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About midnight_potter

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  • Birthday 06/09/1942

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  • Location
    gainesville florida
  • Interests
    art therapy; marriage and family counseling; languages; world music; cats; sportscars; diving; pots from anywhere
  1. Wow, there are a lot of production pottery studios. Go along to a local art and craft show and you will probably find several production potters to talk with. I always enjoy finding potters out there and have an extra chair with me at shows. I was a production potter for years and had a shop and did the art shows as well. Check the site artfestival.com with the Howard Alan crowd because they feature the artists that do their shows and have a ton of photos. You can look through their show lists and get names that way as well. North Carolina is full of production potters with Seagrove being a destination with maybe a 100 potters not far from one another. Recently though some of the long time potters are closing doors and doing something else as the sales have fallen drastically (for me as well - that is why I am back in school) - but potters who are part of a couple or those who do art pots for galleries seem to be faring better as well as those production potters who have long running shops and have gathered a big list of fans through teaching and a decent web site. But we need to consider that pottery in general in the US has become a dying art and is sowly going by the wayside. The quest for hand made and the mystery and desire for the individuality embodied in a hand thrown piece has largely hit the dust as the imports have totally taken over for most of the country. It is no one's fault - just was part of a movement that is pretty much over. And since we don't honor our artists or support them (especially politically at the moment) who knows what will happen. My feeling is that as soon as all us old hippies and many of the baby boomers pass on the entire scene will fall apart. Some years ago (2005) when my business was coming to pieces I went along to the NCECA in Baltimore and decided to check the board for employment which was usually packed with business cards and possibilities for openings in schools or teaching positions and/or apprenticeships, etc., and discovered it to be almost empty with one offer of an art teacher position at an obscure college. I was depressed anyway over what was happening to me and that reality was especially awful. So, I recommend that when you come upon a potter whose work you respect and like, purchase it, because he or she is not likely to be around much longer. And if you are of the age and inclination to be a potter for a life's work you need to seriously consider getting training in something that will earn the money and do the pots part time rather than the other way around because the interest is just not there unless you want to go oveseas. People over there appreciate artists and support them. This is my experience and my opinion.
  2. Yes, this is a question from the real world. I stayed home and created a studio years ago when I was faced with this and only went out to teach from time to time. That is why I learned to be a production potter because I had to sell to continue staying at home in the workshop. The children, cooking and housework I usually attended to in the mornings and then while they were little I used a babysitter combined with nap time to get in studio hours during the afternoons. As school became a regular happening I worked in the studio those hours and did housework, etc., after they came home. I also developed night hours as you can tell by my pen name and still after many yeas I do my very best work late a night when there is no one to bother me. At the moment I am back in school again - so I also work the papers at night and when there is time get into making pots for a few hours as well. Because I could spend those days at home in a studio my children essentially grew up with a stay at home mom, but one who worked her ass off day and night - but I have wonderful children who seem happy, productive and well adjusted and to this day I am thankful I was able to fulfill myself and be around for them on a daily basis. There have been compromises from time to time and I have been frustrated as well but in the end the kids don't care that their mother was a potter - all they cared was that I was there when they needed me and from their point of view I don't think I failed them.
  3. There is a mistake somewhere. Did you fire to cone 10 or cone 04? I cannot believe that a cone 10 glaze would melt at cone 04 - they hardly melt at cone 10. The cone 04 clay could have acted as part of the glaze at cone 10 and that I would believe. I use Miller 910 or Miller 900 for a cone 10 body which survives cone 10 pretty well - although not nearly as well as the original Miller which was sold to Laguna years ago and which Laguna has mucked about to produce a puny version of the original. The only time I had a major meltdown like that was the time a feldspar was mislabeled and I had put whiting in the glaze instead of feldspar and the whole lot of christmas pots melted all over the shelves and put me out of business for weeks as we tried to recoup all the furniture and remake all the ware. We need more information to answer your question.
