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Pottery, Clay and Ceramics: Claylovers' Topics: Bios / Work / Glazes / Firings, etc! #2

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zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

January 8, 2008
12:47 PM

Post #4374810

This is a continuation from #1 link below

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/745656/
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

January 8, 2008
12:59 PM

Post #4374846

That is done.
I thought I would report on my latest.

I have been juried into a show called "Bitter Fruits" that opens on February 1st. It is about women and their bodies. My mastectomy series will be in it. I am really excited to get it out there once again.

I started a class in carving clay taught by one of the professors at the U of Minnesota. She is so good and I learned a lot on day one. Here is a link to some f here work.

http://artdept.umn.edu/areas/ceramics/ceramPortfolio.php?UID=roett021

What I hope to do is learn about carving then be able to incorporate carving into my figurative work. I need to learn more about it so I can see if and how it will work. I have carved before but never learned how it should be done.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

January 8, 2008
4:48 PM

Post #4375564

Thanks for starting the new thread, zen. Congrats on the show! Hope it goes really well

You've inspired me to do more handbuilding, and I tried carving a tile last week to make a press mold. After I got it done, I realized I'd done the negative instead of the positive...LOL! Oops----it was good practice!

Sigh...off to work. But I'm telecommuting most days now so I don't have to fight traffic or get up a 0-dark-thirty to catch the train, so I shouldn't whine.
sempervirens
Northern, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 9, 2008
12:29 PM

Post #4378787

Good luck with the show, zen.

I really enjoyed the large scale work by Mary Ellen Roettger from the link you provided.
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

January 9, 2008
1:08 PM

Post #4378861

Thank you.

I really enjoy her work to.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

February 19, 2008
4:05 PM

Post #4559865

zen: reporting in on using fired stoneware disks in my extruder. Fahgedabadit. I was SO bummed. I fired 4 of them all the way to C10, and when I put the first one in the extruder (even with soft clay) it broke immediately.

I've actually had my best luck testing with Masonite, but it won't hold up forever.

So I guess the thing to do is play with the shape in masonite, and then when it's right, duplicate it in aluminum (I've been told that Plexiglas works, but I haven't tried it).

:-(

PS: Sorry about your ankle; I spent 6 weeks in a cast for a sprain like that on my right ankle. When I sprained the left one even worse a few years later (my toes turned black and blue), I had DH wrap it from knee to toe every day so I wouldn't have to do the cast thing again. I can at least sympathize! Hope you feel better soon!

This message was edited Feb 19, 2008 8:09 AM
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

February 19, 2008
9:54 PM

Post #4561160

What a bummer about the extruder disks. I had a hard time getting nice smooth edges on the Masonite.

The foot/ankle is now in a removable boot cast. I can take it off at night and put on a smaller one to sleep. I am still on crutches and will be for awhile. He said it will be 3 - 5 months before it is healed. I went to a orthopedic doctor today and go back in two weeks.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

February 23, 2008
8:10 PM

Post #4578298

zen, DH gave me that handbuilding book you recommended for Valentine's Day---what a great book. Thanks for recommending it! Now I guess something else will have to move to the top of my Amazon wish list... ;->
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

February 23, 2008
9:31 PM

Post #4578599

I am glad you like it.
cattaca
Chamberlain, SD

February 27, 2008
8:59 PM

Post #4597313

I am new to this forum. I have a question if anyone can assist, I would be so pleased. I am a first year art teacher and have run one kiln in my life on my own, which I had written step by step instructions from a graduate student in college.

Can anyone give me step by step instructions or suggestions of where to look? I did find an online manual, but it was over 60 pages, and I didn't even know where to start, and could not print it off.
These are the specs for the kiln we have at school:
Pasco Kiln (kilnsitter or sitterkiln)
Model P6
26 Amps
240 Volts
6.2KW
1Phase
Serial # P6122
Max Temp 2250 degrees

Thank you very much-


This message was edited Feb 27, 2008 3:02 PM
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

February 28, 2008
12:08 AM

Post #4598027

Hi, Cat: Can you attach a link to your manual so we can take a look at it?

Hopefully you have a pyrometer on the kiln so you can see what the internal temperature is?

I'm going to pretend you don't know anything, so don't be insulted if this is too basic for you. The steps I use for my electric kiln firings are as follows (others may do things differently):

1) Make sure you have good ventilation, and that all the electrical components look "healthy".

