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About perkolator

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  • Birthday July 18

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  1. I sometimes use food coloring in my glazes - because I'm colorblind and many raw glazes look identical to me. Doesn't matter which brand you use, they will all make color and burn out in the firing, i've been using McCormack from grocery store. I first started doing it when I was spraying glaze - I'd put a drop or two into my sprayer pot, spray it on and change the color enough to see each layer.
  2. 100 Sake Cups

    You could have a run of nice color decals made and fire them onto the white sake cups for them - that might be a nice treat since they bought them already EDIT: BTW - our "guestbook" was three 24" thrown platters that a fellow ceramic artist made for us. Everyone signed with a Pebeo Porcelaine china pen, which got sintered on in the kiln at like 500* -- pretty durable "ink" Also, something I saw recently at my wife's cousin's wedding that seemed cool -- they had a 1yr anniversary time capsule box; guests wrote best wishes and comments, etc and put it inside like a suggestion box, not to be read until a year later. Thought that maybe doing this out of clay for someone might be fun - that way it cannot be opened early unless you break it open like a piggy bank (maybe weaken some key areas on the inside of the form to break out easily so it's not completely destroyed)
  3. New Kiln Prep

    You shouldn't need kiln wash on the floor, because you should never be firing pots on the floor. Put a shelf down there, about an inch up. Broken kilns shelves are good for posts there. Sounds like you don't have multiple operators using your equipment If it were just me using the equipment I could get away with nothing, but with undergraduates who simply don't care about something they don't own personally, I've gotta do as much as possible to prevent little disasters
  4. 100 Sake Cups

    Cool idea! My wife made me do pretty much the same thing for our wedding - make lots of extras! Ours were simple small teacup/shot glasses/salt cups thrown off the hump, no trimming, all glazed a ^6 lime green to match the purple and green color theme of the wedding. On the bottoms we made a new signature with both our initials and the wedding date. Since we were purple and green themed, I ordered a case of purple tulip bulbs to spread out on the table among the green cups and other centerpiece items. It looked good and to this day guests still comment ours was one of the best weddings they've ever been to and they definitely still ask me about the cups and say their flowers are still growing. Even though it's not "difficult" to crank out these cups, it sure does make a lasting impression it seems.
  5. L&l Vs Skutt

    I dunno where you saw that her kiln was having issues....I merely mentioned her observation and the reasoning for not choosing the L&L again. She fires A LOT and I suppose when you observe for a few years, side by side firings between different brands of basically the same thing, you may develop a preference at some point. Like said, you can't argue with results. Personally I'd consider getting an L&L because I'm curious about the element holders as I've no personal experience with them - but they look cool! But seriously though, I see most arguments about L&L favoring the holders, nothing else about the equipment really -- So with that I'd ask how often you actually plan on swapping elements based on your experience? I'm the one who works on my kilns and I don't really need to change them very often at all, they last about 100 firings for us. If anything, I'd say most of my elements fail because someone will eventually get glaze on it before their life is up, happens 90% of the time on the bottom two rings....and if they're managing to get glaze on the elements higher up than the bottom ring, then I'd seriously question the element holders because they'd get glaze all over them and we'd have a problem and the benefits would be a wash.
  6. New Kiln Prep

    Congrats, always nice to get new equipment - especially your first kiln! Yes you want to do the break-in firing for the reasons already stated. I've always been told to pre-fire all kiln furniture prior to actual use in a stack -- you never know if there's a manufacturing defect that will show up in the first firing, this is cheap insurance to make sure. I've had brand new custom SiC kiln shelves bloat in the 1st firing and also new electric kiln shelves crack in 1st firing with no weight on them. Things happen. I'm a fan of kiln wash on my electric kiln floor, hate removing glaze from soft brick. I also add a thin film of mortar to the top soft pricks to keep down abrasion when reaching inside. Good call on re-torquing of the tension bands on the outer jacket.
  7. L&l Vs Skutt

    A friend was looking to buy a new oval to replace her old one (a 20yr old Bailey) - I asked her about kiln choice and explained Skutt is easy since it's what we have in studio and might as well keep it all the same, but on paper the L&L product looks awesome with those element retainers. She explained to me that she used to have an L&L kiln, it worked great, but then she explained to me the exact same thing Skutt mentions in that link above, regarding how the heat dissipates inside from the elements. She's been doing ceramics for 40+ years, so I trust her opinion. Anyways, after looking up stuff online at all the current kiln manufacturers, we decided that if she were to replace the oval, a Tucker's Cone Art would be the choice for the best bang for the buck. In the end, she decided to not fork out the $ yet and invest in a replacement kiln, but instead upgrade to digital control box, new elements and new lid/floor slabs. If I won the lottery and could have any electric kiln I wanted, I'd likely go with a Nabertherm front-loader. Not sure why as I know nobody with one, but I saw one once in person and it just seemed like one of those "someday" purchases
  8. Speckled Clay Body

