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Benzine last won the day on August 9

Benzine had the most liked content!

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About Benzine

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    Socratic Potter

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    The Hawkeye State
  • Interests
    The Arts (Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Graphic Design), Running, Music (Mostly Rock), Movies, Technology
  1. Kiln Install on Deck

    Does anyone know how cement board does outside? It's a great clay work surface, because of it's porosity, but will this same porosity cause issues, when temperatures drop below freezing, and it has absorbed moisture from the air?
  2. Kiln Install on Deck

    That would be overkill. A layer of bricks, or cinder block alone, would be sufficient. The issue with wood near a kiln, is that over time, the heat will dry it to the point, that it will ignite. That's why they recommend leaving 12" between the kiln and wall surfaces. So you just need something to shield the wood decking from the heat. A piece of cement board, would also work, though I don't know it does, when used in an exterior space. In other words, I would scale it back a bit. You don't need all that weight in one spot on a deck.
  3. The only issue I experienced, was that I added some red food coloring to my clear glaze. It applied fine, and the color obviously burned out. However, the food coloring, in the glaze, stained my glaze brushes a bit. It didn't affect the brushes performance afterwards, just the look. I usually just get a clear that is colored pink, but accidentally bought a type that didn't have the pink. The students kept mixing it up with other glazes, so I added the food coloring. Apparently, whatever the company uses to dye their's isn't as strong as standard food coloring...
  4. Any wheel head, I've ever used, leaves a dark grey residue on the sponges, when cleaning them.
  5. Glaze Gel Fix

    I don't know enough about mixing glazes, to be able to tell you if the ingredients need to be adjusted, but Darvan or Sodium Silicate would help Deflocculate the glaze, making it flow better.
  6. confused over earthenware and glazes

    The Amaco glazes I use, for my low fire white, recommend bisque firing to a "Mature 04", then glaze firing to 05. As a time and money saving effort, I have fired mixed loads plenty of times, and will take glazed wares to 04, with no issues. I have also single fired wares to 04, also with no issues.
  7. confused over earthenware and glazes

    You are correct. Unlike mid to high fire wares, where you bisque at a lower temperature, and glaze at a higher temperature, low fire you fire hotter for the bisque. With mid to high fire, the glaze firing not only melts the glaze, but vitrifies the clay. With low fire, the higher bisque helps burn out things, that might cause issues/ defects, with the glaze. Most low fire clay doesn't vitrify, though the glaze can seal them.
  8. I didn't look closely at the control box, to see you have a computer controller. Mine is old school, with just a cone sitter. So each ring has part of the control box attached to it, and each ring has a male and female plug. So, whenever I unstack mine, I have to remember to set the rings upside down, so I'm not setting it on the protruding plug. I've moved mine several times, and never caused any damage. But since it's a hand me down kiln, it had plenty of damage already...
  9. The biggest dangers would be hurting the soft brick or damaging the electrical connections between the rings. The rings are good about taking weight from the top and bottom, but pressure from the corners, would be something to be avoided. After all, the rings are just loose bricks, held together with a stainless steel band...
  10. Teaching Ceramics without a kiln??

    Storage, is always a concern... I use wire racks, that can be purchased at any big box hardware store. They each have 5-6 shelves, and I divide each shelf into thirds. So a student gets one of those thirds. It is generally enough space, unless I have two of my ceramic classes going on at once, which can and does happen. In that case, I have to use some of the bat/ ware board storage space. The racks I use can hold a couple hundred pounds per shelf. Will your kiln be in the main classroom, or a separate room? I have always had racks/ shelves, near the kiln, for students to set finished projects. For one, I knew that it meant they were done. Second, it helped dry the greenware, as the kiln was running. In California, I would imagine that Laguna is the place to go for a lot of your materials. I've never used Laguna clay myself, but have heard nothing but good things.
  11. Bummer! I was going to share this with my Dad. His instructor, in college, was a student of Hamada, so he developed an appreciation of Hamada and his style.
  12. I just love that phrasing, "Fell in with some theatre people"... "That Tyler, he was on a good path, until he got mixed up with those performing arts folks..." In regards to the question, sugar glass is what they usually use for any prop glass (bottles, windows, etc.) It breaks like glass, with little chance of injury, and the ability to snack on the resulting pieces.
  13. Teaching Ceramics without a kiln??

    I'm with Pres, if you can get a guarantee that you'd have a kiln by Thanksgiving, you could start using actual clay. Are you on a 7-8 Period schedule with Semesters? Around Thanksgiving is usually my deadline for wet clay work anyway. After that, it was just underglazing greenware, glazing bisqueware and getting the room cleaned and squared away. If that still won't work, oven-baked clay, may give you better results, than air dried. I can't say for certain, as I've never used either. In regards to material suppliers, knowing your location would allow others to give you better recommendations. For instance, I live in the Midwest, and use Continental Clay. They are a State away, and can get things to me rather fast. You might want to order as soon as possible too. Some items, do not like freezing temps, and some suppliers won't even ship certain things, in the winter months, because of this. Best of Luck!
  14. Mixing glazes again.

    *Tags for when I eventually start mixing my own glazes...*
  15. Between myself, and my students, I've dealt plenty with, this kind of problem. I would suggest making some clay "waster" props/ supports/ columns. Maybe three to four around the head, with the weight directed towards the body, or all the way to the kiln shelf. I make the props, as I'm building, for support, that way they dry at the same rate as the sculpture itself. The same with firing. They will expand and contract, as the sculpture does. I will note, that I only do this for the bisque firing. Once fired, I rarely have issues, with things coming apart.