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Everything posted by Mesi

  1. Hello everyone, I have a glaze question. I'm looking for cream or white glaze that has dark colored speckles in it. I am firing to cone 6 in an electric kiln, and am not really comfortable mixing my own glazes yet, so I am hoping to find something commercially available. I've looked at coyote, continental, spectrum, amaco, and duncan and so far haven't had any luck. I've seen pottery with such a glaze before, which is what prompted this hunt. Does it exist? Does it not exist? Is it a product of minerals in a particular clay body leaching through a regular white glaze, and is THAT why I can't find it? Any help ya'll can give would be wonderful, I really feel like I'm going batty hunting for this thing....
  2. Thanks everyone for your replies! I really appreciate the suggestions. My partner and I normally only do shows within like a 40 mile radius of home, and nothing near as big as this one, that's why we're a little high strung about it. I think we've decided for now to just stick with our general liability insurance, even though it doesn't protect our ware, and in the event that some catastrophe befalls it we'll cross that bridge then (you know,by weeping mostly). Sounds like everything else is just such a gamble as to whether it would be covered anyway. Eep, big shows!
  3. Help!! Is there any way to do this? I've spoken to a dozen different people this week trying to find a way to insure my pottery while travelling to a show 600 miles away. The closest thing to a solution that anyone could come up with that covers us while in transit was a general business insurance policy, which is A) waaayyyy to expensive for something we really only need for this show, and only insures the cost of materials that went into the work. Does anyone know of anything better?
  4. That was supposed to be "B :" not a sunglass smiley. Lol
  5. I installed a skutt envirovent 2 several months ago to help deal with fumes when firing (especially wax resist). My studio is in my basement and as I've transitioned to being a full time potter, I'm firing 2 or 3 days a week. The fumes were definitely shortening my life. Lol Vent worked perfectly until about a week ago when I started noticing fumes again. And tonight the smell was so bad it woke me from a dead sleep to open all the windows (even though its snowing with 60mph wind). So, I'm sitting in my living room at 2am in a parka and bunny slippers hoping someone has some experience troubleshooting these vents. -outside there is still warm air actively blowing from the vent -ducting is still attached at plenum cup,the joint between the first piece of duct house and the extension, and up at the motor -checked the holes in kiln floor and lid after I first noticed the smell last week and none were obstructed. Plenum cup seated correctly around the floor holes -the two half shelves on the kiln floor are raised up and spaced with a gap between them. I did notice that my lid doesn't seem to really seal when closed. The gap seems to be where two bricks are a little lower than the others, but we're Talking like 1mm difference maybe. The kiln hasnt been moved or bumped though, so I don't see how that could have been a recent development, and like I said, the vent has worked fine for over a month. Any thoughts or suggestions on what to check?
  6. Okay, so 4 or so firings later, and I'm still no closer to solving this mystery. Everything is still attached correctly. I even uninstalled the duct and used a shorter more direct route from kiln to vent. Seems to stank up my house even when there is no wind. Holding a match over the lid holes, I do see the flame being pulled in a bit, and when I go outside there is a lit of air being blown out the vent. Anybody have any other suggestions? Do I just call skutt and try to troubleshoot? At this point I'm really frustrated because I spent $400 and got this thing, and my house still smells like death by cancer. :/
  7. All the peephole plugs were in. I'll try checking with a match when I get home (kiln is off now, but the vent is still running). I guess it could be the wind interfering with it. I dont remember what the weather was like when I first noticed the problem. Another thought- does how the kiln is packed make a difference in the vent's functionality?
  8. Mesi

    For Christmas.

    So... Many.... Egg separators.... Closely followed by spoon rests. Third runner up are (oddly specific )mugs with trees on them. Any kind of mug. Any kind of tree. People around here have been losing their minds for all three of these items lately.
  9. Haha, my in studio dehumidifier is named "the professor" because we set him up in front of ware to dry it, so it looks like he's standing up in front of a class. We took it a step further and gave him a mustache and monocle too... Lol Certain finished ceramic pieces get names too, but they're never flattering. there was sonofab*tch the flower pot, and dumb little brother the traveler mug...
  10. Less than thirty days until I quit my day job and do this full time!!!

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. ChenowethArts


      That is inspiring! "Hitch your wagon to a star".

    3. Evelyne Schoenmann
    4. oldlady


      now less than 2 weeks!!!!

  11. burning the candle at both ends...

    1. Babs


      Stay centred!

