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Joseph F

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Everything posted by Joseph F

  1. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    I am home now so I am going to reply about the thickness/pinhole/spots thing. From the testing I did with oil spots. The thicker it is the bigger the spots, and the more pinholes you get. I think they both look really good. Can't wait to see your grid post.
  2. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    Beautiful stuff. Thanks for sharing.
  3. @GEP That dolan 460 is interesting. I can't imagine trimming with it at all... I guess it just confirms how each potter will find the tool for them. The tool I use the most is the top left A tool. If I was buying again I would get the A rounded tool instead as the curve is much better for trimming outsides of bowls. I guess it sort of resembles your 460 tool if you used the big rounded end. Which I do use a lot on certain things. I mostly use the flat edge and the sharp corner though. But I would really like to get one of his hook tools for digging into a foot of a pot. However I have been doing so much hand trimming with a wooden knife now on my new banding wheel I am not sure I will trim yunomi feet anymore on the wheel. The tool I used to use the most was this one: I really like the way Michael Sherrill made this tool(Do All Trim Tool). The shovel side is soo fantastic. and the hook/smooth bend is great too. I would rather use this over my bison tool, the issue is it gets dull so fast when I wedge in grog and sand into my clay bodies. I have to sharpen it nonstop which really is annoying considering how many surfaces it has to sharpen. @TonyC If I was starting out trimming, the tool above is what I would get. It can do almost any job well and after using it, you will understand what your looking for in a trimming tool a lot better. It is sort of untraditional as it isn't a loop type tool, but don't let that fool you, it works really well. The shovel makes the most marvelous bowl shapes so easy to trim, and the hook can dig into a foot and peel out clay before you finish off the inside surface with the shovel at an angle. Also the long hook edge can be used to make beautiful long cuts into wide feet. I should note that I trim at very slow speed and take out large chunks of clay, so that has a huge impact on how sharp I like my tools. I don't use the force of the wheel going around to add the effort I need for my tools to cut, which is why I use the bison ones. When I see videos on instagram of people trimming with little tiny pieces flying off it feels so odd to watch it.
  4. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    More off topic here: I agree that glazes can be very hard to photograph. Usually the more interesting the glaze the harder it is to photo correctly, so there is a major problem there. But with some good note taking and detailing it should be doable to a point. Glazy is awesome and Derek Au has a lot of great articles and free stuff he shares, the issue with everything that I see involving online recipes is that all the information they contain besides what cone it was fired to, is picture and recipe. There is never a schedule, an application process, what clay body, what glazes go good over it etc. So what ends up happening is you take a recipe and mix it up, then fire it and you get something completely different. So you just abandon it right away the majority of the time. What we really need in the glaze testing world is a standard for sharing. Basically a uniform method of sharing a glaze recipe that includes more than just: here is a picture, cone6, recipe, and good luck. However again, this is mostly unlikely as I think most potters who do the work for their own glazes probably don't want to share as there isn't much in it for them besides their work being duplicated which seems to be really popular. Glaze tiles are like humble brags in all honesty. Look at this! Then 10 people ask how you got it, and the author never responds. I have even done this if I am being honest here. Now I mostly refrain from posting anything interesting to avoid this whole conflict. Further, you get into the topic of most single glazes are pretty boring, the real interesting stuff comes from layering glazes. Which is an entire new combinational monster to document and test. 5 glazes is 5! (120) combinations of possibilities with just a single over layering. It can get daunting insanely fast. There is no perfect solution. I would at least like some type of standard along the lines of the following information to submit a recipe: Name Firing Type (Soda, Wood, Salt, Electric, Gas, ETC) Clay Body Name Schedule: (Default Controller, Slow Cool) Type of Surface: Matte, Satin, Glossy Application Thickness: (1 layer, 2 layer, 3 layer) Glaze Flow: (Runny, Normal, Stiff) I could go into more detail for my own glazes, but I mean these 7 points are super easy to provide and could drastically improve the glaze recipe world. If you don't wanna submit this information why even share a recipe in general? Ideally if I was building a software for sharing I would include some way to create schedules inside of your user profile, so that when you upload a tile you can just link one of the schedules you use with it. This would include the firing type as well to avoid extra process, and you could also have clay types that you work with. This way it would just be checking a few boxes or clicking a few drop downs, then typing the name, layers, and flow. Done. You should even be able to set defaults if your one of the type of people who shares often usually its going to be on x body, with y schedule and z firing type. What is even more important is later when people test things over other things the linking of data between glazes is of utmost importance. Say you like John's Blue, and you then test a glaze over it called Red Purple or whatever, when you upload the red purple tile, you can upload a tile with it over johns blue and tag johns blue, so that later when someone else comes along and is looking at johns blue they can see the variations from other glazes and vice versa . We are seriously lacking this information. Edit: Removed potential breaking of rules. If I am going to be pumping out thousands of glaze tiles and layering combination test and such, what am I going to do with all of it? Just because I don't like a tile and I trash it doesn't mean another person wouldn't like the glaze and all the variations and modifiers that go over it. I cleaned out my garage and I had over 400 small containers of glaze test batches from 3 years of glaze testing. This isn't including all the line blends and stuff that I had done in solo cups that dried and got tossed into my waste bucket. Anyways back to Currie discussion? Did you ever do more oilspot test with that cone 4 oilspot? I would love to see it on a pot. Edit: Upon reading this I realized the 400 containers sounded like a brag. I meant for it to show how horrendous I was at testing glazes in a good manner. I would just mix up 100g batch of a recipe and then if I wanted to test darkening it by 1% I would get another container, mix 100g again and test it. Never knew about all these volumetric and dry batch measuring processes. So I am sure other people are doing the same horrible mistakes.
