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Everything posted by Surubee

  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. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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 si
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. I also drive a long distance every week (80 miles each way) to get to a pottery studio that I like. It is worth the trip because of the positive atmosphere in the studio and their ^10 gas kiln that is fired on a regular basis. I also have a wheel in my basement, along with a very small kiln which I use for bisque firing, but I enjoy the community environment and that makes the 2.5 to 3 hour drive worthwhile - at least for now. Susan
  15. Another way to achieve the look of the black lines on the flowers is to put black underglaze on the pieces after they are bisque fired, then wipe it off with a damp sponge, leaving black residue in the lines - then glaze over that. The black areas remain much darker than the rest.
  16. If your stoneware and porcelain mature at the same temperature, and you blend them sufficiently, there should be no problem mixing them together. If you overfire it you may get bloating and slumping, but that is true of many clays. Why do you need to thin the glazes more for porcelain? Most places that use both clay bodies use the same glazes for both bodies. Translucent glazes will tend to look lighter and brighter on porcelain. I really love using porcelain. Good luck with it!
  17. Many years ago (late 1970's I think) there was a pottery studio on one of the upper floors of Riverside Church (around 120th St.) in Manhattan. I have no idea if they still give classes there. In the same area, Teacher's College at Columbia University also had a few ceramics classes open to the general community. This is very old information, but worth checking out. I hope you find something! Susan
  18. Another problem with using a propane torch to fire something is uneven heating. The spots where the torch hits can get very hot, but other parts of the piece are considerably cooler. The thermo-shock between the hot and cool spots are very likely to lead to cracking as the clay goes through major changes when the chemically bound water in the clay body is released and when the quartz in the ware changes composition when heated. If you are using the torch to heat a chamber with the ware inside (like a small kiln) so that the atmosphere and bricks are heated as well, that is an entirely diffe
  19. Surubee

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    Porcelain work 2012-2013
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