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Seasoned Warrior

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  1. My woodworking shop is a great adjunct to my pottery work and I turn a lot of models. In fact I like to turn simple models from softwood and then augment them with plasticine. The model is for one time use only so you can get away with a lot you couldn't under other circumstances. I use a compbination of bee's wax and mineral oil as a finish and I always use that for the wood eating ustensisl I make: its non-toxic and polishes to a high gloss. Regards, Charles
  2. I have a set of pointer I've put on my wheel and I guess they could just as easily be used with a banding wheel. All it is is a stand made of wood with and piecce of wood bolted on and you can adjust it to point anywhere on the pot. Turning upside down on sandpaper should work also Reqards, Charles
  3. Let me try my photo again. You can see the form used at about the two o'clock postion. this piece hasn't ben cleaned up yet either.
  4. I suspect Murphy's soap would work well and it is simpler than melting bar soap. since Murphy's is water soluble it should clean up easily. I'll have to try it next time I make molds. I am in the process of doing a commission of several wall niches and one of the processes I used is from Marcia. I attached a picture of the green-ware slumped through the frame. the piece is 20" in the long axis. the niches will be be 48. The system works very well but to get the deeper slumps I've had to modify the process from simple combing. One of the things I really like about it is that you can mock up the actual installation. I only wanted to test the system but I hate to throw anything away. Once I start something I try to make a completed item from it. Soooo, this might not be the greatest looking item but it proved the technique and I liked the shape so I decided to finish it as a decorative bowl. Thanks Marcia.
  5. Interesting "Students' Guide" but I must say that I would be heading for the office and looking for an add/drop form as soon as I laid eyes on that. Now let me say that I am not an educator, I have no background in pedagogics, I don't know the psychology of education I can just speak as a user of the educational system. I've spent a fair amount of time within the hallowed walls of institutions of higher learning and have achieve a modicum of success as a student. I have also had my share of teachers who to this day I do not understand. As a freshman I took an English composition course from an elderly maiden who was a former matron of a women's penitentiary: Miss B. Now Miss B had a pedigree a mile long in English and it promised to be an exciting semester. One day Miss B suggested that we write an argumentative essay on a subject of our choice. I wrote extensively postulating that Dante borrowed liberally for "Divine Comedy" from Aristophanes. I thought I had actually created a cogent and plausible argument and supported it with excellent examples so I was quite surprised when I got a failing grade on the piece and a note to see Miss B after class. During the after class meeting and after severely belittling me and my lack of erudition she proceeded to tell me that Dante was her hero, an author she admired and in fact had done her master's thesis. I was never able to get a passing grade from Miss B after that. I failed the course, seriously questioned why I wanted to continue and decided to try it again. Repeated the class submitted mostly the same essays and did very well in the class. I like to think that teachers actually want students to do well although I did have a professor who immediately told the class he never issued a perfect grade because only God was perfect but I managed to eke out a nearly perfect grade even thought the class was sheer drudgery. I had lunch with a friend of mine who teaches ceramics at a local junior college. when I went to let him know I was there I watched as several students were finishing up their work. There was one young lay who did a very nice clay sculpture of the Caterpillar in the "Alice in Wonderland" movie. The caterpillar was complete, sitting on his mushroom smoking his hookah and at that point it struck me that what she had sculpted was a bong. The execution was excellent, the design was excellent, I would have hated to think that your first paragraph would have stifled her attempt at art as not being worthy of even consideration. The last thing I would deign to do is try and tell you how to teach, or how to set your goals, you obviously have reached a level of ability, education and obviously of respect in your field as a result of your hard work and dedication. I merely suggest that your goals for a class of young brains full of mush might be severely daunting. I know that at 45 years ago It would have certainly had me looking for alternatives and I believe that 45 years ago education was a lot more demanding of the student than it is today, at least as I see it manifested in California. I believe that it is far more productive to guide a student along a path to a goal. I also believe that with the goals you set also set up expectations from students that are not readily attainable. We recently had a resident