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Chris Throws Pots

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About Chris Throws Pots

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 12/19/1985

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    Snowboarding, skateboarding, good food and drink, screenprinting, pottery.
  1. Designing A New Studio

    The organization I work for is in the process of retrofitting a warehouse space into community art studios including a clay studio. The HVAC contractor who designed the air exchange system for our new facility thankfully had some personal and professional experience in clay studios, and designed a system using the mitigation of silica dust exposure as the highest priority. Clean incoming air will be delivered from the ceiling and move down toward the floor in a curtain (no swirling or circulating). Exiting air will be pulled from floor level, so any dust that is produced will be whisked away without traveling past the mouths and noses of studio participants. We will of course be using frequent mopping as our first line of defense. The process has got me thinking about how to improve the air quality in my home studio. Right now I have very little air movement. This is better than lots of circulating air, but still not great. It can be pretty stale/musty in my studio (located in my unfinished basement). I have a three-pane ground-level window in my studio. My plan is to remove one of the panes and attach two blowers (like the blowers used in electric kiln vents) into the window frame (one blowing in, one blowing out) and run dryer tubing off the blowers. I'll position the incoming air tube on the ceiling, pointed down, and the outgoing air tube at floor level. It won't be the prettiest system, but I'll be the only one who has to look at it. WoogiesPlace, perhaps some version of this floor-level exhaust will be helpful for your studio build.
  2. 1-4; 2-1; 3-2; 4-2
  3. Any Tricks For Getting Stuck Bat Pins Out?

    I cross-threaded one of the bat pin holes on my Soldner S50. Trying to remove the pin by force ended up tearing the cap part off the bat pin, resulting in a little dagger protruding from my wheelhead. I ended up bringing it to a machine shop where they ground the metal spike flush and drilled two new threaded holes. Maybe the best clay-related $50 I've ever spent.
  4. Wheel Seat

    School lab stools (think high school chemistry class) are great. They are relatively inexpensive (~$50) and come in a variety of styles: taller, shorter, with and without backs, hardboard or cushioned seats. The legs are typically adjustable to allow for varying heights. I have a tall one that has a back and a padded seat cushion, though I had to add an extra cushion for comfort. I also have the back legs set one notch longer/taller than the front legs to tilt me toward the wheel for better leverage. I'd air on the side of a taller stool. You can always prop your wheel up on bricks/cinder blocks if it's too low for the stool... not so much the other way around. Congrats on setting up a studio! Chris
  5. Looking For A Controlled Thick Drip Glaze

    Howdy Lincoln. Welcome! Controlled drips, huh... What glazes are you currently using? All the drippy work I've ever made relied on heavy application of glaze, plenty of space for the drips to roll, and crossed fingers until unloading time. I work at ^6 and have been able to get most glazes to move with a heavy enough application. Sometimes they even move when I don't want them too! I'd start with what you already have and see how much control you can harness. Bonus: For some drippy glaze eye candy check out work by Branan Mercer and Steph Galli.
  6. Cress E23 Not Shutting Off

    Linda, Did the kiln ever shut off on its own? Or did you have to kill the breaker? I'm with Neil that it sounds like there there are issues with the relays, and glad to hear you're replacing these. I once had relays die in the "complete circuit" position. So rather than preventing any electricity from getting to the elements, they were constantly delivering power, even though the kiln's controller was showing IDLE. It was a pretty scary situation and the only way I could shut off power to the elements was to turn the kiln off at the breaker. Good Luck! Chris
  7. Glaze Melding

    Stilts of all sizes: https://www.sheffield-pottery.com/category-s/112.htm The glaze will release from the metal (nichrome) prongs, but it will stick to the ceramic base of the stilts, just as it will the shelf. Make sure your pieces are balanced and only in contact with the prongs. As mentioned earlier in the thread, you'll likely end up with little sharp prong marks. You can easily grind these down with a Silicon Carbide Dremel Attachment or with slightly more effort using a Stilt Mark Grinding Stone.
  8. Diy Wheelchair Accessible Pottery Wheel

