What do you get when you cross a brewer, a failed high school teacher, and a former advisor to Napoleon? Either the setup for a really bad joke, OR one of the most misunderstood yet vitally important tools in the ceramics studio, the electric kiln. Watch the “clay replay” video of David Sturm’s presentation from our 2016 conference and learn how and why electric kilns work, what the parts do, and what […]
Over the years NCECA has been fortunate that there have been so many smart and caring individuals who have worked diligently to make our organization what it is today. But it is that time again for some new volunteers to step forward and help advance NCECA’s mission and goals. It’s an incredible time as we have just taken our birthday hats off after celebrating our 50th anniversary in KC, and we’re […]
This week’s featured image is a Scanning Electron Micrograph of another surface area from the “hexagons” sample we have been profiling since our first microMondays blog post. In this image we see a number of small crystals all laying flat on the ceramic surface like tiny geometric tiles. Some appear to be growing into each other, or even on top of one another. It’s interesting to wonder whether features like this […]
Our images this week show a zoomed-out view of the region of the ceramic sample containing the mullite “thicket” from last week. I am often struck by the visual similarities between SEM images, which show very small patches of a fired ceramic surface, and aerial photographs of geographic landscape. Cracks appear like roads or fissures in the ground; protruding crystals resemble hills, mountains, or volcanoes. Of course, in a very rough sense, […]
This week we feature another SEM image of the etched, fired ceramic surface we’ve been examining the past few weeks. This view looks into a small pit/cavity with an overgrowth of plate-like crystals jumbled together with needle-like (acicular) crystals. The needles are most likely composed of mullite, also known as porcelainite, an aluminosilicate material found commonly in fired ceramics. A scale bar of one micron (one thousandth of a millimeter) is shown in the […]
Last week we introduced the technique of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and posted an electron micrograph (SEM image) of a hexagonal alumina/hematite crystal formed in a “flashing” region on the surface of a ceramic vessel from an atmospheric firing. We noted that SEM is capable of capturing images with resolution much finer than the limit of optical microscopy, which is roughly a few hundred nanometers. In the gallery of images below, […]
Today’s featured image was obtained using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). It shows a patch of micro/nano-crystals found on the etched surface of the sample discussed in last week’s post. For scale, the edge of the hexagonal platelet located just to the right of and above center is about ten microns (one one-hundredth of a millimeter). Those not familiar with electron microscopy may wonder why the image is monochrome and why we […]
Back to school season seems to be an ideal time to remind ourselves of Karen Atkinson’s popular session at the 2016 conference. Get Your $h!t Together and get your semester started right! Check it out below, and be sure to visit our YouTube channel for more conference session replays!
Have you ever wondered what causes “flashing” colors on bare clay in atmospheric (e.g. wood, salt or soda) firings?
Craft in America, the Peabody Awardwinning series, begins its eighth season on PBS with a unique hour that celebrates TEACHERS renowned individuals who are committed to their own artistic visions and are equally committed to sharing their skills and passion for craft with new generations of students and artists of all ages. As part of PBS’ Spotlight Education programming, Craft in America: TEACHERS premieres on Thursday, September 15th […]
Karen Karnes passed peacefully at home on July 12th, 2016. She was a towering figure of the postwar studio pottery movement, pioneering salt-glazing in the 1960s and wood-firing in the 1980s. Her work opened undreamed of possibilities of expression for the handmade pot. For the many potters who knew her, she was a mentor whose work embodied the creative power and singular voice to which we all aspire—her life in […]
NCECA hopes its members and the greater ceramic community have enjoyed continued access to the 2016 Fab Lab with the online rebroadcasts of the LIVE STREAMED conference sessions, culminating in today’s video of the final session on Friday afternoon, featuring Brooks Oliver: I am curious about ways in which new technologies can influence my process working with clay; and, vice versa, how my practice working with clay can impact my […]
With the support of 92Y Virtual Clay, Skutt Kilns, Shapeways, Anne W. Bracker, West Virginia University, and presenting artists, Clay Fab Lab represents a new conference experience with clay, touch, and technology. Emergence of new technologies and their application to ceramic art and learning represent exciting possibilities that will influence the field’s continued evolution in the 21st century. Many of these technologies are becoming more accessible and some are even DIY…
In the Venn diagram of my life, the spheres of Music, Movement, and Art collided at the 2016 Conference Opening Ceremonies. After listening to internationally renowned choreographer, Liz Lerman, speak about the art of critique, the crowd in KC was treated to a performance which combined ceramic elements in a unique Operetta. “Wit and Menace,” a work commissioned by NCECA for the popular Randall Session, included ceramic horns by Linda Lighton, two singers, a band of instrumentalists, a composer, […]