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Everything posted by oldlady

  1. sorry, i assumed, (yes, i know!) that all these previous posts were for cone 6 electric, which is all i do.
  2. as j baymore notes below, none of these posts mention a cone number. i work only with cone 6 electric. yes, i will send you that glaze. in re-reading the august 30 entry in my notebook, i find it said that the results were "crap", (or just not what i wanted). today, in looking carefully at the finished bowl with the screaming green leaves, i noticed that the soft colors, coral, pink, and purple in the flowers came out fine. the finish is very shiny. it also has unclosed bubbles because my kiln had a broken element. my notes say it was the glaze i got from the mason stain company technician named Vince. he said it would take any of the mason stains but not more than 10%. recipe follows in my format, using the smallest of the ingredients first and working to the most. (have you ever forgotten and left the 1000 gram weight on the scale when making a bucketful af glaze?) EPK 10 whiting 13 silica 325 19 kona f4 26 frit 3124 32 (the actual recommendation was a fusion frit 3292 which i found i could not afford. i was told that 3124 would be close enough.) as long as you are testing, and to tease those of you with a great interest in chemical interaction, i will include the following satin matt recipe which has no visible zinc in the list of ingredients but which turns green to grey. a lovely exterior glaze if you are not using green. i would not use it on an interior because of the terrible sound of a metal spoon scraping up the last of something in it. EPK 20 Dolomite 20 Cornwall stone 60 i hope this helps, i would love to know your results. i still have 20 bowls due on nov 6. they are all sitting there in the greenware state waiting for me to do them right.
  3. i have tried that with mixed results. i have several bowls ready for the 'empty bowl' event our guild supports. i fired two of them that had been covered in a green commercial underglaze, Velvet # 353 and carved. the matt, translucent glaze i sprayed over it made the finished bowl a lovely grey/blue. the very same green used under another glaze is screamingly green, overpowering the other colors i used on that particular bowl. the difference is that the first glaze contains zinc. i have been looking for a great glaze to go over any color and found that zinc is not trustworthy. some colors just fade away when covered with a zinc bearing glaze. i realize that the first post mentioned that there was no zinc in the glaze the poster used. what other ingredients cause the loss of color?
  4. yes, keep your trimmings dry if you intend to use them as a slip later. when you have enough they will slake down to a lovely slip. if you keep them a thin shavings size, you can mix up a slip in an old blender after only a few hours of soaking. if they are thicker than your little finger, they will take a day or so depending on how much you soak at a time. just remember that they must be really DRY to work. if you are saving this stuff for reuse as a clay body there is a lot more involved. i don't do that, i reuse after pugging. if you really want the wet stuff, clorox works great. use a paint stirrer to get it into the whole bucketload at once. it lasts until it is overwhelmed by the new stuff you add and doesn't hurt anything since it gasses off with time.
  5. it might help to dip the bisque into a bucket of clean water QUICKLY and glaze it a few minutes later. this prevents so much of the glaze from being sucked into the very dry bisque piece you had before.
  6. i remember a cartoon showing an older man in a really fancy corner office in a high rise. he was talking to a young man and said " son, i am really glad that you have found yourself, but couldn't you have decided to be a potter before you finished law school?'
  7. you must get your clay somewhere. ask them for any notices posted about local classes or such given by individuals. or, may i suggest you check the yellow pages for suppliers, ask each of them if they have a bulletin board, post the problem there, and maybe you will find someone who wants help in their studio in exchange for firing. i know it sounds old fashioned, (even the phrase old fashioned is out of fashion) but maybe that is just what you need. find a potters guild. talk to potters you see at fairs or sales events. check out whether there is an empty bowl event, find other potters!