2) Make sure all the pieces are completely dry. If you have any question, hold the piece close to your cheek. If it feels even a little bit cold, it's probably not dry.

3) Put a kiln-sitter cone of the right temperature (often under a wire "finger") in the kilnsitter. This will typically allow you to start the temperature control---usually dials connected to the electric heating element(s). Sometimes you need to do this partway through a loading, depending on where your kiln-sitter is in the chamber. Make sure all of the shelves and the ware are at least 1/2" from the elements.

4) Turn the bottom element on to its lowest setting, with the kiln lid propped open about an inch with a shelf support, and with all spyholes open. If you have more than one element, only start the bottom one. Leave the kiln like this until it's about 400 degrees.

5) Using heat-resistant gloves (I use fireplace gloves) remove the shelf support and close the lid; turn on the remaining element(s) to the lowest setting. Monitor the temperature rise on the pyrometer. It should rise no more than 150 degrees an hour. If it's rising too fast, turn off an element.

6) After about 2 hours, you can start turning the element controllers up about every 2 hours. (Slower firing is better than fast firing.)

7) Continue turning the controllers up a little at a time until your cone bends, at which point your kiln-sitter should shut off the kiln.

8) Let the kiln cool until it's down to ~ 400 degrees. Using the heat-resistant gloves, crack the lid about an inch, and brace it open with the shelf support. Remove the spyhole plugs.

9) When the kiln is completely cooled, open the lid and unload.

What grade are you teaching?


This message was edited Feb 27, 2008 4:09 PM
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

February 28, 2008
12:50 PM

Post #4599889

The book I find invaluable for firing is "Electric Kiln Ceramics" by Richard Zakin

Before you do anything vacuum the kiln, you don't want any dust.

I fire differently by what temperature I am firing to. I continually take out the above book when doing something different so I am not going to give you step by step directions on how I fire. I do fire without a pyrometer and go by time, sight and smell.

I was an art teacher for years and have taught from pre-k to adults.

Make sure that the students really attach the pieces well, it is so frustrating when they come apart. I have glued together so many pieces I couldn't venture to even guess how many.
cattaca
Chamberlain, SD

February 28, 2008
3:27 PM

Post #4600512

Imapigeon-
Thank you, I know nothing, so your instructions were not to basic.
I am teaching 8-12 grades. The 8th graders are a separate class and the 9-12 come in mixed groups. They have very little previous knowledge about art, but are hard workers and have much talent.
As for the manual, clearly I exaggerate, it isn't as long as I thought it was the first time I found it :) hehehe However, I am not sure if it is the correct manual.
Here is the link:
http://www.hotkilns.com/dawson-LT3.pdf

Zenpotter- thank you for your suggestions also, I will look for that book. I wouldn't have thought to vacuum out the kiln...but that is obvious isn't it. :)

It is frustrating to not know what I am doing, or even what I am looking for. I thank you both for your willingness to assist me.

-cat
cattaca
Chamberlain, SD

February 28, 2008
3:33 PM

Post #4600548

p.s.
today, the manual printed...
I work at a reservation school, sometimes our gadgets aren't in working order, it really depends on the day.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

February 28, 2008
8:34 PM

Post #4601795

OOOOhhh, if you're working at a reservation school you might want to do a sawdust or pit firing with them at night when it warms up a bit! I'll bet the kids would love it, and you might even get some of the parents to participate. My most recent teacher does a sawdust firing every semester, and it's always a blast. We pit-fire polished pieces, and sometimes do horsehair technique on them. Let me know if you're interested in finding out more, and I'll gather some materials for you. I'll take a look at your kiln manual tonight and see if there's anything that impacts my original instructions.

zen can give you resources on handbuilding (she's expert in that area).

I can relate to your frustration---I spent several years working with stoneware and porcelain, mostly throwing. The first time I got a job in a Navy hobby shop when my husband was in the service, it was doing low-fire slip-casting, and my "students" all knew more than I did about what we were doing...LOL!
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

March 1, 2008
4:49 PM

Post #4608757

cat, the manual you're looking at is actually for the kiln sitter, not for the kiln itself. But that's OK because that and the electric elements are the main things to a kiln. Dawson's a good brand, and the one that's on my old electric kiln, and it's been going strong for 30 years. There's a lot of information here---I imagine it's a little overwhelming! Let me try to point out the places in the manual that relate to the basic instructions I posted above.

