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  1. If you're interested in an actual count of the top sales in the ceramics and pottery category for etsy, go to http://www.craftcount.com/category.php?cat=3&subcat=24. I stared about a year and a half ago but only got serious with listing within the past month. Have had 5 sales this month--the last one that I took to the post office today was $120. This is not all low-end as some think but both quality and individual experience is all over the board.
  2. This seems to be an appropriate place for old (in my case, 63) potters to chime in about a daily concern. Others have offered various exercise routines--my own includes dumbbells and floor exercises aimed at overall muscle tone. The change I made about 5 years ago that most directly affected my ability to throw without back pain was switching from a sitting to a standing position. Standing (actually leaning against the splash pan, a pole, or a wall) avoids that hunched over position that was causing most of my difficulties. I'm also able to move around while throwing, which really helps relieve fatigue. A good mat, comfortable shoes and frequent breaks also help. Now if I could just figure out a way to work better with my arthritic thumbs! -David
  3. Sealing Kiln Floor Cracks

    Thanks, Marcia. This sounds like a very good approach for rescuing a badly cracked floor. If I can't get the cracks stopped with kiln cement, I think this wil be a good fall-back approach before having to replace the floor. Much appreciated, David I learned this on Clayart and used it on the kilns at UH -Manoa when I was teaching there. Soak ceramic fiber in ITC 100 and stuff the cracks. I used this on some very large cracks. I also rebuilt the floor in one of the kilns with my three Grad students.. There were 9 , I think. They were in rough shape.
  4. Sealing Kiln Floor Cracks

    Thanks so much for the info. I've heard of kiln cement but haven't tried it. Sounds like what I need for now. -David David I have had a bag of kiln cement in my studio for 30 years, I believe it's a AMACO product. I mix it thin enough to pour into the crack and keep filling it until it's level. I keep broken shelves covering the bottom of the kiln. they help slow down the heat loss. Hope this helps you Denice
  5. Does anyone have a suggestion for sealing cracked insulating brick in the bottom of an electric kiln? The cracks aren't too bad yet but I'd like to find something that will help maintain the bricks' integrity longer. Thanks, David
  6. Floating Blue Glaze

    This is close to the original Chappell recipe that I used for about 10 years. The only thing lacking is the CMC (1 tsp. per 100 gram batch /a little over a pint for a 10k batch). CMC's important for suspension in the bucket and hardening the glaze surface after application. Of course your materials might be sourced differently, but I don't remember having any severe running problems with approx. the same dipping method you use and a 1/4 resist band. I don't think that more silica is needed. This is a temperamental glaze that responds differently to different firing schedules and top temperatures. Like you, I started using it with manual settings but I got variable results. Using a pyrometer can help figure out the best schedule. Three things I did that differ from your firings: 1) fire to cone 5, not 6. 2) hold at the top for 20 min., 3) use a pyrometer and witness cones to judge the top temp. I don't think it's generally a good idea to depend on the sitter cone for an accurate temperature. You could easily be over firing by depending on it. Hope this is helpful. Maybe others will have some ideas as well. All the best, David
  7. Floating Blue Glaze

    There are a number of recipes for this glaze. The original GB-laden Chappell recipe, if double-dipped as he recommends, can run off--especially if overfired or lacking a wide enough resist band. Others, like Roy's Frit 3134 glazes, produce similar effects to the GB versions without double dipping and run very little if fired in ^5 to^6 range. If you include the specific recipe you are using and your firing sched., a more specific solution might be more apparent. All the best, David
  8. Raku Using Ferric Cloride

    As previously mentioned, you are probably spraying at too high a temperature. I use FeCl several times a month in a raku-type process (horsehair) and spray at approx. 1000 degrees F. FeCl is extremely temperature sensitive and the color will vary from light gold to dark rust red with less than 100 degrees variation! Since you're pulling your pieces at 200 degrees, you might want to try counting seconds in between spray attempts until you get good color and then use that count down number for future pulls. BTW, you don't need to use FeCl at full strength to get good color if the temp. is right. I dilute it 8 parts water to 1 part FeCl. Much safer to use that way.