D.M.Ernst got a reaction from Pres in QotW: Of the things that you make, do you use anything pottery wise, and what is your favorite piece to use?
Cannot start the day without my teapot.
D.M.Ernst reacted to Stephen in QotW: Either generally or specifically, what do you think, feel, and/or do when confronted with moderate to serious/severe limitations of some aspect of health that alters how you work in clay?
ya know you might suggest that they could revise the policy to allow a 'buddy' system of 2, 3 or even a small group working together during one eight hour shift and frame it as being to broaden participation. I assume the whole point of having the wood kiln and the firing is to promote and enrich the pottery experience. There are many, many health situations that are not immediately visible that would make it impossible to 'work' an entire 8 hour strenuous shift. COPD, back issues etc etc.
The other question that comes to mind is if the Guild is truly about mission when it come to this kiln or if some members see this wood kiln as some sort of personal domain or perc and thus inclusiveness is not really part of the agenda to begin with.
D.M.Ernst reacted to Pres in QotW: Either generally or specifically, what do you think, feel, and/or do when confronted with moderate to serious/severe limitations of some aspect of health that alters how you work in clay?
You know for all my complaining about my thumb, and arthritis. I am in amazingly good shape, and hope that I will remains so for a long time. My Dad is looking forward to hunting season soon as we hunt together in Northern PA. He is 91!
D.M.Ernst reacted to Joseph Fireborn in QotW: Either generally or specifically, what do you think, feel, and/or do when confronted with moderate to serious/severe limitations of some aspect of health that alters how you work in clay?
Bless all you awesome people here. The stories of your overcoming are inspirational. Keep up the hard work.
D.M.Ernst reacted to lgusten in QotW: Either generally or specifically, what do you think, feel, and/or do when confronted with moderate to serious/severe limitations of some aspect of health that alters how you work in clay?
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.
D.M.Ernst reacted to yappystudent in QotW: Either generally or specifically, what do you think, feel, and/or do when confronted with moderate to serious/severe limitations of some aspect of health that alters how you work in clay?
As I mentioned before somewhere I have leukemia. When I was diagnosed I promised myself a few things. One, I would do what I wanted the way I wanted as much as possible from then on with the time I have left. Working with clay to some extent gives me a focus and relieves my depression to a large extent, helps me to handle my fear, and though I don't really believe in 'legacies' it's sort of nice to know that a few things I made will be around a long time after I'm gone. Right now I actually feel physically pretty good and thought I was doing well in remission. A visit about a week ago with my oncologist cleared my hopes up when he said it's time for me to get in line for a bone marrow transplant. Hm, yes, well.
Anyway, on the bright side I got to quit my job (after not being able to finish a shift at work due to having pain from a swollen spleen, a health care provider with no health care, thanks to the heartless health care system in the US) three years ago when I finally walked into an ER and got diagnosed. I'd been managing and working through horrible symptoms undiagnosed for at least two years not knowing what I had. The ER doc suddenly got excited saying my white cell counts were off the scale and I was rushed over to another hospital in the middle of the night, put into all sorts of contraptions, IV's inserted, etc. The oncologist assured me I didn't have long if it was one type, about 25 yrs if another. My only thought was "Christ I can finally quit my job!" -that's how much I hated it. After recovering and getting social security and medicaid worked out, I sold my wee house in Idaho, (also hated Idaho, I'm from CA originally, seriously a fish out of water) and used the money to move to a place I love on the Oregon coast. Anyway I'm cramming as much of what I want, that I can afford on next to nothing, into what's left. Not everyone gets the news they better get their affairs in order and have such and such time left to do it. Most of the time, I'm grateful, not always.
D.M.Ernst reacted to yappystudent in Qotw: Participants Question Pool For Future Qotw's
Maybe two questions can be squeezed out of this:
What was your lowest moment with your pottery?
What was your best moment with your pottery?
