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About Tarantara

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    Always an artist at heart!

    My hobbies include showing my dogs and reading. I've been grooming dogs since the Carter era, and am looking to spend some time away from the grooming table!
  1. Question: How long is a long peak hold vs how long is a short peak hold?
  2. Thank you, Min. I shall give this a whirl soon and see what comes out of the kiln. And thanks for the fudge recipe suggestion. Fudge is one of those things that is transcendent when all goes perfectly, but you can always put Failed Fudge on ice cream. Failed pots are another story. Those you just chalk up to the learning curve.
  3. Several years in and I'm just now starting to have more than half of the glaze loads turn out the way I want .... the making portion is so much easier in my opinion. And I'm using commercial glazes ..... theoretically should be easier? LOL "EASIER" LOL Alchemy.
  4. Min, your response is interesting to me. I'm just now working on learning the intricacies of glaze firing, and have had issues with pitting in my first two loads. How long to you soak (I am firing to ^6 with Amaco glazes, on ^6 white clay) on your first and second soaking? I do now have a new kiln with an electronic controller (was simply a kiln sitter, a pyrometer, an old kiln, and me having quality time together) to help me out. Right now I feel like I did while learning to make fudge - it's all alchemy...sometimes the magic happens and you get something luscious; sometimes you have something to be desired....
  5. Wow! Look at all the pretties! I just have a little Skutt hobby kiln, but I pack it as best I can! But I'm at the point where I'm learning the idiosyncrasies of glaze and firing, and it's reminding me of when I was learning to make fudge: it's all alchemy. At least until I get it figured out.
  6. That sounds like great fun! Maybe I can squeeze a trip in the budget! But alas, my younger son is starting college in two weeks...so I'll have to see what fun money we have left.
  7. Cats are notoriously sensitive critters when it comes to chemicals, etc. Anything you use must be safe for use with human consumption use, as well. The clay must be food-safe and fired to maturity, as Mark C. pointed out; and the glazes used must also be food safe as well. Denice has some good advice regarding finding the right classes for that project. Fountains are fun little projects, but you do have to do your research to make sure your pet is safe. There are some wonderful pet fountains available at high end pet stores - I would get one for your cat. You are absolutely right to encourage her to drink water and to use whatever tricks you can to get he to do so - cats don't have the thirst mechanism that we or dogs do, and rely upon their own food consumption for water. I have to admit that my own trick (as recommended by my vet) has always been to feed canned food and water it down a little more. I've had great luck with that program and antique 20 year old kitties. (Well, at this point I just have my young ten year old whippersnapper...but my cats live a long time!)
  8. I wanted to thank you for your verbal description of your technique in throwing. I have been experimenting with your hand position and have found it helps quite a bit. I have a couple of (greenware, so far) bowls that I'm pretty chuffed with - I think this will work!
  9. Vet Wrap provides a nice grip for me. I keep it on hand for the animals anyway.
  10. I wanted to add that crutch is really not an inappropriate word to use. Hypermobility is a collagen disorder. Not really fixable and it does present interesting challenges in some situations. I have to protect my joints from luxating too often, since the tendons and ligaments stretch and do not really spring back easily. So, I wear hearing aids to help me hear, inserts in my shoes to stabilize my ankles so I can walk without breaking my neck, and I need a little help to enjoy making pretty and useful pots. Totally okay with that.
  11. Thanks for all the help! Frustrating enough, sometimes, when you're a beginner and know what you want to do and have the theoretical knowledge but not the muscle knowledge yet. There's a small part of me that is glad I'm not the only one with rebellious finger joints. They do pop out in unnatural ways without warning and I've been really struggling with a work-around while learning the ropes at the same time. Pres, since your method works for you and you sound like you face the same kind of challenge I do, could you please post a pic of your hand position for me? I'm sure the knuckle technique is common enough that I can find it - usually, if my fingers are bent all the way, they will behave. Except the tips - those joints are the loosest and are pretty much unreliable. Ah, well...it keeps things interesting. I have fingers and I have a wheel and I have clay...so all is well. Just need more practice!
  12. I'm new to wheel thrown ceramics and am thoroughly enjoying learning the process...I might even become competent some day... I have, however, a combination of genetic hypermobile joints and a bit of the arthritis that goes with it - which means my finger joints will either lock into place and/or pop out unexpectedly while pulling the pots. It doesn't hurt, but it sure is frustrating to get a good thing going and end up with a delightful gouge that I couldn't prevent! I am experimenting with using a (what I would call a tack) sponge to help my outside hand, and that has helped a lot in keeping my fingers working together. I'm finding that some clays either don't like the sponge, or maybe I need to find a different kind of sponge, or use more or less water...but at least with the current IMCO Great White with Grog, I'm finding it wants to pull off slip rather than pull the clay up. I had less trouble with their Stoneware and little with the 8-11 Red/Buff clays in class. I am wondering if the Mudtools finishing sponge would solve some of the problem I'm finding, or if there's another tool or clay or technique to try. I'm pretty open to new ideas - I'm new enough that I have no real habits or opinions formed. IMCO is close to my home, so I do like to buy my clay from them. I will be using cone 6 at home and cone 10 in the classroom. So, imagine unstable fingers and how you would manage the problem.
  13. Hello! I'm also a newbie, not only to clay but also to the forums (although I have been lurking for a good while, now.) I took ceramics classes 30 years ago and picked it up once again just this spring...and wondered why I ever stopped. (Oh, yeah...I was young and broke and not brave enough to step outside my comfort zone!) So, I'm at square one, learning, practicing...and making an awful lot of bowls...
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