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Topics - rbogle

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Events and Workshops / Mid-Atlantic Clay Conference - Oct 2019
« on: April 04, 2019, 08:55:14 AM »
Here's the link to the upcoming Mid-Atlantic Clay Conference in Front Royal, VA in Oct:

Nice relaxing time to learn and just hang out with a bunch of clay folks.

Pottery Pictures / Mel's Black Shino Teapots
« on: November 22, 2017, 10:14:03 AM »
A couple pics of Mel's Black Shino Pots

Pottery Pictures / Naked Raku Pictures
« on: November 22, 2017, 10:09:22 AM »
Here's pics of some recent Naked Raku pieces

General Discussion / Injection mold pictures
« on: October 08, 2016, 03:18:33 PM »
Pics from on Clayart

injection mold that made the template (The Tech department made it--very cool.)

Dear Clayart:

These two images are related to the video "Big Pots"
that I posted on Clayart a week or so ago. Link to video:

The silvery metal one is a photo of the injection mold
making machine that creates the plastic trapezoidal
dies for cutting the clay pieces to make "Big Pots".

The white plastic trapezoid photo is a close up view of the

I just wanted to show you what went into making the
template--lots of work (and experience) by the EMU
Technology department.  Thanks!


Tools and Equipment / Cutoff Wire Picture
« on: July 10, 2016, 12:38:30 PM »
Posting this on behalf of Mel Jacobson.....

Education and Teaching / Pit Firing Guide
« on: August 29, 2015, 12:06:35 PM »

The attached guide contains the basic information required to do barrel/pit firings. It's not intended to be a comprehensive guide, but should provide sufficient information to get started with this firing technique.  Other more comprehensive books are listed in the Other Resources of the guide.

Enjoy, have fun, be safe.  Please post pics of your pieces if you try this and please feel free to ask questions and I'll help if i can.


Pottery Pictures / Work Samples - Ray Bogle
« on: August 14, 2015, 09:38:40 AM » of the nice things about the forum is the ability to add pics.  I thought I'd post a few pics of some of my work so you could see the types of things I do.  Would be great to see a few pics of everyone's work!

For many years I've worked with various "Alternative Firing Techniques" such as raku, pit fire, and saggar.  About 1yr ago I built a gas kiln and now enjoy making stoneware cups/bowls.

Also included a short video showing the final step of Naked Raku firing where all the glaze jumps off the pot :) 
Note: To view the video click on the "IMG_1533-Medium.mp4" link below the last thumbnail

Firing / Kilns / Pit Firing
« on: August 05, 2015, 10:56:35 AM »
Attached are a couple of pics from a recent pit firing. I enjoy this technique as it quite easy and can be done even in the strictest of neighborhoods....if you can have a small contained fire pit you can pit fire.  There's very little smoke and the amount of flame can be easily controlled.  In the coming weeks I'm going to post a "Pit Fire for Newbies" guide on this forum that will have all the information needed to give it a try.

Events and Workshops / Mid-Atlantic Clay Conference 1-4 Oct, 2015
« on: August 01, 2015, 09:02:47 AM »
If you live anywhere near Front Royal, VA you might want to consider coming to the Mid-Atlantic Clay conference on 1-4 Oct.  It's an awesome location offering lots of time to relax and hang out with a bunch of clay folks.

Here's the link:

General Discussion / Pizza Stone
« on: July 31, 2015, 07:46:09 PM »
I glazed the pizza stone I made. I wanted to be able to completely clean the stone after using. As for unglazed….. King Arthur Flour Baker’s Store offers pizza stones and advice. KAF says to put a piece of parchment paper on the stone, then put the pizza on top of the parchment paper. It’s kind of a drag when you have to chip your pizza off of a pizza stone. The point of the stone is to supply even heat to the bottom of the pizza.

While we’re on the subject. Alton Brown (Food Network) says to have unglazed tiles in your oven to help hold the heat. The idea being, if you preheat the oven - which you need to do if you are baking something - as soon as you open the oven door to put the raw baked good into the oven, all the heat comes out and the temperature in the oven drops dramatically. The tiles don’t lose heat (or very little heat is lost) when the oven door is opened. And so I went and made myself a nice slab of ^10, used my stamps to make moderate texture, and glazed it. Works great. I glazed it because I wanted to be able to wash the slab when food went exploring in the oven. Food does that sometimes.

