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Everything posted by Stephen

  1. I don't think this tread veered out of the topic of pottery and thank you for bringing it up. These threads serve two purposes, one to help you and the other to add to the huge knowledge base of this community. Before reading this I would have just assumed that most people ordering internationally would expect the duties and fees. Now I will always email any international customer before I pack and ship. While its hard not to look at the value of pottery from my own economic view point it is not really that useful. People make their decisions on if something is worth the price and their economic realities are usually their baseline. I will just charge what I need\want to charge and make more of what sells and less of what doesn't. I love selling my pottery.
  2. amen to that. I can't imagine ever truly retiring, maybe slowing down a bit but not retiring.
  3. hey enjoy the break. Politics and taxes are what they are and no matter where you are or what you do its always a factor. Some of these things actually have a point, such as encouraging supporting artist locally or some other not so noble reason.
  4. Stephen

    Looking for advice in a wheel purchase

    I'm hard of hearing and don't wear my hearing aids in the studio (expensive hearing aids hate water) so quiet helps me, so there's that..
  5. that's the rub. There are plenty of people that have things they didn't particularly do much to be able to have it but a degree? Everyone I know that has a degree worked their a$$es off to get it and many have forever student loan payments to pay for at least some of it. Just don't see how it has anything to do with elitism. Now most people are proud of the accomplishment and all have some college war stories but that's cronyism not elitism
  6. Stephen

    Looking for advice in a wheel purchase

    If noise matters the Whisper is very very quiet.
  7. Well that's awful. Sounds like some jerks were running that show. 186 hours here. Yeah that's a bit high for an eventual BS. At UT Austin in the 80's I had a good time with the freedom to take anything that I thought sounded interesting. One upper-division class 'Poverty and Politics in the Soviet Union ' stands out as amusing, made an A. Failed a couple of classes though (art history being one) because my world ended when a romance ended and I couldn't be troubled to go to classes for the better part of a term. Hey if you can go to college, go, it's worth the effort and it will change you in profound ways. If you can't then just jump in and as GEP says put together your own program. I've said it before, $500 will buy all the used equipment you need to get started in your own studio or join a local studio. Nature will take its course and pottery will consume you or it won't. With the Internet, local CC and community classes, workshops and forums like this ALL of the information it readily available to go as far as you want. Me, I think hours put in is the biggest deciding factor. Successes and failures add up and solving problems makes you better. Don't pay attention to years, but hours in a condensed time frame. The potter that puts in a 1000 hours in a year is probably advancing faster than one who is putting in the same 1000 hours over three years. A full timer is probably doing 2500-3000 hours a year so they really get in sync with their process and so much becomes effortless and failures drop to a low manageable percentage.
  8. Stephen

    Newbie needing advice

    I would consider your air drying work prototypes and a way to get some hours into the medium and then maybe move to kiln fired work if you decide to continue. I could be wrong but I don't think air dried work will stand the test of time.
  9. Stephen

    temp for opening kiln?

