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weeble

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Everything posted by weeble

  1. I've tried RIO, manganese dioxide, and copper carb on greenware. They all brush off pretty easily after a cone 05 bisque without something to fix them. The terra sigillata is a very fine slip, and it acts to fix the oxides so they DON'T brush off at bisque, so you can brush glaze over very easily. The copper carb was brushing off bisque very easily too, so I usually use the copper carb/terra sig mix on bisque as well as green. RIO and manganese dioxide however you can simply apply to bisque and rub it back with a sponge, it sticks well enough to get fun effects! HMMMMmmm, wait, its been ages since I started using the sigs with stuff on greenware, so maybe it was something else I was doing that was giving me fits. I just know I started using the sig and things started working! It might have been the Mason stains that I was trying to use on the greenware that were the problem, I normally use RIO and manganese straight, but only on bisqued stuff, and the copper carb was NOT behaving as well on the bisque. Mason stain with the sig works wonderful on greenware though. Sigh, ok, disregard that first part, I'm a tad burnt out trying to get ready for a show!
  2. I am another one who lives 2 hours from the nearest clay retailer, and it really is more cost effective to make the run. I'm not a volume producer, so 300 to 500 pounds at a time every few months, the fuel charge is only about $40 in my toy pickup. (aka Ford Ranger) I usually plan a clay run for when I need to get out of this backwater and go shopping anyway!
  3. Hey Mark, I see we've done some shows in common! Yep, did one was in Crescent City... wind blew over booths, street barricades, anything and everything. The vendors were all totally sandblasted and dodging traffic as we packed it up at noon. Another in Bandon, at least there though I managed to keep things from self destructing and cars wizzing by the booth wasn't an issue. A couple on the Brookings Boardwalk, but they were good shows once I had someone crawl under the boardwalk and run a line around so I was literately tied down to the boardwalk. Yep, North Country Fair. Nothing like having your booth backed up to the local liquor store that has tied a bottle opener to the corner stop sign for the duration. The falling drunks missed me that year (but got the booth next to me) and next I requested a booth round the corner some... Then there have been the Ash Rain show (Biscuit fire fall out, nasty stuff on woodwork) and the RAIN rain show - another Festival of the Arts, a few years later where my booth was in 3 inches of water most of the second day after an overnight deluge. A bunch of duds where nobody came but the vendors. The down-a-dark-hall shows where I watched the customers stream by going around the corner and mostly missing our hallway. Then there was the dead-alternator show, where my truck made it exactly half way to the show. But I had a spare battery for booth lighting, five miles of power cord and a charger in the truck, so I had the tow truck haul me to the motel I had reservations at and plugged in there. Would have been ok, except some shmuck stole the battery charger from under the truck. I drove back in daylight so it all worked out. Eventually. Oh my. There's a reason I don't do many shows anymore!
  4. Dayem, if we got air miles for shipping distances, we'd all be vacationing someplace warm with fruity drinks! I've got three outstanding boxes at the moment, the rest have been delivered, reasonably on time, although I still haven't figured out why there was a side trip on a few of them!
  5. How To Fire Without A Kiln?

    I fire for people outside the pottery group from time to time, but they have to properly answer a few key questions first so I can determine if I'll do it or not. Usually its just one or two items, but sometimes its a shelf or two. I charge based on how much work they want fired (ok, I'll admit, there IS a PITA factor involved!) First, they have to know (not 'think', not guess, KNOW) what clay and glaze they are working with and what the proper cone for firing is. "I don't know" is an automatic 'Sorry, but no, I can't fire that.' Because we're a local art association, I get a lot of 'oh I made this years ago but never got it fired, can you?' I have to protect the kiln, so I end up turning a lot of people down. I also look at the item and the construction, and I must admit I've turned down a few doorstops that were just so badly constructed I figured they'd be... well, explosive. For work that looks good and they're able to answer questions about the clay, I'll go ahead and cautiously fire it. Often I'll sort of isolate it from other work, on its own shelf just in case, or on a specially constructed tray in case I have my doubts about firing temps for the item, but really I've had very few problems. The biggest issue I've had is people bringing stuff in at random times, then not picking it up after its fired. I've got half a shelf devoted to 'orphans' :/ But if its been left for too long I let others finish the items and take it. I've also been known to sell it!
  6. I normally sponge or brush my glaze on, but I bet if you're spraying you'll be fine just going with the one bisque. With brushing though, the copper carb was lifting, which is why I started using a terra sig base and often do the second bisque. You're just going to have to do some tests to see what the glaze/copper carb combination do.
  7. I've been using copper carb in a way that might answer some of your questions. I mix the copper carb with a white terra sig just because its a handy way to stick the stuff, copper carb seems to wipe off a lot easier than RIO and mang.diox. I apply this mix to a textured bisqued piece, then wipe it off the areas I want the base clay color to show then put my transparent over and glaze fire. This gives a nice green with a wide range of light and dark areas. Adding the copper carb to the glaze directly gives a much more uniform look, less textured, so its not what I want. It makes a nice green glaze if that's what you want though. Some of the carb burns out so I don't worry about getting it all off. Applying over the glaze seems to be a bit more irregular on what burns out. As I'm looking to emphasize the texture, this works much better. A thicker layer of glaze = more movement of the color. Sometimes I'll re-bisque to lock the copper carb on before glazing, sometimes not. Its a time and patience thing! Here I wiped almost all the copper carb off the raised surface and used a semi-transparent satin white over the copper carb. then went back in and added more carb on the lip of the pot.
  8. Freezing!

