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Qotw: Participants Question Pool For Future Qotw's


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thanks, hulk.   i think the beginners who have visited my studio overlook the things that are important to me and just think i am mean or wacky.   i am probably viewed as  overly fussy about keeping the work under my hand clean by avoiding the tiny bits of clay that have separated from the actual piece being worked on.    if you have ever picked up a piece of handwork that has a dozen tiny bits stuck to the bottom, you see what i mean.   there are 2 small boxes attached to the table holding my slab roller so i can brush those bits into the box nearest my hand.   they sit there for months out of the way and not getting turned into dust on the floor.

those tiny stuck on bits make me unhappy, they call attention to the lack of care that i think we owe ourselves, not just for whoever picks up that piece in future.

and tools need to have a place to be when not in my hand.  not scattered all over the room just because i moved the piece or walked to another spot to pick up another tool.  so i provide a space for tools.   unfortunately, i keep adding more tools and the really generous space i started with now resembles a dump.   but exactly where i work is clean and it stays clean and i leave the space clean when the session is over so the next time the space is welcoming.

(funny, i can't seem to work that way in the kitchen)

 

Edited by oldlady
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  • 1 month later...

My suggestion for a QOTW came about from this thread. The thread drifted a little to include a members comment that cone 6 electric is easier than cone 10 gas reduction. My initial thought was yes firing an electric kiln is less time consuming than firing reduction but there are tradeoffs. 

I’ve always found cone 10 clay nicer to throw than any of the midrange clays I’ve used, the glazes (and clay) are generally less expensive to make for high fire and I also agree with what Michael Cardew said, electricity is a harsher judge of pots than reduction. I find that gifts from the kiln are far less frequent with electric firing vs reduction. Wood firing would top my list as the most work.

So, electric or gas reduction firing at any cone you choose, which is more work overall and at what stage of the pot making is it more work than the other? Also, is firing one way more enjoyable than the other?

And to make this into a 2’fer QOTW suggestion, another question would be this: hypothetically speaking if zoning / bylaws / fuel cost didn’t come into play would you glaze fire gas reduction or electric?

Edited by Min
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  • 1 month later...

Hello Pres,

I have a question for you, or for our viewers. If this topic has been discussed ad nauseam then I understand if you skip it, but it's something I think about.

Question: To wedge or not to wedge? Do you wedge clay when it comes straight from a bag or pug mill? If you do wedge, why?

Maybe you wedge for the following?

a) It's what I was taught and I can't get my instructor's voice out of your head?

b) I'm a little OCD, I can't sit down at the wheel until I've repeated my wedging "x" number of times.

c) There is scientific proof that one must wedge! 

d) Nope, don't wedge, waste of time and my pots turn out beautifully!

e) Other...please enlighten us.

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  • 1 month later...

Any supply chain issues for you as well as raising costs in this new landscape . Things like plaster are scare as well as talc at Laguna Clay Com.Equipment is long backordered they say- Prices are creeping up on most items

I had to raise my prices as well to keep up.

any issues for you in ceramics?

Edited by Mark C.
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  • 7 months later...

Dusts - a recurring topic.
In general, how to reduce/manage dust, how dangerous, types of dust...
...and specifically, working surfaces, flooring, filtering systems...

Hence, suggested specific-ish question:

From a recently liked thread, "...how much air movement do you have in your studio, do you use fans, is cleaning to reduce blown dust part of your process?"

The winds here typically ramp up over the course of the day, peaking late afternoon 15-25 mph from the Northwest* in the dry season, somewhat less in the wet season. There are variations, particularly the hot/dry winds from the east/southeast, and wet/rainy from the south/southwest.

With the doors closed, the air in my Studio is rather static.

Any road, when a breeze whips through the Studio, it will pick up dust! Hence, I'll pop on the P100 afore opening the doors, if it's breezy out, run the mop and sponge, then hang the P100 back up on its hook once it's aired out a bit.

I don't use fans in the Studio.

Cleaning up - so that what is on the floor, working surfaces, storage surfaces, etc. doesn't get blown about - it is part of my process.

