Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Praise Him Pottery" Extruded Vases Coming Together

A new batch of "Praise Him Pottery".   I was inspired to make whimsical vases this time. 

These vases were made using 50/50 porcelain and stoneware mix.   I used my Peter Pugger extruder feature for the tubes.  I'm still working with Peter Pugger to get that feature to work well.  It took a lot of tugging, starting and stopping, loading and reloading to get enough tube extruded to make 4 vases. 

A little Love for the inside bottom of the vases.

These vases will be listed for sale in my Etsy store September, 2011.   100% proceeds being donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

All designs, photos and content herein are owned by and ©copyright Cindy Gilliland 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cleaning Out Peter Pugger VPM-9 SS ~ Changing Clay

Since I like to change clay types from time to time, I was hoping it wouldn't be a huge ordeal to disassemble and clean out my  Peter Pugger VPM-9SS.  Actually it wasn't too bad.  It took about an hour.  The instructions in the Peter Pugger manual are simple and tell you all you need to know.   Here are a few photos and tips that might help other PP owners see what's up with a clean out.
First I reversed pugged to pull the nozzle clay back into the mixing chamber (Remove nozzle cap, turn on mix and the air pump until the the clay clump is sucked into the mixing chamber and the air pressure is lost).  Unplug the pugger from the electrical outlet, detach the lid auto shutoff cord and remove the bolts that attach the mixing chamber and the airbox sections.
 Before pulling apart the sections, I put  a couple shims under the mixing chamber to help stabilize the section..  The sections are heavy, so I had John pull the mixing chamber out to clear the auger. 
The walls of the mixing chamber will have about a half inch layer of clay to be removed.  I used a plastic scraper
The auger has a lot of hard to reach areas.  The section where the auger goes into the airbox is was pretty much impossible to get all the clay out.  I used a thin sponge and did the best I could.  I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up with some clay contamination from that area.   
I ended up with over 9 lbs of clay from the clean out.  A bit more than I expected.
After I was done with the cleaning, I went over everything one last time with a clean sponge.  I found a couple areas on the auger that had a little hidden clay.  So double check.
Sparkling clean!
Before putting the sections back together, I cleaned and put a little silcon grease on the rubber seal.  John put the heavy sections back together.  The bolts were put back in place and tightened evenly so not to tweak the seal.  We reconnected the lid auto shutoff cord and ran a pressure check.  It passed :)  
First hand wedging I've done in weeks :)  Here is the results of the clean out clay.   Next is porcelain and I'm so ready.
Please don't use this blog as instructions for cleaning out your pugmill.  You should read and use the instructions provided by the manufacturer.  This blog post is only to give additional reference and tips.

All designs, photos and written content herein are owned by and ©copyright Cindy Gilliland 2011.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

7 Sacred Pools of Maui ~ Hawaii Red Clay Nesting Bowl Set

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with Hawaii... especially Maui!  I suffer through the excessive grog and stained hands (oh, poor me, right?) of that Laguna Hawaiian Red Clay because I love the rich warm red results.    This 7 Sacred Pools of Maui Nesting Bowl Set, which BTW I just listed on Etsy, was inspired by love for Maui.  Just look at this paradise. 
 These waterfall pools actually tapper down a hill toward the ocean.  I would love to be there right now, especially since it was snowing at my house this morning.
I used 4 different blue glazes. Of course I left the outer area unglazed because I just can't cover up all that fantastic red clay.  After firing, the exposed clay does have a bit of grog lift, but I run a piece of sand paper over it and it smooths out very nice. 
I took these outdoor photos a couple days ago.  The sky was full of dark purple clouds, which really allowed the glaze colors to pop.  I lucked out because within a minute after I was done shooting, it began to hail.  That's Spring in Sierra Nevada.
I'm pretty excited that these bowls came out so cool :) 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Getting the Hang of Pugging

I’ve had my Pugger (aka "Fat Baby") a couple weeks now. I’ve been reclaiming buckets and buckets of dry recycle. I would be lying if I told you that I pugged great clay right off the bat. Actually today was the first day I got a good consistency. There is definitely a learning curve.

My first batch was way too soft. Next was way too hard. Third sucked because I let the clay get too hot in the mixer and the log came out of the pugger with the sides ripped up and peeling. Last night I mixed a batch of dry recycle to what I hoped was a good consistency. I ran the pugger for 5 minutes and noticed that the clay was getting warm, so I shut it down and sealed it up.  This morning that clay was nice and cool and a good consistency so I deaired and pugged. It came out smooth and a good firmness.

A weird thing about this pugger is that the clay log twists to the side when it’s coming out. You can see in the photo that the clay logs are kind of bowed. It doesn’t matter if the clay is soft, hard or perfect, it just won’t pug out straight. Anyone else get that with your pugger?

Monday I called Peter Pugger with a list of questions. They were pretty nice, but basically told me it’s a lot of trial and error. I’m getting there, but it's quite a process. Any helpful pugging hints would be cool.