    Our cold here comes with humidity (something about being a temperate rain forest) so without adding heat, work NEVER dries. Sigh. Space heater to the rescue!
  9. Public Studio Vs. Lone Ranger

    It might be I'm the odd duck here, but I'm actually the one who 'manages' the kiln and pottery group at our local art center. For the most part I make sure everyone knows the few rules we have and I load, fire, and unload the kiln. I used to let others load and unload, but after a few... incidents... I finally said nobody does it without me being there! We have the classroom space 2 afternoons a week, and a limited amount of drying and storage room - JUST enough room to dry a load at a time. Because of our limited space and the fact that we're a 2 hour drive from the nearest ceramics supply place, we've decided to go with just a few clay choices and commercial glazes. So I keep about 4 hundred pounds on hand, and people buy clay at a price that lets me pick up whatever glazes we need next time I make a run for clay. I've trained a few others in how to RTFM so they can fire, and there's a cheat-sheet with all the important info, just in case. We don't have room for wheels, so all our work is handbuilt. That really keeps the hard core production people out. I fire about one cycle a month, sometimes more, and for the most part our peeps are hobbyists working on their own projects. There are a few of us doing work at home that might be described as production work, but its still handbuilt and basically just enough to keep firing regularly! Its a good group and the dynamics work well. I occasionally get someone who's interested in joining but has no pottery experience, so I run them through a quick and dirty class I call the 'Don't Blow Up The Kiln!' class, and those of us in the group with more experience are always helping out those with less experience. I'm usually working on something 'fun' or maybe even a showy piece while at the center, as long as I can keep an eye on what's going on. I'm sort of the facilitator, I guess! At home I'm doing more production work, more complicated stuff that I can't set aside while I help someone figure out how to get that side to STAY or what color glaze works on that clay. I don't have a kiln at home, and my space is just a small area of an old barn that I've hung plastic walls around to attempt to keep some heat in. If I run the space heater for a couple hours, its almost civilized, but dang the clay stays COLD! I guess the whole point is, I take advantage of both a public studio and my home work space. I really like the ideas that get bounced around the public studio, and I may be insane, but I like helping others where they need it. The time around others really helps make the time I work alone better! I just wish my own space was WARM this time of year!
  10. Oh, they like Etsy too, I got one but they just wanted a high end coil pot. Of course they wanted to know the 'condition of the item' and if 'the item is still available' and unfortunately they're out to sea, and can only use Paypal, would I send my bank info. I'm sure if I'd have replied there would have been a private shipper that I'd have to pay from the money order they sent. Yeah, I might have fallen off a truck on the way off the farm, but it wasn't yesterday!
  11. Spam Attack

    Yeah, I probably see the same 7, but they're all by the same poster with 2 different names, based on the topics and translation fail. You'd think they'd at least find something to do a better job translating spammish into English! I think I've seen instruction manuals translated by the same software....
  12. Alternatives To Iron Oxide

    Check out Terra sigillata! Its a very thin slip thats been deflocculated and the finest particles pulled out to use. You can spray it, pour it, dab it, and color varies depending on what clay you make it from. Put it on THIN on greenware and buff with a soft cloth or plastic grocery bag and it looks wonnnnderful. Its great for low fire work, on cone 5 you loose some of the sheen but its still a nice finish. Use a couple different shades and you can get a very nice shading of colors. This is a tan clay (Laguna Weststone II) with a terra sig made from my yard clay (-it goes on babycrap green, and fires orange-) put on the greenware, then a darker brown terra sig put over it after the bisque. You can get an idea of the base color of the clay from the shot of the bottom. It's got cork on it, but the center area has very little terra sigillata on it and its almost the base clay color. dunno if this new fangled system will let you click and see the big versions, but there are bigger shots as well as a shot of the bottom of the planter on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.556182454455843.1073741839.158972634176829&type=1
  13. Unfortunately there is another side to the story.... http://faso.com/theartedge/66723/lisa-congdon-vs-cody-foster-what-about-the-photographers It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out...
  14. Latex Removal

    Just rebisque them, the latex should burn off just fine. It might stink, but I do this regularly with wax.
  15. Brush Cleaning