artist at a local art center who had recently been awarded his MFA. This young man was an excellent potter wo liked to throw large and he created lifelike and lifesize scupltures. He did an installation at the Art Center with large wood-fired bullet shaped pieces which he placed at random in a room both hung from the ceiling, set on the floor and set on pedestals. In the room he played an audio recording of voices in aparrent attempt at making a social statement regarding war. I spoke to the artist over tea one afternoon and we discussed his installation. I expressed that I did not completely understand his work. The artist stated that neither did he completely but it was a work that was directed by and individual at the art center and one for which he felt no affinity. I believe that there is a lot of pressure on artists to make social statements which they may not feel, but it seems that the powers that be demand it. In my oopinion art needs to flow from the soul and not all art needs to have a social implication, some of it might just be free spirited fun. One of my favorite visual artists seems to believe the same. Dale Chihuly is a very playful man and in my opinion therein lies his charm. Anyway, I've gone out on a limb, left myself no safety net and fully expect the limb to be chopped off behind me but I felt it needed to be said. Sometimes we fall prey to the ivory tower syndrome. In my long and varied engineering carreer I have found that it is very healthy to go out into the field, visit the trenches talk to the people on the front lines actually doing the dirty work. When one surrounds oneself with like-thinking individuals I believe on loses perspective. Of course some say that the perspective from the ivory tower is best . The foregoing is my opinon, and you know what they say about opinions. Best regards, Charles
  6. Especially if you use a mold release. There are commercial preparations available on the market but one of the easiest and simplest is just plain ivory soap that is heaated to the melting point. Brush it on thinly, it washes off the plaster easily with hot water after you use it leaving no residue, and does not interfere with plasters ability to absorb water. Yes, I know that is very very old school , the commercial preparations are very good. Regards, Charles
  7. Greetings: I find it interesting that you would consider glazing a process seperate from "making ceramics." To my way of thought making ceramics is the whole process of taking an inorganic, non-metallic material and processing it through heating and subsequent cooling. I've always considered ceramic materials to include crystaline, partly crystaline or amorphous structures which would include vitirfied clays and glasses. My definition may be too restrictive and I'd really enjoy hearing your definition. Best regards, Charles
  8. Sounds interesting, Peter King is one of my favorites, I've enjoyed a lot of his work. Are you planning on attending Marcia? I need to attend the Sequim Lavender Festival which is also at around that time (July 15th). Actually, I just need to do connect with a commercial lavender nursery to see their operation in full bloom which it probably would be at the end of June. I enjoy visiting the Seattle area very much and stuffing myself with seafood in the process. Regards, Charles
  9. I'd be glad to take a look at if for you. Regards, Charles
  10. Hi: I'm sorry to hear about your wheel. I am not familiar with the GT400 since I prefer the Lockerbies myself but I volunteer the maintenance for the p ottery program at a local JC. The wheels I see generally are either a wound resistor or a carbon resistor. If youo can remove the base plate from the control you can see whether it is a carbon resisstor or a wound resistor. If it is wound and your comments sound like it may be you may just need to clean the windings. Make sure the power is off or the wheel is unplugged. You should be able to clean the windings with some really fine emery paper and make them shiny. You should also turn the emery paper over and slip it under the contact arm and gently slip it out so that the contact arm is cleaned. Another way is to use contact cleaner available at your local Radio Shack. Spray the contact cleaner on and operate the pedal up and down a few times. The other possiblity is that you may have a broken wire. i'd inspect the wire to the commutator arm (the slider) and see if it is attached and then check the one at the end of the winding. Finally you can check the resistance at the point where the cable from the pedal connects to the wheel. An inexpensive volt-ohm meter (again from Radio Shack, you can go more expensive but the one from RS will work just as well) and check that the resistance changes as you push on the pedal. The pedal is really a very simple device and those are about the only things that can go wrong with it. If all the wires are intact and connected and the slider and windings are clean the wheel should work as designed unless there is a break in the circuit at the motor. Good luck. Best regards, Charles