Figure 1 on page 5 of your manual shows the "finger" I was referring to---they call it the sensing rod (now I know what it's called...LOL!). You lift it with the "claw" on the outside of the kiln, lay your cone over the bars, and then set the sensing rod on top of the cone. (see Figure 8 on page 7 for how it's placed)

You need to catch the rectangular metal piece with the hole in it (they call it the "trigger") under the claw (Figure 2 on page 3)

Then to start the elements you push the round button on the front of the kilnsitter that's framed by the trigger.

If everything's working properly, when the cone reaches temperature and bends, the sensing rod drops down, the claw releases the trigger, and the kiln shuts off.

Not sure if that helps or not---let us know!

Do you have some low-temperature cones (like 022 or 019) that you could do an empty test-firing with so you can make sure everything works correctly before firing any pieces?
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

March 1, 2008
4:50 PM

Post #4608760

zen---were you pleased with the response to your pieces in the juried show?
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

March 1, 2008
7:42 PM

Post #4609461

I was, I had a lot of people stop to talk to me the opening was fun. The show closed yesterday so it is time to get the work back already.
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

June 18, 2008
12:19 PM

Post #5121512

The post to the old tread prompted me to write a bit here. Long time no see.

The flurry of spring shows are over and I don't have any more set up for now. There are a couple to apply to if I can get myself in gear. I am taking a break to work in my garden my second passion. I guess it is really the 3rd # 1 is my DH. Let's see where do I put the kids?

My garden is loving the cool damp spring we are having. It reminds me of the beautiful gardens in Northern Europe, so lush and green.

I am also in transition with my work. I am letting some ideas roll around in my mind while I work and trying to remind myself that it is ok to not be always working with clay. I am doing a lot of drawing in between gardening. I am even drawing in the garden. I am also going back to re-work some figure drawings from the drawing co-op I belong to it keeps the rocks (ideas) rolling in my head.

In other words I am letting myself relax. What a thought.




imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

June 19, 2008
12:32 AM

Post #5125054

Hi everyone:

I've been occasionally checking in with DG, but I'm trying to limit myself. Otherwise, I find I spend waaaaay too much time in the "virtual garden/studio" and not enough in the REAL one.

I've been working on tiling my front walkway http://landscaping.com/ls/view/32/, trying to finish the last section. I had a week of vacation, and thought I would finish this project in about 3 days. That was 3 weeks and many, many Aleves ago. I'm on the home stretch of mortaring the big tiles, and next have to mortar the handmade (blue & white) ones, then grout. I'll be awfully glad when this is done. I've learned that I can only do about 8 Saltillo tiles at a time. That takes me about 2 hours, from start to cleanup. At this rate, tiling my courtyard will take me until the next millenium. But so be it. At least I'll have a goal! My job has gotten more demanding since we had a bunch of layoffs in January, and I need my "down time" desperately. I've announced that I'm retiring in Sep of 2009 (assuming they keep me around that long) so I have a lot of stuff to get completed around the house before I stop getting a paycheck.

zen, your work has inspired me to try some handbuilding in my studio. I have a wall fountain in my head that I'm trying to get out! I did a few days of throwing so far this year, and have some bisqued pots to glaze. I've refined my design for pot feet, and I have a more sturdy extruder blank now--I've got some of the new ones ready to fire.

I'm trying to do a little relaxing, too. My front courtyard has become my favorite place to kick back, watch the container plants grow, and read a good book.

zen, how's your ankle doing?
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

June 19, 2008
3:38 AM

Post #5125929

My ankle is doing well. Still hurts some, but that isn't surprising. He said it might hurt off and on the rest of my life.

Your walkway is looking good.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

July 20, 2008
1:58 AM

Post #5288018

PROGRESS Report! Hi everyone---I'm close to finishing my sidewalk project, after "only" at least three hours on every Sat and Sun for the past two months. I expect to finish grouting the $()@_+Q thing tomorrow morning, and I will be very happy to mark that milestone off on my calendar and update my Landscaping.com entry. I also got the attached project finished/grouted today. It's the base of my wedging table. It'll be covered up with clay buckets most of the time, but I thought it would be nice to have ONE finished project visible at all times in my studio...LOL!

Hope y'all are well and working hard~~~~ I know I am!!!!

