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Heidi K

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About Heidi K

  • Rank
    Newbie
  • Birthday 12/07/1973

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  • Website URL
    http://www.heidispottery.com

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Seattle, WA
  • Interests
    My biggest interest besides clay is knitting, and I do it in just about all of my free time. My friends and I recently put out a book full of knitting patterns with a short novella, and I'm quite happy with our achievement. (http://www.heidispottery.com/needles-and-artifice.php if you want to check it out.)
  1. COOL ICE - CONE 6 - PORCELAIN CLAY

    The short answer is the purity of the kaolin, all the clay bodies discussed in this topic are using a very pure New Zealand kaolin (technically a halloysite), that explains the NZ in NZ6. Yeah, I figured the NZ was for New Zealand. I've got a bag of New Zealand Kaolin (supposedly the purest kaolin in the world) and sometimes sub it in a test batch of glaze for EPK and other kaolins. There has to be a lot of kaolin in the recipe to make a difference. I've got to get around to trying NZ6. It may replace my Frost. Jim Jim, I thought you might be interested to know - I just finally got a batch of frost tumblers out of the kiln yesterday, and without a doubt, the NZ6 is more translucent. I compared the entire batch, but specifically I picked a frost one that was particularly thin and light, and a NZ6 one that was slightly thicker, and still the NZ6 one had more translucence. I was pretty disappointed in the frost tumblers after working for months with the NZ6 (not to mention that my clear glaze crawled on EVERY SINGLE ONE). Looks like I'll be driving to Tacoma for my clay afterall!
  2. COOL ICE - CONE 6 - PORCELAIN CLAY

    I've been having some trouble, but I've found many that fit fine. I don't mix my own glazes yet, and many of the glazes I use are made at Seattle Pottery Supply. All of the glazes I have from there fit fine except my favorite, shadow green, which doesn't fit at all (the glaze cracks and will either chip off the piece or crack the clay if the clay is thin). Amaco's PC Ancient Jasper doesn't seem to fit it (though I only tested it on one pair of earrings - the glaze cracked off the earrings), Laguna's Caribbean Crackle crackled to the point that it cracked the bowl I used as a tester, and Coyote's Gun Metal Green sometimes fits it. The first two tests were just at the rim over clear, and it seemed to fit fine (though with a smooth crackle effect), and then the third time it got so crackly that it gave the piece a hairline crack. I forgot that and used it again since, and it worked out beautifully (without the clear underneath it, and it didn't crackle), so more testing is needed with that one. Thanks very much for taking the time to write all this! Sounds like you are getting dunting/shivering from several of the glazes you tried. Did Tacaoma Clayart offer any suggestions as to glaze coe? (You might be able to add some high expansion frit to your shadow green and the other dunting glazes to help fit but then you would probably have to tinker with the alumina and silica also.) It's unusual for commercial glazes to dunt, usually they err on the side of caution and use a higher coe. Is there a chance that the glaze layer was thicker than the clay, especially with the Caribbean Crackle or shadow green? Min Thanks Min, Yes, I think I'm getting both dunting and shivering. Tacoma Clay Art told me I could try adding a certain frit (I wrote the number down in my studio) to try to increase the coe, but I haven't done it yet. I think I should experiment a little, because shadow green is a wonderfully reliable glaze otherwise and pairs well with so many of my other glazes that I would love to be able to use it on the NZ6, but as of yet I've just been lazy and have busied myself making lots of pure white pieces to showcase the translucence. The piece that the Caribbean Crackle broke was thin at the bottom where the glaze pooled and got quite thick, so yes, I think it's likely that they were close to the same thickness or the glaze could have even been slightly thicker. The shadow green has never been close to the same thickness as the clay, but always shivers. The time it cracked the clay was on a saucer - the center of the saucer was maybe just under 1/8 of an inch thick (guessing, as it didn't break, only showed multiple crack lines on the unglazed bottom), and where the glaze chipped off I could see it was about 1/32" thick at the most. The glaze was also lifted slightly from the center of the saucer, so it really appeared to me that it wasn't shrinking as much as the clay and was therefore forced to arc as the clay shrunk. I also tried it (shadow green) on a pair of earrings and the glaze came clear off the clay, like the ancient jasper did. It came off almost in one piece (it stuck slightly around the hole). I can easily avoid the Caribbean Crackle or Ancient Jasper for anything I make with NZ6, but I'd really like to be able to use Shadow Green, so I'll see if I can find it in me to tinker and test.
  3. COOL ICE - CONE 6 - PORCELAIN CLAY

