John Bowers
  • Male
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • United States
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What is your experience with ceramics in general. (Long answer encouraged)
I started in my sophomore year of high school with my love/hate relationship with clay. Drawn to the wheel from the start, I now find myself in my 57th year starting to see that going around in a circle is not all that bad. I received my B.F.A. from he University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, worked for a couple of years doing ornamental plaster after graduation. Moved into carpentry to try and pay the bills. Got married to my collage sweetheart. I was self-employed and ran a crew of 4 and sometimes up to 8 employees. Closed the shop and joined the carpentry union, helped start the Empty Bowls Project in Milwaukee, worked for 14 years as a union carpenter all the while making our empty bowls, birthday presents, Christmas and anniversary gifts. Forced into an early retirement from both a week economy and poor health I found myself needing a purpose. I found out that I had, consciously or subconsciously, set myself up with a clay studio. I own a couple of wheels, 4 electric kilns of various sizes and ages, a slab roller, an extruder and other various tools from my carpentry work that have easily made the transition into the clay world. In fact it is the wood shop/garage that has morphed into the clay studio. I'm still pushing sawdust covered boxes, tools and equipment further and further towards the door. Thank goodness for some common sense. I have acquired from all of this a better understanding of my own voice.
What is your current involvement with electric fired ceramics? (long answer encouraged)
30 years
All our content is viewable by the public. Why do you want to be a member, when you can already see everything as a non-member?
you dudes rock.
Where do you work on your ceramics projects?
home studio
Do you have your own, or participate in other ceramics Websites:
http://jbcpottery.com
How did you find this network?
Link or reference from another site

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Low cost flat lapping disc can be used on you potters wheel if you, drill bat pin holes in it, and provide a trickle of water to cool it. At amazon.com, 120 grit for aggressive material removal. Click the image to purchase 

Members have had great things to say about John Britt's new book, Mid-Range Glazes. Click the image to buy from Amazon.com

Purchase Glazes Cone 6 by Michael Bailey, The Potters Book of Glaze Recipes by Emmanuel Cooper, or Making Marks by Robin Hopper, all available at amazon.comMastering Cone 6 Glazes by John Hesselberth & Ron Roy is now out of print.

Harbor Freight is a great place to find unbeatable prices for better HVLP spray guns with stainless steel parts and serviceable economy models, as well as detail guns, all tested by our members for spraying glazes, as well as compressors to power the guns. As yet no one has tested and commented on the remarkably inexpensive air brushes at harbor freight.

The critter siphon gun is a spray alternative that is well liked by some of our members, and is available at amazon.

Amazon is also a competitive source for photo light tents for shooting professional quality pictures of your work. They also have the EZ Cube brand favored by several of our members. You might also want to purchase the book Photographing Arts, Crafts and Collectibles . . .

If you are up to creating videos of your work or techniques you might want to invest in a flip video camera

Following are a few scales useful for potters. Your final price could be less or more - things change.

American Weigh Black Blade Digital Scale, 1000g X 0.1g $11.08 

For the non-digitally inclined the old standard Ohaus Triple Pro Mechanical Triple Beam Balance, 2610g x 0.1g, with Tare $169.00

And finally a low cost clone of the OHaus. The Adam Equipment TBB2610T Triple Beam Mechanical Balance With Tare Beam $99.62

ebay is a great alternative for many tools and the equipment used in the ceramics studio - kilns, wheels, extruders, slab rollers are often listed there both new and used.

Tips for Members

If you just want to spout off, it is best accomplished as a blog posting. If you want to get more guidance and ideas from other members, ask a question as a new discussion topic. In the upper right corner of the lists for both types of posting, you will find an "+Add " button. Clicking it will open an editor where you create your posting. 4/16/2014

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