    The first three that come to my mind: Granular ilmenite Granular manganese Magnetite
  9. If you're storing it for several years before you touch it, I'd say you're better off storing it dry, not wet. In dry form you have tons of options - stick it in your lined crates, in buckets, bag it up, leave it in a pile on the side of the yard, whatever's clever When you're ready to think about starting up your project, simply mix it with water and let it sit for a week or two to get more plastic. It's not like you're using clay body from a fine-tuned recipe that promotes max plasticity, you're using natural clay from the ground and it sounds to me like you don't really know ceramics yet - so to me it makes no real sense to try and store it wet and maximize plasticity through aging. But if you were storing it wet, I've simply used 5-gal buckets in the past. Seal up well to hold moisture and small enough to still be able to move it when full. Good luck!
  10. Studio Design Input?

    Awesome, I'd love to setup my own studio from scratch some day. Some things I'd include in my own studio: - Drains in the floor. You're in a garage, so I suppose you're ok to hose out the doorway. Heck, I want this in my house! - Plywood walls, not sheetrock. Ability to hang stuff anywhere is a huge benefit, as is the resistance to water so you can simply hose down the walls on cleanup days. - Recessed can lights, on multiple switches + track lighting system. Use can lights for regular stuff, use track lights for spot light/directional/gallery - Gallery space. Some sort of clean, white, gallery-like space you can use for presentation or for photographing/documenting your work. - ALL furniture on locking casters so you can move it around by yourself. Don't get the cheap Harbor Freight ones, they don't have good lock options, get good quality casters in higher weight capacity than you'd need. - Air scrubber/cleaner for indoor air quality. - Compressed air system for general use or for pneumatic extruder. - Lots of electrical outlets (on GFCI in case you get wet on cleanup day and because wheel throwing). Also at least 1-2 drop-downs from ceiling for misc tools or supplemental lighting, etc. - Spray booth or some sort of setup that will collect overspray and dust from glaze spraying or dry grinding on kiln shelves, wares, etc. - Glaze mixing area/table, dry chemical storage, wet glaze storage. - Sink trap and hazardous waste container. - Central vacuum system, so I can vacuum up stuff without having shop vac in room and to keep dust down/no sweeping - Stereo system that goes to 11
  11. Our students use crawl glazes on vertical surfaces all the time. The work is lifesize and being made by 18-20-something year old undergrads with no prior ceramics experience...and usually once-fired to ^04 I've noticed the key to getting crawl glazes to stick is to water it down and build up the surface in layers...or spray it on. We definitely use CMC gum, which helps as a binder, and trying to not mix the glaze too far in advance seems to help too. The students have found many crawl recipes over the years but for the most part they're using: SDSU crawl, LW Lichen, 3rd Degree Burn and whatever experiments they choose to do.
  12. Mason Color Vs Us Pigment?

    Completely understand - I've never really had any issues either so it's why we've always used their product. Talked with Mason's techs about a problem we did have once and like said they were very helpful and respectful for our "little problem". Great to know! Figured this day and age there wouldn't likely be many manufacturers globally for this type of product, it all likely comes from the same place. Going to give them a shot and order a bunch of different stains.
  13. Between these two companies that make stains -- are they comparable/interchangeable? I have always ordered Mason Color stains because that's what my local suppliers stock. I knew US Pigment existed but I never ordered from them or really looked into their product until now. Need to order stains and after looking at price comparison I'm seeing the US Pigment stains are significantly less expensive, some of them at 1/2 price and now I'm wondering why? Two examples: Mason Color Canary Yellow #6410 = ~$29/lb.......US Pigments Canary Yellow #6410 = $15/lb Mason Color Dark Red #6021 = ~$53/lb...............US Pigments Dark Red #6021 = $29/lb The code/# for the stains and names are exactly the same, so I'm wondering how interchangeable they are between companies? Any reason to stick with Mason Color?
  14. ^This. Even when there is "no bagwall" (example: Bailey downdraft) there is usually some sort of "target brick" in place to help direct flame
  15. Heat Gun Options

    I recently purchased the "better" Harbor Freight heat gun and I like it. I needed a new heat gun for studio and I decided on this model solely because it comes with a screw-on base that allows you to use it hands-free.

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