  8. [quote Wondering if I should refire at Cone 05..... Any suggestions would be great. you do know that cone 05 is hotter than cone 06, right? piece looks good
  9. congratulations on deciding to ask for help. this is a great place to do it. it is helpful that you have included the firing temperature but more information is needed to answer it. for example, you are talking about using an underglaze in the first part and then you call it a glaze later. your question probably makes sense to you but you have put it out on the whole web hoping someone who is familiar with a specific manufacturer's product will be the only one to answer you. this is a forum where many busy potters of varying degrees of expertise can help you. BUT you need to answer a few questions first. i am not being mean or unhelpful but you really need to know how to think of your question before you ask it. for example, is the finish matte or shiny once you finish it? do you cover it with a glaze at all? underglazes can be fired and left without a glaze covering but you have to think about the practical side of the pot when it is in use. what clay do you use? do you already have ingredients to mix a glaze in your studio including mason stains? have you made glaze before or do you just buy bottles of whatever you want? are you familiar with the glaze recipies commonly used at your firing temperature? do you have big enough buckets or containers to dip the pots, or do you want to make enough glaze to dip at all? do you spray your glazes or pour them? think through what you want to do and how to present your question so you will get the answer you need sooner. like a lot of potters i have been making glazes for years. i have 252 tests on one white clay body. i have a couple of very nice yellow glazes. i also fire at cone 6 in an electric kiln. my favorite base glazes are based on some that were published by bill van gilder and/or hesselberth and roy, (or way back, george wettlaufer) and modified to the color i wanted. that explains the 252 tests so far. if cone six oxidation suits you, ask for my recipes. they are way back in my studio so if they are not what you need, please say so. if you choose to make them, you will have to TEST them on your clay to find out if the color is what you want. do not be discouraged and think this answer is putting you down or any other negative thought you may have. i am trying to be instructive, not destructive. i would just like you to think clearly and learn to love what you do so you can answer some other newbie's question some day.
  10. well, it appears i should have taken a hammer to the first part of my original post. it was another gloomy day, a kiln element broke so the 20 empty bowls i have re-made several times this year are trashed, (they are due next week), the dog got sick on the carpet and i took it out on the newbies. sorry, i am not always a grouch
  11. More pictures but having a lot of trouble uploading to the website. I can email someone who knows how to use this site to upload. I live in WV and our internet connection is crap.
  12. The nice lady from down the street is here and she is posting pictures for me. I hope they are helpful. I expect lots of questions.
  13. have been thinking of my studio and the hard won arrangement of same. would love to share pictures of some of the more interesting and creative things i have set up. since i am a luddite and therefore computer illiterate i will have to work on posting a couple of pictures. maybe the nice lady down the street who used to work for microsoft will help me with that. she just made a lovely bowl in my studio, seems a fair exchange.
  14. [see susan greenleaf's work. she was at the Torpedo Factory in alexandria, virginia for years. probably still is. she gave our guild a wonderful workshop on cone 6 reduction. her pots are spectacular.
  15. sometimes when i read the questions from new members i wonder if they have ever read any pottery books, talked to experienced potters, taken classes or in any way prepared themselves for the roller coaster they got on when they first touched clay. some of you are kind enough and patient enough to answer even the most elementary questions. i think i have lost my patience with the impersonal internet questions that cover the same ground over and over. if that questioner were right there in front of me, i would be much more involved and able to answer the most basic question politely and in detail but the written question makes me want to ask the writer if they know that what they are asking is already answered somewhere in the archives. look there first. seriously though, what is the best advice you can remember and that you took into your studio to improve yourself and your work? something that made the physical reality better or easier. like putting away tools as you finish with them so there isn't a constant mess. my favorite came from Dennis Davis who built a frame around his wheel where tools could hang and slips used on thrown pots could be stored at hand. visiting his studio and seeing it was a real eye opener. i have loved mine and wonder how anyone uses just a wheel all by itself without the four foot surround. dennis also told me about putting wheels on everything heavy. maybe i am just getting old and grumpy. or maybe i am just stalling about getting out to the studio and mixing up the glazes i need for an upcoming show.
  16. to determine the time to cover the vent hole, put a mirror or other piece of glass on a slant where it can react to the fumes, water vapor, whatever coming from the vent. do not burn your hand while doing this. if there is ANY steam, wait to cover the vent. i use a small mirror on a foot long stick, the kind mechanics use.
  17. just saw an actual pot like this! the real thing is amazing. really amazing, not just an overused word. how is the question the work demands.
  18. would some of you who know enough please tell Ceramic Arts Daily to get a professional videographer and plan shots so we do not watch the back of someone's hand or a face and miss what the fingers are doing? and get a plain background so it is not so distracting???
