilestrick in Opening Peep Hole With Vent On...   
    Dry your work upside down.
  7. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to Marcia Selsor in Opening Peep Hole With Vent On...   
    When I was in school, the directions were to lick or spit on the bottom. If the wet spot disappeared quickly it was dry. Cold or cool is a little more sanitary. It is a hard lesson to learn. For larger or thicker pieces, I dry them raised on sticks to let the bottoms dry. By larger I means Bird bath columns or pillars or larger hand built work. I fire my large oak slabs (24") on edge and preheat for 8 hours.
    Marcia
  8. Like
    GiselleNo5 got a reaction from GreyBird in Opening Peep Hole With Vent On...   
    Grey Bird, I have been there with explosive kiln loads that looked horribly like the one I'm looking at in the photos and I have to tell you ONE GOOD THING about making a mistake like this: once you figure out where you went wrong, you will know how to keep it from happening again.  

    I definitely agree that this is caused by moisture (Neil and Marcia have probably one hundred times the experience I do but just to put in my two cents' worth ...) Before you fire, the pieces should feel dry and not cold to the touch. If they are cool or cold even if they appear dry, there is still moisture in them and as Neil said, it's steam that is the killer, not air bubbles, (unless the air bubbles also contain moisture). I know experienced potters who sometimes choose to "candle" their wet work (fire wet work for a long time at a low temp to quickly dry it) but in my opinion it increases the risk to the work so much that it is not really worth doing. 
  9. Like
    GiselleNo5 got a reaction from D.M.Ernst in Opening Peep Hole With Vent On...   
    Yes, yes yes!!! This is SO TRUE. There is no rushing any part of the clay process.  
  10. Like
    GiselleNo5 got a reaction from Marcia Selsor in Opening Peep Hole With Vent On...   
    Grey Bird, I have been there with explosive kiln loads that looked horribly like the one I'm looking at in the photos and I have to tell you ONE GOOD THING about making a mistake like this: once you figure out where you went wrong, you will know how to keep it from happening again.  

    I definitely agree that this is caused by moisture (Neil and Marcia have probably one hundred times the experience I do but just to put in my two cents' worth ...) Before you fire, the pieces should feel dry and not cold to the touch. If they are cool or cold even if they appear dry, there is still moisture in them and as Neil said, it's steam that is the killer, not air bubbles, (unless the air bubbles also contain moisture). I know experienced potters who sometimes choose to "candle" their wet work (fire wet work for a long time at a low temp to quickly dry it) but in my opinion it increases the risk to the work so much that it is not really worth doing. 
  11. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to oldlady in Opening Peep Hole With Vent On...   
    sad but not devastating.  yes, the pots are much too thick.  it appears that you can throw pots, the large one shows a nice shape.  
     
    one of the things a new potter needs to learn is that each pot is only a piece of clay until it is totally finished.  very few of the first year's pots are worth saving. it is very hard to stop thinking you are making something when you are actually LEARNING A SKILL.  
     
    one thing that will help you learn is to run the cutoff wire into the center of the pots and draw the wire upward, cutting the entire wall so you can feel and see how thick the walls are.  many pots later, you will be able to tell how thick it is without cutting..  
     
    some lessons might help but see what kind of work the instructor actually makes him/herself. not to see if that is that what you want to learn to make but to see the level of competence demonstrated in the finished piece.  not all instructors are equal.
  12. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to neilestrick in Opening Peep Hole With Vent On...   
    Putting pieces close to the lid will not block the flow of air for the vent. No worries there. However, leaving a peep hole open spoils the draft of the vent. The good news is that for the pots it's not a huge deal since leaving the peep hole open brings fresh air into the kiln, however it allows fumes to come out of the kiln and into the room, so it's not good for you. Leave the peeps in if the vent is being used.
     
