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About algebraist

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  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. Thanks for all the great advice. Lots to try; I will keep at it!
  7. 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!
  8. Hulk -- that's pretty clever (heat up to "warm" then shut off and fire the next day). Nice idea; thanks.
  9. 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.)
  10. 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.
  11. Hi All, I finished glazing yesterday, and have to fire tomorrow. Some of the pieces are definitely not dry; the glaze is pretty thick. I have a vented L&L (2-zone) electric kiln. I'm thinking of bringing it up to 200 F (at 60 degrees per hour) and holding it there for 4 hours before proceeding with my normal firing schedule. Sound reasonable? (In case it matters, it's mostly glaze tests, and the kiln will be very sparsely loaded.) Thanks.
  12. An update, in case anyone else finds themselves with similar trouble: I finally had my appointment with the hand specialist; it's "trigger thumb," which is "trigger finger" of the thumb. As you bend the thumb, it snaps open or closed, and this mostly happens after resting it for a long time -- like when you wake up. He wants me to spend another 8 weeks using a brace pretty aggressively -- always at night and sometimes during the day, and if that doesn't do it I get the cortisone shot, maybe another if necessary, and eventually there is surgery. But probably it won't go that far. I've been doing almost no throwing, and will have to keep it that way for a while. And my other thumb just started having the same problem -- no pain yet, but occasional snapping open and closed. Probably it got stressed by picking up all the slack of going thumbless with my right hand -- try turning a key or closing a ziploc bag -- nightmare.
  13. If you want to continue reading, the following is an account of what a moron I am. It turns out that carefully explaining it here led me to figure out my boneheaded maneuver. Basically I mixed a lot of glaze and it came out all wrong. One of my speculations below is that maybe my scale is inaccurate at heavier weights. So after posting this I got the bright idea to test it, and I found a 2kg bag of dog food and brought it into the studio and put it on the scale. Imagine my surprise when the scale read 4 thousand 4 hundred and something. It seems I had the scale set to *pounds* and was reading it as grams. What with old eyes and bits of clay on the display, the decimal point was unnoticeable, as was the "lb" in the corner. So basically I added a little less than half of every ingredient except water! Mystery solved. The good news is that with a little work I can salvage the glaze. The bad news is that it doesn't change the fact that I'm a moron. Oh well, you work with what you've got! The short story is that I just tried to make a 5 gallon batch of a glaze I like, when the largest batch I've made before is about a gallon. The results are confusing. The facts: 1) My basic recipe (which I will include at the end) is for 100 grams, plus an addition of 15 grams of Zircopax and 1.3 grams Veegum CER, for 116.3 grams total. But I will refer to it hereafter as 100 grams, as one unit of the glaze. 2) 30 times this recipe with the addition of 3 quarts of water made just over 1 gallon. That's what I've been happily using. 3) Yesterday I mixed up 120 times the recipe and added 12 quarts (3 gallons) of water. I used my new Jiffy mixer at the end of a drill, and sieved 3 times (usually I only sieve twice) with an 80 mesh sieve. The surprises: A) The glaze is much thinner (as in less viscous) than usual, and There's a lot less of it than I thought there would be -- it comes up to about 9.5 inches in a 5 gallon bucket (which is about 14.5 inches tall). Making 4 times the recipe that yielded a little more than a gallon should have yielded more than 4 gallons. Here are my speculations: i) Maybe my scale is inaccurate at heavier weights, so that when I was weighing out 2 or 3 kilograms of various ingredients (instead of the usual 1/4 of that amount), it was always giving a higher reading than what was really present. That would account for the thinness, and maybe also the amount. In this case I figure I can just let water evaporate until it's the right consistency, and still have a good glaze. ii) I've been using 1.3% "Veegum CER" in all my glazes. It gives a good consistency and good handling properties. Probably I could get similar results with bentonite, but I continue to use this because it's been working for me, and I don't want to start a new round of testing to replace something I'm happy with. But I wonder: Maybe it doesn't scale up nicely, and in larger quantities a higher percentage is needed? That doesn't really make sense to me, and wouldn't explain the discrepancy in the amount, but seems worth mentioning especially because usually I can mix a glaze one day and all the ingredients stay beautifully suspended for many days, even a week or two. The batch I mixed yesterday already has the solids all settled out on the bottom. (Even when I mixed it back up, though, it's still very thin.) iii) I have a new bag of Nepheline Syenite (the one I've had for 15 years having finally run out) from a new supplier. Maybe there's something going on there. I rechecked my method of measuring the water (a line on a gallon jug -- it's right on). I suppose it's possible that I could have mis-measured some ingredient horribly, but that's not like me and would be a first (as far as I know!). For completeness the glaze is a reformulation of Hesselbeth and Roy's "Majolica" (from "Mastering Cone 6 Glazes") to use the raw materials I happen to keep on hand: Nepheline Syenite: 30.700 Ferro Frit 3195: 14.820 Wollastonite: 21.228 Pioneer Kaolin: 15.621 Silica: 17.623 Zircopax: 15.000 Veegum CER: 1.300 Thanks for any advice.
  14. Thanks everyone. Mdobay: yes, that's the idea -- the wax resist gives me a design formed of unglazed clay.
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