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  1. When I am putting bone dry clay in water to get it to turn into slip or to reclaim it, it can make a fizzing sound. I also hear this fizzing sound if there is a little bit of clay left on the middle of a bat that had been wired off and I put water on it. I had a piece that I made that was kind of close to bone dry, but the rim warped a little due to what I left it to dry on. I decided to try to keep spraying it with water and see if I could get it workable again to round out the rim. I was able to do so after carefully spraying and coming back and spraying again. Near the end of this, around when I started to get plasticity in the rim, I was getting bubbles in that part of the clay. I'm assuming that this is the same as the fizzing that I hear when slaking down clay. What's going on?
  2. You're right that cost isn't the only factor. I don't really want to put in the extra effort, but I probably have more time than money these days. I have access to a mixer so I wouldn't have to buy any equipment, but I'd have to do some wedging.
  3. Thanks! I guess to follow that up, if I am mixing clay and let's say I have 200 lbs of dry materials, should I shoot for adding about 60lbs of water? And for comparison, that would give me 260lbs of moist clay?
  4. I'm thinking about mixing my own clay from raw materials. I'm wondering what percent of the weight of moist clay is water so I can calculate how much cheaper it may or may not be to mix my own and decide if it makes sense. I've searched the internet but can't find what I'm looking for. I have access to a mixer but not a pug mill.
  5. Yeah I think mid fire is a good option. I'm doing all cone 10 right now but also have access to low fire glazes somewhere else. Some porcelain, some stoneware. Neat, thanks for the info. I will definitely glaze the inside at least first if I do this. The low fire glaze would be coming out of those jars. Do you have any idea whether painting cmc gum over the area to be low fire glazed would work? Or would some amount of glaze have to be removed from the jar, cmc gum added, then discard what is not used? Or just dump it back into the jar?
  6. Let's say I want to make something with high fire clay that needs to be fired to cone 10 for vitrification. Let's say I also want to use some premixed low fire glazes such as are used in schools on cone 05-06 earthenware. What would happen if I fire the piece to cone 10, then paint it with the low fire glazes, then fire to the low fire temperature. Will this work out okay or will the clay and glaze be incompatible in some way? Does it matter that the clay body will not be as open and porous when painted as it would be if it were just bisqued normally?
  7. I'm using Armadillo brand clay. I will mix Balcones White and cone 10 Porcelain. Maybe this will be kind of like Laguna B-Mix, which is more expensive here.
  8. What is the worst that could happen if I mix a smooth stoneware with a porcelain? What do you expect would be the likely results?
  9. Do pottery wheels ever go on sale? Or are they always full price? (Note: if it says "list price" or "msrp" is $1000 and every place seems to sell it for $900, the actual full price is $900)
  10. Maybe you can get to the noisy part and lubricate it or replace a component
  11. I didn't look there first because most of what you find there has to do with the use of things. I haven't seen too much about the manufacture on there, though and a lot of them don't understand it. There's a lot of mysticism and discussion of things like "authenticity" of the tea pots. People talking about how the different shape of the tea pot in which the tea is brewed in imparts a different flavor to the tea... I guess you know about this as you talked about "the real thing" I see you've been there too. Anyway, I found one thing that talks about purple clay, red clay, and green clay. Looks like you actually posted on that thread. I'm going to assume having special clay from a certain area of China doesn't matter. But I'd like to use clay with similar properties that is hopefully less expensive to purchase here in the USA than importing special clay from overseas. I'm sure you already know all about this, but in case anyone else here reads this and is curious, I wanted to find a link that explained the general concept. I couldn't find any good text, so I found and I'll type a small part of it out: And then you're supposed to never wash the item with soap or scrubbing, you just rinse it out and it builds up a patina of tea residue that contributes positively to future brewings. I tried this before with a glazed cup, but the tea patina would flake off sometimes. So I'll have to try it again with my own "fake" yixing items that are unglazed or unglazed on the inside. John, have you used any of these "special" clays? If so, can you tell me anything about their properties? Or where to source some of the "real thing" so I can price it or decide if I really have to try some out? Thanks
  12. Perhaps partially. Part of the idea though is that they are not glazed (at least on the inside) so that the tea soaks in or stains the item and imparts a lasting flavor or something like that.
  13. What kind of clay should I be using to make Yixing ware? It looks like they usually use a dark brown clay. Does it have to be dark brown or could I use white? Also, it looks like the clay is pretty smooth (not a lot of grog or sand?) but the dark brown clays I find seem to all have grog/sand.
  14. As mentioned, you can silk screen. Stencil would also work as would hand painting. I use stamps to imprint letters into pieces when leather hard. You could brush black paint into the stamped letters and sponge off the excess on the unstamped surface.
  15. Thanks, exactly the kind of response I was looking for. Sounds like maybe Shimpo is out along with the Pacifica. I wonder if it is less of an issue with the Bailey and Skutt wheels. at .5hp or maybe 1hp. Have you ever been able to stop your Bailey from starting up or stopped it at low speed?
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