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Benzine

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  1. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Rae Reich in Short clay   
    If the clay is reclaimed, from throwing, the clay could be short, if the watery slurry from the throwing, is not included with the drier bits.  There are a lot of finer particles in that water, which help with the clay's plasticity. 
    Ivory soap, that's a new one!
    I've heard of vinegar being added to clay, to help with plasticity.  I'm not sure what the soap would do, other than make it smell better.  Though, you could be on to something.  A clay that washes your hands, while you work!
    I joked with my instructor in college, that they should make a clay, with a lotion base, so your hands aren't dried out, when working.
  2. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Rae Reich in Short clay   
    If the clay is reclaimed, from throwing, the clay could be short, if the watery slurry from the throwing, is not included with the drier bits.  There are a lot of finer particles in that water, which help with the clay's plasticity. 
    Ivory soap, that's a new one!
    I've heard of vinegar being added to clay, to help with plasticity.  I'm not sure what the soap would do, other than make it smell better.  Though, you could be on to something.  A clay that washes your hands, while you work!
    I joked with my instructor in college, that they should make a clay, with a lotion base, so your hands aren't dried out, when working.
  3. Like
    Benzine reacted to hitchmss in Shimpo Pugmill Used As Extruder   
    When I bought my northstar wall mounted extruder it came with a hollow circle die as part of the die kit; one "load" of the hopper will yield about 3' of 1.25" diameter, approx 5/16" wall thickness. Might take a little more effort with the wall mount (if you have one), but it would be cheaper (esp if you have the dies too).
    If you have any fabrication experience it'd be quite easy to make the die you want, and would cost you very little. The images attached are a die I made for the cost of about $3, and is made for  wall mount extruder. You could easily make the same product for your mill; just would need to get the holes in your die plate roughly aligned to the machined holes in your nozzle; close enough and use washers/bolts to secure. I used a scrap piece of alum for the plate, old threaded bolts, scrap flat stock, and scrap rod to make the "shape" portion of the die. Took very little time too; jewelers saw/files to cut out die, welded em up.



  4. Like
    Benzine reacted to oldlady in Porcelain   
    carrick, what is your background in working with ceramic materials?   it sounds as though you may be working alone with no instructor.   you would probably benefit from visiting your local library and reading some of the very good textbooks that are available.
     
  5. Like
    Benzine reacted to JohnnyK in Porcelain   
    Or even ^10. I had a ^6 kiln which was a very old and used kiln...I ultimately wound up selling it to a man who wanted something that fired to ^04. When I sold it, I told him it wouldn't fire higher than ^1. He was happy with that. I replaced the old kiln with a lot newer, but used ^10 kiln which will never see temps past ^6...
    Welcome to the Forum, Carrick!
    JohnnyK
  6. Like
    Benzine reacted to neilestrick in Porcelain   
    If your kiln maxes out at cone 6, it will only get to cone 6 if your elements are in perfect condition. Once they start to wear, they won't have the power to reach cone 6, and you'll have to replace them. That means you'll be replacing elements 2-3 times as often as if you had a kiln that could go to cone 10.  The general rule is that you want to be firing at least 2 cones lower than the max of the kiln if you want optimum element life. Even then, element life will be a bit lower than one that's rated for 4 cones higher than what you fire to.
    As long as your clay and glaze are rated to mature at the same cone, you're good.
  7. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Rae Reich in Short clay   
    If the clay is reclaimed, from throwing, the clay could be short, if the watery slurry from the throwing, is not included with the drier bits.  There are a lot of finer particles in that water, which help with the clay's plasticity. 
    Ivory soap, that's a new one!
    I've heard of vinegar being added to clay, to help with plasticity.  I'm not sure what the soap would do, other than make it smell better.  Though, you could be on to something.  A clay that washes your hands, while you work!
    I joked with my instructor in college, that they should make a clay, with a lotion base, so your hands aren't dried out, when working.
  8. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Rae Reich in Foreign Contaminates in Clay   
    @Mark C. if you wrote a book, that was just stories about your life in the world of clay, I would buy it... And possibly even read it...
  9. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Rae Reich in Short clay   
    If the clay is reclaimed, from throwing, the clay could be short, if the watery slurry from the throwing, is not included with the drier bits.  There are a lot of finer particles in that water, which help with the clay's plasticity. 
    Ivory soap, that's a new one!
    I've heard of vinegar being added to clay, to help with plasticity.  I'm not sure what the soap would do, other than make it smell better.  Though, you could be on to something.  A clay that washes your hands, while you work!
    I joked with my instructor in college, that they should make a clay, with a lotion base, so your hands aren't dried out, when working.
  10. Like
    Benzine reacted to Pres in Foreign Contaminates in Clay   
    Metal ribs were my downfall, cut up my left hand while centering, piece was about as long as needle and twice as thick as one. missed it in wedging some way, but then I was a newbie. .  not to be your again!
     