  5. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    It is all so complicated when you factor in storage. I am not sure how well the trench plan will work. I will know more next week after I run a grid. Currently I am to busy with term projects to fool with anything. I am not sure I am too worried about the storage of tiles long term. I am assuming the C tiles will be mostly useless as vertical observations, but I don't want to jump to conclusions quickly. I was mostly thinking about documentation of the vertical tiles by picture, description, and surface type. Then trashing them. Otherwise I think I might get overrun with tiles pretty fast. I am going to be firing 100+ tiles for each grid basically. 35x3 + the flat tiles. I cant imagine keeping everything. There has to be some rigorous documentation somewhere. I was actually thinking about building some type of webapp for it or something. I love programming, but I only love it when I have an actual use that I need to resolve. This is probably going off topic, but I find that the way we test and record glaze data is really bad. Before and after glaze shots are super important for actual pieces along with the process of application. I usually do all this on paper, but a few months later I never can remember what went with what because there isn't a picture beside the description of the pot and if I kept every interesting test tile or pot I had made I would be out of room. I usually take a picture and label it. I tried doing this inside of insight, but I didn't feel like it was intuitive enough. I want something that flows much easier and I get tired of how insight does a few things. So I basically quit using it for glaze documentation and more for glaze development. I think I have said this before, but what I want in an app is a simple process of application methods, pictures of before and after, surface qualities and color variations. For example you have a glaze your working on. You create a page or whatever for it. On the page you have: Glaze Name, Description, Cone, etc .. basically all the ways you want to categorize it for searching through glazes. Then you have pictures of the base and grid tiles in high resolution. Then you put up work that was glazed in this glaze, including before and after shots with your notes. This way you could look through and see how you glazed a pot to get that effect. Then I would like to also have an area of tiles with color variations of line blends and such. And finally any time you find a good modifier to go over it you document those tiles as well and they appear in both glaze topics. So 2 years later you want a good matte base glaze that goes well with say: a fake ash glaze or something. You could search by tag: matte, fake ash and it would bring up tiles that had those tags together. Or you could just go to the fake ash section and look at tiles that had other bases that went well under it. This way over a life time you could record everything really well. I highly doubt this would be marketable though as most people don't do enough testing to warrant paying money for it. But for my personal use I think it would be wonderful. It would be fun to build as it would be pretty simple to do. Basically a database and a bunch of queries for the pages and then just display it in a simple static page load no reason to get all fancy.
  6. I second what Tyler says, that majority of them don't seem to have a real purpose/rules particularly for potters. I use one tool for 95% of my work. Maybe a way to see different tools in action would be to google trimming videos and just skip through them quickly, but even then I find most people use the same few tools. Edit: This guy makes his own trimming tools and uses a bunch of different angles. Maybe be worth going through a few of his trimming videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/hsinchuen/videos
  7. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    @curt Well said! I agree on the material waste. Not a big deal. 1200g of materials, mostly cheap flux, clay and silica are not a huge issue. At most I would assume a Currie test cost $6-7, and that is pushing it. I would say the average cost of a Currie grid test is around $3-4 in clay and glaze materials. The real issue is time. You spend a good hour and half doing the original tile, then if you do any additional mixes using the addition method I outlined you spend another 20 minutes for each additional mixing and such. So time is definitely the real issue here. For mixing the cups and test tiles. I am going to try slanting the cup so that the cup has more depth for the tile to go down into. I am also going to dip the tiles first then do the syringes. Because I just need a tiny amount to do a syringe, but I need a large amount for the dips. So I figure I will mix the cup I am working on, dip 3 tiles. Then syringe out 6ml and put 2 ml on each grid tile for that number. It will definitely add time to the overall process probably a good 30 minutes of additional time, but the grand plan is to see everything possible in one firing! If the slanted cup doesn't work, I will do what you are thinking and just increase the corner batches significantly so that the cups can have 60-70ml in them (500-600g corner batches). With the extra glazes in the cup from increasing the corner batches I can then default back to the incremental method I outlined. Because I can syringe out the entire cup and put back 40ml into the cup, squirt the rest into a waste bucket. Then I can have the ml needed to do incremental blending for SiC/colorants as each cup will contain the 40ml for easy blending. So even that will not be a waste. Of course now I am talking about 3-4 hours of work, and another issue of no verticle SiC tiles. lol. If we all keep this discussion going and continue to post any ideas and discoveries I am sure we can continue to optimize the process. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
  8. My annual $20 dollar immersion blender. Annual because I burn them up once a year mixing so many test batches of glaze. Won't be long till this one is dead, making some odd noises and smelly.
  9. Cold in Georgia. First time I ever had to warm up my controller due to the E-26 code. Gave it a good 10 minutes with a space heater on it and it was good to go. Firing a new schedule now with a slowing per hour slow cool. Wanting to try something slightly different.

