Update on the not actually mythical studio .

I am told that every post should have an eyecatching illustration but here is actual information instead . On Saturday am my partner drove me to a potter’s studio 13 miles outside York where we live . She had emailed via Northern Potters that she was having to sell up due to ill health and had indicated some of the stuff available . I rang up and arranged to go and have a look . I then spent some time researching prices – both 1st and 2nd hand – online . I decided that I was not interested in her kilns which only fired to 1100 deg C and 1250 deg C – it is always advised to have a kiln that will go higher than your usual temperature – but that I was very interested in her slabroller and in any hand tools . In my experience you can never have too many – and it still rankled that I had lost one of my favourites at the Leeds College of Art class when throwing on the wheel .

In the event we couldn’t find it despite an address including postcode and a damn’ satnav ! And I didn’t bring her tel. No – how daft can you be ? Now Google think my password is insecure because I tried to retrieve the relevant email via my partner’s mobile . On the other hand it was pretty countryside and sunny .

In the event it has concentrated my mind on the minimum I need to get a studio operational again . I plan to buy a new kiln – a toploader like my last one but bigger . Toploaders are usually built in cylindrical form or sometimes with an oval cross-section . They are very thermally efficient partly because they only open at the top and partly because without corners they are less prone to cool spots . I also tend to make rounded rather than squared off shapes – even with slabs – so that makes them easier to pack . They are often recommended for ‘lady potters’ but then I am short ! I also looked at slabrollers .

This is a tabletop model . It is a bit like a mangle if you imagine only one roller and a base for it to roll on rather than 2 rollers . The clay is flattened for later cutting into tiles , draping on moulds , or partial drying before assembly like cardboard . I thought I would roll everything by hand with guide sticks but it is a bit of a killer if you have to do a lot of clay at once . I’ve asked my son if he could make one for less than the £640 being asked for the above . If not I will just have to do some weight training……. As to hand tools I do wish I had gone to the workshop on making your own while still at Harrogate College !


About rukshanaafia

Ceramic & textile artist
This entry was posted in ceramics, other artists, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Update on the not actually mythical studio .

  1. Kathy Bergen says:

    I have been wanting you to be able to get a new and good kiln since I’ve known you…that is what is needed. I work with much smaller pieces of clay and wouldn’t use this device….but I do use a big roller pin for larger pieces I want flat and a smaller rolling pin (for dolls, really) for smaller pieces. I find tools in many forms….but there are a few that I could not work without. I hope all goes well and you get what you need!

  2. rukshanaafia says:

    Indeed potters also find tools in many forms and from many places . Such as from the kitchen , from standard toolboxes , from looking down at the ground and picking up useful stones and twigs – and Donald even gave me his Biology dissecting kit when I was working with porcelain . All are useful for something ! The tool I lost was a strip tool and quite expensive because the metal shaped loop on it was non-rusting and very sharp .

  3. SonniQ says:

    What it takes sometimes to do your craft, no matter what it is, is a long labor of love. I tend to take on more than is human possible for one person to do and then try to figure out how to not have to sleep to get it all done. Learning to make things – like pottery and other art seems like it would be very satisfying, having something tangible in your hands when you are done. On a side note, since you went to my post about the stores I opened,( yet have much to do yet) – I changed the store front – twice. Since you saw the last one would you go back to the post – I put up a new photo and tell me what you think? I opened the store on facebook and also at ecwid. That is is site you might be interested in if you put your art up for sale online. If you have ten or less items it is free and you could put a link on your blog. Just a thought. It’s already morning for you. Have a great day!

  4. rukshanaafia says:

    I was going to reply at once and look what ‘at once’ has become ! I used to go to ballet classes in primary school & sang in choirs at 2ndary school . As an adult I went to contemporary dance classes for a few years . I remember an interesting discussion with the teacher about the difference between tangible artwork and that which is performed . It hadn’t occurred to me before that a complete performance is also over ie it no longer exists (altho’ it may be recorded in some way of course) . I’m not sure that a completed 3-d work is satisfying exactly . Once all the stages are over there is usually relief – followed by (in my case) worry about where I can store it and wistful hope that I can sell the bloody thing ! The best bit of making is during when it really is ‘working out’ . I don’t plan very much so that the design largely happens in the making . I used to be more visually bound but for some time I have been more aware of the (physical) feeling of the piece I am after . My dance teacher pointed out my use of visual rhythms which I hadn’t thought of either . I’d be interested to hear yr take on the difference between performing arts and ‘made’ arts – usually called visual but performance is visual too , of course . And since you improvise yr music what difference is there between yr experience of playing it and hearing it played back ?

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