D.M.Ernst reacted to Pres in Qotw: Participants Question Pool For Future Qotw's
Advanced Member Members 520 1,014 posts LocationNew Hampshire Report post (IP: 22.214.171.124) Posted 11 minutes ago I've been thinking a while about those of us who have spoken about various limitations, challenges, health impairments, disabilities, and so forth. Some folks have had to leave the Forums and reduce their work because of certain conditions of body and/or mind (tho I believe they are integrated, not two separate issues). There is no Forum particulary suited or appropriate for discussion about one's aches and pains, or serious impediments that affect our ability to work in, and enjoy working in, clay, or work-arounds that help make it easier to function and hang in there. So, my question is: Either generally or specifically, what do you think, feel, and/or do when confronted with moderate to serious/severe limitations of some aspect of health that alters how you work in clay?
D.M.Ernst reacted to Gabby in Qotw: Participants Question Pool For Future Qotw's
I don't know whether this is what you are asking, but if you look just below the title for this thread, also in this ICAN forum, you will see all the past week's questions and answers.
D.M.Ernst reacted to yappystudent in Qotw: Participants Question Pool For Future Qotw's
Apologies if this has been suggested before but I'm curious if anyone else uses "Kiln Gods" or Gremlins when firing their kiln.
My first experience with clay was as a laborer trimming cups in a small production factory. (back in the early 80's, called Shapiro's Ceramic and Design, they took over from the slightly more well-known Overland Stoneware) They had two car kilns there and the owner who did the firing had a couple hideous little figures that looked kind of like what you see stuck on face jugs. According to him these were his "kiln gods" who watched over the firing process, and we weren't allowed to place them.
My father was a Mason and a master welder for the air force. My mother told me that whenever they were having problems with a plane repeatedly, during the fix they made a gremlin out of scrap metal and welded it somewhere inside the body of the aircraft where it wouldn't be seen.
D.M.Ernst reacted to Ginny C in Large Platter Broke In Half In Bisque Firing. Anything To Do With It?
OH! Just make little balls of clay and put them underneath?! What fun! How far apart...I'm guessing about 1 inch apart...so 8-10 for a platter with about 4-5 inches diameter flat area on the bottom?
( I love the interest in this, and the advanced scientific discussion some of you have brought into it!)
D.M.Ernst reacted to Chilly in Large Platter Broke In Half In Bisque Firing. Anything To Do With It?
Are you saying you fast-fired to ^5 for a bisque firing? Or do you mean to ^05?
If you fast-fired to ^5 from greenware I'm not surprised it cracked.
D.M.Ernst reacted to glazenerd in Large Platter Broke In Half In Bisque Firing. Anything To Do With It?
Quartz inversion is very stressful during bisque firing. After that, COE becomes more of the problem; but unseen problems created during bisque firing will show up during glaze firing. The COE stresses during glaze firing will magnify the problems created during bisque: if any exist. Yes, there will always be movement during inversion temp: but after bisque they do not create problems unless the pieces are extremely large or large surface contact.
The other problem which applies to large format flat surfaces making contact with the shelf. In this scenario: the top of the piece cools at one rate, and the area making contact with the shelf cools at another due to thermal mass. In this case, a thermal COE issue is created. Around 400F: the air temp in the kiln is correct: but the shelf temp under the piece can be very much hotter. I am sure everyone has opened a kiln around 120F to fetch out pieces. While the piece is very warm: touch a shelf and it burns!! So when firing large flat pieces: it is still advisable to dust the shelf to deal with this issue as well.
Yeah, I know.. information dump...sorry!
D.M.Ernst reacted to MatthewV in Large Platter Broke In Half In Bisque Firing. Anything To Do With It?
It appears you could finish two 1/2 platters with a little smoothing of the edges.
So cracking... it is a problem that every beginner faces. Here is a list of things that promote cracks (things not to do)
-- over working the shape
-- bending or carelessly handling the leather hard piece
-- joining pieces with lots of slurry
Here are some good practices:
++ making a solid, smooth lip
++ leaving pieces to dry (no touching!) after the leather hard stage has passed.
D.M.Ernst reacted to Benzine in Clay dries too fast in hands, dry skin?
Clay right out of the bag, should normally be workable, unless it has been sitting around for a few years.
As I always tell students, the clay dries out your hands, and your hands dry out the clay. It's the "Circle of Life"...
