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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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M

I took a ceramics class in school many years ago and really liked working in that medium. For those of you who dabble in ceramics now, what do you need to get started?

I am guessing that I would need a wheel to create a cylinder (i.e. mug). What is the next step? Do you try and mold the cylinder or do you carve the entire thing out of a block of clay?

Are there public facilities where you can get your items fired or do you need to purchase a kiln?

Is there a craft supply chain store where you can purchase wet clay etc?

T

Can I put in an order for one of your mugs now?

M

Thanks for your vote of confidence Tiki-Bot but I probably should see if I got da skills to pay da bills first.

I seem to do better in 3 dimensional mediums. I tried painting and it just doesn't come out the way I expect.

M

Check with local artists. Someone is bound to have one.


[ Edited by: MTKahuna on 2003-08-07 14:52 ]

I've been meaning to ask for some mug advice myself...
15 years ago, my mom sold her 1950's HUGE kiln at a moving sale. At the time I didn't think much of it. Then after years of collecting mugs, I thought it might be fun to make each of my friends their own personal mug for when they are over. Damn, the kiln was gone. But I bought a house 8 months ago and guess what the previous owner left me?!?! A brand new, shiney kiln! It can't be more than 5 years old- complete with instruction manual. The owner moved to Hawaii and couldn't take it with her... Any advice out there on where to begin?
-Z

They are all slipcast. Poured into molds.

S
seamus posted on Thu, Aug 7, 2003 9:04 PM

There is a ceramic supply dealer in Portland OR called Georgies ( http://www.georgies.com ) who do a lot of internet sales and mail order. They have everything you need for slip casting. I have been looking for a good book on the basics. I'd take a class on it if I were you. It will open up a whole new world of possibilities...

Monkeyman, get yourself into a class now! You wont regret it. Even if you don't make tiki items, it's still a lot of fun.

I also was doing ceramics when I was a kid and just started to take it up again. In these past posts part 1 and part 2 and now part 3! you can see what I've done. On almost all of them, I throw on a wheel. Lately thats all I'm doing and getting into the carving style. I had tried to make the cylinder style mug you were talking about, and crushing it into a tiki form, I failed but I want to try again.

There has to be a ceramic studio you can join, or you can check a high school that offers adult classes. The studio I work at is through a class, but we dont hve to follow the schedule. I also get to use the studio on Thurs. and Sat. during their open studio times. I'm able to get alot done.

As kilns go, the studio uses gas and goes to cone 10. (that's usually the hottest temp for most clay) so the glazes need to be able to go to cone 10, and the colors arn't the bright colors we've all grown to love on our mugs. There are electric and gas kilns that use lower temps.

Johnnie

[ Edited by: johnnievelour on 2003-08-08 01:53 ]

[ Edited by: johnnievelour on 2003-08-08 03:44 ]

M

Coincidentally I've been thinking about doing this myself for quite a while now. A couple of months ago I did a little research on places in the San Diego area that teach ceramics classes. It turns out that the same place where I once took some computer classes also teaches art classes, including ceramics. The best part about it is the classes are FREE!!! Of course you will have to buy your own materials. Despite the fact that these are free classes, the instructors are top-notch (well, the computer instructors were anyway). If you're not interested in classes I believe they also offer a self study program where you can basically just do whatever you want...including using their kilns.

I'm definitely going to do this sooner or later. If you're interested I'll try to get more details...

ModMana :drink:

JohnnieV---- Are you using a clay that fires black? Or is that a surface treatment (slip, glaze, stain, whatever)?
I would be very careful about that stuff. Ask someone the chemistry behind that black clay. I myself would hesitate throw with a clay which has elevated levels og Manganese, cobalt or any other metal besides iron.

If it is a reduction firing, it may not be safe to eat from.

However, those bowls in the other threads looked awesome! Keep up the good work.

(sorry, MM. I addressed the wrong person originally)

[ Edited by: Saint-Thomas on 2003-08-08 14:57 ]

MonkeyMan-

It can be cheaper than you think. If you trust your carving skills, you can use anything to make a model. Clay is easiest. Wax would also work well. Hell, even wood, but if you're going to turn wood, you may as well get a potter's wheel.

Keep in mind that it doesn't necessarily need to be round....

Get a book on moldmaking or take a class.
Check out Ebay for used kilns, or find your local community art center and have them fire for you. If you get a kiln: it is extremely important to have it professionally installed, and you must learn how to use it. Some of these babies pull 70 amps and that's just the large size hobby ones.

Mold making is simple if you are careful with your measuements and are patient.
Good luck. Anyone feel free to ask me questions.

Check out the library. If your local library doesn't have any books on slipcasting, look for books on resin casting. You make the molds the same way, you just use slip instead of resin to cast.

If your library doesn't have any books on either, look for clay coil ceramics; this's sort of a cheap-o version of throwing on a potter's wheel. you could then carve or build-up the mug into a tiki before having it dried or kilned. If you just want the mug to look at, or to make a mold, try Sculpey(R)or other polymer clay.

If your local library doesn't have any books on any of these subjects, ask about the electronic card catalog for their related libraries & have books that look interesting shipped to you via interlibrary loan.

On 2003-08-08 14:56, Saint-Thomas wrote:
JohnnieV---- Are you using a clay that fires black? Or is that a surface treatment (slip, glaze, stain, whatever)?
I would be very careful about that stuff. Ask someone the chemistry behind that black clay. I myself would hesitate throw with a clay which has elevated levels og Manganese, cobalt or any other metal besides iron.

ST- The clay has iron in it. It starts out as a redish, color then, after the glaze fireing, it turns black. All the clays, stains and glazes I use are all OK for use with food and drink. I like my stuff to be art with a function.

M

JohnnyV,
Your ceramics a F*@king amazing. Those are some of the coolest pieces that I have seen in a long time. They are very authentic and traditional looking.

Polynesians used to make circular bowls out of a red type of clay,(I saw a documentary on it), etch paterns into the sides of the bowls by using various pieces of jagged bamboo, and then fire them in an flamin firepit.

Your work reminds me of the bowls from that documentary.

great stuff.... any for sale or trade?

[i]On 2003-08-13 15:35, johnnievelour wrote I like my stuff to be art with a function.

Amen to that! Keep up the good work

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