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Pyewackette's Achievements

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  1. I did handbuilding in high school in the 70s. So it was high school no wheel work, 20ish year gap, first wheel class, 17ish year gap, 1 class and about 9 months to a year on the wheel, one year gap, one month back on the wheel, 7 or 8 year gap. When I got here, I hit the local studio first thing and discovered I couldn't even center. At all. Sucked it up and signed up for a class. That guy had me centering again in well under 5 minutes. Not only that, he had me pulling cylinders one hour into the class. Now in my first class (now about 30 years ago) I had no problem pulling cylinders and my first keeper item was in fact a jar about 6" or 8" high that I still have packed somewhere. This was a three day class and I came out of it with that jar and 2 bowls, and they were good-for-a-beginner. When I took the 2nd class almost 20 years later, I struggled. I figured I just got old. Nope. That guy was a poser. Turns out he actually taught us very little other than to compress the bottom of whatever so you don't get s-cracks. Other than that, every time I asked for help pulling cylinders (or anything else), it was either "Just FEEEEL the clay" or "Let the clay decide what it wants to be". Ask for a demonstration and he would sit down and swiftly throw a lumpy pot, all the while declaiming about the benefits of "just letting the clay BE". So those bowls I was throwing? Nobody throws bowls the way I was doing it. OH it worked for me (eventually, more or less), and toward the end of that stint of my clay journey, it was actually working pretty WELL for me. But the "techniques" I was using were by-guess-and-by-golly and I left that place unable to pull a cylinder OR a handle to save my life. For once in my life, I'm actually sort of glad of my melty-brain. Its easier to forget the little bits that still hang on and relearn much more effective techniques now from a Real Teacher. But aside from that - I'm more or less ambidextrous and I had inadvertently learned to throw "backwards", not knowing that the markings on the wheels that said FORWARD and REVERSE are the reverse of how most Americans throw. Right handed Americans throw in REVERSE. Left handed Americans throw on FORWARD. I just set my wheel to FORWARD, the instructor assumed I was left handed, and that's how I learned to throw. When I took it back up this go round, I attempted to switch to the "normal" way, throwing as a right handed potter. Centering at first was much much easier for me that way but I soon discovered that actually opening out the pot and trying to raise the walls was problematic, so by the 2nd class I had switched back to being a backwards potter. I write right handed and do lots of detail work other than potting right handed, but all eye-hand coordination stuff such as archery and darts, I use my left hand. Which might explain my apparent total lack of coordination at tennis and baseball - I probably should have gone lefty for those. But now I keep getting confused between which hand is supposed to be doing what, between the 8 year gap since I last sat down at a wheel and my brief but ultimately doomed attempt to switch to right handed American style throwing. I actually do not know which hand is supposed to be holding the rib or the trim tool now (my wheel rotates clockwise in case the whole forward-reverse thing is confusing to anyone reading this LOL!). I have to stop and think about which side I'm supposed to be working on. I'm hoping that as the week of trying to turn myself into a right handed potter recedes and the memory of it melts away, it'll get easier. I didn't have these issues before - but maybe that's because I was switch hitting at the wheel, not knowing that I was throwing up roadblocks to my own success by doing things in alternate ways that were actually counter productive. Basically everything I've ever done in the more recent past was "alternative", largely by accident and because I had a crappy "teacher" whose idea of "teaching" was to show off his non-existent skills. I was left to my own devices, which resulted in lots of bad habits that I somehow got lucky enough to manage to overcome to at least the extent of being able to eventually throw a halfway decent bowl. I was just starting to throw small bowls off the hump the last go round but I'm sure all those bad habits I had taught myself were limiting me there as well. I'm nowhere near being able to attempt that again - yet. Throwing off the hump is definitely an alternative technique that I am anxious to get back to - in new and better ways. Oh and cylinders and handles - child's play. Well cylinders are now doable - I'll call them child's play after I've thrown a few dozen decent ones LOL! Handles are child's play though. All of my handles were successful out of the gate with decent tutelage. I never pulled a decent handle before I had access to a Real Teacher. The first guy was most likely a Real Teacher as well, hence my success there. My short term goal is to throw 30 cylinders that make me smile and relearning to tap center. After that, most things I want to do turn out to be "alternative".
