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About Pres

  • Birthday 08/20/1949

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  • Location
    Central, PA
  • Interests
    Camping, kayaking, family, travel, Art in general. I have a small studio in my garage. Two electric kilns, two wheels, wedging table etc. I am primarily interested in cone 6 Ox. but like to see what is going on at all ranges. Read about ceramics voraciously and love the feel of the clay and throwing. Have to admit that my greatest joy is in the making, not the glazing. That said I do mix my own glazes, some of my own formulas, some borrowed. Retired from teaching art, in 2009 after 36 years, taught ceramics 34 of those years.

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  1. Hi folks, I recently noticed a strand in one of the other areas, and thought it to be a good fit for here as it seems to be mentioned in several strands. As I have said before, I did some long awaited shopping in the Standard Ceramics store in Pittsburgh. My wife and I took the two hour drive down to pick up some kiln shelves for the new kiln, and to get glaze chemicals. I also picked up some tools as I am a tool junkie! I was able to fill my list easily with the chemicals, and pick up tools. The one item on the list that surprised me was the large 1/2 shelves for the kiln; they had none. Back orders were listed, and there were no ETA for stock supply. QotW: What effects have the Covid, and the Supply chain failures had on your production and delivery of your pottery? Have you had to make any substitutions in materials, or failed to be able to get essential tools, equipment or materials? best, Pres
  2. I like the hazelnut it throws well, and works well for slab construction. I find that it stains most everything in the way of clothing so I wear my apron whenever working with it. The glazes that I used on the SC112, the SC 630 and other clays also work well. The COE seems to be close enough to the 630 that I don' t have to do anything special with glaze thickness or firing. I am on my 3rd 1000# order of it. best, Pres
  3. @GEP I was at Pittsburgh Standard Ceramic in August. They had the clay that I use, but some of the other clays were listed on shortage. At the same time I picked up chemicals for glazes, and noticed no shortage on those. When it came to buying kiln shelves though, they said that they were on back order and that it had been several months. Smaller shelves were available, but the 26" half shelves were not. Seems like everyone is having shortages on items. best, Pres
  4. I did several projects in my Ceramics 1 classes that were used to introduce basic skills. One of my favorite starting projects was a simple votive lantern. Made of slabs, it introduced slab construction on a small scale that also introduced beveled edges, scoring and slip or "magic water joining". The project also required 4 basic forms of surface decoration: Impressing, incising, added on clay, and piercing. The bottom was a square about 3", the sides were about 4-5" tall, tapered inward. The opening at the top allows heat to escape, and the side piercing allowed the corner cut was demonstrated using a hacksaw blade that made a simple cut symmetric on both sides without a lot of effort. best, Pres
  5. Another alternative is a kiln that you can lift off of the fired pieces making it easier for one or two people to remove the piece. Pulley systems work well with steel cable for raising the kiln body. best, Pres
  6. I have used Standard Ceramics #112 for years for functional ware in the past. However, I decided to make some mortar and pestles as Christmas gifts one year. I decided not to make them with the 112 because they would be grinding, and possibly releasing the manganese into the herbs being ground. I switched to a sister body for this process as it was the same body without the manganese. Something to think about. best, Pres
  7. Hi folks, time for another topic, and don't forget you may post new ideas for QotW in the pool here: Of late I have considered some changes in the decorative process, I have often been interested in surface decoration and texture. I have probably done the gambit of Impressing, incising, piercing, added on clay or sprigging. In my earlier years I did mostly glaze dipping over bare surfaces, then spraying glazes through lace, and silk flower/leaves, along with calligraphic brushwork to bring out or add details. The last 20 years have been more about texture in the piece; first was faceting, then incising the unshaped cylinder. Then I started stamping, and forcing more into the clay to the point I often had to repair the piece when leather hard. Glazing was completed by spraying from different angles to highlight the surfaces. Lately I have considered returning to the smooth surfaces for large areas, with other areas of texture applied before the shaping. I would then decorate the smooth areas as mentioned before with stencils and inglaze work. QotW: What is your predominant method of decorating the greenware, and how do you deal with this decoration in your glazing? best, Pres
  8. My wife's fracture is a spiral involving the prothesis. Present treatment is continue to wear brace/sling and see if arm will heal on its own. If not, future surgery will require plate and bone graft.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. LeeU


      sounds absolutely awful--best wishes

    3. Pres


      Last of heavy meds only at night now. Nothing during the day. She is doing pretty well.

