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Wind n Wing

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  1. I have an old Duncan Kiln that has seen many good years of service. I have had it for 20 of those years I bought it used and have recently replaced the elements in it. The shelves are original and are warping I usually fire to cone 04 for the first firing and then to a cone 6 for the final fire. It is an 15" octagon shelf that is being used. The shelves are 1/2" thick and are a yellowish color. Would appreciate any suggestions as to type and thickness I should be looking at. Don't do a lot of Glaze firing, but some and would like to do more. I recently saw an ad for shelf paper. and am not familiar with this product. Common sense tells me it is a liner to keep you shelves clean from glaze drips and runs. Do you replace it every firing or does it burn out in the firing, If you are familiar with shelf paper what are its pros and cons. Do you need to Kiln wash your shelves prior to using it or can you leave them bare. Thanks in advance for any help. RJ
  2. When I was traveling and doing shows a lot I always kept an eye out for something that caught my eye and talked to me. It wasn't always ceramic but it always touched me in some undefinable way. I greatly admire others talent and would happily barter or pay cash for a the opportunity to have a piece of the artist in my home or studio to admire and be inspired by. Lately the traveling for shows has been put on the shelf for awhile but I enjoy the pottery videos on YouTube and the Web especially the Koren Masters and African potters. The talent and resulting works it produces is so overwhelming and diverse I would need a LARGE museum like building to put everything I would like to be able to afford in. Perhaps someday PCH will ring my door bell with the $7000 weekly for life.
  3. I have many years of slip casting under my belt and will tell you that it isnt a hard thing to do as long as the viscosity is right for your clay body. The trickiest part is the timing for the preferred thickness of your bottles body and making sure the insides are completely covered with food safe glaze. Any air bubbles or pinholes in the glaze body will not turn out well for storing the beer. Something you might find handy before you finish desigining your mold would be to look at a site {like Bing.com} and check out images for ceramic beer bottles and mold manufacturers. Could be inspiring and maybe save you some work. I'm not into slip casting much these days prefer slab work. Hope this gives you another avenue to explore
  4. Chris, When I first started with clay it was with cone 04 slip. The rules were pretty clear and on the mark. But when some years later I moved into using pugged clay cone 6 for hand building and wanted to use more than one color or type ie: porcelain and stoneware. I was told hat I could only expect failure. What a joke that turned out to be. I always question and try things out for myself unless shown concrete proof. So not only do I mix porcelain and stoneware. I also mix my brands, Bray, Laugna, Immco ect. I also mix different colors, blacks,browns, reds and the list goes on. Presently I have 7 different colors and 6 different brands in my studio. The only thing I look for is the firing cone and shrinkage rate. Now I am not building any large or heavy pieces but I haven't had any problems in the last 15 years. My advice on taking advice is take it with a grain or shaker of salt. And experiment we all learn alot from sucess and failures both. RJ
  5. Mosaic Birdbath

