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  2. Hello! I have run into a problem making casting slip. I have been using a tried and true recipe from an instructor several years ago for a casting slip that calls for grolleg kaolin. I mixed up a new batch and did not realize that when I said grolleg, the guy at the sales counter heard EPK. I thought when I saw the bag that perhaps it was from a different supplier so added it. Realizing that it was not at all the same in color and substance, I did some quick research and saw that it is essentially the same but will shrink a little more than the grolleg. Okay, cool. I can deal with that as I am experimenting with slip casting anyway, so I added it as I was in the middle of it all and did not want to put it all away again. But then when I got home I looked in the Andrew Martin book he said it will not work at all because it holds on to the water and will cause the casting to have a thin wall and be brittle. So now: do I toss my batch and spend another $100 on supplies or would you attempt some sort of save? I did cast one small plate as a test and I didn't notice any extra brittleness, though it did take longer to cast. It will be going through bisque fire in the next day or so, which might help me decide. The only other thing that I noticed is that it immediately starts to settle and turn into oobleck on the bottom of the bucket. The specific gravity is 1.6, which is a lot lower than normal. I was trying to decide whether to let it evaporate for a while and then add some Darvan or SS (though I made it with a bit of soda ash which I have heard doesn't play well with Darvan). Or maybe I just start over and learn to look more carefully at what they are loading in my car. Thanks in advance for any advice or knowledge you can impart.
  3. As I mentioned in the Events section, I have a big show coming up soon. Lots of good stuff coming out of the kilns now.
  4. Today
  5. I had always thought that cone wedging was the same as spiral, just occurred with smaller amounts of clay. Semantics I guess. best, Pres
  6. @neilestrick What type of clay body is that? Beyond the two types Neil listed (Ram's Head and Spiral), there is another type, Cone wedging. Like Ram's Head, it works better for smaller amounts. I usually start with Ram's Head, and then go to Cone.
  7. Hi Mehmet. Welcome. Bad English? Not at all. You should hear some of the people from here in Kentucky, USA! They were born here and my wife still can't understand them! She says they talk like they have a mouth full of marbles. I started a kiln build in October 2018 and am almost done. I have posted my progress in this thread - many of the questions asked me by the members here while I was building would be appropriate to ask yourself and answer here to give everyone a better idea how to help. We will definitely need more info and details first. 1 cubic meter - check gas - check downdraft - check What else? What kind of kiln material are you working with/have access to? Low pressure gas or high pressure bottled propane? Inside a building or outside? Personal or commercial? What size kiln shelves are accessible to you - because you will need to build around them (You taught me well Mark C!). Looking forward to more info from you and watching your progress if you do decide to build rather than buy? (Why not just buy a kiln instead of building one? My answer was a mixture of financial and a DIY personality.) Pat
  8. 1,000C isn't hot enough for ceramics. Bisque needs to be fired to ^06 - ^04, which, generally speaking, is around 1,000 to 1,060C. As I said before, maximum rated temp of kiln will only be reached with brand new elements and everything else in perfect harmony. Check the internal size, it's not tall enough for a mug.
  9. Just a quick update...leaving the lid completely open for the first couple hours (as the manual suggests!) solved the problem. The manual also says to make sure surrounding areas are covered with asbestos. I'm gonna ignore that suggestion.
  10. Wow...sorry you have to go through with this. I wish you the best in whatever direction you elect to go.
  11. Hello! I am new here and looking for a bit of help with my wheel please. It's a Shimpo RK3E VL Whisper and has developed a rather annoying loud humming noise when at my favourite slow wheel speed for throwing. All other speeds are quiet, it only makes it at that particular speed. I'm based in the UK and we don't have a Shimpo centre here. My wheel was bought on ebay! Any advice on what might be wrong and if there is anything I can do to fix it myself would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and reply. Kindest regards, Elisabeth
  12. Yesterday
  13. Yes on what Min says-get the glaze the way you want it (thick or thin) then add a small amout of made up snot(magma)You will see whay I call it snot soon enough It all depeends on what size glaze buctet you are using as to how much to use-I often have 25 gallon or 10 gallons and also 5 gallons as well as well as 1/2 gallon buckets. The thing is this stuff is powerful-Use just a little . maybe a teaspoon in 5 gallons-the other variable is how much settling YOUR glaze Has? so there are no hard and fast rules .Floating rocks take more than lighter materials. Glad you learned not everything on the web is right like in stock items. If you can add the snot into a small amout of hot water it will mix very easy. Cold bucket of glaze require lots of power mixing.
  14. no doubt, but talking with her might help. Maybe there's a twist to all of this though. i dunno, maybe not, but talking might clear the air.
