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Everything posted by Pres

  1. Pres

    Thanks for the hint, I keep using them to soften the comments as I know that at times I can be abrasive when I mean humorous. Guess I never grew a funny bone! I am learning to tread very lightly in the forums-slowly.

  2. From the album: Newer pieces

    This Jar made of a white ^6 clay from SC is the first of a series of ideas using carved wooden stamps to create pine needles for a shoulder border. I have orders for lamps involving pine needles and pine cones and have been researching methods of creating this motif. This is the first effort.
  3. I am able to throw either way, but prefer counter-clockwise also as I learned that way also. Over the years, I have had many lefties, so taught myself one weekend. I often use the clockwise wheel for burnishing and smoothing feet etc.
  4. I had a setter that was installed over two sections of the kiln in an older L&L kiln. The upper section got out of alignment so that the setter was setting at an angle-not visually perceptible, but close attention to the swing bar would show that it leaned in to far to drop the 180 degrees to turn off the kiln. Big mistake, as it overfired, but luckily I timed my setter to within 30 minutes of the time needed to reach temp. Lesson here is to always check the swing bar for freedom of movement. Another thing is to check to make certain that the catch rod is freed up also.
  5. Idaho, I like your take on the mixed bag doing the handbuilding and the throwing. I often would have students that had one thing in mind to do. It may have been a handbuilt pasta bowl, or making ceramic molding, or learning to make a teapot, or some other specialized project. I would always have them fill our a little survey 4X7 card with their contact info, their hobbies/interests, their experience with clay, and if there was anything they really wanted to accomplish in the class. This would lead to the types of demonstrations I did, and how the demonstrations would branch to specific types of projects. In the case of the molding the extruder, the handbuilt pasta bowl to hump or slump molds. I a student was interested in throwing, I would have a group that once I started the handbuilders, and had done a throwing demonstration of a cylinder form, would meet at the wheels those just beginning would get the hands on hands treatment. They were always taught to master the clay-pushing up and pushing down, a good preliminary to centering. Pressure with the hands, and bend of wrist/positions were reinforced constantly. More advanced students would often ask what was going wrong, why things weren't light enough, what caused ripples etc. These things I would explain and demonstrate corrections. Many times a student would complete a second plain cylinder after much work, and I would coax/help them shape it into a more interesting form with their input of what they wanted to do with it. Next have them repeat the same with the next cylinder. I only ran classes the same as you, with no practice time-the studio was used during the week by my HS classes, and most of these folks couldn't/wouldn't come in after school. However, as I was there late most of the time some folks would ask and come in to work. The last class was a glazing day, and then folks would come in to pick up their work the following week. Towards the end, they begged to have an extra day where they picked up their work, got to see everyone's work and could talk about it-and party, I could not turn them down. We had great fun.
  6. A good teacher, trained as one or not, is one who constantly seeks knowledge and solutions to the problems of their students. If the knowledge or the solutions come from the student, bravo. Often with adults this happens, as they know where they want to go or what they want to make and have researched in that direction. Now putting that knowledge together with skills, that is often the place of a teacher well grounded in the medium.
  7. I'm wondering if it does have something with the boiling of the zinc, and the small amount of copper. It looks much like the 4th of July smelly snakes that grow out of a small tablet. The oxidation causes gasses to rise, and form a snake like form. I think this may be happening here.
  8. Years ago, I had a colleague that taught in the same studio as I in a different period. I would often be in the room during my prep period getting ready for my next class. He complained about the cracking of his hands that would get really bad. I had the chance to observe his habits, and found that he would wash his hands with soap and water after nearly every thing that would get his hand dirty-often 4-5 times in a 50 minute period. He would teach 3 periods. One day I told him to only rinse his hands, except before eating and after restroom, as he was removing the protective oils from the hands. He tried doing that, and found that his hands healed up in a month. Next year no cracking. I always use a little hand cream in the studio, but don't obsess with it.
  9. Assuming that you are going to work with adults, Anna, I would not cut the possibilities too short. In my experience with adults-they want to suck you dry. They like to have a lot of options, like to learn as much as they can, and usually are not afraid to ask. Have stamping and texturing tools handy, wooden ribs to use for pattern and texture, discuss what happens to glaze over texture, and the use of oxides to enhance texture. Talk about the use of resist materials on bare clay, and on fired clay before glazing. Give them options to choose from. Working with the 3 you have listed will be fine for the intro course, but you can discuss other forms of construction for their enrichment. Good luck-have lots of fun!
  10. Most self motivated adults will opt for the open studio format, it helps if they have some craft or art background for a sense of design. So many times in grade school and HS the motivation falls on the teacher, and much of today's electronic fuzz make them more difficult to focus on a demonstration. The use of smart boards with multiple presentation formats at hand of the teacher does help. However, in a classroom whether 1-12 or adult, a good teacher with a strong background in the media is going to do the most good, and only this type of teacher can run an open studio with success. Bless yourself for having the type of teacher that can handle your questions and let you thirst for more. Teaching adults left me feeling drained-drained of my ideas, my knowledge, skills and techniques, what a wonderful feeling to go to bed with every night-made for a great nights sleep.
  11. Dear All, When I started taking classes we began with the pinch pot and progressed to trying slabs and the wheel. After many classes I found I just like the open studio format. I liked to experiment on my own to see what the clay could do on my own in those three hours. I think adults will tell you what they need from the instructor. Most classes I have taken have had some demonstration time included. It was up to the student to decide if they wanted to try this or just continue with their own little projects. For me, I like the open studio concept. But this of course was after taking many instruction based classes and familiarity with the materials and technique of clay working (i.e., how to join seams, slipping and scoring, not making totally solid forms, proper glaze application, coiling near places of vulnerability, avoiding too much water on the form etc.). One class I really liked included an opportunity to try a variety of clays including stoneware, porcelain, and terra cotta. This provided great variety and an opportunity to really get to see how different clays do different things. Nelly Nelly That happens with a lot of people. When I first started the Adult class I did extensive demonstrations, and everyone enjoyed them, but often I would have folks that had taken the class before, so my demonstrations changed in content and length. Some Saturdays I did not demo, just let them work, and if someone wanted something different would call a mini demo by telling the group what we were doing and inviting them to stay if interested. We went through so many different throwing techniques, and handbuilding projects over the years it is impossible to remember them all!
  12. I used to run a Ceramics for Adults on Saturdays in the months of January and February. This really was not a class in that I did not have a series of set lessons. I would always start the first day with a 5X7 questionnaire card, asking basic contact info, experience levels, followed by questions about what they wanted to accomplish or do in the class. This always followed an introduction to the studio and equipment that included slab rollers, extruders, potters wheels, banding wheels etc. The first session I also introduced/demonstrated throwing a cylinder on the wheel. Following sessions would include construction with slabs, extrusion, and other coils where the demonstrations would include pieces they had mentioned in their questionnaires. The last session (6th) would be on glazing and they would glaze their pieces for glaze firings. They requested in the last years an extra day where they could see everyone's finished work. This class worked out very well, but in the end I guess you could call it an open studio. It earned enough money to help keep up equipment and add 4 wheels to the mix along with an extra extruder and several other pieces of furniture and tools.
  13. I leave most of my plugs out up to red orange heat during a bisque. then I put all in except for the top one til yellow orange. Then shut down kiln at ^06 and leave all plugs in to slow the cool. I do not use a kiln setter, and only use a witness cone pack for bisque. Glaze the same. I learned to use color of kiln heat years ago to approximate my temperatures. Most of the kiln gasses are gone much earlier than 1200F with quartz inversion just getting over.
  14. Pres