    Mark, Sounds like a pool builder will be my best bet. Since I live in the Northeast corner of Montana and the nearest Pool supply is at least 250 miles away I will have to reasearch this further via Phone or Web. But since people swim in pool water and ocassionaly swallow it, [how well can u float lol} I would think it would be safe for birds less the pool chemicals. Thanks for the suggestion. RJ
  6. I have been creating Stoneware and Porcelain hanging Birdbaths and Feeders for a number of years now and have recentlly been giving thought to adding mosaic birdbaths to my line of garden pieces. I would appreciate any suggestions as to the type of glue/mastic/adhesive that is safe to use in this type of work. Grout suggestions would also be welcomed. I am always aware of potential poisining of the birds and I am a firm advocate of do no harm. I will be using old small satillite dishes for the under base and covering with my designs. The dishes are metal and would be covered on the bathing side with tile, grout and adheasive the underside will be painted with rust proof paint. I know there are lots of creative individuals out there full of experience and hope you can share some of it with me. Thanks a bunch. RJ
  7. Have you given any thought to using stiff bristled brushes that you could pounce the clay with. Cheap house painting, paint brushes 2" to 4" wide work nice. I find my texture brushes in the house cleaning section of the hardware store or where ever a store (grocery or Big Box) keeps the cleaning supplies. You have quite a bit of control over where and how much texture you want. I have even used an old paint brush used for painting the house or trim that wasnt rinsed out in time and has stiffened and split in clumps for interesting texture.
  8. I was just viewing the recent forum on Slab Cutters and checked out the sites that were posted. Neil added a link to a Ceramic Supply site as did another member. Those were ones I was unaware of. So I got to wondering what else is out there that I or others like me would find helpful and informative that we dont know about. So how about sharing your favorite clay sites that might be of interest to your fellow potters. The you tube site that was on the slab cutter forum was very enlighting also. There is a wealth of info out there if we only know where to look. So new to clay or experienced wont you share with the rest of us. Thanks RJ
  9. Wheels on everything. I have put wheels (the locking type) on all my shelving, tables and under my 5 gallon scrap buckets ( plant pot holders on wheels for the buckets). The older I get the less I am able to lift so wheels are a great help. Plus if a table needs to serve double duty from one task to another I am able to re-arrange easily. Another thing I like to use are strands of chain hung from the floor joists (basement studio) to hang tools or whatever. On my shelving I like to use 2x4"s to stack staggered, for my glaze and stain jars. Plastic baskets that stack are another space saver for me. Any type of rolling cart for storage works well for me. Space on the wall painted with blackboard paint by my kilns to keep track of what is going on. I stack boxes of clay on 2 2x4" boards to keep the clay off the floor. Since I dont have a plumbed sink drain I use a bucket under the drain and keep water usage to a minuim by using a small garden sprayer ( hand pump) to rinse off tools table tops and anything else that needs clean up. Would love to see some photos of how others arrange their workspace.
  10. I used to do alot of poured low fire pieces in days gone by. Some of the mold companies you should look up are Dona, Riverview, Duncan and Alberta plus Doc Holiday. They all carry a good selection of ornament molds. Hope this helps. RJ
  11. Chris, Are you referring to firing with the lid partially open or venting after firing. I usually wedge the lid open on my kiln (electric) after it has finished firing. But I give it a 12 hour cool down before doing that. I have been doing that for the past 20 years and haven't lost a load or partial load yet. I have two Duncan kilns and will even go so far as to open the bottom peep hole in addition to wedging the lid open. I am firing to a cone 6 and dont glaze. Dont think I would trust this process if I was glazing. To fast a cool down could ruin the load. RJ
  12. Mural and tile making

    Just fininshed watching the video. I am pretty much at a loss for words. Humbling is one that comes to mind. I figure I would need about 100 lifetimes to start to come close to producing that kind of Art. This is why we never run out of ways to grow and expand when working with clay. I am sure other artists in different fields feel the same way with their chosen medium. But for me there is something addictive about clay. Each day I learn somethling new. People ask me when I am going to retire, my answer is when you find my cold lifeless body draped over my clay table. Then you can consider me retired. Just for the record I am in no hurry to retire .
  13. Glaze Crystals

    John, Sounds like Frit is a ways off in my future. Think I will try your method of underfired glaze chips,flakes,crystals. Seems safer and more to what I had in mind. Thank you very much for your input and direction. No hot flying glass for me. RJ
  14. Glaze Crystals

    John, A quick clairification of difference between Frit and Flakes. I am understanding your explanation as frit is glass and the flakes you described are glaze that isnt fired to maturity until they are fired to the actual cone I would be working with for the final result. Have I got the jist of it? RJ
  15. Glaze Crystals

    John, Thank you. I have very limited experience with glazes as most of my work is fired but unglazed. But will give it a shot. Could be very educational for me. I have been in my comfort zone for many years time to stretch. And I will of course Test, Test, Test. RJ
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