Ken Horstman Studios

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




Web Host Format

This a rerun of a Blog I have done in the past .  At the end of the blog there is exciting news and a discount code for new Websites.  Thanks for being here.  Ken

In today’s post I would like to talk a little bit about the website host that I use.  With all the choices for a website hosting the reason I decided to go  with Format is a variety of reasons.  

1. I feel its speciality is portfolios and as an artist that’s a big plus.  You can still have a top notch store and a blog but you can set it up as you see fit and what’s important to you and how it’s laid out.

2.  The number of templates and ease of use is tremendous You should be able to see exactly what you’re looking for.

3. Availability of support.  I haven’t had to use them, but when creating your site you can do a checklist to help you create a practice site.  One of items is too click on support and they are right there to help.  You also get some emails just to check in or make you aware of some other services.  

4  Looks great on either on the computer or mobile.

5 Depending which plan you sign up for, Format will create your site for you.

6  Free trial to start  see if you like them.  

7 They have an online magazine that may showcase your site.

8 Links to the major social media sites.

I’m sure I forgot some reasons but I really have enjoyed using Format and creating a professional website with Format.   To let you know I am an affiliate with Format I would appreciate you using the link below to explore Format and what they have to offer.  Also for the month of June you add the discount code JUNE50.  You will get 50% off a new website. Don’t forgret to use my affiliate code above it really helps me out   Thanks again Ken Enjoy your new website

Reconstituting Clay Once More

As regular followers may know is I’ve addressed the reconstitution of clay several times in this blog.   So why revisit this subject again and why so soon?  One reason is I also use my blog as a self reference for me so I can have a way to keep track of best studio practices.  The other reason to address it so soon was a wonderful video on You Tube being released in the past week or so,  It was released by ONDO STUDIO .  It is an ASMR video of how they use clay trimmings and recycle their clay.  I highly recommend you subscribe to their channel for some great content.   

As always comments or questions please use my contact page and/or sign up for my mailing list.

Using Format