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  2. I was a telephone systems technician. Installation and service. 33 years ago it was all analog, then digital, then IP and now it's mostly cloud based. As a field tech, it suited my personality well. One of my sayings was There are 2 kinds of problems, people problems and technical problems. I don't do people problems. I was a pretty cool job for a long time. As long as my customers were happy, no one really knew where I was or what I was doing. Totally unsupervised. I worked in lots of different environments. Hospitals, lawyers, car dealers (the 3 worst). For the last year and a half, I'm working from home, deploying phone systems remotely. The phone system is in a data center, the connection is the internet and the phones are on the customer's site. They have people in India doing this work also. After 35 years in the trade, I have no more skill than a 5 year employee. Probably less, because of attitude. But pottery was there as a creative balance to keep me going and really it's a decent supplemental retirement income. I really don't have the skills or artistic abilities in ceramics to be a start from scratch and make it on standard kitchen ware. Fortunately I didn't find pottery in my 20s, cause I would have thought it was ok to make 20-30k a year indefinitely. It was a good job, but it's not there any more.
  3. Slip is just clay in more water along with the darvan so if evaporation is stopped it will be fine -just mix it well when needed.
  4. (High jury fee, high booth fee, and a gate fee? No thanks. I get that organizers need to make money, but it's in their best interest to do everything they can to make sure sales are good. Once word gets out that artists don't do well at a certain show, the quality of applicants will quickly go down.) This is very true. High booth fees and a gate fee are a no go deal for me.
  5. Measure 1 gram. Using a knife or other straight edge, divide the pile by half, then divide a pile by half, then divide the pile by half, then divide by half. This gets you to 0.0625
  6. Today
  7. Just off the top of your head, huh? Thanks for the info and many thanks for the application note at the end. I'm not totally up to speed on zeta potentials, so I needed the translation. You rock!
  8. Update! I added 0.05% copper carb to my engobe base, and it seems to have worked! It doesn't effect the color fired and after a month it hasn't changed in the bottle (my control batch is green and stinky, so success!). The only bummer is that it is such a small percentage, that in order to measure it, I need to make a pretty large batch. I also tried vinegar which also worked to keep the engobe changing color, but changed the consistency, and the solids collected at the bottom.
  9. I used to work with something similar when I still fired cone 10. It'll be kind of fat and cream coloured where thick, with more hints of orange where thin. It won't be a true white, and it likely won't look like the carbon trapped piece in the original post.
  10. Effect of Temperature on the Charge on Kaolinite Particles in Water Systems by D.D. Button and W.G. Lawrence (Alfred U) Journal of American Ceramic Society. @ 60F the charge on particles held in suspension drops by one third resulting in warping or irregular particle stacking. @140F the maximum zeta potential (particle charge) is obtained. application: store it and pour it. Tom
  11. Is it possible to store casting slip in the heat of summer in my garage? I live in TX, so temps get over 100 for weeks at a time. Would this have a deleterious effect on the performance of the deflocculant? Or anything else I am not thinking of? I guess it might grow mold, which would be pretty gross.
  12. A couple suggestions: As you mentioned, you don't want to have to hollow out the sculptures yourself, and no one blames you. So use a construction method, that would give you a consistent thickness, so you don't have to worry about it. I would suggest Pinch-Forming, or formed Slabs. My colleague, at the Elementary Buildings, has his students create Pinch Bowls, which once formed to a good thickness, they reform to turn them into "Monsters" or fish, where the opening of the bowl, becomes the mouth. From there, they score and slip on eyes, fins, teeth, etc. He does it with right around the same age range, you mentioned, and they turn out nicely. For even greater, and more exact control, over the thickness, slabs are your best bet. Roll out slabs to the desired thickness, and then form them around an object, that has the general shape, you are looking for. Different sized balloons work great for this. You can use smaller balloons for the head of an animal, and a larger/ more inflated one, for the body. (Just don't forget to put vent holes in any completely enclosed space you create) Alternately, I've had my own students wrap slabs around empty paint bottles, rolling pins, drape them over bowls, and even layered, crumpled newspaper. A couple things with this approach: One, thinner slabs work better, if using balloons, because they form around them easier. I usually recommend to students, that they use a 1/4" thick slab. Second, if using a "found" object, like a paint bottle or bowl, for support, cover it in newspaper or paper towels, so the clay doesn't stick to it. You also do not want to mold it perfectly to the form of the object, as the clay will shrink around it, and it will then be very difficult to remove said item. Along with this, if using balloons, it is a good idea to pop them, once the clay begins to set. Otherwise, the clay will try and shrink, and the balloon eventually won't let it, so you'll get cracks in the clay. Honestly, either method will work. I lean more towards the pinching suggestion, as the students will better be able to do it themselves. The slab method will nearly guarantee that you will have an even thickness, but rolling out slabs will difficult for students that young, and there are more steps involved. Whatever you end up doing, just do as Neil mentioned, and fire slow, preferably with a Candling/ Water Smoking portion, before you begin the main portion of the firing.
