"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Ceramic World’s Future is Sealed

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Ceramics, Knowledge | Comments Off on The Ceramic World’s Future is Sealed

The Ceramic World’s Future is Sealed

Think about it, since man first discovered fire and how to use it, ceramics, one way or another has been with humankind from the beginning. It has mainly been used for everyday functions such as building a fire in a clay oven and sealing clay walls decoratively, not just for warmth and comfort. Since its benefits were first discovered and appreciated, art works have always added a little extra pleasure to people’s lives. When people think of ceramic use today, they invariably cast their mind’s eye to the inherent decorative effects.

Ceramics as an environmentally sustainable agent

It is heartening to know that the world of ceramics is safe. When considering how humankind has taken advantage of and excelled in the industrial use of ceramics, one can only wonder with awe how ceramics will be applied in the future. The next Congress of the Parties (the twenty-first edition of this global gathering) is diarized for December later this year and will be held in Paris. Thinking about the bartering and horse trading that is likely to take place, one has to also think about how global warming and climate change, for better or worse, has impacted human lives.

Thinking positively, the phenomena associated with global weather patterns continues to influence people to do something productive and meaningful with their lives before it is all too late. The use of ceramics, it should come as no surprise, has made valuable contributions towards creating a world which is sustainable not just for humans but for all creation, flora and fauna.

Ceramics as an agent of preservation

Ceramics as an agent of preservationTo this end, apart from creating new job opportunities for hundreds of previously impoverished communities, the influence of ceramics can be seen and felt in solar panels and windmills. Also, its use in the creation of more cost-efficient and environmentally sound hybrid electric powered motor cars may be increased exponentially as demand grows. Not to take the eye off the barometer, the simple pleasure of creating artworks, such as sculpting pots, also adds to the pool of job opportunities for those who still struggle to make ends meet.

Still on the subject of environmental sustainability which provokes everyone to make meaningful savings across the board, whether at home or in the workplace (particularly where food is concerned), also think about how necessary the use of functional vacuum sealers has become. The caveat has always been preservation. Do not for a moment think that it is only food that is being preserved for much longer. Carbon-efficient products are also used to conserve in other areas too, much like the right set of tiles responding to UV rays and temperature, and consequently saving on energy use.

The aesthetics of ceramics

In order to truly appreciate the world of ceramics, why not visit a clay manufacturer, arts and crafts retailer or gallery and pore over a variety of creations? Take a moment to reflect on how meaningful and purposeful ceramics remains in everyday life.

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How to Make Money From Your Pottery Studio

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in Ceramics, Knowledge | Comments Off on How to Make Money From Your Pottery Studio

How to Make Money From Your Pottery Studio

While many people are of the opinion that it is not possible to make much money from a pottery studio, when you organize the studio well and use your time efficiently, it is possible to be more productive and reap considerable profits from the venture.

Time is precious commodity and more so in case of labour-intensive activities such as pottery. In pottery, direct labour is involved to create the ceramic pottery you put up for sale. Handmade pottery is a craft that needs physical attention of the potter all through the different stages of the work. From forming and trimming to dying, bisque firing and glazing there are several stages all of which need meticulous attention to detail, for the work to turn out exquisite and unique.

And the labour involved does not end up with the creative work. You also need to consider the management part such as clean-up of the studio, ordering new materials, packaging the finished product etc. And there is some amount of indirect labour required too such as the marketing and sales of the product. Thus, the number of hours you put in can add up to a large one, if you want to design and sell your pottery on your own.

Material cost

The actual costs in pottery include the cost of the different types of clays, equipment, glaze materials etc., which are minimal when you compare the labour and time, needed to create the finished work. Whether you are using a potter’s wheel or use slip cast, hand built or pressed methods, labour takes up most of the expense involved. Therefore, a potter should always try to bring down the labour cost, if he wants to increase his profits. And in most cases there will be other elements that save you the overall costs, so considering all of them will help in a drastic cost reduction and increased profits.

Workspace

The area where the pottery is created is the place where most of the potter’s time is used up. So paying more attention to this workspace is crucial. The equipment, working table and storage area needs to be designed efficiently. The wooden shelves and working table need to be designed with care. Nowadays use of efficient tools such as the OSCILLATING TOOL helps in making the work quickly done and precisely too. Studio furniture especially the wedging table should be placed close the wheel to save time taken by the potter.  Storage containers, glaze buckets etc. when placed on wheels provides more space and flexibility. Inflexible equipment or supplies can be a bane on the productivity of a studio hence such measures need to be considered to make the manual labour-intensive operations more successful.