  2. It's been at least 8 years since last I saw them, and I'm seriously hoping not to find broken bits when and if I finally find the box they are in - but when I had them I was in N. Carolina where it is humid. I don't remember any issues with over-drying in that climate. I know that with hardibacker, which I used as ware boards, dampening them prior to use was a Good Idea for the reason you mention, but I'm not sure about the hydrostone. I know from dry - I just left a place that was so freakin' dry that my ears would occasionally bleed, and I would hang a damp towel over my head to counteract extreme dry-eye. Where I am now is only semi-dry. I only have to hang wet towels on the fan sometimes, LOL! Oh and I still wired off the bat. I was planning to get or make some hydrostone ware boards but since then I've settled on hardibacker for that and for my clay table (when I get it built). I was in a studio situation back then and couldn't wait for it to naturally pop off the bat, unless I wanted to hog shelf space and risk my bats growing legs. I was only up to 8 to 10 lbs of clay back then. I have yet to get back to 5 lbs this go-round. I wasn't really throwing anything big enough even back then to warrant leaving a single item on the whole bat, even if I hadn't been wary of it walking off. There have got to be people on here who have way more experience with them than I have, but I do remember I liked the one(s?) I had. A lot. I'm still working on re-remembering how to tap center at this point. *sigh* I should probably buy a couple, in case my originals are permanently lost or broken. You can't really have too many bats - or at least I couldn't afford to buy so many that I'd have too many. EDIT: I haven't given up on trying to make drop-in hardibacker thingies for my (I think) Northstar bats that had removable ware board centers, but I don't know where those bats are either and they may be warped by now even if I ever do find them - so I really ought to be getting serious about getting some bats. I don't think the Northstar system is made any more - if it is, I had the other brand that isn't made any more.
  3. @Beebop Somewhere in boxes are my good hydrostone bats. I loved them. I hope to be loving them again soon-ish. I believe you can buy the stuff to make hydrostone and make your own as well. They will not warp and they don't have some of the problems of plaster bats. I THINK they are also lighter weight than plaster bats but I could be mis-remembering.
  4. Wow, that took forever! What the heck happened to a simple "reply to"??? Anyway to respond to the actual post = I am a freak of nature. I'm 5'2" tall (just measured myself the other day and I'm STILL apparently 5'2", I should probably have my son do it to make sure I'm not off in self-measuring, I would have assumed I'd shrunk by this age). Not long ago I did some calculations and if my body were proportionate, I would be either no shorter than 5'9" (to 5' 11") or no taller than 4'11" (4'-9.5" at the low end) depending on whether you start from the limbs or the trunk LOL! But I have no trouble at all centering. I did have to be "reminded" after an 8 year gap, but it did come back right away once someone showed me how again. Granted I am not throwing large amounts of clay yet, but so far, so good on the re-potting trail.
