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  2. Terri- You mention the desire for a clear shiny finish. I used to use Future Floor Polish on some pieces that were pit fired or raku. That was a long while back though. I did a quick internet search on it and came up with the following web article among others: http://www.finescale.com/online-extras/how-to/2017/11/in-the-past-it-was-future I realize that this article refers to using it ( or its new brand name, but read through it, especially the parts about using it on clear plastic parts, and then do some testing for yourself utilizing your clay body and effects on some “non-precious “ samples to evaluate the results. If you choose to explore this and/or other suggestions, please post your results. Others may find them useful. Regards, Fred
  3. Thanks Neil! - I will try a couple and see how they turn out, if it works out then I would just do a few in a load vs filling the kiln with them.
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  5. It's not great for the elements, but just how bad it is will depend on a lot of factors, so you'd have to try it and see if it affects your element life enough to make it a deal breaker. The paper will burn early in the firing, so by the time the bisque is done, everything will be burned out completely. Small amounts of combustible won't be a problem, but a kiln full of pieces that are full of paper will overload a downdraft vent. I've had many call from schools claiming that their vent is broken, only to find that every piece in the kiln is built on a paper armature.
  6. I've always just used #1 Pottery Plaster. The reason to use Hydrocal is for greater durability, so I'd go for the high strength formula.
  7. Anyone know of a good brand or type of polish for smoked pottery that is non-yellowing? Closest I've found so far is Pledge but it doesn't produce a high shine. Beeswax is really yellow (surprise, surprise) and floor paste wax causes the white parts of the terrasig to go yellow too
  8. Nice save for this salvaged pot! Do see a little warpage or is that camera angle? Oatmeal glaze?
  9. My 8 year old Shimpo was getting slower and slower. I called Shimpo after trying to adjust the potentiometer. That’s when I learned that it needed a new control board for $317.00. I mostly handbuild so the wheel was not used daily. I did not know that the capacitors on the control board are like a battery and the wheel needs to run to keep them charged. Sitting idle decreases their life span. Am I the only one not aware of this? Is this so with all the newer wheels? My 40 year old year old Brent has been repaired once. I bought the Shimpo for the quiet Thanks to all. Ruth
  10. I am making a plaster wedging table, I’ve read here that hydrocal is the plaster to use. Can I use the lightweight formula? Or should I stick with the high-strength formula? The lightweight is slightly cheaper and is on amazon prime so I’d have it by Monday versus waiting longer for it to arrive and paying slightly more for the high-strength formula. TIA!
  11. I love the grolleg slip I have been using. This is kind of an interesting problem that is expanding my knowledge so I'm kind of enjoying it even as I am struggling with it. The slip is about 1 1/2 weeks old now. I think today I will measure the specific gravity again and perhaps add some grolleg to bring it up if it is low (two days after mixing it was 1.6) and then maybe add some Darvan if needed. Thanks, tinbucket!
  12. I have seen a technique involving embedding paper and cloth to create textured surfaces and curious if it is harmful to do this in an electric kiln. I have a vent but not sure how much smoke it will create or bad for the elements or if it might gum up the soft brick or something?
  13. Yeah, I've got some older textbooks, which I've inherited, that definitely use some outdated terminology... Yeah, no issues with folding, while kneading bread. If you trap air, it will just add to the texture you are generally trying to achieve. Also, sourdough is delicious!
  14. Heh heh. Wendy ordered a new thermocouple from the local distributor -- she'll pick that up on Monday. So we will try again on Tuesday. Re-arranging the order of the valves in the valve train seems like a big job, and if we are going to go to those lengths, I would probably just get a new valve to replace the troublesome one -- if a new thermocouple doesn't resolve the trouble....
  15. @Tim Allen ok we have waited, any discoveries?
  16. I have also read that in Andrew Martin's book and I have had great experience using Grolleg in casting slip. Another thing to consider is that Grolleg has some potassium (flux) and EPK does not. EPK will require more added flux to reach the same level of vitrification for an equal amount of Grolleg. Not sure if I read this on digitalfire or Martin's book but this way to mix casting slip works well for me: mix your slip, let it sit overnight, measure specific gravity, add water to reach target specific gravity, then add deflocculant to adjust the fluidity of the slip.
  17. I make two and three finger handles for average size mugs. Since I make 7 sizes and styles it more complex. Say on a two # mug that is usually 4 finger handle. Mug size will determine the esthetics of most handles. My customers like a mix of handle sizes so thats what i give them.I make mugs for other people not myself.
  18. You certainly “ handle” the criticism well though.
  19. Like Liam, I make the top attachment of the handle to be approximately 1/3 of the width of the mug. the handle thickness should be a similar thickness to the lip of the mug, so they carry the same visual weight. The handle should taper quickly so it springs off the mug in a natural arc. Assuming it's intended for 2 or more fingers, I like a 'D' shaped handle. I'm kind of picky about handle shapes- I hate '7' shaped handles, or handles that loop up above the rim before going down. Currently I only make 1 finger handles. I like how they feel, and they fit the style of my mugs. Some people really hate 1 finger handles, and aren't shy about telling me when they come into my booth at art fairs.
  20. Well, learn something new every day! I almost never wedge (when I do, it's spiral). Mostly I do cut & slam, and then I often beat the clay into submission with a mallet or pound it with a heavy duty commercial rolling pin, whacking it every which way from Sunday (then roll it). Ah ha....forge wedged! I don't bake bread. I make "Casserolls" from Recipes for a Small Planet. They're made of milk, honey, butter, yeast, & whole wheat flour. The process involves warming, cooling, stiring, bubbling, beating, going down, rising up & dropping by heaping spoonfulls into a pan--no kneading. Truly yummy.
  21. I bought a ton back then (Gerstly borate )and am swimming in it for my life.The shipping will be alot $I would think about the formulation with other ingredients.
  22. By the way. A good set of books on functional pottery are Robin Hoppers "functional pottery", and Clary illians "a potters workbook". The Illian one is fairly short and simple, the hopper book goes more into background, history and theory and I like it much more. Clary illians book is more about exploration of forms
  23. I aim for the handle to be 1/3rd of the total width of the vessel. So handle protrudes about half the diameter of the cylinder. Always looks good at that size.
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