This message was edited Jul 19, 2008 7:01 PM

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zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

July 21, 2008
1:53 AM

Post #5293282

It looks great.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

July 21, 2008
2:15 AM

Post #5293389

Thanks----got the last part of front walkway grouting done today HALLELUIA!!!
I'll take pictures when it's cleaned up...SO nice to have something done finally.
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

July 21, 2008
11:52 AM

Post #5294918

Isn't it a great feeling.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

August 1, 2008
11:53 PM

Post #5355913

I'm utterly thrilled to share with you that I've FINALLY (after only 2 years) finished tiling my sidewalk!
http://landscaping.com/ls/view/32/
UniQueTreasures
Beaumont, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 2, 2008
1:03 AM

Post #5356164

That turned out awesome! Fantastic work!

Janet
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

August 2, 2008
1:51 AM

Post #5356366

Thank you. I really am SO VERY happy to have this phase done.

The guy who's now redoing my watering system told me yesterday that he & his crew have a lot of experience with Saltillo and asked if I wanted them to do my courtyard. I'm seriously considering it. They've done beautiful work at my friend's house.

The project for our next Women's Work Day is to tile a strip from the inside of the front gate to the front porch, under where the fountain sits, as wide as we can make it (hopefully 4 tiles). We're going to use speed-set mortar because my friend Daryl, who has helped me mortar the front walkway and the fountain basin, has never grouted. With the speed-set mortar we can grout in 2 hours. My friend Rene hasn't ever set any tile at all. So I promised to teach them new skills.

After that, it may make sense to have the contractor do the rest. He's gonna have to move all the planters anyway to do the new drip system for the courtyard. My goal was to have it tiled by the end of this year, and I don't think my body, my sanity or my marriage will survive me doing the rest by myself!!!
UniQueTreasures
Beaumont, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 2, 2008
1:58 AM

Post #5356397

Ya know, I'm learning the same thing from my hubby. Even though he can do all of the work on our kitchen remodel, there are some things he'd rather "farm out" and concentrate on other things. A person can wear themselves out in no time when doing projects like this AND working a full time job.

Sounds like your WWD will be a wonderful learning experience for the others. And as long as the guys have to move those planters, you might as well get them to finish the job. You can sit back and enjoy it much sooner that way!
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

August 2, 2008
2:02 AM

Post #5356417

My thoughts egggzacataly! In fact, I'm gonna pour myself a glass of vino and go sit out there now---hahaha!!
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

August 4, 2008
12:13 PM

Post #5366195

As I started to read this I was going to recommend the vino and sitting down to admire your work and you beat me to it. You can go out and have another since it is three days later.

It looks fantastic. A job well done.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

August 4, 2008
2:18 PM

Post #5366686

thanks, zen! What have you been working on lately?
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

August 4, 2008
5:03 PM

Post #5367395

My garden, a third large garden sculpture, and I am teaching myself to whittle. So far I have made two wooden chains one with 3 links and one with 5 links. My grandfather use to whittle and I decided I wanted to as a "link" with the past.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

August 4, 2008
6:14 PM

Post #5367653

How fun! My dad and granddad used to whittle functional wooden pliers out of a single piece of wood. I still have a couple----they're so neat!

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 5, 2008
4:37 PM

Post #5372158

Just stopped in to see what potters are up to these days.
I visited in the spring.
I'm an old potter from New York State, did shows for 30 years, can't move now cause I'm too stiff with arthritice.
Your projects are beautiful. I love "clay anything"
Just never can get it out of my system.
I paint now, cotta keep the flow going with something.
Hang out mostle with Northeast Garden Forum, but will check in to see what you are doing.
One of the last few pieces I made.

little garden spirit house

Thumbnail by ge1836
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ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 5, 2008
4:38 PM

Post #5372162

and a blue vessel.
Both are earthenware cone06
I didn't see any pots from you.

Thumbnail by ge1836
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zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

August 6, 2008
11:59 AM

Post #5375951

What a beautiful blue it is perfect for the textures you use.

Did you follow the link at the top to the start of this thread? You will see some work there. This is a more tell than show thread.

The gallery/studio that I am a member of is having an open studio tomorrow night. It will be interesting to see how many people come. This past weekend there were three large art fairs plus the weather is hot and this is in a non air conditioned building. We have a window air conditioner, but it isn't really big enough for the space it just takes the edge off. There is an open studio night in the building the first Thursday of every month.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 6, 2008
1:16 PM

Post #5376210

How have sales been where you live?
How are openings supported?
In the east there has been a steady decline of sales in the middle price range and many potters are not producing anymore.
The high end-prices start at $300 and go to$2000. are doing well.
Friend of mine has stopped doing outdoor shows altogether and only wholesales and fills orders from "The Guild" website. Her work is fine art and she is holding her own.
I'll lurk and look and listen.
Painting now, clay got too heavy and lifting those kiln shelves was too much.
This is a great thread.Thanks- i miss clay
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

August 6, 2008
2:21 PM

Post #5376536

Sales here are slow I sell either high end or small pieces that people can afford.
I am a sculptor and I don't do any functional work at all. I also do not do air fairs at all any more. Most of my work is nudes and they are not allowed on DG so I don't post them any more I did a few at first until it came up in a discussion.

