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liambesaw

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Everything posted by liambesaw

  1. Put a space heater in the shed overnight and things firmed up enough to trim for the most part. Got 8 of them trimmed up, probably gonna toss a few where the lids weren't quite matched up. Tomorrow I'll be wedging and throwing, don't know what yet, something will strike me!
  2. Heh, my house is full of the things I've made going all the way back to the first grade. My kids won't eat out of a bowl unless it's hand made, they're real snobs. I leave the bottom half of the outside of my bowls unglazed but with heavy texture so they are easy to grip and feel really good in the hand. I guess I'm a snob because now that I've been eating out of this style of bowl I notice how awkward it is to hold a Corelle bowl.
  3. I mean... Could just be a poor fitting glaze right?
  4. Klamath yellow from SPS, I love this stuff, fires a deep metallic brown, almost black in reduction. I've been meaning to do some porcelain work but I'd have to give my whole studio a hose down first.
  5. Got some jars and lids thrown, I was going to trim the ones I threw over the weekend but with typical Seattle 95% humidity and a light drizzle, nothing has hardened up one iota. Not even hard enough to alter the forms or decorate. Hate this time of year, everything gets put on slow mo. Gonna try to clear out some shelves so I can at least carefully free up some bats.
  6. Beautiful, is that blue flashing or something you did on purpose? This week my workbench is going to be lidded jars. Got all my mugs handled and slipped and loaded into the kiln, have enough room for maybe 8 lidded jars. Threw 4 last night, will try to get another 10 or more tonight and hopefully get enough done this week to do two bisque loads this weekend. Picked up 40 pounds of propane so I'm set on fuel.
  7. Go ahead and send them my way when they're finished. I'd post a picture of the mess, but I'm afraid it would cause some of the more organized folks here an aneurysm.
  8. Almost half of adults have a college degree, I don't consider that to be elite by any standard. If money is a barrier as a young adult, there is always time later in life to pursue a degree. I was\am poor and will probably continue to be so, but later in life I decided to look into college and decided it was worth it. I had to use grants and scholarships to afford school, had two infants at home, worked full time and ran a side business at the same time. It was a tough 5 years, but it was worth it. If money is the barrier there are many ways around it, and if you need help navigating the system let me know and I can help you.
  9. Yeah I meant the gas kiln. The electrics were always bisquing in the classroom and we were involved, but the giant outdoor gas one was our glaze kiln and only the assistants and the professor were allowed to touch it. I got to watch sometimes because I was a volunteer helper after my third class, but something something insurance and I wasn't an employee, etc etc. Community college woes
  10. I wish my college let the students observe loading and firing the kiln, but it was fired over the weekend. Students got to participate in kiln openings though, those are always fun
  11. I was lucky enough to get into a special pilot school in Seattle when I was a wee lad. It was a school that focused on the arts instead of academics and I got a very thorough exposure to every art form you could dream of. We had a giant ceramics studio as part of the school and that's where I started my obsession. Was able to stay in that school for 7 years, did everything from candle making to screen printing, wood carving, performance art, painting, etc etc. We moved away when I was in 8th grade and my family decided to go the home school route after I had a difficult time adjusting to a traditional school. I ended up going to college through an early entry program and took ceramics courses every quarter for two years. Loved it, volunteered all the time, had a key to the studio and covered dang near every aspect. I really wish I had continued in that direction but I dropped out of school once I ran out of free credits. Fast forward 20 years and I went back to school for my computer science bachelor's, graduated last year. I will say I use the knowledge and experience I gained in elementary and community college a whole lot more than I use the science I learned for my bachelor's. Maybe my unstructured schooling as a child was totally different than traditional art classes but I wouldn't trade that hands on learning for anything. I am a dental laboratory technician now, making dentures, and using those ingrained skills every day. Just early this year I was able to afford the space, time and money to get a wheel and build a kiln. Back at it and it was like riding a bike. So the value of education on ceramics? Well, I have to say it is invaluable in my life. As far as calculus and organic chemistry are concerned, they're there because there is some minimum standard of knowledge by which an institution must adhere in order to issue credible certifications. There isn't a specific degree for every possible field, so while I may not ever use calculus as a web developer, someone else with my degree who designs computer components may indeed use it. I didn't mind learning new things, even if I was never going to use them again in my life. I guess I am just curious enough to be a sucker for learning haha. I don't understand animus towards schooling. We have the luxuries we have today by building on the progress of the people before us, most of who are dead. To not take advantage of that in one specific area (such as ceramics or design) out of some kind of personal principle seems like such a strange stance. And just because you have a solid foundation on which to start, doesn't mean you have some rule book you must adhere to. Why be ignorant by nature when you can be ignorant on purpose!
