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Everything posted by Girts

  1. Like Nerd, I've been following this avidly. Not because I can add advice, but because I've just done my first work with porcelain. I don't do any throwing - it's all handbuilding - but some of the advice is still helpful. Such as working quickly; I saw for myself how quickly it dries. Interestingly, of my first four pieces (all experimental - what else could they be) one split and fell apart while it was drying. It was made of five pieces and every single one of them tore significantly. And most of the joins failed as well. It was so thorough in its collapse I have to laugh and say I learnt a lot from that one! The others worked well, although I expected those to split as well. So there seems to be more unpredictable behaviour from it than from stoneware. That's OK, it goes with the reputation. Smoothing with a sponge is a great tip. Thanks from me as well for all this advice! Girts
  2. I certainly prefer the bisque version. It emphasises the shapes and textures, and the sculptural quality. I think the shapes are so strong they get confusing when colours are added. Fantastic - literally! Girts
  3. That's not quite accurate, about distortion being least at smallest aperture. It will give greatest depth of field which means more of the subject will be in sharp focus - which is not the same as distortion. Photographically, distortion is a changing of the shape. Like a building seems to taper as you look up it. To minimise distortion, you need to be as far away from your subject as is feasible, then use the lens to fill the frame. So using your kit lens at its 55mm setting should give you a good result, whereas the 18mm will give you distortion whatever the aperture. It would be interesting to try it with the telephoto attachment when you have the time. It might give excellent results - if you have the space to be far enough away. Girts
  4. Ummm... I actually am GG. And I haven't been formally introduced to any of you guys and flatly deny having been used in any way! 😉 Girts (Gailans)
  5. John, this is exactly what I think an artist's statement should be: informative, adding to the understanding of the background to your work. What I take issue with, and you have avoided completely, is the meaningless pretentious use of obscure wording simply to satisfy the 'write 500 words about your work' requirement. Well done! I like it! Girts
  6. Pretty good! Definitely a sense of scale, and of lifestyle. My only comment (as a former advertising photographer) is the lighting needs a little attention. You're right to not have the sun on the front of the object as it would be too bright and lose the modelling. But because the sun is so bright, the front of the mugs is in deep shadow. So you need a fill light. The easiest way to do that is to use a piece of white card held or propped up on the side you want lightened. You can see the effect immediately and move it around or angle it to get the modelling and brightness you want. A cheap, very effective, and highly professional solution to the problem. Wel done! Girts
  7. How long before firing? Twelve years ago, I went to a pottery for a half hour 'experience' session. You had to pay extra for firing, and I didn't think my pots were worth it. They were not tall, slim, thin, elegant, almost transparent. So I just put them away and left them. I re-discovered them a few months ago when I got my kiln, blew the dust off them and thought exactly the same as you did. Is that too long? But I decided to take a chance - at least they'd be thoroughly dry - and bisqued them. No problem. So I glazed them. And they're great! And, as a bonus, I now see I was so wrong with my initial opinion about their quality. Girts
  8. My own clay journey has been a very short one so far - only a matter of months. But in that brief period I've experienced no frustration because my skills are developing and failure is what I expect. So anything that comes out right is exciting and uplifting. Everything is an experiment - which is exciting. The magic of glazes changing from subtle variations on a theme of sludge to beautiful rich bottomless pools of glowing colour is infinitely inspiring. The results of my experiments are rewarding, even when they turn out not quite as I expected, and progress in any area brings a glow inside. So I can honestly say that it has been an exciting journey so far; one that feeds my soul and fires my imagination. And one that I believe will take me far. Girts
  9. There'll still be someone expecting the toy to be included, like they used to do with plastic submarines in breakfast cereal packets. All that baking powder... Girts
  10. I don't think anyone's bashing intellectualism - I'm certainly not. I take a poor view of dumbing down. What we're all bashing, I think, is pseudo intellectualism. We've all heard it from union leaders, football managers, sales people and politicians. Artists should be producing art which should, in my opinion, speak for itself. I have no problem with someone saying that this piece was inspired by nature (most things are, so honesty is good) or by a walk in a foggy day in the city or whatever. That's interesting. But the kind of stuff that goes on at length about existential reality or other long-winded splurges really is a waste of time and an insult to the viewer. Michelangelo and Rembrandt and da Vinci and co. didn't need to do this. Where did it come from? Sorry, but I just had to get it out of my system. Maybe there's an artwork to be made inspired by the existential reality of artsy babble? Could that be Challenge no.6 ? Girts
