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Charles

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  1. Well - your saying "rolling a flat rolling pin very lightly over the textured surface pushes down any sharp protrusions so no sanding is necessary" made it sound like you're talking about wet clay and not bisque, but I now see you meant rolling the wet clay so you wouldn't need to sand the bisque. Since the sharp points were on the roller and not the clay, I wasn't making that connection. Because I only hand-build and use lots of inclusions, I sometimes discover random sharp spots after the glaze firing. I can't really tell while building as some materials, such as granite, generally
  2. When I was first learning ceramics at MassArt a decade ago, I played around with some unusual handle shapes that I found more ergonomic than traditional ones - I prefer to use all my fingers if possible. Attached are a few examples - I like the T-handle best and I've included a coiled version that I call leechware for obvious reasons - but do realize that isn't the best marketing term I really enjoy the handle attachment, and find these guys much more fun to work with than traditional coils, and are fast to make by cupping your hand. I initially had them vertical, but rotated
  3. oldlady - At first I had no idea what you were talking about, but then realized you had misinterpreted what I said. I suspect that you didn't follow the link to view the roller, as I only mentioned sanding (actually filing works better, but some people might not have one) in reference to the sharp tips on the wood roller. I can't imagine anyone trying to sand wet clay (is it even possible?), but I keep thinking I should bring a set of jewelry files and sandpaper to school to make any necessary (and possible) modifications to my bisque-ware. Old Man
  4. Actually, one of the reviews on Amazon said, "I use this rolling pin for acupressure. Love it!" My first reaction was that the points were too sharp for that. Curious, I searched for acupressure roller, and found that the Lyapco ones on Amazon were far sharper, with needles sticking out. From the reviews, most folks seemed to like that, but others said that they were just too much for them. One benefit of the wood roller is that you can file the points as much as you might want to. I wrote to Amazon suggesting that they might "check" with the Czech producer to discuss developing varia
  5. Linden Sweden Deep Notched Rolling Pin Available at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/yb4j8pcz I see that the price has gone up 25% since I bought mine a year ago, but I still think it's a good price for a great product - you can also use it for making Swedish flatbread, IF you thoroughly wash all the clay off first. One charming review reads, "This item was ordered in the UK, was dispatched from the USA and was made in the Czech Republic, despite being "Swedish". Although I initially bought this for surface texture, I have found other applications. It's
  6. My school only does one or two soda firings a semester, but I just saw this and really like the look - based on the foot it's a ~ dark tan -light brown clay. Wondering if this is likely achieved with a low percentage of RIO or something else? thanks
  7. Last spring I was breaking up granite chicken grit on a metal table with a large-head hammer. I had the grit in a heavy weave fabric, but it was still a pain to gather the results, and repeated use wore it out. This fall I discovered miner's dolly pots, designed to be taken into the field. I started with the small, but moved up to large (13 #). I do recommend using this on a hard surface, such as a concrete floor or a cinder block. As a point of reference, they are designed for quartz (to look for gold), which is harder than granite. https://www.blackcatmining.com/mining-equipment/cr
  8. I want to lay a pattern out on a soft slab - preferably using some sort of soft marker that will not withstand firing. It's actually some points that are boundaries and I had been pressing lightly with a rounded tool, but I'm finding it's an effort to cover the impressions. I have no idea if the ink in a "permanent" marker is permanent at 2345 F. thanks
  9. Thanks for the info glazenerd. I thought granular feldspar fired to ^11 and higher produced the white rounded surface effect seen in Shigaraki ware - or is this what you mean by blisters? Granular feldspar fired to ^10 will produce pop-outs - as seen in this photo of Grogzilla. I became interested in coal slag after seeing Perry Haas' work. I've tried the small pellets used for commercial surface blasting work, and they just create small black specks when they are at the surface. I obtained some raw slag and broke it down to ~1/4" chunks - I just got a bis
  10. It looks like all the posts so far are about glazes, but I have a question about clay. I'd like to create one or more clays with a lot of varied inclusions for visible texture. I just started making my own grog using a "dolly pot" small portable rock crusher, breaking up bisqued thin slabs of several clays and sorting them by mesh range. I decided I'm not interested in anything smaller than 40 mesh, as it just looks like dust to me. I do realize that commercial grog can be close to 10 times smaller. I gave my studio manager a list of my planned inclusions, and asked if he
  11. I've never used slip before, but wanted a small amount to experiment with. I tried cutting up some thin semi-wet clay (exposed for about an hour on the work table), putting it in a pint jar (Talenti) and filling it with water - expecting to need to let some of it evaporate later, and stirring. Two days later it hadn't really changed. I tried Magnolia Mud's upright (kitchen) blender approach in the school's glaze lab. It worked, but I didn't do my second batch - because: - It was an awful mess to clean up - I lost some slip that I couldn't scrape off / out of the blender
  12. Not necessarily "shardy", but with some texture and variation, as in the originally referenced piece. It was the texture that I responded to when I first saw the photo, as well as a bit of mystery, with a sense of possible hidden caverns. I'd be happy to go organic, but Rae expressed what interests me quite well. I've attached a detail image of Louise Gregg's piece that I found on her site. This makes it seem a very non-dense clay, almost more of a paper clay or similar. BTW - crushed walnut shells are used as an abrasive blast media (I looked at them online, but they appear qui
  13. Rae - The studio manager says he can work with me to make a small test batch of ball clay. I can see how the plasticity of a ball clay would help here. I realized that using Porcelain for this was not a good idea, as I've had bad luck trying granite inclusions in it - the strength just isn't there. I tend to doubt that the firing method would really make much - if any, difference in this regard – based on my minimal knowledge. Yes - garden supplies, if there is any variation just how can one know about it? I don't know if it would just be in the source rock, or could
  14. Thanks to both of you. I was planning to try wedging tonight, and will do that with porcelain on two test pieces, one for each firing method. I had asked the studio manager if the ball clay would make any difference, and he doubted it. The school has frequent reduction firing, but I'll have to sign up for an electric kiln for oxidation, and will need to wait until I have other pieces to justify that. I'm also checking with ceramic sources in Australia to see if it might be the Perlite there.
  15. Lee Ustinich has the right initials . . . .
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