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Rex Johnson

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About Rex Johnson

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    Acton, CA

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  1. Rex Johnson

    Studio Floorplan design

    Yeah, it's all about the studio flow if your space allows for it. Even with space outdoors like I have, I'm constantly trying to improve on the flow so that I don't ave to be moving stuff around causing more physical work. But I have to adapt. Ideally in a straight line or U shaped space I'd like to wedge>throw>hand finish or slab build>dry>bisque>glaze>and load. But that ain't gonna happen...
  2. Rex Johnson

    Studio Photography

    Trouble I've found using my iPhone is that it distorts the actual shape of the piece due to the lens type. Hard to get a true perspective.
  3. With an updraft like you have (and I have), in my experience, you're going to get flames coming out of the flue hole at some point in the firing to get it to target temp. There's always going to be some reduction in the atmosphere. However some flame is okay, it's when fuel is not being burned and you see smoke that it's in heavy reduction. You need to monitor that flame to where you're not getting smoke. On the stacking 'protection' bricks on top, try instead making a 'chimney' (4 sides) using the same bricks next time. I'll use 3,4,5 hard bricks stacked on their sides or ends. This will help draw the air up through the kiln. I'll use a a piece of 1/2" kiln shelf as a flue to adjust the flame and reduction. My kiln is super sensitive to this. Just a 1/4" move i the flue makes a difference. You have to be delicate in moving it as there can be brick crumbs that will fall onto your ware through the flue hole though. One way, bricks standing on end...
  4. Rex Johnson

    Re - glazing a fired peice.

    I recently fired 2 dozen cups to cone 6 and forgot to glaze them...(don't ask). I took a chance and sprayed them with clear and re-fired. I couldn't believe it, if they turned out perfect!
  5. Yes, gas kilns are all about the fire triangle, oxygen/fuel/heat. If you keep that in mind when firing you're going to get a better idea of what's going on during a firing. But we also have one more thing to consider, and that's draw, how the fuel and heat is being pulled through the kiln from burners to flue. Until one gets it all dialed in (kiln schedule), it's a process that takes attention. I assume commercial gas kilns with automated devices help mitigate the guess work. But I rememeber over-firing our college kiln first time I tried
  6. Rex Johnson

    Peeling slip

    I tried using a Laguna Glacier White porcelain slip on my cone 10 (B-MIX) clay pieces this year with some good and bad success. The bad success were the pieces that I had brushed and then fired (Olympic updraft) that has real uneven firing and the pieces where close to flames. They peeled and flaked. The good stuff was all sprayed evenly when leather hard or near dry and fired in my downdraft kiln. Only a few pieces close to the bagwall flaked... I think at least in my case, even application and attention to placement in the kiln is essential. Sprayed piece when green... cone 6+ with clear cone 6 glaze etc...
  7. Sorry to miss your sale, decided not to drive north on Saturday. Glad you had a good day. 


  8. Rex Johnson

    New Potter

    A junior college class (or other) is a good place to start. It will give you a feel for if you want to go further. Hopefully finding instruction in throwing that is worthwhile technically. My JC instructor taught us noobs nearly nothing. He just instructed us what to do. My best advice is to throw as much as possible and shy away from keeping the pots. In other words, throw a few, kneed them back up, then throw some more until you really get a good feel.
  9. Rex Johnson

    Repairing Gas Kiln Arch Bricks

    I'd just repair them best you can with the mortar cement you have. If the pieces are loose enough, gently pull them out and glue them back in place with the mortar. Since it's soft brick you can shape them with a file to help with fitment at the door.
  10. Rex Johnson

    Used fire brick changed my plans

    I dunno, it's an contrary to logic, but no you can't by code use galvanized pipe for gas. I believe it's because of the galvanized coating fouling the threads. You have to use black pipe. When we did our studio slab years ago, I used black pipe wrapped with the heavy mil black tape designed just for use with black pipe, and buried it 18" before the slab was poured. That is (was) code. If I was to do it today in a short run to a raku kiln, I'd find that nice black plastic coated pipe, albeit, I bet it's expensive.
  11. ...again, it's how you choose to approach the process. I admire a lot of the current studio potters that can re-create glaze effects at will, those that have their pallet set yet are able to 'cut loose' at the same time.
  12. Rex Johnson

    What Is Ceramics, Is It Art?

    Only if it matters to the maker. Art can be superfulous by nature, there's no reason for it except to please the eye, but on the other hand, it can have great impact and is important culturally. It's right brain vs. left brain in how one approaches it in making or even one that views it. Example. I make clay stuff. I had a few pieces in a local art benefit show last weekend. It surprised me that some of the painting was actually quite good. Having had an 'education', I'm pretty judgemental I will admit. But I found one painting I actually wanted. One look and it I knew the artist was the real deal. This weekend I'll be trading clay for one of Sal Vasquez's paintings. Does he have something to say? I think so.
  13. First day of the season it looked like this...
  14. Coloring books, I drew on the lines and shaded inside the lines...clever.
  15. Rex Johnson

    new saggar and obvara pieces

    Nice work as always M.

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