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  2. Mary: in my testing, I noticed Hudson clay is extremely sensitive to application thickness. Also noticed color shifts when I increased potash content. Soon as I get time, going to slurry down a sample and spray it on. Tom
  3. To much money for old wheel with cone drive
  4. Today
  5. Yes! Go to Croton Point, park in the big parking lot facing the playground. Walk in past the playground parallel to the river. You'll be walking South. When you come to the end of the field you'll see a path/dirt road that goes up and to the left a bit. Follow that up about 100 yards and you'll see a path on your right which leads down to the river. Now just keep walking South along the river and look to your left. There are many places where trees have fallen over and you can see the clay entangled in their roots. Also where the walls of the river get steep and high you will see clay there. You'll need to check the tide chart and go at low tide. I imagine if Croton Point is not close to you you can probably find the same anywhere that you have the river walls exposed. PS... I had the clay analyzed and it came back surprisingly clean
  6. One of the skills I'ld like to have training in is decorative brushwork, sumi-e type work. Not necessarily black like traditional sumi-e paintings and calligraphy but I'ld love to have the skill (no small ask there!) and instruction to make fluid graceful brushwork with underglazes, stains, slips etc. edit: I realized I only answered half the question with my first reply. I would call it a trait not a skill but I can be very determined, relentless, persistent when it comes to trying to figure things out. I think this helps with sorting out the never ending ceramics related issues that arise.
  7. Its funny how things work out sometimes... I had posted a photo from a book a while back which pictured a "rust red"platter. I had to take the photo down as it was copyrighted, but the discussion talked a lot about obtaining the red I was looking for that I saw on that platter. I had given up on the idea after many failed tests. And subsequently moved on to develop the Hudson River Clay glaze. The last tile I pictured here in this post showed some really great rust red blooming from the dark glaze. I fired that in my test kiln and matched the heat rise and fall of my large kiln, or so I thought. Until I went to run these two mugs when I noticed that after it reached temp I had the numbers put in wrong and the kiln actually cooled much quicker than it would have in my large kiln. So I fixed the error and let the cups fire with a slow cool of 190° per hour to like 1490 the let it cool the rest naturally. The results were a rust red alternating with shiny black very similar to that elusive platter red I was trying to achieve. I do have a question in all of this... Notice how the clay appears stained reddish from about 1/2" from the bottom up. I'm sure the cups were clean when they went in and not sure where this discoloration is coming from. could it be that the Iron soaked from the glaze through the clay? Maybe if I cool at 200° per hour or let it cool naturally next time it'll have less time to soak through?
  8. That price is too high IMO for an old used RK-2. Like Liam said, they are tough wheels that last a long time, but they don't have the smooth pedal control of a more modern wheel.
  9. Hi folks, I am sorry that I did not get a question of the week out last week as I really didn't know what to ask. However, I thought why not ask the opposite of the week before. However, when I go to thinking of it, it would really be two questions. So this QotW is: What ceramic skill do you wish you had more training in, and what skill do you feel very confident with? This is one that I have thought often about, as I was trained in college, never having had much more than simple pinch pot experience before even though my parents did a stint with painting cast ceramics at an on base ceramics shop in Hawaii. In college, I had a professor with an MA from Alfred, who was into large forms, but would demonstrate a few forms for us, the plate, the bowl, and the cylinder. Most of what we learned we picked up by doing, but he did cover things like lids and spouts and throwing off the hump. He was very adamant that nothing thrown could be fired until we had thrown a 3# cylinder 9" tall. Most of my time in Ceramics 1 was focused on that. Ceramics 2 saw me with mostly lidded forms, pitchers and casseroles, and a teapot. It was when I began teaching that I really refined my work. Much as doing production work will make a potter, teaching will do much the same. To be able to go into a group of HS students and demonstrate without fail day in and out was tough, and mad me more aware of my flaws than anything else. So I practiced after school, investigated new forms, mad larger forms pushing the amount of clay I could handle and the height of the form. In the end the challenge to the student was to find a form that I could not throw. Hmmm no problem as I had pretty much done all from double walled to large to lidded, rings, multiple piece, combined handbuilding and throwing and more. Not bragging just saying if they wanted a demo, they got one. Now where do I wish I had more experience? Two areas actually mold making, and glaze chemistry. I am not the best with glaze chemistry, but have come to inherently know what chemicals will do what for me in a glaze, but really don' understand the balancing of amounts. However the good new here is that glaze formulation programs are available so easily now with things like Digi Fire giving the potter the tools to make their own based on what they understand. Of course this does mean testing, testing and more testing before use. As I get involved with the wholesale orders lately I have wondered whether making a few different molds from thrown forms and casting would be better. . . Naw, but it is something I haven' t done and probably if I had knowledge of it might say Ya! best, Pres
  10. Rk2 are good little machines, but you'll have to pray to the kiln gods that it doesn't break down because they won't make any parts for it anymore.
