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  1. Like
    TypicalGirl got a reaction from WUVIE in Finally taking the plunge into ceramics...   
    Woo hoo - welcome to clay Karen!
    First, I think the mantra of all clayfolk is "try it and see what happens".
    Your kiln is SO much nicer than what I've been firing in the last 5 years
    Picture yours with a nice coat of rust. Now open it and note the crumbling bricks and cracked shelves.
    Now yank out half the elements, saw a hole in the lid and a couple in the floor and stick a propane burner under it. That's been me
    But hey! It did the job!
    For cutting with cookie cutters, I keep a little dish of baby powder at hand and dip my cutter's edge into it between cuts.
    But if you want absolute perfection, you might want to make one just so shape and then make a mold from that so you can reproduce it exactly.
    But remember...for many people the charm and loveliness of handmade things is that you *can* see the touch of a human on them.
    The slower you can dry your clay, the more the clay likes it, but as with many things, you and the clay must meet in the middle. Too slow and you will become impatient, too quickly and the clay may rebel and crack (though you might not see that till you pull it out of the glaze firing - DANG it!).
    When I lived in Mo, where it tended to be humid, I actually built a little cabinet and kept my ware in there, along with a dehumidifier so it would dry at a reasonable rate.
    Here in arid Cali, I often place my ware in plastic bags to slow drying a bit.
    For me, I've taken to using something called "Pelon" instead of canvas to build on. Its a thin meshy sort of material that comes in different thicknesses that I believe is used to line quilts with. It has less texture, is washable and just easier for me to work with.
    Ask questions, try things to see what works for you and *have fun*!
  2. Like
    TypicalGirl got a reaction from Frankiegirl in Spray booth: help!   
    FWIW, here's what I did for a quick, cheap and easy spray booth...
  3. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to oldlady in Under Fired Bisque   
    thanks chris, i think i was just pointing out to the questioner that just asking the question points you toward the answer that is comfortable for you.  the subsequent answers still do not say DO THIS, they still suggest rather than demand.  this is one of those areas that are decided by the person asking the question based on that person's feelings, nothing scientific or absolute.  feelings matter, i did not intend to insult someone.
  4. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Chris Campbell in Under Fired Bisque   
    Welcome to the forum!
    Sometimes in forums you have to read an answer a couple times to see if you are seeing things that are not there. I could be wrong, but I think the poster was just trying to judge how precise or loose you were. You don't know until you ask and it makes a difference in the advice you give. Some of us would re-fire and others would say it was close enough.
  5. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Marcia Selsor in wood fired raku kiln 1976-1980   
    I don't think there is much difference in the final results. You don't get fly ash as you would in a high fire wood kiln.
    As for cleaner, this kiln was fired with scrap bits of 2 x 4 and fired very clean as in little smoke, no fossil fuels. I built it during the first Spring of teaching when I had a very limited budget of $175/year.
  6. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Nelly in Problem Centering   
    The only thing worse than a splash pan is a Griffin Grip and the only thing worse than a Griffin Grip is this piece of crap!
    Dear All,
    When I have trouble either centering a piece of seeing that it goes off during throwing I go through a bunch of thought processes... (please feel free to correct me in anyway if I am wrong).
    1. Is my wheel level (i.e., has my wheel shifted and is it as close to level as possible using the guage). I use shims or elevate the legs if required to make it level.
    2. Have I wedged my clay properly?? Are there lumps or places of air knocking it off??
    3. Am I braced in a position where I am almost like a lever going into the clay (i.e., straight and not bent).
    4. How is my body positioned vis-a-vis the wheel head?? Am I off too much to the left in my chair or too much to the right??
    5. Is my bat really sitting on the wheel pins or is it sitting on the crud of yesterday's throwing??
    6. At my age, I now remove my glasses when throwing to see that I am centered. If I didn't, for sure the pile of clay would be off.
    7. If I find I am not able to center it I say to myself "hold your hands on either side of the ball of clay and eventually it will right itself."
    8. Before starting to center did you hit the clay into a general central position on the wheel head?? This can really start a piece off well as you don't have to fight too much with it to get it to the place you want it to be from the onset.
    10. What is my mood?? I find if I am anxious in anyway, it can come out in fighting with the clay.
    11. What grip have I used in entering the clay? I like two fingers clasped together and pressing down with my arms braced against my body.
    12. Where are my hips as they relate to the wheel head?? Are they slightly above so I am approaching the clay in a top down manner if sitting.
