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About algebraist

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  1. Since we're talking trigger thumb again, I (as the original poster) may as well report in. The hand specialist I saw suggested that cortisone would just be a temporary fix -- 6 months at best -- so I didn't bother with that. He is a surgeon, so naturally advocated the surgery that you had so successfully. But I am surgery-averse, and went with the third option: I wore the custom made hand brace every night, not just for the 8 weeks he had suggested, but for about a year and a half... Also, I very quickly developed trigger thumb in my other hand as well, so I was wearing braces on both hands every night. (Try to do anything without either thumb...) Anyway, the punchlne is that that seems to have cured me. No surgery needed, but a lot of patience, and very limited pottery during that time.
  2. Somewhere here I read someone's suggestion that ware fresh from the kiln should be washed before using; is that so? I have always assumed that, having just been heated to beyond 2000 degrees Farenheit, it was as clean as it could ever be... I fire to cone 6, with a kiln vent running throughout the firing and for a number of hours after the kiln shuts off, in case that matters. Thanks in advance.
  3. For what it's worth, I think that's a really good idea. There are lots of creative, smart, and technically savvy people on this forum, and starting a website is cheap... Maybe someone wants to step up and take a stab at it? Get some sort of platform started and then invite people here to give it a try...
  4. I offer "Glaze Craze." The term "paint" your own pottery has always annoyed me -- I think most people are aware that pottery is generally glazed, not painted (even if you brush on the glaze, that's still not painting -- it's glazing). (Of course you can paint pottery, but few of us do, and you wouldn't then expect it to be functional.) I will add that those of us here know that "crazing" is a bad thing, but I don't think the general public will make that connection... Good luck!
  5. All right, I'll volunteer the obvious answer: You should set the prices so that if they sell, you'll be happier to have the money than the pieces. If they're precious to you, then set the prices high, and if you don't care for them much and want to be rid of them, set them low. I doubt anyone can tell you something more specific, but for what it's worth you might get more replies if you figure out how to include the pictures in your post, or at the very least make the links clickable (I had to cut and paste into my browser -- more trouble than you can expect most people to go through). Good luck with the exhibition.
  6. Mosey -- Thanks for the well-thought-out, excellent advice. I'd love to see your website, if you don't mind sharing a link. (I checked the rules, they include: "In the body of a post, you may include a link to your own website, and other websites. However, the content of the post must not contain a "buy it" message." So it's permitted...) Thanks, and in any event congrats on establishing a thriving business.
  7. I'll add this tip, since I just learned it the hard way: Make sure the GG is not propped up on one of the bat pins. This morning, mine was. Every pot was apparently off center, and I destroyed 4 of them before I figured it out. (Finally I started to suspect that the GG was not centering them properly, and I loaded it up with a glass jar. When that, too, was way off, I was just about ready to take advantage of their 90 day money back guarantee...) Lesson learned!
  8. Benzine -- thanks. I was doing just as you say -- using my hands to get the pot in the center, with the GG as a guide, and only clamping it down when the pot was completely centered. My distortion happened during the trimming. But great advice. And Mark C., thank you, too -- I imagined it would get glopped up eventually; good to hear someone explain the maintenance clearly. Heading out of town on Thursday for a couple of weeks, so I won't have a chance to experiment/practice further for a while, and I'm going to try to avoid touching a computer while I'm away as a matter of good vacation policy... So I will check back in around August 7th or so. Thanks everyone.
  9. Thanks for all the great advice. Lots to try; I will keep at it!
  10. Hi All -- I just bought a Giffin Grip. I should have expected that a new tool would require some practice and skills to be effective... I tried it out a few days ago and was not all that successful. Basically, I am trimming mugs (essentially cups, since the handles don't get attached until after trimming), and found that if I clamp the GG down enough to hold them still, it damages the mug (and if not, the mug slips and gets damaged as well). The obvious solution, I guess, is that I am going to have to let the ware get significantly harder before trimming; as with everything else, timing is key. I don't love that solution -- for one thing, I'd prefer my handles to have some flex before I attach them, and ideally they'd be at the same stage of drying as the mugs. (For another, trimming gets harder if the ware is dried too long.) Another thought I had was perhaps to put thin slabs of clay on the GG's gripping pads, to make them stickier; this might help, but I'd have to be careful to make them all the same thickness, and they'd need frequent changing, and in the end it might cancel out the convenience of using the GG. A thin pad in the center of the GG to sit the mugs on, so they stick more to the base, might also help. Anyway, the upshot is that while I was sitting here brainstorming, it occurred to me that lots of you love your GG's, and probably have this all figured out... Hence this post, asking for advice. I mostly used the "arms" to hold my mugs in place, choosing lengths that gripped the mugs about 2/3 of the way up. (I tried just making the sliders grip the mugs at the bottom -- i.e. the rims -- that was worse.) Also, I have recently become enamored of throwing mugs with distinct, dramatic, throwing lines (i.e. a relatively deep, sharp-edged groove that spirals up the cup); that might be especially challenging for the GG to preserve undamaged... Thanks in advance for any and all tips!
  11. Hulk -- that's pretty clever (heat up to "warm" then shut off and fire the next day). Nice idea; thanks.
  12. Thank you Neil -- truly appreciated. (Bought the kiln from you some years back; love it, and your support on this forum counts as exceptional customer service.)
  13. Thanks all! They start pretty close to 100 (it's summer, and the thermocouples are not perfectly accurate at low temperature), so it's more like an hour and a half to get to 200 F. But I hear you, maybe I'll hold it for an hour or two at 200 F just to be safe. Many thanks.
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