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beginner woodie questions: mass repo

updated sun 17 feb 08


primalmommy on sat 16 feb 08

Thanks to all who offered on and off list. I have folders by category,
by my printer, so I print-and-stuff...

Tony: Don't sweat it, friend. Most of the pots for my show are destined
for the gas kiln. I'm like my dad with his savings accounts... he only
plays the stock market with what he can afford to lose.

The way I see it, I have until the first week in June to have my way
with two atmospheric kilns, and see how much I can learn. Up until grad
school, my options were to show up at somebody else's
wood-firing-in-progress for a weekend, have a pot or two inside, and
help stoke... even the week long or two week woodie workshops wouldn't
give me the hands-on experience of planning, wadding, loading, stoking
and calling the shots -- or the "try-it-again-that-way-next-time"

The first week in March, I'll be coming home from Florida, but the hubby
and kids will be staying on with my folks. That means I have a week of
no fam, no homeschooling, no piano lesosns and orthodontist
appointments, no obligations on the home front whatsoever. My plan is to
stay at school, fill and fire the salt by myself early in the week --
with nothing much else to do but tend the burners, and
load/stack/wad/restack the wood kiln a stone's throw away (and take lots
of notes about what went where.) I'll head back to Toledo to feed the
cats and teach at the guild Wednesday night, then head back so Patrick
and I can start cranking on the wood kiln.

Thanks, all, for the feedback on slip. I can't seem to wrap my head
around where slip leaves off and glaze begins. I think of slip as an
opaque clay layer. The formulas I have mixed up seem to range from
glaze-ish in composition to practically kiln wash. I can't picture how
they'll behave.

I have had conflicting answers on thick to thin, but I think I am
missing an important factor: greenware, leather hard, or bisque? When
Dannon says "throwable thick" I assume she's talking about putting it on
wet clay.. folks who say "very thin or it will pop off" might be putting
it on bisque? I guess I'll find out!

Out of all these variables I hope to find a winner.. then I'll make a
kiln load of it for next time and see what I can make it do.

And another question in here: soot. I have read that a good coat of soot
on pots in the very beginning will trap the flyash. Patrick and I burned
leaves, straw, and somebody's old Christmas tree last time while
"candling" and got a good black furry dusting on the pots. Somebody
recently told me that's pointless. Any opinions?

As for job search stuff... maybe it's a bad plan, but I am mostly
concentrating on my show right now. I'm working on a resume and
portfolio, some, but I'm on a roll and some of my best pots are next
week's. "Everybody" says there are no jobs to be had, but I have a
different read on stuff like that.

Partly it's a "stuff happens the way it's supposed to" philosophy... but
mostly I just don't pay much attention to negative predictions. When
people say "you'll never be able to ______________ " I mostly hear, "I
was never able to". I've heard plenty of predictions of failure from
folks telling me not to bother (cloth diapering, homeschooling,
beekeeping, going back to school...) When somebody says, "I could
never", I believe them. When somebody says, "I wouldn't do it if I were
you", I smile and think, "but you're not me".

Anyway a nice lady looking for teachers for a new clay center came to
Ypsi and bought Patrick and I lunch, today... and we haven't even
graduated yet ;0p

OK, I can still make a few glaze test canteens before bed!
Thanks again for the help, all. The archives are great but I like to be
able to connect a person with an opinion.

Kelly in Ohio...where it's in the teens and my guys are sleeping in the
woods in the snow without a tent. Go figure.