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JessicaGrayCeramics

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About JessicaGrayCeramics

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  • Birthday 05/31/1983

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Feltwell, United Kingdom
  1. First Firing Of A Used Kiln?

    Doing a test firing is a great idea. However, as someone who has bought, used and rebuilt new-to-you kilns I need to strongly emphasize you should never leave a new-to-you kiln unattended until it has been tested. You need to make sure it fires off properly. I have never had a used kiln I purchased fire off properly the first time. The person you purchased the kiln from may say it works properly, but that is usually not the case. It is not safe to leave a used kiln until you know it works properly. I recommend watching the kiln for the entire firing at least a few firings. Make sure to watch the kiln, check the breaker or fuse box, wiring and wall if the kiln is plugged into the wall.You want to make sure none of these parts are getting warmer than they should. Be very cautious when first firing a used but new-to-you kiln. It may smell hot,but it should not smell like something burning. It is generally a good rule of thumb to always be around when firing a kiln for safety.
  2. Wanted to share this tile technique...

    GREAT IDEA! I love it, thank you for sharing.:)src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif">
  3. 2013

    Work I have made in 2013 using the dimpling technique.
  4. replacing kiln elements

    For the elements, the gauge and length of the elements are really all you'll need to worry about. Measure out the length covered by each one along the grooves in the bricks and nearly any manufacturer or element specialist can get you what you need. Are you certain you even need new elements? Once you have the wire gauge and length, you can test for resistance to see if the element is within tolerance. My website has a tutorial for testing elements. Most kilns around that size should be reading near 25 Ohms on each element, give or take 2.5 Ohms. The Orton Autofire 3000 Operates at 24V AC input. This info can be quite helpful in figuring out what input voltage you should have. If you could have someone trace the wiring from the inputs on the controller to the transformer that supplies it, that would help figure out the source voltage. For instance, you're likely looking at a 10:1 transformer, meaning 220 to 240V. On a sitter related note, the sitter is capable of cone 12. Not sure about your particular kiln though. We've dealt with quite a bit of older equipment and have overcome the "who made this" problem in the past. Luckily, these things are full of fairly universal parts.
  5. when to underglaze

    Thanks for the input. A related question. I'm using Amaco's Velvet underglazes. All the literature I read says they can be fired succesfully at cone 6. The info on the jars say cone 05-04. Did I get the wrong underglases or will this work? Mark Mark, Even though they say cone 05-04 some of the colors do work well at cone 6. It is a hit and miss thing. Different colors have different results at cone 6. I recommend as with most glazes do a test before using it on your actual work. Sometimes the bottle will tell you they work okay up to cone 6, sometimes it will not. It is best to test it on a sample tile of like texture to your work. I might also add you may want to put a little punched bowl underneath the sample in the kiln in case it would for some crazy reason completely melt and run really bad. This should not be the case, but it is best to be prepared. Good luck.
  6. computer inventory list with pictures?

    If you're really zealous about tracking, you can shape it into a marketing tool. I use a similar sheet to track my inventory and who buys it. It's useful to send out emails to your customers when you're doing shows and sales and when you have a piece you think they might like.
  7. Beth, I realize you've already ordered the elements for your kiln but if you're still not getting good firings after you switch to the new ones, your switches may be the fault. The infinite switches in your kiln work as a contacting device. Over time, they will build up corrosion on the internal contacts from the huge amount of power a kiln draws. That corrosion causes a lot of resistance and will limit the amount of voltage getting to the coil. When they get really bad, they just won't allow connection at all. There are a few ways to test this. The safest and most reliable way for someone new to electrical work is to move the switches around. For instance, swapping the top switch with the middle one. If the symptom (element not firing) moves to the middle coil, you know the switch is bad. If the problem doesn't move, it's either the coil, wiring, or connections.
  8. I'm with Jim. At least at this point, you can still reuse the clay.
  9. Charlene, Bisque firing you work to 06 is perfectly fine whether it was meant for food use or not. The difference is Some clays become a little more solid at 04. Clays that are mid or high fire may need a slightly higher temperature to mature. However if you are using a clay meant for low fire I'm sure it would be absolutely fine that it is bisqued to 06. If you do wish to re-fire the piece to 04 before glazing the piece, just for piece of mind you can. However I do warn you that extra firings can put stresses on the wares and cause them to crack. I bisque fire to cone 04 on a regular basis with most of my work. If you take a look at the image attached you can see a lot of little protruding tabs that stick out on my work. I use a mid-fire clay and fire to cone 6 for the glaze firing. The way my work is made the tabs break off too easily at cone 06. So I have figured out that if I fire to cone 04 the strength of the tabs on my work is much greater. Bisque firing can also be done at cone 08. The cone necessary really depends on the clay body and the artists techniques. It is a personal thing depending on how you use your work. It is not necessary to bisque to 04 unless your work needs it for stability.
  10. 2011-2012

    Work produced during the 2011-2012 time frame. The pieces employ the dimpling technique I have spent years developing.
  11. New Thingy installed

    I've got in the habit of putting an Isolator Switch in the line. It comes from my husband's background in industrial robotics. Anyway, Isolator Switches are the big red ones and they often have a place for a padlock to keep them locked in the off position, which is handy if you have issues with kids, students, etc in your work space.
  12. Moving a kiln around

    If space is at a premium in your studio, you have to do what you have to do. That being said, full support is the way to go. My Cromartie is on casters with a full sheet of steel that supports the entire floor. Mind you, I just replaced the floor in the thing, which is now over 30 years old and I can tell you first hand, it's no small undertaking. Anywhere the soft brick lacks support allows pressure and flexing, which causes break-down over time. Make sure it's cool and empty when you move it so it doesn't have any additional forces helping it to flex and crack. Keeping the kiln level allows uniform weight distribution that keeps the stress on the floor and walls minimal, so the closer to level, the better. The 3" bricks will offer better support if you have that model but properly cared for, the 2 1/2" bricks will last just as long. Enjoy your new toy!
  13. Leveling a potter's wheel

    Laguna makes an extension kit for the Pacifica wheels. You can adjust them to level out the wheel if they're compatible with your model and can bring the wheel a bit closer to you, which your back will thank you for. You might call Laguna to make sure the kit fits your model if you're considering it: http://www.sheffield...tery-p/llea.htm The leveling pads linked above need a metal threading to feed into in order to work properly. You might be able to find a metal cap made for the tubing size of your leg to have drilled and tapped to accept the pads, which would be a lasting fix. you can always use nuts, washers and wood to adapt the legs to the pads but with the wobbling of the wheel, it would wear out over time. Using plywood and shims would work as well, just make sure you fasten the shims in place and that you're happy with the wheel's location in your sun room.
  14. If the bearings are original, you may consider replacing them and giving them fresh lubricant. Over time, they build up metal particles from erosion that cause further erosion. This can be minimized with regular lubrication, which forces at least some of the particles out. Use a quality grease on the upper bearings. Don't worry if you force some out when you pump in the new, it just means you've done a good job. The lower bearings don't have a grease fitting in most cases, so general lubricating oil can be used here. If you're going to use the wheel a good bit, quarterly or even monthly lubrication will help to keep it feeling smooth and new. Make sure you adjust your bearings to place minimal stress on the shaft between the kick wheel and the wheel head. New bearing assemblies usually fit snugly enough that you just have to make sure you're not tweaking the assembly when you tighten down the bolts. This will prolong the life of not only the bearings, but the shaft as well. I found a quick how to article with images that should help here: http://www.lockerbiekickwheels.com/support/kickwheel-care-instructions.php
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