    The pottery group I work with has several designated 'wax' brushes, then we clean them with hot water and a squirt of 409 right after use. They're oil painting brushes with the stiffer bristles and I know a few of the older ones pre-date my time with the group and I've been there over 15 years...
  16. Ok, realized last night AFTER I turned this thing off, that 3/16 is SUPPOSED to be 3/8".... A really interesting source for info on building bonsai pots is Lindsey Farr's World of Bonsai videos. ( http://bonsaifarm.tv/ )They have great info on how the Japanese pottery production town of Tokoname (which has many individual artists all producing pottery) does bonsai pots, as well as a few in China (I forget the name for the chinese ones!) But it boils down to many of the pots, even the rectangular ones, are actually built by putting the slab into a mold, then reinforcing and smoothing the clay into the form. All I can say is they've got the systems they use worked out, and there really are quite a number of different ways they build bonsai pots.
  17. If you're looking for dark brown Laguna clays, out here we get the Western glazes and 'Brown' and 'Electric Brown' both look great with bonsai pots. I'm firing to cone 5 though, not sure they'd take cone 6. You're going to just have to go ahead and work on construction, finding the right thickness and construction tricks like exactly HOW stiff the slab has to be to build the pot and still get good seams really IS a matter of experience. I've used both to make bonsai pots, but mostly smaller stuff. Larger pots I find Weststone II and some of the other groggy clays to be the best choice to avoid warpage. Oxides and terra sigs can be used to change the color if you want unglazed looking pots. Bonsai pots are a tricky, futzy, ANNOYING construction exercise. Drywall sheets for drying and proper slab rolling/handling are very important. I'm finding 3/8" works, especially if I reinforce with a rim. Patience, grasshoppah! Edited to correct annoying lack of a grasp of fractions after an exhausting week....
  18. Commercial glazes: good experience

    Claypple, which of Laguna's 'Peacock' glazes are you using? They've got two in the cone 5-6 line, I've used MS#27 a lot. Its a crazy glaze, over some clay it is more green, over the Laguna B-mix it goes blue-green, on "Frost" porcelain it is straight blue. (Someone with more glaze formulation knowledge could probably say exactly what's going on, but I'm stuck using commercial glazes.) A layer of white under it does some fabulous texture things... I've used "Colonial White" under, with the MS#27 over and got a really crazy roiling water look.
  19. Pounding Vs. Rolling Slabs

    I often dry tiles in layered stacks of drywall, but then I'm not usually doing highly textured tiles, just rolled in plant stuffs. I wrap the stack in plastic so the edge tiles don't dry too fast, then swap the damp drywall out with DRY drywall every day or so and let the wet stuff dry for tomorrow. That way I can get away with firing the kiln in the same small room as I dry stuff. One of these days the kiln MAY get a dedicated room, meanwhile everything is in one small room.
  20. With your downdraft, you've got holes drilled in the top and bottom. SO, where were your holes in relation to the cones? Back when I first installed one, I didn't even think about it and placed a piece almost directly under one of the vent holes. There was a spot of un-fluxed glaze lined up perfectly with the vent hole, so that could be part of the problem with your top shelf seeming cooler. Also, the Envirovent recommended (if I recall correctly) 1 inch spacers between the bottom shelf and the floor of the kiln for proper airflow. You might want to double check the specs on yours!
  21. Mostly I'm putting 1/8 inch holes in buttons, rather than larger holes, but I like to use a plastic drinking straw type coffee stirrer when the clay is leather hard. Just back it up with a finger (or the ware board with buttons) and press the straw through, it usually leaves a nice clean hole. I normally clear the straw out (squash it and force the clay out, or just cut the plugged up end off) after about an inch of stuff packs in there because the cuts get sloppy if the clay doesn't slide up into the straw. A minimal amount of cleaning is all thats needed this way. I've done bigger holes with a standard straw too, seems to work just as well scaled up! Although with something like a strainer a good drill bit might work better!
  22. Setting up my studio

    LOL looks like 'organized' means something different for each of us! I suppose as long as we have a system and keep to it, it works!
  23. Setting up my studio

    Err, crappy old shelves arranged alphabetically by glaze name works for us in a shared space... As long as everyone puts them back by the first word in the name instead of the color they think it is, we don't have trouble finding them! Sometimes it takes awhile to convince the noobs that 'Turkish Amber' goes under T, not B for brown or A for amber.
  24. Firing a lidded box

    Corny story there Benzine. Never did that, but my brothers did. Me, I just got to spend time thinning peaches. The glaze on lids reminds me of one instructor they roped in for pottery (she was a painter but had the appropriate mumble of letters after her name to let us get credits for the class) who figured she could set a piece inside another as the outer piece (a bowl) was being refired. She didn't last long as a pottery instructor, but she was memorable!
  25. Newbie

    Lol the Hindenburg was hydrogen, MUCH more flamable than helium. However, mylar and heat..... mmmmm, not too great. Not very dramatic, they just go flat fast. Some brainiac at the local art center thought storing balloons in the kiln room temporarily was a good idea..... They don't do things like that anymore without running it by me... The balloons might mot have exploded, but there WAS some exploding done!
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