  12. Mesi

    Building A Basement Studio

    Also, on the dehumidifier thing, I use one sometimes, but it can dry stuff out FAST (including eyes and lips, haha). So if you leave it on and you're out of the studio for a day you can come back a pile of ware that's too dry to work with anymore. :/
  13. Mesi

    Building A Basement Studio

    I've tried a LOT of mops and I find that the replaceable sponge mops are the best. They hold up well and clean out easily. The rope mop was a clay-caked disaster. I got the floor squeegee from Home Depot or Lowes. 18 inch squeegee head on like a mop handle.
  14. Mesi

    Building A Basement Studio

    1. What type of utility sink will be sufficient-will "plastic" hold up? Mine's plastic and it holds up fine. I've got a trap in there as well to catch all the clay goobers. 3. About how much room should I leave around the kiln in a separate room for stacking, maintenance, etc. 18 inches I think is what most manufacturers recommend. Due to space constraints my kiln is in the same room as the studio itself, i just close the door and stay out when firing. 4. I'm building a 4x8 studio table. Any suggestion as to a material for the top? I am considering hardboard. But would a Formica-like product be better. I am concerned about moisture and warping. hardboard is probably going to absorb water and deteriorate. I've got an ancient formica-top dining table right now, and its fabulously easy to clean. I took and covered 4x4 drywall sheets in canvas duck for when we're doing clay work (take them off and lean them against the wall when we're glazing so we can just wipe off the formica). 5. Cleaning floors: I know damp mopping is best but should I vacuum up the dust first with a shop vac? If not, wouldn't I just be pushing around mud even if I rinse frequently? You'll regret shop vac-ing. Sooo much dust in the air. We throw water on the floor (concrete with epoxy over) and scrub with a mop, squeegie it into a puddle and soak up the puddle. Our studio gets FILTHY (My business partner says my carving has a "blast radius") and even at its worst 2 or 3 rinse and squeegie sessions get it sparkling. 6. I plan on painting the concrete floor with appropriate paint. Should I leave the kiln area unpainted? Ours is painted and it's been fine.
  15. Haha yes! We totally do this in my studio. The first favorite glaze combo we made was "artsy glaze number 5" (5 being completely arbitrarily chosen). And now any glaze combo involving Amaco's Oatmeal is "Artsy glaze #___". We've also got "Galaxy" and "Alien cat" (long story...)
  16. Mesi