  19. continued because i was interrupted. sinks can be set at various heights to accomodate kids whose reach keeps changing. find a kid of each size and check his or her reach to determine the settings for the sink heights. inserting a 3 inch tall pipe to stick up inside the drain will help keep mud out of the plumbing also. do not miss one other thing about cleanup. tools will often find their way into the bottom of the first clean-up barrel. to save them from sinking four feet into the muck, (and have volunteers ready to dig them out!) suspend a piece of hardware cloth inside the barrel just a few inches below the water level. this will not be easy, maybe you could ask for help from your new best friends. use 1/2 inch mesh to keep the mud flowing but the tools safe. you will probably still lose some tiny paintbrushes but most every other tool will be caught close enough to the surface for retrieval. setting up hardware cloth drainboards between every two sinks will help keep things neat. no dripping stuff dragged across the aisle to a table for storage. where the water drips below is something to discuss with the maintenance folks, too. get them involved, they will be cleaning up your space every night, make it easy for them. kilns...........O. K. we all have our favorites. remember that you will be loading and unloading lots and lots of (probably heavy) student pots. get a front loader since you can afford it now. yes, today you are young and strong but that will change and why work harder than you have to? i know that Paragon is close to dallas, well, reasonably close. if you talk to them and let them know your needs, they will be happy to work with you. my old paragon was used when i bought it in the 70s and bob, since retired, helped me every time i needed it. ( it needs new elements now, anyone want to volunteer to do it?) if you really want a top loader, L & L kilns are great. banging shelves loaded with pots on the sides as you lift them hardly hurts since the elements are set in hard grooves. my old paragon has chipped bricks near the elements, my 10 year old L & L looks new. the advice they give is priceless and free for the price of a phone call. rob battie is the best and he is patient about explaining how things really work. with his help, the maintenance is simple enough that i can do it. (at age 72 and afraid of electricity.) my kiln has 3 inch thick walls which helps hold heat in. because the walls are so thick, check the size of shelves so you do not wind up as i did with 21 inch shelves in a 22 1/2 inch space. that is hard on the elements since there is little room around the edges. if you can, add a second bottom so you have even more insulation available. do not go without a vent system! the school will probably require it anyhow. whoever you buy from should offer you customized advice if you provide them with floor plans and details you can get from your maintenance people. remember them, your new best friends? talk to them early and often. tables...............sturdy is the word. DO NOT cover the tops with canvas! the trapped dust is an unnecessary hazard. use TYVEK instead. it is wipe-down-with-water easy. it comes in hundred foot rolls 8 or 10 feet wide. was about $70 last time i priced it. it will last a long time if you do not cut it and is easy to staple into place over the edges of your tables so you can wipe things off easily. it will not stick to clay that is being worked on its top. it is magic. there are lots of other things you can do to make your money last and the fun not stop. most of all, enjoy the experience. you will be setting up something which will last a long time. influencing kids who want to learn is wonderful for your soul. ENJOY!