Deb Thuman

General Discussion / Beach Sand
« on: July 31, 2015, 07:43:51 PM »
no, most beach sands are not silica, they are sea shells, calcium.  (ocean)

the best sand for pottery is commercial silica sand.
it has sharp edges and works as aggregate.  and it is clean.
home depot etc will have several kinds.
i never use play sand...dirty as can be.
and, you have no idea what it is??

the sand from the mid-east deserts are round.  perfect spheres.
they never use it for building.
like the snow of Antarctica...perfect marbles.
years of blowing in wind...rolling along the floor of the land.

i shipped 200 lbs of minnesota silica sand to dubai when i taught
there.  it was a god send.  i mixed it with local clay to make a very
nice local body we fired to cone 1.

Glazes / Glazing / Shino Recipe - Gustin Crawl Shino
« on: July 31, 2015, 07:39:20 PM »
Gustin Crawl Shino cone 10

45.0 Nepheline Syenite
10.8 F-4 Feldspar
15.2 Spodumene
10.0 EPK
15.0 Ball Clay
4.0 Soda ash

Usage Policies / Usage Policy
« on: July 31, 2015, 07:25:46 PM »
To help you gain the most from Clayart, please read and follow the rules and guidelines below.

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4. Links to personal blogs/homepages are allowed in member profiles and signatures. Sharing of links to helpful and relevant web sites and resources is encouraged.

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6. Ignore bothersome members. If someone on the forum bothers you just ignore their posts.

7. Report posts that violate the rules by selecting the "Report to Moderator" at the top right corner of the post.

8. Please welcome new members. the same questions are asked repeatedly from year to year. Please do not discourage people from asking questions that are in the archives, because new answers to old questions often contain information not found in the archives.

9. Use descriptive titles for new posts. Avoid "generic" post subjects like "Help" or "Question".

10. Members that do not abide by the rules may be banned from further access to this Clayart Forum

User Guide / User Guide
« on: July 31, 2015, 08:18:45 AM »
The attached User Guide provides new users with information / instructions about most of the common forum functions.

General Discussion / sensible solutions
« on: July 30, 2015, 08:50:53 AM »
it has been fun going over my notes and looking at the
plans from jim mckinnell.  early 60's.  (see my facebook page.)

he made things so simple...non-complex.

he stressed that you make the kiln to fit your needs.
it can be a top loader, front loader, arch, lid beams
or brick beams.  he talked about using a big set of kiln shelves
for the roof.  then insulating the shelves with earth etc.

i know for sure, that he jogged something in my brain about
simplicity.  it is just a box, fill it with heat and let it cool.

there were so many rules at the time..bag walls, arch roof only,
a certain size and shape that would let the heat move.(total bs)..and the
worst rule of all...huge flu...that was in the 80 sq inch mode.

so many of those kiln plans were worthless.  huge stacks, huge
outlet of heat and don't even think of the waste of was
crazy.  long firing schedules that again are worthless.  long pre
heat that is jt abernathy, jim had a feel for kilns.
sort of understood what the problem was, and how to solve it.
it amazes me today how i was by accident,  put in the wave length
of both of stuck with me.

it was sheer accident that i found the mckinnell plans...and, i to this
day, do not know from were they came.  nils was a huge fan of
jt.  so, jt ideas flowed to me from nils.  it sort of came together for
me.  my first garage gas kiln worked like a charm.  it was a perfect
8 hour kiln.  about 30 squares...and it had a 40 sq inch flu.
by accident.  and, i still think that accident had a big affect on
nils...he just could not understand how my kiln worked with such
a small flu.  then he experimented and it worked for him as well.
(industry used a much smaller flu than potters and that seemed
to make it all come together for nils in his writing.)

anyway, my brain is in high gear.  lots of things and people make us
who we are.  i was a very lucky boy.
( i did call nan mckinnell after jim died.  i told her how much
he meant to me, even though we had not met in person.  she
was very thankful that i called....she too felt that jim never got
the credit for early softbrick kilns...and, she was correct. )
there were a lot of big mouths that took credit for almost everything.
but, the way of the world.