  12. Well got handles on 6, life sure tries it's darnest to get in the way of me working out in the shed. Had to pull my 4 month old husky out of the crawlspace yesterday, that was fun (not.) Hopefully tonight I'll get to the rest of them. Got most of the mugs trimmed and into the wet box though.
  13. Would love an extruder, just so expensive I cant justify spending the cash on one when I don't do any coil or handbuilding. Would surely be for handles and test tiles haha. It's ok, pulling handles is meditative.
  14. That's funny, I have that same amount of mugs waiting for some trimming and handles. That's what I'll be doing tonight! Pulling handles and trimming.
  15. I think he was referring to your clay, not the glaze
  16. You can get 80-200 mesh screen on Amazon for a few bucks, way cheaper than a talisman. And if you look at a talisman, you can see it's just mesh sandwiched inside of two pvc fittings.
  17. Twice the size of my tank, I use 40lb with a high pressure regulator. My tanks only freeze up when they are opened up too much and the tank is getting empty.
  18. My gas kiln usually stalls when I'm feeding too much gas. But it could be anything! Mine is propane so I really have to ride a thin line on pressure otherwise the tank will freeze up.
  19. I'm also experimenting with the silouette mint printable stamper right now, looks promising so far. Maybe I should patent both of those, hah.
  20. There are other ways too. You can buy a glass etching stencil kit like this: http://www.glass-etching-kits.com/mark_440.htm And use it with glazes and underglazes (instead of acid paste). It's a bit like screen printing but on a smaller scale and the stencils can be used over and over. Might take some additional steps in the beginning, but I personally would steer clear of both legal troubles and giving money to a business like that.
  21. My ceramics store has synthetic black iron oxide and magnetite. They're chemically the same I suppose, but the synthetic has a finer particle size and is 99.9% pure whatever that means. I know some friends who use granulated magnetite as a speckling agent in their clay bodies. I use the synthetic for glazes and slips because it's super fine powder.
  22. My observation is this: My kids get excited to choose the bowl or cup they drink out of. They have favorite ones for different foods. I've never seen them get excited to eat off of an Ikea plate or bowl. If a four year old can tell the difference between a mass produced bowl and one made by some dude in his shed, and somehow appreciate that difference, I think it speaks loads on why a potter might choose to make functional ware. Now speaking for myself, I make functional ware because it makes me feel happy. Every part of the process from wedging to throwing, to making and modifying my kiln, to firing in my driveway, mixing and making glazes, all the way to sanding the feet. They all bring me joy. But the thing that really turns all that joy real, is when someone chooses to eat or drink out of something I made. So in the case of a functional potter vs. a factory... Where's the joy? It's rather one sided isn't it. A factory worker doesn't meet the people using the things they made, they aren't emotionally attached to the things they make, there isn't happiness in every step of the process, and I feel that it shows. That said, asking these questions on a forum full of potters is probably going to come with a lot of answers involving people justifying what they do. So I think almost everyone here is preaching to the choir. What I like to do, is talk to people and say these same things to their face. It's a lot easier for someone, even a skeptic, to understand the feelings and energy you put into an object, when you justify your craft in person. Making functional ware is super interesting to people, we sometimes forget that as potters because things become 'old hat' or just another kiln firing. Describing my process generally leads to "wow, all of that work goes into each bowl?" Anyway, I'm just rambling now, but this was an interesting read to me. I've thought about these things before, but I've never written them down and made them real. Wonderful place we have here.
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