    I would suggest using a tabletop wheel such as a Shimpo Aspire or Speedball Artista (or maybe even a Brent IE though this one may be a bit too tall) placed on an ADA compliant/wheelchair accessible table. You might have to build the table to make sure it's sturdy enough and has the dimensions you need, but I imagine it'd be far less expensive than purchasing Brent/AMACO #16. Perhaps there's someone in your studio community who uses a wheelchair who could help you design something.
  9. Glaze

    Hi AMI, I can't see the cracks you're referring to in the picture, but a typical cause of cracks developing in the glaze during cooling/after firing is crazing. Crazing is caused by improper fit between the glaze and the clay body. During the cooling, both the clay and glaze shrink. Crazing occurs when the glaze shrinks more than the clay body. Make sure your clay and glaze are both rated for maturity at the same cone. IE If you're using ^04 clay, use ^04 glaze; using ^6 clay, use ^6 glaze. If you're mixing your own glaze you could try to adjust the recipe for a better fit. If you're using a commercial glaze, maybe try a different product.
  10. Poured Concrete Form In Glaze Bucket - Safe?

    Thanks all for the advice and alternative suggestions. I kind of figured the concrete idea was just too good to be true. I opted just to use the barrel I'd already purchased and will be making another 20kg batch of glaze in a month or so to top off the barrel when I go into full on production glazing mode for summer markets.
  11. I finally made the commitment to making a large batch of my standard white glaze in order to move beyond the size limitations of a 5 gallon bucket and the nuisance/mess of transferring glaze from said 5 gallon bucket to shallow bins for plates. I was hoping to find a 15 gallon bucket with an available bucket dolly, but no such bucket appears to be on the market. I ended up going with a standard 20 gallon Brute garbage barrel. I mixed up three 10kg batches of my glaze, which amounts to about 12 liquid gallons. It fills to just above the halfway line of the barrel (the barrel tapers out toward the top). In addition to sitting low in the bucket, there is an annoying trough around the perimeter of the barrel's floor where the barrel dolly locks into place from the underside. I anticipate this trough will make stirring up the glaze adequately a challenge. So I'd like to make the 20 gallon barrel act more like a 15 gallon barrel with a flat bottom. My idea is to pour concrete into the bottom of the barrel to fill the trough and raise the floor of the barrel up by a few inches. I've never worked with concrete before, so in doing some research I learned that it is porous. So my question is: Will the porosity of the concrete matter? Will the concrete absorb one or more of the glaze ingredients in higher concentration than others... will the presence of the concrete throw off the chemistry by trapping one ingredient disproportionately? Will the concrete break down over time? If it is not safe to have the glaze in direct contact with the concrete, my plan B is to cut sheet PVC to the exact shape and size of the concrete slab and seal it in the barrel on top of the concrete. Thoughts, recommendations, warnings and alternative ideas will be appreciated. PS I know the easiest answer is to make up another 10kg batch or two of the glaze, but it's and expensive recipe and I'm out of materials.
  12. dirtbabe, You don't currently have studio monitors, but could you? I run a community clay studio that averages about 45 monthly renters and 40 adult students per month, with Friday night drop-ins, afterschool programming through the local school system, and other random programming scattered in. We probably average 150 different individuals accessing the studio any given month. Getting everyone to pull their own weight and clean up after themselves is one of a list of constant challenges the studio faces. There have been lots of good suggestions so far in the thread about the specifics relating to this piece of equipment, that kind of clay, etc, but for my studio, the most important piece in keeping things clean, organized and functional is my team of Studio Assistants. Each of these individuals hosts the studio for a consistent, weekly 4 hour chunk of time when studio members come in to practice/produce. All studio access for renters and students is contained to open studio hours hosted by a Studio Assistant. There are about 30 open studio hours per week... some mornings, some afternoons, lots of weekend time and a couple of late night shifts. The Studio Assistant arrangement is a work trade. They give their time in exchange for a set of keys for 24 hour access (outside of classes), a a large shelf space, a discount on clay, and most importantly the learning opportunities. For each shift I assign the Studio Assistant tasks such as loading/unloading kilns, mixing glazes, pugging clay and cleaning/organizational projects. In addition to this assigned work, there is a closing checklist that Studio Assistants complete to make sure the studio is always left in good shape. Ultimately Studio Assistants are responsible for leaving the studio clean. Often times Studio Assistants have to remind renters and students to clean up after themselves... a "you missed a spot" kind of thing. The Studio Assistants who are less comfortable with confrontation end up cleaning up after renters and students... and quickly become much more comfortable with confrontation. Without the Studio Assistants our space would turn into a heap very quickly. I could cover the place in signs about studio procedures and expectations, but without someone monitoring the space the signs would be ignored... people like making messes, not cleaning them up. Oh... and prior to working in the studio, members must sign a form that spells out what they can expect of the studio and what the studio can expect of them. That way, if someone does blow off their responsibilities we have a signed agreement form them stating they'll follow the rules. Ultimately, if you can take on some studio monitors and limit the hours of studio access to times when the space is hosted by a monitor your studio will stay in much better shape.
  13. Hi All, For the last few months I've been experimenting with decals. With my HP laser printer I've been printing my own iron-rich decals and getting results I'm really happy with (picture below). The process is pretty straightforward, and so long as the ^6 glaze I'm putting decals on top of doesn't change with the additional firing, the results are predictable and aesthetically where I want them to be. But I'm working in only one color. As mentioned in other decal-focused posts, a ceramic printer that can print full color decals costs a few grand. And while there are commercial services available for printing decals, I'm more of a DIY kind of guy. So I'd like to start screenprinting my own decals using gold overglaze, cobalt, etc, and I'm curious if anyone can help shed some light on this process. I have a background in screenprinting, so I'm very comfortable withe the physical steps of the process. What I'm wondering about are the following: - The decal paper needs to be submerged in water to get the backing paper to release. Is there a substance I should mix in with my overglaze/cobalt oxide wash to make it so the image wont wash off the paper? - Should I be spraying a fixer over the images instead of/in addition to mixing a fixing agent into my "ink"? - Should the decals be applied face-down? The iron decals can be applied right-side-up, but I have a suspicion that printing things backward and applying the paper with the "ink" in direct contact with the ware will be more effective. - Any ratios, recipes, tricks or tips will be appreciated. Thanks, Chris
  14. Pots on Pots on Pots

