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Everything posted by clayshapes

  1. Hello, I'm not a professionally trained potter -- I've been teaching myself through trial and error, and taking the odd class over the last year. I bought a used kiln and have had many adventures! Yesterday I was doing a glaze firing of some bisqued cone 6 stoneware pieces and I had a small greenware pinch pot of the same clay body that I'd forgotten to include in the bisque firing last week. I decided to glaze it as usual as an experiment to see what would happen if I skipped the bisque firing -- and then proceeded as usual for my glaze firing. The unbisqued piece appears to have come out exactly as it would have if it had been bisque fired first. It feels the same weight -- and the glazes behaved exactly the same as usual.This piece was glazed in the same glaze as a bisqued piece next to it in the kiln and their colour is identical. So, my question is: what are the disadvantages of going straight to a glaze firing and skipping bisquing? I can imagine that one hazard would be the effect that wet glaze could have on greenware -- especially a delicate thin piece -- there might be a risk of the clay disintegrating or cracking from the moisture. This didn't happen in this tiny experiment though (and I didn't even let it dry for long -- I glazed it at the last moment and just put it in the kiln and fired it up!) I'd love to hear from properly trained potters about the disadvantage of simple single firing. By the way - in case it is of interest in this matter: I have an old Duncan kiln that performs beautifully - although the kiln sitter does not work properly on a cone 6 firing (fine on cone 04 bisque firing) but I've gotten to know my kiln and it does a glaze firing in 6-7.5 hours. I watch the cones carefully and have had no problems. Looking forward to hearing from the experts on this!
  2. I bought an old kiln (cone art) to use at my summer cottage, and retrofitted it with new elements and a new electronic controller. The interior bricks are in excellent condition, but the lid has several small cracks. After firing it a couple times (bisque and cone 6) I see that it is losing a lot of heat, likely through the lid. I leave a window open during firing - but the room is super hot - so hot that I'm afraid it's actually a fire hazard. I can see a glow between the lid and top of the kiln when it's reached temp. (pieces in the kiln fire well, generally - although during the last glaze firing two flat platters on the top shelf cracked - so I'm assuming it's cooling too quickly. Only the top shelf has this cracking problem). I've read a lot of stuff about this - some people use fire blankets (sounds scary). I was thinking of putting an old kiln shelf on top while firing, to try to keep the heat from escaping. This might be a dumb idea because of the weight on an already fragile lid. Am thinking of getting a new lid. Would love to hear some advice here.
  3. clayshapes

    Kiln Leaking A Lot Of Heat - Likely From Lid

    Thanks for all this great advice. I was just so shocked at how hot it is in the room, compared to my kiln in my studio in the city, which NEVER heats up the room like this. This is a bigger kiln though. The kiln is reaching temp at the expected time - but it's cooling more quickly than my kiln in the city - hence one of the reasons I think it's loosing more heat than it should. I did put an empty shelf on stilts, as Pugaboo suggests above, just above the top shelf, and had no issues in the following firing. I also avoided putting flat pieces on the shelf just below...worried they would crack. It's always so tempting to fill one more shelf when there's just a bit of space left, and glazed platters are ready to load! I'm going to check the back hinge as Dick White suggests...and for the next firing, I'll take all the good advice here from Dick and Neil Estrick about better ventilation - I'll leave a window open, at one end of the room, and the screened sliding door open near the kiln, - with a fan pointed out the window to move air out - and hope for the best. Will keep my phone handy to call 911 if I see any flames! (just kidding - don't think this is a real issue). Thanks again for all the advice! It's great to be able to come here with an urgent question and get such immediate results!
  4. Hello, I live in Toronto and about to make the plunge and buy a new kiln. Locally, ConeArt and Euclid are available to me. I am wondering if anyone has opinions about these two brands. I know ConeArt has a "double walled" kiln - not sure if that is really a benefit or not. I've spoken with them about the kiln and seen their video and it looks like a very good quality kiln. But I know some say that the double wall isn't really that big an advantage in electricity saving etc. Just wondering what others might think. I fire stoneware - bisque to 04 and glaze fire to cone 6 -- I do this about once a week -- sometimes less, sometimes more. I need a good, reliable kiln!
  5. Wow - that is amazing. I'm going to try silver polish! Thanks for the tip!
  6. Does anyone know why some glazed porcelain and stoneware is easily marked by silverware use - and others not? I use various types of commercial glazes in my work - and notice that some are marked by spoons forks etc, - and others are not. Curious to know the reason.
  7. Naturally, the manufacturers hope to sell them - but from my pov, I'm just happy that they are providing me with a huge palette with which to work. I have and use more than 40 different glaze colors, textures/finishes in my studio - Since I don't have room, time, or inclination to create 40 of my own, I'll just have to sort through and figure out which are best for what. I'm learning that some are more suited to strictly decorative work, that knives and forks don't touch. Others (most) are very functional, and can be incredibly beautiful.
  8. Thanks for your insight Mark. Interesting. My opaque solid color glazes are the ones that show scratches, as opposed to more "glassy" glazes - transparent - or matte glazes. I guess I just need to stop using the opaque glazes for dishware. When I say opaque, I mean commercial glazes like Mayco's Foundations or Stroke and Coat (which I use to cone 6) and some Amaco and Spectrum cone 6 glazes. Hardness makes sense. But since I can't control it, I guess I better just stop using them!
  9. I know you should be able to stack greenware for a bisque firing without incident -- but I'm always afraid to - mostly because I'm afraid that my cone 6 porcelain plates and platters will not stay flat. Generally speaking the shape doesn't change in my bisque firings (05 or 04) - but because I prefer to use fairly thin slabs to create my work, there is sometimes warping during the glaze firing. Technically and intellecturally I know it is unlikely that cone 6 porcelain (Tuckers Bright White) will move in shape during a cone 04 or 05 firing...but still I hesitate. I would love to stack - to get a bigger load of bisque done at once. Would love to hear others experience with stacking (and when I say stacking, I just mean stacking two plates or platters - not a half dozen!)
  10. Thanks Denise - I assume you had no problems with your pieces? Everything came out the way it went in - in terms of shape, that is.
  11. I went to India, and soaked up the colors, shapes and food. While I was there, I didn't really think it was inspiring me for new shapes or colors in my pottery - But when I got home and started using the wood block stamps I picked up - it took my work in a whole new direction. I was really surprised that I didn't see it coming!
  12. clayshapes

    Peacocks and Paisleys

    I traveled to India recently and came home with some wood block stamps...I'm experimenting with different palettes and designs. Lots of fun.
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    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    DSC05696 Version 2

    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    DSC05803 Version 2

    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    DSC05828 Version 2

    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    DSC06047 Version 2

    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys

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    From the album: Peacocks and Paisleys


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