The Potters' Round Table

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Understanding Pottery

A multi-part multi-media series that will guide the viewer / listener through the ceramic process from raw clay through finished pottery and the tips and pitfalls along the way.

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The Potters' Round Table!

Understanding Pottery series, Chapter 26: Tips for Buying Used Pottery Equipment

Welcome to the final episode in the Understanding Pottery series, Chapter 26: Tips for Buying Used Pottery Equipment.

They say that you can pick out a horse by looking at its teeth, and kicking tires is supposedly a good way to judge a car. But what do you look for when buying used (or “previously owned”, if it’s expensive) pottery equipment? The discussion at the March Round Table meeting will be about exactly that – tips and suggestions for things to look for and things to avoid when shopping for used kilns, pottery wheels and other equipment (such as pug mills).

Season

2

Episode

43

Date

Understanding Pottery Chapter 25: Critiquing Your Own Pottery: Design Principles You Can Use Part 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 25: Critiquing Your Own Pottery: Design Principles You Can Use – Part 2.

Critiquing works of art usually involves three different aspects of the work: the composition or design of the work itself, the techniques used to produce the work, and the concept or purpose of the work. Guidelines for these judgments, especially of the composition, can be involved and confusing. At the next Round Table, the discussion will focus on direct and practical ways that potters can make decisions to improve their work.

Season

2

Episode

42

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 25: Critiquing Your Own Pottery: Design Principles You Can Use – Part 1

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 25: Critiquing Your Own Pottery: Design Principles You Can Use – Part 1.

Critiquing works of art usually involves three different aspects of the work: the composition or design of the work itself, the techniques used to produce the work, and the concept or purpose of the work. Guidelines for these judgments, especially of the composition, can be involved and confusing. At the next Round Table, the discussion will focus on direct and practical ways that potters can make decisions to improve their work.

Season

2

Episode

41

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 24: Personal Safety in the Pottery Studio

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 24: Personal Safety in the Pottery Studio.
Materials used in ceramics can be unsafe if used improperly. In this video Phil explores safe practices, material handling procedures and the tools required to help minimize the risk associated with the ceramic making process. Join us to learn how to make your studio a safe place to design and create with ceramics.

Season

2

Episode

40

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 23: Pottery Figurin’ (Math for Potters) Part 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 23: Pottery Figurin’ (Math for Potters) Part 2.

Math? And pottery? What is this, high school all over again? Well, no, but there are a number of occasions during the making of pottery that knowledge of some simple math calculations can be very useful, such as for preparing glazes or determining the porosity of fired ceramics. So this chapter will be about a number of very basic math concepts and calculations for the pottery making process that you can actually use.

Season

2

Episode

39

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 23: Pottery Figurin’ (Math for Potters) Part 1

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 23: Pottery Figurin’ (Math for Potters) Part 1.
Math? And pottery? What is this, high school all over again? Well, no, but there are a number of occasions during the making of pottery that knowledge of some simple math calculations can be very useful, such as for preparing glazes or determining the porosity of fired ceramics. So this chapter will be about a number of very basic math concepts and calculations for the pottery making process that you can actually use.

Season

2

Episode

38

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 22: Pottery and Physics

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 22: Pottery and Physics.
Physics is the science of matter and energy and their interactions. When you hear the word “physics” you probably think of things like nuclear power, electronics, or rocket science, but physics is deeply involved in our everyday lives and in such ordinary activities as pottery. In this discussion we will talk about the physical science that is going on behind all the various steps in the pottery-making process. Having a little background can help us to solve problems and improve our techniques. If you have never taken a physics class here is a chance to see how a little science can help us understand our everyday pottery activities.

Season

2

Episode

37

Date

Understanding Pottery Chapter 21 Thixotropy, Quartz Inversions and Other Pottery Mysteries Part 3

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 21: Thixotropy, Quartz Inversions and Other Pottery Mysteries Part 3.
Many scientific terms and theories have a profound impact in the field of ceramics. Defining these terms and their implications in pottery provide the information to understand what is happening in your making processes. We start the exploration of thixotropy, quartz inversions and other pottery mysteries in this episode.