    I could go on and on with all my neurotic thinking that I review in centering clay. I must say though, this list has helped me. I am sure there are many different aspects of this process I have forgotten?
    If ever a piece that I throw is off and I cannot detect it when I am throwing and it is caught in the trimming process, I simply make the base into a triangular foot. I can cover up a lot of issues with this style of foot ring.
    Just my thoughts. Please, anyone, feel free to correct me on any of these points.
  7. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Pres in Speeding Up Motorized Kick wheel   
    I originally learned on a Randall with the puck drive. The professor was adamant that we kick the wheel to start it, then to use the power. His reasoning was that the cold start wore the puck faster. It won't help you now, but if you replace the puck it may help preserve it a while longer.
  8. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to OffCenter in Speeding Up Motorized Kick wheel   
  9. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to perkolator in Pyrometer: Skutt 343 vs Fluke 50D?   
    i've been using one of those Skutt handheld pyrometers for the past year and a half -- no complaints! bought it to replace a really old Fluke 51 that bit the dust and was going to cost more to repair than buy the Skutt.
  10. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Mark C. in Pyrometer: Skutt 343 vs Fluke 50D?   
    Heres the specs for that Fluke
    I have 3 flukes and they are all older ones . Fluke is one of the top of the line meter makers. Yours is single input not a dual
    so if dual thermocouples in the kiln is what you have you will need the dual input. If not fluke for me is the way to fly-
    I do know the Skutts are fairly inexpensive and do not know who the maker is for skutt.
  11. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Natania in Help with Resume/CV/Portfolio   
    I am not so confident in my artist's statement skills myself, but have learned a lot from looking at the websites of artists and potters whose work I admire online. There are statements on most websites, and you can read though them taking notes about what topics they address, how the statements are structured, etc. of course the content of yours would be different, but researching for inspiration is a good place to start. Often CVs are on websites too. Good luck!
  12. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to neilestrick in Sand on Shelves   
    Silica sand only. Your local clay & glaze material supplier should have it in stock. It's a great way to go with large or sculptural items. Just a fine dusting will do the trick. Keep it from the edges of the shelf so it doesn't fall onto pots below and get stuck in the glaze.
  13. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Mark C. in Kiln loading a gas downdraft-Get more pots in   
    One thing I have noticed is a most folks load kilns with pre-conceivedconcepts.
    What I have learned over many years at this is that as long as you leaveroom for kiln to draw and draft properly you can stuff it with great results-
    Now I’m a functional studio potter in the business to makefire and sell as much as I can so efficiency is a must-this is not a schoolsituation
    I put pots under lower shelves some as well as on forwardbricks-I long ago switched to advancer shelves –which for me paid forthemselves in less than two years with the extra two feet of stacking spacesaved per load-two feet-35 loads per year big kiln really adds up
    I put as many pots as I can fit in each load . The kilnalways works fine and all pots get loaded where they need to go either in thecool zone near the flue or the hottest area dead center-I glaze enough of all glazesto fill each area. Folks say I stuff a kiln and I do with great results-so nexttime try stuffing that gas kiln-just leave the areas that need to drawempty-but the load area needs to be stuffed no matter what you heard from others or learned in school-tryit-it works
    Now one kiln this is not good to do is the salt kiln-as the salt fumes need to get around-I have attached a salt load photo
  14. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Marc McMillan in Horse Hair supply?   
    Very nice of you. Potters are the best. I actually found some on line.
    Thank you very much for the offer.
  15. Like
    TypicalGirl got a reaction from Carolyn Dorr in What tips about selling pottery at craft / pottery shows can you share? | Oct. 10, 2011   
    This is SUCH a good topic for me right now. I'm preparing to do my fine arts fair in Nov and feel a little like a deer in the headlights.
    Is it possible for you all to post photos if your booths/displays?
    And thanks for all the tips so far!
  16. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to bev's pottery in Which artist would you love to work beside in their studio for one week? Provide artists name and why? | Aug. 8, 2011   
    that's easy - ruth duckworth. once upon a time, i had to write a paper and selected ruth duckworth as my subject.
    i related so much to her, i've read everything i could find and have been following her ever since.
  17. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Elaine Moreno in Which artist would you love to work beside in their studio for one week? Provide artists name and why? | Aug. 8, 2011   
    Well, I would love to work one week with Marcela Woolcott, a colombian potter (www.keramos.com.co). Why? One day I was able to go to her studio in Bogota, and I was just delighted watching every piece.