  11. Was wondering about this wheel, found one used here in BC Canada for $650. Would like a VL Whisper but they are over $2,000 here . What to look for in problems, are they worth buying?. Pros/Cons? Thanks.
  12. yep, as a newbie, trying some different clays seemed a good idea - the next break after 100 lbs is 500 lbs, so went with 100 each of several clays in my first "big" order; for glaze mats, went with 50 lb bags of what I thought for sure would be useful, e.g. silica, epk, neph sy… Perhaps by next order will have figured which frit(s) to bulk up on; so far, looks like glazes with frits 'have better. There's another cost analysis topic...
  13. One take away is buy what you can use and store in terms of a whatever price break you can get. Just keep in mind about price breaks and see if you can benefit . If you have a break at 500#s its best not to buy 400#s also the same is true with glaze materials
  14. My minivan can carry up to 1450# of cargo, so I buy 1000# of clay at a time. I do this three times per year. My supplier is only 45 minutes away. I still get a decent price break at 1000#. A delivery costs $50, which negates any savings from buying a ton. Plus, all of my clay needs to be carried down into a basement, one box at a time. 1000# is only 20 boxes, which is not that big of a job. I have done 40 boxes in a day plenty of times, and it’s a big difference in terms of energy needed. Overall, these proportions work well for me, my car, my back, my legs, my studio.
  15. Lots to think about, thanks Mark (an' y'all). Four bags/100 lbs vs one bag/25 lbs is more like $3/bag an' drops more at each discount - 500 lbs, 1000 lbs, ton, etc. ...an' clay prices go up from time to time as well. If shipping, cost per bag is lower in bulk, much. Behaviour is more likely to be consistent as well, given all is from same batch. Ordering, moving, handling, etc. all at once should save time over breaking into several episodes. I'm still working through my first "big" order - five different mid fire clays; next order will likely be just the two or three clays I like most... When eyeballin' costs, I try to remember what it costs me to spend a dollar - it's not just one dollar - I had to pay to both earn an' spend that dollar, taxes on both sides, state and fed income tax, sales tax, plus costs in th' middle as well, e.g. time and expense to/from work, lunch, clothing, equipment, not to mention grief from coworkers, customers, ugh. On t'other hand, having more "bad" clay (and/or un-liked clay) is no advantage! Incurring any hurt/injury should never be "worth it"! Taking a chance, imo, shouldn't be worth it either. One has to find a place to put it as well. Here in Los Osos the temps are temperate an' it's not terribly dry, hence stacked boxes in the other garage covered by tarps seems to be holding moisture ok (so farr) - and it's not in the way either. Also, there are no ceramic suppliers nearby - it's 'bout 250 miles to nearests.
  16. Well, no to money on the table. There are lots of other factors involved, as Mark laid out. Moving, storing, moving again, checking moisture, adjusting moisture. If I can't easily use the last box, then I've wasted money. Worse than not saving money. At $2 a box, a pot using 6 lbs of clay would add $0.25 to the cost. That's at least a $30 pot for me. What seems to me to be important is the time involved.
  17. Hiya, Weirdly I have inherited a kiln the same as yours Anna, it is missing some elements and doesn't heat up however the light does come on. Do you know of anywhere you can get spares for the kiln? I have a standard 13 amp plug coming out the back of the kiln, does that seem right? Feeling it may be a lost cause as I can find no info on this make apart from on here. Any information will be gratefully received Hannah
  18. 1-2 dollar per box is 40-80 dollars a ton, that's money in the bank for a potter. If I bought at the box price it would be a lot more than 1-2 dollars a box. You're going to use the clay you buy, why not get it as cheap as possible? Money on the table is money on the table.
