brucine (broo'-seen), 1) n. Pharm., Chem. a bitter, poisonous alkaloid, C23H26N2O4, obtained from the nux vomica tree; 2) n. Bruce Bortin's 'low-impact' weblog

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Shlomo the Hanukkah Moose wishes you a joyous Festival of Lights


Shlomo Assembly Diagram Orientation of legs, hooves. 

RF=Right Front 
LF=Left Front 
RR=Right Rear 
LR=Left Rear 

Arrows point frontward. Legs fit snugly over little bamboo pegs which come out of moose belly.

When setting Shlomo up, make his stance as wide as possible. Shlomo is most stable when he is amply moose-spread. 

Shlomo prefers cheap-ass birthday candles and does not concern himself with what color candle goes where 

During the off-season, Shlomo can be compactly stored in his Maccabeus-Box

Friday, September 23, 2016

Nobody Likes the Ik

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ceramic foam convo w @Lprobus

@Lprobus generously responded to my musings about ceramic foam with some well considered and brilliant suggestions. Thanks, @LProbus!

@LProbus: mix up some porcelain slip with a tsp of joy detergent, make it fine and thin and run it through a whipped cream charger, serve it in a hot dry place post results
23h23 hours ago

@dumbeast HD" Damn, that is some boohoo-jeebie process that you outline. Giving that some serious thought. Thanks! If it happens I'll certainly let you know.

I like clay.

 *googles whipped cream charger* "ohHo, hee hee hee, haha, whee!"
@LProbus: I'd like to reproduce this conversation on my blog, unless you would prefer that I don't. May I have your permission to post this? Y N

absolutely. Blog freely.

Thanks! Would you like any further attribution beyond your twitter @?

*nobody ever reads my blod. There's really very little at stake here tbt


nah, but my name is Lissa, and please note that NO2 is very flammable but CO2 not as much :) so, before firing, like way way dry, eh? and still bubbles explode.

Bruce here. Have you tried it, or similar?

nope :) but I had 6 semesters of ceramics and lost some good handles with fancy slip scores. my prof in KS was into adding propylene glycol as a slip thickener

If you dry for a long time and walk up firing very very slow or experiment with slump you might be able to fire layers or thin slices without explosions

Sounds rad. Hate to turn the kiln into an IED, though.

I would recommend using the CO2 and firing small slow samples if this is for firing... wiki NO2 chem at heat is weird :) Perhaps foam clay is for non fired applications.

Ohboy, perhaps you're right. I think I might be better off using CO2 or air or something. I'd like to make something like those porous pumice stones

Thanks so much for dropping all this Science and helping me think this through.

fun fun fun :) if you are not going to fire, or dry for a period of months, maybe no matter :) maybe glass beads?

Oh hell, I've got glass beads. Obsidian sand. Grape nuts. Lentils. I'll wedge _anything_ into clay. I'm kinda slutty that way.

pit fire 
Glass beads might be great because where exposed they may run in the high fire, making a glaze and leaving space


Monday, September 12, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Li'l Strabismus just registered for Fall semester!

#Laney #ceramics #Henderson

#NOLA Monday 8/8

Breakfast at Cafe beignet, then returned car to budget whose system was down so who knows what they'll charge us, la la la. Nice sweltering tour of Cemeteri St Louis, guide Mike Murphy writes boks about NOLA Mary left a queen of hearts at Mme Lavei's tomb.

Found the trolley & then a long hot hike out to Mopho for nice lunch w Marcus Jacobs & Caitlin. My turmeric shrimp beat marys cold buckwheat noodle dish. They gave us a ride in the pickup to the trolley stop.
Rode back to vieux Carre. I went into a faint while mj enjoyed the pool & bar. We toddled out for dinner around the corner at Copper Monkey.
Tuesday August 9 #NOLA

Up before breakfast, out to The Naughty Beignet for coffee, I grabbed some hotel sausage & scrambled eggs at the hotel while MJ got ready for yoga at a museum off Jackson Square. I flaneured about, screwed up a sketchbook page at pj's coffee, bought a new deck of cards. We hit Monty's for bisquits & bloody Mary's at 10 am, oh we're on vacation. Went to a historical museum and then the excellent & devastating Katrina museum. Back at hotel, showered & shaved.

Unattributed pieced constructed glass skull at Red Truck Gallery


Creole Queen

Aboard Creole Queen

Cont'd hung at hotel, then trundled up(!) to the riverbank to catch the Cajun Queen historical afternoon steamboat tour to the battlefield of some damn thing. We stayed on board for that part. It was, eh, fine, until Charles the tourguide guy started talking about Katrina, and then Shit Got Real. Very moving day by day history of how & why the disaster went down the way it did.

Coop's Menu


Got onto the trolley toward French Market, had some kickass gumbo followed by Jambalaya supreme. This was at Coop's, divey little joint, v comfortable & friendly with bathrooms that double as blastfurnaces. Made our way home & vegged out.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Blue book

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Rex the Hunting Dog

This is a true story. 

