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Stone Spiral

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About Stone Spiral

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 09/22/1983

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  • Location
    Kootenay Rockies, B.C
  • Interests
    Rural Living
    Beeswax Candlemaking
    Handbuilt Pottery
    Character Education
  1. I am doing my first raku fire this Saturday and am feeling well prepared. I'm so excited! I don't have a pyrometer.. . Do I just watch the pots (with protective eyewear) til glowing orange? How can I tell when they're ready for the reduction chamber? Also, any suggestions for firing tiny finicky pieces? I realized after I made them that it won't be easy to grab them with tongs and move them over. I thought maybe just smoke fire them in a bowl but that means no glaze. If I use glaze without silica will they stick together if touching? Any tips, tricks or advice is welcome!
  2. I like the greenware idea, however it doesn't give the same satisfying SMASH sound.. hehehe (Does anyone else smash their cracked or chipped bisque with gusto??)
  3. Bummer. I've had this happen and it sucks! I use the same kilnwash recipe as Min. It's good stuff. If your shelf is dirty, bits can fall onto the pots below as you load the kiln. I run a dry cloth over my kiln shelf before loading to prevent any loose bits falling in. Also, my kiln is old so the bricks do sometimes crumble off if I bump or jostle things. I've had more than once piece ruined because of mini kiln-brick chunks falling into the glaze. Loading slowly and carefully does seem to help
  4. Wow, cool! What a creative fix. I will let her know and we will give it a shot!
  5. Hey there, A lady who uses my studio made a mug and handle, but did not attach them together. She didn't return before they both dried out. She moistened them both, scored and slipped them, and adhered them together - but then of course as they dried they began to form cracks along the join. She's wondering if there is anything that can be done here? I don't feel confident that there is - I have always added my handles while all clay is fresh or leather hard. I do have some bisque fix I could offer her to patch the little cracks around the handles... might that work? Any advice would be great - I will pass it on to her when she comes in next. Thanks!
  6. I am following this, thanks for posting. I have a ongoing joke that I should change my studio name to "The Cracked Plate", because I can't seem to make a successful plate! S cracks are the main culprit. I have started a Cracked Plate Gallery Wall, mounting broken plates on the outside of my studio. It helps me feel better about the items that come out of the kiln... "Oooh, another one for the wall!"... I'm actually really starting to cherish my cracked plate gallery, hahah I do use a fine grog stoneware (Plainsman M340 & M325) so I will try something with more grog and see if that helps!
  7. The concern with having the clay trap in your kitchen sink is that everything else will wash into it too - food scraps and soaps and everything. You will get a stinky, fermenting mess really fast. If you put a clay trap in your kitchen sink you would need to empty and rinse it every day... and then there is the issue of finding a suitable place to dump out this stinky clay-food combo every day. In my first studio, there was not a sink I could use for clay. So in my back yard I put a laundry tub hooked up to a garden hose, with a 5 gallon bucket underneath to catch clay chunks. I had only cold water and it was only any good until the winter, when it became too cold to use any longer. But it was better than nothing! Eventually I moved studios, and now have a large basin sink I can use for clay tools (and the warm water is so glorious!). I built my own clay trap from two nested buckets. It's quite straightforward and I feel confident that if I can do it, anyone can do it If you only have a kitchen sink to work with, the dishpan method might be best. When I do pottery at a location without a trap, I set up several 5 gal buckets of water and we wash all clay-covered hands & tools in there, then dump it outside afterwards. Good luck! I laughed out loud at this. So true!
  8. Wow - so beautiful... I could listen to you play all day What a deeply satisfying experience this must be for you.
  9. I make my own stamps out of clay, also, out of rubber. I use a deeper, firmer rubber than the ones you are talking about (I know what ones you mean... they leave something to be desired). There are some great stampmakers on Etsy, but once you factor in shipping, they can be pricey.
  10. For me, the Farmer's Markets in my area are more about fun, socializing, and getting out in the sunshine. I earn enough to cover my gas, lunch, table fee, and put a couple of dollars in my pocket. They are not big money makers. But I live in a very rural area that is also fairly low income so, the people come out to the market with their weekly budget for buying veggies, and then wander around to say hello. The tourists like to buy things but otherwise, it's just a social piece. The juried fairs in the fall and winter - that's another story! I make more money over a couple of hours at a fancy winter fair than I do throughout the entire summer farmer's market season combined.
  11. Have you considered running some classes to recoup some costs/earn some dollars? Holding a 90 minute clay class on Saturday afternoons covers my studio rent & utilities for the month (plus some). Every time I add a new class time, it fills up within 2-3 weeks. If I need more money, I add a class to the schedule. If I am financially comfy and want more time for my own work, I phase out a class. It's working well for me. You would be surprised how many people are thrilled to pay for studio time, and it really helps balance things. It's more fun to create when money isn't a worry.. I am booking two months off of classes for my own personal production, this July & August. That way, I get to focus on my own growth, creativity, and production for a while. In the meantime I've earned enough from classes over the past few months that the studio will be paid for throughout the summer. Sorry you are feeling frustrated. I hope you find a way to feel excited and inspired again.
  12. I listen to music, mostly Nahko & Medicine for the People (positive, uplifting lyrics) or ambient or folk. I also do enjoy audiobooks I have a busy life and do a lot of talking and am often around a lot of people, so occasionally, I actually really revel in the silence. (Like glaze nerd, the "silence" has a lot of beautiful sounds to it - my studio is beside a rushing river with birds chirping and animals wandering by. Yesterday, a hummingbird joined me in the studio for a little while )
  13. My wheel appears clean and silver, with no visible tarnish. However, when I pull my clay off the wheel, there is black/dark looking clay or slip where it meets the wheel. It's as though the wheel head is giving off a tarnish or the clay is reacting to the metal. Will this cause problems when firing? Is there anything I can do to prevent this? I know I could throw with bats but I don't currently have any. I will go that route if necessary, but in the meantime, just looking to figure out what this tarnish is and if it's going to cause problems. Thanks!
  14. For me, it is that I live in an area that is quite saturated with potters. There is a really good art school nearby that pumps out professional potters. I took ceramics in college 8-10 years ago - and didn't keep up with it because of life. I am just now re-teaching myself a lot of what I learned back then about kilns/firing, glazes, etc. Being surrounded by gallery-artist potter types makes me feel a little bit intimidated. I have my own community studio, I am a handbuilder... I run children's clay classes... it is for the love of pottery, and the sharing of creative space - not for the galleries or glory. But sometimes I do wish I could be a part of the galleries and glory! (and sometimes this gets in the way of my desire to create... that I'm not a high-caliber pot-throwing machine)
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