Working with Clay

Knowing how the clay will make its transformation from moist stage to the finished and packaged product helps you to design the studio in a better way. With the necessary information, you can reap profits even from a small studio. For instance, clay delivery should be made near the storage space, which needs to be near wedging table. The table needs to be near the potters’ wheel and other important equipment.

While the quality of the pottery is significant, it is not the sole factor determining the profits. Effective placement of supplies, equipment and management help in making the entire venture highly productive.

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Using ceramics in shooting activities

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Ceramic Engineering, Knowledge | Comments Off on Using ceramics in shooting activities

Using ceramics in shooting activities

Ceramic may be a nice and interesting hobby, but it cannot be denied that from can be created numerous useful things, not just decorations. Besides useful things for the house, decorations and dishes, ceramic has found wide uses in various industries and technologies, and even in shooting activities. Yes, we are talking about clay pigeons.

Clay pigeons were created because there was a need to train the and bring to perfection in shooting a moving target. In the beginning for these purposes people used a variety of things, such as, for example, potatoes. Later, these targets were replaced with targets in the form of glass balls.

The problem with glass targets was the fact that after firing on the ground stayed a lot of broken, sharp glass. So there were made up of other kinds of targets, among which we can cite those of coal, crumpled paper, wood … These experiments were more or less successful.  At the end of the 19th century, there was the invention in the form of a plate made of clay, baked to get the hardness. It is a short story about the origin of clay pigeons, which are used in a variety shooters activities.

Even if clay pigeons are a safer option than a glass, dissolved in the ground and completely natural and environment friendly, that does not mean that they are less dangerous. When you are shooting in any way, safety is paramount. First, you need to have adequate protection for the ears and the eyes. Also, it is important to take into account to store the weapon in a secure place when it is not in use. On the website http://topgunsafe.com/, you can find a great number of gun safes that will keep your weapons far from the possibility to get into the wrong hands. This is especially important when you have children in the house.

The first variant of clay pigeons was made of pure clay that was crumbled, mixed with water and placed in a mold. The mold was baked to get the hardness. Since these targets were very hard and difficult to break, it was necessary to do something brittle, so people invented composition targets – from a combination of limestone and pitch, or from a combination of plaster and mud.

After solving the problem of the shape and composition of the target, it was left to solve the problem of target traps. The first clay pigeons were trapped manually, and they had a special part made for easy management. On this issue, development progressing rapidly and by the end of the 19th century there were created magazine fed traps. These traps appeared in the USA first, and the original invention was quickly promoted and improved.

Since those days, shooting clay pigeons has been another in a series of sports activities that are used for entertainment. In addition, this is one in a series of human activities in which the ceramic production found its role.

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Cutting Your Own Tiles

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in Ceramics, Knowledge | Comments Off on Cutting Your Own Tiles

Cutting Your Own Tiles

Installing tile floors can be very expensive. Whether you’re remodeling a bathroom, kitchen or washroom, tiles tend to make some of the best floors in places where water reaching the floor is a regular issue. This is why you don’t tend to see many bathrooms with carpeting. Getting back to the tile though, it can sometimes be very expensive, with prices in the $10 + range per square foot. It all depends on the material in the tile – or at least that’s what manufacturers would have you believe. Ceramic tiles, which are some of the best, can also be some of the cheapest if you cut your own.

To begin, you’ll first want to get your hands on some ceramic sheets. These aren’t sheets like you might put on a bed or the back of a chair though – they are flat panels made of ceramic material, more akin to drywall than a bed sheet. These ceramic sheets can be purchased at most home improvement stores and easily found online as well, so locating them shouldn’t be a problem. The real issue is cutting tiles from those sheets once you have them. You need a tool which is both powerful but gentle, something which can make the cuts without destroying the materials.

Cutting Your Own TilesThis is where a reciprocating saw comes into the equation. If you don’t know what those are, you can always see examples here to get a better idea what sort of tool you’ll need. While they were designed specifically for quick cuts that don’t need to look very good, nobody would leave a sawed surface without sanding it clean and flat if they wanted the job to be done well in the first place anyhow. This saw will cut the ceramic sheet into whatever sized squares (or other shapes) you might need. But that’s not the end of the project.

What good is a tile floor with cracks, or jagged bits that might cut your feet when you walk on it? Well it’s not good for much, anyhow. But sanding was already mentioned. Additionally, you’ll need to prepare a grout mixture to keep tiles flat and even on the floor once you put them down. If you’re working in an area where old tile needs to be removed, you’ll probably need to scrape up plenty of existing grout under the current floor before you can put down new tiles. This will allow for the best possible adhesion to the floor surface.