General Discussion / slave to your clay - mel
« on: July 29, 2015, 10:26:08 AM »
if you pick a certain commercial clay body as your basic every day
body...well, you become a slave to that body.  it will only
do so much, it will have limits, it will not do all, all the time.

it is one of the problems of `ready made` clay.
in fact there is another problem, in most cases you
do not even know what is in the body...secret of the

it is why i always encourage serious potters/artists to buy
a pug mill.  (it is not a frill, and as you age it will pay for
itself a thousand you never throw away clay...ever.
(and time saving, work saving tools are never frills.)

listening to the problems of warping porcelain sort of is the reason
i am writing this post.

if i had that body to work with, and was going to make
big platters...well, the first thing i would do is open the body
a bit.  a clean small particle sized silica sand would be added.
it would still be porcelain, but much easier to work with.  and
there are some very nice porcelain grogs can be used that
would enhance the workability of the clay.

it sure could be wedged in, or slam and cut layers with
added sand, but a pug mill would make fast work of it.

i had a lot of scrap around the studio, plus a trailer full
from the farm and hay, made a lot of throwing
clay the last two days.

it was a mixture of cone 10 clays.  even some industrial clay
that tim brought in his truck.  it is all basic stoneware.
mixed in will be an ideal stoneware.
i add silica sand, fine grog, ochre, and lake superior sand.
after a few hours it is my standard speckled body.  no one
could even guess that it is not my standard...that is my standard.
mixed multi stoneware clays.  and, as i say a thousand
is `my` clay body...not some clay companies body.

porcelain clay is just hard to work with.  it takes practice, patients
and knowledge of timing.  it is slow to work with.

sushi plates are often a slab system pot.  i sure would not throw a
sushi platter...i would roll out the clay, cut it into a rectangle and
make a slight roll to it, and add four feet, or a cross slab lift system.
let the bottom of the slab rest on the table and leave it unglazed.
it would take 15 minutes to make a nice platter...and it would fire
like a dream.
why fight the system.  let the clay do what it wants.
it makes the fight much easier.

Firing / Kilns / relay replacement question
« on: March 24, 2015, 03:45:21 PM »

Pottery Pictures / Tea bowls #3 from Mel Jacobson
« on: March 19, 2015, 06:14:46 PM »
Excellent examples of Chawan

Pottery Pictures / More tea bowls - Mel Jacobson
« on: March 19, 2015, 06:13:43 PM »
More tea bowl pics from Mel Jabocson

Pottery Pictures / Tea Bowl Pics - Mel Jacobson
« on: March 19, 2015, 06:12:11 PM »
Here's some tea bowl pics sent from Mel Jacobson

General Discussion / Cute Story
« on: March 19, 2015, 05:06:15 PM »

we took in my mother in law because she was so ill, only
had a month to live.
she lived with us for `15` years.
don't predict.

anyway...while with us:
she said.
`my first radio was a crystal set and the antenna wire went to
my metal springs of my bed, we had one of the first
phones, we had a zenith radio during ww2, tv was new,   i saw a b17 then i rode on
a boing 747 to japan`.
she saw the first cell phones and in her life time...did
 emails and wrote on a computer.  she would have
loved the ipad.  she died at 93.  she saw the entire modern
electronic age evolve in front of her eyes.
she saw the social changes and lived it.

she had cataract surgery at 90 and wound up with
20/20 vision for her last three years.  amazing.

she donated her body to the UofM med school.
and i told her...`hell mom, you always wanted to go
to med school...` she laughed out loud.
no fear.  one wonders if anyone will have seen more
change in life than she did.  she was alive when
the wright brothers flew the first plane, she saw the
first ford car...the first refrigerator... she had ice delivered
three days a week.she saw it all.

she felt blessed to have been a part of it.

from: minnetonka, mn
new book:

General Discussion / Mel's love of science
« on: March 19, 2015, 05:01:36 PM »
i would not be alive today if it was not for
modern medical science.  my heart procedure
was beyond hi tech.  i went home the next day.
i could have walked to my room after six hours of
surgery.  no pain.  easy.

i have two new shoulders, 100% repaired.
i am throwing 20 lb bowls like i was 25 years old with
no pain.

my prostate cancer was `cured` with a technique
of freezing the tumor.  it was a few hours in the hospital.
the same cancer killed my brother.

my ipad mini three is one of the most amazing tools i have
ever held in my hands.  the picture quality is stunning.
and, how does it know what page i am on in my kindle????
i open my kindle page on my mini and it is on the same page
as my kindle that i just read one hundred pages on..

the camera is world class.
my iphone is a miracle.  i can travel the world and
call home every day. clear as a bell.  instant.

and, just for new 20 volt drill/hammer drives a four inch
screw into a board in seconds.  the battery will last for
many hours.  just think of the science of batteries..amazing.
and, you can all add to the list.  500 times.

my new paragon small kiln just fired a perfect bisque with my scheduled timing
and shuts down by itself.   perfect.

my point today was very metaphorical.  it is odd how
the world forgets what is was like 40 years ago.
or what we were told as fact.  it changes every day.
'robot horses that are almost real.  and few realize how
much is made with robots..

but, we have to keep our minds open, look for new ideas
in your own work.  try things and observe.  join the modern world,
don't reject it.

as steve jobs says so well.  `don't think of yourself as stupid, and
important people have all the might be surprised
how dumb important people can be`  (sorta what he said.)
but, i always encourage people to find their own intelligence.  become
competent...with yourself.

from: minnetonka, mn

Firing / Kilns / Kiln elements making black dust
« on: March 19, 2015, 05:00:11 PM »
Fred Paget wrote:    "I measured the grooves' length with a piece of rope
and stretched the closed coil to the correct length and installed it in the
test kiln. It fired fine and I had used it  a few times, when I noticed a
black dust was being made  from the element, It is a very fine black dust
and it is coming from the element. It stained some small kiln posts a blue
black color and is building up on the small Advancer sample I have on the
bottom of the kiln. I have not noticed it on the ware."

Firing / Kilns / Bag Walls
« on: March 19, 2015, 04:57:26 PM »
LL the old ALPINE gas kilns we had at California College of Arts & Crafts, now called Cal, College of The Arts, in Oakland and now in San Francisco too, had bag walls. Two forced air burners on each side of the door with target bricks half way in, and kiln shelves that slid into slots in the back wall acted as shields for the ware at the bottom. Of course that was when Alpine's had a double arch. The old days for sure.

Mike Gordon

General Discussion / Left - Right
« on: March 19, 2015, 04:54:27 PM »
Do the lefties here put their handles on the left or right side of mugs? 

*                       JIM BROWN*

*          Brown's Pottery Hiddenite*

*  "Making handmade pottery . . . *

*                                                . . . since the 1700's"  *
                   *   386 479-4515*
*   <>*

Glazes / Glazing / Glaze SG Question
« on: March 19, 2015, 04:52:21 PM »
> I have a small amount of soda ash solution resolves the gelling of the
> gertsley borate.
> Bill
> ---- David Lyons via Clayart <> wrote:
> =============
> My observation is that I too get "pudding" with GB in my glaze recipes
> especially the longer they sit in the bucket.  If I add water, that
> addition affects the final glaze results compared to a fresh batch.  I just
> purchased a 50 lb bag (that I have not weighed yet) and wonder how I can
> counteract the thickening over time?  I like the recipes and would like to
> have consistent results from glaze load to glaze load.
> Dave Lyons

Tools and Equipment / Tools and such...
« on: March 19, 2015, 04:46:01 PM »
Mel said: i was left handed so the written part of any pencil was upside down
Huh????? Handedness doesn't matter, the pencil can be turned written side up or written side down no matter the handedness of the pencil holder. Did I miss the joke?