    Size dimensions are often helpful. It is obvious that you are able to manipulate slabs of clay very well. I am well aware of the drying problems that you must have when working with these varied thicknesses. Again as Frederick says these have wonderful expressiveness!
  15. I had carpal trouble about 15 years ago, and after reading several letters in Ceramics monthly, and in other journals, started taking B-6. It seemed to relieve the problem so I kept it up, and still have had no problems. A few years back a major study was run that debunked the use of B-6, so evidently it doesn't work, but I haven't stopped taking it. There have been several folks with the CT surgery in my area, and there has been mixed results. I have also known of one case with the surgery where some bones were removed, and the persons recovery took a long time. My son had to have wrist fused after a bike/auto accident. It really messed him up, and later the fusing separated, causing lots of pain. Tough in his line of work as he is a chef.
  16. Fast firing a bisque-na na na with a waving finger at the same time! You have all sorts of issues to deal with when firing the bisque. First the clay only gets as dry as the atmosphere so, you water smoke for 2 hrs with the lid cracked or open to drive out the atmospheric moisture. The you fire slowly to around 500F to remove impurities (organic) from the clay-burning them out. then around 1100F the clay goes through quartz inversion, which can cause a lot of cracking in bisque if gone through too quickly-then you can turn up the kiln to high and fast fire! However, by that time most of us have taken at least 6 hrs to get there! Some even more. To do otherwise would mean opening the kiln to a pile of rubble that could have damaged the brick, elements lid and floor-could have, not often though.
  17. One of the reasons I schedule an outing after firing a kiln, so that i won't be around to get anxious about opening it. Sometimes I sleep in quite a while, because even though it is electric, it has no kiln setter-all manual baby!
  18. Send me an address-can't promise anything, but maybe you'll get a mug by the end of this coming year.

  19. I have used it with kids in HS. It is about a 70/30 chance of fixing a piece. If it is a small piece that is not attached well, best bet. Cracks in objects are iffy, may take a second bisque and sanding. With the kids, they often didn't have the time/motivation to repeat the project so I used it. For myself I just rethrow the piece. In the long run it is less time consuming. If handbuilding it can come in handy for a repair where rebuilding would take much more time. Over the years I have had to repair a lot of pots for students when something accidental happened. In one case, I reconstructed three pots when a display shelf dropped leaving me a bunch of broken pots. The job was completed with a lot of epoxy putty, and careful mix/match of acrylic paints to touch up the damaged areas. Pretty hard to find the damage in the end-and saved a few broken hearts. Yes, I did tell the kids what happened and apologized. I think in the end that they understood that it probably hurt me more than them.
  20. Just on the big island last year. Always wondered about the cost of setting up a studio in the islands. I imagine clay can be expensive.

    Nice pieces, Are you using a Bailey extruder? One of their standard dies does the sea shell/bowl sort of thing. Used it in the 80's for some stuff, but not as nice as yours.

  21. This jar has a trumpet, and violin on the top. The couple that it was made for play these instruments and are fantastic music teachers. Another case of teachers having the talents to do what they teach.

    © ©E. Preston Rice

  22. This jar stands about 24 inches and was made for a special friend as a thank you. I do custom jars with fancy lids quite often.
  23. Stamped, incised, added on decoration

    © &copyE. Preston Rice

  24. Slab built with wheel thrown additions all clay, pulled horns. Cone 6

    © &copyE. Preston Rice

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