With the tiles cut, sanded and set, you only have one decision left to make. Most ceramic sheets are flat, sure, but they’re not exactly smooth on the surface. This is excellent for the side being fastened to the floor, since that rough surface makes for a great bond. But do you want the upper surface, the one you’ll be walking on, to be rough as well? It could be a good choice if you don’t want to risk slipping on wet tiles. It’s really just a matter of preference though.

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Sanding Ceramics

Posted by on Sep 7, 2015 in Ceramics, Pottery Decoration | Comments Off on Sanding Ceramics

Sanding Ceramics

Ceramics are useful for a number of different applications. However, they are also some of the most fragile materials people could possibly work with. A little shake, a little blunt force, and bam, your ceramic object, whatever it may be, has a crack. Or maybe it’s shattered entirely if the disturbance was bad enough. Doing fine work with ceramics can be very frustrating because of this; a little slip, a little too much pressure applied, and you could end up with broken, wasted materials. Fortunately it’s easy enough to sand rough edges on ceramic sections without the fear of breaking your ceramics.

When sanding ceramics, you basically have two choices, just like when sanding any other materials. You can either do the job by hand using manual tools, or you can use a powered tool to do the work for you. While you get a greater deal of control and precision with manual sanding in general, powered sanding is faster by far and provides a more uniform level of sanding than you would get doing the same job by hand, at least in most cases. The choice tends to come down to whether the material being worked will benefit more from one method of sanding or the other.

As long as you brace ceramics well using a clamp of some sort and don’t allow the material to rattle or move much while being worked, it can usually be treated with power tools. A good belt sander will allow you a decent amount of control over the sanding operation while giving you the freedom to work your ceramic sample from multiple angles all at once. It’s quite convenient, and you can see plenty of examples at http://beltsanderworld.com/ if you’re thinking of going the automatic route. If you’d rather save the electricity or just want more control over the end product, you might opt to go manual.

Sanding blocks are pretty cheap and come in a variety of materials,  but rubber is a solid choice. Each end will have a flap, sort of like a mouth full of teeth. You feed one end of the sandpaper being used into each side and end up with a nice, hand-held tool with a sanding surface you can scrape against whatever you want. Switching the paper out for coarser or finer grades takes seconds and you don’t need to worry about getting any hair or clothing caught in moving parts. This option is definitely safer and so preferable for amateurs without much experience using tools.

The main thing is to come at your ceramic surfaces from a parallel angle. You don’t want to sand jagged edges into the sides of whatever you’re finishing up, so you want nice, even surfaces that you can only get in this way. If your material does chip, consider buffing it out or giving the entire surface another go to file it down beyond the point of the defect. This could save the whole piece from a minor defect which could otherwise end up destroying it, and it wouldn’t even take much time to apply the fix.

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Understanding Ceramic Engineering

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Ceramic Engineering | Comments Off on Understanding Ceramic Engineering

Understanding Ceramic Engineering

Ceramics is a very popular form of art now. Not only in the 21st century, it had become a famous concept in the early 20th century. There are different types of pottery and art forms that can be established from ceramic materials. Britain has seen the likes of many famous ceramicists from the early 1900s who displayed their skill to the world.

But there is something about ceramics that a lot of people are unaware of now. The concept of ceramic engineering is very attractive now. To deal with the subject in detail, we need to look into what ceramic engineering actually is!

Ceramics are non-metallic, inorganic materials. Ceramic engineering is the process of creating objects with the help of these materials. This is done by going down to the roots of ceramics, understanding the basic properties and using some processes on this material. There are a few ways you can work on ceramics. What are these? These include heat treatments, low temperature treatment using precipitation reactions.

Ceramic engineering makes use of some basic properties of ceramics. These include its crystalline structure, long range atomic scale, formation of molten mass and the likes. The whole research on ceramics is based on these few specific properties.

The discovery of ceramic superconductors was a huge blessing to the world. This proved useful in many departments like that of transportation, electronic devices and the likes.

Where can you use ceramic engineered products?

Military purposes: The Second World War created havoc around the world and this led to the rising demand for products in different fields. Ceramic became a useful material back then. This led to the production of lighter, thinner and better performing products. Optical fibers, laser amplifiers, optical switches became a common sight in this part of the world. Bullet proof vests were made with the help of ceramics.

