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Tyler Miller

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About Tyler Miller

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    Ontario

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  1. Tyler Miller

    Strength of claybodies

    Toughness = tested by modulus of rupture. Edit: And I think this is tested by the slow loading they talk about. “Strength” = hardness—and the impact tests they do. Chipping is a function of low hardness, cracking via thermal stress is a function of low toughness. Their impact tests are different and geared to measure different things. It’s why cultures that use open flame cooking with ceramic prefer low fired earthenware (and by low, I mean like cone 017, low enough that it doesn’t ring). Also why hard paste porcelain was the holy grail of functional serving ware. The terms are a bit confusing, but the general take away is the same as the Arbuckle thread linked (though there’s a more formal discussion of this somewhere that she makes). Low fired is tougher, high fired harder. Terracotta for the cazuela, porcelain for the serving dish. At least, that’s my interpretation and experience.
  2. Tyler Miller

    Plasticity ! How to Measure ?!

    This says it best in scientific terms: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169131710003601 From the abstract “Despite the advance in the theory of the plasticity and the methods of measurement, a common procedure for all types of materials does not exist. The most important methods are those that simulate the conditions of real processing.”
  3. Tyler Miller

    Wide Range firing clay bodies

    Nevermind.
  4. Tyler Miller

    Engobe Questions

    Thanks for the clarification.
  5. Tyler Miller

    Why make functional ware?

    I think the truth is industry could make a superior product, but cost/benefit analysis led them away from that long ago.
  6. Tyler Miller

    Engobe Questions

    Nothing at all. I do feel the need to say that the former link of the two French engobe sites is very much earthenware only. Immediately apparent to a French speaker, but maybe not to a non-fluent, or non-speaking browser in the context of a discussion on cone 6 engobes. At cone 6 that much talc and frit might not play so nice. The text of the second link looks very familiar...
  7. I had a semi-ridiculous conversation back in January while working in a studio in town. The crux of my interlocutor’s point was “what’s the point of makig functional ware? Industry does it better, so why try?” She’s a tile artist, and this opinion came out to Tony Clennell on another occasion (according to her). His response was “well, clearly you don’t drink enough tea.” A response I liked. My answer, then unexpressed, is that I prefer a life of messy stories of provenance, and a thoughtful interaction with objects that maybe don’t quite fit, but have flair in their failings. It’s why I prefer OHL hockey to NHL. The showboating for the scouts, sometimes sloppy passes, and skill differences make for a better game. “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.” What’s your answer, why do you make functional ware?
  8. Tyler Miller

    Natural clay

    Gold and fireclay/kaolin tend to roll together as a geologic posse. LT’s advice about lime and feldspar might be worth knowing in greater detail. But it could also just be alluvial secondary clay usable as terracotta or a glaze base (like albany slip). Key pices of info are shrinkage rate and PCE (pyrometeic cone equivalent). Shrinkage rate is figured by forming bars of a fixed length (10 cm makes the math easy), measuring wet, bone dry, and then a few different firing cones (say, 010, 06,03, 1, 3, 6 etc). It is a good idea to fire these bars raised up on two chunks of kiln shelf. This way, if they slump, bloat, or otherise deform or crack, you’ll be able to see it readily. PCE is figured by firing a piece of clay formed into a “cone” of the orton pyrometric type and firing it until it bends like a cone fired to maturity. If you have kaolin or fire clay, you won’t be able to get that cone to bend for anything at home (because the PCE of those materials will be like cone 30). If you do get the cone to bend. Try firing a few test pieces of a fixed weight 4-5 cones lower. Measure the %absorption by soaking a piece in room temp water for 24 hours, and one piece in boiling water for 5 mins. Compare the weights of these soaked pieces to their dry weight. The % increase is your % absorption. Thinga to be aware of are: dunting (could mean excess free silica turning to cristobalite)—LT’s suggestions are good here; Bloating meaning over fired (you also see this with a clay best used as earthenware); and drying cracks or cracking during firing from stress. I find this happens in bodies with a high water of plasticity. Once you know all this, you have enough information to determine what to do with this clay. Or if you find it’s not workable, glazes can be fun. Good luck and post results! Oh! One last thing! Dry a chunk of the clay and chuck it in some vinegar. If it fizzes from specific points, you have limestone pieces in the clay which will cause lime pops once fired. This is a fault, but not necessarily a fatal one. Some mexican tiles exhibit lime pops, as do many SW Ontario bricks of the yellow type.If the clay all fizzes, you have marl, which is workable as an earthenware with some work. Delftware was made with marl historically.
  9. Tyler Miller

    Up to what temp can I vent?

    It should be said, gas is a much more forgiving firing method than electric. Wood too. Burning hydrocarbons produces water as a byproduct. Very different than electric’s 0% humidity. I’m of the hollow it out camp, but mainly because I like light pieces aesthetically. I’ve had a few thick pieces dunt, but I usually cool stuff quick. Peter Voulkos’ stacks look pretty thick? I dunno—it’s all about what you want and what you can make work (and what you can feel good about selling) as an individual artist.
  10. Tyler Miller

    Yixing Clay cone?

    It will for a good long while. But as it ages its absorbency might decrease. It’s a beautiful sculpture.
  11. Tyler Miller

    Yixing Clay cone?

    Water tight is a relative term. They get pretty sweaty until the tea begins to seal. Cone 1-2 gets my vote as how to fire. I think you’re on the right track there. I use this pot almost every day. It’s made from local terracotta fired to behave like yixing (like many of the touristy knock offs). I fired it to cone 02. https://instagram.com/p/BBqIiTLr12v/
  12. Tyler Miller

    Yixing Clay cone?

    Proper yixing is fired pretty high, like cone 8. I would follow the store’s directions with this product, however. Porous teapots are lovely. I’ve made a few myself and I love drinking tea from them.
  13. Tyler Miller

    Pressure gauge reading

    Linda, Thanks for the photos, they do help clarify a lot. It’s definitely not a conversion, which is good to know too.
  14. Tyler Miller

    Pressure gauge reading

    Linda, would you mind posting a photo of the entire kiln? I’m thinking this kiln might have some other things we should see. You said it’s an Estrin kiln, I’d like to see which one. An Estrin with a perfect fire controller (to my Canadian ear) sounds like an electric model of kiln. Which is why I’d like to see the whole thing. There are a few things that don’t make sense about it. My worry is that this has been a conversion job poorly executed. Edit: I’m convinced this is a poorly done conversion for the purposes of casting aluminum. The kiln structure taken from an old Estrin, the burners from an old gas updraft. The temp limitations, weird controller-solonoid setup, insufficient draft, all point to this being the case. You can pick up an Estrin kiln for basically free in BC on Kijiji, and burner parts are always on hand at the kind of metal shop this came from. This might be a lot of work.
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