  11. Agreed. If you've got to explain it, you've failed. In my opinion. Girts
  12. I agree with you Chris. Pricing by weight has to be a nonsense. Looking at my early pieces, they weigh a ton, but look not that wonderful. My latest pieces look excellent but weigh considerably less than the old ones. So does it make sense to price them by weight? I don't think so. Pricing by comparable work has to be the only realistic way. In effect, what the market will support. So I'd say ask your professor for guidance and look at local shops, online, wherever work like yours is being sold. Girts
  13. Certainly not an information dump! Very informative and full of useful information that I for one will be using very shortly as I attempt some large (relatively) flat pieces. The chances of disaster are high, but this will help. Thanks Nerd - always interesting to hear your insights. Girts
  14. Maybe the best thing would be to point out to her that you had made it clear that the price was per mug, not per set and offer her a refund on receipt of the undamaged mugs, returned at her expense. This would be the normal procedure and it was obviously her mistake if your listing was clear. At the end of the day, she was buying online and needs to read the description carefully. Any doubts, any uncertainty - ask the question! Somehow, I doubt that you will ever make her happy. Whatever the outcome, there's always the risk of a bad review but if your listing was clear then anyone looking at her comment would say 'silly woman - 8 hand made mugs for $40? Be sensible!'. And I would not give out my phone number, even though I agree that talking is better than writing for sorting out problems. Girts
  15. An excellent analogy. Thanks Chilly. Now the principle behind cones make sense to me. Girts
  16. Some years ago, I moved into a flat above a shop that sold ceramics. The shop closed down at the same time and the landlord just piled up the stock at the back of the shop. I asked him what he was going to do with it all; he replied that if the potters didn't collect themby the following week-end, he was taking them all to the tip. The week passed, no-one collected anything, so I spoke to the landlord again. He said I was welcome to take anything I liked, no charge, (not like him at all) and the rest was going to the tip in an hour's time. So I got a big box and filled it with all the pieces I liked. In those days, I knew even less about ceramics than I do now, but I still use and look at those pieces with affection. And what else do they have in common? I enjoy them, that's what. And that's why I buy a piece of pottery. Because I enjoy that piece. Simple. Nowadays, I'm getting close to saying 'I could make that', but I couldn't - no matter how skilled I might become. I could make something similar, but there would always be something different between the piece that artist made and the piece you or I or anyone else here, made. Apart from this rescue lot, I always pay the asking price - it's his/her living. Girts
  17. Somehow this thread has got duplicated - the picture is on the other version, the one with more replies. Girts
  18. No Alabama, I have to protest. Please read what I actually said. I said nothing about needing an acre of land, or a sub-station, or spending $43,000! Nowhere near that! So please don't mis-represent me. I simply said what several other people and I are experiencing at present. That we can use solar power effectively. Obviously, there are problems at night, which is why we power-share with the National Grid, selling at some times, buying at others. Even today, when it's been raining most of the time, we have been generating a useful amount of electricity which has been sold to the power company. I haven't fired the kiln today but we're still being paid for what we generate. Two years ago, when this thread was started, solar was far less efficient than it is today; next year it will be more efficient still. And that was the point I was making. The question was is it possible to use solar power to fire a kiln. The answer is obviously yes: there are enough people posted here who are doing it. There are provisos, as with any form of energy, but it can be done. And it will only get better as the technology improves and other energy sources like oil and gas dwindle and become more expensive. Girts
  19. Excellent suggestion. I've also got cold water and a small electric kettle. Useless when you just need to rinse your hands between processes. Girts
  20. Yes Neil, it is a small kiln and it's also a small PV array. But that's missing the point. The point is that running a kiln off solar power is possible. Just in this thread we have someone else in the UK and someone in Australia doing just that to some degree. Earlier posts dismissed the possibility out of hand as totally impossible. I'm just pointing out that it is possible now and kilns will become more efficient as will solar power systems. So it won't be that long before larger kilns can be run that way. The problem is that Elon Musk doesn't find kilns as sexy as cars; if he did it would be happening more quickly ☺
  21. I want to but just the thought of hearing a 'ping' keeps me from trying it. Well, until it gets down to about 60°C. Which sounds cold compared to the 1250 it went up to, but your fingers soon tell you otherwise! Girts
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