Industries: The industries have benefited hugely with the introduction of ceramic materials. Ceramic engines are common in the transportation industry now. The fuel efficiency of these engines is something that is attracting car manufacturers. Ceramic knives are manufactured now and these are said to be sharper than the usual steel knives. This is quite the invention! Longboards have bearings made from ceramics; these bearings help in better weight management of the longboards. There are, of course, various other longboards to choose from. Check them out here!

Aerospace: It will be hard to believe how strongly the aerospace industry has benefitted with the usage of ceramic materials. Ceramics has been an integral part of space shuttles for a long time now. Ceramic fibers are sometimes used as a protection against fire and also as thermal insulation. Ceramics in aerospace leads to higher durability and mechanical superiority. This all-important material has also made fuel measurements easier.

Ceramic materials and engineering have unlimited scope and benefits on the industries at present. The more we explore these options, the more we will be able to produce cost efficient, durable and reliable products that can only help us in the long run!

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The Best Ceramic Artists In Britain

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Ceramic Artists | Comments Off on The Best Ceramic Artists In Britain

The Best Ceramic Artists In Britain

Britain has always been one of the forerunners of ceramic art. It has managed to produce a number of creative and talented artists who have displayed their skills all around the globe. And ceramics is not a new concept in Britain. Rather, it has come down the generations, providing people with beautiful art forms. This started from the early 20th century when the British took up ceramic art very seriously.

In this article, we will talk about some of the greatest British artists in the field of ceramic art, be it pottery or otherwise. These are people who have contributed to the field in the past or are doing so at present. Let us have a look.

Lucie Rie

This Australia born artist worked during the prime years of the 20the century and gave to the world some of her best work in the form of ceramic art. Rie was really passionate about art and especially ceramic art. She was influenced by Roman pottery. In order to hone her skills in the trade, she went on to make trips to different countries to explore art, including the likes of France and Italy.

Hans Coper

Hans Coper has been yet another extraordinary figure in the world of ceramic art. He was born in Germany, but practiced this art in Britain. Even though Coper worked in closer association with Rie, the former’s work was treading more along the lines of abstract and non-functional art. There are several tea sets and cups and saucers made by Hans while working in Rie’s studio. His unique ceramic pots became really famous also.

Bernard Leach

The next name that makes it this list is that of Bernard Leach. He was more fondly known as the ‘Father of British Studio Pottery’. This name explains his skill and art. Leach practiced his art in various places, including the likes of Japan, Hong Kong, England and others. He had a knack for discovering new art forms and ceramic pottery was his forte. He also travelled to France and Italy to explore this form of art.

Richard Slee

Richard Slee completed his education in the field of arts and design from Carlisle College. He graduated with a first class honors degree in ceramics and his career never looked back ever since. He is known for his work in indoor decoration items. His work is exhibited in various museums and events across the world.

James Tower

The list will remain incomplete without the name of James Tower. He was a ceramist, painter and sculptor. His knack for art was best recognized by the Gold medal he was awarded for painting. He was famous for his 3 dimensional paintings in ceramic forms. He had a unique approach to his work, something that attracted the art lovers!

Ceramics plays a rather important role in world art now. You will also find ceramic boxing gloves that are doing the trends now. For a boxing enthusiast, you might find few Boxing Glove Land reviews  interesting.

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The Career Of Ceramics

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Ceramics | Comments Off on The Career Of Ceramics

The Career Of Ceramics

The ceramic industry is one of the most well to do ones in the present world now. If you have a knack for art and creativity, then ceramics might be a good way to give you career a head start! But before you delve into the career options of ceramics, let us first see what the word means.

What is a ceramic?

Ceramics is a material which is inorganic and non-metallic. The word ‘Ceramic’ is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘for pottery.’ Even though this is an upcoming industry, ceramics has been in fashion for many years now. The most artistic form of ceramics is undoubtedly in the pottery industry. But it has uses in many other sectors as well. This is used for bricks, pipes, biomedical implants, engines, nuclear fuel and the likes. Ceramic composites are also used for brake pads in motorcycles. If you are an avid rider, then visiting http://www.motorcyclistlife.com/ might prove to be useful.

A career in ceramics

The Career Of CeramicsThe work of a ceramicist is basically revolving around freelance work. For adventure lovers and artistic people, this might be a really exciting idea. Your work station will be in design studios and spend the majority of the time doing something you will. Your main work will be designing ceramic structures and selling them to the appropriate heads. This is only one way of directing your career.

There are other ways involved in this too. You have the chance to open your own little store displaying all the beautiful ceramic work that you do regularly. This will not only explore your options, but improve your skills and thus augment your business.

