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  2. As a student of various college ceramics classrooms I've observed the following: territory battles over inadequate table space, never enough sinks, sinks always backed up with an angry "don't put clay down the sink" sign above them, more wheels than students using them.
  3. Yesterday
  4. fredrin, looks like you are covering all bases. one thing i will repeat that i have seen in other studios. DO NOT LEAVE THE POWDERED INGREDIENTS IN THEIR ORIGINAL BAGS. get them into large enough bins or containers that have straight sides and wide lids. could not believe the condition of a studio in a community college! for anyone not doing this, try to minimize the dust by putting the whole bag into the bottom of the bin and using a razor knife to cut the very lowest possible point all the way across the bag. slowly pull the bag as it empties into the bin so the powder simply re-settles into the new space without clouds of dust. get the lid on asap.
  5. oldlady

    Software Update

    does this mean that the gallery is going to have pictures in the proper sequence when they are posted and if so, can presently posted pictures be adjusted to read left to right in chronological order?????
  6. LeeU

    Software Update

    It would be appreciated/helpful if you'd post just a brief overview of the changes--about how they will work, that explains the 'more user friendly' a bit. Some of us have a hard time adjusting to tech changes, so the more (simplified) info about what is going on, and especially how to do something, is welcome.
  7. Helmsalee, Neil will have the absolute best information for you when he sees your post. I bought a smaller L&L 5.5 years ago. Because we were putting it in new construction, because we had to upgrade our electrical and because the electrical inspector didn't really know much about kilns, he insisted we hardwire the kiln. So we did. Pro....when the insurance person came out to inspect the new structure and the kiln he said "Oh, great! It's hardwired. That is much safer!" and I had no problem getting insurance coverage on my business equipment. Con....because it is hardwired, it is a bit more challenging to drop that front panel down to access the internal workings. However, your kiln is a front loader and maybe your control panel is on the side or something?? Anyway, Thought I would share. I really do like my L&L. Great customer service. Roberta
  8. Caught my eye. Watched the entire 11.5 minutes, glued to the screen. Oh yeah, the kiln & shed were fun to look at as well.
  9. Found this online-the potter used Obsidian,Blue Rutile, and Smoky Merlot. In that order, 3 coats of each. Applied heavy. Wonder if there is potential for a night sky with the addition of the white stars/gases etc. Maybe different colors, techniques, and some fine line brush work could approximate an interpretation of the Jellyfish Nebula.
  10. Thanks for your input, Fred. Yes, I'm looking at the EFL2626. Sorry about the typo. I've edited the title of the post to correct it. The shipping weight of the EFL2626 is only 575 lbs (only! hah!). I figure on casters and with a little extra volunteer muscle, I could push the kiln around if it were on casters and I were motivated enough. But I see your point about fewer wire connection points. I've rewired a sailboat, and know well the virtues of continuous, and short, wire runs. I don't have much experience with AC, and frankly it scares me. So I want to do it right. About the fuse versus breaker, I've cut and pasted the entire text of the relevant pdf file I found on the L&L website. Here it is: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NOTES CONCERNING CIRCUIT PROTECTION FOR ELECTRIC KILNS Electric kilns are resistance heating devices. The electrical circuit that provides power to the kiln must be wired in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70, last edition is 1996) as interpreted by the local authority having jurisdiction where the kiln is located, e.g., a township building inspector. The circuit can be defined as the device (kiln) itself plus the wires (conductors) supplying power to it. There are two common methods of protecting electrical circuits: fuses and circuit breakers. Fuses self-destruct when they sense an overload in the circuit. Circuit breakers are commonly used in new construction; they trip (turn off power) when they sense an overload, and can be reset (turned