    4. Roberta12


      That sounds brutal Pres!  Send her my best thoughts for healing!


  9. @MartinD35, I am using the SC 630 also, and have not noticed any white areas. Mine is a batch from before covid, so if yours is recent that may be the difference. If you wedged it well, and it still shows up, the only thing I can suggest is to fire it with glaze in your normal manner and see what shows up. If you want to not take the chance, you could do test tiles. However, now that you have made pieces, would you try to recycle them if the test tiles do not turn out well? Up to you, but were me I would keep one piece aside for the bisque, then glaze fire the rest. If they turn out poorly you have examples to show Standard, or you supplier. All IMHO. best, Pres
  10. Just thinking, if the loading gets tough, you could always rig up a pulley system for the first section and lid. That would make loading that deep a tad easier. I had a friend in the 80s that had the same L&L J-23 that had 4 sections. . . he used a pulley on the 4th section. I never got around to rigging one on mine, but would lift off the 4th section to load then put it back on to load the top, Of late I have not used the 4 section in about 5 years. Didn't make as many large pots, mostly bowls, patens, and chalices. Great grab on the kiln, and nice that it does not need further calibration. You should get many years of use out of it. best, Pres
  11. Welcome to the forum @Angelique! We usually start out with small amounts of a lot of glazes, and then narrow them down as we start making our own, and making larger batches. Many of us use glazes that work magic when over top of or underneath other glazes. Makes one recognize the characteristics of their glazes, and encourages experimentation with different types of application techniques, layering and other possibilities. best, Pres
  12. Jack, Welcome to the forum. I would say that at this point, it is just too early to know, give it a semester and see what happens. When I say give it a semester, I mean put your heart and head into everything you do. This of course is IMHO, but I spent many years in education teaching at HS, summer camps and College levels. First semesters are rough in a lot of ways. best, Pres
  13. description from ER doc. Closed displaced transverse fracture of shaft of humerus with delayed healing... . . whatever all that means. She is dealing well, pain meds help. best, Pres
  14. All of this getting older is tough, especially these latest years. My wife fell on Sunday while we were working on renovations in an old farmhouse 150 miles away from our home. Tripped over a loose carpet pad, fell against the wall onto exposed carpet stretcher strips. Broke her rt arm, way she fell was obvious she broke it, she sat up rearranged the arm and said she had broken it, then nearly passed out. We could not get her down the steep narrow stairs with her fading in and out so called and ambulance. At the hospital for nearly 6 hrs before they decided they could do nothing for her, but the Dr.s in our city told the ER dr. to use a restraining sling and send her home. She is still waiting on appointment on Wednesday. Problem is 5 years ago she fell in the gymnasium at our HS when watching a volleyball tournament. Had to have an inverse shoulder replacement. The new break is just below the titanium prothesis. The fix will require surgery. Golden years. . . didn't tell use they would be tarnished! best, Pres
  15. Hi folks, I was driving north the last few days and looking for fall color to start in. However, I found mostly green, here in PA, recent rains have attributed to very lush green landscape without the usual browns found this time of year. At the same time my mind wanders when driving, and one of the subjects was whether I should add a new color of glaze. I have often considered working with some Iron reds when I go back to the hazelnut brown. May even test tile on the SC 630. I have not changed my glaze palette in quite a while, so I am getting a little antsy about it, and at the same time am wondering what the iron reds will do over the newer style textured pots. QotW: Are you planning to add any new glaze colors to your palette of colors? best, Pres
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