    1. Show previous comments  11 more
    2. Marcia Selsor

      Marcia Selsor

      I have been an  organic gardener since 1971. But tropical TX was a new ball game. Bugs never experienced before..like lightning bugs with headlights rather than taillights, banana slugs, Mexican fruit flies, plus chachalacas (almost turkeys) eating tomatoes.

    3. Joseph F

      Joseph F

      Sounds awful! Fresh Organic food is so good. I am slowly turning my entire property into a garden over the next 10 years hopefully. One year at a time. I can't imagine how much you have learned gardening since 1971. Sounds amazing. 

    4. Marcia Selsor

      Marcia Selsor

      Here is a great tidbit. I was recently at a workshop at Red Lodge Clay center and met a woman from Bozeman. After lots of chatting, I mentioned I use to listen to an organic gardening radio show in Upstate NY in 1972 when I was firing  at 6 am. She knew the broadcaster. Show came from CT. Small world.

      45  years later she was going to tell him he had a fan out there.


  10. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    My slab roller will be here Friday. I have some projects to work on for school, but once its gets here I will probably try something like a tictac something to give it a little surface texture.
  11. microwave proof?

    I think the definitions for what your calling "oven proof" and "microwave proof"are probably important towards people answering this question. In reality nothing is "proof". If your using proof as part of your marketing language I would change it to "safe", which infers a sense of "intelligence required". For example, cars are safe, but people die in them every day. No car manufacturer would say this car is driving/wreck proof! because they would probably get sued the first time someone died in it. Just some thoughts. As far as your questions: In general, microwave safe is considered low absorption pottery. Meaning that if the pot isn't going to absorb enough water that when put into the microwave heats up the actual walls of the piece. If it does heat up, it means the pot is holding too much water and probably has a high absorption rating in the 3-4%+ range. Ideally if your making pottery that is to go in the microwave you want to use clay that when fired to maturity has an absorption rating of <1%. Oven safety is a completely different monster. You can have a perfectly fired strong industry made dish break in the oven because of ignorance. For example I just cracked a dish the other day because I was in a hurry and I wasn't thinking. I took a dish from my cold refrigerator and slapped it into a 425 degree oven. The dish didn't break in the oven but when I took it out of the dish washer I noticed a large crack down the entire thing. Woopsy. This was a well made dish from a reputable company as well. So there is no such thing in my opinion as "oven proof". Even if there was a really well made dish that touts oven proof, if you repeatedly shocked it the way I did. I bet it would crack just the same. I would say that any dish that passes the microwave safe test, also should be considered oven safe when used properly. Hope this helps. Good luck.
  12. single firing, cone 6 stoneware

