Friday, November 2, 2012

September 9, 2012

 REMINDER:The "Clay Network Christmas-Holiday Show" will be held Dec 8, 2012 from 10am-5pm located at the Sydney McKenna Gallery 5 Inlet Pl St. Augustine Fl

for map directions go to

Our September 2012 meeting was hosted by A.J. at Wild Ginger Studio in Green Cove Springs.

The Network continues to display at various Libraries around Northeast Florida. Our last display of the year is at the North Mandarin Library on Kori Rd.

Library displays will begin again in February. Please adhere to the following guidelines when packing your display items. Please do not use newspaper. Newspaper print is not only messy for the coordinators of the display, but can also be transferred to a white piece of pottery. Bubble wrap is preferred; however, any paper without ink is acceptable.
Please be sure your piece fits completely into the box in which you transport your piece on. The box should be able to close completely. Opened boxes are very difficult to transport, please avoid their use. Be sure to label your box with your name, and description of the piece(s) that are to go into that box. Continue to provide a business card for each piece you display as your pieces will most likely not be displayed together. Please be aware that new cards may be needed if your piece has been traveling with the library for awhile.

Clay Network will once again be participating in the Empty Bowls Program, scheduled for November 13, 2012. Please bring any pieces you wish to donate to the next meeting. If you cannot attend the meeting, you may also drop them your pieces off at Wild Ginger, Atlantic Pottery or Dixie Pottery in St Augustine or contact Mary M., the event coordinator.

Our Holiday Show will be at the McKenna Gallery on December 8, 2012. Be sure to tell all your friends to do their holiday shopping at the show. More detailed information to come.

Membership Tips, Tools, Techniques and Tidbits:

Vina suggested using Silica Sand (AKA Play Sand), available at hardware stores to use in place of stilts when firing flat pieces. Pour the sand on your kiln shelf and smooth out evenly before placing the piece in your kiln.
Be sure to remove all sand after use.

Lisa W. displayed plastic disposable cake/platter tray covers, available from grocery stores, as quick and easy, temporary covers for a piece. These generally come in round and rectangle forms.

Ron W. presented “Feeling the Potter’s Touch”
Ron is a master potter with over 50 years of pottery experience. He earned his BS and MS degrees Western Kentucky University. After graduating with his M.S., Ron established the Ceramics Program at FSCJ in 1968 where he worked for approximately 35 years until he retired.
Ron shared many stories from his experiences and workshops he attended nationally and internationally. His work is greatly influences by Japanese potter, Toshiko Takaezu, as well as potters Louis Snyder from Tennessee and Henry Lee who was at Ohio State University.
Ron’s philosophy is to make the surface treatment of a piece “HIS”.
Ron demonstrated throwing on the wheel as well as pinch pots and provided us with much information and tips as follows:

Clay: Clay with age has more plasticity and therefore is more workable:
Grog: Clay with more grog makes it easier to make bigger pieces. Many times, he wedges additional grog into his clay to establish the consistency he desires to work with.
Centering: Always use one firm hand and be sure to start and release with slow even pressure. (And Pray! )
Finger Use: Use fingers for forming thin, small pieces and knuckles for forming thicker and larger pieces.
Opening: Ron demonstrated his particular method of opening. He uses his thumb for smaller bowls and his palm for larger bowls.
S-Cracks: Will not only form if you do not compress the bottom of your piece, but will also form, if you do not trim properly.
Bottom rim: Be sure all you functional pieces have a rim as this rim acts as a shock absorber.
Bisque Fire: Ron believes that different clays require different temperatures of bisque firing. The clays he uses seem to work best at 07 firings.
Pinch Pot Exercise: Even though no two pinch pots are alike, a good practice exercise is to try to get the diameter and the height the same in many pinch pots. Another exercise is to see how thin you can get the walls and still have it stand up.
Pinch Pot Dimension: To get dimension in your pinch pot, keep the pot on its side while working. Keep the pads of your fingers on the side of the pot and work from the bottom to the top as you continue to turn the pot. It also helps to turn the top down a bit. Do NOT pinch hard!
Above all else: Keep It Simple!