    A couple of observations for what its worth since there is no right wrong, just different approaches so these opinions are just that, opinions. I'm not sure you should pour glaze on a pot, actually I'm fairly sure you shouldn't unless of course that's the point of your design. I don't see how that could end up with a uniform covering without unpredictable overlaps and blotches where the glaze hit and ran. Brushing, dipping or spraying are I think the norm. I have poured in a cavity and then dumped out for liner. I'd research that. I'm also not clear on how you are doing bottoms. You said you sat a pot down in glaze and then put it on the kiln shelf? You generally don't glaze bottoms at all unless you have a way for it to be raised, such as a carved foot and then the inner area that is raised can have a thin coat of glaze. You also need to run test to know if its right and how much the glaze runs and then wipe enough of a ring of glaze around the bottom to account for the glaze run. I think it makes the bottom look nice but also it keeps glaze off your shelves. You have to use a grinder or chisel to get the glaze off your shelves and that usually chips them up and takes forever. You also end up with an unsightly bubble drip on the pot that either ruins it or requires being sanded off, again takes forever. I have made dozens of glazes and nothing should seem watery. Basically our glazes have a whole/2% milk consistency and other than a couple they get mostly a three count dip. I guess watery with a longer dip might work but I have found that way gets more runs. It also depends on your bisque firing. Hot bisque means the pot will absorb less glaze. The way you said 'seemed watery' sounds like you might not be being methodical about it so I thought I would mention. Glazing I found became a much less frustrating part of the process when everything became consistent. We also end up with very few glaze defects. It all becomes predictable. My process is the glaze mixed slowly adding water and checking until hitting the consistency desired. I use an inexpensive drip tool and use that for first mixing. Just spent two days reconstituting a couple dozen glazes that had the water pulled off for transport. Same glaze as we have used for a decade but different water source and climate so all new test. Using the drip tool I took them all to a single drip count and then in a test kiln ran test tiles of each. Making adjustments this weekend to a few and another test tile on the ones changed then will take a fresh hydrometer reading and note that on bucket so I can check and adjust when needed over time. Hopefully some of this ramble may help. Good luck!
  10. ditto on the spoon rest. You can often pay your booth fee with spoon rest sales if you keep the price down and they are supper easy to make in large quantities. Its that $5-$6 grab if they don't see something more pricey but want to support you. be sure and come back and tell us how the two shows went. Have fun!
  11. Stephen

    temp for opening kiln?

    Well I don't get it. My 1027 is a 3" brick as well and has never taken anywhere near that long to cool. If I read right you fired at noon on Saturday and Monday afternoon it was at 251. I'm not even sure its possible for that temp to hold at 250 for so long with peeps out and lid cracked. Even with a slow glaze run that sounds like almost 48 hours to cool to 250 and like 3- 4x what it takes ours. It sounds like the same routine (although we do use porcelain). Maybe the therocouple is reading bad? Perhaps your glaze fit is bad in which case you would hear the crazing regardless of when you unload and may hear some for some time afterward. Be sure and turn off the vent before removing those peeps, it will immediately draw cool air from the room.
  12. Ya did, thanks! I can respect that. I think I am just to clumsy for it to work for me but seems cool to only flow through one firing. Moving around 50-60 pieces of greenware from drying rack through glazing and loading, I know I would have lots of 'accidents'. Now we do have 2 kilns and that time sink of waiting for one to fire and cool before the next could be started caused a backup and was the reason for the 2nd one.
  13. Stephen

    temp for opening kiln?

    Yeah prob some crazing on those pots. I have that kiln and never had it take near as long to cool. It hits glaze in about 8 hours and it's below 100 half a day after that (12 or so hours). I do pop out top plug at 350 and prop lid at 100=120. Based on your times I would have been unloading Sunday afternoon with kiln under 100. Sooo I am am assuming you are leaving peeps in and with three inch brick its really holding that heat. If you have a vent running don't pop peeps (sucks in cool air) but I think most people agree that popping the top peep under 400 if fine and you won't have to wait days to get to room temp. I just turn off vent at 350ish and pop out top plug. We never seem to have a crazing problem and have been using our pots daily for over a decade now. We sell pots so can't let one of the kilns sit around cooling for days but certainly nothing wrong with just leaving it alone until under 100. I think a lot of the kiln companies say under 200 is fine but its sure hard to handle the pots at that temp.
  14. I discovered a split AC heat pump and man it is nice. They come DIY (pre-charged) and not that hard to do. My problem was intense 100+ degree heat in Texas garagio but got one with a heat pump for the few cold months we get as well. Works perfectly and about a third the price of 110 plug ins. Shudder to think the cost of propane.
  15. just thought I would add to what you said on your pulls. A real break through for me with mugs was learning to really haul up the clay from the bottom. I now needle every pot bottom and haul that clay up. My production time was literally cut in half because I was no longer trimming mugs to form and trimming has become really just a quick couple moment clean up and stamp session. Oh and I like using tumblers for coffee sometimes
  16. Stephen

    Advice for 1st glaze firing?