    You can modify a scrap glaze pretty easy if you really want to. Mix up the scrap glaze really well, then take out 100ml of it for a sample of the main batch. Add some amount of coloring to it, make sure you record everything. Say you add 2 grams of dry copper carb or something, dip a tile, add 2 grams more, dip a tile, add 2 grams more dip a tile. Fire these tiles, find the one you like best. Estimate the amount of glaze in the bucket. If its a 5 gallon bucket half full just do the math. For example a 5 gallon bucket half full is roughly 9500ml. If you liked the 4 gram addition. That would be 4%. So you multiple 4% times 9500 and get 380. Thus you need to add 380 grams of copper carb to your big batch to get roughly the same coloring. Of course you and continue to add more later on so it might be best to do like 250-300g and fire it to make sure then add more until you get it right. You can also do this same thing if the scrap glaze is to runny or too stiff. Just add flux or clay in the same way.
  13. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    @oldlady Thanks for the idea. The scrabble tiles is genius but they need to be bigger. Min showed me this last night. http://debuse-on-the-loose.blogspot.ca/2013/01/how-to-custom-texture-mats.html I think that is the direction I am going to try. I gave up on the idea of adding some type of vertical surface on the grid itself and moved onto just using vertical tiles. However I still think this foam mat stuff could work brilliantly for creating a tile. I will probably just have to make several layers of squares in order leave an impressive deep enough for a grid tile to hold 2ml of glaze. But I can imagine getting my slabs rolled through with this perfect foam imprint on top of them. How amazing!
  14. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    @curt I definitely agree being able to tilt the tile and look at it in different lights and such is very important. Also just being able to feel the surface of each glaze and take a butter knife to it to see how each one changes in surface strength is really nice. With that being said it requires some guess work on the "what is the next step" part of thinking. When you only get information on the flat surface you have to infer the look of the vertical surface. Sometimes this is easy and sometimes it has been completely different than what I predicted. So in order to maximize the test I think some type of vertical surface is really needed. Otherwise you could be completely missing something totally amazing on a vertical surface that looks bland when flat. I mean that is the real issue here, as scientist we should look at all possible outcomes and explore all the data we can within reason. If we don't see all the glazes vertical as well, how can we know what all we are missing? We both know from doing these test that even tiny amounts of changes in the ratios can bring apart completely different surfaces and some that are remarkable and are snuggled right between two similar cells. If we are going to go through the work of mixing the grid, doing the cups, adding the fluid to the grid and firing the tiles, should we not go one step further and test every single tile vertical as well? I think we should if our desire is to find every possible remarkable glaze that we can. I understand that most people(99%) would think it is way too much work to run tiles on every single glaze and clay body. I am talking about 105 vertical tiles and 3 grids each time I run a Currie test now(3 clay bodies). The issue is that we have the glaze for the tiles. It is sitting there for us in a cup ready to be dipped. Why don't we do it? I wish Currie was alive so I could ask him over email. I assume he probably kept it simple because like Neil and others have mentioned in this thread, a lot of the glazes produced by the grid method are mostly useless for dinnerware. But if we are only working for dinner ware, we would be excluding discovery of glazes for half of the ceramic field who do sculptural work and pieces not designed for food. There is definitely a problem with running glaze test consisting of 100% flux. What is the point of it at all? Well I am not sure, but I intend to find out. I imagine in the end I might end up abandoning this idea all together. But I can't find any documentation on the net of someone actually trying this over a long period of testing. As far as catching the glaze run off for the really fluxy C corners. I think the rectangle test tiles in a trench slab should work fine. The best part about the flat rectangle tiles is they have no base to stand on, so after the firing, they can be laid out flat in the same pattern as the flat grid and look at how they change vertically across the grid as well. Even the ones that get stuck can just be broken loose from the trench slab. Most of this is theory. I will test soon and report back as always. Hopefully it will prove worth it. The one problem I think I will run into is thin glaze on top of the vert tiles. I am thinking about bisquing the tiles separately and to a really low cone like Cone 015 so that they are super absorbent. As when we normally test tiles we do things like, dip once, dip twice, dip the corner the third time or something. I don't have time to do that for 105 tiles! I am hoping that a tile fired to cone 015 will absorb