Ken Horstman Studios

It’s Pottery Tour Time again

Every year St. Croix Valley Potters have a studio tour and you can go visit the artists and buy so amazing pots. I’m very excited as I just got my yearly mailer and it’s always gets the travel bug juices flowing.  Also this year there is an article called Potteryland in the Spring 2023 issue of American Craft, It was written by Janet Koplos.   This Year it’s being held May 12th, 13th and 14th .  Details at this link minnesota potters  Each location has multiple potters and it’s very cool.  Because of the pandemic the tour has gone virtual this year.  I’m not affiliated with this group but I was able to attend several years ago and have purchased virtually as well.  It’s very cool and a neat way to find some treasures to add to your collection.

Here is the link to the list of the potters as well as the  web stores Minnesota Potters participants or visit their web site Minnesota Potters.  

  Don’t forget to join my mailing list  to keep up with all news or contact me with any questions.  

More Follow Up

To go on record I’m not associated with The Ceramic Shop nor am I compensated by them.  I just like to use them for a Great Deal of my studio purchases

I purchased mine from The Ceramic Shop .  The reasons being: 

A:   I get almost all my supplies from them both because of price and their customer service can’t be beat.    

B: There is free shipping on most major equipment  (most clay companies do offer this as the manufactures ship from the factory.  

C:  they give you the option for 40 dollars extra they ship with a truck with a lift gate for studios with out a loading dock or on residential street where a 18 wheeler may not fit

 Here are the links to the manufacturers and the pug mill page for The Ceramic Shop as well as Nidec Shampoo Pug Mills.

The Ceramic Shop Pug Mill Page

Nidec-Shimpo Pug Mills

Pug Mill Follow Up

 For those whom follow along the best solution for how I work was the Nidec-Shimpo.  NRA-04S Model.  The S stands for stainless steel.  Most pug mills come with either aluminum augers or stainless steel augers both work equally as well but the stainless steel will not pit from porcelain as aluminum sometimes will.  Remember you may not use porcelain now but a pug mill with last for ever if taken care of and who’s to say in 15 years what your clay body will be.  

I plan on still reconstitute my clay as mentioned in a previous blog.

 The NRA-04S comes with a double auger  with a 1/2 HP motor that can pug 800 lbs. of clay in an hour, so it has the muscle to do the job.  It also gives me the opportunity to run clay though twice for any concern with mixing.  

I Really love this product and is  time and wrist saver as I no longer have to wedge.   This machine is not a desiring pugmill, and make no mistake it does not claim to be.  What I have found when you get your clay to the right consistency ( for me that’s just a little softer than throwing ready)  pug it a second time and the clay comes out not needing wedging.   

If you choose to pug just the amount of clay you will use in a day I would spray a little water in the pug mill cover with plastic and close the lid and put some plastic over the end and close with a cap.  

It’s relatively easy to clean the pug mill, Just removing a few bolts but clay does get packed in and makes it a little difficult to remove pieces.  I use a plastic putty knife to clean the interior.  All the clay you remove has been mixed so all you need is to wedge it quick and it’s perfectly ready to go or you can wrap it up and save for next time.

Any way its probably an luxury item for the studio, but the time saved and the reduced physical load on my wrists make it worth it.

Hope you found this helpful, let me know if you have any questions use this link to the contact page 

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