    None of the explosions were related to the vent, nor were they due to air bubbles. Air bubbles do not blow up. Air only expands about 1.5 times from room temp to 2000 degrees, which is not enough to blow apart the clay. Steam causes explosions. In the first 200 degrees of the firing, pots must evaporate off any remaining water in their walls before it turns to steam. Thick pieces aren't able to evaporate off all that water in a typical firing schedule, and when that water turns to steam it expands 1,700 times and blows up your pots. So for thick pieces you have to either do a preheat to dry them out, or fire much slower.
  13. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to Pres in Qotw: What Movie Best Describes Your Adventures In Clay: And Why?   
    Thank you Terrim8, Hmmmm drooling is not included in a vocabulary of legume base cuisine for me. . . . What are you firing your kiln with?   
     
     
    best,
    Pres
  14. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to terrim8 in Qotw: What Movie Best Describes Your Adventures In Clay: And Why?   
    I just signed up for an expensive ceramics course.
     
    In light of this, I will most likely be enjoying a legume based cuisine for some time and perhaps in the same rarified atmosphere as depicted in the fine dining scene of the film, Blazing Saddles.The course is to be taught at a small western community reminiscent of the charming village seen in the movie. As a bonus, this pure & natural form of nourishment that I shall be living on enhances my creative impulses, helping me to produce pots that exhibit a  sensation of warmth in design emanating from the base and enveloping my creations ever upwards. 
  15. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to Chilly in Help! Newbie Struggling With How Much Water?   
    I know the feeling.
     
    When you watch someone else, it looks like they are working with clay the consistency of thick yogurt.  When you try it, the clay feels like almost set concrete.
     
    Follow the advice above and just keep trying.  It took me about two years (intermittently at evening classes) to get the clay to centre and cone up and down.  It's just a case of getting in the zone, try it with your eyes closed, and pushing the clay with your mind as much as with your body.  It's a whole body workout, not your fingers, not your hands, not your arms, not your shoulders, not your back or your stomach, but all of them working together.
     
    Experts make everything look easy, the rest of us have to practice, practice and then practice some more.
  16. Like
    GiselleNo5 got a reaction from Min in Help! Newbie Struggling With How Much Water?   
    I taught myself to throw through watching every pottery video I could find, reading every article, trial, and lots and lots of error.
     
    I really loved this book: https://www.amazon.com/Ceramics-Beginners-Wheel-Throwing-Lark/dp/1600592449 It may seem odd to learn wheel throwing from a book but this is presented very well with photographs of hand positions that are hard to see isolated in a video. 
     
    I agree that it sounds like your clay is way too firm. I didn't even realize in the beginning that it was part of my struggle that I was using hard clay. When I switched over to a different soft stoneware it was amazing what a difference it made. Every once in a while I decide to "use up" some older clay that has gone a little too dry and every time I regret that decision and I remember over again why that doesn't work for me. 
     
    If you can, look on this as purely a learning experience. If you keep on persevering and making use of all the resources at your disposal you will come out the other side. I joined this forum a couple years ago as a rank beginning thrower and have received nothing but helpful kind suggestions and a generous sharing of knowledge from so many lovely people with decades more experience than I.
  17. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to Stone Spiral in Qotw: The Psychological Ups And Downs With Clay   
    For me, it is that I live in an area that is quite saturated with potters. There is a really good art school nearby that pumps out professional potters.

    I took ceramics in college 8-10 years ago - and didn't keep up with it because of life. I am just now re-teaching myself a lot of what I learned back then about kilns/firing, glazes, etc. Being surrounded by gallery-artist potter types makes me feel a little bit intimidated. I have my own community studio, I am a handbuilder... I run children's clay classes... it is for the love of pottery, and the sharing of creative space - not for the galleries or glory. But sometimes I do wish I could be a part of the galleries and glory! (and sometimes this gets in the way of my desire to create... that I'm not a high-caliber pot-throwing machine)
  18. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to Rockhopper in Help! Newbie Struggling With How Much Water?   
    I also think your clay is probably too stiff.  When the clay is stiff, you have to press harder to move it.
     
    I recently ran into this with some 'left-over' stoneware clay that had been given to me. The harder I pressed, the more water I needed to keep my hands lubricated.  The outer layer starts turning into slip before the rest of the lump is soft enough to really work well.  A two-pound ball of clay soon turned into a one-pound lump, and a splash-pan full of slip (not to mention the coating on my hands & fore-arms).
     