  15. I do some large pieces, some fully thrown, some with wheel thrown and slab elements combined. Check my albums. Combining forms takes considerably less energy, but design becomes even more important as proportion, texture, and details become more important when combining in that manner. best, Pres
  16. Can add it either way, if you add it to the dry materials then just weigh it out and mix it into the dry ingredients, add some copper carb as a preservative, amounts are in that link I posted above. I prefer to get the specific gravity set first then add a bit of magma goo / jelly to it then whiz it up with an immersion blender. If it settles just add a bit more.
  17. Been making bells for the past few days. I love the sound of giant bowls when I ting them, so might as well make a big bell and hear it whenever the wind blows! I have a small wind chime I got at a second hand store, and it sounds really nice, but it's all tinkle tinkle, and I like the bonging and donging of a deeper bell. Hope it all works out, this is a video of me making my third one. I am gonna make some more tonight, it's fun. Probably gonna make a bunch of mugs first though, i need about 20 more mugs for a full mug bisque load.
  18. I've lately come up with a new form of wedging Maybe. When the clay has dried too much for wedging, or anything else, it can be "forge wedged". Similar to forging steel on Forged in Fire. I use a maple rolling ping and just beat in until there are no cracks and it's solid to roll out. I use it for pulling textures from hydro cal press molds. Some of the textures are too "radical" for anything softer to not tear, and this almost too hard to be useful clay will pull the texture. This is then added as a sprig.
  19. Wedging is a specific type of kneading. The goal with wedging is to mix the clay without adding air bubbles. If you do it correctly, you'll remove air bubbles. I was taught two types of wedging- knead (or ram's head) and spiral. In knead wedging, the corners are pulled down and pushed into the center, creating a ram's head shape. It's good for smaller amounts of clay. Spiral wedging works the clay in a spiral fashion, and is better for large amounts because you're not really kneading the entire ball all at once. Bit by bit the clay is pulled into the spiral. Bread is kneaded in order to stretch the gluten, so that it acts as a web to catch the gasses put out by the yeast, which causes the bread to rise. If you happen to work some air bubbles into it, it's not a big deal. You can do just about anything you want as far as technique is concerned, as long as it's stretching and moving the dough around. Personally, I make my sourdough at 75% hydration, so there's no kneading involved. The dough is much too wet.
  20. Any bread-making potters out there? I've been trying to make bread recently. Apparently, kneading bread differs from wedging. The bread machine flings the dough around sort of randomly but produces a lovely loaf. What do I need to re-learn or un-learn?
  21. Hi Janine! 1000C (1832F) wouldn't be hot enough for me, I've made a commitment to mid fire (stoneware, so far, ~2230F or cone 6); also, likely better off that kiln top temp is considerably higher that where we're using it (mostly), e.g. my kiln is rated for cone 10 From there, 1832F looks like 'bout cone 06, hence max rating in "low fire" range? Not sure if there are clays suitable for jewelry in that range.
  22. Thanks everyone for your help and advice. I will slam my clay today and will use the 5 gal bucket trick, making sure to check for holes. Thanks again!
  23. Great tips I will make sure to follow! Thank you!
  24. Hello everyone, I am writing this post due to hope of meeting with someone who may help me to build a downdraft gas fired kiln. I have the book of Frederick Olsen's Kiln Book and in my opinion it has enough information to design a kiln but it may take a lot of time when I start doing that. I only start making ceramics and will be very appreciated ıf I can find someone to give me a hand.. That's why I just want to ask people on here and maybe somebody would like to share a kiln plan (preferentially 1m3) which had been tested before. Thank you in advance!
  25. A couple of things to follow up here...you are putting it in a plastic 5 gal bucket that has water in it but, after you slam the bag of clay on the concrete, check it for holes before you put it in the bucket. Then put it in the bucket and fill the bucket with water to just above the block of clay, but below the opening in the bag. If the bag has ANY holes it, water WILL get into the bag and saturate the clay more than you want. Leave it in the bucket of water for a day or 2 and you should be ready for wedging...I save empty and water tested bags just for this purpose.
  26. Yes, they actually make a test kit. Sometimes valuable as watching these operate reveals they cannot maintain sufficient current when loaded and any wavering of the flame around the thermocouple trips the valve. Not many of these in use for gas fired appliances anymore so a test kit is probably not very popular at this point. Thermocouples are cheap and this one could be switched for new or better yet switching it with your known good valve may indicate it is bad or that the valve requires more output to remain open than the good valve. Since this kiln has a history I would guess it is possible that sufficient moisture could have entered the system and potentially affected the first downstream valve and explain if and why this valve would need more operating current than the other. I think switching and observing might tell you more in short order without buying the test kit, lots of speculation here. Just an add it’s probably a good idea to have a couple of spare thermocouples on hand in the event one failed just prior to firing or worse during a firing.
  27. Finally got through to Brackers live. The website says no but they do have the Magma in stock. Do you measure it at all, or is this the famous "add a dollop" recipe?
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