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Everything posted by Pres

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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!


  4. @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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. OK, I was thinking if you were there, I often get up into that country to visit our LLC. best, Pres
  12. Strangely enough, @ladyinblack1964, I was the provider for one such search by a couple of secretaries in my school district. These older ladies wanted to experience clay, and had often chided me to provide a class for them. I didn't have any place to have classes, as my tiny one car garage was packed, but they were relentless. One day I told them that if they could talk the superintendent, their boss, into letting me teach a saturday class in the winter in the HS that I would do it for free, and charge tuition to build a fund for studio improvements as the art department was always short of budget for new equipment. They prevailed, and I started teaching the class back in the late 80's, and it is still taught today(at least before covid). This class only lasted 6 weeks, on Saturdays in mid winter, usually from 9 to noon, tuition was $60 with materials extra based on fired weight of clay. I taught the class basics in the first two classes as 1 hr sessions with work after and open for last four classes. Always student based on what they wanted to explore. Maybe you could find some way to prevail upon your local art teachers to provide something like this. Over the years the class I taught bought 4 potters wheels, a new bailey extruder, kiln shelves, workbenches and throwing stools. Good luck! best, Pres
  13. I have been using top loaders all of my life, never putting the money into a front loader. I did fire a front loader my first year in college, and old electric. Nice, but it was small. I helped load several front loaders in college, but these were so big you stood in them to load them, and the climb up and down was the biggest problem with people passing ware up to you for loading. That was not convenient, Heck, even the salt kiln I fired with the bricked up front was deep enough I had to stoop over to get into the back, so my experiences with front loaders were not great because of the sizes. Top loaders I used in the HS and other places were either older square metal boxes lined with brick, or stackable **gons of some sort. I ended up with a 23" L&L in the HS for our first new kiln. It was fantastic to keep running, and we used it for over 30 years, never really replacing it but augmenting it with a second of the same size 20 years after buying the first one. This allowed me to have one cooling and one firing when it came to crunch time at the end of the semester. These were all 48" tall, and therefore I would lift off the top section to load and then replace it for the end of loading, great for gut muscles! That sort of effort kept me in pretty good shape, and I never really noticed the loading of the shelves into the kiln as they were much lighter than a kiln section. My latest kiln if 28" in diameter, top loader **gon. Not so deep, but as much of my ware now is not as large, works well enough. Shelves are 1/2 shelf, and easy to load into the bottom. Years ago I started using gloves with really grippy surfaces to load and unload after I cut my hands on a sharp shelf edge, my own mistake. These gloves are really helpful for gripping the shelves when lifting them around. All in all, guess given the money I would still stay with a top loader. . . . this dog is done with new tricks. best, Pres
  14. Oh yeah, I use a hand held power extruder for handles and other small pieces. Have used glaze calc software for years, as I really hated doing the paper work in college. Also have a recipe spread sheet to automatically figure batch weights. best, Pres
  15. Hi folks, no new suggestions for a new QotW topic in the pool or elsewhere. So I will pose another question once again. Lately, I have been thinking about the direction the new kiln is taking me, and what that means. I also have realized that maybe my age is showing because I still like to do some things in old ways. As far as the new kiln goes, the process of calibrating the thermocouples is pretty much completed. Only the next glaze firing will tell. I find the ease of firing with the Genesis controller mixed, as even though I do not worry over the setting for a firing, I do have a tendency to double check color against the firing graph. I guess the kiln controller if my step into the future. Things that I do that are old school will include the use of a triple beam balance to weigh out glaze chemicals, wedging clay, and reclaiming scraps. Setting the weights on the triple beam balance makes me think about what I am doing. . . kind of a second check, as is marking the chemicals with grease pencil on my plastic sleeved recipe charts. Keeps me focused. Wedging, actually helps my back believe it or not. The pushing down while rotating the clay and body eases back strain for me, and is one other reason I reclaim scraps. QotW: What things do you do that would be Old School, and what do you do that would be considered Embracing the Future? best, Pres
  16. When doing lighting, go LED, brighter, less shadows, easier to pay attention to detail. best, Pres