Season

2

Episode

36

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 21: Thixotropy, Quartz Inversions and Other Pottery Mysteries Part 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 21: Thixotropy, Quartz Inversions and Other Pottery Mysteries Part 2.
Many scientific terms and theories have a profound impact in the field of ceramics. Defining these terms and their implications in pottery provide the information to understand what is happing in your making processes. We start the exploration of thixotropy, quartz inversions and other pottery mysteries in this episode.

Season

2

Episode

35

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 21: Thixotropy, Quartz Inversions and Other Pottery Mysteries Part 1

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 21: Thixotropy, Quartz Inversions and Other Pottery Mysteries Part 1.
Many scientific terms and theories have a profound impact in the field of ceramics. Defining these terms and their implications in pottery provide the information to understand what is happing in your making processes. We start the exploration of thixotropy, quartz inversions and other pottery mysteries in this episode.

Season

2

Episode

34

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 20: Pottery Myths, Errors and Misconceptions Part 3

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 20: Pottery Myths, Errors and Misconceptions Part 3.
Many terms and theories have surfaced over the years in the field of ceramics, many with no basis in science or physics. We continue this exploration of many pottery related myths, errors and misconceptions in this episode.

Season

2

Episode

33

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 20: Pottery Myths, Errors and Misconceptions Part 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 20: Pottery Myths, Errors and Misconceptions Part 2.
Many terms and theories have surfaced over the years in the field of ceramics, many with no basis in science or physics. We continue this exploration of many pottery related myths, errors and misconceptions in this episode.

Season

2

Episode

32

Date

Understanding Pottery Chapter 20: Pottery Myths, Errors and Misconceptions Part 1

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 20: Pottery Myths, Errors and Misconceptions Part 1.

Many terms and theories have surfaced over the years in the field of ceramics, many with no basis in science or physics. We are going to explore many pottery related myths, errors and misconceptions over the next few episodes.

Season

2

Episode

31

Date

Understanding Pottery Chapter 19 Glaze Defects

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 19: Glaze Defects.
There seem to be so many ways that bad things can happen to good pots. Defects in fired ceramics can originate with the clay, the glaze, as well as the actual firing process. This episode we’ll discuss glaze defects that occur during the firing.

Season

2

Episode

30

Date

Understanding Pottery Chapter 18 Clay Defects

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 18: Defects in Fired Clay or Clay Defects.
There seem to be so many ways that bad things can happen to good pots. Defects in fired ceramics can originate with the clay, the glaze, as well as the actual firing process. This episode we’ll discuss defects in fired clay.

Season

2

Episode

29

Date

Understanding Pottery Chapter 17 Kiln Performance Problems

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 17: Kiln Performance Problems.
There seem to be so many ways that bad things can happen to good pots. Defects in fired ceramics can originate with the clay, the glaze, as well as the actual firing process. This episode we’ll discuss problems with kiln operation and firing-related defects.

Season

2

Episode

28

Date

Understanding Pottery Chapter 16 Gas Fired Raku Kiln

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 16: Gas Fired Raku Kiln.
Got an old electric kiln that doesn’t work anymore? How about turning it into a raku kiln? Gas-fired raku kilns are generally simple in design and small in size. As such, they are easy to construct using metal barrels or old electric kiln bodies. This discussion is about methods, materials, and equipment used to construct gas fired raku kilns, and also about tips for successful firings.
The next topic in the series is Kiln Performance Problems.

Season

2

Episode

27

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 15: Electric Kilns Part 4

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 15: Electric Kilns Part 4.
This episode is focused on electric kilns with special emphasis on differences in the procedures used for firing compared to fuel-burning kilns. Electric kilns offer a number of advantages, but they also have shortcomings, and because of the apparent ease of operation, they can contribute to poor firing practices. We will talk about tips for avoiding problems and achieving better results.

Season

2

Episode

26

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 15: Electric Kilns Part 3

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 15: Electric Kilns Part 3.
This episode is focused on electric kilns with special emphasis on differences in the procedures used for firing compared to fuel-burning kilns. Electric kilns offer a number of advantages, but they also have shortcomings, and because of the apparent ease of operation, they can contribute to poor firing practices. We will talk about tips for avoiding problems and achieving better results.
The next topic in the series is Electric Kilns Part 4.