    This post has perfect timing! I JUST set up an instagram account for my ceramics! And super thank you for the list of users to follow, its really inspirational! @mesireeceramicsstudio (shameless plug)
  17. So I had my public ceramics debut this weekend at my local farm and craft market! I was far from selling out, but that's not terribly surprising. I had no idea how large my body of work was until I laid it all out on my deck to price it last week. (if I never had to decide prices for things again, it would be too soon. I HATE pricing). The public received my work well, and I was invited to several more local venues, and I even met some local potters and scheduled some clay play dates . I have a feeling this whole show/fair/ farmer's market thing is going to be quite the learning experience. I already know a few pricing changes I'm going to make, and I'm going to arrange my booth differently next weekend. I put some of my flashier stuff out toward the front, but I feel like it sticker-shocked people and prevented them from coming in where I had all my little impulse buys. Will swap the arrangement for next time. I also had my tables in sort of an L-shaped arrangement, which prevented people from seeing a large portion of my work when just passing by, because it was blocked by other things. Not sure what to do about that though, due to space constraints. I think the final change I would make, is to make space for myself INSIDE my booth. I thought, oh, the market is shady, I'll be fine without sunblock. Well, I am one crispy critter now! Anyway, I just wanted to post, because I am very proud that I had the guts to get out there and actually do this, it was very empowering.
  18. Ive had good luck with deep firebrick, olive speckle (but apply thick, or else it is the most unappetizing color), sienna speckle. Midnight I've had mixed results with. No bad results per se, but not always what I am looking for. I think thickness, temp, amount of water added all affect that glaze more than the others. Ironstone is almost always appealing as long as it's thick enough. Under the right conditions it can also produce a really awesome red flash on your pots. I tend to notice it more on the insides of pots, maybe because the heat is getting held longer? They're al fun glazes, but I definitely recommend making your own test tiles both of the glaze itself, and the way it will mix when layered with other glazes. My layering results have been spectacular, but they rarely line up with Amaco's layering example sheets.
  19. Now, I know there are a number of troubleshooting threads on here about kilns not reaching temperature, but my problem is a little more complicated. See, I have an old Nova 18 kiln. Its a ceramic fiber kiln where the elements are embedded in the walls. I'm trying to fire to cone 6, and have successfully done so many times before, but this time (probably because I have a show the first week in May, and hey, what could stress me out more?) it will. not. reach. temp. And it is SO CLOSE. The kiln color and look of the pieces leads me to believe its hovering around cone 5. Maybe even ^5.5. Its very close but my touchier glazes aren't there yet. I've tried 3 times to get it to temp and every time it's timing out before hitting temp. And I'm being more than generous with the time. I had some suspicions that something might be going last time I fired. I took the cone out of the sitter and it wasn't quite to 90 degrees. Bent certainly, but a little under where it usually is. Had I been smart I would have put witness cone packs on all my shelves and checked it out further, but I didn't. Live and learn. The specs: -Nova 18 model KL-21830 Series 218 -6120 Watts, 240 V, 1 phase -Interior size is about 18" deep by 18" in diameter -Kiln sitter model LT-3K Breakers are fine, plug is fine, I know the electrical going to it is good, I had a master electrician install it specifically for this kiln. Fires to lower temps within a normal time range, the last firing had the cone barely under-fired looking. Generally a glaze fire takes me about 7 hours, 1 on low, 1 on medium, then I turn it up to high. I've reliably used this glaze firing schedule on all my previous firings. This time I did the same, one hour on low, 1 on medium, turn to high. I checked it at the end of the time, and it had timed out but the latch on my sitter had not dropped. I immediately reset the timer for 5 more hours (figuring I would just keep checking on it) and restarted it. Again, it timed out and didn't reach temp. I started it AGAIN, and it just hovered there, looking like it was about cone 5. 4.5 more hours and I just turned it off. I let it cool yesterday evening and last night and peered into it this morning, and things just look kinda under fired. It was still too hot to open up and check the cone. I'll do that tonight when I get home from work. I'll also turn it on high with the lid open and see if I can see the elements glowing through the walls. It's really hard to see though, as the ceramic fiber all just glows when heated up. Something I did notice last night was the lack of noise from the sitter. Generally it hums on and off, punctuated every once in a while by little popping noises. Now, I'm not sure if this is normal sitter behavior, but it's normal for mine. I don't know much about the nuts n bolts of kiln controls, so I'm at a little but of a loss here, but do you think there's any chance that it could be something in there that's going?
  20. Mesi

    Amaco "Potter's choice" glazes

    Oh beautiful glaze comb, I love it!
  21. off topic again, but type "do a barrel roll" into Google.
  22. Please, allow me a moment to ooze jealousy all over your giant, wonderful kiln. I really love seeing pictures of the ways people load their kilns- its a great education!
  23. Mesi

    Amaco "Potter's choice" glazes

    Not that I've seen, but I'm not the expert on that sort of thing. My guess would be that you simply didn't apply the glaze thick enough. Once you apply what you think is enough, put on like 2 more sloppy coats. I've never seen too much glaze with these.
  24. Mesi

    Amaco "Potter's choice" glazes

    I adore my potters choice glazes. I've got tons of them. You have to apply THICK. I've never seen any of them go on too thick, but its easy to go too thin. I fire mine to cone 6 and they turn out great. Under-fired they look muddy, and I once had a load get over-fired (guessing about cone 7) and they all looked muddy and had a brownish tint to them. I've got: -Olive speckle -sienna speckle -ironstone -iron lustre -blue rutile -midnight blue -tourmaline -temmoku -indigo float -frosted melon -deep firebrick -seaweed maybe some others I've forgotten. I'm a glaze impulse buyer. You get some suprising results by layering, and in my experience, nto always what the amaco test pages show. And I second layering with other glazes. My all-time favorite glaze is now a layer of amaco sahara oatmeal over ironstone. Looks like ancient jasper, but it turns out right every time
  25. Yeah, the tent makes me crazy, and it WAS going to be the first thing I bought with my show earnings, but then the kiln gods said $%*& you! And my kiln died. So now all my fundraising is going toward that. :wacko:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/wacko.gif"> I really like the idea that they have to come in (forced browsing!) to pay, but heres a question for everyone-- So, there isn't any electricity, and since I can't afford a non cow-print tent, obviously a generator and lights are out of my price range. So how to I utilize my booth space so that people are encouraged to come in and look around, but so that everything can still be seen? Or is there no good solution to that? It's not dark under the awning, but it still doesnt show off the glazes very well. I hate to ditch a tent altogether because I feel like I'll either bake in the sun or guarantee that I get poured on...

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