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Everything posted by Denice

  1. I forgot about the zen garden, my son got into zen gardens when he first moved away from home. I made him a salt and pepper shaker set that looked like rocks he put them on a tray filled with large salt and a bent fork for a rake. He was studying to be a chef, wanted to give his quest the ultimate dining experience. Denice
  2. Chess set, whistles, snakes, lizards, dinosaur island and faux fossils when my son was young. We made musical instruments together when he was a teenager. Denice
  3. Denice


    I like it that way you can tell people your baby isn't a very good at spelling yet. Denice
  4. Only working in my studio for a couple of hours a day recently. My husband has been using up some vacation time so we have been on the go. When I am out there I am working on intricate stain designs, coiling a pot or trying to throw on my new wheel. It is hard to teach a old dog new tricks. Denice
  5. I forgot to mention my other companion is my dog, he only stays for a couple of hours and sleeps. Denice
  6. I am happy your business is doing so well but will miss you as a moderator. Denice
  7. I collect mugs from other potters I have met, I either purchase it or we trade. I like ancient and primitive pottery so I have a collection of pottery from different areas of Mexico and a few Egyptian pieces. Denice
  8. Denice

    Making an Urn, Help

    I gave my nephew a medium size coiled pot with a tight fitting lid. I wasn't made as a urn but could be used as one. My sister wanted to be scatter across several states so it was more for storage than a final resting spot. When her daughter died she wanted me to make a urn with in a weeks time. So I bought one of the slip poured urn type pots and glazed it, when I gave it to her I told her it was only temporary. After a couple of weeks she decided to sprinkle the ashes and didn't want another urn. Have you thought about making several smaller urns and letting different members of the family have one. I have read that is one of the latest trends in dealing with the ashes of loved ones. Denice
  9. Denice

    Beach sand instead of grog?

    Sawdust mixed in clay is a little difficult to throw but makes interesting holes and patterns when it is burned out. I had a teacher in high school that had us collect bad florescent light bulbs and grind them up. The people who threw with the clay with the glass in it got tiny cuts all over their hands. I made a hand built piece with it, the glaze it made was on the frosty side and pretty ugly. I believed it was fired at C04. Denice
  10. Extruded handles cut at a slant, no thumb spot on three fingered mug, a wide enough area for the thumb to rest. Denice
  11. I have never done this but a large Surform file comes to mind, my husband does body work on cars and has several large files. Can the slab be flipped over with some help? Denice
  12. Denice

    evaporative cooler/AC in garage

    You probably don't have a basement in your house since your located in Texas. We have a basement and it is cold all of the time, I also put a stairwell in the garage that goes down to the basement. My husband works on cars so it is kind of like a pit that has stairs. He kept complaining about the heat, so I decided to put a turbo fan (the kind they use to dry out flooded houses) in the stairwell and blow it upwards. It lowered the temperature from 100 to 80 in about and hour. If you have a basement maybe there is a way to make two openings where they can create a breeze way. I have the ac extended into my studio from the house, it was against code unless we uses special vents that would close automatically in the event of a fire. I use a couple of fans to move the cool air around. Good luck with your cooling challenge. Denice
  13. I take one day off every week and run errands and take care of stuff that life throws at you. When I really hit a wall I usually take a break by working with a technique or style I haven't used for a while. I have been coiling for the last several years but it is getting tedious, I bought a electric wheel a couple of weeks ago. I am taking a break trying to learn how to throw on a electric wheel. I sure miss my kickwheel. Denice
  14. Denice

    Please help me solve the problem !!!

    Your clay and glazes depend on what kind of firing you plan to do. Functional pottery is the most research invested type of clay work. You have to understand glazes that will be dinnerware safe and vitrified clay. If I was selling functional pottery I would get some insurance to protect myself against lawsuits. Denice
  15. Try, try, try again. Remaking a fountain topper, the last one dried too fast and cracked, so I am remaking it. Unloaded a bisque firing today, I fired my new kiln and it was a perfect firing. Denice
  16. Denice

    Questions about an Old Paragon Kiln

    I am retiring my old Paragon this summer, it is older than this one. I have had mine for 45 years and it was used when I bought it. I would rewire it if I could but the bricks are crumbling. I noticed that one doesn't have a kiln sitter on it, it might be required in a school for safety reasons. I just priced a set of wires for my kiln and they ran $200. If you have to buy a kiln sitter for it have it rewired you will have at least $500 in the kiln, maybe you will get lucky and the elements have been replaced. I just bought a kiln that size that has a manufacture date of 1969 but it looks brand new. It was from a estate sale at a house where the owner made porcelain doll heads, there was three other smaller kilns that were really worn out. I think this one was to big for her, she had to make a lot of dolls before she could fill it and fire. Every kiln has it's history. Denice
  17. Denice

