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Posts posted by gejoreni

  1. I use to be on the Potters Council roster for mentors and have worked with a few mentees.. Mark C. also has been a mentor through the Potters Council. There has been some personnel shuffling this year at the main headquarters so that could be why you haven't heard back. I think you need to be a member as well. 

    Here is the teaching Art website. There are several teachers who might fit the bill you are looking for. http://teachinart.com/index.html

    Nan Rothwell is the newest and has moved her career one studio from Floyd, Va. to Asheville. She is potting and teaching there.. She did mostly salt firing in Va. Antoinette teaches porcelain so that may not be a good match. David Vorhees makes functional wood-fired pieces. Very different from Antionettes and Nan's work Connie Christensen is another teacher. She make lovely functional work more delicate than the other two. 

    I mentored a women from Wyoming who wanted help with oxidation glazes for her sculptured surfaces. We had a successful mentorship. So you have to be specific in what you want to do with your mentor when you write your proposal. Mark C. is a professional potter with decades of hard knocks experience. He is very giving on the forum and you will get to know him. As Joseph says, there are many people here who give freely of their expertise. Mea has a great blog of her business practices and record keeping. She has built a display following Mark's design which she shared with us. It really made a great presentation for her pieces. So just keep looking and asking and showing what you are having problems with. Local Art centers that offer classes are usually reasonably priced. That may be useful too.


    Marcia, thank you for the thorough response. You are evidence of the value Joseph and you talk about in the forums. I will look into the art teachers website.


    @chris No, I have not. I will look into that thanks! 


    @Triolaz - yes! that is the path I am taking right now. I am making as many connections and taking every course I can. You're speaking my language regarding connections. Thanks!

  2. Joseph. I know this isn't an answer to your question, but this forum itself is basically a hundreds of mentors full of advice. If your willing to share your failures with others and not be embarrassed to accept that you made mistakes everyone here will help you immensely. I am in my third year of pottery (just turned three) and I am 100% self taught besides four short 1 hour classes I took to see if I would like the process of pottery. I have to say that without the people here mentoring and helping answer simple questions I wouldn't be in pottery today. Just reading all the things other people say and do, you can learn infinite amounts of knowledge about all sorts of things. And best of all everything is archived and tons of questions have already been answered.


    Of course this isn't as easy as just finding someone and helping hands on. That is better and would be ideal, but I am just saying until you find that situation we all love to help each other out. Join in on the conversations and ask questions. 


    Also I think the potters council has a mentor program. Maybe look into that as well. 




    Joseph F


    Thanks! - I definitely have been using the forum when i felt it was appropriate - and will continue to do so. I signed up for the potter's council mentorying and have not had any responses. I completely with everything you said. I'm hoping to get a bit of directed feedback and interaction through mentorship in addition to everything I can learn from the forums. 

  3. I'm not sure if this is the best forum for this question - but here goes.


    So I've been working extremely hard to become a potter. I'm starting a little late, but I have spent a lot of time practicing and reading any books I can get my hands on. I've also gone to classes when/where possible. I really feel like I could make another large step with the support of a mentor. I have tried signing up through the "potter's guild" but I have not received any opportunities or responses.


    I've been inspired by many porcelain artists and have been working in that direction, however, I am open to skill set and experience of anyone willing to work with me. I am located in central Florida. If someone is even remotely close, that would be wonderful because I would love to meet them and eventually watch you in studio. If you are not in Florida, that is ABSOLUTELY fine too. I would just like to have some phone calls every once and a while and talk about my progress, be challenged, and critiqued. 


    If you think you would be willing or know someone that might, please let me know. 



    Joseph Reni



  4. catch up with matt Fisk's blag on Facebook. He prospects minerals and is making stunning pots with them. 

    Basics would be some good books. Rhodes Clay and Glazes was a good intro in college.

    Go to your local library and look through them. You don't say where you're located. Welcome to the forum. 


    Marcia - I'll check it out. I'm in central Florida just south of Orlando. I'm currently seeking out a mentor in Florida if anyone here knows someone that may be interested.