back on) when the circuit is returned to normal. Circuit breakers are more convenient because of this feature. However, they can cause nuisance tripping and ruin kiln firings when they trip part way through a firing. This is because most circuit breakers are activated thermally; if the circuit breaker temperature rises above a preset level, a bimetallic element inside the circuit breaker opens, and the power is turned off. This works well most of the time; however, over time the bimetallic element becomes weaker because resistance heating circuits are at their rated load longer than other types of electrical loads such as motors. Eventually the circuit breaker becomes too weak to hold itself closed over a long enough time to finish a kiln firing, unless the circuit is drastically oversized to compensate for this gradual aging process. There are many different types of fuses, including dual-element time delay, one-time, sub-cycle, etc. Most of these designations relate to how quickly a fuse will “blow” in response to an overload, and these types of fuses have been developed to protect not only the circuits, but also varying types of equipment. For instance, SCR’s (silicon controlled rectifiers) need to be protected from voltage spikes which can occur within 1/60 of a second and destroy the device - these are usually protected by ‘semiconductor’ fuses which are very fast acting, current limiting, and have no time delay. Another consideration in selecting fuses is the interrupting capacity in amperes - in other words, how big a short circuit can be opened by the fuse. In large industrial plants this can be an important factor, because if enough power is available it would be possible that a short circuit would allow too many amperes to flow into a circuit for a general purpose type fuse to interrupt - which could potentially cause an electrical fire. Most residences and small commercial shops do not have enough power available before the main circuit protector (usually a 200 amp circuit breaker) would open, and a small interrupting rating (10,000 Amps or 50,000 Amps) is enough. For protecting kiln circuits, ‘one-time’ general purpose type fuses should be used. These are inexpensive, have no appreciable time delay, and are available in a large variety of sizes. They are also widely and easily available, and are made by several large fuse manufacturers. Different manufacturers have different designations for their ‘one-time’ fuses; some of the more common ones are: MANUFACTURER MAX RATED VOLTS INTERRUPT RATING FUSE DESIGNATION LITTELFUSE 250 VOLTS 50,000 AMPS NLN BUSSMAN 250 VOLTS 50,000 AMPS NON GOULD SHAWMUT 250 VOLTS 50,000 AMPS OT LITTELFUSE 600 VOLTS 50,000 AMPS NLS BUSSMAN 600 VOLTS 50,000 AMPS NOS GOULD SHAWMUT 600 VOLTS 50,000 AMPS OTS ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I look forward to Neil's input, and anyone else's who has more experience than I do (and that means nearly everyone in this forum). Helmsalee
  11. Helmsalee- Did you mean the eFL 2635 or the eFL2626? The reason I ask is because the eFL 2635 only is offered as a hard-wired version, where the eFL2626 has both. Personally I prefer to hard-wire larger kilns, as I have found that with fewer wire connection points there is less chance for loose connections, causing hot wires and a decrease in performance. The hard-wired pigtail can be the same 6’ length as the plugin variety, thereby giving you the option of the casters, though at 600 lbs for the eFL2635, I’m not sure you would be doing much moving of it. I didn’t see any mention of using fuses instead of breakers in the literature that I read on the L&L website. I did see where they list “fuse sizes” for all of the eFL kilns, but I just assumed that they used that term because it was shorter and would take up less room in their column heading. I’ve always used breakers, and have rarely had them trip, assuming that they are correctly sized; and never had a tripped breaker “ruin” the work. I suspect that Neil Estrick will chime in on this subject, as he is more familiar with electric kiln set up and repairs. Regards, Fred
  12. (Your best material is #1 Pottery Plaster from USG. https://www.usg.com/content/usgcom/en/products-solutions/products/industrial-and-specialty/ceramics/usg-no-1-pottery-plaster.html Use their data sheet for mixing instructions located at the bottom of the link above.) Fred is spot on.This is the best for molds.
  13. Jennifer Harnetty

