Work Days - One way to get projects done and have fun doing them!|
By Janet on October 23, 2010
If you’re like me, you have a lot of items on your To Do list. For the past five years, some friends and I have been able to cross a lot of them off by helping each other with projects one day a month.
Preparing Clay Pots for Winter Weather|
By Janet on September 18, 2010
One of the advantages of living here in California is year-round gardening. But in my area we still have occasional temperatures down to 18 degrees Farenheit, and several months of below-freezing temperatures at night. Many of my large planters contain perennials that need to stay in place year-round, and I've had to figure out ways to help both plants and pots survive winter conditions. Some of the things I've learned may help you, too!
What is “Vitrification”, and Why Should I Care?|
By Janet on June 14, 2010
We container gardeners are always on the prowl for the perfect ceramic pot. We want it to last a long time, and provide a healthy environment for each plant. Of course, one of the most critical elements for container plants is soil moisture retention. You already know that plain terra-cotta pots have to be watered frequently, but that pots with a shiny glazed surface can go longer between waterings. Ever wonder why? It's all determined by the pot's clay chemistry. High-fired stoneware and porcelain clays contain large amounts of silica. When these clay bodies become vitrified (or “mature”), they are no longer porous.
Adventures in Glaze Firing|
By Janet on April 5, 2010
Unloading a glaze kiln is always an adventure! One of the things I hear most from students is, "Why didn't my pot turn out the color I expected?". Here are some variables to consider:
Applying Terra Sigillata and Burnishing|
By Pauline Mitchell on March 20, 2010
Hi, I am Pauline Mitchell here to tell you about my favorite surface for sculpture. I learned to work with clay, specifically sculpture, as an apprentice to a woman sculptor in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. She never uses glaze---only her secret formula. She has never shared it with anyone. I would like to share Terra Sigillata with you as an alternative to glazing.
Electric kiln bisque-firing cycle|
By Janet on March 15, 2010
If you've never fired a kiln before, it can be pretty intimidating. Here are the basic steps for firing a bisque load in an electric kiln.