  13. Good one, I should have seen that coming
  14. IDK, some basic glaze chemistry and a little bit of dialing in melts is pretty easy actually. Definitely worth learning so you can get the look you want. This tile below is from a batch of five progressions to replace rutile. Breaks nice, movement is dialed in as I wanted, no crazing and durable flux ratio. All created in about thirty minutes. Making your own definitely has advantages. Picture not so great though!
  15. That sounds like an adventure! Every time I see videos of these haggard old wood firers I think "are these bored millionaires or something?" Just because of all of the money, work and failure involved. But no, I think they're mostly just crazy i can't wait to see the results, Lee!
  16. The opening and unloading of this anagama firing will be 4/28-this Sunday, 9AM. John does commentary for the students on the firing and features as they unload. Later-at noon-the public may come and look at the wares. John sent this email (excerpted) after running into a very puzzling issue: "The issue we were contending with at that point was that the entire second step area of the kiln was lagging in temperature climb. The whole top-to-bottom area right behind the first side-stoke firebox. It is possible that the thermocouple probe in the top of that area was blocked / interfered with by a close piece of work, but the cones in the spy ports there tended to also confirm the lagging temps there. I could find no expected reason for this lagging in that section of the kiln. It has never done so before. Over the next many hours we tried everything I and others could think of to get that area to climb in temperature more quickly. We were running out of ideas. I've been wood firing since 1969....... and I was finally stumped. (In other text, he detailed the ruling out of certain variables, such as weather/lu) We finally, through very careful stoking and persistence, managed to get cone 10's down in the upper and mid part of that middle section of the kiln..... but it was a real battle to get there. The only colder part of that middle step stacking was the very bottom area. I ended up personally stoking for about 1 1/2 hour on that sidestoke firebox in order to get the cone 10's about 1/2 way down there. So we should have reached a cone 9 solidly down in that area. Front area had 13's down........ progressing to 12's as we moved back. We had cone 11's down in the final rear step of the kiln.... which traditionally was the place that the kiln has fired a little cooler. So I am expecting when we unload it is possible we may find something 'dramatic' happened somewhere in the load in that second step. At the least, I am hoping there might be clues that we can see in the unload that might explain why that second step was so hard to heat up. I am very curious... and really want to know for my continuing education in woodfire. As I talked about as we were loading, every anagama firing is a different firing, because the LOAD is different every time. Each firing is a problem solving session. We finally solved this one, but maybe just a tad not as well as I'd have liked. This probably ended up being the most difficult firing we've had in this kiln. And after a wonderful start! I think the overall results will still be good." Pics to follow after the event. I'll put them in the LeeU Anagama Fire album/lu
  17. I do actually mix my own glazes. I was just interested in these particular glazes because they break unlike any of my glazes.
  18. Not really--I am pretty careful. Once I have done what needs to be done, I'm good at leaving things alone until time to load. I brush (usually 3 x and let each layer dry between coats, applied in different directions) or drip it on thick 1-2x (a style thing) using a ladle. Best guess for breakage might be 5% or less, usually because I drop something or turn too fast and hit a shelf edge, that kind of thing. Keep in mind I do low volume and tend to make fairly small pieces!
  19. Yes, everything should be under 1/2" thick. Let things dry a few days, then do a 5 hour preheat and you should be fine. Fire slow to be safe.
  20. I am thinking 30.00 - 40.00 for a perforated bolt together solution. Of course there is the time thing, but for the diy type a savings.
  21. You can use cinder blocks, but it takes some work to get them level and flat so the floor is well supported. A new stand is only $60-70, which is well worth the money once your figure in the cost of steel and the time it would take to make one.
  22. Get a copy of Mastering ^6 Glazes or Michael bailey's Cone 6 glazes and mix your own. You can adjust a glaze fitting to your clay with an small addition of Silica like 0.5% or an adjustment of kaolin up to 2% but you have to test. Marcia
  23. I don't have any experience with cone 10 shinos as I fire my gas kiln to cone 6. In my experience with shinos at cone 6, recipes with redart will be toasty brown while recipes with only ball clay will be white. Recipes that are nominally white will turn toasty brown where thin and on a brown (i.e., iron-bearing) clay body. Recipes that have a lot of soda ash will carbon trap if reduction is started early, around cone 012, and reduction maintained all the way through. If you do all the various tricks to get streaks and patches of non-carbon-trap with a carbon trapping recipe, the same "rules" apply for the color of the streaks and patches. Yes, I have achieved a black with white streaks carbon-trap shino on white stoneware.
  24. My favorite suppliers are Brackers, Archie Bray Clay Business, Aardvark, The Ceramics Store in Philly, Bailey for larger equipment, Axner's, U.S. Pigment, Alligator Clay, and Seattle Pottery. Never have had any problems with any of the above. Excellent customer service with Bailey's tech support. Replaced a gear (my fault) on my slab roller, a controller on the rheostat on the foot pedal (has a name but I forget what it is) and the pressure gauge on my vacuum control on my pug ,mill which got broken when I moved to Texas in 2006. . Marcia
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