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Benhim

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  1. Like
    Benhim got a reaction from GreyBird in Bright Colors - Especially Orange   
    I once poisoned myself with Manganese. I was mixing glaze early in my academic career and was not taught the proper precautions for handling the material. It was marked with a skull and cross bones, but I figured all I needed to do was not eat it or breath it. I got it on my hands because the flimsy spoon I was using snapped and popped manganese on my hands. I figure I'll just wash it off after I'm done mixing. To my surprise when I went to wash my hands 10 minutes later the manganese was all but gone. My hands had been coated in black powder, I couldn't figure out what had just happened. I spent the next two years in moderate pain as my liver and kidneys tried to process a substantial dose of the heavy metal out of my system. It sort of felt like I'd swallowed a couple of softballs and washed them down with a pitcher of cement. It's very easy to poison yourself.
  2. Like
    Benhim got a reaction from Cate Donoghue in pots cracking months later   
    When I test a new glaze I put it through the ringer. I scratch at the tests with forks and knives and pottery shards which I know will leave a mark in most glazes to check glaze durability. Once I've soaked it in water, thrown it in the freezer, microwave and oven, then dropped it on the floor and eventually broken it, I know what my customers can expect to receive. If the pots don't seem to hold up, to normal wear and tear like in a recent case I don't use the glaze for functional ware. I've got a beautiful glaze which is completely safe, however it's a bit soft when wearing on it with flatware. I go beyond what's considered normal use so that when a customer has a problem I know how to handle it. Generally it's much easier and cheaper to help a disgruntled customer by replacing ware that's been damaged or broken. The difficult part is figuring out whether you've got a real problem in your work or not.
  3. Like
    Benhim got a reaction from Cate Donoghue in Does Anyone Out There Truly Support Themselves With Their Ceramics/pottery?   
    Right now the only way I'd actually support myself with my ceramics is if I threw an athletic supporter. Maybe one of these days.
  4. Like
    Benhim got a reaction from Pyewackette in Buying first kiln   
    I have a Skutt 818P, which is a great first kiln. The only problem I have with mine is that it's older and has the old style envirovent which pulls too much air through the kiln. The new envirovent does not have this problem. I prefer to fire my kiln in a covered patio situation where the kiln stays completely dry, but the air circulates removing potentially harmful chemicals from the area. In doing this the envirovent is not really necessary. Firing this kiln with out the envirovent is awesome. The kiln is powerful, not too big allowing for small quick loads, not too small for a beginner, energy efficient, easy to fire.
     
    One serious draw back of a 110 kiln is the inefficiency of 110 power. I'd consider this carefully, because I'm told that the small 110 kilns cost almost as much as my 818P which is only a couple dollars a pop.
  5. Like
    Benhim got a reaction from Pyewackette in Buying first kiln   
    Yes 220 single phase is fairly economical and user friendly. The 110's aren't going to be of use to you much at all unless it's got a digital control. Even then I'd still want a small test kiln with a digital control that was 220 single phase for thrift and power. The smallest kiln recommended to me when I was looking was the one I bought. Now looking at my situation it was over all a good purchase because I got a great deal. If you're not totally learned I wouldn't spring for anything bigger. Now I'm at the point that I want a large production kiln and a digital controller. I will still use my 818P no matter what because it's a cheap way to fire off small amounts of work. I pack in two medium sized vases and about 10 good sized cups or mugs in a glaze load.
  6. Like
    Benhim got a reaction from Pyewackette in Buying first kiln   
    I have a Skutt 818P, which is a great first kiln. The only problem I have with mine is that it's older and has the old style envirovent which pulls too much air through the kiln. The new envirovent does not have this problem. I prefer to fire my kiln in a covered patio situation where the kiln stays completely dry, but the air circulates removing potentially harmful chemicals from the area. In doing this the envirovent is not really necessary. Firing this kiln with out the envirovent is awesome. The kiln is powerful, not too big allowing for small quick loads, not too small for a beginner, energy efficient, easy to fire.
     
    One serious draw back of a 110 kiln is the inefficiency of 110 power. I'd consider this carefully, because I'm told that the small 110 kilns cost almost as much as my 818P which is only a couple dollars a pop.
  7. Like
    Benhim got a reaction from Pyewackette in Buying first kiln   
    Yes 220 single phase is fairly economical and user friendly. The 110's aren't going to be of use to you much at all unless it's got a digital control. Even then I'd still want a small test kiln with a digital control that was 220 single phase for thrift and power. The smallest kiln recommended to me when I was looking was the one I bought. Now looking at my situation it was over all a good purchase because I got a great deal. If you're not totally learned I wouldn't spring for anything bigger. Now I'm at the point that I want a large production kiln and a digital controller. I will still use my 818P no matter what because it's a cheap way to fire off small amounts of work. I pack in two medium sized vases and about 10 good sized cups or mugs in a glaze load.
  8. Like
    Benhim got a reaction from JLowes in difference between manganese diox 325 and 200 mesh?   
    Far from, but I do read a lot. So I guess you could call me your "mr. read it all"
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