Bonsai Pottery Tips

Boondock

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I'm starting this thread for people who would like to share some of their tools, techniques, or pottery tips.

I'll start off....

If joining together pieces requiring miter joints, buy one of these little tools. With practice it will cut near perfect miter joints for straight, flared sides or bottoms of pots. This miter joint cutter cost me $7 bucks and cuts several different angles. Like 60 degrees miters for hexagon pots.




when using it, start at the edge and go about half way into the slab, then remove and start from the opposite corner and meet in the middle. This is prevent the corner from "blowing out"
 
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darrellw

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For making shallow round pots, try the rod-restand method:

http://www.wendtpottery.com/directions.htm

Much easier (for me, at least) than throwing these forms in the traditional method. Basically you throw a flat disk (using a rod to help flatten it), then use a rib to stand up the wall.
 

darrellw

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When making attached feet (extruded or hand formed) make a few extra bits the same thickness. After you attach the feet, use a piece of paper under each foot on top of whatever drying board you are using. Put the extras under the bottom of the pot, with bit of paper between the spacer and the bottom. They will shrink at the same rate as the feet, supporting the bottom from sagging, and the paper will keep them from sticking to the base. The paper under the feet will help them slide as the entire piece shrinks.
 

Boondock

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After you attach the feet, use a piece of paper under each foot on top of whatever drying board you are using. Put the extras under the bottom of the pot, with bit of paper between the spacer and the bottom. They will shrink at the same rate as the feet, supporting the bottom from sagging, and the paper will keep them from sticking to the base. The paper under the feet will help them slide as the entire piece shrinks.

I do this but i use plastic coated wax paper, so it won't get wet and the paper sticks to the clay.
 

ketoi

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I use vinegar slip(scraps of clay mixed with vinegar) to put pieces together, bonds much stronger and faster than the typical water mixture. Better get in the right place though, very hard to move if it's wrong. Even works attaching wet to bone dry.
 

pjkatich

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When it comes time to lay out the feet on a round pot, you can't beat these.

MKM decorating disks - there is one for even numbers and one for odd numbers.

They are also good for laying out your rivet spaces and many other types of detail work.

Cheers,
Paul
 

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Boondock

Shohin
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Paul, those MKM decorating disks are awesome and they reminded me to post something I use to cut my slabs. I use a 3 inch wide plastic see-thru ruler, sold at craft stores and fabric shops. I think they are used by people who make quilts. It makes it so easy to make perfect 90 degree cuts.

 
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When it comes time to lay out the feet on a round pot, you can't beat these.

MKM decorating disks - there is one for even numbers and one for odd numbers.

They are also good for laying out your rivet spaces and many other types of detail work.

Cheers,
Paul

I really find these useful too. I use them for spacing out drainage holes mostly.
 
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BD, great thread.

Where did you get the mitre cutter?
 

Boondock

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BD, great thread.

Where did you get the mitre cutter?

I bought it at my local pottery supply shop (Clay Art Center), but I don't see the miter cutter on their website. You might email them and send a link to this thread so they can see it. If nothing else, the next time I go to the store, I can pick one up for you.
 
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Boon,
Does your 'Omnigrid' quilter's rule have holes throughout? I looked online at different sources, and can't tell by looking.

One can never have too many tools in their ceramic arsenal!:rolleyes:

-Rob
 

Boondock

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lol, it is an omnigrid. This one does not have little holes at the intersection of the inch markers. I have one like that, but it is a square and only 5X5.

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately, but I am working on making some test tiles using oxide washes on the claybody I use. I need to go to the pottery store, and buy some alberta slip, rutile, copper oxide black, cobalt, black and/or yellow iron oxide, etc. Right now I have Manganese Dioxide, Red Iron Oxide, and Crocus Martis. I intend to post pictures of my complete collection of oxide wash test tiles when this project is complete (on a seperate thread).

Once the test tiles project is complete, it will be time to test some glaze and post recipes.
 
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Cool man:)
I too will be experimenting with making some glazes. I am going to try making some simple slip glazes (albany slip, ravenscrag). I will look forward to what turns out!

BTW, what type of scale do you like to use, electronic or triple beam?
 
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Hey, great thread! I may have to head to Ottawa University and start taking classes to make pots to sell!

Chris
 

Boondock

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Hey, great thread! I may have to head to Ottawa University and start taking classes to make pots to sell!Chris

I hope you can be competitive, because I am composing a letter to be sent to the "Head of the Ceramics Department" of every University, State College, Community College, and High School inviting their students to register at this forum and learn about bonsai pots. Sarcasm rules!


BTW, what type of scale do you like to use, electronic or triple beam?
electronic, but I have access to a mechanical scale if I needed to mix in larger quantity
 

Boondock

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Cool man:)
I too will be experimenting with making some glazes. I am going to try making some simple slip glazes (albany slip, ravenscrag). I will look forward to what turns out!

Alberta Slip and rutile make very interesting combo. Go here to see some results and recipe for a simple 80:20 mix of Alberta Slip and Frit 3134 plus a little rutile will produce. Very cool rutile blue.

2,3,4,5% rutile added to a 80:20 mix of Alberta Slip and Frit 3134 at cone 6


Somewhere between 3 and 4 percent has Wisteria written all over it.


Cone 6 variegated blue showing different thicknesses (4% rutile+ 20% frit 3134 in Alberta Slip)
 
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Boon,

That site is where I got the idea to make my own slip glazes.:p
I ran across it two years ago, and I continue to scour the internet for others.

I am currently reading up on the complexities of the tomato reds/iron reds that are produced in ^6 oxidation. I cannot produce these with my current kiln, but here is someone who can: Check out jimpost.us. He has done some awesome things with slow cooled iron glazes.:D

It gets down to one word: KILNAGE:rolleyes:
 

ketoi

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Boon,

That site is where I got the idea to make my own slip glazes.:p
I ran across it two years ago, and I continue to scour the internet for others.

I am currently reading up on the complexities of the tomato reds/iron reds that are produced in ^6 oxidation. I cannot produce these with my current kiln, but here is someone who can: Check out jimpost.us. He has done some awesome things with slow cooled iron glazes.:D

It gets down to one word: KILNAGE:rolleyes:

John Post has some awesome results! These three pots I used the tomato red #13 and juicy fruit, each has different look depending on where it was in the kiln and clay body used







I'm going to do another load this weekend and see what I get. If time allows this afternoon I'll mix up the black nickel JJ variation.

Boon,
I was thinking of giving a few of those recipes a try but since your doing I'll watch you results. So far looks promising!
 
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Ketoi,

I thought that was what you used. They (your pieces) turned out great!

And yes, I am jealous of your KILNAGE (or should I say COOLAGE):p:eek::D


I found an interesting website about iron reds by a guy named Sankey. Here is the site:
www.sankey.ws/glazedata.html

As for calling all community colleges and telling them to register here and sell pottery...
PRICELESS
:eek:
 

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