Six of us have rented space in a building that has someplace between 150 and 160 studio/gallery spaces rented all of the time. Of the six of us only one does her work there the rest of us use it as gallery space only. The building as a whole has two very big shows a year, open studios the first Thursday of every month and extended hours during the holidays. It took us over a year on a waiting list to get a space.

The support for openings varies by the gallery. Minneapolis and St. Paul are very supportive of the arts and there are some nice galleries around.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 6, 2008
2:33 PM

Post #5376589

It sounds like you have a good thing going in the studio at home and gallery space for sales.
There is a situ. like that here in an abandoned fabric warehouse complex.
Works well for many diff. deciplines.
I havn't done an out door show since 96.
I was breaking even with hogpromoters booth fees and jusy charges and travel. Can't imagine how it is now with gas at $4
I think shows are hurting for good art because of it.
I get special invites to shows I havn't done in ages.
Gas prices will probably bring down the outdoor show business.
I got busted too on the Garden forum when I first joined.
I listed my web page as a way of introducing myself and a member carefully told me "self promotion" wasn't allowed.
Now I occasionally put in a painting but thats because a few members have expressed intrest in my paintings.
It's been awhile.
Do you have a website where I could see your sculptures?
I'd love to see them.
Dmail me if you cant tell me any other way.
NYrainshine
Franklin Springs, NY
(Zone 4b)

August 27, 2008
11:57 PM

Post #5476038

Wow! Potters in Dave's Garden!
Not sure how I arrived at this thread because I click around a lot...But have enjoyed all the studio pics and pots. Although everyone seems awfully neat.
I went to school for ceramics and taught for eight years at a museum school, and was wondering if any of you have done work or would be interested in learning about using local materials ( the clay and sand in your gardens) and how to find what works as a clay body, or how to make simple glazes from it. This is my favorite area of interest and I used to really encourage everyone to try it. It brings home a lot of the technical info you read about in the glaze manuals. I'm not sure who had more fun with it - the adults or the teenagers. (Or me) It can be done in any type kiln. Gas elec., pit, raku... So let me know if anyone is interested and if someone explains it, as I'm about two months new here and have never done one, I'll start a new thread and post the link here.
I'll dig out some of the last pieces I did and post photos. They were traditional-style sliptrailed redware plates using decomposed shale and creek clay within a mile of my home. I also still have my sample pots I used as examples from when I was teaching (pencil jars).
Here's a photo of my current distraction. Doing a little drawing which is new to me. This is a 10" pieplate cone 6 electric.

Thumbnail by NYrainshine
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ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 28, 2008
9:14 AM

Post #5477442

I used to dig clay at "ChimnetBluffs" on Lake Ontario.
I also found clay along the road out of Victor NY.
It had such a low melting point it could only be used gor glaze or under glaze slips.
It fired a greenish brown, not too beautiful.I did amend it with oxides and used it as an underglaze, it acted like rutile.
NYrainshine
Franklin Springs, NY
(Zone 4b)

August 28, 2008
11:57 AM

Post #5477674

I haven't found anything green/gold around here although I'd love to.
When I was at Alfred a lot of the kids had dug in the creek in town, and it was a clear olive over white clay. I kick myself for not collecting a stash to have now. None of the ground clay there would hold a temp. for a body, and all the historical architectural terracotta from that area was actually shale mined then ground up and pressed damp into the molds.
Here there is mostly clay soil, but even digging down six feet or so there is a tremendous amount of seiving needed to separate out the rocks and silt. It's great to turn into slips and glazes though.
I've never gotten any lake clay myself. I know someone who dug out of Oneida Lake and got what he calls "plum" glaze. A purplish-red brown with a very dense mat texture. He was firing it to an unusual temp.; I think cone 01 to retain the surface. Hotter and it lost the color and went to a brown gloss.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 28, 2008
12:06 PM

