Posts made in June, 2012


Posted by on Jun 29, 2012 in About Me, Inspiration | 0 comments

I have been taking workshops for several years.  And, since 2009, Julie and I have been attending week-long workshops.  One was hosted in Asheville and two were sponsored by Arrowmont.  All of them helped me technically; but more than that, they provided fuel for inspiration that I still draw from. This year, we are not attending a workshop.  It was a multi-faceted decision due to timing, topics, and prior commitments.  Although it was a bit of a disappointment, an unexpected trip with Jeff has provided a lot of inspiration for me in a different way. Jeff had a training class in NJ so we expanded the trip to include a visit to NYC, stopover in Boston, and jaunt up to Portland.  It has been so great.  We saw some plays, ate in fabulous restaurants, wandered through several museums, and took lots of photos.  Basically we were unabashed tourists. While we’ve been traveling, I began to think about how much travel has changed.  I made a few hotel reservations on-line (no travel agent necessary), did a few searches on the net for city passes (no AAA necessary), grabbed a credit card and ATM card (no traveler’s checks (did anyone ever use them?)), plugged the addresses in the GPS (no maps), used several apps like Yelp to find restaurants whenever we were ready to eat (no travel books needed), took pictures with my IPad and phone (not limited to 24 photos per roll), and called home whenever I wanted from my cell (no calling cards).  Have I dated myself? But these are mostly logistics.  What has really changed is me.  I have traveled a lot and in many different ways.  But, since I have become a potter, I notice different things and see things from an alternative perspective.  The most obvious change is how interesting I find all those pots and pot shards.  Even though I always wanted to be a potter, I never found such museum exhibits interesting.  But now, I can’t get through such displays without marveling at how surface decoration and shape were important for as long as there have been pots.  There is a wealth of inspiration in historical pots. I also notice colors, graphic designs, patterns, and textures in a myriad of places and wonder how I can translate them to a pot. Then there are all the lovely and engaging things on display or on stage or on a plate – all thrill me and make me ache to contribute something beautiful to the world.  So much inspiration and still so many days until I get back into the...

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Goals revised

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in About Me, Mugs, Multiples | 0 comments

I enjoy making multiples (as any reader of this blog already knows).  I find it challenging and satisfying.  So when we found out that we would be attending Bele Chere in July, I began making mugs. I love to make mugs and having a set goal really motivates me.  I had intended to make 75 mugs by the end of June; and, I was on target until I got the opportunity to take an unexpected trip.  As soon as I confirmed the trip, I increased the number of mugs I was making at a time (usually I make 5 per session).  I think I finished about 60 mugs; most of them have been bisqued and some have been glazed. Although June isn’t over, I am done with mugs for the month.  I am glad that I got several done and I am really excited about the trip to NYC and Boston.  It is good to have goals but sometimes it is good to revise...

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Our symbol

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Parnter | 0 comments

How a potter marks her pots is a big decision.  At first, I wrote my name on the bottoms; but, when I saw a co-worker using one of the mugs I made with my name on it, it felt out of place.  So, I began using my initials. But, when Julie and I began to work together, our pots became more collaborative so we decided to use a joint signature.  It was a funny coincidence when we both suggested the Japanese symbol for friend. And, on this day, I celebrate my friend.  Happy...

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Pottery Rx – Bisqueware and Glazeware

Posted by on Jun 19, 2012 in Repair | 0 comments

Bisqueware Once a pot has been bisque-fired, it is still vulnerable to damage.  But, many bisque pots can be repaired successfully. Sharp/rough spots (check where you have signed the pot, this is often sharp) Gently sand or dremmel the area Wipe with a damp sponge and allow to dry before glazing Wax mishaps Use the heat gun to burn off the wax Scrap or sand the area  then wipe with a dry-damp sponge Re-fire the pot Cracks around attachments Fill with APT puddy if necessary and  wipe excess off Re-fire the pot   Glazeware Repairing glazed pots can be done successfully especially in an electric kiln.  Some glazes don’t object to being re-fired; however, however, some are more sensitive and will pit or bubble when re-fired.  Here are some repair tips: Glaze issues Mix a little APT into a small amount of glaze or use glaze Heat the entire pot using the heat gun – it should be too hot to touch Paint the glaze onto the pot – it is usually best to cover the entire pot Dry the glaze with the heat gun Add extra glaze to the damaged areas and dry with the heat gun Re-fire the pot Re- attachments – on horizontal surfaces (feet or knobs) can often be re-attached; re-attachments on vertical surfaces are rarely successful. Make a puddy of glaze and APT Add glaze to the broken attachment and its connection point Add the attachment and connect to the pot Re-fire the pot This is the final installment of first aid for pots.  As a bonus, I have compiled all of the tips in a flyer (click here) for your...

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Pottery Rx – Bone Dry

Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in How-to, Repair | 0 comments

As potters, we should embrace the Hippocratic oath to first do no harm.  This means to avoid damaging your pots.  When your pots are bone dry, they are the most vulnerable to damage so it is best to avoid moving them so transport them prior to the bone dry stage. Although, the success rate for repairing bone dry ware is much lower than repairing pots at other stages, some injuries can be repaired.  Here are some suggestions to help increase your successes. Cracks around attachments Use a wooden tool to burnish the area around the attachment that is cracking Fill with APT puddy if necessary and dry slowly Re- attachments Make a puddy of slip and APT Add the mixture to the attachment site Add the attachment and connect to the pot Dry very slowly and check periodically Once bisque-fired, you may need to GENTLY sand away any extra...

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