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fergusonjeff

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  1. MFP - I think what you are seeing as "darkening" is just the shadow of the hollow sections of the shelf. I have been using a few of these corelite shelves and they have held up well. Seem to warp less than the solid shelves at cone six. I just got a couple 1/2 round 26" advancer shelves and they are even better than I expected. Plan to order more once they get back in stock.
  2. I pretty much use the same system as Neil. Just pack everything tight with no paper/foam. In the last 10 shows I have only broken 2 sponge holders and I bring many hundreds of pieces to each show. I have some rough surfaced wood fired pieces and I do put a sheet of newspaper around those because they can scratch other pots if there is a little rattling while moving/driving. I am usually one of the first folks packed up at a show.
  3. My methods come from Bede Clarke. I use a ash/feldpar mixture (I think 50/50). Usually sprinkle it on the wet glazed surface as GEP suggested. If it is too dry then I just lightly spray with water. Don't spray so much that the glaze start to run. I use a fairly fast-fire cross-draft wood kiln, so only the front pots get heavy ash. I use the ash sprinkle to supplement and the feldspar helps the ash melt in a shorter firing. I can also get nicely glazed post with little ash out of the back half.
  4. I think Mark means to add water through the hopper (top), but at the side toward the barrel end. This is what I do, and it allows the water to mix before it works through into the vacuum chamber.
  5. I have the VMP20, but use the same strategy as Marc. Just add water a little at a time and be cautious to avoid "the spins".
  6. One secret to getting plaster to stick to the batmate is to get it a little drier than you might think. If it slips, try getting it a little drier.
  7. Seems like a bad idea. Concrete mixers are cheap compared to just about any pug mill. I have heard of folks using concrete mixers for mixing clay bodies.
  8. The stuff will degrade at high temperatures. I was told it would work as a damper in my wood kiln. When the kiln was around cone 4 it collapsed making for a challenging first firing. It should tolerate temps on the outside of a kiln, but the question is for how long? Will it be exposed to the weather? I did use the cement board between the cinder blocks and the soft brick and hard brick layers under the floor of the kiln. No sign of problems there but it is pretty protected.
  9. Every couple months I switch between various white cone 10 clays and mostly red cone 6. I get it as clean as I can by hand without taking it apart and then run two batches through. I mix the two batches and run them through again. No problems either direction. I think the only big concern would be switching from some dark stone ware to a fine porcelain - if you really cared about keeping the porcelain perfectly white.
  10. It looks like the problem might be occurring before pulling up the walls. It kind of looks like the clay is being folded over as it is first opened. This would create a layer of slip that prevents the top of the bowl from staying firmly attached to the bottom. I am probably not explaining this very well. Be sure to keep the clay together as you open and don't let the clay fold over on itself.
  11. Where are you located? If you are able to ship a piece to me I would be happy to take a quick look and see what the substance is. I have XRF equipment that is very quick at determining qualitative bulk chemistry. It is really easy to identify most basic metals (Cu, Co, Ni, Fe, Mn...)
  12. You might try a faster cooling. I have some really nice variegated glazes that go matt and bland with a slow cool. I just crash cool and they come out fine in both my 3 and 10 cubic foot kilns.
  13. As someone with a lathe and a woodturning background, it is easiest to do the shrinkage calculations and then aim just a bit smaller. It is much easier to slightly turn down the cork than to get the pot perfect. I just did this recently when making a replacement pot for someone who wanted to re-use their own cork.
  14. I mix porcelain into my stoneware all the time (~25%) and have no problems. It is well-mixed in the pug mill. I have also thrown pieces with 1/4 or 1/2 porcelain smashed together but not even wedged to get swirled clay in the final piece. the biggest issue is different throwing properties/moisture levels.
  15. The Amps seem about right. The kiln is only 2.3 cubic feet.
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