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About Benzine

  • Rank
    Socratic Potter

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  • Gender
  • Location
    The Hawkeye State
  • Interests
    The Arts (Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Graphic Design), Running, Music (Mostly Rock), Movies, Technology

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  1. Benzine

    Well, There's Your Problem!

    Counting? Save that for those egghead mathematicians, am I right? So do I need to use different elements, or have the outlet wired differently? Also, have you seen something melted quite like that before?
  2. Benzine

    Well, There's Your Problem!

    Neil, I posted a photo of the kiln's ID plate, in the same gallery, I linked to above. It says Cone 10, but of course, that would be on 240 only right? I'm fine with Cone 6 firing, but of course, I don't want to burn through elements (literally and figuratively) so fast that it becomes cost prohibitive. Also, for anyone interest, I posted a close up, of the bottom slab, where the bottom element was melted to it. And it's not just stuck a little, it was actually drug into the brick, by the melted material. Like I said, probably nothing people like Neil, who work on kilns haven't seen before, but a first for me.
  3. Benzine

    Second Hand Skutt

    "Used" Kiln I picked up off an auction site.
  4. Benzine

    Well, There's Your Problem!

    Well, shoot! I just realized that the kiln is 208 V. As I understand it, this is not ideal for a kiln in a residential space. I made sure it was Single Phase, when putting a bid in, but skimmed over the voltage appatently. Is there anything, that can be done, so that it will fire properly on 240?
  5. One of my classroom wheels, is the same way. I point that out to students, but they still run into the issue. It doesn't help, that setting the wheel to "Forward", which makes the wheel go counter clockwise, is done by turning the switch backwards, towards the potter. That is probably the biggest reason they make the mistake. Then, when they realize it isn't go the right way, the think it's broken, when they stop the wheel, but don't wait for the motor to fully wind down, before trying to change direction. Still, I like the wheel, it's our best one actually, and it has served many years, and will continue to do so.
  6. Benzine

    Bizen-yaki question... Any Ideas?

    Kevin, I would say the "Wafers", as you call them, are probably some type of wadding. Wadding is something used in wood, soda, salt firings, so that the wares don't stick to the shelves, or each other, if things are being stacked a bit. Commonly wadding is made from Alumina and EPK, much like a kiln wash, only way thicker. There are also recipes for wadding, that contain calcium. The wafers in the video, also look like they have a bit of texture. So they may have some type of grog mixed in, to reduce shrinkage and combat thermal shock.
  7. There is nothing wrong, with trying to emulate another artist's style. As you said, unless you are trying to sell it as a knock off, there is no problem. With all types of Art, there aren't many completely original ideas left anymore. Everything has been done, to some extent. But taking something, and creating your own "Spin" on it, or combining multiple styles or techniques, that is how an Artist sets themselves apart.
  8. Benzine

    Well, There's Your Problem!

