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  2. Thank you again. I was thinking the buffalo wallow type and the 213 porcelain mixed something like 50-50 or 66-33 and throwing in a few (3 or 4) lbs of kyanite. Just because a bonsai potter said he has found it helpful and I was reading that some porosity makes good slips as opposed to plasticity . as for it being vitreous I don't think 0 percent absorbtion is necessary. Both those clays are approx. 1.7 I think ... I think something mostly or semi vitreous is sufficient. Would those two clays and kyanite be more or less off white at cone 6? I don't want any unglazed part (around the feet or inside or underneath) to be bright toilet white.
  3. Today
  4. Take some of the same clay and make some circles just slightly smaller than the base diameter of the mugs and about 1/4" thick and dry them between boards so they stay flat. Bisque fire them then set mugs on the bisqued circles of clay. If your glaze is fairly stiff this should work, if it's runny then you're going to have to grind off glaze drips. If you cut more of an undercut at the base of the mug you don't really see much raw clay at all.
  5. I really doubt the clay I used would be available to you, F78G from Plainsman Clay in Alberta. Haven't used any clays from Armadillo and don't know if they are an option for you but their Buffalo Wallow looks like it could be tight enough with a posted porosity of 1.73 There should be someone on the forums who knows about their clays and/or other ones in your area. I would look for low porosity figures, some sand or grog for strength, the colour of the fired clay. I would just buy a bag to start with and run your own porosity and absorption tests on it before making the pot. Compress the clay slabs with a rib to push any grog or sand into the clay. If the unglazed clay is too rough you can sieve some slip made from the same clay and right after rolling and compressing the slabs brush a couple coats of slip on the slab.
  6. Ideal studio setup

    I think an important thing to do would be to think about your work flow, and how any given piece moves through your studio before it's finished. Think about a work triangle, similar to the way you would want an efficient kitchen set up. I agree about putting as many things as you can on wheels, with the addendum that I would have a look at how smooth the floor surface is, and make sure the wheels or castors you get roll smoothly enough that ware carts won't rattle too much.
  7. What kind of clay Min? I'm worried about "super coarse". A nice bonsai pot should be vitreous or at least really close. Its wet and exposed to freezing and thawing and triple digit heat for months ...and porous pots will absorb water and break in time. truthfully for me , in texas, this is a vain consideration because it just doesn't get cold enough for that to be a real issue. I have cheap terra cotta pots that have lasted a decade. But if I'm going to the trouble to do it im going to make it nice and the best way. Stoneware and or porcelain. And ill write my name on the bottom . and my grandkids will marvel at my ingenuity and craftsmanship.
  8. Beads Pendants Cabs Minis Low Fire Ceramics

    Standard White 105 low fire cone 05 Paragon SC2 kiln - Feb 20, 2018 very first bisque firing of very first pieces.
  9. Is this going to be a rectangular bonsai pot? If so it wouldn't be difficult to make from slabs. I've made a few really big planters this way. Thick slabs, like 3/4" thick made from a super coarse clay, let them stiffen up then miter the joins and slip / score. No molds or forms or special equipment needed.
  10. Yesterday
  11. I have no idea where or how to fire it, but if ultimately you cannot fire it and you've already made a mold then you might be able to make it again out of Portland cement or some other concrete product. It would be extremely heavy it might even need some steel , but I guess clay is heavy too... Just a thought .
  12. If one of your students....

    She sounds like a muddle of ignorance and personal problems. It was good at least one of your other students supported you verbally, I hope the rest did as well in some way. Maybe that was enough, but if she shows a hint of that BS again I'd take her aside privately and tell her to knock it off. Unless she's a nut, which it kinda sounds like she is, when she bothers to google anything educational about how touchy glazes are, she'll be embarrassed about treating you this way. Some folks just refuse to learn anything though, so I'd definitely be done with her after this class and not accept her back, not that she will ever try and come back. Good story for your life experience. If I were you I'd try and take the graceful way out and neither engage her again nor show her any particular grudge, that will earn you high marks with your current students.
  13. Maybe ill try that chilly . thank you. Even if its 150 lbs full I'm pretty sure I could tilt it and drain it. But just in case, I have a small 4 wheel dolly. Its flat. Similar to the picture below. I can fasten the block to it and the wheels should make it a little easier to tip. One reason the slip casting thing appealed to me is that it requires no attaching pieces together. I've read that those are the places that fail in drying and firing , the ones you glued together with slip which may not dry at the same speed. If the biggest problem with the slip mold is that its big and heavy then I'm cool with that . I'm a big dude. I was more worried about it being a waste if I didn't want several nearly identical pots. Its not cost effective but that's ok. Early on in my research I figured out saving money making your own bonsai pot is like trying to save money growing your own tomatoes . Sooner or later ill try some other techniques. I initially wanted to try the wheel but people here and elsewhere told me that is a lot harder than it looks. Thanks again everyone for the advice and information .
  14. Ideal studio setup

    Any electric outlets in a studio should be GFCI, or controlled by a GFCI breaker. Best to be safe than possibly . . . fried or frizzed! best, Pres
  15. I am just a self taught hobbyist but I have been making some mugs. My handles still aren’t yeh best but my latest attempt is attached (partially dried). It has a cut ring above the rim for decoration and I wanted to glaze all the way to the base of the pot but I am worried about the pot sticking to the shelf. Any suggestions for preventing this but still glaze all the way to the base? Thanks.
  16. just opened the glaze firing and am blown away by the pieces. Some will be refired to enhance the look!