  11. I use my studio basically only as a pottery studio and I have 55 gal drum sunk into the ground just outside the studio that the sink drains into and then I have a pipe at the top of the drum so that when the water gets higer than the pipe it flows out. Every once in a while I get ambitious and muck the clay out of the bottom of the drum. Since the system drains outdoors I don't really pay too much attention to it but it does seem to be effective (there is always. My system works kind of like a huge "p" trap. I've also seen a deice that replaces the "p" trap in your sink that is suitable for an apartment. In the ad the system attaches to the tailpiece on the sink and then the drain into the wall but it has an enlarged "p" and it can be unscrewed and drained. To me the commercila system looks like it would be convenient but Chris' system seems like the simplest and most cost-effective and really hard to beat. Regards, Charles
  12. Congratulations on your competition. You coudn't have found a better judge than Marcia. I hope it turns out the way you envisionit. Regards, Charles
  13. I believe that Chris is right: the woodworking filters do not filter out enough fine particles. The problem with clay alone is silicosis, a nasty lung disease. When you start adding other ingredients to the mix such as glaze components and kiln fumes you have a chemical potpouri of epic proportions. There are a number of ways to help with the problem. In the Studio section there is a current discussion regarding wearing respirators. If you are interested in a whole studio program there are ways of eliminating inhalation of dust through the use of laminar flow systems and HEPA filtration systems that address the whole studio. It could be a very expensive proposition to provide a whole studio solution. I get by with a filter mask, I use a laminar flow spray hood for spraying glazes and I watch my dust from sanding greenware and bisque. My kilns are outside under an open roof system I use a sweeping compound when I sweep out my studio that helps keep dust down and I use a special mop that is available through a service that is wax impregnated and again keeps dust down. The service picks up the mop heads once a month and replaces them with freshly washed and re-impregnated ones. I only have two of the mops just in case I need to change mid month. I bicycle a lot and so far my respiratory system has been chugging along for well over 6 decades. I don't smoke and I believe that respiratory health and your personal fitness also contribute to overall health but you don't want to overload your system. So I do believe that you need to be careful but not necessarily paranoid or obsessive about the chemicals you use. Best regards, Charles
  14. I agree with Charles the p100 is a better particulate filter than the n95. The p100 is sometimes called a HEPA filter as well, it is usually pink or magenta in colour. As for the OV this stands for organic vapour. This means that the ferric choride MSDS makes believes that there are pariculates as well as organic vapours given off of their material. The paint spray mask is an organic vapour mask with a particle filter in front it addresses this potential hazard. The proper use of this type of mask includes fitting it properly as per the instuctions - do a negative pressure fit check. Also the cartridges (OV) need to be stored in a plastic bag when not in use.... they continue to absorb vapour if left in the open and then will not work effectively when you need to use it. As far as the N or P - the N means not oil resistant. The fibers and glue inside the filter will not stand up to oil products eg solvents. Most commonly used in hospitals. As for P this means it is oil resistant. Commonly used in industry. Not much cost difference from what I have seen. Hope this helps Have a safe day Bill That is an excellent point you make on fit Bill. One of the biggest respiratory health problems I see in industry is fit of respirators. If your respirator does not fit properly you might as well not wear one. thaks for bringin it up and welcome to the community. Regards, Charles
  15. What was the shape of the pot and what was the clay body you made it from? In engineering terms there might be concentrated stress due to thermal expansion and contraction. Not really enough information in your description to hazard a guess. Regards, Charles
  16. P95 refers to the particulate filtering level of the mask. NIOSH has an excellent table of manufactureres and their approved products at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/p95list1.html I'm not at all familiar with H95. The P 95 spec means that the mask will iflter out 95% of all airborne particles. I personally use a Mine Safety Applliances Model 817663 multi-purpose respirator which is certified by both NIOSH and OSHA to P100 which filters out 99.97 percent of all airborne particles (it is also available from Amazon.com). I tend to overkill but when it comes to my lungs I can live with that Regards, Charles
  17. There is also a glaze formula calculator available online that is very complete in the parameters it examines and takes into consideration at: http://www.ceramics-glazes.com/Glazes/Calculator/fr4.php Best regards, Charles
