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Everything posted by meisie

  1. meisie


    From the album: A few pieces

  2. I have been bisqueing the clay I have to cone 04 per the instructions on the box. The glaze being low fire is fired to cone 05. Can I combine a glaze and bisque firing? would it make a difference if the clay is bisqued to 05? Would it still take glaze? I'm thinking yes but not really sure. Thanks
  3. meisie

    Outside Sculptures

    Any place where water can collect in the sculpture and then freeze risks a crack. It's not the clay itself that will crack from the cold I believe. I've had lots of things outside, but it's the expansion and contraction of ice in a enclosed like space. So if the sculptures have places where water can pool even a little you risk cracking. I have several mosaics that we did in our school and we hung them outside. As a precaution I caulked all the edges so water could not get in between the backing and the tile even a little or they might have not survived from ice and the expansion.
  4. meisie

    Firing Question

    Thanks for all the replies. It's something I started thinking about because the other teacher who is attempting to do clay with her students forgot to give me a class that should have been bisqued with the others. ( I have the kiln in my classroom) So I have 25 pieces that are not bisqued and the rest ready for a glaze firing. I understand that with the low firing that this clay never fully vitrifies. It's elementary school so all the pieces are decorative. Even if I bisque them with the glaze firing I am still going to need to put them in the kiln on their own when they are needing to be glazed so no matter what I won't have a full kiln with at least one firing. She drives me a bit crazy. She doesn't always listen or sometimes she just doesn't get it. I was doing mosaics and she wanted to try. I gave her a list of the materials she needed and said I would show her how to use them. She came back with items that home depot told her were what she really needed. I said well then you're on your own because I don't have a clue what this stuff is for.....???
  5. Have you taken it apart and looked at it? I had a malfunctioning foot pedal and took the thing apart and it's pretty simple inside. My issue was moisture and I used a hair dryer and it started working again. inside mine was just a few wires. I can't imagine it's too hard to fix but agin for me it was just moisture.
  6. meisie

    Air Bubbles In Clay

    We also did etching in high school and etched into the zinc plate with acid. That's not done anymore either. Probably with good reason, I always listened to my teacher. :-)
  7. meisie

    Air Bubbles In Clay

    Years ago when I did pottery in high school (1970's) the teacher taught us to wedge clay by essentially slamming it on a wedging table over and over again. We didn't do any of the kneading type of wedging. The slamming type of wedging does not seem to be taught anymore? But I would assume it could still work?
  8. Kinda what I was thinking and you put it so nicely. I ask because I'm curious and will make the effort to look up an artist I meet ( or go to their gallery if I can) and see what kinds of things they are creating.
  9. I ask this mostly because I want to go look..... I generally say though "do you have a gallery/studio where you sell from?" Then I generally follow that with the technicalities of the work, the how. One of my most favorite events in a neighboring town is an open studio day. Each home/studio is listed on a map and you can drive all over town looking at the artists and the work in their habitat so to speak. :-)
  10. I have a paragon kiln. A very nice paragon kiln I might add but it was very large. I was given a smaller one that's also nice and easier for me to use at home. I took the large one to school and got permission to put it in the closet that had originally housed a kiln years before. The maintenance man even had the previous vent. I purchased clay and glazes and thought I did all the research. I fired it this week and it didn't get up to temp for a very long time. I got the error message FTH failure to heat. I looked that up on Paragon website and later ended up calling technical support. The woman asked what the outlet was. 240 or 208 and that most schools tend to be 208. My heart sank because sure enough when the maintenance man tested it the next day it was 208. One option was putting in 208 elements and relays and such into the kiln for the outlet. This was a suggestion by paragon support. But the cost is much to high for me to foot the bill on my own. So this afternoon I asked the maintenance guy at school (he's actually also a trained electrician ) what the cost would be to convert that outlet. He's looking into that for me. He also mentioned what about a 208, 50 amp to 240, 50 amp buck booster. New they are 900 or so dollars but used ? Not really sure yet. Does anyone know if that would work with a kiln?? Would there be an issue? I hate to call paragon again and ask because I am feeling a bit stupid (although I seem to recall maintenance assured me it was 240.) I don't want to point any fingers and say it was them I am just planning on apologizing and sending back the grant money I spent on clay and selling the clay to someone else if I can't come up with a reasonable cost wise solution. Thanks for any help Renee
  11. I recently received a kiln. I got approval to install it in my classroom. I scoured the catalogues for clay and glaze and got a grant for the supplies. The clay says "fires best at cone 04 and 05 not higher than cone 3." The glaze is also low fire and the directions say..... 2-3 coats on cone 04 bisque and then let dry and fire to shelf cone 06. I thought 04 was higher than 06? In fact just after the cone listing 06 states (999 degrees Celsius) and The cone 04 listed a higher temperature celsius. Shouldn't be the other way around? The higher temperature is when vitrification takes place??? At home I fire 04 bisque and then cone 6 glaze and it all works but that's all I have done. Am I missing something. Did I purchase the wrong stuff? Any insight would be appreciated. Perhaps they are labeled wrong?Thanks for any input.
  12. To be honest I'm not too worried about functionality. I think most of the projects will be sculptural in nature. We are starting this after years of air dry clay so even a little seepage will be better than what we used to do. thanks for all your input.
  13. Thank you for your advice and I fortunately have a closet that was originally out fitted for a kiln and since I'm on the good side of the maintenance crew they were able to dig out a vent that they had stored. The closet has a heavy door that does not unlock you can only open it with a key so no one can get in unless they have a key. In that way it will be kid proof. I spent quite some time on the catalogue and on the phone making sure I had glazes that met the standards Massachusetts allows in the school. I don't want to risk anything at all. I figured the directions on the bottle were correct but I didn't understand that vitrification can be before glazing as I had not done that at home with my own kiln and glazes. Thanks again I am so looking forward to doing this with my students.
  14. Thank you. I am relieved wasn't sure how I was going to explain that I needed to return items because I got the wrong thing. I must have read the catalogue descriptions 100 times and talked to the woman on the phone and she assured me I was ordering the right stuff but when I saw the labels I got a bit worried. Renee
  15. meisie