glaze so quickly I can do a single long dip and get a thick surface that will resemble something between the second and third dip or a normal test. I am probably going do to a gradient dip. Dip the entire tile in for 3 count then do like a 3 count as I pull it out so that it goes from thinner to thicker on the way out. The last problem that I don't enjoy is I won't be doing incremental additions like I was before with SiC. Because I can't control the amount of glaze I am removing each time therefore I won't know within reason what amount of base still remains in the cup. Which means I won't be testing SiC as much as I had hoped to. My main plan for further SiC testing is just to find the glazes that I enjoy then do volumetric blending of SiC later on for the 2nd firing, this really bothers because again, I am missing results! If I wasn't going to do the work on 3 clay bodies I could continue to do the incremental testing, but my purpose for this is to explore, and having different backgrounds for glazes makes massive differences. ANYWAYS! I understand the desire to hold true to what Currie came up with, it is a brilliant solution to discovering glazes and looking at surface change as ratios change. It is probably my favorite thing to do. I still have tiles sitting on my desk right now that I go through often under studio lighting. But if we don't question things and push forward to better solutions why are we even testing glazes! I appreciate all the discussion and discovery talk. This thread has been wonderful to partake in. Definitely a great one. I value all your opinions!
  15. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    @oldlady I don't really want to buy the texture mats or add any type of thing to the surface. I really just want to be able to roll a slab through and have my mold instantly made at the same time. However I doubt that is a reality unless I figure out a way to do it with foam and plastic or something. I am going to try a few things to try to make it a happen, but if it doesn't end up working then I can just do it the way I have been doing it. ---- My real concern is getting more information out of a test with minimal effort but accurate results. I think I might have a solution to that as well. Now that I have a slab roller and I can roll a slab to the same thickness every time it means I can create uniform test tiles that are the same thickness as well. So I roll out a slab, put ruler over it and cut out a bunch of rectangles that are flat. Then I will just roll a slab of clay take a tool(made from the slab size I want) and make 7 trenches that are the same width as the tiles that I am using. Something like this: Then when I do a currie test I will have 2 tiles side by side, and 35 test tiles that are just rectangles. I will mix the cup with milk frothier, syringe the glaze into the square, then dip the tile into the cup and then place it into the trench on the other tile in the same place as the grid. Thus if any glaze runs or what ever it will be contained. This is a really fast way for me to get the all the information in a single firing! Of course it is doubling the amount of work per grid and it will eliminate the ability for me to do incremental test, but that is ok since I am going to be doing this three tiles: black ice, standard 365 and redrock. So I can't really use my incremental method since I will be draining the cups. So I wont be wasting all the glaze without all the information that I wasn't getting before. This also keeps me from having to mix the batches up again later for any interesting tiles I wanted to test and it solves me from having to have another firing. So even though it is more work up front I will get more details in one firing. Which means I can use the 2nd firing to test the glazes in combinations with other modifier and base glazes that I think go well with certain types of glazes. One problem I think I might have is depleting the cups so that I can't dip the tile. However I think I might just mix the cups, dip the 3 tiles for each clay and then do the syringe for each clay. So I will do all 3 grids and all 3 tiles for each cup. This way I only have to mix the cup one time per total 3 grid tiles and 3 test. I think I am going to try this as soon as I get my slab roller *hopefully this week*.
  16. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    @Magnolia Mud Research I am not too worried about kiln space. My kiln is practically always been fired for test since ive had it. It is 2.7CuFT. So I can fit a lot of test in there. I also fire vertical tiles as well after I run a grid test. I find several glazes I like on most grid test and I follow up with vertical test. The issue is that a lot of them end up being a poor example of what the glaze on the grid shows, I am sure we all know this. It is part of the problem with the grid method. It is fantastic to get a general idea of what is going on with the glaze, the melt, the coloring, and the surface, but it doesn't really show the true appearance of the glaze unless you only work in flat tiles. I have talked about this before. I would like to get the most information possible without sacrificing the grid for what it is. I think that a small mountain doesn't really change the results of the grid much at all but it does give a slight bit of information about what