Friday, February 12, 2010

Your Wish Is My Command

Ann Nonymous asked me if I would post a short video showing how I do the vine/handles on my pumpkins. Well, as it happens, I'm in the midst of catching up on pumpkin things. Breeze says that this is nowhere near as exciting as yet another dog blog, but he understands the need to talk pottery from time to time. So here's a short from this morning's handling.

Here's a bonus. My hobby -- guitar. Here's a short once-through, clams and all, of one of my favorites to play -- Moonlight in Vermont....


  1. beautiful rendition of moonlight in vermont... makes me think of ella fitzgerald and louie armstrong. i wonder if you're a fan of tommy emmanuel? the demos are great. i noticed that the spinning of the banding wheel is where the magic happens.

  2. John--you're wonderful for sharing that with us. You're a magician! Thank you so much.

    I made up your Millring Red and Green and Shaner's orange. None of mine turned out on the test tiles like yours do on your pots. The Red ran like mud and guck on porcelain brown stoneware and Laguna Bmix--all cone 10. I could get a nice orange on a brown stoneware but it was gritty looking and not orange on the B mix and porc. The Millring Green came out looking more like Cushing Green but brighter on the porcelain, B Mix and brown stoneware but not your green at all.

    They were fired in a gas reduction kiln.

    What is your reduction schedule?

    I have more questions but really appreciate your taking the time to help me.

    Yes, thank you also for the Moonlight In Vermont performance. Very mellow and calming and well done.

    pmcelmer at aol dot

  3. Jim,

    Emmanuel is amazing. Many guitar players have burned their guitars after seeing him play. And you're right -- it's the banding wheel that does the work on those handles.


    If I was to guess (without seeing it) the millring red glaze was possibly too thick. I use a specific gravity hydrometer. When it's bobbing in the glaze, it reads no thicker than "40". And I don't leave the piece under too long.

    I can tell you that the glaze has some sort of conflict that I've yet to figure out with B-mix. The B-mix has too much organic matter that wants to bubble to the surface. No amount of slowing it down or bisque firing hight takes care of the problem.

    That glaze used to have Cornwall Stone in it and the problem was even worse.

    But if you slow the firing down and have the glaze over porcelain (my favs are either Coleman's or Turner's), the glaze is amazing.

    I've seen a similarity in the Cushing Green. I think the color and surface are similar. The Millring should be a bit more dimpled in surface. I use it at a "45" hydrometer reading.

    My reduction schedule has changed over the years. What I'm doing now is at cone 010 I reduce so that I can see blue flame backing out of every opening. After and hour, I open the damper just a bit, but always have blue-turning-to-green flame coming out of every opening all the way through the firing. I don't do any more reduction beyond that.

    I am definitely old school when it comes to reading cones -- a cone designates temperature AND time. It should take about an hour for each of the upper end cones to drop. If you are going to hurry a firing, hurry it through an earlier stage.

    Hope this helps.

  4. I enjoyed watching the handle pulling and the music—such talent!