     
    best,
    Pres
  11. Like
    Benzine reacted to Mark C. in Foreign Contaminates in Clay   
    The most odd thing I ever had was a cat turd in a pug that was bagged.
    You may wonder how this could even happen so heres the story-
    It was in the early 80s and I was using mostly filter pressed clay from Quyle that bidy was called sandstone buff and was th color of baby poop.
    They are and still are one of the smaller family owned clay companies in the west. They are up in high altitudes in the Serria about mid state.
    They filter press calyy and in the swing seasons when its not dry out they ofen left the pugs out to dry a bit in wide open bags(they had great large bags at that time. I used to drive up to the busiess and oick up small 3,000 # loads as thats all I could handle in a 3/4 ton truck. I more than once saw the bags open in the sun in the cool spring or fall air.
    Well thats wher a cat must have found a bathroom -in the top of a bag. 
    You can image what that was like 6 months later on your wedging table.
    I now have a small pile on a shelve above the wheel with a collection of bits I have found in clay mostly wood-I may have tossed it last fall cleaning up but maybe not.
    When you start using large amounts of clay you will start finding things no matter who made it.
  12. Like
    Benzine reacted to hitchmss in Foreign Contaminates in Clay   
    I and a number of other local potters were finding a lot of debris in our clay from Laguna, for about a 4-6 month period, about 4 years ago. I found metal shavings, twigs/organic debris, and cigarette butts; other potters found razor blades, gravel, etc. Called Laguna who could/wouldnt offer any assistance in the matter except apologies. I assume they had a pissed off employee who was throwing stuff in the mix. I inquired why they couldnt have a metal detector at the end of their mill, to which I never got an answer.
    Some stuff(gravel, twigs, etc) here and there is something I find acceptable as it would be easy enough for it to find its way into the mixer, but metal shavings and razor blades are not ok. If its a prevalent issue for you, switch suppliers.
  13. Like
    Benzine reacted to liambesaw in Foreign Contaminates in Clay   
    I think we all went through that 'razor blade in the reclaim' phase... Ah to be young again
  14. Like
    Benzine reacted to hitchmss in Porcelain   
    Use a glaze which fires to the temperature range you plan on firing to! Ive often heard folks describe a "stoneware firing" as a synonym for a cone 10 firing. I dont think the former accurately describes the process enough; stoneware clays can be made to be fired from low fire to high fire; stoneware more describes a mixture of clays and a certain set of characteristics, just as porcelain, or earthenwares, it does NOT specify temperature range. Historically it may have been a little more synonymous to say that stoneware/porcelain firings meant cone 10, but nowadays I dont think that should be used.
    If the glaze is designed to fire at cone 5/6, and your porcelain is as well, then you should have no problems. Commercial glazes should have a temp range listed on the containter somewhere.  If you are finding recipes from another source(print, online, magazines...), they almost always will list a temp range, and if they dont, with some experience you can usually tell what temp the glaze is designed to fire at, based on the feldspars/fluxes, the amounts of them, and the other materials in the formula.
    Porcelains are whiter clay bodies, and will produce more vibrant colors out of the same glaze as compared to being fired on earthen/stoneware.
  15. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Ceramic Human in Foreign Contaminates in Clay   
    I have always used Continental Clay, for my classroom.  I have never come across any debris, in my clay.  They do come with complimentary mold though!
     
    The only time, that I've run into bit of "Other things" in my clay, is because the students weren't careful, when reclaiming.  I've found bits of plaster, bits of wood, gum, chamoises and even a needle tool...
    Talked to a colleague, at a nearby District.  They had an issue with a student putting razor blades, in the reclaim.  Luckily, it was caught before anyone was hurt!
  16. Like
    Benzine reacted to Pres in Foreign Contaminates in Clay   
    I have been using Standard Ceramics for since the year I took over, 1975. NEVER had anything but great clay, great service and friendly cooperation for all of my stupid and not so stupid questions. Still love working with them and will not move my orders elsewhere for those reasons.
     