  17. Hi folks, nothing new in the pool for QotW, so once again, I will pose a question. A while back we asked: What studio habits do you have that others have warned against? Asking just the opposite- QotW: What best habit would you recommend to a beginner setting up their studio? My best suggestion would be to look at your storage, surfaces and flooring, in order to control dust. I would suggest sealed rubbermaid type bins for chemicals, sealed buckets for glazes, work surface easily cleaned, without dust gathering canvas or other materials. I would try to stay away from containers with deep recesses in their lids, as they gather dust, Stay away from low shelving as they will gather underneath. Use dolly's to move larger containers out from under shelving to be easier to clean areas. Then clean once a week at least. Limit your ceramics space to ceramics, no household tools, or other storage in the studio. Most of my mistakes are listed here! Asking once again! QotW: What best habit would you recommend to a beginner setting up their studio? best, Pres
  18. Another thing that is a factor for me is the clay body itself. I have a tendency to start wet, when centering, move quickly to drier, and then pull final stages with almost no water. I have gon through a lot of clay bodies looking for the clay that has a bit of tooth for touch, strength when stretched or otherwise abused, and able to work with my glazes that I like. It has taken me through many clays, of which I find SC 112 & 200 very good, SC 630 good, and SC 211 quite good. I hand build and throw, so I like to have clays that will do both well. Each of these clays throw well for me with some adjustments to my style, but they will throw quite thin, will work well with faceting and stamping or other abuse before shaping and will hold up to extreme inflation of the form. So searching for the perfect clay for your processes is a step in your throwing advancement especially as you step from beginner to intermediate thrower. Another step is to expand your repertoire of forms, if you see something, learn to throw it. After learning the form, modify or improve it to make it your own. The more you analyze forms and understand their strengths and problems the better your throwing will become. Finally, never, never become too attached to one piece. . . it is only a step to something better. You have to be able to reject something that just does not seem right, or you know to be a mistake even though it may make you happy. There are fortunately happy mistakes, whether from the kiss of heat, the flash of a glaze fume or even a form that ripped but still stands well. best, Pres
  19. As mentioned by @Bill Kielb, beginners leave a lot of clay in the base. That said, best advice is practice. While practicing make certain to get the pull started with a strong pressure between inside and outside pressure points, as you feel the clay start to rise, raise your pressure points, but let up slightly on your pressure. This will allow you to get the most out of the base, and to allow the walls further up the strength to not buckle. One simple way to concentrate on the feel is to throw with your eyes closed or blind folded. I have often demonstrated from beginning to end blnd folded for class demonstrations to show students that most of it is in the touch and feel of the clay, not the sight. best, Pres
  20. @neilestrick, I get it, respected friends, those who know, I wouldn't mind. I'm lucky in that there are very few around me involved in Ceramics of any sort, that do not have a kiln. best, Pres
  21. If you want a whiter piece yet, use a clay without the speckling of the Manganese, or even more go for a white clay body. I love the speckling, some do not, and if wishing to do brush work or other decoration with under/overglazes use plain bodies. best, Pres
  22. Hi folks, not much in the way of activity in the QotW pool of late so I am STUCK once again. Not to give away any trade secrets as I am sure that some of you know or guess that there is communication between moderators on their own forum category. Put this together with a posting in the marketplace of late targeting a web site or app for renting out kiln space. There was a bit of back and forth over whether to post it, and where. As you can see, the issue is resolved and it is posted. However, is it really resolved? My response from in the moderators "dungeon" was: Interesting concept, not that I would join, but interesting. I would not want to be responsible for a "precious object" being ruined some way, either perceived or actual, as I would not want to be privy to a piece that would damage my kiln either by wrong clay, glaze, or application. Too many uncontrollable factors for me. Much different than in a classroom where everything was controlled by me. To put this into a question: QotW: Would you be willing to participate in a kiln space rental that would bring in a little extra cash, and supply a service to potters without a kiln in your area, and if so why? If you would not want to participate also tell us why. You can thank @Min for this question as she saw my response and thought it would be a good QotW, best, Pres
  23. Yeah, I use a small amount of rutile to make a butter cream liner glaze. I like it better than stark white. best, Pres
  24. Yeah, as educators, we went through a lot of theory about the brain, and learning disorders, motivational skills and tons of other things. . . what inservices were for. Never figure that an artist/craftsman is an idiot. . . they look at things differently, and many are as articulate as a technical author, more creative than a fictional writer and more versatile than many CEO's. IMHO I have my spreadsheet set up for 500, 750 and 1000. However, do to the buckets that I use I have stayed with most glazes at 750. Less slopping around and easier to mix for me. best, Pres
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