  5. For general hauling, that will all be local. Not terribly concerned with mileage for short hops like that. The studio build is on hold for at least a year and I've given up on the mixer-pugmill idea. Once I checked into it in detail that turned out not to be nearly as handy as it sounded. We'll see about a much smaller de-airing pugmill - eventually. I might not care so much about pugmills if I can reliably get out and haul a bit of clay when needed. It also turns out that there IS red clay at the community studio, the guy I talked to just ... tried to pretend, shall we say, that there wasn't. Three times. The stuff they have is perfectly suitable for burnishing (and in fact at least a couple of people have in fact used it for just that) so that makes a pugmill much much less useful/attractive. Right now I'm contemplating a way to manage a 1.5 cft test kiln in the garage. Preferably with venting - if I'm going to "simulate" larger kiln conditions it doesn't seem very helpful not to vent. Its brick so not running it out the side and I'm reluctant to run it through the roof for what I hope is a temporary situation. Still cogitating and considering. I have at least 3 other things to run out the roof - 2 bath fans that currently dump into the attic and adding a range vent so ... possibly its silly of me to hesitate to pierce the roof over the garage too. I'm also reconsidering "normal" cars with a suitable roof rack for the odd haulage of lumber type stuff. For internal cargo, my Hyundai Accent was rated for 950 lbs. Since that was the smallest car in their lineup its probably fair to assume that somewhat larger sedans of whatever make ought to get close to the 800 or so lbs (not counting me) I would typically max out at per load. I did load the Accent close to its limit on occasion (mostly hauling tile) and boy did it ride low so I am looking for excess capacity rather than going right up to the max. I used to haul a kayak, skis, and/or bikes on my various hatchbacks and other small cars, but haven't hauled lumber that way since my 69 Fastback that had a solid steel roof LOL! Not the same kind of loads. I grok the loading criteria. Even with a full size truck (I do miss that Ram with the full size bed) I watched the loaders like a hawk to keep them from loading it all on the tail. I'm 100% sure they knew better but more than once at big box stores I've had to insist on proper load distribution and boy did they whine. I just reminded them that there were (2 or 3) of them and one of (5'2") me and if I could unload it all by myself, they could certainly between the 2 or 3 of them properly load it LOL! Real lumberyards never ever tried it on that way. I won't ever again be building an entire house so those kinds of loads aren't in it for me any more but what I do need, I do want to be able to haul. Thanks.
  6. Thanks to the folks actually trying to be helpful. I also need to haul building supplies, animal feed, gardening supplies, and a wide range of things that don't normally fit well in the teensy cars I generally prefer to drive. Anybody ever put a roof rack on a minivan?
  7. Welp I am firmly ensconced in the land of White Clays Only, sadly colored-clayless due to multiple U-Haul screwups, including but not limited to: cancelling my son's reservation for U-boxes at the last minute, after he not only had made plane reservations for the both of us but was actually IN town helping me pack boxes. So he had to eat the cost of BOTH plane tickets back and also now we HAD to sell my car (as opposed to me driving with the bird and then being able to stop and get some clay and him only eating the cost of MY ticket, which had potential until they canceled the non-reservation) Sticking us with a 20' truck instead of 5 u-boxes eg much smaller and I had to leave a lot of stuff - but I was still hopeful we could get some clay on the very back, which is what prompted my last post (made after the first ScrewU-up) Putting retreads on the front of the truck. The first one had a dent in it and was causing a rough ride which my son did not recognize as being caused by other than the fact that it was a big truck with bad suspension. But I am a suspicious type and got out at the first gas stop and inspected that tire and found the dimple. Also I observed tread separating laterally across the tire eg retread coming off. I should have checked the rest of the tires then but seriously. He DID come to get me because I have been so sick for so long after all. Hopefully I can be forgiven for falling down on the job and failing to find the second problem which was: The other front tire was ALSO a retread and it literally shredded off the rim. I have a picture but can't figure out how to get it off my phone onto my son's laptop (mine being lost in a box somewhere) THEN I checked all the other tires and found 2 brand new Michelins with the sprues still on, rear tires on one side. On the other - 2 tires that clearly had at least 3 or 4 times the mileage on the truck itself - truck had around 44k miles when we started, those tires did not have less than 150k miles on them. One of the new tires was a little low which was exacerbating bad stretches of road. If only I had checked all the tires before we left ... At any rate we didn't get any clay. We barely got the truck back in time. U-haul (despite all the delays they caused because first they canceled our U-boxes and then they used junk tires for a long distance haul) threatened to SUE my son if he didn't get the truck back in time. So there was no time to stop for clay. I think NM Clay is mad at me. I did