    Software Update

    Hello Forum Members, We just completed an upgrade to the forum software. Most of the updates are on the back end, but you will see some changes to the gallery section. The changes were based on user feedback and should make the gallery more user friendly. If you have any trouble, please post questions here so that we can address them. Thanks! Admin and Mod team
  14. I'm making plans to build a pottery studio on my (very rural and remote) property, and am planning to buy an L&L front-loading kiln: L&L EFL2636. Three questions, before I place my order: Re: Vent. I've read on this forum that venting a kiln is not absolutely necessary if the kiln room won't have people in it while firing. But the (excellent, clear, and detailed) documentation on the L&L website says that all kilns should be vented because of the corrosive nature of the fumes inside the kiln, which shorten its life — quite a different concern than the concern for human health. My studio will have a separate kiln room, divided from the rest of the studio by a wall with a door that will be closed during firing. It will have a window that will be open in nice weather, and a gable fan that will always run during firing no matter the weather. The studio building itself is on a different part of the property from my house. What do you think? Should I buy the vent kit or not? Re: Wiring. The kiln I've chosen has two wiring options. One is to hard-wire the kiln to the fuse panel. The other is a 6-foot cord that plugs into a receptacle wired to the fuse panel. I thought I'd prefer the plug-in option so that I could buy the optional casters and move the kiln if necessary (though I don't imagine it would be moved often, or even ever). Do you see any downside to the plug-in cord option? Re: Fuse. The L&L documentation for this kiln says that a certain kind of fuse should be installed instead of a breaker because breakers are more apt to trip and ruin the firing due to the nature of the energy demands. Sounds reasonable to me, though I imagine my electrician will press to install the usual breakers and I'll have to insist. Any opinion about this? Thanks in advance for any advice. Helmsalee
  15. try not to drop the mold. it could bounce onto your toe.
  16. Thanks, Fred! I should have guessed that there was a special mix out there. I'll give it a try!
  17. dom02- Your best material is #1 Pottery Plaster from USG. https://www.usg.com/content/usgcom/en/products-solutions/products/industrial-and-specialty/ceramics/usg-no-1-pottery-plaster.html Use their data sheet for mixing instructions located at the bottom of the link above. Regards, Fred
  18. Do the experts here have any sage advice on the best plaster materials to use for making a good slip casting mold? Until now I've used a wide variety of commercially produced slip casting molds and they've all been excellent in quality and construction. Nice rounded edges and very durable. I've even dropped a few here and there and all they did was leave a dent in my vinyl floor. Anyway, this weekend I wanted to take a shot at making my own slip casting mold using plain old plaster of paris bought from the local hardware store. It "works," but I can already tell this won't hold up for long. One drop, even to countertop level, and it'll probably explode in to a dozen pieces. I'm thinking this primarily due to the type of plaster I used to make it. Do the commercially produced molds use a different kind of plaster? I do have a bag of jewelry casting investment (which is primarily POP), and I was thinking of giving that a try as I know from experience how smooth and durable it is. I just don't know if it will absorb water from slip properly.
  19. Rae Reich

    Firing Pots With Lids

    Whoa - I never knew this, but it makes sense.
  20. Along with ventilation, powder is on surfaces; you raise it any time you are in there, so take precaution as when you move those bins or even walk into the room you will have dust that you will eventually inhale. So include a closed room in your dust collection system. best, Pres
  21. Also, in regards to selling your work, as a beginner, if it is functional, safe to use, etc I don't see a problem with it. We are all growing as artists. Not only have our skills developed over time, but so have our taste. Forms and glazes, that we may have liked, at one time, might not interest us anymore. The same is true for any artist, in any media; Painters, photographers, designers, etc. This doesn't mean that earlier work is worthless. So if your work is well made (No cracks, horribly uneven spots, overly thick) and you've got a proper glaze on it, by all means, sell away. As Mea said, she has family with some of her earlier work, that she would rather "Didn't exist anymore". I too have some out there. They are all gifts, but that doesn't diminish my distaste for them. I can happily report, that a few of them were liberated from my Grandparent's, when I helped during a move...
  22. Mark made 6000 pots, in the time it took for us to have this conversation...
  23. Benzine

    Thinning a Commercial Brush Glaze

    I remember Mark stating, that he believed that extruded handles were actually stronger, as they are being compressed, while being made, as opposed to stretched out, with a pulled handle. I wonder if anyone has experimented with this, to determine the difference in strength?
  24. Might be able to get this guy for cheap...
  25. @Rae Reich Yes, we'll be operating a "weigh & pay" scheme for students, so allowing storage for a few different varieties in that room in the top right of the plan. But as Pres points out, it will mostly be for big bins of raw materials and other glaze ingredients. It's nicely enclosed so I can kick up plenty of powder so long as it's just me in there (with a mask on).
  26. Long video. The next time you complain your wheel isn't working... Very relaxing with nice background noises, no narration, elegant pot forms. At the end there's an interesting above-ground firing of a couple pots. Long video. Philippines, handbuilding and group above-ground village firing with some interesting stuff happening. Beautiful black finish from -rice hulls? This one complete from wedging clay to marketplace stall selling the pots. Nice scenery in the last half too.
  27. Mark C.

    Unusual Questions

    This is not the first time a poster vanishes and we wonder what happened .The ocean is big place.
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