    best,
    Pres
  17. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Babs in Hello from a new potter & process question   
    I watched the whole video, mainly because watching other potters (Or  trades people) work, is like video crack to me, but I still think that is considered inlay. 
    It would be sgraffito, if he applied the slip first, then carved through, to the clay body.
  18. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Rae Reich in Hello from a new potter & process question   
    My question would be, what exactly are you trying to accomplish?
    If you've already thrown the body, then it has already had most of the forming and shaping done.  As @neilestrick stated, some trimming can be done, after throwing.  For many potters, that is part of the process; throw, cut off the wheel/ bat, let dry, invert, trim and cut a foot, then finish.
    The wheel IS the lathe, of the pottery world, used for both forming and removing excess material.  
  19. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Rae Reich in Frequency of sanding a potter's rib   
    What exactly, are you considering inefficient?  It is definitely important, for many workers, at a variety of jobs, to get up, walk around, and yes, even stretch, to save them from strain on their bodies.  Any type of repetitive process, does take its toll on the human body.  Office workers, for instance, who usually aren't doing anything overly strenuous, are encouraged to take breaks.  This helps them avoid neck and back strain, from sitting, for so long.  This helps with their wrists and hands, from constant computer/ keyboard use.  And it gives their eyes a break, from the screen, which really does strain the eyes.  
    In regards to potters, there are the neck and back issues to consider.  There are wrist issues, especially if centering larger amounts of clay, or from a lot of wedging.  And there is just the mental break, from doing the same repetitive task.  Some times, you just have to step back.  
    Each potter, kind of has their own routine.  Some potters here, use the wedging process as their warm up, before starting on the wheel.  Whatever works for them, as long as they are being productive, should be allowed.  A healthy potter/ worker, is a productive potter/ worker.
    Now, back to the rib thing, that is not a health issue.  It just seems to be a quirk.  If that is affecting their work, then you have a right to say something.  
    Maybe try a little experiment.  Take two new ribs.  Have the person use one, up until the point, that they think it needs to be sanded.  Compare it to the new, unused one.  If there is no difference, then your point should be made, and they should be expected to sand on their own, off the clock, time, or not at all.  
  20. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Rae Reich in Clothing for Raku Firing   
    Exactly everything that Neil said.
    When it's just myself  doing a firing, I may or may not have disregarded several of those however...
    Keep in mind, it's not just the unloading of the kiln, that you need to be cautious of.  There are also dangers, when you unload the reduction bins.  The combustibles can reignite and flare up, and the wares are still fairly hot.  I use the same gloves for unloading items, out of the reduction bins, that I do for unloading the kiln itself. 
    In regards to the fires flaring up, I was doing a firing, with a class.  We had everything unloaded, and the lids on the bins.  There were a couple scrap pieces of newspaper, we were using for reduction.  I thought, "Well, we are done firing, might as well use these too."  So I took the lid off the bin, and WHOOSH.  I was treated to a first hand account of a "Backdraft".  I assume there is some science involved with that, but I prefer to think, that I made the fire mad, when I tried to snuff it out, and it was enacting its revenge...
  21. Like
    Benzine reacted to liambesaw in Hello from a new potter & process question   
    It's very cool, but the look is very target/Walmart, probably belongs in industrial process.  Would never have thought something that perfect was made by a person
  22. Like
    Benzine reacted to Pres in Hello from a new potter & process question   
    When I trim wet to leather hard, I don't worry. When I trim a completely dry pot.  .. . I'm cowardly and wear a full respirator, not a rubber band mask. Thank fully I don't have to do that often. I even go outside afterwards to dust off still wearing the respirator. Yes I do think about silicosis, but you can't keep it all away, and there are limits, but why be completely stupid!
     
     
    best,
    Pres  
  23. Like
    Benzine got a reaction from Rae Reich in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    Uh oh, I might be in trouble.  I'm pretty humble (Like the most humble, you'll never meet anyone, who is more humbel...hehe)
  24. Like
    Benzine reacted to neilestrick in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    Great articles!
    The way you price your work can make a big difference in whether or not it sells. Too high a price will limit sales, obviously, but so will too low a price. 'Perceived Value' is a big deal. For example, a potter friend of mine was selling her work at a small local art fair, and she had her mugs priced at $10. The potter a few booths down from her had his mugs priced at $18, and they weren't any better than hers. I told her she needed to raise her prices closer to his prices, because hers were so low that people would assume that they were inferior. So she raised hers to $16 and sold a lot more mugs.
    I often raise prices bit by bit during a show season to see where sales start dropping off. Sometimes it's frustrating to find that I can't get as much as I'd hoped for a certain type of pot, and sometimes it's a good thing. For instance, I could never get the price I wanted for my pitchers. People just didn't care to spend money on them, so I stopped making them. On the other hand, I got my sponge holders up to $17, after starting at $10.
    Pricing is tough.
  25. Like
    Benzine reacted to liambesaw in Hello from a new potter & process question   
    It looks like he's carving through white slip into a buff body, maybe it's just lighting? 
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