  5. Hi all, I'm fairly new to ceramics but am doing my best to learn quickly. I don't have any advanced ceramics degrees near me so I am trying hard to find resources online. Currently I'm trying to learn more about clay and glaze composition. I'd love to learn about the different parts and become technically proficient in the geology or chemistry of the matter. I'm hoping someone on the forum might be able to recommend some good resources. Most things and books I've come across really only cover this topic basically. Any recommendations for resources would be greatly appreciated. Forums provide great information as well, however a lot of the information is scattered. THANKS!



    I've got jenken about 30 minutes away from me. You think I would be able to use their elements? I wonder if they are the same configuration - could save some $ and time that way. anyway this forum is amazing. 



    No, put Skutt parts in a Skutt and Paragon parts in the garbage and buy a Skutt... :D



    lol - yes sir! I'll get them direct.

  7. On the plug question, the configuration of the prongs is the same for both 208V and 240V. It varies by amperage, i.e., you can't put a 30A plug into a 50A receptacle. The plug on the cord in the picture looks like the proper 50A plug, just an after-market replacement.


    208V service is very common (but not universal) in commercial settings but sometimes is 3-phase and sometimes is single phase. 240V is always single phase. It is highly unlikely that you would have 208V service in a residential neighborhood. If a kiln is wired for single phase, the only real difference between 208V and 240V is the resistance of the elements to generate the same amount of heat inside the kiln. 208V elements can be run on 240V circuit of the appropriate amperage (which Neil covered) - it will just heat a little faster and the elements will burn out sooner. 240V elements will work - badly - in a 208V commercial setting. They just won't get hot enough to reach cone 6; cone 06 probably, but not much higher. The solution is easy, just replace the elements with ones designed for the available voltage. If you change them, it would be good practice to mark on the rating plate the new voltage so nobody is confused in the future.

    A+ answer - This is perfect. My plan is to test it when I get it - if all but 1 of the elements work I might replace just the 1 at 208 - then when the rest burn out replace all with 240. I've got jenken about 30 minutes away from me. You think I would be able to use their elements? I wonder if they are the same configuration - could save some $ and time that way. anyway this forum is amazing. 

  8. Looking at the photos at the same time you do the elements replace the top ring of bricks as well. You will, need to take them out which will be easy once the elements are gone. The top row is toast and to many are broken. Get these from Skutt as well as your elements all at once-look to see what other bricks need replacing once you have the kiln as well.

    @mark - watching this video - it would appear the damage may not need repair. I'm curious if your experience would say to replace those bricks.

  9. Mark, I'm starting to think this deal may not have been as sweet as I was originally thinking :). Looking at the outlet plug it almost looks like it's converted to 240. Or does 208 look that way too? Is the top row of bricks a must have or should have. Curious if I can postpone some of these costs. This is getting expensive fast.

  10. Zirconium ceramics (engineering usage of the word) are pretty cool.  Hardness and heat resistance are two strength that come to mind. And yes, most ceramics are formed under a high temperatures using similar equipment as our kilns.


    From the chemical side, it is the same element, yes. It is #40 and goes by Zr.

    Thanks Matt, I was reading for full hardness it needs to get up to like a cone 15 - do you know if it's possible to get any maturity lower than that? Curious if it can be mixed in with other white clays like porcelain.  Sorry if these are stupid questions. I'm considering making some rings and want something harder than typical clay.

  11. @neil, Thanks all for the quick response. So that's actually something I overlooked  - I purchased this kiln used in a bid (my first kiln). I do not believe I am wired for 208 - but it's going to be near a breaker - I wonder if it's better to have it wired or just replace the elements. I'm expecting i'll have to replace some of the elements anyway. I got (what I think) is a great deal I paid $120 for it on a gov surplus website - I have to drive three hours to pick it up tho :(


    the link



    Is it realistic to change the elements on this? my dad is an EE so I'm sure he could help me with the details but maybe a couple quick tips would be nice. 



  12. So there seems to be a lot of zirconium oxide being used for jewelry and kitchenware under the name "high-tech ceramic". is this something that can be fired in a kiln? it seems to be a popular ingredient for glazes, but I'm not sure if it's the same thing. Thanks in advance - sorry if it's a dumb question but sometimes dumb can lead to luck.

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