    Averting kiln disasters

    You were talking about sculptures, I do a lot of hand built work and sculptures and I would candle them overnight before I started firing them in the morning. Denice
  18. Mark I was wondering if you had ever used the Wonderbat system.   I tried it out today, and it didn't want to stay seated in the opening, kept moving up and down.  This is my first time throwing in about 2 years and I have never thrown much on a electric wheel.  The next pot I got out a regular  bat and didn't have any problems centering it.   Does the square need some clay underneath it?  The wheel I got off of E-Bay came with two sets,  it would be a shame not to use them.   By the way I sold my kickwheel so we were able to set up the Brent this weekend.   I also bought a 3 cu. ft. Blue Diamond kiln,  I paid $250 for it.   It has a manufacture date of 1969 on it but has never been used,  it also came with $100 worth of shelves and stilts.   My small Paragon finally bit the dust,  it is around the same age but it is well used.   I like having a kiln that size for special jobs.   Denice

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. oldlady


      denise, i used them for years.  if you dampen the bats themselves, they expand just enough to fit tightly.  you learn to center a little differently if they lift up a bit.  very useful as the pot pops off when it dries enough.

    3. Benzine


      I agree with oldlady.  I too use the Wonderbat system, and they will expand, when wet.  This is good to keep them snug, bad if you are trying to put a damp one, back in the system, because sometimes they don't fit back in, until the insert and base dry.

    4. Denice


      I have my old kiln in the trash and my new kiln installed.  We discovered that it had been fired once and the cone had some how melted back into the cone cylinder of the kiln sitter making it unusable.  We replaced it but had to move the kilns around the new one had a short cord.  While we had the kilns out we put up another piece of cement board on the wall in the kiln room.  Once we started to move things around we discovered that our corrugated  aluminum for the Skutt envirovent need to be replaced.   Our quick and easy job turned into a marathon.  I  have a bisque firing going this morning and I am going to try wetting the wonderbats and see if that helps.    Denice

  19. When I was in college they made a new one for every firing and then the fire gods sat around on top of the gas kilns. So some reason I connect them to gas or wood firing, I fire electric and have never made the connection. Denice
  20. I do mostly handbuilding so I don't fill a kiln very fast, I have a small Paragon, a Skutt 1027 and a AIM test kiln. My Paragon needs rewiring at the moment, it is so old I am thinking of replacing it. Denice
  21. Denice

    Bisque temp for raku

    That white lead would have been great for some Majolica tiles. Denice
  22. Denice

    "dangerous" glaze ingredients

    I wear a dust mask and wear latex gloves when I am mixing glaze, I also wear gloves when working with glaze. I don't make very many function pieces but when I do, I will use a formula from some one like Tony Hansen that is table safe. Forty years ago the only thing they told us was not to eat a sandwich when we were mixing glazes. I was in the Raku testing group and using Red Lead. I shudder when I think about it. I am still here so I guess one semester of mixing glazes with no gloves for masks didn't do me in. Denice
  23. Denice

    Bisque temp for raku

    The first raku I ever made was in 1968, it was the newest and latest greatest event in ceramics. You would use a rough groggy low fire clay and make a cup, glaze it immediately and fire it in the raku kiln. After the firing everyone would sit around and drink hot tea from the mug they made. Quite exciting. My college professor pounded into our heads that the cone of the clay and the glaze should be the same. He would get upset if a new student would use a different temperature clay and glaze together. They wouldn't get a very good grade and he called it garbage because it wasn't vitrified. Denice
  24. You are really pushing it to get this project finished in two weeks. You may need to set up a small fan to help dry it , you will need to keep moving it around it to get it to dry evenly. If you can blow some air on the inside that would also help speed up your drying. You better check on the firing schedules and the ability to get that large of work into a firing. I made a piece that large when I was in college and it took a couple of months before they found a place for it in a firing. You could probably get it into a bisque firing and be able to present it that way at your critique. Potter
  25. I have a replacement top in progress for my bubbler fountain on my back patio, some how the original one was broken last year. I glued it back together but it really needs to be replaced. I am ready to load a bisque and have the room for it. Denice

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