I warn my high school students against overworking the clay, which can cause similar cracks. The middle school students, are REALLY bad at doing this. They just want to mess with the clay, without having a set goal. So as they are "Thinking" about what they are going to do, they just smoosh the clay, press on the cement boards, tear it apart, etc. By the time they starts building, the clay just wants to crack, and fall apart.
If coils are what you want to work with, perhaps make the clay a bit softer, by adding some additional water. Poke some holes in the clay block, and add some water to the bag. Let it sit a couple days, and it should work a bit better. Unless of course, there is just something with the clay formula, that just makes it less plastic, as others have suggested.
Best of luck in your journey into the world of clay.
D.M.Ernst reacted to Kathy P in Clay dries too fast in hands, dry skin?
hateful clay, haha, right?!?
Is there a place on the forum to just blab when something exciting happens and I just want to tell someone who would understand? Like finally finding a place that offers kiln sharing! Or successful firings photos? I want to follow the rules
D.M.Ernst reacted to neilestrick in Clay Becomes Off-Center When Opening
You might be releasing pressure too quickly. If everything else is good, and it feels smooth and consistent and well mixed, and is perfectly centered when your hands are on it, releasing your hands too quickly will cause a wobble.
If, when you open, the wobble gets worse as you get deeper in to the clay, that's a problem with the bottom not being coned in narrow enough during the coning process.
D.M.Ernst reacted to GEP in Clay Becomes Off-Center When Opening
This is what I came here to say. Your two hands working together have much more stability. Also, when opening a floor, your two hands should be addressing the same degree (out of 360 degrees) of the pot. If your hands are in two different places, you might be sending your pot two different messages and throwing it off center.
D.M.Ernst reacted to neilestrick in Clay Becomes Off-Center When Opening
If you haven't centered the clay well, it will wobble no matter how you open it. Make sure that when you're coning the clay during centering that the bottom of the cone is reducing in diameter as you cone it up. If not, the clay down there isn't getting centered properly and will remain uneven, and will cause wobbles as you open. Centering is as much about the condition of the clay as it is the location on the wheel. Every bit of it needs to be smooth and homogenous.
If you're clay is centered properly, there's no reason at all to keep a hand on the outside of the clay while opening. You'll gain a lot more stability during opening if you have both hands locked together instead. Here's the hand position I teach:
1. Stick out your index finger on your dominant hand.
2. With your other hand, make an 'L' out of your thumb and index finger.
3. Lay the 'L' on top of the other hand, so the index fingers are stacked, dominant hand on bottom.
4. Rest on your elbows. Super important!
This is a very stable position. Your hands are locked together, and your arms are locked to your legs. Lots of bracing. Find the center of the clay and make the hole. As you go down, don't go straight down with the tip of your finger. It's much easier to drift off center if you do it that way, and you can't see how deep you're going. Instead, angle your fingers back slightly so you make a 'V' shaped hole, a little more onto the pad of your finger.
I do not teach opening with thumbs, because thumbs are short. At some point you have to switch to fingers as you get into larger pieces, so I teach fingers from the beginning. Also, as you get into really big pieces, it's an easy transition to switch from fingers to going in with your whole hand.
D.M.Ernst reacted to LeeU in Qotw: Participants Question Pool For Future Qotw's
"Politics: the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power."
I get dismayed when the misuse of the word and concept of "politics" serves to characterize a topic, about which there may be disagreement, as something that should be off-limits, which may serve to cut off the dialogue. I am not trying to be "too" serious or snarky---I just wouldn't want to see discussions of the new Forum features get jettisoned because of sensitivity about critique.
So far, everything I have learned about the new system has come from folks who are providing us with tips and directions. Reading other people's experiences/questions is helpful as well. Without that input I know I would get frustrated, or lost, and end up feeling negative before giving it a chance. I hate having to learn new systems, it is hard on my remaining and aging brain cells, but upgrades are a necessity. I guess I'm saying I wish there was a forum topic on the pros/cons/"how to" of it--if not a Qotw--to ease the transition!
OH GOOD GRIEF....I just remembered there IS a thread on the New Forum. I'll leave my 2-cents worth about content being (or not being) "political" here, since I don't know where else to put it. Moderator should feel free to remove it if (dare I say it?) it is too political LOL.