starts happening when the glaze gets the chance to be slightly vertical. I think it would allow me to better predict which glazes to further test with vertical tiles. Which would save me time, effort, kiln space and materials. Over a life time of testing this can add up to a lot of time. I don't like wasting time, so I try to avoid it as much as I can. The difficulty I am having is I don't want to carve 35 tiles with an indent. I thought about stamping the master mold with some type of stamp to create the small mountains. I don't know if this would distort it or not as they need to be pretty deep. Then I have the same problem with the grid tile itself being rolled over the mold. How can I be sure that the clay is going down in the mold. I would have to start with a rather thick piece of clay and roll over it several times. Again. Difficulties. Maybe the best solution is just to dip 35 tiles and fire them on a slab of clay to get a vertical test at the same exact time. It is a thought.
  17. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    LT, All the slabs I have made up until now have been handmade by beating the clay into a square shape with my palm quickly, throw pulling it until its pretty much even, then I take two dowels and roll pin it even cut the slab and then lay it over my mold that I carved out of clay and bisque fired. I then roll it over 1 time and I have a uniform grid. I flip it onto a board and pull off the bisque tile mold and done. What I would like to do is make a slab with my slab roller like normal, then just lay a mold on top of it and roll it through the slab roller 1 time and have a perfect mold without all the effort. I really want them the same exact size and I want them the same thickness and uniform shape. This is so that I can stack them with wadding between them for extra space in my kiln for the other tiles I am going to be firing. I did some experimenting a few months back with the idea of a standard tile but with a mountain that was sloped on it. Here was what I tested, although I never ended up carving the large slab I prepared for this grid. This was just an example I made quickly the actual tile would have more flat area around the mountain and in the front. I was thinking something like a 1.5'' grid square with .5'' of it being the mountain and the rest being flat. Just looking at this example you can see how much more information is shown just by the slight decrease. The glaze is clearish and glossy on a vertical surface, but matte and grey when on a flat surface. Sorry for the blurry pictures.
  18. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    @Min I don't think any idea is garbage. All ideas start somewhere. I totally didn't get what you were saying now that you retyped it. That makes more sense. I see what your saying. To cut some foam squares the same as the grid tile. Glue them to a flexible plastic or something then roll the clay over that, as it would push into it. That makes perfect sense and could work really well. Brilliant!
  19. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    @Min This is a good idea, but I am not exactly sure what your saying. I was thinking of some type of foam, as it wouldn't crack under the pressure. Edit: I just reread what you said. That might actually work. I think I understand now. I have another friend who showed me some kind of way to make a soft plastic mold. Basically I would make a grid out of clay, then use clay to make a mold of that counter grid. Then put it in a box and pour out some type of silicon/plastic type material that sets. But it never gets super hard. It might be more trouble than it is worth. I tried my best to find some type of custom silicon mat type company online and I couldn't find anyone who could do the job. I found plenty of people selling all types of clay silicon mats that were already cut, but no one who would make a custom one. The only issue with silicon is it is probably to soft for making grids. I don't know all of this type of thinking is new to me. But I definitely need to make grids faster, as I am going to be doing 12 or so a week if I can keep to my testing production plan. I need to figure out how I am going to modify the grid tiles first. There is no reason not to have some type of slight elevation inside of each of the 35 grids. It makes no sense to not have some type of slope in it. I am sketching ideas currently. But mostly I have been focusing on throwing jars and lids lately. I am kind of entranced with the design of a jar. Just for reference this is the type of mat I would like to use. https://www.chineseclayart.com/Store/Textures It seems to be perfect for the job as it is a type of rubber plastic. It seems to leave deep impressions and would work really well.
  20. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    @oldlady You are inside my head. I am currently looking into a method to place the mold on top of a slab then roll through again. If I can't figure it out I will go back to the previous method of making a slab then placing it on top of the bisque mold I am using now, then rolling pin pressure into the mold. I am thinking some type of silicon or softer plastic mold that is slightly flexible that can handle going through the roller. If I actually figure it out I will definitely post it.
  21. What are cone temperatures