    There are lots of ways to add moisture to your clay.  I use a method similar to what Marcia suggested.  I usually start with 3-4 pounds and slice it into several 1/2-inch thick pieces.  Then, Instead of dipping and letting each slice sit, I sponge a little water onto the top of each slice, and "stack & slam".  Process is repeated until the clay is uniformly moist.
     
    It's difficult to describe the correct softness - but it's amazing the difference it makes.
     
    PS - If you haven't heard of "stack & slam" wedging check out this article and the accompanying video. There are other variations on the technique, but this gives a good explanation of how it works.
  19. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to Min in Help! Newbie Struggling With How Much Water?   
    There are some really bad youtube video's out there, don't know if you've seen this one but it's a good one for covering most of the issues with centering (including coning). As DM Ernst pointed out, look at the size of the clay he is working with. It's hard to quantify how wet the clay should be if you've never worked with "soft" clay. If you try wedging on a formica tabletop and the clay sticks a bit I would say it's soft enough, if it doesn't stick then I'ld work some water into it like has already been mentioned. For the coning part use the heels of your hands not your fingertips. Doesn't matter if you are a lefty, if your wheel is spinning counterclockwise work on the right side of pot to do your lifts. (at approx 3:00 o'clock).   
     
    "I feel really dumb having to come here and ask this"
    Why??? Nobody here would ever ridicule you for asking for help with something that is giving you problems. 
  20. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to glazenerd in Qotw: The Psychological Ups And Downs With Clay   
    Prez
    Woke up this morning with a qotw in my head
     
    What movie best describes your adventures in clay: and why?
     
    Nerd
  21. Like
    GiselleNo5 got a reaction from Joseph Fireborn in Qotw: The Psychological Ups And Downs With Clay   
    I was just talking this over with someone so it's funny that it has come up here as well. 
     
    I have definitely had my ups and downs, fits and starts. Originally I was making clay stamps to sell online since I first was introduced to clay when my son was very small and it was not an option for me to pursue ceramics more fully. Originally I intended to transition to functional pottery while still making stamps but I have found that I have little to no desire to continue making and selling stamps when I have all these pots in my head begging to be made. 
     
    The past 2.5 years since I started teaching myself to throw have been a roller coaster. The first six months I couldn't even center because I was so stressed out about not being able to center. Eventually I told myself that no matter how long it took, I was determined to learn and in the meantime I was going to have F U N. Within a week I was centering my pots and making finished items for the first time. 

    Once I could reliably make mostly what I wanted, I tended to spend 6-12 weeks making, then two glazing, then not touch clay for a month or two because my glaze results were not what I had hoped for.

    January of last year I changed over half the glazes I was using due to an issue with the QC and customer service of the manufacturer, but I was too impatient to test, which resulted in four kiln loads in a row with 50% or more failure rate. One kiln load had 23 out of 27 pieces unable to be sold because of a single mistake I made. From January to July I became so frustrated and depressed that I seriously considered giving up ceramics for good and going back to the simpler, easier, safer stamps. From July to October everything clicked with the glazes and for the first time since I took up ceramics I started to have flawless kiln loads. After my huge two weekend studio show in October I decided to take a couple weeks off and promptly became sick, then having three back to back colds and bronchitis it was January before I went back in the studio. 

    For the first time since I started learning to throw I find that I am in a rhythm of work that is starting to feel like it's sustainable, I really can keep doing this, I really am making something people want to buy! 
     
    Some things I have learned, and I remind myself of them over and over to get me out of my funk:
     
    1. When I have a high failure rate it is ALWAYS because I am taking risks and moving outside of my comfort zone. This includes flopping pots as I learn a new shape or weight of clay, trying out a new glaze technique, or seeing if I can eliminate a step from my process. Sometimes it fails and sometimes it succeeds but I learn the most from the failures. 
     
    2. Just because I don't like it, doesn't mean somebody else might not love it. I have stopped pointing out flaws real or imagined, and just thanking people for the compliments. 
     
