Ken Horstman Studios

Great Resource

You have heard mention Bill van Gilder several times in my blog I always appreciate his willingness to share his knowledge.  I may have forgotten another great resource, his videos are sent right to your mail box.   What a great ideate sounds like it’s really has taken off for him.  Please join me by getting a email with great information and a video as well.  Sign up here    While you are at his website check out some his great tools.   I’m not associated with Bill van Gilder Pottery, just a potter who likes his information and thinks he should be acknowledged for all his help and his string of information.  In the future I’ll list some other video resources I find useful    Any questions or comment or sign upper my newsletter  Use the contact page

See you in the next blog.


One of my biggest pet peeves is people not keeping up with their web pages and things getting out of date. Well as you noticed I haven’t been having any new work for the past several months. Thanks for all your concern I have been working on several new shapes and also have had my share of failures as well.  I have enough work for several firings, but several other non studios projects I have ben working on have kept me away from completion.  Mainly some house hold projects including some home improvement and updates DIY.  So keeping coming for the weekly blog posts and look for some new pieces in the fall.  Don’t miss anything by aging up for my newsletters use the contact page  see you in the next page. 

First Thoughts Nidec-Shimpo NRA-04S

The following are my first thoughts on the NIDEC-SHIMPO NRA-04S pug mill. ( For general information on various pug mills and my purchasing decision please read the blog entries “Pug Mill” and “Pug Mill Part 2”.)

The Pug Mill came shipped freight and when I purchased it from The Ceramic Shop, I also purchased the lift gate delivery option.  This is a great option if you don’t have loading dock available at your studio.  

The pug mill box was delivered on a pallet and was very secure.  

The pug mill is very well constructed, very quiet.  The NRA-04S is the the stainless steel model and should resist pitting.

The pug Mill comes with an attached cut off wire and a table with a rolling top for receiving the pugged clay.

The instructions are good and you can also find several videos on line showing how to use.  I’ll Link below

I purchased the Gladiator Movable Table from Home Depot for ease of use.  I’ll link below.

The pug mill it’s self is very easy to use.  This particular pug mill is not designed to mix or de air clay.  But what I have found is if you reconstitute your clay it does a greeting job of melding your clay together.  Read my blogs on the reconstituting of clay to get an  idea of what I’m talking about.  I found that if I have clay of different consistency  I would alternate placing small pieces of each in the hopper and then run it though a second time the clay is perfect.

The pug mill makes quick work of pugging your clay 

The pug mill is not designed the de air clay but in my experience I found that if your clay is of the proper consistency, the pugs are deaired.  I found that if the clay is sticky and sticks to the plunger or the sides, the pugs will come out with gaps and some air pockets.  (seems mainly on the side of the pug)

In conclusion This is a fantastic pug mill.  but since it does not dear or mix clay it may not be for everyone.  I think there is a learning curve and once you get the hang of it I feel, you will find its as good as any product in the market.  Also your experience level will play a part in your success.

After some uses and practice I will be doing a full review on the Nidec-Shimpo NRA-04S pug mill.

Any questions or comments please use my contact page and while you’re there sign up for the mailing list



The Ceramic Shop

Home Depot Gladiator Moveable Table




Using Format