  15. Wood-Fired Turbo Kiln

    Seasoned Warrior, I have the good fortune to be able to fire a wood burning kiln a few times a year. We make cone 10-12 in the span of a day. Like has been wisely mentioned previously in the thread, just because it's not anagama, it doesn't mean it's not legitimate woodfiring. The design of this kiln is called the Phoenix Kiln, named for the Phoenix Workshops of Dunbarton, NH in the late 70s. There's an old issue of the Studio Potter (Vol 7 No 2) that describes it, and it's also discussed in the book Wood-fired Ceramics: Contemporary Practices. It's a small spring arch cross draft that climbs quickly. The placement of the firebox beneath the ware chamber is key. As the flame travels beneath the ware chamber it heats the floor of this section, gaining ambient heat before the flame comes into direct contact with the ware. Also, unlike in an anagama or norigama, there is no struggling with the cool ground. The pots are up off the ground so the pots and chamber heat very evenly. We use rough ends from the lumber mill that we purchase by the bundle and cut down to the right lengths. We use about a three quarters of a cord to a cord and a quarter per firing depending on how long the wood's been drying, how tight the load is, etc. Admittedly there is not the level of ash buildup you'd see in a more traditional 2 or 3 or 4 day firing, so we also salt at cone 10 to supplement. We get great results. The kiln was built in southern Vermont about 10 or 12 years ago, and after being relocated a number of times via crane and flatbed truck, the kiln's owner had the genius/insane idea to put the kiln on a trailer. So for the last few years it has been on a 20' heavy duty trailer. The kiln and trailer weigh about 10 tons total. With about a week's notice (and a large enough truck to haul it) we can take down the flue, support the arch with a form and drive to somewhere new to set it back up to demo or workshop. It's an ordeal to move, but pretty straightforward. The last time we moved the kiln was to it's current home in Burlington, Vermont's south end where the kiln's owner and I run a weekend workshop a couple times a year. As you look to faster woodfiring methods, check out the Phoenix Kiln. It might be a good fit for what you're looking for. C

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