    Have a nice week,
  18. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to JLowes in How many days a week do you work in the studio? | August 15, 2011   
    As a part-timer, I can usually get in a maximum of 3 days/evenings a week in the studio. I probably could get in there more if I were a selfish, self-centered ego-maniac, who didn't value time spent with my family. But, the guilt would overcome me and my attitude and work would become morose and tortured, possibly elevating my ceramics to the big "A", art. Hmmm, better stick with 3 days and a happy life.
  19. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted in Any tape that will stick to bone dry clay?   
    To answer your original question, the answer is yes, tape will stick to bone dry clay. It helps if your clay is porcelain, poreclaineous stoneware, or another clay that is smooth, and free of grog. It will also work with a lightly grogged clay, but takes more fussing.
    I have used masking tape in various sizes to use in water etching. I also tried the blue painter's tape, but it has a low tack, and is harder to work with.
    Duct tape also sticks pretty well, but can have a raggedy edge, and is harder to cut.
    Clear packing tape will sometimes work, but it depends on the brand, and age of the tape; fresh tape seems to work best, as with all of them.
    Electrical tape will also work.
    The secret is to try to put the tape down in one firm pass, and not lift and reposition the tape. Every time you lift it, you take away some dust, which stcks nicely to the tape, and prevents it from sticking to the clay surface. Once you get it on there, smooth it quite a bit, but don't overdo it, that seems to cause it to lift away. After a bit of practice you will get the feel for it.
    Typicalgirl had a good suggestion when she said to apply your tape to a piece of glass, which you can use as a substate for cutting your design out with an exacto knife. Is it easy? depends on your design and your level of perfection I guess. I have an old mirror I slap tape on to cut, then carefully peel it up; that can take quite some time, but what's the rush? You could even make a layer of tape on the glass, then glue your drawn or computer generated design on the tape, using spray adhesive, then yu cut it out, and peel it up.
    Just some ideas.
    Here's a couple of pics showing a jar I etched a couple of years ago. One shows the taping in progress, which can take some doing, and isn't pretty, but fun. This is smooth cone 6 stoneware.

  20. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to BeckyH in Any tape that will stick to bone dry clay?   
    Did you see the recently posted video about this very topic? Damp newsprint is the way to go! Cheap, sticks well, peels off cleanly.
  21. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Marcia Selsor in Reconfiguring my Kiln question   
    Also try to keep your flame inside the kiln. I think in the original post you had it cranked up to the max. This can sometimes be inefficient and send the heat out of the kiln. Fiddle with the burners and try to get a hard short flame to gain heat. Then when you reduce you can have the soft licking flame. You will have to figure it out from there. The hard short flame may need to be a little longer...as always it depends....And use the damper.
  22. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted in How many people are using SQUARE for credit cards?   
    The photo feature lets you take a picture of your buyer's purchase, so they can be reminded what the charge was for. Before Square, we would occasionally get calls from people that were questioning what a charge was on their statement, and they were threatening to challenge them.
    As far as Square changing their fee structure, I find it's best to base my business practice on facts, not speculation. So, I will keep using Square.
  23. Like
    TypicalGirl got a reaction from Devany in How many people are using SQUARE for credit cards?   
    I upgraded from BlackBerry to Droid just for the ability to use the Square.
    I've used it twice and really liked it. Very easy to use!
    I got it specifically to take credit cards at shows etc.
    Oh, and speaking of SmartPhone apps, have any of you played with the one that lets you throw and fire pots?
  24. Like
    TypicalGirl reacted to Chris Campbell in Which artist would you love to work beside in their studio for one week? Provide artists name and why? | Aug. 8, 2011   
    Definitely George Ohr ... The Mad Potter of Biloxi!
    I would drive him even crazier with a million questions as I watched him work ... why??? how???
    How did you keep on when nobody believed in you !!!

  25. Like
    TypicalGirl got a reaction from Carolyn Dorr in Which artist would you love to work beside in their studio for one week? Provide artists name and why? | Aug. 8, 2011   
    For me, this is a no-brainer.
    I was recently paired with a mentor through the Potters' Council's mentor program, so the chance to spend some face time with my mentor, David Beumee` would be amazing.
    I would both watch and collaborate!
    I expect I would come away much closer to my stated goal of refining my eye. I have issues with things like balance, grace and negative space, and David's work shows his command of those areas very well, and watching his process and having him watch mine would fuel a tremendous growth spurt in me I'm sure.
    This is one of my favorites from his site.
    Its quiet and simple and well, just so far from the riot my work is at the moment...

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