Abe Rabinowitz decided that he needed a hobby that would take him outdoors and give him some exercise. After some thought, he called his friend Ben, who was an accomplished hunter. Ben said, "Of course, Abe, I'd love to take you hunting. I'll pick you up next Sunday, we'll get an early start, we'll go out in the country and see if we can bag us some ducks. I have a duck blind near a marsh, and we'll bring my dog Sparky to retrieve the ducks that we shoot."

So that Sunday, out in the blind, Abe, Ben and Sparky waited for the ducks. Before long, they heard a quack-quack, and saw, in the sky, a V-shaped formation of ducks on the wing. BLAM-BLAM, Ben fired his shotgun, and a duck fell out of the sky into the marsh. Sparky was very excited, and sat quivering, waiting for his master's word. "Okay, Sparky, go get em!" yelled Ben, and Sparky ran, jumped into the water with a huge ker-SPLASH, dogpaddled to the duck, picked it up in his mouth, dogpaddled back to shore, shook the water off his fur with a huge spray, came back to the blind and released the duck at Ben's feet.

Abe was mighty impressed, and while he didn't shoot any ducks that day, he decided that he liked hunting. He went out and bought some gear so that he and Ben could go out hunting more often.  Abe, Ben and Sparky became good hunting buddies, and after some time, Abe decided that he wanted to get a dog, too. He went out to a puppy farm and picked out a cute little golden retriever pup, named it Rex, and took it home. 

Abe and Rex just loved each other. Rex was a quick learner. Soon he could beg, speak, roll over, sit, and stay. Abe took Rex out to the park and taught him to fetch, which is like the main job of a hunting retriever. Abe would show Rex a fake 'duck' that he had made out of an old t-shirt and some socks. "Here's the duck, Rex. Now STAY. " Abe would show Rex the duck, and then fling it as far as he could across the field. Rex really wanted to go get the fake duck, but Abe made him "Stay...stay...stay, now GO GETTEM, REX!" and Rex would dash out and pick up the fake duck in his mouth. Rex eventually learned to bring the 'duck' back to Abe and drop it at his feet. 

Wellsir, the next weekend, Abe and Rex went out to the duck blind. Ben was out of town, so he and Sparky couldn't come along. Rex was very excited, and when the first formation of ducks flew overhead and Abe BLAM-BLAM! shot one down, Rex nearly wet his pants. 

"Stay, Rex! Stay...stay...stay, now GO GETTEM, REX!" Rex leaped out of the blind, dashed to the edge of the marsh, and stopped short. He looked at the water. He looked back at Abe, over his shoulder. He looked back at the water, then at the downed duck floating 30 yards out. He looked back at Abe and made a tiny whining sound in his throat. 

"It's okay, Rex, go get the duck! Go gettem, boy!"

Rex looked back at the water. He gingerly inched his right forepaw toward the shimmering surface. "Go ahead, Rex, go GETTEM!" Rex put one foot onto the water, tested his footing, and then started to walk across the surface. He didn't sink in, he didn't get wet, he was walking on the water. Abe was flabbergasted. Rex walked over to the duck, picked it up in his mouth, walked back across the water over to shore, brought the duck to Abe and laid it at this feet.

Abe didn't know what to think. He was just deciding that his eyes had played tricks on him, what he thought that he saw was impossible, when another formation of ducks flew overhead and BLAM-BLAM, he nailed another one. 

"Stay, Rex! Stay...stay...stay, now GO GETTEM, REX!" 

Same thing as last time. Rex stopped at the water's edge, looked back, Abe encouraged him, Rex trotted out to the duck, trotted back across the water to the shore, and laid the duck at his master's feet. Abe realized that what was going on was real, shook his head, and praised Rex enthusiastically for the good day, first time on the job as a real hunting dog. Two ducks per day is the legal limit, so Abe and Rex went home.

Abe couldn't wait to show off Rex to Ben. He didn't tell Ben about Rex's Christ-like ability to walk on water, he wanted it to be a surprise. The next weekend, they all went out to the blind, but Sparky was sick and had to stay home. By and bye, quack-quack, ducks fly overhead, BLAM! BLAM-BLAM!, two ducks drop into the marsh, Rex gets all excited, "Stay, Rex! Stay...stay...stay, now GO GETTEM, REX!". Rex dashes to the water's edge, stops, looks back at Abe and Ben. "It's okay, Rex, go GETTEM!" Rex trots out across the surface, picks up one duck, trots over to the other duck, picks it up, trots back to shore, back to the blind, and drops the ducks at Abe & Ben's feet.

Abe can hardly contain himself. "Well!? Ben? Did you see that? DID YOU SEE WHAT REX DID? What do you think of my dog?"

Ben looked a little uneasy. He paused. "Abe, I wasn't going to mention anything, but since you asked, sorry to have to say this, but I don't think your dog knows how to swim."

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Sphincter Building

Homage รก Donald Trump I
Porcelain, Obsidian Sand
Cone 10

Hi, Nancy! Thanks for moving my dish from drying greenware to the to-be-bisqued shelf today!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Aunt Marge Bowl

Monday, January 04, 2016

Ramen Bowl for Amal

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