Ken Horstman Studios

Ceramic Arts Network

The Ceramic Arts Network by the American Ceramic Society, is a great resource for all things ceramics.  There are daily tips you can have sent  to you or review at their site.  You can sign up for ICAN The International Ceramics Artists Network, Subscribe to Ceramics Monthly and/or pottery Making Illustrated.  There are Ceramic Recipes, CLAY Flicks and a Shop that has Books, DVDs and Downloads.  

Their website is easy to navigate so I did not bother to make links to any of the topics.

(if you would like to have links included let me know Contact Page)   I’m not an affiliate of the Ceramics Arts Network but I like to share resources I use.  

Any Questions Let me know 

Shrinkage Ruler

A shinkage ruler can be a very necessary and helpful tool.  This blog will give you some resources to help you determine the shrinkage rate of your clay as well as   some different ways to make a shrinkage ruler and also give you a link if you care to purchase one.  

The first step is to determine the think rate of your clay.  If you use a premixed clay you can go to the manufacturers website and look at the shinkage rate.   If the rate is say 12% and you want a 6 inch tall pot that is 4 inches wide.  You can draw a line 6 inches long and another line 4 inches long and use your printer to enlarge  your lines by 12%.  Use those enlarged lines to create your pot.  

I find my shrinkage rate differs a little from the manufacturer especially if I’m using a recycled clay so the method I use  Can b found on the Ceramics Art Network video on Youtube. Click on the link here Ceramics Art Network

You can do a web search of Clay Shinkage Ruler Printable  and here are some more resources to create a shinkage ruler

If you would like to purchase one you can get one from Diamond Core Tools 

Imperial Version

Metric Version

Diamond Core Tools also has videos on how to use.

I’m not affiliated with any of these companies or products.  But I have used them and use them as a resource

See you in the next blog and don’t forget to sign up for the news letter on the contact page 

Studio Practice

Ever read an article or watch a video of someone elses studio practice and you think  Everybody knows that or everyone does that.  But best of all it’s fun to have that eureka moment when you see something that you never thought of or had forgotten you used to do that. There are so many studio practices that we have that we sometime forget that what comes naturally is a totally new concept to others.

During the summer it can get too hot to work in my studio so I use that time to work out new ideas, I do this by keeping a sketchbook of new ideas.  I use notes of possible glaze combinations, drawings of pots that I see or pots that just my imagination.  Pottery Making Illustrated has a different group of sketches of pots in each issue on the very last page.  They are a great source of inspiration.   

I also use mock ups paper, tar paper or cardboard to work out design I use a shrinkage ruler to get dimensions after shrinkage.  I also will binge on some YouTube Videos from some of my favorite potters and ceramic artists.  I recently watched a video from Vaughan Smith.  Was about the exploring different shapes of mugs and finding one style that is special for your studio.  It was so informative and can you excited for exploring more.  

Watch his video here Vaughan Smith exploring mug shapes

Hope you find this helpful and let me know if you have any studio practices you would like to share, send them to my contact page and while there sign up for my news letter.  

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