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  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. Nice save for this salvaged pot! Do see a little warpage or is that camera angle? Oatmeal glaze?
  6. 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
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  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. 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?
  11. 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!
  12. 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....
  13. @Tim Allen ok we have waited, any discoveries?
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. You certainly “ handle” the criticism well though.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. I looked at this closely from an engineering standpoint and tried to determine the best shape for which comfort and utility could be maximized. My current thought is it should be aesthetic so apply any rule of thirds you like and most important don’t have any sharp edges. Other than that there are a bunch of ugly handles that don’t look right and also don’t feel right. I will spare you the idea that attaching the top of the handle below the lip significantly along with the bottom chord of the handle being at approximately a 45 degree angle from vertical will improve upon the leverage of the user ............ need I drone on? My best advice: look at lots of production mugs, see what you like and how it feels, then use that knowledge to experiment.
  23. Realizing there is no single "right answer", and know that the most obvious one is "it depends..." I'm going to ask anyway: How do you determine the size of the handle on a mug ? I know handles come in lots of shapes & styles. I've seen some mugs recently with a handle that looks like a napkin ring glued to the mug, barely big enough to stick one finger through - but in the most basic, traditional form, a handle is roughly a "C" shape, with the ends attached to the mug. (The "C" is often skewed to look more like half of a heart, or a bass-clef symbol - but it's still basically a "C".) I'm looking for input based on that 'traditional' form. Is there a rule-of-thumb that you go by - or do you just attach the top end, bend it around, and say "hmm... that looks about right" ? If you measure how far the handle sticks out from the mug - how does that compare with the diameter of the mug itself ?
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