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About Surubee

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  • Birthday July 15

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  1. I throw cone ten porcelain (Standard 257) off the hump and often have excess clay to trim off of the bottom. I agree with the advice above to turn the pots over on their rims as soon as they are dry enough to handle the weight. Once they are upside down, you can selectively wrap plastic around them to keep the rims damp while letting the feet dry enough to trim and attach handles.
  2. Thank you! Your pincushion guide is greatly appreciated.
  3. Thank you Mark! Those look like they could be fun to make. I plan to start out by trying out one for myself as a test project and see how it goes from there. I also need to make a present for a quilting friend - (she already has enough mugs!) - so this would be perfect!
  4. I am really curious about the pin cushions, Mark C. I also do some quilting in addition to making pottery and think that it would be interesting to try to make one.
  5. Hello and welcome JimO. I had a few thoughts about this. Have you checked to see that your wheel is still level? I used to have a kick wheel but gave it up many years ago and switched to electric. If something was not level or became misaligned, it was difficult to center and keep the pots even. Have you moved the wheel recently or could the wheel shaft have somehow gotten bent? Maybe there is a screw or bolt that has gotten loose or worn out. If so, just the act of kicking the wheel could be enough to cause a little wobble to throw things off center. I hope that your issues are just some easily fixed mechanical ones with the wheel and not complicated physical problems with your body. Best of luck to you with this. Susan
  6. I think I remember hearing an archaeologist once explain that the pointed bottoms of some amphorae and jars were made so they could be easily buried in sand to help keep the contents cooler in desert climates.
  7. How much difference in thickness is there between the rim and the bottom of the pot? If the rim is fairly thin and the bottom is thick, it could be retaining more heat and the thermal differences could cause the cracking. I cannot tell from the pictures - have you trimmed out part of the foot? If you have not tried it, that might help equalize the temperature variation as well. I also agree with those saying to try a different clay body, or add some sand. Good luck! Susan
  8. Beautiful work. Glad you are feeling better.
  9. Black clay that you find naturally is often black because of organic matter which will burn out when fired. The color could change to something brown or red after firing. One way you can test it is by making little cones and pinch pots which you fire first to bisque temperature, and then higher if it survives. You can also make a clay ruler to test for shrinkage and another piece to test the amount of water it absorbs after firing so you will know if it is vitrified. To protect your shelves, make sure to fire the test pieces on a piece of scrap shelf or a pad of bisqued clay with raised sides. I have seen tests of these natural clays that have totally melted at high fire temperatures, but are great at lower temperatures. If it has a low melting temperature but a nice color when fired, you may be able to use it as a base for a slip or glaze.
  10. Someone I worked with used to use a permanent black sharpie magic marker to highlight the crackle glaze on his pots (exterior only). Whatever solvent is in the ink really gets down into the cracks and the marker is not too difficult to wipe off the surface of the pot. I do not think that the color will survive through another firing, though.
  11. If they are not helpful perhaps you can try adding a little bit of clay to the batt pins to fill in the extra space before attaching the batt. I have several hydrobats and have found some of them fit better on the bat pins than others. The extra dab of clay on the pins usually solves the problem for me. Good luck.
  12. I throw off the hump most of the time and have found that if you want an commercial clay tool, the 'nylon clay cutter' from Kemper Tools is what I usually use. It is like their wire cutting tool which comes with two wooden toggles on the ends, but has a soft braided nylon string instead of wire. When I buy one, I cut it in half in the middle of the string so that I have two matching string tools. I hold onto the wooden part and the loose end of the string wraps around the clay on the wheel (in the cut line that I have marked under the pot with a wooden tool or rib - like Pres said) to cleanly slice off the pot. I rarely have to tug the string, just let it wrap around and pull gently to slice straight through the bottom. Now that I think of it, I believe that there is a Van Gilder string tool that is specifically designed for this as well.
  13. About 90 percent of my work is thrown and trimmed on the wheel, though sometimes carved and altered, too. I find it easy and satisfying in a way that I just do not ever feel about hand building. Pretty much the only time I do hand building is when I am showing someone else how to make something - then when I'm done, I go back to my wheel. Beatles, Stones, Classic Rock and Classical - all good.
  14. If you used to be able to throw evenly, you may need only need a little bit of practice to get back to it, and You-tube is great, but it may also help to check to see if your wheel is level. If it is not, you may find it more difficult to keep things centered and even when you throw. Have fun and good luck with it! Susan
  15. It was my understanding that most shino glazes contain a higher percentage of clay than other glazes and should be applied to the pot first. I think that because of this, shinos do not generally work well over other glazes and will tend to curl up and flake off, as you experienced. I am not sure if this holds true for commercial glazes however and hope someone else with more experience will weigh in here. Susan
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