Season

2

Episode

25

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 15: Electric Kilns Part 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 15: Electric Kilns Part 2
This episode is focused on electric kilns with special emphasis on differences in the procedures used for firing compared to fuel-burning kilns. Electric kilns offer a number of advantages, but they also have shortcomings, and because of the apparent ease of operation, they can contribute to poor firing practices. We will talk about tips for avoiding problems and achieving better results.

Season

2

Episode

24

Date

Understanding Pottery, Chapter 15: Electric Kilns Part 1

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 15: Electric Kilns Part 1
This episode is focused on electric kilns with special emphasis on differences in the procedures used for firing compared to fuel-burning kilns. Electric kilns offer a number of advantages, but they also have shortcomings, and because of the apparent ease of operation, they can contribute to poor firing practices. We will talk about tips for avoiding problems and achieving better results.

Season

2

Episode

23

Date

Understanding Pottery: Gas-Fired Kilns Part 3

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 14: Gas Fired Kilns Part 3.
This is the second of a three episode series on Pottery Kiln Design, Construction and Operation with this episode focused on Gas Fired Kilns. Are you curious about different methods of firing pottery? This month we focus on gas firing with an overview of the fuels, burners, kilns, and firing procedures. How does natural gas differ from propane? What are the features of the different burner designs? What are some good practices for firing?

Season

2

Episode

22

Date

Understanding Pottery: Gas-Fired Kilns Part 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 14: Gas Fired Kilns Part 2.
This is the second of a three episode series on Pottery Kiln Design, Construction and Operation with this episode focused on Gas Fired Kilns. Are you curious about different methods of firing pottery? This month we focus on gas firing with an overview of the fuels, burners, kilns, and firing procedures. How does natural gas differ from propane? What are the features of the different burner designs? What are some good practices for firing?

Season

2

Episode

21

Date

Understanding Pottery: Gas-Fired Kilns Part 1

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 14: Gas Fired Kilns Part 1.
This is the second of a three episode series on Pottery Kiln Design, Construction and Operation with this episode focused on Gas Fired Kilns. Are you curious about different methods of firing pottery? This month we focus on gas firing with an overview of the fuels, burners, kilns, and firing procedures. How does natural gas differ from propane? What are the features of the different burner designs? What are some good practices for firing?

Season

2

Episode

20

Date

Understanding Pottery: Wood Fired Kilns Part 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 13: Wood Fired Kilns Part 2.
The next four chapters will be a mini-series on Pottery Kiln Design, Construction and Operation with this episode focused on Wood Fired Kilns. Are you curious about different methods of firing pottery? Interested in participating in a wood firing? Are you thinking about building your own kiln? Wood firing is currently enjoying a renaissance with an increasing number of practitioners and a wide variety of approaches. This month’s discussion is an overview of the wood firing process and various kiln designs.

Season

2

Episode

19

Date

Understanding Pottery: Wood-Fired Kilns Part 1

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 13: Wood Fired Kilns Part 1.
The next four chapters will be a mini-series on Pottery Kiln Design, Construction and Operation with this episode focused on Wood Fired Kilns. Are you curious about different methods of firing pottery? Interested in participating in a wood firing? Are you thinking about building your own kiln? Wood firing is currently enjoying a renaissance with an increasing number of practitioners and a wide variety of approaches. This month’s discussion is an overview of the wood firing process and various kiln designs.

Season

2

Episode

18

Date

Understanding Pottery: Atmospheric Firing

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 12: Atmospheric Firing. Every firing of a kiln is an atmospheric firing and every different atmosphere has a different impact on pottery. In this episode we will explore the effect of different atmospheres on our fired pots. This is an important step prior to our exploration of the different types of kilns over the next four chapters.

Season

2

Episode

17

Date

Understanding Pottery: Use of Local Materials Part 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 11: Use of Local Materials: Treasures in your Backyard Part 2 of 2. Traditionally, potters used whatever clay, fuel, and other materials were locally available for their craft. Since the advent of technology and long-distance transportation, potters have gotten away from such materials in favor of more standardized, commercially available products. However, there is a growing interest in reconnecting with our past traditions and simpler raw materials. This is part 2 of 2 parts.
The next topic in the series

Season

2

Episode

16

Date

Understanding Pottery: Use of Local Materials Part 1

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 11: Use of Local Materials: Treasures in your Backyard Part 1 of 2. Traditionally, potters used whatever clay, fuel, and other materials were locally available for their craft. Since the advent of technology and long-distance transportation, potters have gotten away from such materials in favor of more standardized, commercially available products. However, there is a growing interest in reconnecting with our past traditions and simpler raw materials. The discussion topic today will explore the possibilities of using locally available materials for pottery. This is part 1 of two parts.

