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subject: looking for roulettes, brayers, wood blocks

updated thu 20 apr 06

 

Ivor and Olive Lewis on tue 11 apr 06


Dear Person at "shaw pottery",
I whole heartedly agree with Vince Pitelka. I have always felt anyone =
who is serious about our art and craft should be responsible for =
inventing their own designs and making their own tools whenever it is =
possible to do so.
Though I have not read his book, I believe Vince gives instructions for =
making the articles you require using the most simple tools and =
elementary skills. Another other comprehensive source of instruction is =
the recently republished text of Philip Whitford and Gordon Wong, =
"Handmade Potter's Tools" ISBN 0-9733565-0-2 which was reviewed recently =
in Ceramics Technical, Ceramic Monthly and Ceramics Review.
Hope you are successful one way or the other.
Best regards,
Ivor Lewis.
Redhill,
South Australia.

Steve Slatin on tue 11 apr 06


Jeanie --

I agree that a commercially made stamp that
exists in large number may carry freight with it,
as will a 'found' object that when used is
recognizable for what it is. The interesting
thing about many found objects is that they are
not recognizable for what they are when used.
(When I did cast jewelery, I used heated shells
to impress patterns on the wax, 'rolling' them
over cylinders to make rings and such. No one
ever guessed that I was using shells for the
ornamentation.)

And one-of-a-kind stamps, even if purchased,
presumably have no overhead of meaning.

-- Steve S


--- Jeanie Silver
wrote:

> I'd like to move this discussion from the
> 'making your own stamps/tools
> makes you a real potter' and 'I can't/won't
> learn how to carve/draw but I'm
> still a real potter 'continuum to something a
> little more interesting .

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Steve Slatin on tue 11 apr 06


Ivor, Vince --

Guys, if you're new to a technique, it makes lots
more sense to buy an exemplar and use it, see
what works and how, and whether you like the
result than it does to take up a whole new craft
just to make a tool.

And if a commercially available stamp can be used
creatively and to a unique result, what's wrong
(or unartistic) about that? I know a potter (Hi,
Andi!) who uses barrettes and napkin rings and
things like that as stamps, and gets great
results from it.

The 'make your own' thing can be quite an
obsession, but it's not invariably productive. I
spent $15 on stamps at NCECA and got enough
hand-made wooden stamps to experiment for months.
Buying burrs to cut the wood with, getting a
good vise, mounting it, getting some good wood
and cutting it to the rough form and then
trimming out the pattern would, together, take
more than $15 and many hours. And my first few
tries would probably be total junk. The next
couple dozen would be poor-to-fair. If I kept
at it, at the end of a week, I'd hope to be
making some nice stamps.

But suppose I try it and I find I don't like
stamped decorative effects that much?
Who has a week to give up? Not me!

It's different for people with decades of
experience and access to a workshop's worth of
good tools ... if I decide I need a pugmill, I'll
buy a good used pugmill. Some people on ClayArt
can build their own, and have the tools to do it
... most of us don't.

I admire the people who make their own tools, but
I do not wish to emulate them (generally -- I do
make my own bamboo cutting tool). There's no
need to look down on people who use commercial
tools, IMO.

-- Steve Slatin



--- Ivor and Olive Lewis
wrote:

> Dear Person at "shaw pottery",
> I whole heartedly agree with Vince Pitelka. I
> have always felt anyone who is serious about
> our art and craft should be responsible for
> inventing their own designs and making their
> own tools whenever it is possible to do so.

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Jeanie Silver on tue 11 apr 06


I'd like to move this discussion from the 'making your own stamps/tools
makes you a real potter' and 'I can't/won't learn how to carve/draw but I'm
still a real potter 'continuum to something a little more interesting . It
is Not Irrelevant how the image is made or from where it is derived.
Storebought roulettes,costume jewelry, the found texture of natural objects
are legitimate methods of image making.Drawing and carving in bisque,
plaster linoleum block or wood are legitimate methods of image making.
But its important to note the differences. In the first case, the
preexisting nature of the image brings with it its own inevitable freight of
meaning, It will always be to some extent a quote-like a scrambled
conversation or a hip-hop performer sampling from other musicians. You can
impress your Grandma' ring in your clay and use it to make a neat pattern.
It will always have a 'background buzz' of additional
meaning-nostalgia,love,the idea using ornament you make ornament...you get
the idea. Art is very specific. We need to think in specifics about it...
Jeanie

Vince Pitelka on tue 11 apr 06


Steve Slatin wrote:
> Guys, if you're new to a technique, it makes lots
> more sense to buy an exemplar and use it, see
> what works and how, and whether you like the
> result than it does to take up a whole new craft
> just to make a tool.
> And if a commercially available stamp can be used
> creatively and to a unique result, what's wrong
> (or unartistic) about that? I know a potter (Hi,
> Andi!) who uses barrettes and napkin rings and
> things like that as stamps, and gets great
> results from it.

