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  1. Recently LeeU asked in the question pool.. . "There are some posts in the archives about using coffee grounds for texture or glaze effects, and some old Clay Art posts about using everything from crushed walnuts to granite dust. What kinds of organics have you used recently? Did it “work” or not so much? Please specify if fired by electric, gas, wood, or raku, in oxidation or reduction." If I get this question right, I imagine it is What kinds of organic materials have you added to your clay or glazing recently? Please specify if fired by electric, gas, wood or raku, in oxidation or reduction. I have worked at Penn State in graduate classes(credit, but non-degree). While there we did quite a bit of experimentation with Don Tigny. I did add straw, chaff, raw oats, wheat, and other materials that were organic to the clay bodies, especially when working with raku. I also put the proverbial banana on the top of plates and lids, or just the peels, peach skins, apple slices, and even flowers on while doing reduction gas. I really did not fire these kilns. Then I did salt where I tried some pieces with organic and mineral materials added to the clay, but as at the time I did not understand how to work with the chunkies in the clay while throwing they were not very successful percentage wise. Later I had a workshop that used sawdust added to the clay, and pearlite added to another body. Both of these to help speed drying for 2 day workshops. So what have you done to you clay and glazing that may be of interest to the community? best, Pres
  2. Week 35 Angelica Pozo writes of three tenants that all tile makers should be able to agree on. These include using a clay body with 15 to 20% grog to prevent warping or cracking, _______________________________, and do not hurry the drying. White clays are best to use for tiles Earthenware tiles are most durable clay has memory and therefore should be kept flat at all times Wall tiles have the same glaze consideration as floor tiles. Mary Barringer, a potter who started with reduction firing, and switched over to electric firing calls the electric kiln the ultimate firing tool, ready to be used and do ones bidding (within limits), but with __________________________. the set back of oxidation firing very little character of its own Pricey electric bills too small a firing chamber Michael Sherrill, who works with extrusions, makes his own dies using________________or nylon sheets 1/2” thick. Aluminum plywood fiberglass polyethylene Michael also ___________ many of his forms while still in the extruder. Thus allowing for organic tapered forms. pulls cuts paddles measures This weeks questions come from The Penland Book of Ceramics, Master Classes in Ceramic Techniques, c 2003 Lark books, Lark books a division of Sterling Publishing, NY NY Note from Pres: This book is one of those involving a lot of techniques by renowned artists in clay. For those looking for inspiration, possible solutions to specific problems or just good reading, it is a gem. Answers: 3. clay has memory and therefore should be kept flat at all times-Similarly I have found that tips and techniques for tile making can he quite varied, idiosyncratic, and at times seemingly contradictory. However, there are three basic tenets that just about every tile maker should agree with. Number one has to do with the clay itself. Making tiles that do not warp or crack is a much easier task if one uses a clay with a good amount of sand and/ or grog. Ideally that would he around 15 to 3O percent grog. I use 10 per- cent fine and 20 percent medium grog in my terra-cotta tile body. The open pore structure that the grog provides enables the tiles to dry more evenly and, therefore, helps prevent warpage. The second basic tenet has to do with memory. “Yes, Virginia, clay does have a memory.” If you can keep the slabs and later the tiles flat and supported throughout the entire tile making and handling process, you have a much better chance of ending up with tiles that are flat. The third tenet is: do not hurry the drying process. 2. very little character of its own-Switching to electric firing changed this, and brought me face to face with my ideas (or lack of them) about the surfaces of my work. The electric kiln provides almost no input to the fired results, except for the reassuring ones touted by school-supply catalogs: safe, reliable, easy to use, etc. lt's the ultimate firing tool, ready to be used and do one’s bidding (within limits), but with very little character of its own. 4.polyethylene-For my dies, I use polyethylene or nylon sheets that are 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) thick (this is the same material used for some kitchen cutting boards). I have dies that make hollow tubes from 11/2 to 4 inches (3.8 X 10.2 cm) in diameter. l take great care to make sure the dies and bridges are crafted with some precision, so that the thickness of the extrusion can be adjusted by changing the inside of the die. (The bridge is the part that connects the inside and outside of the die. creating the tube extrusion.) Over the fears I've changed the bridge design to better mix the clay as it travels around the bridge and through the die, which results in a stronger extrusion. 1. pulls-from demonstration text.
  3. From the album: Favorites

    I love all the varied shapes a good mug comes in. The shape is my current favorite. It works well to separate the textured areas from the geometric sgraffito in the bottom. It has a pulled handle and commercial glazes and was fired to cone 6 electric.
  4. July 20–26 at Touchstone Center for Crafts Teapots: Atmospheric Effects for Electric Firing Steven Hill Intermediate–Advanced | $800 Weeklong Workshop In this workshop, we will throw and assemble teapots and cups and work with decorative slip. Steven will discuss his philosophy of making pottery, while throwing, assembling and decorating the forms and techniques for which he is well known. The focus will be on spouts, handles, form, surface, and the relationship between these elements. When glazing, we will address ways to achieve the kind of richness and surface variation in electric kilns that potters have come to associate with fuel-burning kilns and reduction firing. The goal is not to imitate reduction, but to set the stage so that multiple layered glazes can interact with each other in the firing. The basic techniques of spraying and the more advanced theories of layering and blending glazes will be addressed. We will fire at cone 6 oxidation. Demonstrations will be on throwing and assembly, but hand-builders are welcome as well. Steven Hill earned his BFA from Kansas State University in 1973 and has been a studio potter since 1975. His work is exhibited and sold in nationally juried shows, and featured in many ceramics books. He has conducted nearly 200 workshops throughout the United States and Canada, and has written many ceramics articles. In 1998, Steven co-founded Red Star Studios Ceramic Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and he co-founded Center Street Clay in Sandwich, Illinois, in 2006. He is currently doing what he does best: making pots, writing about ceramics, teaching workshops, and letting someone else take care of business! Learn more about his work at stevenhillpottery.com
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