new member

Hi everyone, i've just set up a work space in my kitchen,and i'm going
to teach myself ceramics im handbuilding untill my fenton wheel
arrives(HA) any tips for a biginner?
Reply to
samantha.dillon
Hi and Welcome! How much of a beginner? Where did your interested evolve from? Where will you be firing? What style of pottery do you like. Have you worked with coils or slabs before? So much to ask - so little bandwidth... :)
It helps to know where you are at to know what to offer. You say you are working in your kitchen. I am going to assume for now that you know nothing.
Don't!!!! put clay down your sink. Get yourself some 5 gallon buckets to clean up in. When the bucket gets too full of clay, let it settle out over night, scoop out the clear water and then deal with the left over clay in one of several ways. You can pour it in the garden in a place that you do composting. You can recycle it (pour it into a recycling bucket where you add clay scraps that have dried out). You can let it dry out and put it in the trash (not a good solution in my way of thinking). Just don't put it down your drain. One of our posters offered a suggestion that I will always be grateful for (one of the Steves - sorry guys - brain freeze). He pours his recycling in the leg of a pair of denim pants that have been tied off and lets it drain and reach the right dryness for wedging. I had some plastic burlap bags that I used from this idea. I simply put the bag in a bucket, add my dry clay (no piece bigger than a small apple), pour water in and when it has soaked over night, pull the bag of clay out, hang it or move it from bucket to bucket until it is drained.
Start saving interesting shapes. For example those Styrofoam containers that meat comes in make nice forms for draping a slab of clay over to make trays for sushi or other dishes. Picture frames at garage sales can make for great forms. In fact, garage sale hunting can be a fun part of the endeavor.
Do a lot of browsing on the web to give yourself something to aim for.
For me two must have links are -
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has great archives for seeking out answers to questions.
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is one of the best resources you can haveBe patient with yourself. In any profession it takes about 7 years of full time work to become professional at the job. That doesn't mean you can't have a hell of a lot of fun between here and there. Besides once you are highly skilled you will look back and wish you had some of the freedom of ignorance you once had. So as with children, enjoy each stage. It only comes once.
And again, welcome!
Donna
Reply to
dkat
Donna gave you so much. My suggestion if you are a real beginner, join a pottery group, or go to night classes, have a look around your area to find out what is available. For a start you will get access to a kiln which means your work can be fired, but you will also have contact with lots of other people interested in clay and learn heaps from them. There is so much to learn. Good luck, and welcome. Annemarie
Reply to
Xtra News
Welcome Samantha,
I will only add that pottery is very like playing the Guitar:
The Guitar is possibly the easiest Instrument in the world to get a nice noise out of, and probably one of the hardest to play really well. So it, like clay, can be greatly enjoyed at ANY level, from total beginner to absolute professional.
It has kept me sane all my life, and will do up to the finish. Then my family will have to decide what to do with all the stuff I've left them. :-)
Steve Bath UK
In article , snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com writes
Reply to
Steve Mills
Hi again, Thank you donna for your email ,how nice of you.Yes I know nothing , i'm working with coils,this is helping me to get a feel and understanding of the clay,it's fab.I've been working with glass(staine glass) for a number of years.But this is not something I can do from home, so I've had to change direction.My aim is to work with clay and glass together,but one step at a time right now it's clay! I know what i'm getting for christmas.........BOOKS, BOOKS and more BOOKS!
SAM
Reply to
samantha.dillon
Hi Annemarie,this is something i've been looking into, and there are a couple of classes that i can join in the new year,this will be good for me because then i can move to another stage the glazes and firing,because there is sooooooooooo much to learn i'm breaking in to stages. thanks sam
Reply to
samantha.dillon
Hi Sam
I am a relative newbie myself - 4 years now. If you only get one book, you have to get Clay: A Studio Handbook by Vince Patelka
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have been reading lots of different books, but this one covers more and explains more than any of the other ones I have. Slab building is great fun. I had the amazing luck to find a used tabletop slab roller for sale. Makes making slabs a dream. But if you are working in your kitchen, it probably wouldn't be practical. Do you have different thickness sticks that you use when you roll the slabs? Remember to roll in different directions - as the clay has a "memory" and will want to go back to that shape a little - which can cause cracks and such.