  20. congratulations!!! i am surprised that so far nobody has suggested you buy things that are used. one of the best places to find suitable studio equipment is at your local restaurant equipment supply dealer. they are a good source of stainless steel tables, used sinks like the ones in that previous plumbing supply post and rolling carts. since you are already part of a public school system, check out the items that school kitchens no longer use. i have been to several auctions of school equipment that has been released from inventory. tons of stuff is usually available. just because it was in a kitchen does not make a stainless table with heavy shelving under it unsuitable for a clay studio. my 8 foot stainless table was free from a pizza hut which was remodeled. i keep buckets of glaze on the bottom shelf and store new boxed clay below that on rolling 3/4 inch plywood which keeps itout of the way but convenient when needed. rolling ware carts are sometimes free if you find a supermarket upgrading or closing down. i have six or so of various sizes. the most common shelf size seems to be about 18 inches by about 25 inches. i equipped each of them with heavy drywall shelves to fit. in my humid area, drywall is the choice that makes sense. (if i need to hold something in a moist state, i cover the item with thin sheet plastic or recycled grocery plastic bags with the handles removed.) the best way to see these shelf units is to visit your local supermarket with an active bakery section. the carts are heavy duty metal and wide spacers hold shelves firmly in place. in the bakery they are sometimes used to actually bake things, not just transport goods. that is why some of them have burned looking stains. (if they get to the local restaurant supply house they are cleaned up for resale, usually at about $50 each.) mine came free from a supermarket that was moving into a nice, new building and wanted new racks. all i did was ask at the right time and take them that minute in my pickup truck. the same source may also have free buckets of various sizes. icing comes in 1 and 3 gallon plastic buckets with tight fitting lids and handles. some supermarkets give them away while others refuse to because they recycle them as grease containers. that means they won't have to rinse them out to give to you and probably save them until you can pick them up. realize that the store has to pay someone to clean them or they must throw them away so they do not attract rats. also, some bakeries only use icing that comes in plastic bags. i have actually bought cleaned buckets from a local donut shop for a dollar each which includes the lid. if you are really lucky and find a good source, you will have buckets forever, all free. there are other containers you will need, check out local carry out restaurants for the quart, pint and half pint heavy plastic containers with lids usually reserved for chinese foods or soups. NOT styrofoam! find who has the best and ask where they came from. a restaurant supplier, most likely and under $5 for 25 of them. these are the translucent kind you can label using a sharpie. when you need to change the label, try cheap hairspray and a cotton ball to erase the sharpie or magic marker name you put on the container first. these make so much more sense than reusing grocery tubs originally used for things like cottage cheese or yogurt. yuk! your grant money seems like a lot now, but if you save some pennies on what would normally be considered minor expenses, you will have more left for the big stuff. like plumber labor to install sinks. ( oh! right! you have a maintenance department! get to know and love them all, you will be needing them forever.) lowes or home depot have laundry sinks at about $20 each and a row of them will handle a lot of kids at once. of course you will do the prewashing in a barrel or something already suggested by previous posters. get several sinks, everyone will want to clean up at the same time.
  21. hi, am self taught for the last 40 years or so. i learned from lots of good OLDER books out there in my public library and lots of workshops. not everything is on the internet. i have been single firing to cone 6 for years but i spray my glazes so it is easy to apply glaze to greenware. the best reason for bisque firing that i can see is that if you want to scrub on underglaze colors or glazes into deep textures or any other technique which requires a lot of handling of the pot before putting it in the kiln. my latest work involves textured slabs formed into flowerpots or vases. spraying an interior glaze into a deep pot requires skill and is not always successful. i have dozen water-filled vases sitting on my work table right now. they have been there overnight to test their waterproof quality. one didn't make it because my spraying missed a small area near the bottom of a 7 inch deep vase. having poured the glaze into a bisqued vase would have avoided that one problem. the strange thing you will eventually learn is that there are no absolutes in clay. someone's comment about bisque being stronger seems reasonable and i believe it. BUT. last week a phone call interrupted me while i was pouring glaze into a deep bisqued (to cone 04) vase. i got distracted and the vase was sitting there with a totally wet bottom half (6 inches) when i got back to it a few minutes later. after pouring out the glaze and finishing the exterior, i put it into the kiln. during the subsequent firing, it deformed in that area and the exterior glaze shivered off in a long, narrow section. go figure.
  22. contact AMACO. they publish all kinds of stuff for teachers. low fire, cone 06 clay is easier on the kiln and simple to use. try it. no need for cone 6.
