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porcelain, videos and pug mills/thanks

updated thu 1 jun 06


Jennifer Smith on wed 31 may 06

On May 28, 2006, at 10:31 AM, Vince Pitelka wrote:

> Porcelain and whiteware bodies don't work with mild steel pugmill
> barrels,

> ... the porcelain that was in direct contact with the mild steel
> barrel, shaft, blades, and helixes would go some sort of chemical
> reaction with the steel and would turn blue-gray and become rock-hard.

After you posted this it jogged my memory and I now remember the
previous "mild steel" post. Thank you. When I was in school one of
my jobs was to recycle the clay using our Peter Pugger. At that
time I loved all things clay and didn't mind scraping out the pugmill
from time to time. I actually thought it was fun. Now just the
thought of it makes my back hurt. Let alone removing unusable rock
hard chunks of clay that I've actually spent my own money on!

On May 28, 2006, at 2:36 AM, David Beumee wrote:
> I'll be producing many videos in the future for the book that I'm
> writing, including a video on the subtle art of throwing porcelain.
> Sorry I don't have it ready for you now. Your suggestion of the
> value of unconscious content is fascinating. I'll think about that
> one very carefully.

Keep us posted about your videos.
"Subtle art of throwing porcelain" is right. I think it would be a
valuable video to have. Potters who are used to throwing porcelain
probably forget what a change it is from using clay of a different
consistency. Years ago I changed to throwing (my stoneware) with a
lot of water to save my wrists. Not something you can do with
porcelain. So I had to change. I was also trying to get away from
needing to trim so much so I would be using my time more
efficiently. At this point with porcelain I need to throw thicker
and trim down to keep the bottoms from cracking. As I gain more
experience with this type of clay I will find my own happy medium but
right now learning what others do is giving me an arsenal of
techniques to try. The time I get in the studio is in spurts since I
have young kids so anything I can do to even slightly lessen the
learning curve is a big help.
As far as unconscious content I think a lot of us visual people learn
a lot that way and maybe don't realize it right away ourselves. Very
often something (timing, the way you lean over the wheel, when,
exactly you slightly squeeze water from the sponge) that you have
done a million times and therefore don't notice it and don't think to
tell someone is the aha! moment for the person watching and learning
from you.


Who is living in NC right now but fondly remembering that wondrous
time when living in Joseph, Oregon and driving up the Rattlesnake to
Lewiston, Idaho. Totally freaked out by the icy,twisty, narrow
road, speeding lane-wandering logging trucks, and lack of guard
rails. Wished I had known of Michael Wendt at the time, I would have
stopped by.