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About JeffK

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  1. There are budget friendly and popular options out there including Tacklife and Wen. They don't claim to be Dremel but they're up to the same tasks that the Dremel is good at. I don't consider an item purely on its price but on what it can do for me in the context of what I need. And the reviews. Agreed there is some safety in buying the most familiar brand. But no reason to buy more or spend more than you need to. BTW - expensive is a relative concept. You can buy a whole lot of clay for $70.00 or add some additional tools to your kit. And my old Honda still gets me to the same supermarket as the Audis and BMWs I park next to.
  2. I've been considering a Dremel tool myself - been at the pottery wheel less than a year but I can see where it would be helpful. I've had glaze overruns, lids that don't quite fit, etc. Dremels are expensive - I found an alternate model, Tacklife Rotary Tool RTD34AC, that has a variety of attachments including a flex shaft and seems to match the Dremel capabilities. But haven't pulled the trigger yet. Cheap prices can be an attraction - this model is under $30.00 - but buying a known quantity seems safer. Trying to get more background info - Jeff
  3. Hi Kakes: Thanks for following up. I think this is the direction I've been pushed towards. Starting with the defloculated slip and adding powdered clay until I get the body thickness I want. Haven't had a chance to try this - I'm trying to absorb so much at once and want to do so much at once. But when I get to it, will let the group know how it went. Thanks again! - Jeff
  4. Hate when that happens. @Pres - can this be corrected on the admin side?
  5. As @Pres said " it was not the about the product as a whole, but more about the amount of growth the product entailed". If you look back at when/how you started, I'm sure you had your trouble even centering. Then opening, then raising walls, then forming, trimming, firing, glazing, etc. Each one of those steps is your success, your gaining of knowledge, your growth as a ceramicist and artist. This is hard work at times and there's no reason to minimize it. There will always be someone who does different work than you, at a higher level of work than you. Those are your teachers and mentors, actively or passively. So imagine now someone walking into the studio for the first time and seeing you at the wheel centering and raising walls fluidly and instinctively and so giving them a goal to reach. Imagine them finally raising their first cylinder after weeks of work and practice. And imagine you walking over to them and saying something like "Great job - now you've got it!" You've just raised the bar for them with incentive and good words to keep them going. And I bet it makes you feel good as well to say it. Every day is a school day - and no reason not to accept a compliment for what it is. Simply a way of someone expressing their gratitude for having you provide your work for them to see and enjoy. - Jeff
  6. @JohnnyK - we've walked the same roads...except for the farming part. But I understand the "hand work" and the ability to see underlying structure. Got a great book you might be interested in - Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford. I think you'll enjoy it. He had also written an essay for The New Atlantis that preceded the book - https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/shop-class-as-soulcraft - Jeff
  7. Someone who has not put in the work can't truly understand the difference between talent and skill. They see them as one and the same. All they see, care about, and comprehend is the finished work and not the years, the frustrations, the successes - and failures - behind them. It's unimportant to them. If they admire, use, and gain some joy in what I produce, then I'm quite happy with that. No matter what they call it. If other members of our community appreciate both the talent and the skills - with the understanding of the difference - that makes me happier still. I do believe we are born with certain talents - we just have to find out where they fit best. And then do the work and gain the skills. The skills to get to where I am now or in the future are based upon my talents, curiosities and propensities, and often obsessiveness, for certain work. I don't take "talent" as an insult. Just as an interpretation of what I do and what I offer. Having spent nearly four decades in the custom packaging industry, I've been asked what, to me, was most important. I answered, quite honestly, when I handed the finished piece to the client and watched their eyes light up. And an "attaboy" here and there from my peers didn't hurt. - Jeff
  8. "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein So goes the road I'm on... - Jeff
  9. Ya mean a whisk? Not a bad idea...
  10. @Min - extremely helpful video. That thick bucket he has at the end of the video is what I'm trying for. What I tried to do was just create a small amount - about 8 oz - in a cup to see the result. I was using my hand to do the mixing and that might be part of the problem. That stick blender would work but don't have one available right now. But will try again and let you know results. Thanks again for the help! - Jeff
  11. I'm trying to keep the water down to a minimum or not at all. But this is a possibility! Thanks! - Jeff
  12. So in the studio the other day, I crushed up some unfired greenware and turned it into powder. I then took about a half cup of deflocculated slip and started adding powdered clay to it. Mixed it as best as I could but ended up with a watery lumpy mess. Just for the heck of it, I flocculated the slip with some epsom salts and tried adding the powdered clay to that. Same lumpy result. Could be that I need to find a better way to mix the powdered clay in but I wonder if this is becoming far too labor intensive - maybe there's another way to achieve that "plaster" type consistency. Might try the last suggestion at letting some water evaporate out of the flocculated slip. Ah well - back to the pottery lab.... - Jeff
  13. All tips and resources greatly appreciated! - Jeff
  14. OK - got it now. Defloculated slip, NO epsom salt. Add powdered clay. Get thick consistency I want. Thank you all for your patience - so much to learn! Now I'm off to the lab...er...studio! - Jeff
  15. Okay - I'm getting confused. You've all given me some great insight into the chemistry. But that's getting lost in the sauce - so-to-speak. We have a 5 gallon bucket of defloculated slip in the studio. I don't touch the chemistry of that. That's up to one of the studio managers. What I can do for myself is take that defloculated slip, put some into a pint container, add epsom salt solution, and thicken it up. But it's not as thick as I want. I can then take that creamy slip I just created in that pint container, add some clay powder (that I can get from pulverized greenware I have handy) and thicken the creamy slip to what I want. Correct? - Jeff
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