  23. LOWE'S puts out some ideas in a newsletter every month. the first one i saw was for building a 4x8 worktable for holding all kinds of things in spaces under the tabletop. bins, shelves, drawers, all kinds of storage. even though i have perfectly good smaller tables i constructed, i envied the person whose studio could accomodate a 4x8 table built to this plan. heavy duty wheels allow for moving it while cleaning up. my tables were built for holding not only a work surface on top but storing tools and materials underneath. a good worktop is simple drywall over plywood. the plywood is surrounded by framing and leaves a 1/2 inch depression into which the sheet of drywall sits. the drywall works in a single user studio because the user will probably take reasonable care not to ruin it by denting it or some other thoughtless thing. i cover the top with TYVEK which does not stick to the clay and is washable with a sponge. i have not had to replace my TYVEK top in 8 years. do not use canvas because it will hold clay dust and send it into the air each time it is used. think about banging a slab onto a canvas surface and imagine what the powdered clay that landed in the canvas yesterday is doing. work surfaces need to be kept CLEAN. if you run a 2x4 or something else horizontally indented just under the edge of the top, you will provide a sturdy hanging surface for all those items that usually get put onto the nearest flat area, namely, your worktop. suddenly, the 4x8 tabletop has shrunk to a 2x2 open flat space surrounded by tools, forms, plaster bats, etc. if you store them by hanging under the top, a simple black marker will tell you where each item is under the surface. looking down at the marks you know exactly where to reach for that special form or tool you always use. if you work with slabs you probably use a needle often. drill a hole into the framework or tape the writing end of an old pen onto the center support of your slab roller to hold your needle safely. put it back each time and it will always be available. paint the handle bright yellow so you can find it if it gets misplaced. a piece of tubing can hold rolling pins or other long items at the end of your table. there are tons of ways to make your table useful. make it tall enough so you can work comfortably standing. you can get a stool of the correct height for sitting at it. i wish i could send you some photographs of what i mean but i will not be home to take any until after april 20.
  24. forgive my possible errors, i am old and do not remember everything i have learned over the 40+ years i have been working in clay. but it sounds as though all the current discussion centers on spraying into the air and hoping to recover some of the spray before it is breathed. this method sounds much less reliable than using water to disperse the excess spray. i remember many years ago reading an article in ceramics monthly in which bill campbell explained how to build a spray booth with water washing down the spray. i have a friend who has one of these type booths which he has used for years. he screens the front of the booth with a waterproof cloth and sort of hides behind it wearing a mask when he sprays. the booth itself is constructed very simply and the water runs down from tiny holes in the copper tubing inside the booth and is recirculated after filtering. this potter has his booth built in the corner of his studio and it vents out to the air high above the potomac river way out in the country. it may not apply in the case of the original writer but maybe someone has a copy of the article.
  25. nelly, having lived in michigan where it is cold and florida where it is warm, i have learned the value of hot water as a throwing aid. when your fingers cramp up in the cold you cannot throw anything. one way to warm the water is the immersion heater you are thinking of or you might consider having a small recreational vehicle water heater installed. i found one for a friend whose studio was a former barn. it was a ten gallon size and she had it installed with a switch so she could turn it on when she was working but not leave it on 24/7. it was the size of a 5 gallon bucket and fit right under her sink. i found it used for only $10. the immersion heater is great for throwing water but when you glaze there is just so much more water needed. as you equip your new studio, notice all the wonderful studio furniture ads in the ceramics supplier catalogs and look carefully at the way they work. nearly everything they sell for very high prices is also available with different names at restaurant suppliers or somewhere else. used items are always available online. bakers racks with heavy duty wheels come up when supermarket bakeries change out old equipment. i got 6 of them free from different sources over the years. equipping them with half inch drywall shelves allows for drying flat items easily. they come with many shelf supports which allows for storage of a variety of sizes of pots in only 4 square feet of floor space. covering one with a plastic sheet provides for a damp cabinet. saving money setting up a studio requires keeping your eyes open all the time and a willingness to ask for things you see that could be of use to you. the local pizza hut even threw out an 8 foot long stainless steel table when they remodeled the store. i have been using it for 22 years. all i had to do was ask for it. (then get it home!!) if you ever do start to mix your own glazes be sure to store the chemicals in tightly closable containers, never in the paper or plastic bags they come in. it is always safer, dustwise, to use a scoop in a wide mouth container rather than trying to fit a scoop into a bag and dragging up all the dust on the inside and the stuff on the outside of the bag. i have seen this so ofter in shared studios. my containers have changed over the years from tall trash containers with sliding tops, (the latest fancy clay suppliers offerings of the 1970s) to the current 18 gallon rubbermaid tubs which each hold 50 pound bags of chemicals. yes, 50 pounds each. they last for years and prevents disasters because of a change of some supplier's recipe or formula. you are at a great step in your ceramics career. as you visit other potters studios look around at what they have done to solve problems you don't even know about yet. see if you can improve on the methods you have worked with before and think, think constantly about what you are really doing. it should always be a pleasure to step into your studio. it has for me for the last 37 years. i hope you will have the same joy.
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