Post #5477692

I went to "The School for American Craftsmen" and there was a student whose masters thesis was native clays. Art Sennett, I don't know if there is anything published anywhere but his thesis in the RIT library.He tested clays all over the state and lived in the St. Lawrebce region, taught at Pottsdam.
He came to the same conclusion they mkke interesting slips and underglazes.
I was a studio potter from 1970- 1996 high fire stoneware and after the first year I didn't have time to fuss with experimenting. Just too busy making a living.
Did you know Val Cushing?
He talked me into a college degree in ceramics. The best idea I ever had.
I like your pie plate w/slip decoration.
NYrainshine
Franklin Springs, NY
(Zone 4b)

August 28, 2008
1:36 PM

Post #5477998

Thanks. And I did. I was extremely fortunate to be there for two years right before he retired in '97- I think, a year after I graduated. I had him for Glaze calculation, Raw materials (clay bodies), Throwing, and as a Senior Advisor. He also taught Summer Session that year which we as students were given first refusal for before national registration opened. I opted to take that as a catch-up for my throwing, because I transfered from a two year foundation school with only one throwing and one handbuilding class and felt overwhelmed by the general knowledge and skills some of the other students at my level already had.
He is one of the nicest people and always went far beyond his duties as proffesor. His knowlege and experience are unmatched, and his interest in others' ideas and work genuine. His advise was always offered as a contribution and an option, as opposed to a correction or command. He allowed us to grow through the process, and respected the personal tastes of each that were expressed through our work. So rare. A perfect example of finding one's passion and being successful with it. No one could ever doubt he loves clay and everything related to it. He still goes to NCECA and is at the college for events, still works in the studio at his house.
Have you ever gone to the shows at the end of the year there? All Fine Art seniors and Grad students must put on a show to recieve their degree. In May the ceramic building is dissasembled from the inside out, walls are hung and chaos reigns until opening night. There are more in galleries up in town, and all the art departments do the same, and there is sculpture outside. Very festive. Between 30-40 ceramic alone, plus the glass is always interesting too. Worth the trip if you travel about. Alfred also now has work online of all their graduate students. The school retains one piece from each for the Collection, but several are on file.
Did you fire gas or electric?
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

August 28, 2008
2:32 PM

Post #5478249

Ooooh---definitely interested! When we moved in 20 years ago, we tested our soil and it was 1% short of construction-grade adobe. When we planted our trees, we found a 4-6 inch layer of heavy clay about 4 feet down. I didn't dig it up, just punched holes for drainage. But I always wondered...I'd love to know what kind of firing tests to do if the opportunity presents itself again.

And your plate is gorgeous!

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 28, 2008
2:54 PM

Post #5478349

I took 2 summer workshops with him in the late sixties.
Your description of him is spot on.If I hadn't been allowed to stay in the dorms with the faculty and spend endless evenings drinking and tsalking I might never have taken the path I did.
He and Ruth McKinnley were my mentors, she died in the 80's another real loss to the ceramic world.
Since I lived in Rochester and had four school age children I was lucky enough to get into RIT without portfolio, just a note from Val and a word from Hobart Cowles and my passion to be a potter ,was enough.
I guess I only heard about the Alfred sale after I had more pots than I could handle.
I am looking for some clay sculpture though if you have the names of anyone working that way, something for my garden.
The last time i was at Alfred I went to see the Margurite Wildenhein exhibit, I had her husband Franz as a teacher,
my website is joanngentle.com if you want to see what I was doing until 1996. My body just broke down and the clay and shelves became too heavy. I fired a 50 cu.ft. kiln.
I managed about two ,sometimes three glaze kiln loads a month depending how carefully I packed the bisque.
I took up painting and printmaking, because I would be in a rubber room if I couldn't creat something. The new garden project has saved my sanity.
Imapidgeon!
The local clays here are only good for slips and underglaze, they mature at about cone06-01
I tried to formulate a clay throwing body but was a mizerable failure.
Just splurged and bought four John Glick mugs, a fortune.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

September 7, 2008
4:12 AM

Post #5518929

ARGHHHH!
Loaded my little gas kiln on Thursday nite for a C10 load, chock-a-block with tiles and pot feet for my courtyard project. At 3:00 am on Saturday, after having spend all day and nite babysitting the bloody thing, I had to shut it down. It just wasn't coming up to temperature----it was stalling somewhere around 1800F. It suddenly dawned on me when the "check the kiln" timer went off at 2:45 am and woke me up that I'd probably put the WRONG shelf on the bottom layer, and it was probably partially blocking the burners.

