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  2. Good experiences so farrr with Aardvark (Santa Ana, CA) via email, telephone, an' in person; also US Pigment (Midwest somewhar - save many bucks on cobalt carbonate). Not much available near our home; could be takes a metro area to support a ceramic store, and/or lower rents... The CSU (in SLO) has a ceramic lab anyone can walk into and buy Laguna clay ~$14/bag (a year ago); an art store has a few bags of cone 10 Laguna clay at you kiddin'me prices; basic tools can are available at several places. izzat Bracker's CP? 30% off Kemper tools this month, 20% offa wheels an' such, hmm, thanks!
  3. Today
  4. And there's no need to put up with poor customer service since our industry has some really outstanding people. I just completed a purchase from Brackners and thought they were great. Last year I got a return phone call from Mr Bailey himself. I don't deal with a lot of on line, because my local supplier is so good. But there are some things he doesn't carry.
  5. Mark, Have you ever seen a fix it video on Peter Puggers? I think you and I have the same unit VPM 30. I went through mine and replaced all the bearing and seals. I wish I had some advice before I did mine, as I learned a thing or 2. Next time I do this, if ever, I'll make a video if there isn't one.
  6. You can set a spacer so the second pour won't push the hardware cloth to the bottom. That can be as simple or complicated as you want. Even if it's at the bottom, it will be better than none at all.
  7. I think you need to take the first impression not with plaster. I was buying silicon products from Smooth On but found ammonia latex works better. You just build up 4-5 layers and then it peels right off. Then you get the plaster off the latex mold. Of course, now you're working with a negative, so you might have to go twice. I've been using this approach to take textures off some difficult rock specimens, like crystals and it really works.
  8. I got the Magma yesterday. First try is that it doesn't dissolve at all in hot water by itself with manual mixing. Time to hit the Goodwill stores for a blender. Looks pretty similar to CMC so far, A double match head size wouldn't float my iron wash. Like my buddy says, "world's most fascinating hobby".
  9. There are safety issues with mixing your own clay. Unless you have good ventilation to expel dust, you're not doing it safely. Tweaking glazes to fit your clay bodies is a lot easier than tweaking clay bodies. You won't save any may if you factor in your time. The main thing to consider here is where you want to spend your time. If you enjoy mixing your own clay, and have the equipment to do it safely and efficiently, then go for it. But I think you'll find that mixing and pugging clay is not all that fun, and takes up a lot of time that you could be spending making pots. If you need to spend your time making pots so you can sell them at a decent profit, then you should definitely be buying moist clay. You'll probably also want to focus on one firing temperature, not 3. Lots to think about. Figure out what you really want to do, and work toward that goal. Also, you should not be firing cone 10 clay bodies at cone 6. They'll be under-fired and will weep. You need a clay body that is formulated to vitrify at cone 6.
  10. +1 to everything @Mark C. has said. Another thing you could try, apply the first coat of plaster with a large soft brush, to make sure it is well covered, and no air bubbles. When pouring the plaster, make sure it does not hit and bounce off your model, but hits the baseboard or the side walls/cottles. I don't unmould until the plaster is cold. I do occasionally get a mould with tiny pinholes, but they don't affect the finished pot.
  11. It might end up being cheaper, when you've done years of testing, tweaking, altering, and if you buy tons and tons. Would you want to mix your own paint, or print your own wallpaper or....... Like lots of things, it looks like it would be cheaper, if you don't have to include your time. Use your time wisely, buy clay.
  12. Ok Does the mold have some small undercuts which are catching the plaster? Turtle shells have under cuts-so are you just casting the top of shell with no undercuts. I would let the mold cool off before pulling it as its expanded when warm and will be harder to remove.Also the plaster needs time to get hard and its soft when warm still. I would still add the paster fast as its a time thing and you need to be fast. I drop the bucket on a firm surface after power mixing to raise any air bubbles to the top before pouring as to pouring start filling slowly so air does not get trapped in mold. Once covered our faster.
  13. High Fire Bodies assorted recipes Alfred Grinding Room Recipes Stoneware Claybodies - Part 1: The Basics This is a good conversation. I started with a version of this equal parts recipe. I am now a fan of fireclay too. good luck!
  14. I’m not sure of the terminology but my post is about making the mold itself, not pouring slip into the mold. Most recently I was making a mold from a large turtle shell. I am using #1 pottery plaster and it is not old— the place I buy from seems to run out frequently so I assume it is fresh. I mix by weight, 7 parts water to 10 parts plaster. I can try adding more slowly... instructions I found are tight on time though. It does not seem lumpy when I pour it.
  15. Do you have a clay mixer and pugmill? If not, I don't know if it would be worth the savings of mixing your own. I buy my pugged wet clay by the ton price and I don't think I could beat that even with a pugmill.