call and tell them after the first tire delay that we weren't going to make it. I had hoped maybe we could make up the time but when the second retread shredded off the rim it was all over. No way. And I am now altogether carless because we had to sell my car rather than me driving it down here. And also clayless. I'm pretty sure we left the 50 lbs of Red Earthenware I still had behind, as well. (No I am NOT unpacked yet, not even started as we are waiting for paint and flooring in the new place) I will say I am SUPER glad we weren't trying to haul my car when the second tire shredded off the rim. My son was driving. It would have been a problem even if *I* had been driving but with him driving it would almost certainly have been an accident in the making. I love my son but long-haul trucking (even in a little 20' U-haul van) is not even remotely in his skill set. Now I've had time to check everything out here I know I can't implement my original studio plans. The cement pad out back is just that - a 3" thick pad with no foundation. He had been assured it was a floating pad that had that underturn that is sort of a mini-foundation, which I could have built a small shed on. It’s not. It’s just a 3" thick 10x10 sheet of concrete. So the small bedroom in this 2br house will now be my pottery studio and I will figure a way to build over the pad out back just for the kiln and a pugmill. That's assuming there is no reason NOT to keep the pugmill (mixing/de-airing sort) in the same space as the kiln (will still be roughly 10x10). IS there any reason not to put a smallish mixing pugmill in with the kiln in that much space? Second question: Given I now need a vehicle - I've typically only ever had either tiny or huge vehicles. My last truck was a Dodge Ram and my last car was a Hyundai Accent. I now need something in between because I can't afford an actual truck anymore. So I’m looking for suggestions for a mid sized vehicle that I can haul 700 or 800 lbs of clay in once a year that doesn’t get horrible horrible mileage and is fairly reliable. I’ll worry about cost later (used vehicles are sky high right now so regardless, I’ll be waiting until prices come back down some). Suggestions for some vehicles typically useful to potters?
  8. So I'm getting ready to move and due to U-Haul trickery, we're doing it in a van instead of in pods. It's a 3 day drive and a lot of it is downhill, but fortunately thanks to bike trail mapping software, I did manage to convince my son that going through CA (and up over Mt. Whitney, the highest point in CA, not to mention going through Death Valley) would NOT be better than driving along Rt 95 past Walker Lake. For some reason that particular leg of the trip freaked my DIL out. So part of this - given that I'm moving into a white-clays only region - is a stop in Albuquerque for several hundred pounds of colored clay bodies. What I failed to take into account is how much space needs to be left in the van for the clay. So ... finally ... here is my dumb question: How much space does 100 lbs of pugged, bagged, commercial clay take up? I've ordered 700 or 800 lbs (my total is less than theirs so there's something extra on there I've forgotten about or they made some other mistake, can't find out 'til Monday). It will be going on to a 20' U-haul truck. WHERE to place that might be an issue as well. Would saving a corner be OK or would it need to be more evenly distributed somehow? Normally loading the truck I'd have put it all the way at the front of the truck right behind the cab but that won't be possible this go-round LOL!
  9. @Hulk Yeah that was my original plan, but then I found out 2x4s are $9 apiece LOL! I don't want to put something that size in my garage. I just want a test kiln - I'll have use for it anyway. No reason to fire up a 7cft kiln just to see at what temp the new clay will preserve the burnishing LOL! Plus other stufz. Plus plus the 2.5/2.6ish cft kilns from L&L seem to be about the same price as the 1.5cft ones. Sort of. The Olympic is .86 cft as I recall and that IS big enough, but @ 1800ish once its kitted out we're into the realm of (slightly larger) kilns. It's big enough, but an eensy bit larger for the price wouldn't hurt either. And I don't know that much about Olympic kilns or kilns this small (or kilns in general for that matter). I'd be good stopping at the Olympic but figured I ought to consider the smaller L&Ls as well. Assuming the way Olympic touts the controller (as far as "matching" ramping up and down and firing and all that to make it look like a bigger kiln) is correct. If its not then I ought to keep looking anyway.
  10. I'm good with putting in a proper circuit for it. I'll be setting it up in my (2 car) garage (I currently own zero cars). That kiln in particular claims that if you get one of the upgraded controllers, you can program it to match the larger kiln cycles. But now that I'm up in the stratosphere for a test kiln (aka around $2k for the kiln properly kitted out) I'm looking at L&L small kilns as well. I'm in the middle of packing for a major move (U-Haul trickery is involved and has made this more complicated) so I haven't had a chance to look much more since yesterday but I'm definitely in the market for a decent test kiln. Is the upgraded controller for the small L&L kilns capable of mimicking the larger kiln firing/cooldown cycles? I'm looking at 1.5cf up to 2.6cf. Mainly because they don't have anything between .5cft and 1.5cf, LOL! There are so many L&Ls in that price range and they all look the same but have different (but very similar) model numbers.