Season

2

Episode

15

Date

Understanding Pottery: Geology for Potters Part 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 10: Pots, Rocks and Minerals: Geology for Potters Part 2. In this video you will learn about the different rocks and minerals used as glaze and clay ingredients and where they come from.

Season

2

Episode

14

Date

Understanding Pottery: Geology for Potters Part 1

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 10: Pots, Rocks and Minerals: Geology for Potters Part 1. In this video you will learn about the different rocks and minerals used as glaze and clay ingredients and where they come from.

Season

2

Episode

13

Date

Understanding Pottery: Oxides, Washes, Underglazes and Stains

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 9: Oxides, Washes, Underglazes and Stains. In this podcast you will learn why these surfaces treatments are different and how to best use them in your creative process. This is the third chapter in the section titled Use of Raw Materials.

Season

2

Episode

12

Date

Understanding Pottery: Glaze Chemistry Part 2 of 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 8: Glaze Chemistry Part 2 of 2. In this podcast you will continue to learn about the different materials that are used in glazes and what the role is in the glaze. This is the second chapter in the section titled Use of Raw Materials.
The next topic in the series is Oxides, Washes, Underglazes and Stains.

Season

2

Episode

11

Date

Understanding Pottery: Glaze Chemistry Part 1 of 2

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 8: Glaze Chemistry Part 1 of 2. In this video you will learn about the different materials that are used in glazes and what the role is in the glaze. This is the second chapter in the section titled Use of Raw Materials.

Season

2

Episode

10

Date

Understanding Pottery: Chemistry for Potters

Welcome to Understanding Pottery, Chapter 7: Chemistry for Potters. In this video you will learn some chemistry that is important in understanding how ceramics works. This is the first chapter in the section titled Use of Raw Materials. The next topic in the series is an Introduction to Glaze Chemistry.

Season

2

Episode

9

Date

Understanding Pottery: Glaze Firing

Understanding Pottery is a series in production by Washington Street Studios. The podcast series is a digital textbook that will take the listener through the entire ceramic process from the raw material through the finished ceramic pieces. This is chapter six: Glaze Firing.
We’ve already published:
• Chapter one: What is Clay
• Chapter two: Clay Properties and Drying
• Chapter three: Bisque Firing
• Chapter four: Tips for Successful Glazing
• Chapter five: Pyrometric Cones

In this podcast you will learn how heat work changes clay into multiple different ceramic products, what happens to glaze during the firing, how the glaze and clay materials interact and the different temperatures where these changes and interactions happen.

Season

2

Episode

8

Date

Understanding Pottery: Pyrometric Cones

Understanding Pottery is a video series in production by Washington Street Studios. The series is a digital textbook that will take the listener through the entire ceramic process from the raw material through the finished ceramic pieces. We’ve already published chapter one: What is Clay, chapter two: Clay Properties and Drying and Chapter three: Bisque Firing and Chapter four: Tips for Successful Glazing. This is chapter five: Pyrometric Cones.
In this video you will learn all you ever want to know about pyrometric cones. Phil answers these questions and more:
• Who invented Pyrometric Cones and when?
• What is their purpose?
• How do you use them?
• With kiln controllers now available, why do we need them?

Season

2

Episode

7

Date

Understanding Pottery: Tips for Successful Glazing Part 3

Understanding Pottery is a video series in production by Washington Street Studios. The series is a digital textbook that will take the listener through the entire ceramic process from the raw material through the finished ceramic pieces. We’ve already published chapter one: What is Clay, chapter two: Clay Properties and Drying and Chapter three: Bisque Firing. This is chapter four: Tips for Successful Glazing. This topic will be presented in three parts.
Tips for Successful Glazing is presented in seven topics:
1. Glaze Compositions
2. Glaze Preparation and Mixing
3. Handling Prepared Glazes (Ready For Use)
4. Surface Preparation of the Work to be Glazed
5. Methods of Glaze Application
6. Clean Up and Finishing of the Glazed Work
7. Glaze Firing
In this video you will learn methods of applying glazes, clean up and finishing of glazed work and an overview of the glaze firing. You will hear about pitfalls to avoid and tips / techniques that will improve your glazing and add to your success.
Show notes can be found at https://www.hfclay.com/the-potters-round-table
The next topic in the Understanding Pottery series will be Pyrometric Cones.