  17. Another good question might be ... basic things you can do to avoid needless failures and disappointment.
  18. Ideal studio setup

    Most of the outlets in my studio are installed at the normal household height, which is near the floor. I have one outlet that was installed more recently, and I asked the electrician to install it at table height. If I was starting from scratch, I would have all of the outlets installed at this height. Or I would first decide where my work tables will be located, and have outlets installed right above them.
  19. Annoying rust spots in pugmill

    There are several products available that convert rust to a non reactive coating. I use them most for automobile repair etc. How long they last will be dependent on how much abrasions is present at the rust spots. As far as the nut goes, you could look for a stainless steel nut that would fit. Google Rust Converters to see all of the various products available.
  20. Hi Textree I would definitely make a first try with a hump mould. You need to make a "master" anyway, before you can make a slip mould, so you might as well. Clay will release from untreated wood but I usually line with thin plastic as it makes it easier. Place your hump mould on a block so the rim is not touching the table, then you can get to the rim of your pot and cut it off level. I have made many large bonsai pots, I've used all methods except throwing. Slip-casting, slump, hump, coiled free-form, coiled inside a biscuit tin, slab-sided, bricked. Unless I was going into production I would not be wanting to make a slip-casting mould. Too much time and effort, too heavy when empty, far too heavy when full. The cast-iron Owl below is 12 inches tall, and the mould is too heavy for me to lift when full. I can just about slide it around on the table, when ready to tip. If you do go for a mould, a plug for emptying is a must.
  21. top cage assembled

    if you remove the burner after turning it off, what flame are you worried about? never having been in charge of raku firing, only a helper, i cannot remember anything flaming except once it was put into a metal post firing container with the lid not yet put on top. (that is what i was doing)
  22. If one of your students....

    You handled this well by moving on, this allowed the learning and creativity to continue. If you took the bait to engage with her pettiness it would have taken away from the other students who were there to learn and create. My advice is refuse to let her in the group again. She has nothing to contribute to your class and if she makes other accusations or complaints, it takes your time away from students that appreciate the efforts you are making to teach them. I am sure you can find a better student to sit in her seat. If she complains or asks why, say "you called me a liar, you didn't apologize, I refuse to teach someone who treats others the way you do."
  23. Ideal studio setup

    what a wonderful future you will have working out exactly what you want and then actually using it! congratulations, and happy thoughts to you. there was a post a few years ago that asked what your studio was like. many people responded with photos. you might be able to find that info if you search. looking at youtube videos just to see what the potter's studio is like is very helpful. a recent post showing one of our late potters, tom roberts, included a large view of his space with many horizontal surfaces available for work. i have 2 studios, one very large and a small one here in florida where i spend the winter. i am actually allergic to cold and react the same way other people do to more "normal" allergens. and oil is very expensive and i come down here so i do not have to heat the big house. anyway, each studio has some unusual features that you might find worth copying in your space. if you click on my avatar and go to my profile page, look at albums for photos of the ideas i use. i am retired so i cannot afford to buy the fancy pottery supply items that many people have. everything is used, from a thrift shop or made by me. just think of what you will be doing at each step and lay out the floor plan so you walk in a single direction from clay arrival to finished work leaving.
  24. Have an old 2nd hand Rathcliffe pugmill made in Stoke in Trent in the uk. Started to get rust spots around the grate so removed it totally. Now sadly just below the grate area is more rusty spots and the large nut inside the main cylinder. Wondering if there's any product out there to combat this or has anyone found an inventive way around this problem? Thanks a lot
  25. Another approach to aging the handle is to take a walk outside with some sand paper and an x-acto knife and scratch and sand away some of the under glaze. Use fine sand paper at the end to get rid of any jagged spots. You can still add a wash to this afterwards if it needs it.
  26. Home made wheel that actually works.

    Fast is not one of my skills. At class, when I used the foot pedal I seemed to keep bumping the thing somehow. Plus, I was too lazy to try to engineer a foot feed for the treadmill set up. I have an old Amaco kick wheel that was already converted to the treadmill motor and it works well for us for now. Initially I was building this wheel primarily to use for trimming with a griffin grip, I was just planning on leaving it set up that way. But since I built it, it is the only one I have used and the griffin grip remains sitting next to the old wheel. Guess I will have to make another one for trimming.
  27. Ideal studio setup

    My ware racks and work tables are home made. They have wheels that lock. The shelf supports are 6 inches apart. The shelf is a 3/4 inch plywood cut to 12 inches wide. The rack is 4 feet wide x 2 feet deep x 7 feet tall. I used leftover house wrap to cover the rack to slow the drying. The wrap closes on the side using self sticking magnets that come in a roll. The tables are covered with a 1/2 inch plywood then cement board. Extremely durable and holds no dust.
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