Apart from that, you can have the option to display, advertise and sell your products online on the internet. The advantage of this is that there are a lot more people exposed to the internet than a single shop. Beautiful ceramic art pieces will always attract the enthusiastic attention.

Teaching might also be a great option for you. A lot of high schools and colleges keep looking for ceramic experts to train their students in these fields. This might include professional classes or private tuitions.

The education required for becoming a ceramicist

Although ceramics is mainly a display and fine tune of your skills, a formal training sometimes becomes essential in making a career out of it. Most of the experts discover their interest in the subject while studying it at the high school level. Sometimes, a degree in fine arts and a degree in sculpting can really boast your profile. But this is also true that you cannot become a ceramicist just with some formal training, you will need a really knack for the subject and a certain creativity.

If art is your passion and creativity your skill, then ceramics is a great option for you. This will give direction to your career and you will make a living doing something you really enjoy. Make your hobby your profession with this beautiful art of ceramics.

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Methods Of Shaping In Ceramics

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Pottery Decoration | Comments Off on Methods Of Shaping In Ceramics

Methods Of Shaping In Ceramics

The art of ceramics has developed over the years into something widespread and attractive in terms of its creations. There are a number of methods that have been developed over the years and one no longer has to solely rely on the more traditional methods of manually pressing and shaping something into existence. Some of the old methods that were in prior use did not allow for the capability of producing the kind of art works that is seen in various art exhibitions and showcases around the globe.

For those who are thinking about delving into ceramics as a hobby, it is wise to first consider the different methods there are of creating this type of art. Once one has all the information that they need, they are able to choose the method that best suits them according to their particular conditions.

The method of shaping ceramics chosen by an individual can depend on a number of factors that have an external effect on their decision as well as personal taste which deals to what type of art speaks most to the individual in question.

Some of the external factors that can affect a person’s final decision on the method of shaping that they choose to utilize in their ceramics can include issues such as the particular finances of an individual and how much they are willing to spend on their new found love of ceramics, the kind of art that he wants to create which has to do with issues such as the size of the final product and the personal taste of that particular individual.

It should be noted that some clay and chemicals used in the production of ceramics can be harmful to the skin after long term exposure, so in order to avoid the need for the frequent use of a microdermabrasion machine like the ones from CamilasBeauty, it is best to ensure that one has protective gear on when they are going through the process.

Some of the methods of ceramic shaping that one can choose to employ include:

  • The potter’s wheel – This is one of the most common and not to mention one of the oldest methods of shaping ceramics. The potter’s wheel is a device used by the artist to shape the clay in what they want through a circulatory motion combined with variants of pressing and moulding. This process is known as throwing and the ball of clay is initially placed at the center of the turntable which rotates mechanically via an electronic motor that is attached to the device. The speed of the wheel head can be changed manually by the artiste via a stick or foot pedal.
  • Granulate Processing – This is a more industrial method and is mostly used by individual’s seeking to produce products for commercial use. The shaping process is achieved through the pressing of clay in its granulated form into a mould. Water delivered at a high pressure helps in this process allowing the clay to fit easily into the mould. Once this is done the mould is left to dry and take shape.
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Tips for Successful Brainstorm Sessions

Posted by on Oct 18, 2014 in Knowledge | Comments Off on Tips for Successful Brainstorm Sessions

Tips for Successful Brainstorm Sessions

When you are a part of the Ceramic Society, you have to learn the importance of formulating ideas and executing plans. This applies to any organization and when members of an organization have a meeting, it is important to brainstorm. What is brainstorming? Brainstorming is the production of ideas and solving questions and problems efficiently. Members hold special meetings, or sessions, to come up with important ideas for a successful brainstorm. Don’t fear if you do not know how to do this. Meet the goal of having a smoothly-run brainstorming session with focus. Here are some tips for successful brainstorm sessions.

First tip: know your purpose. Without a clear cut purpose, the brainstorming session will more than likely fail. When working in a team, you will have conflicting ideas around the room. It is important to identify the issue, figure out how to solve it, and think of the ideas for problem solving that will help. This should be known before going into a meeting. Define the purpose of it all.

Another tip is to write everything. No idea is dumb, just keep jotting down notes. Give consideration because you may have to go back to the notes wondering if that idea you once thought was dumb may actually work. Don’t be afraid to build ideas on top of each other.