    The one thing I will say is that we do cone 5 with a 20 minute hold to allow the melt to even out and reduce glaze defects such as pin holes. The extra 20 minutes bends the 6 cone about half way with heat work.
  17. nice cleanup! Ya know having been faced with needing something very specific that is priced high I would be patient. when the right person comes along they will recognize the value since the alternative is paying $5500 for a new one and if you make super tall stuff then there are limited alternatives.
  18. aah, I see what I missed. Well I guess folks that want/need this stack able kiln for 5-6k new would be likely interested in a used one for a fraction of the price. Good luck with it, Did your friend buy a new one?
  19. 6k in 89, really? I paid $2500 for a 9cf oval in 2007 with an electronic controller. I'd check that so she doesn't have an unrealistic idea of value if her purchase price was in fact a lot less than that.
  20. Stephen

    Home Studio Information

    Ya know the electric is going to cost under $10 to fire, maybe $5 and that's substantially less than gas, propane or natural. Had to add a sub-panel to hook up two this past spring. I paid $1200 but that was overpriced. After I committed to a bid and had the job scheduled I found a local, bonded shop that works by the hour, $150 first hour and $90 additional. Had already committed to the other but used them on a split AC install and saved a bundle. Had another one in Northwest done by the hour as well. In my opinion (based on three installs) do not accept a job bid. Find an electrician that will do it by the hour. It will probably be half the price and take some time to find because they mostly like to bid by the job. Good luck!
  21. What is the advantage of single fire and is it worth the risk of handling greenware? I would be worried about damage going undetected and produce a flawed pot. Dry un-fired clay just does not seem sturdy enough to me that I could trust my process.
  22. Stephen

    Advice for 1st glaze firing?

    I saw you have already fired in another thread. If I were you I would stop using your pots to work through all of this. A new kiln and entirely new set of mixed glazes requires some testing. Neil and others can correct me if I'm wrong but no you should not get much different results from the 1027 and yours. I use a small 1cf kiln for glaze testing and production happens in either a 1027 or oval 9cf SPS kiln and the glazes turn out about the same, at least to my eye. They all have the same controller with same schedules and controlled ramp cooling. If you just can't bare to spend time testing with test tiles then just throw 50 spoon rest (nice flat surface and walls to see the how the glaze breaks) or a bunch of small snack bowls. Why toss a bunch of nice pots into an unknown.
  23. Never really got the point of the single cone. I mean yeah it tells you if you didn't hit your desired cone on that shelf but that's only half the story. I think a cone 6 with 10 minute hold will/should be about cone 6 1/2, thus your 6 completely bent. Using a three cone pack will help you zero in on where you hit. With your settings, the first cone 5 would bend all the way, the 2nd cone 6 would bend almost or all the way and the third cone 7 should not have bent much, if at all. By not having the next cone up you really don't know how far past cone 6 your kiln went. You know it didn't under fire but you just don't know the top end. Great pots, the only thing I would offer for both drips and nice even bottoms (if that's a goal) is to once you know your glazes (SG) figure out how much un-glazed space the bottoms need to accommodate the glaze run and make a nice clean sponge turn after glazing to even up the bottom gap to be consistent all the way around. Most of mine are the same with the exception of Val's Turk which tends to run more. Will look like its off going in and come out looking nice and even on the bottom and the glaze run will close the gap, again if that's a goal of yours. My partner taught me this and really using the diamond pad on the bottom to make pristine and I think my pots look a lot more professional with this extra attention.
  24. Stephen

    Sad News

  25. I would not try to deal with the lips of your mugs after they are trimmed and handled. Even if you do not notice it is likely you will cause issues by bumping, jaring the attached handles while you mess with that. Not sure about your 'settled theory' but I occasionally miss a step if I needle the top. As my pulls became more consistent I needle the top only occasionally and thus more prone to forget to go back fix that. I would just sand them after bisque when they are more durable.

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