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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Ceramics Palace's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
2:36 pm
Yomuni cups
Yomuni cups

Starting a long life as a potter in the sixties, absorbing Leach, Zen and the East,( though never in reality getting up to now nearer than Thailand,) the philosophy behind the idea of a Yumoni cup, beaker, what you will, immediately appealed to me. Not a ceremonial tea-bowl, but the cup you chose to drink your tea from every morning; the idea to build a relationship with a bit of pottery until it became an intimate part of yourself!
Much as I admire some of the older pots I've seen, I don't aspire to call my productions Yumoni, but rather inspired by them and the idea of them.
So far I've gone through, or rather, let evolve, many different forms, but always with the same amount of clay for some years; very recently I've jumped it up a few ounces. But maybe that'll give me too much tea? We'll see.
What, then, is my thinking in all this : the pot must be pleasant to handle - touch, very important with any useful pot; beauty (may I use that word?) of glaze and unglazed parts; ease of use. But also, and I think the most important , the ease of drinking; does the lip turn in, making drinking your tea uncomfotable ? Does it splay out too far, making the tea come at you like high-tide ? Or does the lip fit just under your lip? All about touch again.
Does the pot catch you in an unthinking early morning moment staring at it, seeing the subtile glaze, the cold heat of the fired clay? Or does it look like a misshapen clod? For all my wordiness here, this experience is without words.

But really what I think I"m after is something very, very simple: a cup that's comfortable in the hand - or two hands if they're cold; a generous lip and some unglazed parts around the foot to allow admiration of the coarse beauty of a hand-prepared clay, fired at high temperature. Sounds simple, doesn't it, but so hard to achieve!
A too timid curve of the wall; a too generous lip; a glaze not fully developed, all these and others, can eliminate many pots from the high standard I believe I'm looking for.
With each batch I'm trying at least one thing differently. One or two of the best of them get tried for my morning tea. This can go on for some days, but eventually they get put on the reject heap or put among the best (up until now) and I can get back again to my own cup.
Perhaps many would say they thought another was better. It is just a cup, of corse, but for me it's the one I know best and love.

Monday, December 12th, 2016
11:10 am
December Sun

This is my second attempt to catch the way the low December sun catches pots on a table on my terrace.

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
12:14 pm
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
11:44 am
My Book

I've now put my book up in Lulu.comin an Epub format, as well as .pdf for those who want to print. Unlike the .pdf version, however, now all the hyperlinks work as they did on the DVD some years ago.



Here's part of the introduction:

As the title is intended to indicate, this book is about how a potter can use a little geological knowledge to help him find his materials around him and also perhaps deepen what he may already know about his clay and glazes. It might also point him towards an understanding of, and possibly cures to, problems he may have. This is based on my personal experience--all those heartbreaks and joys I've had over the years.

Saturday, October 31st, 2009
4:16 pm
Hello all, this is my first post here and I hope it's appropriate for your community. I have a set of ceramic mugs from the late 70s. They do not appear to be handthrown (too uniform) but are handpainted under a clear glaze. I inherited them from my grandparents so there is a great amount of sentimental value. Several of them have hairline fractures, and one has begun leaking from its fractures, so there's a high chance that the others will eventually develop leaks. I would like to be able to continue using them if possible. Is there any sort of food-safe sealant I could use on the inside of the mugs, to prevent leaks and possibly even strengthen the ceramic? Failing that, I'll put them on a shelf as display, but I'd rather be able to keep using them if possible.

Thanks for ANY advice you can give me. In the meanwhile, a picture of one of my own pieces:

Friday, October 30th, 2009
9:02 am
Glaze Firing

Firing started at 7.30 am and finished at 6.30pm. This kiln uses pre-heated forced air and so is able to fast-burn large pieces of wood.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
6:24 pm
Wood fired bisque

Jon watching the kiln at the beginning. more under hereCollapse )

Friday, July 24th, 2009
5:02 pm
Glaze Firing 3/4

in fact the third firing came out better than expected, but there were quite some oxidised or underfired. Today did the fourth and final firing and all went according to plan. Firing done in eight hours, cone 9 orton down, 10 bending - half-hour soak. Unpack late tomorrow, using the rest of the day preparing to go camping in the Vermont on Sunday, for a week, with no internet - will he survive??.