I totally agree with Donnas advice to keep clay away from your house pipes! It will clog them and you can get a huge plumbing bill!
What are you making with your slabs?
Good thing you are going to take courses. I have had 3 different teachers and have learned different things from each. My present teacher is a real all-rounder and can answer just about any question I have.
Especially now that you are getting a wheel, you should get instruction. Then practice and practice and practice at home. This means a lot of recycling of clay, though, so read up (there are a few threads on this group about it - and also on clayart) and figure out how you will do that.
Welcome to a great group!
Marianne
Reply to
Bubbles
Hi steve, only last night my 9 year old son was saying that he does'ent have to go to his guitar lesson anymore,because he can read the music now.I told him that it's not just been able to read the music that makes you a good guitar player, it's the practice and the love of playing and not giveing up when you find it difficult. O my how this is now going to ring in my ears now when things don't go right, and i want to throw the clay out of the window!
sam.
Reply to
samantha.dillon
Hummmm!
I am cursed with a very good ear and an equally good memory; consequently reading the dots is very hard work!
Steve
In article , snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com writes
Reply to
Steve Mills
Hi Samantha, if you are able to receive and open attachments I could send you some of the stuff (handouts) that I use with my students, it's mostly handbuilding techniques for beginers; send me an email if you are interested and I will respond ASAP. Andy
Reply to
asames
Hi again Samantha,
Iv'e just noticed that my 'user name' has changed to a 'googlemail' , send your email to ( snipped-for-privacy@onetel.net) and not the google address. Andy (AKA plodder)
Reply to
asames
Don't throw it out the window! Just into a collecting bucket! Let it dry - recycle - and repeat! :-)
I am thinking of practicing my turning at my course from now on (we can choose what we want to learn when there - great course - ongoing!) - so that I use my teacher's clay, and I don't have to do all the heavy work of recycling in my teeny little studio at home. Might be an idea for you.
Also - if your son doesn't "get it" from what you say, I BET he will get it from what you do! He will see your pots getting steadily better - and you can compare that to his guitar-playing getting even better :)
Marianne - wishing she hat 48 hours to the day so she could both practice guitar AND pot! But potting comes first!
Reply to
Bubbles
Hi Samantha, I can recomend a good book if you want to check out glass slumping and fusing ( kiln formed glass techniques); I too have been considering work with glass and ceramics and this book has been a God send.
"Techniques of kiln-formed glass" by Kieth Cummings. ISBN -10:0-7136-6120-8 or ISBN- 13:978-0-7136-6120-0
Reply to
plodder
Hi marianne, thank you for your email, there are so many books out there so it's great to get advice on what one's are good.I've been coiling,but this week i'm going to make with slabs,and your right it is a great group! sam.
Reply to
samantha.dillon
Hey again, Sam
You might or might not know this, but when you slab build, try to let the slabs dry to a rather stiff leather-hard - still soft enough to use a tool to intermingle the corners/sides, but stiff enough to stand straight on their own. Makes for a lot less trouble getting things to stay where you want them :-)
Have fun!
Marianne
Reply to
Bubbles
On Mon, 21 Nov 2005 10:24:17 +0100, "Bubbles" wrote:
Another tip that I have found very useful is to use tarpaper (sold as "roofing felt" in building supply stores) as a backing for the slab pieces. You make templates from the tarpaper and after you roll out your slab, you wet the template and roll it right onto the slab. Then use that as a guide to cut out the piece with a very dull pin tool (or even a butter knife, except it has more drag). The tarpaper supports the piece while you pick it up and move it to drying boards, etc.
Better yet, you can do a lot of construction without even waiting for the pieces to stiffen, since the tarpaper adds enough stiffness to hold the slab upright, at least when it is joined to others to form (say) a small box, butter dish lid, etc. You can make mugs from a circle (bottom) and a long strip that you wrap around and join at a seam to make the sides. Having the templates allows you to try things out ahead of time. You can leave the tarpaper on the outside until the work stiffens, then gently peel it off.
Best regards.
Bob Masta dqatechATdaqartaDOTcom D A Q A R T A Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
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Home of DaqGen, the FREEWARE signal generator
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Bob Masta

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