  11. Until such time as I can afford to build my kiln shed I think it would be good to get a test kiln so I can work on nailing down the firing characteristics of burnished pieces. I've burnished in the past but have never been able to fire because the community studios I've worked at only fire at cone 6. Apparently cone 5 is also a thing now (at least in the West) but definitely not 018. BUT if I'm going to have a test kiln I figure it ought to be as capable as possible for when I DO start getting in to firing glazes and such, plus I have a penchant for lots of different kinds of clay and I like to see what I can do with the clay bodies just because. At first I thought the L&L test kilns were way 'spensive, but after looking at various test kilns I'm up into the 2k range or close enough to it that I may have been wrong about that. So I'll be looking at those again. But for now I've come across this Olympic 1214HE. What is weirding me out about it is that it is a 220v ELECTRIC kiln - with a pilot light? Does it really have a pilot light and if so, what is that pilot light FOR?
  12. Well call me old school but words mean something, and functional has a meaning. "Functional pottery" has a meaning and it means that the main purpose of the item is to be put to some use. I'm with Neil, I don't think it fails as a piece of art - that is not the point I was after. But I DO find that it fails as a piece of functional pottery. Maybe some people don't care if something works "poorly" vs something that is actually designed with the intent in mind in order to not just barely do the job, but do it WELL. I am not among that group. I'll bet you dollars to donuts, whoever has that piece now is displaying it. Which is fine. But it isn't actually functional. Given that the artist presented it as a piece of "functional" pottery it is perfectly well within the purview of the observer to judge its functionality, and that set is extremely poorly designed for actual use. The fact that it works as art doesn't change that. The fact that it would perform its alleged "function" only very poorly is a valid criticism. Now if you want to evaluate it as a piece of art, its functionality doesn't come into it at all. But it was not presented in the article I read in that way. It was presented specifically as "functional" pottery. It is a very poor example of that category. The little big-bellied vases could be put to use as say bud vases. But as drinking cups, they're a total fail. No matter how cute.
  13. OK so apparently Hulk and I are missing different things. I'm missing seeing my name posted UP TOP at the right. Now there is a dropdown menu, and where the notification bell and letter (and my name when I'm logged in) used to appear, now there is a link to an RSS feed and a Plus sign that I think is intended for "following" or something. So now I have no way to tell if I'm logged in and no way to see when I have a notification. Sometimes a number appears on the dropdown logo, but it is not accurate. I've had notifications that don't appear there at all, and others that won't disappear from that for hours, unless I reload the page. The notification bell and letter ALWAYS worked and it was always obvious whether or not I was currently logged in. Apparently that dropdown logo is not as sensitive as the old method since it doesn't update properly. THAT is what I'd really like back. It was easy to see, it was right there, it was obvious, and it worked. Now you have to go IN to the dropdown to see anything where the needed information used to be just RIGHT THERE. I, too, do not grok the use of the rocket or pen nib or whatever it is that was added to our profile pictures. The text label was self-explanatory and did not obscure the avatar. BTW I can't find any privacy settings. I did finally find the notification settings, but it is only for individual posts. I can't find a GENERAL setting location. Also I noticed that in Settings > Recently Used Devices, you are showing my location every single time I log in. Is that something other people can potentially see? Because it is creeping me out.
  14. OK so I've been re-reading and apparently I DID get it backwards - CAN and CAD are going to remain separate with separate logins. I totally missed this posting that made that crystal clear. Apologies. My day starts at 4 AM (that's my excuse). So we're sticking with 2 logins then. Which leaves me still with no idea why the Hulk and I can't see our names or notifications without going in to the dropdown, since other people apparently still can.
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