    Pres, I'm considering getting my Masters at some point, but I am still paying off my undergraduate loan sooooo... I mean really, who would have known that the Government wanted me to pay all that back?!... The extra pay, from a Masters is nice, but one big reasons for me to do it, is just so I will be safe, in teaching my Graphic Design class. It is a Dual Credit class, so the students get a high school and college credit for it. The community college we are partnered with prefers that all high school instructors, who teach the class, have a Masters. But, I've taught it, since I started at the District, and have had no issues thus far. I have to go to training every Summer, and meet with the Department Head, at the college. That way we know the expectations the school has, for the class. What's funny is, they also have people in the community, from a variety of trades (engineers, mechanics, etc) and teach classes. Those people, generally have their Masters, but no teaching degree. So they have the content experience, but generally no training on the best methods for disseminating that information to students. I know what you mean, regarding the sub par Elementary and Secondary Art programs. I get that with Elementary, it can be difficult to do anything meaningful. My colleague , who used to do Middle School and some Elementary, ended up with all the Elementary students, a couple years ago with restructuring. He has 7-800 students, he sees one to two times a week. It is difficult for him to do any in-depth lessons... And a couple years ago, our Curriculum Director and people from the local AEA didn't understand why he didn't want to do Standards Based Assessment on his classes. "Let me get this straight, I'm supposed to document how well a student is doing on multiple categories, in a lesson, multiple times throughout the process? And I'm supposed to do that with several hundred students?... So yes, I do get the struggle. With High School, yes we have to do more and more things (Professional Development Related Things), that take away from what we'd like to be doing, but I've never found that it has prevented me from doing, what I want to with my students. I have seen programs, where there is little to no structure. My Alma Mater, had a good program, while I was there. The instructor was well liked, and we had students, from every group/ clique take Art classes. My Senior year, was that instructor's last year, due to a terminal illness. His long-term sub took the job, the following year. The program suffered, from that point on. I went back and subbed there, after college. I did cover the Art classes, during that time. The students in some of the upper level classes, didn't have any experience with the fundamentals. Students were pretty much allowed to do whatever they wanted, with no guidance. The instructor also added a "Crafts" class, because that's what she enjoyed doing. It was mostly making things out of yarn/ macrame. The number of students in her classes dropped dramatically. She had some classes with only a couple students in them. So they had her start teaching Junior High too. Then more recently, teach some upper Elementary. A classmate of mine, from high school, has recently taken over the position. After one year, he said his class sizes are going up, and he's trying to get more and more sections added back into his high school schedule. Right now, he still does only mornings at the high school. The rest of the day is Middle School and Elementary. It's just amazing how a teacher's view, attitude, etc can change the dynamic of an entire district.
  9. Benzine

    Well, There's Your Problem!

    I think, they probably thought it was beyond repair and/ or didn't want to have the district pay to have it fix, and admit they messed up and caused the damage in the first place. It's easier to just say, "I don't know, the thing just stopped working..."
  10. Benzine

    Well, There's Your Problem!

    Denice, That seems very similar to the one I got, including the problem with the kiln sitter. I'm not sure what got in there, but whatever it was, did not let it shut off. I still don't know why the timer didn't shut it down though. As far as I can tell, the timer does work. They must have just cranked it to the max time, and walked away... New kiln smell eh? Can't say I'm familiar with that specific scent. Do they make a product that a person could spray on the kiln, that would replicate that? You know, like people do with their cars...
  11. In regards to the nose exploding, as other have suggested, you could just hollow it out from the back, or what I usually do is remove quite a bit from inside the nose, as I am doing the nostrils. In either case, this will allow it to dry quicker, and more evenly, and greatly reduce the odds it will explode, from the moisture.
  12. Benzine

    Well, There's Your Problem!

    Thanks Arnold. I honestly have no reason, to not use it, and nothing to do with it otherwise. And I'm all about saving money!
  13. Benzine

    Well, There's Your Problem!

    Arnold, is the second slab required? Is it recommended that I use it as well? I mean, I have it, not like it's problem if I do. I had just never seen such a thing... This is despite the fact, said "Thing" had been in my basement for seven years... Old Lady, pretty much any kiln is sooooo much nicer to reach into, than my classroom kiln. Don't get me wrong, it is an amazing kiln, and I'm still figuring out how the previous teacher got the money/ approval to buy something that would have cost so much. BUT, that thing is a pain to load. It is a L&L Jupiter, with four rings, plus the stand. I have to stand, on the stand, to load quite a bit of it, and hang over the side, to get things in/ out of the bottom. When I am putting the bottom posts and shelf in, which isn't often, unless I have to vacuum out the bottom after an explosion, the students get a kick out of. To them, it probably looks like I'm about to fall in. Luckily, my rear end has plenty of counter weight...
  14. Benzine

    Well, There's Your Problem!

    I THOUGHT so Arnold, but I am not a kiln expert by any means, nor have I ever repaired a kiln. I have already replaced the bottom slab, with an older model Skutt, that I already had. Oddly, the old Skutt, that was given to me years ago, and I just had it sitting in my basement, had two slabs on the bottom. I never noticed, and have zero idea why. It had two standard 2.5" slabs. One had an attached handle, the other did not. The bottom of the two , had some filler material caked on, covering damage. I'm guessing it is really thick kiln wash, or some type of kiln brick repair material. Any reason a kiln would have two slabs for the base? It was drilled for a vent, but there doesn't seem to be any type of damage, that looks like it would be structurally weak or anything.

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