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Everything posted by Benzine

  1. Benzine

    Reclaimed clay

    My classes recycle as much clay as reasonably possible. I haven't had any issues with hand building projects, with it. We DO NOT use it for throwing however, so I can't comment on any issues there. Our reclaim is a mix of any dried bits, that we rehydrate for slip. When the slip gets too full, it gets tossed in a large tub, with some leatherhard/ cheesehard scraps. Those are then wedged together to get our workable clay.
  2. For what you are doing, I would say those tools work pretty well. For smaller, more sculptural carving, I use dental tools. My Wife is a Dental Assistant, and she gave me some, her Office was going to toss, as they were too dull for their purposes, but still great for clay. I've seen that Xiem makes some small carving tools, but I haven't personally tried them.
  3. Benzine

    Between Two Wheels

    @Rasa Clay Works nice throw rug, under the wheel... Skutt (Thomas Stuart) is probably what I would go with, if money was no issue... Or maybe a Soldner.
  4. You don't take mold in your coffee?
  5. Clay mold won't hurt a thing, unless you happen to be allergic to it. It just means it's aging nicely. If it is weeping , then you definitely have an unvitrified, underfired Cone 6 body. Your witness cones will tell the tale. What kind of controller are you using?
  6. I just installed new elements, and went full power until Cone 6.
  7. I've dealt with a couple different types of kiln controllers. Both were programmable, but one had preset programs I *could* use, and the other did not. For my bisque firings, I have always used my own program, and rarely have issues. It is always best to err on the side of caution with labor intensive work. The general rule/ philosophy with ceramics and pottery, is to not get too attached to things, because inevitably, something bad will happen to them. It is a very difficult concept to overcome, but as you make, more and more wares, it does get easier. I teach high school, in the States, and I give my students and overview of the kiln, but do not teach them how to fire it. I will have them help load on occasion. When I took Ceramics in college, we also were not taught how to fire, at least the beginning class. My first experience with firing was in one of my Art Education classes. We had a VERY brief overview, of firing, with a kiln setter controlled kiln. After that, I helped fire the kiln during student teaching, on one occasion. My first teaching job, I replaced an instructor, who did a lot of ceramics. So it was a trial by fire kind of thing, and I learned a lot about firing then, and made a lot of mistakes along the way.
  8. That is the first thing that came to mind for me. I believe Amaco makes one.
  9. *Slaps hand and points to the fan* No, Mark, that is owies! No, No!
  10. No worries from me. I get use out of my crock pot. I made chicken noodle soup in it, this past weekend. And yes, I saw that tip on Rehab Addict too. Luckily, all the door hardware, in my home, is paint free... As all the amazing woodwork.
  11. Benzine

    Gum Arabic ratio to water

    Any dip glaze, I've ever used, commercial, or otherwise, have been quite powdery, when dry. The commercial, brush on glazes, do use additives, which make them more brushable. It does seem to also make them come off a bit less too. It's honestly not an issue, if you aren't handling them much, post glaze application.
  12. Benzine

    Earthenware bakers

    Also assume, they will do everything opposite of what is recommended, and still complain that it broke! In regards to Pyrex, there was a discussion here, years ago, that even Pyrex isn't Pyrex anymore. The new stuff, isn't as "tough" as the original, and can't deal with thermal shock, nearly as well.
  13. Whoa, whoa , whoa. As much as I support the Arts, and the repurposing of materials/ tools, I can't abide by neglecting a perfectly good crock pot! It's getting to feel like Fall around here, and you need that for your warm and hearty soups, stews and roasts! I was going to say the same thing Mark C. did. An electric blanket, would be a great solution. Set the clay on a pallet/ piece of wood to insulate it from the ground, and throw an electric blanket over top. You could also have one underneath, on top of the wood, but that's probably not necessary. I would use caution though. Every year, I seem to hear stories about electric blankets, being the cause for a lot of fires, during the Winter months. It's those, and space heaters... And the people, who try to thaw their pipers with a torch...
  14. Benzine

    Glaze Shivering Problem

    I've thinned a commercial, brush on glaze, to use for dipping. I wasn't very scientific about it. I just added water until it was to a consistency that flowed well for dipping. I find that my commercially made glazes, are quite forgiving, and this was no exception. I did test it first, doing a single, and double dip, on a tile, to see how it effected the final color, thickness and how much it may run.
  15. Benzine

    Glaze Shivering Problem

    Whoop, missed that part, Thanks!
  16. Benzine

    Glaze Shivering Problem

    What wires are being damaged by hotter firings, the elements? Elements shouldn't be damaged by hotter firings. The higher the firing, the less life you get out of the elements, but it doesn't damage them per say.
  17. @Pres if you get dog ears, then the clay needs to be balanced out with more cat. My question, regarding the Walkers is, why are they no longer being made? They are a great product, especially for a classroom setting. I realize the large hopper, which is a big selling point, is probably also a liability. But there are the safety features you mentioned Pres. I just like the fact, that you can use it as clay storage too. Don't have time to pug it all that day, or just don't need to, that's fine. Close the tip, and seal the extrusion tube. Every other pugger I've seen, has a tiny hopper, and in order to get a lot of clay out, that day, you have to put a lot in. That's just too time consuming, for a classroom. It took me an entire Block class period, to pug one person's clay, the only time I tried to use one of the smaller ones for reclaiming clay. After that, it was just easier to do it manually. And with the Walker, it was easy to throw in slop, due to the large hopper.
  18. I'm jealous. If I saw one of those for sale around me, for a decent price, I'd jump on it! I was lucky to have one, in my second District, and loved it. My other Districts, I use the human puggers, known as students. Those can also tear up a maple rolling pin, if you're not careful...
  19. Benzine

    What the heck is MAGIC WATER

    I ordered a five pound bag, from my supplier, a State over. It didn't take long to get to me. In the meantime, you could do like @C.Banks mentioned, and use vinegar, until you get the ingredients to make your magic water. It is great stuff. I just used some the other day, on some handle that cracked a bit, while drying. The cracks did not reform. I also use it in conjunction with a "super-saturated" slip, to repair student projects. The kids are very good about challenging my repair expertise...
  20. Benzine

    Clay contamination

    Yep, I've run in to that too Pres. Unintentional paper clay, with some added aging.
  21. Benzine

    Clay contamination

    Sorry @LeeU, I just don't dig on the cheese with stank. No, for my money, give me a nice fresh mozzarella or creamy brie.
  22. I love these forums, and all they allow us to do, but I have found that uploading images, to the gallery or otherwise, isn't super intuitive.
  23. I'll have, what we call, "Service Learners" help me with loading and unloading. They are students, who get a grade, for helping teachers. I only accept students, who I've had in class, and who I trust to do a wide variety of tasks, load/ unload the kiln, make test tiles, cut photo paper and mix darkroom chemicals. Oh, and and one of my, and probably their least favorite, redo the wash on the kiln shelves!
  24. Art teachers are really good at three-dimensional Tetris! The worst however, is when you get so far in loading, and find something that either; A. Would fit better on a different spot, or B. You forgot about all together, because you had it sitting aside (Sometimes sitting aside, so you didn't forget about it...) I have had to unload, just to reload before. A lot of heavy sighing is involved...
  25. Benzine

    Clay contamination

    Generally, the only color that I am concerned with is bright white, as that usually means some pieces of plaster found their way into the scraps. If it is any other color, black, brown, yellow, a less brilliant, and far more fuzzy white, then it's all good. Like Denice said, a lot of people like the "aged" clay. It's like a fine wine/ whiskey or an *allegedly* good cheese.

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