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
8:15 am
30th June 09

Not so much done today except turning a few pots, drying the new wild clay and inspecting the new (first firing) gas kiln - the far-side one. We'll be doing the bisque firing in the electric one as soon as the pots are dry. Today off to buy more clay and perhaps some equipment.
(See my blog for earlier episodes http://ericrovve.livejournal.com )

Monday, June 1st, 2009
4:29 pm
Glaze-firing results

The plates were glazed using the 100%, 80mesh Glauconite at 1290C°+/- reduction and, now I've got it thick enough, makes an interesting glaze. It takes a while to settle so to take off surplus water; hence my glazing too thinly last time. Also works well using it outside bowls and cylinders, with the standard woodash glaze on the inside. A close-up under the cutCollapse )

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
2:50 pm
Kiln unload

Unloaded kiln this morning. All came out well except the 100% glauconite glaze was too thin as expected, but OK when just on the outside. This tea-pot of improved design makes tea pouring a two finger exercise instead of fist and wrist. Pleased with them. Unglazed fired clay a good speckled toast colour--under hereCollapse )

Friday, April 3rd, 2009
6:55 pm
Clay & Stuff
For those who like to do things for themselves:-

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
2:14 pm
If the Ukrainian is unclear: it is a handmade potter's wheel, so-called shl'onskiy circle with a mobile ax. My first experience of reconstruction of a potter's wheel. Without bearings, in place of the overhead bearing is a horse-hook with a leather loop-inhaling (oiled ), in place of the lower bearing is a thorn. Fly-wheel - two layer of boards. A minimum of money( screws only), work for 15 hours(with coffee-breaks), our protest to the electro-besom and German machine-tool. On the book of O. Poshivaylo.
(Excuse me for my English)
Если непонятен украинский: это - самодельный гончарный круг, т.н. шльонский круг с подвижной осью. Мой первый опыт реконструкции круга. Без подшипников и высоких технологий, вместо верхнего подшипника - конек-крючок с кожаной петлей-затяжкой (смазывается маслом), вместо нижнего подшипника - шип, упертый в железяку. Маховик - два слоя досок. Минимум денег(на шурупы), работы на 15 часов(с кофе и перекурами), наш ответ электровенику и немецкому станку. По книге О. Пошивайло.
Майже реконструкція! Жодного підшипника! Такий, чи подібний, гончарний круг може зробити кожний, хто має бажання та натхнення, не використовуючи коштовних матеріалів та сучасних технологій.Цей гончарний круг був зібраний десь за 15 годин роботи з різноманітного дерев’яного мотлоху, що я знайшов на техподвір’ї школи, де я маю доробок.
Веретено кріпиться під верхняком, вставляючись в коника (дерев’яний гак) і притягується шкіряною стрічкою. Веретено і стрічка змащуються олією чи салом. Запість опорного підшипника використовується шип, що вколочується як опора в веретено. Шип спирається на яку-небудь умовно параболічну залізяку чи камінець ( ще підкладають клаптик шкіри з салом – для змащування). Для маси спідняка вистачило двох шарів дошок 2,5 см. Діаметр мого спідняка – 90 см (можливо і менше). Випробовування пройшов успішно – тільки інколи потрібно перевіряти вертикаль веретена (рівнем чи ниткою).
Ця система називається „шлонський” круг – з рухомою віссю. Зроблено за публікацією О. Пошивайла, довгих літ йому.
Monday, October 8th, 2007
9:55 pm
восстановительная керамика
Фото очередной джезвы восстановительного обжига. Обжиг муфельный. Топливо - стулья и солярка. Выдерживает открытое пламя, на боку - тюркский орнамент, выполнен медной глазурью. Мотив очень напоминает "вазоны" Подiлля, где его использовали как мотив настенной росписи, да и в вышивке он встречается; Мировое Дерево, представшее в образе стилизованой женщины , воздевшей руки в жесте адорации. Друзья - татары, Абдюль и Рустем, объяснили несколько по-другому: цветок-треугольник, вершиной вниз, это - отец Тенгри, цветок в основании - это мать Умай, бутоны роз по бокам - это дочери, кипарис-ствол - это мужчина, мировая ось этого космоса.
Теперь пьем кофе с кардамоном и Мировым Деревом, простите за модернизм.
Friday, August 31st, 2007
3:44 am
До Вашоi уваги надаеться одна з наших публiкацiй "Горнчарська справа"

Gorncharska-sprava1_1.jpg Gorncharska-sprava1_2.jpg Gorncharska-sprava1_3.jpg Gorncharska-sprava1_4.jpg Gorncharska-sprava1_5.jpg Gorncharska-sprava1_6.jpg
гончарська справаCollapse )
Monday, August 7th, 2006
4:15 pm
I know nothing about ceramics but I figured this was a good place to ask for help with my lil project.

