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About JohnnyK

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  • Location
    Citrus Heights, CA
  • Interests
    Ceramics, glazing techniques, photography, farming, reading all kinds of stuff but primarily thrillers

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  1. Waiting for my bisque firing of 30+ bowls, jars, cups, sponge holders and jewelry to cool so I can start the glazing processes. Biggest run since Christmas!

  2. Oxide Pastels - Safety Issues

    Hi Preeta, I just finished a Raku class at Sierra College last semester and, as you know, safety is paramount when mixing glazes. Copper and cobalt are both toxic and you should continue with your precautions. If you can't mix your compounds off-site and have to do it in the classroom, I would try to isolate yourself and go work in a corner away from the other students. I'm guessing that you're working with small quantities and the process is not that critical but it's better to err on the side of safety... JohnnyK
  3. "art" of making mud balls

    And it goes on and on and on and on...No translation necessary!
  4. Crystals... A potter friend of mine had thrown away a vase with a beautiful crystalline glaze...I was fortunately able to salvage all the pieces (it was just one side of the neck that was broken). I glued that puppy together and it now sits on a shelf with the cracks in the back toward the wall and is a constant inspiration for a journey down a side road of that highway of life. That trip is going to be in the not too distant future... Thanks, Glazenerd, for all your inspiration over the past six years! JohnnyK
  5. Kraythe, Here's a youtube link that shows a bunch of videos on throwing off the hump. You might find something here that could help you...just copy and paste it into your search engine. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=throwing+saki+cups+off+the+hump JohnnyK
  6. Hi Kraythe, Have you, by any chance, tried throwing your little cups off the hump? You might find it a little easier to work the clay to the shape you want, trim the top straight; measure the depth of the cup on the inside and cut the piece off about 1/2" below the measurement; then trim the foot later... JohnnyK
  7. My ceramic roots grew from the movie "Ghost" where, in a very short segment, Demi Moore was throwing a vase. I thought to myself and said to my wife, "Someday I'm going to do that...". As time went on, each time I saw film clips or photos of potters plying their art or trade, I'd say to myself, "Someday I'm going to do that...". That someday came around 12 years ago when I was remodeling a bathroom for an 87 year old working ceramist. She was teaching classes to 4H groups in slip-casting. In conversations with her, she would suggest that I take a Learning Exchange class at Alpha Fired Arts a local ceramic supplier and teaching facility. She also gave me an old spare kiln that she was replacing with something newer. I took the LE class and the instructor said that he only expected us to produce 4 functional pieces during the 6 week class. I made 22 cups, mugs, and bowls! Since then, I've taken Ceramics I, II, and Raku at Sierra College; set up my own studio; and have been happily making functional ware for gifts and sale; and am currently expanding my knowledge of glazes with a future goal of producing a book on Glaze Effects. While just about all the books that are out on glazes now give recipes and show usually unrelated photos, I have yet to find a book that says "If you do this with this glaze, this is what you will probably get." My roots are growing into a flourishing tree! JohnnyK
  8. Kiln Over firing

    Thanks for your input, Neil. I was hoping you would jump in on this... JohnnyK
  9. I think freezing the glazes would be the best way to prepare them for moving. That shouldn't be too difficult in your neck of the woods. Then test them after they thaw to see if there are any changes. It might be advisable to put the glazes into smaller buckets before freezing so that in the event that the buckets crack, you won't lose too much. JohnnyK
  10. Kiln Over firing

    HI Cherry, I had a similar problem with my Cress kiln and a new digital controller over-firing, using the built-in ^6 program. What I did was set up a user-defined program after offsetting my thermocouple by +45*, lowering the end temp to 2200* with an end soak of 10 minutes. I forgot to reset the timer on the kiln sitter (which I have since taken out of the circuit) and it shut off at about 1925*. I restarted the kiln, with the same end temp of 2200* with a 15 minute end soak. Everything worked perfectly...I was really excited. I did another firing with the same parameters as above and the timer adjusted properly and I got a good ^5read on the witness cones, which was still within the tolerance of the glazes I was using, but below where I wanted to be. The temp difference between top and bottom was about 1/2 cone. My next go-around will be with an end temp of 2225* with a 15 minute soak to see where everything falls. In your case, I think the new top element is burning significantly hotter than the older elements. The difference between the top and the bottom is about 2 cones. Would it be too inconvenient to reverse the top and bottom elements? I think it would give a better overall balance of the heat distribution. Then, if possible, do a TC offset. Do another firing as you did above and see where the witness cones fall. If you use a preset cone program you may have to drop tp a ^5 or even a ^4 end point to compensate for the current situation. You will probably also see a difference between a full kiln and the empty kiln you used for your test above. Testing is the only way to get it figured out... JohnnyK
  11. I will be removing the kiln sitter and rewiring as necessary today...
  12. SUCCESS! With the +45* offset on the TC, lowering the end temp to 2200* from 2225* and a 25 minute soak at the end, the kiln fired perfectly to ^6. The bowls came out looking good with no blistering like the previous load, I'm going to try to add more glaze to some of the previous load and refire to my new specs with a slow burn through 1067*. What have I got to lose? Each of the 10 bowls in this load had a different glaze combo with decidedly different glaze effects, Some in the OK range that I won't do again and some that were pretty spectacular that I will try to reproduce in the future knowing that, at best, I may come close.
  13. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! You know that pesky little device called a kiln sitter...you know...the one that has the timer knob that you set when you're manually operating the kiln...you know...the one that, when you have an electronic controller, doesn't need an external timer...and when you use the controller, you really don't need a timer and FORGET to set it...and when you forget to set it, it shuts off the power to the elements when it times out but doesn't tell your controller...THAT #@&%$# kiln sitter? You know...the one that is going to be bypassed as soon as this firing is done and cooled! Just saying...
  14. Thanks, again, for all your input, Since there's no real rush on this batch of bowls, I can wait until full cool-down later this afternoon. I AM anxious to see what the changes in the TC adjustment and the lower program final temp does. Since, at this point, I'm using primarily Potters Choice glazes and they are listed for ^5-^6, I feel I have a little wiggle room on the firing outcome. I'll keep you all apprised of what happens. JohnnyK
  15. Can't see the cones at 2200* even with my arc welding helmet.

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