    Thanks Jim, but yes, I think shipping would be a killer. I'll stick with NZ6 until I see Frost at Seattle Pottery Supply.
  4. COOL ICE - CONE 6 - PORCELAIN CLAY

    I've been having some trouble, but I've found many that fit fine. I don't mix my own glazes yet, and many of the glazes I use are made at Seattle Pottery Supply. All of the glazes I have from there fit fine except my favorite, shadow green, which doesn't fit at all (the glaze cracks and will either chip off the piece or crack the clay if the clay is thin). Amaco's PC Ancient Jasper doesn't seem to fit it (though I only tested it on one pair of earrings - the glaze cracked off the earrings), Laguna's Caribbean Crackle crackled to the point that it cracked the bowl I used as a tester, and Coyote's Gun Metal Green sometimes fits it. The first two tests were just at the rim over clear, and it seemed to fit fine (though with a smooth crackle effect), and then the third time it got so crackly that it gave the piece a hairline crack. I forgot that and used it again since, and it worked out beautifully (without the clear underneath it, and it didn't crackle), so more testing is needed with that one.
  5. COOL ICE - CONE 6 - PORCELAIN CLAY

    I think you will be disappointed in Cool Ice. It is Southern Ice formulated for cone 6 but it is not as translucent as Frost. Seattle Pottery Supply is one of the best stocked ceramic supply stores in the country. I even have to sometimes order from them even though shipping from WA to GA is a killer because no one else has what I'm looking for. Unless Laguna stops making Frost, I find it hard to believe SPS plans to stop stocking it. The cone 6 porcelain you use (I forget the name) is the only clay I know of that looks like from the pictures you've posted to be as translucent (or maybe even more translucent--which will turn my world upside down!) as Frost. Jim Jim was correct about my disappointment with Cool Ice. I haven't been back to SPS yet to see if they have Frost back in stock, as I just finally got around to testing the Cool Ice, and got a couple pieces out of the kiln last weekend. Here's a photo of two tumblers, NZ6 on the left and Cool Ice on the right. They're the same thickness, and they're side by side in the same amount of sun, I swear. The difference is stunning.
  6. Throwing Comfy

    I've been using the Wonderbat system for a few years. It's great for throwing many small pieces and not taking up lots of shelf space (for those of us who like to throw on a bat), but there are some downsides. When the bats are super clean there is some wiggle room, so I actually have to put little pieces of clay between the parts to get the bat to stay still. When the bats AREN'T clean they can be hard to push in and pry out, so they need be in a sweet spot of dirtyness to work well. Also, they warp, so many of mine don't sit flat anymore. The description claims that the pots will release when leather hard, but in my experience the pots don't release until they're close to bone dry - I have used these bats with at least six or seven clay bodies, and I always have to wire off. Very good to know. I thought they claimed, they wouldn't warp, but they just state "Warp Resistant". They also tell you to dry them and store them vertically, separated by something like a dish rack, and while mine are vertical, I've never managed to get something like a dish rack to separate them (I have enough trouble fitting everything into my space as is, I don't need these to use twice as much space as their volume would require), so it could be my fault that they're warped.
  7. Throwing Comfy

    I've been using the Wonderbat system for a few years. It's great for throwing many small pieces and not taking up lots of shelf space (for those of us who like to throw on a bat), but there are some downsides. When the bats are super clean there is some wiggle room, so I actually have to put little pieces of clay between the parts to get the bat to stay still. When the bats AREN'T clean they can be hard to push in and pry out, so they need be in a sweet spot of dirtyness to work well. Also, they warp, so many of mine don't sit flat anymore. The description claims that the pots will release when leather hard, but in my experience the pots don't release until they're close to bone dry - I have used these bats with at least six or seven clay bodies, and I always have to wire off.
  8. Selling anything on Etsy?

