The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic


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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby biglou13 » Mar 27th, '13, 00:55

Thank you the weight descriptions is crystal clear. I'm going to try 600 gms tommorow and weigh again competed.

You also verbalized extemely well the "balance". When i turned bowl over it was like turning on precsion bearings, I turned it few times, it was a quite novel discovery. Handling a studying "real" Chawan has greatly accelerated my learning curve. (My recovery bucket is suddenly much heavier.)

Given there is more intangibles to balance than just center mass. bowls with narrower foot, and narrow bottoms achieve this balance quicker. Cylinder style, slipper, waist, and other styles, the center mass, will inherently be lower, and more so bottomheavy, because mass is greater on bottom vs open mouth top ( less clay).

Do you move towards, a heavier lip, or heavier above center?
Or is the balance rule bent in these styles?
Do you make preliminary judgement of balance/feel at a leather hard or bone dry state?

JBaymore wrote:Attention to the forming of a chawan for actual Chanoyu use is intense...and few "make it". I've been a potter for over 40 years and I get about a 10-20% success rate for saleable ones.


What other characteristics should a new potter work towards for better chawan (and increase success rate)?

Again thanks for your scholarly reply/lesson. I have learned much and will continue to learn from you, from your postings here, and other sites.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby biglou13 » Apr 4th, '13, 21:51

I've seen videos on you tube, of what appear to be tea bows on top of collums. What is this called? Are they functional?
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby JBaymore » Apr 5th, '13, 00:16

biglou13 wrote:What other characteristics should a new potter work towards for better chawan (and increase success rate)?


biglou,

Thanks for the kind words.

To start with.... build up your core basics. Study the formal principles and elements of design. And color theory. Many basic art books cover these subjects. An understanding of these applies to all ceramic work. It can only do you good. It is "foundational".

Some of it depends on the definition of what you mean by "chawan".

There are differences in the criteria standards between a bowl that would be suitable for the casual home user making an occasional bowl of matcha........ and a bowl that a seriously trained chajin (tea person) would want to and be ABLE to use for Chanoyu use.

If you goals are the latter..... then one important aspect of training for making them is to (at least a litle bit) study tea. If you don't "know" Chanoyu and the useage that the bowl must serve (aesthetically as well as functionally), then you are at a disadvantage right from the start.

If you want to make Chanoyu chawan, start working on finding someone to teach you the formal tea ceremony. Learn to do it at least at a "bad" level (because to do it well.... is a lifetime of study :lol: ).

Make literally hundreds and hundreds of (potential) chawan. Fire most. Keep very few.

best,

..............john
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby paul haigh » Apr 13th, '13, 16:10

I'm reminded of the secret to taking a good photo with film- take lots, keep few.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby futurebird » Apr 13th, '13, 22:17

I need some advice from people who know terra-cotta in miniature or accutal yixing clay. I've posted my first tries here:

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17444&p=242038#p242038

what should I aim for on the next few that I make?
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby GreenwoodStudio » Apr 14th, '13, 01:19

Looks like your having some fun, Future!

I'll just offer a couple of suggestions.

Working that small can be a difficult way to learn the basics, you might consider working a little larger while your getting started. You'll find it much more manageable.

Practice making for the sake of experience. Teapots are putting the cart before the horse. Make a good cylinder, throw it away, make a good bowl, throw it away, make simple forms concentrating on making them well, throw them away/recycle them. Once you've learned to make the components well the parts will come together to make a better piece. Don't think in terms of a finished product yet or just use them as glaze tests if you fire them. They'll be a source of a good laugh after you improve.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby GreenwoodStudio » Apr 14th, '13, 01:22

One more thing regarding you damp box question. Check out my kiln partner's video, it's a nice way to keep your work workable indefinitely.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y_f9mV381k&sns=em
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby futurebird » Apr 14th, '13, 11:11

Thanks for the tips. I think I'll make one of those boxes. I can't work much larger just yet since my work surface is a linen napkin taped to the desk... sort of limits how big of a slab I can make. But that should change when my banding wheel and other tools arrive.