so, here's my problem...

i bought these ceramic skull tea light holders a while back for crazy cheap. I've got about 30 of them. I've sanded and painted 6 so far and they turned out really awesome (gave them to a friend for a wedding gift and she looooved em)

but my problem is... the baked on ceramic clear coating is a BITCH to sand off. after sanding away at 6 of them my Dremil sanding bits were toast. This coating is insanely hard! So I was wondering if there's any sort of chemical stripper that I might be able to use to remove it instead of having to spend 45 mins minimum sanding each candle holder. I'd end up going through a dozen sanding bits to get all 30 of them done! It'd be great if I could drop em in a bucket of some toxic junk and pick em out all stripped and ready to be painted.

my brother offered up some stripper he used on his car and it did nothing at all. it seems like battery acid wouldn't even tarnish this stuff!

any tips? PLEASE!
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005
4:14 pm
Does that sound like the sound of relaxation?
I made it. I handed in my folio!!!!!
But the research never stops, Im taking the rest of the week off uni then going back on Monday. Its like, I pick up momentum towards the end of semester and just start getting down a road, then its over. I'm obsessed, maybe, coz no one else is around our dept if I want to be comparative. But then Im not really interested in just getting a degree, I'm in love, with Shino at the moment, and why rest when the excitement is high and the juices are flowing?
Im testing more shinos on Tuesday, using under slips and oxide, I wonder what I will find.....cant go wrong really....every wrong is a great lesson ceramics...or an extraordinary discovery! Anyway shino's pretty safe, if I dont over flux it, its a whole bunch of undesirable ceramic effects! What an awesome para-dime something so amazingly beautiful and desirable can come from a whole bunch of effects that just can not be excepted for other glazes. I wish I could be like that.
Sunday, November 20th, 2005
9:42 pm
Im doing some research into Shino glazes...have not got the results Im looking for but then I dont have access to a wood kiln...

Does anyone have any recipes suitable for Gas kilns..or even some firing techniques in gas that can bring out some good effects? Ive been using almost 50% 'neph sye' seems to be working better than a higher percentage of feldspar
please keep in mind im an aussie the american recipes dont often work with our minerals in my experience...

I would be interested in some interesting info about shino, ie history, tea bowl ceremonies etc..ive been searching the net...but like to hear more...

back to the wheel!

Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, November 8th, 2005
10:49 pm
yeah i think im finally getting there, end of semester that is!!!!
I only have two more firings, and an essay, and two research assignments!!! I hope!
I tested a cone 10 reduction today it only took 9 hours, ide never done it that quickly in that kiln, usually 12hours firing time..which seems such as waste for three tiny tiles...
I think i got a little too brave with one of my series, using cobalt ox wash, im afraid that its going to be too bright, so ive been sanding like crazy to take some of it off...i think i may subdue it a little with some black iron ox, just to be safe, and stick to my personal character!
Then I have to boil bars of fired clay for two hours, to test the water absorbtion...tedious...tables, maths...i guess its all relevent but it seems to get in the way for what i really want to do...
I also did a black firing today...in a kiln, and oh my lordy...we had oil anf flames every where... I was trying to fill in gaps where the burners went with fire clay and then whoh there's flames coming out two other holes, scary business!!! Id like to try it the way that the primitives did it...or as the south americans still do...it seems safer and less toxic...
I cant wait to start throwing again! I just cant seem to do it while there are distractions...Now that it is end of semester most of the little mighty mites will be off for thier holiday adventures!!!woohoo that leaves the studio nice and quiet for the people who want to get work done!!! and frees up the knowledgeable people for advice...Im going to keep going till christmas (hopefully get some xmas pressies made), then i go back a month early a get a good start!! Well its head down for the next few days!

Current Mood: hyper
Tuesday, November 1st, 2005
9:01 pm
Me Today
well today i did not get to uni till after 11am.
i was only there for five minutes when I dropped one of my final folio pieces, which is due on monday!!!!!
freak ouuttttttttt!!!
first I cryed then I drank chamomile tea...as someone said I needed to slow down a bit. Seven years in ceramic and this is only the second piece broken, both this year. The last one was my fibonaci shell that someone else broke putting it into a bisque kiln...
This time Im gluing back together like some archelogical piece that has been escavated from the depths of my soul...it was my baby Babushka doll, now she's like the shattered innner child at the core of all the bigger barbushka's...maybe its a message...or something like that...
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