    For me, it's not really working out. I think there are too many other choices and I feel like my stuff just gets lost in the shuffle. I probably have an average of 10 sales a year on there, and they're mostly for teeny inexpensive bowls. I've often wondered if I posted things every day or did some paid advertisement if that would boost sales on there...I see other pottery etsy shops that have daily sales and I wonder if I could change anything (besides my work) to improve my sales? I wonder if people just don't favor my work, or if I'm not doing the right marketing (which is a given - I hardly do any marketing!).
  9. COOL ICE - CONE 6 - PORCELAIN CLAY

    Well, I'm sad to say that Seattle Pottery Supply doesn't have any Frost at the moment, and Claudia who works there said she wasn't sure if they were temporarily out of it or if they're not going to stock it anymore. I broke down and bought one bag of Cool Ice, but man oh man I hope I don't like it. It's over 5 times as expensive as my usual porcelain! I was there right before closing and they were really busy. I asked if they had Joe Finch's book of kiln construction, but they didn't know offhand and didn't have time to check. Sorry!
  10. Translucent Porcelain

  11. Pottery for Everyman

    I haven't done too much throwing off the hump over the years, but I've started doing it again recently just to reevaluate my feelings about it. It's crazy how the pieces can get quite distorted when I'm transporting them to the bat (and mostly return to thrown shape when set down), and yet come out of the kiln without any sign of warping. For once, the clay seems to remember the shape I WANT it to remember.
  12. COOL ICE - CONE 6 - PORCELAIN CLAY

    I'm due for a trip to Seattle Pottery Supply in the next week or two anyway, so I'll grab a bag to test and compare and keep everyone posted.
  13. COOL ICE - CONE 6 - PORCELAIN CLAY

    Hi Mudma, This is another porcelain that definitely trims better with sharp tools. I often find myself swapping out tools, looking for one in my pile that's a little sharper. Reading all of these posts has made me want to try Frost, since I can get that locally instead of driving an hour to Tacoma. From what I'm hearing, it sounds like if I like NZ6 I'll also like Frost.
  14. After deciding what type of shelving I wanted, my first step was to measure my car (a VW Jetta wagon). Once I figured out what I could fit, I bought lumber and borrowed some power tools and created these. They're 5'3" tall and the individual shelves are 12" deep and 5'6" wide. I made two, one for either side of my booth.
  15. COOL ICE - CONE 6 - PORCELAIN CLAY

    Hi mudma (and everyone else), I'm new too. I've never used Frost, though reading posts in here I've been intrigued by it, and plan on trying it soon. (Also, it's good to read the reviews from Jim on Cool Ice and Frost.) You may be interested in another porcelain I just started using recently from Tacoma Clay Art, NZ6. While I'm getting more cracking than I'm used to and it shrinks a whopping 16%, it throws like a dream and is deliciously translucent. Here's a tumbler I made with it a few months ago. Hi Heidi, your tumbler looks great! Have you tried Tacoma's ^6 English Grolleg Porcelain? Just wondering how the NZ6 throws compared to that if you have tried it? Min Thanks! When that tumbler came out of the kiln (it was the first in the series), I was so happy with it that it immediately went into my cupboard. The only other porcelain I've tried since setting my own studio up 7ish years ago is the Dove I mentioned in my last post. I never realized I was unhappy with it until I decided I wanted to try something more translucent and bought the NZ6 on a whim. The NZ6 is just worlds easier to throw with and the fired surface is so much nicer than that of Dove that now I'm on a quest to find the perfect combination of workhorse, ease, and beauty.
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