  16. I just read the reviews and suggest you cancel thru your creadit card company at this point. I just sent them an e-mail to ask about whats up with customer service and the bad reviews hoping for an owners response and so far got a auto response.I'll give them a few days but it looks like a very poorly run business at this point.Its to bad as the old owners did an ok job but now its new owners.
  17. I took ceramic classes in college and loved it. I quickly became good on the wheel and that is my primary focus, however I also sculpt. I had the pleasure of working with multiple different clays. I primarily used stoneware and porcelain but occasionally earthenware as well. The stoneware I fired at cone 10 and 6 and porcelain at cone 10. I would consider myself a beginner as far as mixing the clays because I never had to do it and all the clay was made for us. I would like to mix my own clay bodies at home because I assume it’s cheaper than buying pre-made clay and I also will have more control with my preferences. I really liked stoneware and porcelain and wondered if anyone had any good recipes to share and advice to get me started. Like I said I mostly do wheel throwing (mugs, plates, bowls, teapots, etc.) I have the capabilities to fire up to cone 10. Thanks to everyone in advance!!
  18. Several ideas 1st and most important is your #1 pottery plaster new or old???It is #1 pottery plaster?? 2nd no need to seive it-which leads me to belive its lumpy and old . You should add it slowly to the water while mixing.-Two personsreally help here-shake it into the spining water in a larger bucket I use a jiffy mixer in a cordless drill. If its lumpy toss it out and get NEW plaster for molds-old plaster will be trouble alway the way along-Are your molds made from old plaster??? I'm not a fan of murpys oil soap-use lube made for mold relase which also will not clog the plaster pores this is made for that job https://www.axner.com/pure-lube.aspx I was in the slip cast business once and making quality molds that work is the whole deal. The right ingredients make the right molds 3rd Neil posted this in another thread (With #1 Pottery Plaster, you'll need 16.316 grams of plaster per cubic inch. Plaster to water ratio is 10:7 by weight.) this is the fomula you need to use always-weight the ingredients 4th I assume the plaster coming loose is in the working molds ???not the master? Master are made from rubber and will not shed plaster if thats true that the working molds are shedding sounds like molds where made with old plaster or are super wet when poured? to dry your molds blow air over them with a box fan any of this help?? let us know
  19. Do I pour 1/2 then immediately add the HC then pour the other 1/2 and let set? Yes this-keep on pouring so its one continuous pour-with cloth on middle.Get soem help so you pour they drop in the cloth.
  20. Hi Folks, Pretty new to making plaster molds for slip casting. I have had some success but one recurring problem... sometimes when I take the item I am casting out of the mold, the plaster seems to tear, leaving an uneven surface. Many little bits of plaster are stuck to the original item, leaving lots of little divets in the mold. What is going on here? Am I demolding too quickly? Not mixing the plaster thoroughly enough? Mold release not working? I demold when the mold is warm to to the touch, about 40 min after pouring. I mix the plaster with a paint mixer on a drill, 2 min for 0-20lb, 4 min for more. I do not have a good system for sifting the plaster into the water, however. For mold release I brush on several coats of 50/50 Murphy's soap and let it dry. This has worked well for me, after many early failures with other methods. What I found in those failures though was very hard to remove the item from the mold, not that the plaster would fail in this way. Any insight appreciated!
  21. Yesterday
  22. I’ve read through most all of the “how to” posts on building wedging tables and I’m seeing that you can add hardware cloth in the middle of the plaster to strengthen it. I have some hardware cloth scraps I can use but I don’t see any details on exactly how to add it. I guess my question is this- do I pour 1/2 of the plaster, let it firm up, then add the HC, then pour the other 1/2 and let set? Or Do I pour 1/2 then immediately add the HC then pour the other 1/2 and let set?
  23. Gone, packed and all picked up for the project sales office and model unit decorations, the project opening probably sometime in June.
  24. They're infamous for terrible customer service. I would suggest you call and get a refund, but I don't think anyone would answer! Just Google them and you'll see all you need.
  25. Hi, I would like to have some opinion of you, about the store http://www.bigceramicstore.com/. I live in Peru, I made an online purchase at this store of a shimpo RK whisper wheel, but I was somewhat worried because they did not respond and I do not know when they sent my order to the address I gave them in NJ. My concern is that if it is a serious and responsible store, this wheel will then be sent by a friend to my country. Please, I would appreciate your comments, I hope to be calmer.
  26. This is all very helpful. The slab roller is still just an idea, since I have several more time critical projects to tackle. However, if I do decide to build one, I will probably not be worried about using chain drive.
  27. Hello. What about regular pastels or chalks? I am going to be doing some experimenting with kids and I cannot afford to play with the big boys this summer. Thanks in advance. SG
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