  19. CP They use a penetrometer for every large batch http://www.lagunaclay.com/clays/guide/characteristics.php Most clays ship out at 6.5 or at least porcelains-You can call and ask for John Pacini as he is the go to on all things clay.He works Mon-Wens. call 8-8.30 if you want to catch if at his desk. If its in the 5 to 5.5 the boxes start to squish flatter in taller piles.I cannot throw it at that point and it needs to sit and dry some time to be usable. Great for flat stuff. About 5 years ago they switched to softer clays in general as they changed the pent number system they used from the old days. That was an adjustment and about 3 years before that went thru some water supply issues which affected clay bodies. That really change the way B-mix worked and many potters I knew switched to other bodies then. Every clay supplier goes thru changes of water/materials at some point and clay comes out different. Learning how wet it is from the factory and how that effects your throwing of clay is part of the process.Most hobbyists never question all this detail .When I started using clay in volumes I had to know more.That was ion the 80s. If I lived 1 hour from them (I would go crazy with traffic and people-I was born in Long Beach and moved out in 71) but if I did I would buy smaller quantities .Any where where its hot clay will dry out fast . I'm a big clay user and trucking can really add to the cost so saving as much as the trucking cost keeps my costs down. Clay is cheap for sure In My CM article I mentioned keeping costs down-either through a co-op clay buy or working with other potters.Its been part of my success. I buy in bulk always no mater what it may be. 10 gallons of honey from a bee farmer or 55 gallon drum of oil for my older two stroke boat motor. My 3,000# pile of Kingman feldspar from 1980 is down to 500#s and it only cost 300$ back then. I have been using it for almost 40 years now in most glaze bases. Its like free glaze almost . I have space to store things-also part of the plan.The hardest part will be what my wife does with this when I'm gone. Most folks never need this info or want this much material. I'm putting it out for the few who do.
  20. This is interesting to me. Are we talking about transferring COLOR to clay or being able to cut or form a shape into the clay? If adding color imprints, at what step might this best be done? The answers could guide our upcoming advanced 3D immersion class exploration. We like to give the students real-world lab exploration projects. And, this sounds interesting. Smooth-on has a variety of materials for creating molds and/or stamps, I've not nee happy with creating stamps for printing on paper; but, our cadets might be fascinated with finding the best material for stamping color on ceramics surfaces. Cool!
  21. Thanks. I fully agree. One you done or two, the process becomes quite simple to manage. I like the ability to zoom in and out on specific features.
  22. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA......I must be in the wrong group. I got 100 lbs. recently and was worried whether it'll start getting hard before I can work through it.
  23. What is the default softness from Laguna? Could it be anywhere in a range? Is there a meter or tool that measures that? Does the rating system apply equally to porcelain and stoneware? Most industry has gone to requiring supply on demand (I believe) and not stocking future quantities of raw materials. There is certainly joy in looking at a well stocked supply like that. I don't think I can use it personally, because my supply is less than an hour away and the difference between what they charge me for ton price and box price is (I think) a dollar or 2 a box. Clay is a relatively inexpensive part of my finished product. I'm sure your methods are the result of your extensive experience. I'm just trying to take everything you write and see if it can apply to my position. Thanks for that.
  24. Yesterday
  25. Cactus Pots I ordered this special soft (pent. #6) that way it takes longer to dry out. I use the old stuff 1st-I'm working on clay from 1.5 years ago now that was ordered soft back then . We like clay that is harder to make handles from and softer clay for throwing. So two softnesses is best here. The wet climate indeed works well and my shed is facing north and never sees the sun also keeps it cool with no air movemeant . I also like to order before Laguna area gets hot as the summer clay starts out more firm due to the dry air there then. The winter or spring clay is always a bit wetter. After 40 years of ordering you get this dialed in. If I have to I will it through the Peter pugger to add water but thats last resort. Recently I found they did pug two tons at my softness from the year before and last fall I added two sponge squeezes of watere to each bag and then flipped all the boxes on all sides over a few months to soften them all up evenly. It worked well but was a pain in the neck. Thios time I ordered 12 tons of softer pent #6 clay and they made it all the same. Usually I order regualr 6.5 and #6 this time no screw ups all #6.Its easy to make it firmer but hardewr to wet it evenly. Porcealin is not as easy to rewet as stoneware.
  26. Yes, thank you! I should have qualified this by saying I am not looking to put found clay into the hands of children, as I am aware of the toxicity issues, but mostly want to document through photographs and perhaps a sample to look at but not use. Thanks for the suggestions and the links!
  27. I have mine shipped up from Pittsburgh by SC. They find a shipper, and since I order a ton at a time all good on price. I have it put on the drive way or the street by the delivery, then unload the pallet by handcart. Thing is I usually only use 1000# a year, so some will just freeze over the winter. I don't pay extra for bag ties, as it never seems to dry out. I am using the last of the clay, and will soon order another ton. Hazelnut and 630 white. best, Pres
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