Steve -
There's nothing wrong with using appropriated pattern or texture, but that's
what it is - appropriated - it's not original, and the artist accepts
responsibility for that choice. Hey, I've done it too. I bought some of
those Chinese rubber pattern mats, and use them in demos at my handbuilding
workshops, and the patterns have ended up on some of my pieces. But I also
tell the students how they can make their own. Of course it is possible to
create original work using non-original pattern or texture, but why not
invent your own pattern and texture when it is so easy to do so? Making
bisque stamps and rollers (complete explanation in my book) is so easy to
do, and It is habit forming. Once you start, you'll be making them for the
rest of your life, because they are so much fun to make and so satisfying to
use.

You say "The 'make your own' thing can be quite an obsession, but it's not
invariably productive." Yes, it is invariably productive, because you will
learn something from every tool you make, even if it doesn't work. And it
is not an obsession unless it detracts from other things you need to be
doing, and anyone who lets that happen is a poor manager of time. Making
one's own tools is something that can and should be done selectively,
depending on the individual craftspersons abilities and inclinations. But
it so happens that in this case that bisque stamps and rollers are something
that ANYONE can easily make.

With some thought and consideration, the very first bisque stamp or roller
that you make will be a tool that you use for the rest of your life.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111
vpitelka@dtccom.net, wpitelka@tntech.edu
http://iweb.tntech.edu/wpitelka/
http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/

Jim Brooks on wed 12 apr 06


Jeanie, some people are not true purist and find tool and things that are
pre-made to do a great job for them. Although I generally agree with Vince's
idea of making your own tools.. that comes with experience and time in clay.
and isn't for everyone... SO if you want wooden roulettes --already made--
send Amos Tucker of Simflex an email and ask him about his wooden
roulettes.

email is-- AmosTucker@Simflex.com.

There are ready made stamps and all available.. but actually it is fun to
make your own. Good Luck......... Jim in Denton.....

Ivor and Olive Lewis on wed 12 apr 06


Dear Steve Slatin=20

Nothing wrong with either your approach to the subject or your attitude. =
Go for things anyway you wish.

I just sought to point out where information could be found.

Best regards,

Ivor

steve graber on fri 14 apr 06


ivor, this doesn't sound like you!

a tool is a tool, NOT the final product. how we acquire the tools adds to the story of the pot but the final pot stands alone.

some people like to buy a pot with a good story (well, actually A LOT of people like to know the backstory) but the tool just helps the pot happen.

i believe a craftsman makes the best product he possibly can with all the tools he has available to himself - even if it's just his fingers chopped off.... the artist however breaks new ground with truly new tools & techniques. if you're talking of an artist trying to break new ground with existing tools i might agree with you that he'll have a harder time then if he was to make his own tools...

see ya

steve

Ivor and Olive Lewis wrote:
Dear Person at "shaw pottery",
I whole heartedly agree with Vince Pitelka. I have always felt anyone who is serious about our art and craft should be responsible for inventing their own designs and making their own tools whenever it is possible to do so.
Though I have not read his book, I believe Vince gives instructions for making the articles you require using the most simple tools and elementary skills. Another other comprehensive source of instruction is the recently republished text of Philip Whitford and Gordon Wong, "Handmade Potter's Tools" ISBN 0-9733565-0-2 which was reviewed recently in Ceramics Technical, Ceramic Monthly and Ceramics Review.
Hope you are successful one way or the other.
Best regards,
Ivor Lewis.
Redhill,
South Australia.

______________________________________________________________________________
Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org

You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/

Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots@pclink.com.



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Ivor and Olive Lewis on sat 15 apr 06


Dear Steve Graber,

I think somewhere in that note I wrote ".... whenever it is possible to =
do so...." thus leaving the field wide open to everyone to use anything =
and everything that might be available from any source. For many reasons =
"...possible..." is not always an option. So I added some sources of =
information.