Season

2

Episode

6

Date

Understanding Pottery: Tips for Successful Glazing Part 2

Understanding Pottery is a video series in production by Washington Street Studios. The series is a digital textbook that will take the listener through the entire ceramic process from the raw material through the finished ceramic pieces. We’ve already published chapter one: What is Clay, chapter two: Clay Properties and Drying and Chapter three: Bisque Firing. This is chapter four: Tips for Successful Glazing. This topic will be presented in three parts.
Tips for Successful Glazing is presented in seven topics:
1. Glaze Compositions
2. Glaze Preparation and Mixing
3. Handling Prepared Glazes (Ready For Use)
4. Surface Preparation of the Work to be Glazed
5. Methods of Glaze Application
6. Clean Up and Finishing of the Glazed Work
7. Glaze Firing
In this video you will learn the about preparing already mixed glazes for use and preparing the surfaces of pots to be glazed. Phil presents tips on stiring studio glazes along with tips and pitfalls. Then he discusses what to do to prepare the surfaces of pots to be glazed that will add to your success.

Season

2

Episode

5

Date

Understanding Pottery: Tips for Successful Glazing Part 1

Understanding Pottery is a video series in production by Washington Street Studios. The series is a digital textbook that will take the listener through the entire ceramic process from the raw material through the finished ceramic pieces. We’ve already published chapter one: What is Clay, chapter two: Clay Properties and Drying and Chapter three: Bisque Firing. This is chapter four: Tips for Successful Glazing. This topic will be presented in three parts.
Tips for Successful Glazing is presented in seven topics:
1. Glaze Compositions
2. Glaze Preparation and Mixing
3. Handling Prepared Glazes (Ready For Use)
4. Surface Preparation of the Work to be Glazed
5. Methods of Glaze Application
6. Clean Up and Finishing of the Glazed Work
7. Glaze Firing
In this video you will learn the about glaze compositions, preparations and mixing. Phil presents tips on glaze testing and getting to know your glazes as well as characteristics of different glazes. This is followed by tips and techniques for preparing for and mixing glazes that will add to your success.

Season

2

Episode

4

Date

Understanding Pottery: Bisque Firing

Understanding Pottery is a podcast series in production by Washington Street Studios. The podcast series is a digital textbook that will take the listener through the entire ceramic process from the raw material through the finished ceramic pieces. We’ve already published chapter one: What is Clay and chapter two: Clay Properties and Drying. This is chapter three: Bisque Firing.

In this podcast you will learn the difference between bisque and biscuit firing, what happens in the clay during a bisque firing, why we bisque fire pottery, tips and pitfalls when bisque firing.

The next topic in the Understanding Pottery series will be Tips for Successful Glazing.

Season

2

Episode

3

Date

Understanding Pottery: Clay Properties and Drying

Understanding Pottery is a podcast series in production by Washington Street Studios. The podcast series is a digital textbook that will take the listener through the entire ceramic process from the raw material through the finished ceramic pieces. We’ve already published chapter one: What is Clay. This is chapter two: Clay Properties and Drying.

In this podcast you will learn more about the properties of clay and what happens when it dries, preferred orientation and the impact of different forces such as compression, tension and shear.

The next topic in the Understanding Pottery series will be Bisque Firing.

Season

2

Episode

2

Date

Understanding Pottery: What is Clay?

Understanding Pottery is a podcast series in production by Washington Street Studios. The podcast series is a digital textbook that will take the listener through the entire ceramic process from the raw material through the finished ceramic pieces. This is chapter one: What is Clay?

Have you ever wondered what makes up this material we use to make pots? Are you planning to create your own clay recipe? Learn the fundamental ingredients needed to make a clay useful in the ceramic arts.

The next podcast topic in the Understanding Pottery series will be Clay Properties and Drying.

Season

2

Episode

1

Date

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email: washingtonstreetstudiosinc@gmail.com

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