Ring now I just have fingers, a plastic spoon, potato masher (wooden) and a knitting needle. (the knitting needle is the ultimate clay tool.)

Any tips on getting the clay more plastic? It's either too wet or it cracks too easily when bent. This may just be the nature of the yixing clay with its high sand content. I'm finding ways to "deal" --

But, with more clay on the way maybe (after I pulverize it and reconstitute it) should I store some for a few months in a dark location after getting it mushy-wet?

Try adding beer? (read that online somewhere)

The videos that I watch, the clay seems more plastic ... not as crumbly.

I will not be glazing anything. But I do need to learn more about smoothing the surface. (for now the plastic spoon is standing in for ox horn)
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby JRS22 » Apr 14th, '13, 11:56

futurebird wrote:Thanks for the tips. I think I'll make one of those boxes. I can't work much larger just yet since my work surface is a linen napkin taped to the desk... sort of limits how big of a slab I can make. But that should change when my banding wheel and other tools arrive.


A good surface for rolling out a clay slab is a piece of heavy unprimed (raw) artist canvas. When you're ready to move on to a surface larger than a linen napkin you can buy a canvas remnant at Utrecht Art. There are no stores in the Bronx but there are several in Manhattan.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby JBaymore » Apr 14th, '13, 11:58

Yixing clay is KNOWN for being VERY difficult to work with. It is NOT very plastic (as you've discovered).

You are learning to drive using a Formula 1 car.... not dad's old Chevy.

Just working with the clay will teach you ....if you listen carefully to it. As was just said....... work on simply making a good precisse, symetrical cylindrical form until that comes easily. Once you can do that, the rest will progress nicely. Slake down and reclaim the "less than successful" efforts.

Yes, wet ageing does improve the workability of any clay body, as does growth of bacteria, molds, and such. The beer trick works, as does adding a tiny bit of baker's yeast. However, you have to store the clay wet a long time to see dramatic improvements in plasticity.

best,

...................john
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby futurebird » Apr 14th, '13, 14:02

Today I worked much more "wet" -- don't worry JRS22 I have a bigger canvass on order. (though I'm a little worried if it is too coarse it will not keep things as smooth)

I think I do need to fire a few of these just to see if they hold up.

I will say one thing about this clay-- it's wonderfully HARD when it air-dries.

This was before I saw the post about not doing full projects. Though I don't have much issue making a clean cylinders or simple geometric forms-- keeping it that way while adding other bits is the issue.

I'm going to try and hold back and just make some cups, maybe with simple feet. Maybe one will be good enough to keep.

Image

Image

Carving out the lid is my favorite part. The lid-fit on this one is pretty snug. I also give it a circular "foot" which I forgot to photograph.

I need to know more about what should be done to the surface of the clay before it is fired.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby futurebird » Apr 18th, '13, 22:14

just making a cup was a bit easier. I'm feeling very happy right now.

http://s9.postimg.org/fsh2t2mmn/poz2222.jpg
http://s9.postimg.org/9di1wefwv/poz2221.jpg

I always feel happy right after making something then when I look at it in the next days I come to hate it and feel like I'll never get it right.

Is this why artists are so "moody" ?
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby JBaymore » Apr 18th, '13, 22:23

futurebird wrote:Is this why artists are so "moody" ?


WHO THE HELL ARE YOU CALLING....... uhhhhhhhh ...........nevermind. :lol:

best,

.....................john
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby JBaymore » Apr 18th, '13, 22:24

Glad the cup thing is feeling better. Make more of them.

best,

...............john
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby futurebird » Apr 19th, '13, 12:35

Ha ha ... I knew it. Moody.

Wow, it's the next day and I still like tis one. It took quite well to the burnishing both inside and out.

I think this will go in the "to be fired" box.

Image

Image

Image

Image

This is after burnishing it.

I guess a good next chalenge would be to make two *identical* cups.

Or maybe even a set of four.

I hope my clay comes in the mail soon thanks for the feedback.
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