  4. I always open a kiln way before it is legal. I start with the peep bricks and remove blankets definitely. Then I begin a fan on the closed kiln for about an hour. Turn the fan off and crack the lid a little bit holding it open with a piece of broken shelf. The kiln is usually an orange to darker color. In fact if you take a flashlight and peek in the colors will not have settled yet. Then I go away for about an hour - return and put the fan on low for a while. Then I lift the lid about 3 inches and prop it and continue in this fashion until I can lift the lid wth gloves on, but still cannot touch the pots. The lid remains open at least another hour and maybe longer and then I remove the top shelf and place onto boards. Usually it is still so hot that the second shelf is impossible and I have to wait a little longer. Most of the tme I have to do this because I need to pack and price and get to a show. Otherwise it is a huge luxury to simply allow it to shut off and leave it in there for the weekend before starting to take it out. I might add that when I load I put small things on the top shelf on purpose so they won't split when I open the lid too early. Platters and so on go at least three layers down.
  5. It has been my experience to not mix glazes and clay that fire to different cones. In fact it is a very bad idea. I say this because making the stuff is fraught already with so many variables where things could go wrong so we have to keep as many of them as constant as possible. Even with my experience I cannot say just off hand why the two are not fitting. The feldspars in both the clay and glaze probably do not match and using a prepared frit alone in the second glaze is a problem because it is difficult to find out what is in it. One can only control some of the outcome by understanding what materials are interacting with each part of the process. High fire glazes (stoneware) are easier to make with fewer ingredients because everything melts - but lower fire calls for more ingredients some of which are kept from melting entirely, so we have to better balance things out. The opposite of crazing is crawling and that looks even worse than crazing which is a flaw we sometimes want for visual effect. I had a bunch of shivering on every edge (including the throwing ring edges) on lots of my pots I made years ago in South Africa. Colin Pearson explained that I was not bisquing high enough and therefore created a sort of dust between the pot and the glaze - so I started to bisque slightly higher. But that was with clay and glaze vitrifying at cone 10. I have consulted in the past, the labs at Alfred, especially when I ran into impossible probems in Africa years ago. They seemed to welcome a challenge and I learned a lot in the process. Certainly Richard Zakin would have something intelligent to give to you about the problem. You know you have a shivering problem when after the pots have been standing around from the kiln for an hour or so you begin to hear little pings and when you pick the pots up there are bits of glaze lying in a perfect circle. I stopped some of this by simply waxing all the edges and corners so they remained unglazed. But this is not a solution. Shivering weakens the pot and crazinng weakens the glaze and people will bug you with: how will I get the food out of all those little lines? Personally I would just finish up my cone 10 body with cone 10 glazes and then start again with a 6 body and a 6 glaze. Or sell your cone 10 body on craigslist or somewhere. All the best, Ruth
  6. Favorite color by far for me in the south especially. Green in everything. Could bejust a one color potter, but could never stand one color. About a one quart size and pours reasonably well. I make teapots in all sorts of sizes and shapes - but yellow recently is also sought after. Sells at anywhere from 28 to 68.00.
  7. midnight_potter

    pots by Ruth

    various pots that I have photos of made i n current and past years - mainly functional and high fired cone 10 reduction and electric
  8. Older model stocked booth at Savannah Georgia on the riverfront. Now have a white booth with green curtains - had to bring in the outer display as against the rules at most shows to go outside of 10 feet.
  9. Just a colorful platter for serving. About 13 inches across. Wheel thrown electric fired with spectrum stains in red (burned out, obviously) and priced at about 65 or 75.00.
  10. Loved to make this carafe-pitcher for sangria which was popular. This can be thrown in 2 pieces and generally is better that way. Glaze color in yellow with rutile underglaze. This one was reduction fired cone 10 in gas kiln. Priced from 35-50.00.
  11. Hand thrown in 2 pieces, Carafe to match in reverse shape. Goblets used to be popular, but no longer a better seller. Generally priced about 18.00 each. They stand about 7-8 high.
  12. Handthrown in 2 pieces. Has flower frog (2 inch) electric fired and usually sells at abour 48.00. Make several smaller sizes as well.
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