Last night I unloaded and reloaded it; I hope the kiln gods are on my side this time. Right now the pyrometer (which has been flaking in and out for the past 2 days) is reading 2100 degrees, and C8 is bending on the middle shelf.

FINGERS CROSSED---if anyone who knows what I'm talking about reads this, please send positive energy!~~ Speaking of energy, I wonder what my gas bill will be for this month...?

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 7, 2008
11:21 AM

Post #5519491

I had a similar thing occurd when firing. I was on the city gas line, they had put in a new line in the fall it was months befor I fired again..
I didn't even get to the second phase of turning the burners up when I noticed very small flames and thought there must be a break in the line somewhere. I turned all the burners off. I tore around the back yard sniffing for a leak,altho at that pressure it should have been evident. I called the gas company, after what seemed like hours on the phone they told me they installed a "limit meter" on the line in the fall.
This is a sensor that automaticly shuts the line down when there is an indication of a rise in usage beyond normal use. We had a tragity 17 years prior (4 houses exploded)
The gas company was sensetive about the lines and rad checks yearly after that.
Of course this kiln had samples for the wholesale market show in Philadelphia. I refired and everything was fine, the Gas company paid for two pieces that had some smuttch on the rim and I also sold the piece.
Could you have had a shelf against the timer?
It sounded like a drop in pressure.

imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

September 7, 2008
3:32 PM

Post #5520209

Timer? No timer on this old baby...and when my pyrometer doesn't work, I'm firing by witness cones, experience, and the seat of my pants...LOL!!

I shut 'er down last night at 11:30; C9 was down and it looked like C10 was bending on most of the shelves. The color of the flame wasn't quite as "green" as I would have liked (an indicator that it's reached C10), but at least it looked pretty consistent from top to bottom. I soaked it for the last hour hoping 10 would go down, but I finally decided I'd blown enough of my utility budget for the month!

This morning I've opened the spyholes and taken off the damper shelf...I should be able to open it up in a couple of hours and see what I ended up with.

I don't know WHY I couldn't have picked a less stressful hobby!!!

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 7, 2008
7:55 PM

Post #5521174

The lure and excitment of working like a longshoreman and a estheete for no money, thats why you do it.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

September 7, 2008
8:12 PM

Post #5521220

LOL! Too true, too true!

Well, it wasn't a bad load, as it eventually turned out. A big elephant ear that I had made 2 years ago and finally found space for broke into 3 pieces, and the bullnose tiles I tried to extrude won't work, but other than that, everything came out OK. FINALLY!

It's 106 degrees here today, so I'm really glad I'm not firing the kiln today---yesterday it was a mere 102...

Thumbnail by imapigeon
Click the image for an enlarged view.

zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

September 8, 2008
2:23 PM

Post #5524282

That looks like you got a good firing. Congratulations. Would you send some of that heat my way? It is only 50 here this morning and I hate the cold. That is a running complaint from me, oh to be able to live somewhere else. DH's job is here now though.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

September 8, 2008
4:51 PM

Post #5524841

I'd LOVE to send some heat to you----it got to 107 yesterday after I posted. I had to wear gloves to unload the kiln, and it wasn't heat from firing! After I got done with that, I stayed inside till it dropped back to 90 after sundown.
This morning we had a nice marine layer and it's only up to 67 so far. But the sun's just burned through the fog, so it will probably hit 100+ again this afternoon.
Unfortunately, last week while I was on vacation, it was miserably hot; now that I'm back to work it seems to be cooling off a bit. Typical. We're never happy, are we...LOL??
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

September 8, 2008
6:43 PM

Post #5525233

I have lived several places and the best weather was in Puerto Ordaz Venezuela. During the summer there was a nice breeze so we rarely needed to use our air conditioning and in the winter occasionally I would need a light weight long sleeve cotton blouse. Mostly it was t-shirts and shorts year round. I would work on my clay under a mango tree.
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

September 8, 2008
7:03 PM

Post #5525303

There is going to be a show opening here in September of the work by Nora Naranjo-Morse. One of her poems is on this link.

http://www.cla.purdue.edu/waaw/peterson/Naranjo.html
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

September 8, 2008
9:08 PM

Post #5525791

OOOhh---thanks for sharing! Love the poem----especially the "after swearing off" the clay line. With me it's usually more swearing AT the clay, however...LOL!
jcoats123
Payson, AZ
(Zone 7a)

December 27, 2008
8:46 AM

Post #5932059

imapigeon,
Your work is beautiful. Boy! you do pick the hard ones. Bet you love it.
What is the title of the handbuiling book that you were talking about?
Thanks, JoAnne
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

December 27, 2008
1:13 PM

Post #5932271

JoAnne,

Here is the book I had recommended "Electric Kiln Ceramics" by Richard Zakin to Imapigeon.