Start some creativity by showing visuals. It helps make sure everyone understands the idea, so clarity is definitely a plus with visuals. Sticky notes, chalkboard, whiteboard, posters, and even PowerPoint presentations help. Make sure you have your desktop (or laptop) and projector ready for a visual performance. Ceramic Society recently began using this method of performance and knew that it is proactive to have a stock of led projector bulbs in case of any issues. It is suggested to do so.

The fourth tip to be introduced is knowing that is okay to brainstorm alone. Brainstorming by oneself before presenting concepts and answers to the group has its advantages. People tend to be more creative when they come up with ideas on their own. This does not mean to abandon group analysis, since talking with group members can help introduce varied perspectives. Personal reflection as well as group reflection is vital for ideas to become action. A brainstorming session between members can make a world of difference when focusing on achieving a goal. This leads us to the final tip that can help bring true success to the table.

The last tip is to always have a follow-up session with your members. There is a good reason to schedule a follow-up session. You have to make sure something has resulted from all the amazing ideas you and your teammates brainstormed. The session will allow people to find out the next step in a strategy or plan. It is also a great way to assign jobs for each team member and outline the following stages to the end of meeting the goal. Remember to plan ahead, write down everything, and know that everyone’s opinion is valued.

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Ceramic Filters

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Knowledge | Comments Off on Ceramic Filters

Ceramic Filters

When you hear the word “ceramics” what comes to mind? Lots of people imagine pottery, or other items crafted from clay, then glazed and fired in a kiln to make, well, ceramics. Others might think of specialty computer parts, or even photographic lenses; very fragile and very expensive items. However, one of the most common uses for ceramics today is in filtration systems, especially in bodies of water, like pools or aquariums. Ceramic filters are safe and non-toxic, fairly cheap to produce when compared to some other filters, and easy to install.

First, it’s key to understand how ceramic filters work. Because they aren’t made from organic material, they don’t really harbor bacteria as well as some other types of filters. The ceramics can be made in such a way that there are several layers of ceramic with tiny holes to allow water to pass through, but catch any solid materials which are flowing along the same path. Think of a window screen which has been rolled up on itself to make a kind of mesh cylinder and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what most ceramic pool filters look like.

If you just look up canister filters, you’ll probably get hit with a number of different ceramic filters, though like I mentioned before water filters come in a variety of different materials. There are certainly cheaper options out there, but filters made from inferior materials need to be replaced more often and have a higher chance of failing to do the job they were installed to do. This might not be a big deal if you rarely swim in your pool anyhow, but if you’re in there for the majority of days in a week, that kind of exposure could be bad.

Filters like these are also used inside of aquariums, and that’s where you really can’t compromise for any reason, in my opinion. People who are barely in the water, that’s fine, that’s pretty much normal. But fish are always in that body of water, and they need it to be clean lest they pick up some sort of disease. If you’re an aquarium owner like me, you’ll probably want to check out http://canisterfilterguide.com/best-aquarium-filter-reviews/ to get a better idea of what specific filters might be good for your current setup.

In the end, you have to go with whatever is best for you. That means looking at the costs, the benefits, the losses, the life of the filter, the amount of use the filter would go through, and a few other factors. Once you know the best option for your specific needs, you’re making an informed shopping decision. I don’t really care if you go for something besides ceramic either – just be sure you’re happy with what you end up using. You can always just replace it later, so it’s not a serious commitment. Still, who doesn’t want to get their money’s worth?

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What Does a Good Ceramics Workshop Need

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Knowledge | Comments Off on What Does a Good Ceramics Workshop Need

What Does a Good Ceramics Workshop Need

It may seem like this hardly needs mentioning, but a good workshop is a prerequisite for making good ceramics. It’s not enough to just have any type and size of space, but there are some specific things which constitute a good workshop. And, there are some things which you need to think about while equipping your workshop. So here we offer you the answer to the question “What does a good ceramics workshop need?”

The first thing you need to ask yourself before starting to equip your workshop is what your level of interest in ceramics is. Are you just starting out or are you a dedicated potter? Do you just want to do it as a hobby, or do you want to do ceramics for a living?

Of course, the size and equipment in your workshop will be determined by the answer to these questions. For every activity, the amount of equipment you need is proportional to the amount of time you do the activity. That’s why, for example, people who drive their cars for a few hours a week don’t go buying LED light bars (like the ones at http://lightbarland.com/), while those who drive more often do. Be sure to modify your workshop to your wishes and ideas of the future.

Another important question is, are you going to be building or throwing? If you are building, you are going to need less space, and it will be easier to clean up the mess after you’re done. With throwing, you will need more space, and you will definitely need a separate room for the activity, since there will be splatters everywhere.