  18. I never really stopped to think about it but this thread has started me down the path to considering how and why I do the things I do. I guess I'm really not an artist but a mechanic instead, and I'm ok with that. I've always tended to learn things that are less abstract and more practical. I enjoy doing architectural specialties, tile, some utilitarian stuff and lately I've been making a bunch of birdhouses many of which I am not particularly happy with. I love artists and I love their production, but I'm not one. I am actually in awe of people who see things differently than I do, I notice that I plan my work out to the nth degree while others "see what is in the clay." To me clay is an amorphous mass to be used in a planned structured way based on its mechanical and physical attributes. Oh well now I need to go and get in touch with my thoughts to see where I actually fall in the hierarchy of all things art-like Best regards, Charles (the not so artistic arteest)
  19. I'm sorry but don't intitutions of higher learning teach pedagogy anymore???? I am trying to get my jaw up off the floor. Some of these questions in this thread and another are nothing short of amazing/amusing. Regards, Charles
  20. Matt, I'm a longterm mod on another forum. This is a technique that gets hyperlinks onto legit postings. It does a "quote", inserts some boilerplated benign positive "good post" phrase, and then simply puts in a link to a url for the porn stuff or whatever they are pushing. If the forum signup does not use a "captcha" anti bot signup procedure, an automated script can do this stuff... spamming the boards withj no human intervention. In les spphisticated situations, a human just goes around making these posts (they get paid ...albeit poorly.....to do it). The "issue" is the quote with the url link simply inserted. best, .................john thanks John: I never even noticed the "report" button, I appreciate your bringing it to my attention. Regards, Charles
  21. That is a great question Marcia. I believe that we need to go through our mind's closet every once in a while and re-examine our motivations and our roots. I have several motivating factors. One of the earliest was my Mother. My Mother received a degree in fine arts from the Royal Academy of Art in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. My mother was born in Rostov, Russia and her influences were mostly Euro-centric and heavily Russian with a lot of fanciful flowers, lots of vivid colors and gold luster. As I grew up I drifted away from doing pottery and earned degrees in engineering. After a career in engineering I was drawn again to my roots in pottery. Many of my influences rather than being specific to a mentor or to someone I admire, tend more to stylistic periods. I particularly like the Arts and Crafts movement and I like their stylistic devices. I also like many of the Islamic designs and the aesthetics of the Islamic potters as demonstrated in the edifices of early Spain built by the Saracens and Moors such as the Alhambra. Regards, Charles
  22. My apologies, I jumped the gun. How does one delete a post on this forum?
  23. I understand your situation completely and agree. I work in various media including metals and glass. A number of years ago I stopped working for gallery owners because while they may understand what they sell they may not understand your work. I foudn it much more rewarding to work for myself and to find galleries who handle the types of work I produce rather than tring to produce what the gallery wants. The latter was too much like work. I keep a list of people who visit regularly or who have purchased my work and I keep in touch with them. I find that by keeping in touch with people who like my art and have purchased it in the past is the best way since these people will dislpaly my work and their friends wil see it and inquire about the work: the halo effect at work. Best regards, Charles
  24. Actually there are suppliers who can help in some instances. I like elements from Euclids fo instance (www.euclids.com) and they also have other kiln parts. Some kilns are difficult to get parts for and I've had good luck with those from Euclids. Good luck!
  25. Thank you John: Yes it was an interesting discussion and helpful in many ways. You should write the book, it would be helpful to many who are considering a wood-fired kiln. I have a number of books (I'm a book junkie) but not many are aimed at wood-firing specifically. Authors seem to have favorites and so there is a natural bias to the book. Fred Olsen seems to like gas and Ben Parks seems to have bias towards both used and fuel oils. I find some of the terms used a bit obscure to me. I guess being an engineer I like quantifiable terms but I do realize that everything in life can't be quantified and some of the least quantifieable things are also some of the most desireable. You use terms like soft firing and sinuous in realtion to flames and unfortunately these leave me wondering as to how one might classify flame types. I can actually see how one might consider some fires hard and some soft. I know some fires burh fast and hot and some just kind of burn in a pleasant manner with many colors and different flames. Sinuous, I am having more trouble conceptualizing. I am sure a book on the subject would help greatly. Regards, Charles
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