Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by TypicalGirl

  1. Thank you all SO much! Great tips!
    This will be a teaching class more than simply a demonstration. Hands on.
    The workshops at this studio work better as a 1-weekend deal because people have to travel to attend. Luckily, the pottery makes a nice paper clay of their own, and that works well for my work.
    I'm sort of "known" in my circle for single-firing *everything*, and I think that may be part of what participants want to see. If the pieces are small, I think it will be easy to dry them overnight.

    You all have given me some great ideas...going to "rehearse" and refine a little and then I'm sure I'll be back with more questions ;-)
    Thanks again!

  2. I'm being encouraged to teach a sculpting workshop.
    Never done such a thing before.

    Thinking of teaching a 2-day workshop for up to 10 participants of all sill levels.
    I split my work between animal "sketches" and larger, zoomorphic pieces. I think the participants are wanting the focus to be on the animals.
    I have a couple of subjects that could be complete the first day, refined and possibly raku fired the second day, that would demonstrate things like gesture, proportion, spindly/sticky-out parts, texture and glaze/oxide application.

    I have a local pottery willing to host us for a small percentage and they can also provide clay and kilns.

    And beyond that, I'm a little lost.
    Does anyone have any tips or suggestions or wisdom for me?

  3. I usually use paper in my sculptures. Occasionally I'll use skewers for sticky-out parts. That *can* crack the clay, but not always, and far less so if you use paper clay.

    I have a FaceBook album that shows my process if you would like to take a look. Perhaps it will give you some ideas.


  4. Hey Ginny,

    I used the term "wads" rather loosely.

    I really meant that I use pieces of kiln paper under the feet of flat pieces, or sculptures if I'm afraid they might move around.

    The paper becomes brittle after the first firing, but with care, it can be reused.

    If you email me your address (through my website), I'll send you a bit to play with.

    I do sell it in my etsy shop, but I'm happy to send you a piece to see if it will work for you ;-)

  5. Honestly, I just guess.

    Porcelain paper clay is the only kind I mix myself, my stoneware is a commercially produced body that contains 10%-20% paper, depending on the body.

    With the porcelain, I mix a slurry of toilet paper, water and bleach and then add it to the clay (which I've made into a slip).

    No more than 20% paper, and its strong enough to withstand raku.


    I've been using my own porcelain paper clay recipe for the past year or so. I love how it looks once it's fired, but I'm having issues working with it wet sometimes. I have a feeling it might be the ratio for paper to clay that I've been using (I think I'm working with 30-40% paper). Anyone have any advice for me? Should I try another kind of fiber? ( For the paper, I just use single-ply toilet paper)



    That seems like a high % of paper. My understanding is a maximum of 25%. Use anywhere from 15-25%





    I read in a book on paper clay that if you're wanting to sculpt with porcelain using paper clay then to use ~35% paper, but I'll try out a lesser % thank you


  6. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions!

    I tightened up the all-thread attaching the pedal to the motor, and after looking at the puck, have ordered a new one. Its definitely worn down and kind of chewed up, so hopefully that will help. Going to have my mechanically inclined brother come help me grease up the bearings too.


    I also appreciate the advice to slow down my centering.

    It does make for a more thoughtful process!

  7. Here's mine.

    I do need to put a vent above the flue at some point, but this works for me, and is fire safe for my area. Plus, when i move, it can go with me!





    Close to getting a pad poured for my 27 cf updratf propane kiln and I am starting to think about a cover structure. It will be next to a metal sided shop with an extension built off of that, so it will be in a corner if you can envision that. I was thinking a slanted metal roofed off of the main building.

    1. Other thoughts?

    2. If i were to build a chimney, would it help prevent stall out near cone ten in heavy reduction? What type of roof clearance from the top of the kiln would be required with a chimney?

    3. If the chimney is a no go and the top of the kiln is 6 ft, any clearance suggestions? Roof Slanted away from building or doesn't matter?


    I appreciate input from the collective wisdom!


    Pictures of your chimneys or cover structures are helpful,










  8. I'll just throw my thoughts in for added suggestions ;-)

    I don't typically hollow my pieces out after I form them (I think Beth Cavner-Stitcher does), though I do make some tentacle thingies that I do.

    With those, I form them and when they've set up just a bit I slice them length-ways down the center, scoop them out and then add wads of newspaper inside to help them keep their form. I do this before the final finish work, so I can smooth and join seams well.


    More usually, I start with a pinch pot and fill it with paper as I go, or start with a newspaper "armature" and form the clay around that.

    Then the paper just burns out.

    Not sure if that's the most efficient way to go about it, but it does work for me ;-)

    Cute little guy BTW!

  9. Looking for opinions/input please.


    I purchased a spankin' new Skutt model 343 dual input pyrometer last week.