*capitalized on account o' the NW wind is the boss here on the Central Coast!

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More on my mind* lately, however, getting out and seeing others' work, in person!

Any plans to visit galleries and/or others' Studios?
...workshops, classes?

It's been a while for me; in the last two+ years, I've seen maybe ten displays of others' work, in person, and had an in-person pottery talk with maybe two or three actual potters.

The post on upcoming SH workshop got me thinking*! I'm planning to make time to look in on local shops, galleries, studios, and swing by the local JC Ceramic lab as well.

*heh 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Pres,

As I was trimming a pot last week, I started wondering if others trim pots just to clean them up and establish a foot, or is trimming part of the creative process for you?  I like when I have extra clay (thicker walls & bottom) and can change the intended look of the pot depending on my mood that day. 

Betty

 

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I have become lazy and try and throw everything with minimal trimming. If I can pre-trim most of the excess clay off before removing from the wheel I will. I still like a very well defined foot though; albeit minimal. Not something to grip and glaze with. I actually don’t mind trimming but have gotten into this habit over time.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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Please folks. . . this is an area to pose a question, not to  answer them. I use this area to have a collection of questions to be used for the QotW, as it makes my job easier!

 

Please, no more answering posed questions here. Wait until posted new on Sundays.

 

best,

Pres

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  • 1 month later...

"Secret" procedure, technique, material, recipe - got any?
If so, how has your outlook on sharing with others changed over the years?

This came to mind when packing pots for first show/sale I participated in - there will be other potters there, will any ask how I do x,y,z? I'd settled on answering pretty much any question (heh, there haven't been any questions), although I may not share my low expansion liner glaze with just anyone.

When I was coaching, several times, other coaches tried to "trick" me into revealing my "secrets" - I didn't have any secrets, always willing to share how I designed and orchestrated training plans, taught techniques, etc. An overarching "secret" is planning and executing said plan is a lot of work.

During my mid life (ok, maybe a bit after mid life) return trip through college, I'd read some studies about information and "power," where hoarding secrets/information and therefore retaining power to oneself is on one end of a continuum, and empowering others - sharing - is at the other. I found some truth in the notion, and reflect on it quite often, to this day. 

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  • 1 month later...

This is in the vein of "what were you thinking", which I ask myself often. My inquiry for a possible QotW subject is this: how do Forum clay artists, potters, sculptors woking in clay, hobbyists, professional gallery exhibiters, instructors, production ceramacists,  etc. come to their ideas? I'm curious about whether ceramicists do, or do not, or can not, articulate in advance formative ideas. Are there identifiable/describable processes that indivduals use, which they consciously recognize and employ as a route to generating ideas for their work? I think a "sampler" of such approaches and techinques would be really interesting!

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  • 1 month later...

QOTW: What tips do you have to make cleaning up your studio easier or more time efficient?

Some areas aren't too bad for me, such as keeping the footprint of my throwing area small, arranging things to close any gaps where clay bits can fall to the floor. I use a damp sponge to sweep little dry bits into a dustpan and then wipe the floor with a clean sponge. 

Unfortunately, I feel like I am chasing my tail some days, trying to get up all the little bits that fall off surfaces all day as I work. With the layout of my space, I can't condense the tables and shelves any more, so I have to walk from one area to another, which inevitably spreads clay around. One solution I'm doing now is to have a slightly damp towel on the floor to wipe my feet on as I move about. I check my soles time to time, and if they look dusty, I wipe them with a sponge and then try to find the section of floor that's dirty and wipe it too. It just feels like I'm spending half my time doing this. ANybody else feel this way or have solutions? 

Someone should invent a clay Roomba! I'd buy it in a heartbeat!

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  • 1 month later...

A suggestion for a Question of the Week would be have you had to change any recipes or purchases because of supply chain issues. I recently had to change the recipes for my glazes to use different frits. Glaze recipe I use the most used Ferro 3249 which is very expensive, I've redone the recipe using other frits because of the pandemic and supply chain issues and rising costs.

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