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Everything posted by Benzine

  1. It all depends on the form. If the pole is inserted into the sculpture, then the sculptor had to account for the clay shrinkage, so that the pole still fit post firing(s). Was the sculpture you saw, glazed all the way around, including the underside? If so, then the artist likely used a support specifically designed, for that form, or they used stilts, which are metal tipped supports, that hold the piece from the bottom. It depends on what Cone the artist fires to, as the stilts don't always do well at higher temps. Like I said, it all depends on the form.
  2. Is the topic title also slang, for a person's state of mind? "That guy isn't firing a full load!"...
  3. Jeff, Take that deflocculated slip, that your studio has, that part is correct. But DO NOT add the epsom salt, which will just flocculate it, reversing what you want to do. All that is doing, is giving the impression it is thicker. It is still the same ratio of water to clay, which is why it will shrink a lot, as that water evaporates off. Instead, just take some bone dry pieces, of whatever claybody is used to make the deflocculated slip, crush it up into a powder, and add it to that slip, until it gets to the thickness you desire. Because you are adding more clay to the ratio, it shrinks way less, and is also less likely to crack. This is also why potters use this as a "joining slip" for connecting pieces. But once again, do not add the epsom salt!
  4. One of the previous posters, on these Forums, John Baymore, used to wedge bits of granite, into his claybody. If you do a quick search for his name, you can probably find some contact info, if you'd like to ask him about it.
  5. Not to hijack this thread, but I thought I'd just ask this here, instead of making a whole new topic, for a relatively simple question. Can I add Alumina Hydrate to a simple, commercially made kiln wash? I've got quite a bit of old, dried wash, in my classroom that I'd like to use up, instead of just tossing. I'm fairly certain that it is all just kaolin, with nothing else.
  6. Dang it Min, I want definite answers!!! Since text doesn't convey sarcasm or joking, I will note, that I am joking... I appreciate your responses. I think I'll just make the mugs, and give them some tests, before use. I don't plan to sell them, or really even make more. I just had some extra of this marble batch, from the main decorative piece I am making. You are correct, I am currently doing low fire, until my home kiln gets hooked up. The commercial clear I use is great. It is forgiving enough, that even student work, has had almost zero issues. I've only had it craze once, and that was when I tried to do another marbling experiment, with two *different* clay bodies. It was delayed crazing too. Apparently the fit is great for my low fire white, but not whatever the low fire red, that was left from a previous instructor...
  7. Did it peel off everywhere, or just in spots? Underglazes can be tricky to make, which is why many potters just use commercially made versions. I've had a few issues with something similar, where an underglaze flakes off, in spots, after being fired, sometimes after the glaze firing, sometimes after the bisque. In some cases it was right after the firing, in others, it was months to years later. In most instances, I chalked it up to either a bad batch of that underglaze, or just applying it to a surface that had some type of contaminate that prevented it from adhering well.
  8. That's one of the best "Used" kilns, I've seen, especially for that price!
  9. Bag Balm is great stuff, I grew up using it for a lip balm, never on my hands though. Growing up, the Walgreen's drug store chain, used to sell this hand healer. It was in a clear bottle, with a white and green label. The product was also clear, and relatively thin. It had an ammonia-ish smell, and did sting a bit, if you had deep cracks, but did a great job. Sadly, you can't find it anymore. My Mom used all of her Online Shopping-Fu and managed to snag a couple bottles, but the product is discontinued. We figure, there's got to be something like it, out there... I'm a fan of O'Keefe's Working Hands. It feel it creates a good barrier. I also second Pres' advice, about rinsing, not washing your hands so frequently. I saw him mention it years ago, and haven't been following it ever since. I tell my students to do the same. If I'm going to handle food, or touch something that needs to be "Clean, clean", I'll use soap. But if I'm just going around the room, helping students, I'll give a rinse, after applying slip with my finger, or helping a student on the wheel. As I figure it, clay is cleaner than most of the surfaces in the room anyway. I also will reapply lotion more frequently, to act as a barrier, especially before helping students on the wheel and such. The only time I will not apply lotion, is if I'm glazing, so I don't leave greasy, oily marks on the bisque surface.