For the record, there is a set of attractive commercial roulettes in a =
cupboard somewhere. After some initial trial I never used them again. My =
glazes just did not work with the shallow impressions they gave. They =
were also awkward to use. I have made roulettes from the parts of a =
discarded rotary pencil sharpener. These did wonderful service rolled =
over applied slip on Salt Fired wares, as did a She Oak Cone that I =
drilled. I got a lot of service for a while from metal leather alphabet =
stamps which were used for inscriptions on Port and Wine Jars. Old =
fashioned "John Bull" printing kits are also useful if you wish to put =
inscriptions on pot.

But from time to time when I need a stamp for a particular purpose I =
will make one from clay or carve some Soap Stone....

Good to hear from you.

Best regards,

Ivor=20

steve graber on sun 16 apr 06


ivor - a few of us got together at a friends' house & had a raku party last night. it was fun to see the friend has a small batch of his own roullettes as semi-copies of what i made. we discussed the small differences & how these have an affect on the pots. seemingly small differences in the tools make such a difference in the pots.

i think part of the fun is also that a *made* tool makes you want to make this thing work well, while a bought tool doesn't present as much fun.

i recall years back at work when i designed assembly tools. some tools might be designed perfectly, and sent to the production line in the raw metal, "as machined" state. the assembly women usually would complain or otherwise have reasons why the tool "wasn't right".

we started using in house tool design & fabrication as a way to test out platings we might use in the main products. so when we had a tool blue anodized, and sent to the assembly line, the women would remark "what a pretty tool" and would MAKE that tool work well even if it had design deficiencies...

it's all in the motivation.

raku night's prizes:
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/stevegraber/album?.dir=/570f&.src=ph

see ya

steve



Ivor and Olive Lewis wrote:
Dear Steve Graber,

I think somewhere in that note I wrote ".... whenever it is possible to do so...." thus leaving the field wide open to everyone to use anything and everything that might be available from any source. For many reasons "...possible..." is not always an option. So I added some sources of information.

For the record, there is a set of attractive commercial roulettes in a cupboard somewhere. After some initial trial I never used them again. My glazes just did not work with the shallow impressions they gave. They were also awkward to use. I have made roulettes from the parts of a discarded rotary pencil sharpener. These did wonderful service rolled over applied slip on Salt Fired wares, as did a She Oak Cone that I drilled. I got a lot of service for a while from metal leather alphabet stamps which were used for inscriptions on Port and Wine Jars. Old fashioned "John Bull" printing kits are also useful if you wish to put inscriptions on pot.

But from time to time when I need a stamp for a particular purpose I will make one from clay or carve some Soap Stone....

Good to hear from you.

Best regards,

Ivor

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You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
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steve graber on mon 17 apr 06


i heard barnard pasiley (how's it spelled?) was the 1st to learn how to do investment casting molds & used dead lizards & birds for his early work. people were not too amused by such detail, but technically his work was accurate! i might have the name messed up but the story is accurate - potter's were the 1st to learn how to do investment casting.

i acquired some deer feet for a while thinking they would make good stamps for a deer running across a plate. they sure smelled bad! (fresh from a hunter friend) and i hung them outdoor for a few months. the feet split open (the hoof parts, like toe nails) and the overall idea didn't work for me. they didn't imprint well for me even when they smelled bad so ----

i fired these four feet (bisque fire level) & the resulting bones were fastenating & i passed a bag of deer feet bones to a friend at work who is an MD & told him it was a 3D puzzle he might like...

stamping handles hides a thumb print for me. and insures a really good compression of the handle & pot. the handles NEVER come off...

seed cases light work well if i find just the right kind. even used once & leave it there to burn away. i'm not sure if i can squish a beetle & get much besides mush.

i had the missfortune of having a lizard crawl into one of my bowls outside. i guess he got cooked thru the day. he was certainly beef jerky by the time i saw him later. i wasn't thinking then, but if it happens again i'll use one for a paster mold master. that certainly would be a great way to get a new shape on the walls of bowls & such.

just like barnard!

see ya

steve



Ivor and Olive Lewis wrote:
Dear Steve Graber

Looks as though you had a great party.

I like that finish on the "Faces", Really good lustre.

The bowls are interesting. Using the stamped addition to the strap handles is most effective. Could you imagine making clay stamps by impressing carcases of beetles, seed cases or other natural object to imprint the clay before you bisque fired the tool. For a while I used small dried Seahorses as models for Sprig moulds which were used to decorate mugs.

Thanks for the slide show.

Best regards,

Ivor

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Ivor and Olive Lewis on mon 17 apr 06


Dear Steve Graber=20

Looks as though you had a great party.

