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williamt

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About williamt

  • Rank
    Advanced beginner, maybe

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

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Southeastern US
  • Interests
    Everything!!! Which sometimes presents a challenge :)
  1. Another Fine Mess

    The elements are a mess! I too use a stick to check if I'm getting close.
  2. One thing only touched on briefly in the above is kiln condition, specifically elements. Is your kiln oldish? I have been using a used kiln that I purchased for a couple of years. I got into the habit of using a cone pack, especially for my cone 5/6 firings. The kiln controller began erroring out, cones showed underfiring. Time for new elements. The cones and my firing log really helped narrow it down to the elements (rather than some other issue). Since you are new to ceramics and your kiln, you should use the cones to help you understand what is going on inside your kiln. Good luck Lee
  3. Hi all, I just finished stripping the old elements out of two kilns. One kiln is getting new elements, the other is going to get a gas burner. Anyway, what do y'all do with your old kiln elements. I've thought of incorporating them into a multimedia object, or making springy yard art, pitching them,etc. What are your thoughts - think of this as a fun exercise Lee
  4. Obvara After Pit Firing

    Those are really cool. I love the variation in color and texture you are getting. Also the form is really nice! Is the clay body white or tan? Lee
  5. I would say there is no such thing as cheating. You are just augmenting. If you really want to learn about the clay in its natural state, you need to do some test firings at various temperature before you augment it. Also, does it throw at all after the initial processing? How hot can you fire it? A lot of local clay tends to be earthenware type in our area. Also measure shrinkage when firing to various temps. Next would be finding a glaze that fits.
  6. Would be interesting to see a picture. Pitching them is probably best. There is a good chance if you glazed and fire to 05, you would have a glaze mismatch and it would craze or shiver.
  7. On the issue of longer fire times, how old are the elements in your kiln? or how many firings at cone 6? I had a couple of over firings because the kiln was taking too long to get to temp and too much heat work occurred. I'm currently changing elements! The cone does look bloated.
  8. Obvara After Pit Firing

    Thanks Evelyne. I don't know about specialist, I just know a little about yeast:) I think there was a thread here a couple of weeks ago asking about milk glaze. And some discussion. Lee
  9. Outside Sculptures

    Stoneware should be ok. When fire to its maturity temperature stoneware is usually not very absorbent. You don't mention which stoneware you are using, but you should make sure it's one that doesn't absorb water at more than 1 or 2 percent. I'm talking in the cone 6 range. If glazing, you need something that fits well on the body you are using. Crazing and shivering will allow moisture to get under the glaze. In freeze thaw cycles, the glaze may start coming off. My limited experience with stoneware, outside, in the conditions you describe usually has resulted in some breakdown somewhere in the system. Though it might take years or one winter! That can be part of the beauty and education of a piece outside - to see how it changes over time. Lee
  10. Obvara After Pit Firing

    The yeast are using the sugar as an energy source. The sugar is converted to ethanol. The yeast also use the flour as a food source, so some of the flour is transformed. I imagine that what you have on the outside is a carbon, protein, yeast polymer of some complexity. Think that skimmy stuff on top and the char in the bottom, mixed, you get when you burn milk. On the tannin question - if the tannin does anything but burn up, I'd think any source would do. It could enhance the color of the polymer I mention above.
  11. Red Oxide

    SMB, if you are doing reduction firing you can get the line described above. In cone 6 oxidation, the iron oxide usually fluxes into the clear glaze. In reduction the iron oxide reduces to metallic iron. I'm thinking SMB is looking for an iron oxide red, though black would also be appropriate. If you are going for an old Iroquois pottery look, it would be fired, probably less than cone 06, in a wood/pit fire, and would have areas of oxidation and reduction. Lee
  12. Red Oxide

    I guessing you are putting the iron oxide on leather hard and bisque fire? Or coloring bisque ware? I've tried both ways using iron oxide wash and high iron oxide containing slip. At cone 6 most of the iron oxide dissolved into the clear glaze - I think the fluxing action gets involved. At cone 06 I have had better luck with the iron staying on the work and out of solution with the clear glaze. Lee
  13. If someone did put bleach in, you are probably getting all manner of nasty chlorine compounds off when you fire, so, yes, ventilate as much as you can, more than usual if possible. You could probably un-bag the clay, outside, cut it up into thin slabs and let it air out all the way to bone dry. Then throw it in a bucket and add water back to reconstitute. It's possible that in the airing, most of the chlorine will "evaporate" or dissociate from the clay. Though some might stay bound in the clay matrix. Good luck Lee
  14. What Did I Inherit In My Buckets?

    Test, don't use on functional, food ware. Could be interesting on sculptural pieces. There is a problem with disposal since you don't know what it is. I have a problem with just dropping stuff in the trash if I don't know what it is. Also, you say there is a word or two on each bucket. Is it anything that might give you a clue that it is a commercial glaze? Still a long shot, and your still not sure. But if you could match up some of those words it might give you a chance at narrowing down possibilities by comparing your tests to color charts. Lee
  15. Hi all. Good suggestions here. I like the flower idea. I will offer that adding inexpensive wooden spoons, etc to a utensil holder or a ball of yarn to a yarn bowl also works wonders. A story from a consumer point of view that might be appropriate. I was at a medium local art show and needed some ironwork, so I walked around and found 3 people doing this type work. The first I approached and asked if he did custom work. He did. I started talking with him about my project. At that point the second blacksmith wandered up. I said hi. Then the first guy just blew me off and stuck up a conversation with his blacksmith buddy and both proceeded to ignore me. I think I just stared, said something like "guess you aren't interested" and walked off. The third guy seemed somewhat interested but I could not get him to engage. I ended up going to another show and talking with the folks from the Memphis Metal Museum. They showed interest took my info, followed up, helped me with my design, worked through a couple of iterations on paper, and made some work that I will be proud to display and made a pretty good sale in the process. I will let you add your own moral here Lee
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