Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Carols

Last night I led the Christmas Carols in the Temple and for some reason I had left my guitar in "G" tuning instead of standard tuning. So when it finally came time to start playing, something was really wrong. I strummed the first chord of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" and it sounded terrible. My friend Mark Billman was playing the cello and I just looked at him like I was in deep trouble. 

There were probably 75 people there and I was on the spot and at first I did not realize that I had chanted our daily morning hymm, the Sri Atma Gita, and that I always play that in this special tuning. So obviously I had to retune the whole guitar and it reminded me of one of my favorite poems, especially with so many people waiting.

The Guitarist Tunes Up

With what attentive courtesy he bent
Over his instrument;
Not as a lordly conquerer who could
Command both wire and wood,
But as a man with a loved woman might,
Inquiring with delight
What slight essential things she had to say
Before they started, he and she, to play.

Frances Darwin Cornford

Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wieland Pug Mill -- Part 2

Here are the rest of the pictures. 

This is not a pugmill for someone who has no mechanical aptitude. I have had it apart and while I don't think that it will ever need to happen again, there is no guarantee. It is very, very sturdily built. 

This should go to someone who does not need a whole lot of clay at any one time, but who wants and will appreciate really nice clay. Again this is not a good pugmill for a large production studio because it is very slow. 

I am asking 2000.00 for it FOB Alachua, FL. 

Wieland Pug Mill

I have an old Wieland Pug Mill for sale and it will be an incredible pug mill for the right person.
It is a very heavy duty mostly stainless steel pugmill made by a small company in California. Charlie Wieland was kind of a genius/mad scientist who designed and built these pugmills and other pieces of pottery equipment. He is now retired. I think this one is from the 80's and I have had it since the early 90s. It cost 6500.00 when new. 

It has a 2 hp motor and it's very heavy and powerful. The clay that it makes is, in my opinion, better than the clay that I have gotten out of both my Bluebird and Venco pugmills, and is the best clay that I have ever used. It's very compressed and throws very well. You can wedge it but you don't really need to. 

The Wieland however pugs very slowly. When the 4 inch nozzle is on the pugmill, the clay comes out at about 12 inches a minute, so this is not a high volume pugmill. You get incredibly compressed clay but very slowly. 

The pugmill is on wheels so that it rolls around easily. There was a vacuum pump that came with it but it stopped working really well and I bought a  vacuum pump to replace it. It is virtually brand new. 

The clay comes in at the top, is extruded towards the chamber, and then falls through the  vacuum chamber and is finally extruded through a nozzle at the bottom. If you have a good vacuum, the clay is very compressed.

The augers are stainless steel and a material that Charlie called tabular alumina. I never got any rust stuff in my porcelain but there is one place where the clay could touch regular steel.

I could not get all the pictures of the pugmill in this one post so I will post the rest of the pictures in the next post. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bison Tools

It has been a long time since I have posted and the flu is one of the main reasons. It just has hung on for so long. Hopefully it is mostly gone. I do feel better and energy is returning.

There is also the fact that Christmas is just around the corner and I have not really done anything in the way of shopping. Fortunately I have been the target of some Christmas shopping but less than the last few years.

Ever since sometime in the 80s I have been using Phil Poburka's Bison Tools. Here is a photo of my first pair which lasted about 12 years. They are on their way back to Phil to have new blades put on them so they will be good as new. 

The bottom photo shows what happens if one of these babies is dropped. Fortunately this one can be fixed, or at least I hope it can. 

There is another one on its way that will not be able to be fixed and will have to have a new blade altogether.

These tools are expensive but they save so much time because they stay sharp even when working with porcelain. You can use them for years before they need to be sharpened.