I like that finish on the "Faces", Really good lustre.

The bowls are interesting. Using the stamped addition to the strap =
handles is most effective. Could you imagine making clay stamps by =
impressing carcases of beetles, seed cases or other natural object to =
imprint the clay before you bisque fired the tool. For a while I used =
small dried Seahorses as models for Sprig moulds which were used to =
decorate mugs.

Thanks for the slide show.

Best regards,

Ivor

steve graber on tue 18 apr 06


he achieved a level of surface detail no one achieved until then, in any media. today investment casting is good to +/- .005 inch tolerances.

investment casting is a process used across many materials, not just bronze artwork. it referes to the investment of a master piece that likely gets destroyed.

for instance today's rapid prototyping or rapid manufacture of short production run parts will use a plastic part as a master (from a rapid proto machine), to make silicone molds for the copy, and slip-pour polycarbonate into the silicone molds to make fast plastic parts.

see ya

steve


Vince Pitelka wrote:
Steve Graber wrote:

"I heard barnard pasiley (how's it spelled?) was the 1st to learn how to do
investment casting molds & used dead lizards & birds for his early work.
people were not too amused by such detail, but technically his work was
accurate! i might have the name messed up but the story is accurate -
potter's were the 1st to learn how to do investment casting."

Steve -
I don't understand what you are claiming above. The term "investment
casting" is normally a bronze-casting process, and Bernard Pallisy worked in
clay. Do you mean that he took plaster molds off of dead lizards and bugs?
That's certainly true. As for investment casting, Shang dynasty craftsmen
did investment casting around 2500 BC to make ritual bronze wine and food
vessels, but they weren't potters.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111
vpitelka@dtccom.net, wpitelka@tntech.edu
http://iweb.tntech.edu/wpitelka/
http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/

______________________________________________________________________________
Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org

You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/

Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots@pclink.com.



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Vince Pitelka on tue 18 apr 06


Steve Graber wrote:

"I heard barnard pasiley (how's it spelled?) was the 1st to learn how to do
investment casting molds & used dead lizards & birds for his early work.
people were not too amused by such detail, but technically his work was
accurate! i might have the name messed up but the story is accurate -
potter's were the 1st to learn how to do investment casting."

Steve -
I don't understand what you are claiming above. The term "investment
casting" is normally a bronze-casting process, and Bernard Pallisy worked in
clay. Do you mean that he took plaster molds off of dead lizards and bugs?
That's certainly true. As for investment casting, Shang dynasty craftsmen
did investment casting around 2500 BC to make ritual bronze wine and food
vessels, but they weren't potters.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111
vpitelka@dtccom.net, wpitelka@tntech.edu
http://iweb.tntech.edu/wpitelka/
http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/

steve graber on tue 18 apr 06


as luck would have it, i'm still pulling pots out of the back of my kiln from the recent bisquefire. i found a little guy had crawled into a bowl in the back & never got out. he got creamed! he left behind a wonderful skelton! i'll glaze over top & see what i get.

he's about 2 inches long. one pic makes him look like a dinosaur...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25079201@N00/131090277/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25079201@N00/131090278/

see ya

steve

steve graber wrote:
i heard barnard pasiley (how's it spelled?) was the 1st to learn how to do investment casting molds & used dead lizards & birds for his early work. people were not too amused by such detail, but technically his work was accurate! i might have the name messed up but the story is accurate - potter's were the 1st to learn how to do investment casting.

i acquired some deer feet for a while thinking they would make good stamps for a deer running across a plate. they sure smelled bad! (fresh from a hunter friend) and i hung them outdoor for a few months. the feet split open (the hoof parts, like toe nails) and the overall idea didn't work for me. they didn't imprint well for me even when they smelled bad so ----

i fired these four feet (bisque fire level) & the resulting bones were fastenating & i passed a bag of deer feet bones to a friend at work who is an MD & told him it was a 3D puzzle he might like...

stamping handles hides a thumb print for me. and insures a really good compression of the handle & pot. the handles NEVER come off...

seed cases light work well if i find just the right kind. even used once & leave it there to burn away. i'm not sure if i can squish a beetle & get much besides mush.

i had the missfortune of having a lizard crawl into one of my bowls outside. i guess he got cooked thru the day. he was certainly beef jerky by the time i saw him later. i wasn't thinking then, but if it happens again i'll use one for a paster mold master. that certainly would be a great way to get a new shape on the walls of bowls & such.

just like barnard!

see ya

steve




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