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About LovesPurple

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  • Birthday December 20

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    El Cajon, CA
  1. Anyone Make A Slab Roller?

    Sorry, a little late to this discussion, but I made my own slab roller also. I made it from PVC pipe......and I filled the two PVC pipes with rebar and cement.....if you don't do that, it will flex
  2. Having A Kiln Outside ?

    My first two kilns were "manual", the second one had a Firemate controller - awesome! Anyway, I had them outside on wheels under the eve of our garage. They were plugged in inside the garage, so to fire them I just rolled them away from the garage wall a little. The problem is, even when they are done firing they stay really hot for a long time. So, what I did was build a big box out of melmaine (because is is mostly waterproof) and lined the inside with cement board, and added some wheels. I left it open on one side so I could just push the kiln back close to the garage (stucco) and slide the box over it. There was enough room between the box and the kiln that the air could circulate, but the kiln was protected from the rain. On cold days I just fired a little slower to avoid thermal shock. When I bought my brand spanking new kiln I built a metal shed :-)
  3. Clay & Glass

    I am on the same page as deborah124. I use paper clay and glass. I have been very successful with using glass frit on cone 04 bisque and firing it to cone 06 by sprinkling the frit into wet glaze. The biggest problem I see with what you are trying to do is the low temperature where glass slumps. You need to get the glass hot enough to liquify to fuse to the clay, but that would make a complete puddle out of your entire piece of glass. If I were going to try what your are attempting to do, I would do a full fuse of the frit onto the clay, which I have done at cone 06. Then I would take the piece I wanted to attach, find a way to keep it parallel to the kiln shelf, and then use posts, globs of clay, or whatever to keep the base on it's side and firmly up against the glass piece - then I would do a tack fuse (<>1325-1350° F). Glass slumps before it tacks so you would need to support it right up next to the base. I use Laguna's Max's Paper Clay and COE90 glass.
  4. Pounding Vs. Rolling Slabs

    I have done hundreds of tiles, big and small, and have had very little warpage. I bisque fire them standing up in tile racks. I glaze fire them with one small stilt under them, or stacked horizontally in tile racks. Maybe it is your clay.
  5. Re-Glazing A Broken Piece--Possible?

    I am not an expert, and my solution is certainly not elegant, but I needed some quad switchplates and I glued two doubles together by adding some white glue to some clear glaze and taping them together with painters tape (blue masking tape). The glue and tape both burned off very nicely, but they held long enough for the glaze to connect the two pieces. The switchplates, now that they are installed, do not have any stress on them and are still in one piece. But I don't know if it would work for a mug handle.
  6. Pounding Vs. Rolling Slabs

    I have both pounded out slabs for tiles, and rolled. I did not see a difference. I built myself a slab roller and it makes the whole process super easy and fast. I dry my tiles between drywall boards. I have a huge pile of them, and I put the damp tiles on new boards every day. I also put weight on top of the pile of tiles between the drywall. I found I end up with flatter tiles that way.
  7. When I think things are dry and ready to fire, I put them in my oven (yes, in my kitchen) overnight with just the light in the oven on. It is amazing how warm an oven can get with just the light on! I have never had anything explode. I know I will have some haters here, but I have a small test kiln and after I fire it and it is in the cooling off zone (below where the inside glows) I will put what I think should be dry pieces on top of the kiln. I keep an eye on them , flip them, rotate them, etc. By the time the kiln is cool, they are ready to go!
  8. Another Amateur

    Anna I have not been at this very long, so I do clearly remember getting my first "used" kiln and being intimidated by it. Here is what I learned. 1. Although many people may look down their nose at you, if you use paper clay (I use Max's from Laguna) your chances of blowing something up in the kiln while you are learning to use it will be small, if any. I don't do wheel work, but I understand that the paper clay will not work for that. The paper clay also does not care if you have the occasional air bubble. I am in southern California and can put the leather dry objects out in direct sun (at 100°) and it does not care. 2. Even if I am certain that something is dry and ready to fire, I put it in my oven overnight with just the oven light on - it will keep the oven over 100° - just to make sure. 3. I use bar cones in the kiln sitter, and use one cone hotter than what you are firing. So, if you are firing 04 bisque, put in an 03 bar cone. 4. Get a pyrometer, it will help you figure out what is going on inside the kiln. 5. My kiln had 2 plug holes. I kept the bottom plugged, ALWAYS left the top one open, and until the kiln reached about 1000° left the lid propped about 1/2". It is my understanding that the elements last longer if you vent the kiln until all the stuff that needs to burn off does. 6. On my old manual kiln I would turn the knob to 1, then go back an hour later and turn it up to 10, then go back an hour later and turn it to 20, etc. For glaze firings, I would go slower, 1, 10, 20, 30, 50, 70, 80 (I did not go all the way to 100% for glaze) and then wait for the kiln sitter to trip. For bisque I went faster, 1, 10, 30, 50, 70, 90, 100. The whole increase the temperature to X number of degrees per hour is hard to figure out with a manual kiln - at least it was for me. 7. I start firing in the morning, then the next morning at around the same time I unload the kiln. And I leave the lid down - oh, the urge to peek is so great - until it is ready to unload. The pyrometer should show the kiln to be at room temperature before you open it. Hope this helps you.
  9. I cannot imagine a life without clay and glass!

  10. Firemate Controller

    Sorry, I have been busy and haven't been back for a while! I contacted Cress and they were absolutely no help whatsoever. The guy who answered my e-mail basically regurgitated what you can find in their manual and everywhere on the internet. Oddly enough, I fired this weekend and kind of jiggled the knob in the stop/manual position and the wheel only advanced when I manually advanced it. Which is what I believe it is supposed to to. I will have my husband pull it apart and check the wires - probably a loose one. So, give me a few months to fire and track data, and I will be your go-to gal for Firemate firing information. FYI - so far I have had a much better glaze fire on "B" than "A", it did not go above 9 on the thumb wheel and it only took about an hour longer.
  11. I bought a used kiln with a Firemate controller. Works really well for my clay and glaze, or it seems to. I am trying to use it on the Manual/Stop setting for something and the thumbwheel is turning. Is is broken? I thought on Manual/Stop the wheel would only advance if I turned it?!? Anyone have any experience with this?
  12. So you don't use any ramp and soak with your digitally controlled ovens? You dry the wares in your oven, and then just shoot from the ambient temperature straight to Cone 04 in the kiln at full speed, correct? How long do you use this speedy approach for? What kind of item do you make? Oh, heavens no! I put it in the oven the night before to make sure it is absolutely bone dry. When I had my old kiln I would turn it up a little every hour until it was going full blast. The Firemate controller I have on my "new" kiln ramps it up at a safe speed, which happens to be faster than what I was doing manually. And, my kilns are small. I make a lot of tiles and small stuff.
  13. I have a pretty simplistic approach to bisque firing. I put my bone dry "masterpieces" in my oven, turn the oven light on, and leave it overnight. In the morning I load the kiln and fire to 04. With my old kiln I just turned the knobs every hour. I started with 0 (low), then 10, 30, 50, 70, 100 - then just waited for the sitter to trip (I put an 03 bar in the sitter). I had no idea what I was doing when I started, and never had a problem. Now, I am a little spoiled and have a firemate controller on one kiln and a digital on the other - love the fact that I can just tell it to go to 04 and let it do it's thing! With both, it takes about 4 hours to bisque fire to 04. I go much slower when I glaze fire.