The show that I was talking about back in early September was wonderful I can't count the number of times I went to it. The gallery is in the same building that I do a lot of my clay work. They were selling a book in conjunction with it. "Women Potters Transforming Traditions" by Moira Vincentelli. Here are links to the two places it was. Northern Clay Center is where I go.

http://www.northernclaycenter.org/offline/popups/WorldCeramics-PR.php

http://apps.carleton.edu/campus/gallery/
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

December 27, 2008
4:53 PM

Post #5932825

zen, there was also that great handbuilding book you recommended...can't think of the name of it, but it's the one I got from DH so I have it around.

Since I last posted here, a LOT has been done around my place, including contractors finishing the front courtyard Saltillo floor. They inset my tiles on one side, and I just hated the way they did it (too far apart; no relationship between the design, yadayadayada) and DH popped them out for me so I could reset. Then of course a couple got broken and I had to use different ones. Anyway, it's finally done. I did most of the courtyard in plain Saltillo, and ended up using the insets in a strip between the gate and the front door. Less work, and most of the remaining area is covered with furniture, rug, plants, etc. and wouldn't be seen anyway.

Remaining to finish is the concrete hearth they poured for the chiminea. I've been working on those tiles for several months. I've got a design I like for the front, and the top will be plain blue.

As soon as it warms up a bit today (sorry, zen, it's 38 degrees here---I'm sure it's in the 'teens where you are---but for us it's cold) I'm loading up the gas kiln for the first time since summer. Most of it will be tiles for facing the hearth (pictured).

Thumbnail by imapigeon
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gardnrathrt
Payson, AZ

December 29, 2008
6:45 AM

Post #5938593

This is the windchimes, I made oh, probably 5-6 years ago. I think they have done very well with all the weather they have been through.

Thumbnail by gardnrathrt
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gardnrathrt
Payson, AZ

December 29, 2008
6:46 AM

Post #5938594

These I made about a month ago.

Thumbnail by gardnrathrt
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gardnrathrt
Payson, AZ

December 29, 2008
6:49 AM

Post #5938597

this one is depicting my great-gran-son , Khane's family. I'm not happy with it, so will be doing some remaking of figures. They are easy to replace, as they are attached with fish line.

Thumbnail by gardnrathrt
Click the image for an enlarged view.

jcoats123
Payson, AZ
(Zone 7a)

December 29, 2008
7:01 AM

Post #5938615

Hey, those are really neat. Bet they have good sound to them, like the colors, snazzy, Dude!
JoAnne
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

December 29, 2008
1:05 PM

Post #5938968

The first two sets are very nice. The third one the glaze doesn't seem right. It is hard to tell from a photo, but a guess would be that it is on to thick.

Ima, you have been busy. It must be great to see the end of the project in sight. What will you do next?

I can't remember the name of the book right now either.

imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

December 29, 2008
5:39 PM

Post #5939977

j, I like your wind chimes! I used to do a lot of them for gifts. I like your "twisties"!

zen, I may be retiring in Feb. My company is laying off, and they knew I wanted to retire in September, so I think they might give me a severance package and I can retire early. If that happens, I have a TON of projects to work on. A couple of big things we were going to have done we will need to do ourselves (finishing our Saltillo floors inside the house, and remodeling our bathroom).

I want to get back to throwing---and I'm very interested in making some ollas for the garden:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1434/#discuss. I will probably start taking ceramics classes again, too. I want to learn throw-and-coil technique to make bigger pots; I've tried it in the past, but not successfully. I've got molds I haven't poured in years, so I might get back to a little low-fire work. Also there's a great horticulture program at one of the nearby community colleges...
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

January 8, 2009
7:22 PM

Post #5982122

For anyone watching this thread who hasn't already seen this, we're trying to get a new forum started on DG called "Kiln-Fired Arts (clay, glass, etc.)".

If you support the idea of the new forum, please post in the attached link:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/940870/

You cannot post until you register and login.


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