So, now that you’ve asked yourself these questions, it’s time for the big one. How much space are you going to need? Well, if you want to be an amateur potter, and you’re more interested in building, your kitchen table will literally suffice. On the other hand, if you want do make pottery professionally, you will need a separate room with storage space for your work, and if you’re throwing rather than building, you will need a bigger room.

Apart from space, here are some other important things to bear in mind when equipping your workshop.

  • Plumbing

If you want to work with clay, you will need good access to water. It’s important to know that you should never pour or shove clay and other ceramic materials down your drain, since they will definitely clog your plumbing and they are not environmentally safe.

  • Lighting

This absolutely needs to be said – you need good lighting when you work. You will find your work comes out much better when you have nice lighting, and it definitely makes the job easier. It’s like how it’s so much easier to drive with LED light bars. Keep in mind that it’s better to have ambient lighting, and not spotlight.

  • Ventilation

Since toxic gases are released with every firing, you absolutely need to have a proper ventilation system installed by a professional. This is especially true if you are using an airbrush!

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Ceramics in the kitchen – is it always the better option?

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Knowledge | Comments Off on Ceramics in the kitchen – is it always the better option?

Ceramics in the kitchen – is it always the better option?

We ceramic lovers often claim that everything is better when it’s ceramic. While this is true for most things (of course :), is it possible that some things are just more affordable, durable or beautiful when made from metal, wood, or some other material. In this article, we will give a short overview of different items, from grinders (such as salt and pepper grinders, and those found at MeatGrinderAdviser) to kitchen utilities and knives, and try to give an objective assessment on which is better – ceramic or non-ceramic.

Knives

One of the staple items in any kitchen, a knife is something you use every day. The man characteristics important in a knife are its durability, sharpness and price.

Ceramic knives are usually cheaper that steel ones. They are amazingly sharp, and won’t need sharpening in time. On the other hand, they have the disadvantage of being fragile, and they easily chip or break. Another good point of ceramic knives is that they are nonreactive with some foods, which cannot be said of steel knives. Most people have both ceramic and steel knives in their kitchen, and use them for different purposes.

In conclusion, we have to say that this battle ends in a tie – they both have good and bad sides, so it ends up being a personal choice. I think we’ll go with ceramic!

Grinders

When looking into grinders, we have to come to the conclusion that different types of grinders have different material advantages. For example, when looking for a good meat grinder, ceramic ones are hard to come by, while there are excellent steel meat grinders such as this one – http://www.meatgrinderadviser.com/lem-products-75-hp-review/.

On the other hand, when it comes to other types of grinders, for example salt and pepper grinders, we have found that ceramic ones are better for the job.

Cookware

A recent development in the non-stick cookware department, ceramic coatings are rapidly gaining popularity. This is because they are environmentally friendly and safe. They come in all shapes, styles and colors.

On the other hand, some claim that they have a shorter life span than their adversary – Teflon. But we have found that this is because people use a lot of oil and cooking spray, which tends to affect the durability of the cookware. This affects both ceramic and Teflon cookware – if there is a build-up of oil, the pan quickly loses its non-stick properties, and if the oil is scrubbed off, the non-stick coating is lost.

So both are amazing, but we’ll still go with ceramic!

Teapots

Concerning teapots, there are three prevalent choices – glass, porcelain or ceramic.

Glass teapots are the least popular of the three, and with good reason. Although they are nice to look at because they are see-through, they easily crack when heat or cold is applied.

Porcelain teapots do not absorb the flavour of the tea, which is their advantage, but they are unsuitable for types of tea which requires long brewing.

Finally, ceramic teapots have no discernable disadvantages. They retain heat for a long time, and the enamel coating stops them from absorbing the flavour of the tea. Ceramic is again our number one choice!

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Earning Money Making Ceramics

Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Spirit of Pottery | Comments Off on Earning Money Making Ceramics

Earning Money Making Ceramics

Some people love doing ceramics, but prefer do only do it as a hobby. Others, however, would give everything to be able to make a living by making pots, figurines, cups, etc. And these people often ask themselves – is a serious career in pottery and ceramics really possible?

The answer is YES!

But before you start quitting your day-jobs, you have to inform yourself and bare some things in mind. There are both upsides and downsides to doing this type of business. One of the downsides is that it takes some time to get off the ground, and you need to invest at least some capital if you’re going to see a return. This means that it is way better to not retire your construction helmet, nurse shoes, or office suit just yet – it is better to have a steady income while your ceramics business develops. This might be strenuous and harsh, but unless you have a nice nest egg, it is by far the best option – you won’t be able to sell your ceramics if you don’t have any money for material.