Tools... what is needed? Me? I have a box full of tools. I still grab the nearest handy thing to measure the height of the pot. Mugs are the height of the textured part of the needle tool. The tape measure is in the box. Jim cut up a sheet of dry wall and made me nice square pieces with duct tape around the edge so I have something to put my pots on while they dry. I have the formulas for plates, platters, bowls written on one of the squares. Plates: 9" circle, two coils up, two coils out. When I made a pizza stone from mica clay, I used one of the squares as a template for the stone. Perfect pizza size. Yes, I do use the dry wall squares for drying clay. Jim made sure to make them the perfect size for tiles. Square, tiles, square, tiles - repeat as necessary and end with a square.

I've trained myself to put ideas in a sketchbook rather than on the backs of envelopes. What with e-mail and all there aren't as many envelopes as there used to be.

I stopped at the Starbucks drive through yesterday after court. Got a large hot chai. When I removed the cardboard insulator thingy from the cup..... the ideas started. I can use that for a template. I can make the template as tall or as short as I want. Oh, look..... I can take the cup apart for a template. I think the lid would make a good size circle for the bottom of a bowl. Or maybe it would work for the bottom of a soup mug. Maybe.... I'm working with ^6 and there's more shrinkage than when I work with ^04.   But the cup.... I might like a mug that size and shape. With a template, I can roll on the texture while the slab is flat then try really hard not to smoosh the texture when I join the edges. That reminds me... I wanted to make texture rolls. I like the rolls in the store, but I want something that puts MY designs on the slab. Hmmmm.... how deep to make the texture so that the funky glazes I have will pool in the texture and do cool things. If I take a piece of clay and write my initials in it - I use Hebrew letters for my initials - I can use that piece to make a piece with raised initials going in the proper direction. Then I can use that piece to press my initials into the bottoms of my pieces.

I need something to put on top of the empty crust in the pie plate so the crust doesn't warp when I blind bake it. If I measure the bottom of the pie plate (reminds me, I want to make some pie plates), I can make a slab that will fit inside the plate and on top of the crust and keep the crust where it's supposed to be when I blind bake the crust. What about quiche? Do I want a deeper or shallower pie plate for quiche? Let's see.... 9" circle Jim made which allows for 10% shrinkage. Coil up to the height of the wooden rib Jim made me. Put handles on the sides? Put a rim on top? Handles. I cut them as long as the handle on the fetling knife. My swirly handles suck. I make C-shaped handles. Reminds me... I need to make a texture roll the width of a handle I like. Handles... wide as the texture roll, length of the handle of the fetling knife, applied to mugs the height of the textured part of the handle of the needle tool.

Hey Mel... you ever use a left handed hammer?

Deb Thuman
I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.   Golda Meir

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Materials / Materials
« on: March 19, 2015, 04:40:31 PM »
Here it is:

I have some questions about materials we have in inventory
at school that have been on the shelf for more than 20 years.
I wonder if anyone uses these things anymore, and how and why?

Here is the list:

Barium Sulfate
Iron Sulfate
Crocus Martis (Iron sulfate?)
Cobalt Sulfate
Granular Manganese
Granular Ilmenite

Frit 417D  What is it??

Frit TV48P (P might mean Plumbic--"lead")?
This one is so old it was shipped in a fiber bag.

I know the granular things used to be added to bodies for speckles.

If anyone wants any of these materials, please let me know.



Education and Teaching / Video - Tour of Mel Jacobson's Studio
« on: March 18, 2015, 10:07:17 PM »
Here's a link to a youtube video of Mel Jacobson's studio:

Glazes / Glazing / Shino Recipe - Shaner Shino
« on: March 18, 2015, 03:25:49 PM »
Here's a shino glaze recipe:

Shaner's Shino
Cone 10 redux

Nepheline Syenite 38.61
Spodumene 29.70
Kaolin 4.95
Ball Clay 16.83
Bentonite 1.98
Soda Ash 7.92

Firing / Kilns / Neebie Question - Firing a kiln??
« on: March 18, 2015, 02:06:50 PM »
This is a test question about kilns.....I just got a new electric kiln and want to know how to fire it?

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