    It arrived a few days ago - still in the box, I haven't had a chance to use it yet.

    Today, there was a surprise in my mailbox! A friend sent me their old Fluke 50D pyrometer. She says she has only used it once.

    It seems the 50D is no longer made, and I'm having a little trouble finding specs on it.


    So, I'm wondering if anyone knows the temp range of the Fluke 50d, and if you all have opinions (I expect so) on which pyrometer might be better?

    I could potentially return the Skutt and put the money towards [propane or porcelain or, well, you know...

    Or if the Skutt might be more accurate or reliable, I can keep the Fluke as a back-up/spare (she only wants a bit of clay in exchange).




  10. I've reached out to both my local and regional guilds for some guidance/mentoring, but have only gotten "we'll get back to you" type replies, so I thought I'd ask here.


    After several years of muddling through with functional pottery, learning my kilns and such, I've found myself switching gears and becoming a more skilled and more successful sculptural ceramic artist. I've entered a few shows over the last 16 months, been accepted and even won some awards.

    I'm wanting to approach a couple of galleries, and I *think* I have a pretty strong hard-copy portfolio, but a lot of galleries also want a resume/CV and Artist Statement, and that's where I'm floundering a bit.


    I don't have much formal education beyond some Jr College classes and a short apprenticeship, but, as I say, I do have a few shows under my belt now and a more focused direction to my work.


    I'm wondering if there's someone out there who might be up for mentoring me through this aspect of things?


    Or perhaps you could share your examples?



  11. Thanks to everyone for the input!


    The good news is that the kiln shelves have been drying all day and I believe they are dry.


    Next infuriatingly stupid question...

    The bad news is that I dried them in the kiln, with the door cracked and the flue closed because the bottom of my kiln tends to be a little cold.

    The heat emitted from the cracked door turned the plastic cover on my pyrometer into a charred blob.

    When i unscrewed it to remove it, it took the needle off too. ($%#&!!).

    Needle came off cleanly and I'm trying to glue it back on (I did mention Christmas gifts in my last post, right???).

    I *think* that may work. I'll pop the thermocouple in the oven to try and calibrate...Yes, I have and use cones, but I like to soak at 500 and 1800 and like to know when to start reduction.



    I *have* this one:


    and I want to know if I can use my current wire and thermocouple on *this* one:


    I don't mind being Old Skool, but thought there might be some benefit to digital.


  12. Thanks John!

    You're sort of confirming what my guts are telling me.

    I'm single-firing so that steaming thing really resonates!

    So it sounds like I want to treat them like greenware that I'm trying to dry, or the first part of my single firing. I go up very slowly to 500 and hold there for an hour or so.


    wish me luck... ;-)



    Shelves will come live in the house with me till I get the roof leak fixed!

  13. Stupidly frustrating situation...HELP!?!


    Well, I spend a grueling day yesterday glazing for my last kiln load of the year.

    You know...the one with all my Christmas gifts in it?


    Went out to start loading and found ALL my full shelves are completely soaked from the rain the last few days. apparently I have a leak in the shed roof and the portion of the shelves that sticks out beyond the metal shelves I store them on is just below it.

    So during the recent torrents water has been soaking my shelves.

    They're the inexpensive really thick ones.


    Did I mention this is the load with all our Christmas gifts in it?


    Anyway, I've put them in the kiln, with the door closed about 1/2 way and the flue open and have the pilots on.

    I'll take any and all suggestions for drying these things ASAP please. I need to fire tomorrow or Thurs at the latest.




  14. Quyle Kilns and the loosely formed Mother Lode Clay Collective are hosting a claycentric 3-day event, July 20-22 and would like to invite local potters and ceramic artists to participate. The event will feature sale booths, networking, demonstrations and a workshop by paper clay sculptor Michelle Collier, all with a purpose of bring clay artists in the Mother Lode in general, and in Amador, Calaveras and Tuolumne counties in particular together, and promoting the clay arts to the public.


    Prospectus online at http://www.box49.com/MLCC1.pdf

    Also attached here...






  15. Hi Rio...

    Well, here's what I do.

    I single fire, and I'm impatient :-)


    If I want to make sure my ware is completely dry, I use my oven.

    Smaller, cheaper and easier than my gas kiln.


    I start with a cold oven and put my ware in it. I turn the oven to its lowest temp - 170.

    I go up 10 degrees every 30 minutes to 220, and there I let it sit for an hour.

    Then I take it up to 500 degrees in 25 degree increments every 30 minutes.

    At 500, I let it soak for an hour.


    If I have a piece that I think may be a little damp, I set it on the heater register for the day and let the warm air from the heater dry it out.

    Unconventional maybe, but it does work for me :-)

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.