  10. They clear glaze is my standard, commercially made clear. To be clear (Pun not intentional, but not avoided either) I wasn't planning to mix the stain with the clear, to color it, just put the clear, over the marbled, colored clay body. I wasn't sure if any of the stain, from the clay body, could combine with the clear, and leach out. Last year, I made a couple mugs, where I stained my clay body with black iron oxide, and marbled it with the normal clay body. I just put a clear on those. I wasn't worried about leaching, because neither my wife, nor I, have hemochromatosis. I haven't noted any change in those, with near constant use. I was just slightly concerned with a pigment that is more toxic than iron.
  11. The piece I plan to make, with these stains, is decorative, but could they be used for something functional, with a clear glaze?
  12. I've been using some leftover scraps from "Construction Plastic". It's what contractors and such put up, to protect against dust getting out of the work area, to catch paint drips, etc. It's thicker stuff, and keeps the moisture in quite well. It's been so rainy here lately, that my basement stays pretty damp itself. If I just poured some plaster on the floor, it would be one big damp box.
  13. I understand the view, of those opposed to them, as they see it as a crutch, to a process that potters should know. But it is a quick way to center, especially in the bulk, that you are dealing with Mark. It is also a good way to recenter for decorating. I just used mine to day, to recenter a leatherhard piece, right side up, to apply even coats of underglaze. Tap centering that form, right side up, would have been quite difficult. Plus, the feet hold the ware in place, without leaving clay dust on the outside areas, I already underglazed. Also, in my classroom, the Giffen Grip is invaluable. I barely have time to teach the kids to use the wheel to throw the form, so I definitely do not have time to teach them tap centering. So I can still teach trimming, without that extra step and frustration. I still talk about tap centering, and show it to them, I just don't expect them to do it. Regardless, tap centering isn't going anywhere. The Giffen Grip does not work well for altered forms, that aren't symmetrical, and of course, not everyone wants to spend over a hundred bucks, for a Giffen Grip.
  14. When the body has set up enough, that it won't deform from the pressure of attaching the handle. Usually on the softer side of leatherhard. After attaching, it is a good idea to cover the ware, so it slows drying allowing the two pieces to better join.
  15. Thought that was a foam cooler. That's a great idea for a damp box, since it's strong, yet light. I just lightly cover my mugs, after attaching handles, basically until the handles firm up. I used to have issues with the join developing hairline cracks, when used to use magic water *and* a joining slip. Since then, I switch to only magic water, and zero cracks.
  16. @liambesaw are those mugs in a damp box of sorts?
  17. Very good point! I do have an old coal chute/ door that leads into my studio, as it used to be the coal room for my house. I would say that I could just throw it through that way, but that's where my exhaust is vented through.
  18. Mea, My studio, is also in my basement, which looks similar to your basement design, based on the photos you've posted before. I have seriously considered creating a "slide" of sorts, to just slide the boxes, down the stairs. The same thought occurs to me, when I have to carry the 40# water softner salt bags, down the same stairs...
  19. I had a handle crack like that, but only when I tried to dry it to quickly, to get it in a kiln load, not during a firing.
  20. I have one in my classroom, and it's the best wheel we have. It's a real workhorse, and has tolerated probably about thirty years of teenagers, which says a lot. That is too high of a price, for sure. I've noticed that a lot of people over price wheels and kilns, when selling them. They apparently think they are sitting on something rare, or are using the price that a new one would go for. If you can get it for a cheaper price, I'd go for it, otherwise, pass.
  21. Thanks for the advice folks. Yeah, I know Chris is the Clay Coloring Guru. Does she not post here anymore?
  22. I was looking to stain a white clay body, with a couple different stains, and was wondering if there would be any concerns, I might not be considering. I was looking to usong Mason Stain 6300 Yellow and 6485 Mazerine. Any precautions, beyond the basic, I need to take, when using either of these? Will either affect the clay body, in a way that would cause defects? Will the colors remain true, with a clear glaze over top? I've workes with stains before, but usually just red or black iron, so there is a lot I don't know.
  23. I've seen a lot of people are using an epoxy and such, for tabletops. They seal things under them, so they are still visible, but the epoxy creates a usable surface. So perhaps applying something like that, to create a coating around it. Beautiful piece, by the way.
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