So, you might be asking yourselves – What are the important factors in developing a successful ceramics business. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Finances – Yes, we’re starting with the least interesting, but sometimes most important one. You have to keep a close eye on your finances if you want to make any money from your venture. This means calculating the cost of the material, utilities, taxes, and then figuring out what your targeted salary is and how many pieces you can make per week. Only when you have all this info can you put the right price on your pieces.
  • Attention to Detail – This tip references both finances, and your work. You have to keep a close eye on what you’re getting and what you’re spending. If you’re not sure how to do this, use a program for bookkeeping. Concerning your work, make sure you interact with your customers and pay attention to their wants and needs. This will make them happy and attract more.
  • Quality – This is the big one! Quality is one of the most important things to keep an eye on. You have to be trained to recognize a quality work when you see one, and you need to make sure you give everything you can into each of your pieces. This way you can introduce your customers to your quality and style, and you will gain loyal patrons.
  • Value – It is important that you know how to set your prices – if you set them too high, no one will buy them, and if they are too low, you won’t profit. You have to find the golden middle. Do this by looking at your finances to avoid undercharging, and looking at other galleries and artists to avoid setting astronomical prices. A good idea is to have pieces in all price ranges (for example, divided by size), so that someone who has some extra cash can buy a $5000 piece, while those who can’t afford to be extravagant have the option of getting a smaller piece for $20.
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A peek into the world of Ceramics

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Spirit of Pottery | Comments Off on A peek into the world of Ceramics

A peek into the world of Ceramics

I had recently been on a vacation with my friends. We had a great time, especially the kayaking we did. One of my friends owns a cabin by a lake. We all went kayaking and even had a race, which was exciting and all of us, had great fun.

The kayak we used was exceptionally designed and of good quality, so we could enjoy the race better.  In the evenings, we would sit by the cabin, set up a campfire and talk about all kinds of things. It was during one of these talks that the topic of ceramics came up.

One of my friends wanted to pick up a ceramic gift for his girlfriend. She loved all things ceramic. He wanted to know how ceramic had developed over the centuries to the present state.

Particularly he wanted to know why when the civilizations of the past were named after the materials, which dominated that period like Stone Age or Bronze Age, there never has been a ceramic age. This is because all these civilizations used ceramic prevalently and it cannot be contained to only one particular period.

In fact, I mentioned that there is evidence of ceramic use as back as 24,000 BCE. And today these ceramics are used in silicon chips, catalytic converters and other important things we use in our daily routine.  Therefore, ceramic age encompasses all of human civilization, which shows the significance it has in the modern era.

Ceramics

The pottery and articles made from firing clay were given the name ceramics earlier. However, at present the term has a wider definition. At present ceramics are non-metallic or inorganic solids that characterize useful properties including strength, hardness, and high melting point and have good thermal and electrical insulation.

Ceramic materials include pottery, brick, glass, cement and porcelain. While these are the popularly known ceramics, the name actually covers wider range of materials that have inorganic solid and are non-metallic.

Various ceramic materials

Diamond and graphite are types of ceramics that have a crystalline arrangement that differ from the basic carbon element they have. You also have complex crystals of oxygen, copper, barium and yttrium, which form advanced ceramics that are used as superconductors or materials with no electrical resistance.

While these two are, the extreme ends of the ceramic material scale there are others, which fall in between including crystalline compounds, metal oxides, carbides, nitrides, silicide, etc. And the advanced ceramics which we use now are formed from a combination of ceramics with other materials called as CMCs (Ceramic Matrix Composites)

Ceramic properties

Ceramics are brittle solids suited to withstand high temperatures. This is only one of the various properties that ceramics are endowed with. The others include electrical resistance, brittleness, durability, strength, thermal resistance and withstand effects of acids, chemicals and oxygen. But all ceramics do not have all of these properties.

For instance, graphite conducts electricity but is  a soft ceramic. Diamond on the other hand is a good heat conductor. Ferrites are a type of ceramic material that conducts electricity. Superconductors do not have any electrical resistance. And the composite ceramic matrix used by embedding strengthened fibres in the ceramic does not have any brittleness.

My friend who had all the while related ceramic to pottery only, was stunned at the various facets of the material. He was happy that he had brought it up. The vacation was truly relaxing and rejuvenating for all of us, especially the fun time we had in the kayaks, check out this site for more info, which also gave us some rigorous cardio activity to indulge in during the vacation.

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