    3. If I am feeling upset or overwhelmed or depressed, I always feel better if I put some clay in my hands. The answer is not to give up and close my studio, but to let myself go out there MORE than I already do.
  22. Like
    GiselleNo5 got a reaction from LeeU in Qotw: The Psychological Ups And Downs With Clay   
    I was just talking this over with someone so it's funny that it has come up here as well. 
     
    I have definitely had my ups and downs, fits and starts. Originally I was making clay stamps to sell online since I first was introduced to clay when my son was very small and it was not an option for me to pursue ceramics more fully. Originally I intended to transition to functional pottery while still making stamps but I have found that I have little to no desire to continue making and selling stamps when I have all these pots in my head begging to be made. 
     
    The past 2.5 years since I started teaching myself to throw have been a roller coaster. The first six months I couldn't even center because I was so stressed out about not being able to center. Eventually I told myself that no matter how long it took, I was determined to learn and in the meantime I was going to have F U N. Within a week I was centering my pots and making finished items for the first time. 

    Once I could reliably make mostly what I wanted, I tended to spend 6-12 weeks making, then two glazing, then not touch clay for a month or two because my glaze results were not what I had hoped for.

    January of last year I changed over half the glazes I was using due to an issue with the QC and customer service of the manufacturer, but I was too impatient to test, which resulted in four kiln loads in a row with 50% or more failure rate. One kiln load had 23 out of 27 pieces unable to be sold because of a single mistake I made. From January to July I became so frustrated and depressed that I seriously considered giving up ceramics for good and going back to the simpler, easier, safer stamps. From July to October everything clicked with the glazes and for the first time since I took up ceramics I started to have flawless kiln loads. After my huge two weekend studio show in October I decided to take a couple weeks off and promptly became sick, then having three back to back colds and bronchitis it was January before I went back in the studio. 

    For the first time since I started learning to throw I find that I am in a rhythm of work that is starting to feel like it's sustainable, I really can keep doing this, I really am making something people want to buy! 
     
    Some things I have learned, and I remind myself of them over and over to get me out of my funk:
     
    1. When I have a high failure rate it is ALWAYS because I am taking risks and moving outside of my comfort zone. This includes flopping pots as I learn a new shape or weight of clay, trying out a new glaze technique, or seeing if I can eliminate a step from my process. Sometimes it fails and sometimes it succeeds but I learn the most from the failures. 
     
    2. Just because I don't like it, doesn't mean somebody else might not love it. I have stopped pointing out flaws real or imagined, and just thanking people for the compliments. 
     
    3. If I am feeling upset or overwhelmed or depressed, I always feel better if I put some clay in my hands. The answer is not to give up and close my studio, but to let myself go out there MORE than I already do.
  23. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to glazenerd in Qotw: The Psychological Ups And Downs With Clay   
    I have a truck load of tenacity and endurance: I can and have gone for years with little to no successes. I know it takes times, and very long hours to figure out how the chemistry works in specific terms. If I wanted to know in general terms, I would just buy some books. However, my personality requires me to know in exact terms.  After nearly a decade, I know.
     
    Nerd
  24. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to Joseph Fireborn in Qotw: The Psychological Ups And Downs With Clay   
    I was in an extreme ceramic down last year. I was hating my decisions in ceramics. Made a lot of bad choices on testing and just didn't have any successes, mostly due to the way I tested and what I was hoping for. This led to a 7 month break(plus winter was cold). Brutal. I can't recoup that time, which I wish I had now. However I am now in a pottery euphoria. 
     
    I have to say, I love ceramics, but man it is one long process. Cutting out my bisque firing has drastically made everything better. I wish I would have done that 2 years ago.
  25. Like
    GiselleNo5 reacted to oldlady in Ok, I'm Asking An Incredibly Simplistic Question   
    nancy, i tried to explain what i did to have a blue surface with white lines in the carvings to a fellow potter.  it was blue slip that i carved through, covered the entire bowl with a white matte glaze and fired it..  she asked several times more "but how did you get the white lines?  it took 5 times for her to understand that white glaze on white clay makes white lines.  it even worked on 112, a buff with specks.


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