    The key thing is heat work. It is completely different than temperature. The kiln controller tries to estimate it by using temperature and time. But the only way to truly know is to confirm it using cones. That being said you don't need cones every firing. Once you know the kiln is firing to where you want it to be there isn't a real need to use cones again unless you want to check again, or your making changes to you firing schedule, or you suspect a problem is arising by noticing glaze differences/clay. If your firing to cone 6. I recommend replacing the cone 5 with cone 5.5, Orton sells them. I emailed them asking some serious questions about the cone 5 cone. It made no sense to me how far away in temperature it was from cone 6. They agreed and informed me that is why they make a 5.5 cone. So if your going to order some get: 5.5, 6 and 7. This way you can accurately see where your at.
  22. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    hahaha. I can imagine doing that. I now think of everything in terms of volume + dry mixing. Now that I have the ability to calculate a ratio of wet to dry in a mix. I can easily estimate the dry amount needed to add. It is fantastic what a little work will lead you to discover improvements in your processes. When I used to mix glazes for testing colorants. I would weigh out 5 batches individually.... now I just mix up a batch, and do a certain ml into each one, calculate the dry ingredients in that cup and mix the appropriate % I want to add. So much better. I am really enjoying the exploration aspect. I recently decided to give up any real pursuit of being a production potter in order to be a glaze and surface scientist potter profession thingy?! I am actually studying chemistry makeups of ingredients now in my Out of Earth Into Fire book. That isn't to say I don't think production pottery isn't awesome, it is. It just isn't where my heart is in this world of ceramics. I was talking to a friend about his business and stuff and I was telling him to quit beating his head against the wall trying to force something that he doesn't want to do, and just adapt to what he wants to do. Then on the way home I realized that I am not even taking my own advice. The whole idea of electric kilns and what they can do is still in its infancy. They are beautiful machines that produce consistent glaze results, it is up to us to figure out the rest of the glaze equations. My slab roller should arrive this coming week I think. I estimate I will be making hundreds of tiles very soon. Lots of testing!
  23. I made the plunge and bought a shimpo banding wheel. I must say it turns rather nice. Looking forward to trimming some yunomi on it with my wooden knife.
  24. Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

    I am practically good friends with the hatter.