    Actually I developed a writing style that keeps my hand straight and I don't have to drag my hand through the ink and and don't curve my hand. I change the way I slant my paper. I happened to write in front of my classroom the other day and the kids were amazed and said how do you write like that. As a left hander one of my first memories of first grade was when we were learning to print our names, The teacher came racing down the aisle and ripped the paper out of my hands and slanted it the way it was "suppose to be" by slamming it on the desk.(1964 I think it was) I was so scared of the woman but in private I always slanted my paper the way I wanted to. I try to teach it to my lefties in my class.
  16. meisie

    Hair Brained idea!

    Pro's and con's of having the tests tied to the arts. In my state not only are they testing the students in math and science the DOE has now developed a new teacher evaluation system and the test scores are one piece of the data for teacher evaluations. I'm kinda glad art is left out because I don't know what kind of test they would come up with and it would most certainly stifle the creativity my students now enjoy.
  17. meisie


    I thought left handed counter clockwise and right handed clock wise??? Or is it the other way around. Actually my pottery teacher scoffed at left handed wheels and said we should all throw right handed and wheels should go clockwise regardless. I found some wheels that had a switch. I have a wheel that goes clockwise and I am left handed.
  18. I have attempted clay but it's been the self drying kind which also requires score and slip. I have about 25 students in a 50 minute period. So it's a bit of running around the room checking each project in progress spending a minute or two with each student and a little hands on demo. "look you didn't do this here." "Do you remember what I said about...." I check in all the time so by the time the 50 minutes are over only the very obstinate :-) or those who have serious motor issues may have products that are a bit more fragile. I generally don't put my hands on students art work but carry clay or paper with me to demo what I meant. Another thought.... sit an older couple students with some of the younger ones. Pair them up so they don't feel alone and ask your olders to assist anyone that might need it. Depends of course on how focused they are on their own work and if they can handle that added responsibility. Some thrive on that and some don't want to be bothered. So essentially I fix on the run as they are working. Of course I don't have any idea how many kids you have at one time. I think 25 is about the limit with what you can do during class time. Also keep your options limited. Offer only three choices of what they can do. A pinch pot, tile, or small animal for instance. Hope this offers a little help.
  19. I am curious why I have bubbles in this bowl. It's a cone 6 laguna clay, I wedged and re wedged and I use the clay twice. The first time the bowl wasn't what I wanted. Under glazed and then bisqued to cone 04 and then clear glaze and fired to cone 6. The kiln is small and the bowls I had were fairly large so one on the bottom, one in the middle and 4 pieces on the top. I did not have a hold time. Could this be that many air bubbles expanding? Or is it something else. Thanks for any help Renee
  20. meisie

    bubbles in my bowl

    I generally take everything with a grain of salt. Cynic that I am. Awesome story I love it!! I would love for this to be the clay's fault and not mine but I am fairly inexperienced and there is this doubt in my mind. The next firing will certainly tell I suppose.
  21. meisie

    bubbles in my bowl

    You shipped your bloated work to Laguna? I'll bet they liked that.... ? http://www.lagunaclay.com/support/bloating-and-blackcoring.php this is what came up as soon as I googled "bloating in ceramics"
  22. meisie

    bubbles in my bowl

    Thank you all. I read a bit about bloating and I think because I didn't have as many pieces in my kiln that it may have fired a bit faster on the bisque. According to the article that would cause bloating on the final firing. I will make a new bowl and bisque fire slowly and hopefully that will be one step in preventing it. I had two boxes of this clay and am down to my last 20 lbs, this is the first time it's been a problem. Not having a totally full kiln is the only difference between these bowls and several others I have done using the same clay. According to the Laguna web site bloating originates in the bisque firing and then manifests itself during the glaze firing. I guess that goes along with my difference in a less full kiln and a faster fire. Oh well now I have to tell the woman I'm making them for that something happened and it will be August...... Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Renee
  23. meisie

    A few pieces

    Some of my work that I like and that I feel is getting better.
  24. meisie


    From the album: A few pieces

  25. I have the opportunity to put a kiln in my classroom and I have one that was given to me. It's a kiln that goes as high as cone 6 for which I have used it. However as I look though my school catalogs many of the glazes are low fire. I need to write a grant for the supplies and I think I want to stick with low fire for a classroom but all my experience has been with cone 6 clay and glazes. Does anyone have any recommendations as to what would be best? I also wonder at the amount of glaze and clay I might need. At the moment we use air dry clay and I buy one 25lb bag for a classroom of 24 or so kids then we paint with acrylics. It will only be the 5th grade students which would be about 200 students between the two art teachers. Suggestions Things to look out for? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Renee Popek

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