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Callie Beller Diesel

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Everything posted by Callie Beller Diesel

  1. Callie Beller Diesel

    HELP! Cone 5 glaze firing going over 16 hours now!

    I find my relays stay on towards the top end of my cone 6-7 firings, so no clicking sounds. Firing by colour is surprisingly accurate, and might be your best indicator at the moment of how hot things got. You won't know for sure until you are able to open it. I know this comes too late, but next time you might want to set your limit timer for an hour longer than your usual firing time.
  2. Callie Beller Diesel

    Makin a living with electric kilns at cone 6?

    I'm making my living out of a 7 cu ft electric in my back yard. I do about half as much weight as Mea does, but I'm still building my business: I'm only in 3 1/2 years at this point. I was originally trained at cone 10, but I was obliged to learn cone six chemistry because of availability. In my area, gas kilns that you build yourself are regulated under the same section of the building code as industrial boilers and tar sands equipment. This didn't mean much until a couple of industrial accidents meant that code enforcement for custom built gas heated appliances got pretty draconian across the board, and certain pieces of equipment, like burners, are now only sold to you if you have a gas fitters ticket. (Good for workers, but a PIA for potters.) The upshot of this is, you can't build your own gas kiln anymore, and the pre-built gas kilns that come already certified are not a purchase someone who's building a business with no bank loan can afford right off the hop. Think $2000 for an electric vs $10,000 for the gas. Gas kilns now are only in arts centres, colleges and residencies that have the budgets for them. So all but the older potters in my area that have been grandfathered in are making a living out of electric kilns. I decided when I made my permanent switch that rather than bemoan the loss of the surfaces you get in gas reduction, I'd embrace brighter colours and learning more glaze chemistry. Electric firings are definitely much easier than gas, but I'm personally finding cone six glaze chemistry is more interesting at this point. I'm playing more with how glazes really react and using different fluxes to draw things out of the clay body beneath than I did before. I still try and go to Medalta once a year to fire the salt and soda kilns though, because I still love the surfaces you get with those firing methods. They're different aesthetics, but I love them both.
  3. Callie Beller Diesel

    Reputation for selling cheap pottery

    There have been a lot of much older threads revived just this week, so don't feel like this is an unusual thing at all! I'm curious now what @shawnhar's thoughts are on his original post are. Pricing for anyone is an ongoing discussion, and especially for beginners, it's a complicated thing. It's compounded for beginners, because when *exactly* do you decide you're not a beginner anymore? It's not a function of pure time, because not everyone makes things at the same rate. Is it after a specific number of pots? Probably not that either, because some people are able to improve their work with fewer iterations. (I know I needed to make a lot more pots than the students I started with to achieve a similar level of technical competency.) Regardless of your level of expertise, there's always the question of how do you measure the level of quality of your own work and place yourself within the marketplace?
  4. I think it’s one of those things that you can get started with a few small things for simple projects, but the more you learn and want to specialize, the more you wind up spending. That can be said about a lot of activities that can be either a hobby or a job.
  5. Callie Beller Diesel

    Hate sieving glaze? DIY rotary sieve

    I like Liam’s method as a relatively low tech, less specialty equipment soloution to the problem. Glaze day usually doesn’t sneak up on me as a surprise, so weighing my ingredients out and allowing them to slake overnight and sieving the next day is actually a more efficient use of my time. 20 minutes of hands on work including cleanup to prep a glaze makes more sense than standing over 7kg of materials with a drill mixer in hand for 80 minutes. I think I know one potter in person that owns a wall mounted blunger that they can walk away from while it works. All the other ones I’ve encountered are in institutions.
  6. Callie Beller Diesel

    Gluing Pieces Before Glazing

    If you're dead set on not re-bisquing, you can still use the paper clay patch but you'll have to treat the piece as a once fire and go very slowly up to temp in the kiln. I'd suggest spraying your glaze on as well, as water from the glaze will re-wet the paper clay patch, and it could fall off.
  7. It is more than possible to make clay things on a shoestring. A box of clay and some simple tools might not even add up to $100. I have a friend who handbuilt in her kitchen for years, and earned some very good money as a side gig. She managed a kiln for $500 and her dad did the install. She spent more money on booth fees than studio setup, I think. She did get a slab roller last year though, and bought some of those fancy pastry rolling pins for pattern making, and finally moved into her basement.
  8. Callie Beller Diesel

    Hate sieving glaze? DIY rotary sieve

    I have also seen people mount their 3-5 gallon glaze bucket to a Giffen grip and just hold a large stiff house paint brush stationary while the wheel spins. I've also seen some spectacular accidents when the bucket was just perched on the wheelhead without some sort of security measures. So make sure that bucket won't shift if you're going to try this!
  9. Callie Beller Diesel

    Closing studio

    Nope. Sorry. Strict no sales policy on the public part of the forums, guys. However if anyone wants to share a link with a forum friend who has expressed interest via DM, that is entirely between you
  10. I’ve really just accumulated things slowly over time. The first space I had that wasn’t rented or in school was a large laundry room in a rented house that had my brand new Brent C that was $1600 CAD (knock 30% of that price if you want the US equivalent), and a heavy wooden 2 1/2’ square display plinth that I dumpster dived for from behind a coffee house that I painted and covered in canvas. I still use as my wedging table, although now there’s a patio paver on top of it instead of canvas. I think I bought $200 CAD worth of clay and glaze supplies, and it was cheap because I was firing cone 10 and the materials for that are stupid cheap. At the time, I was transporting work to get it fired. I had plywood bats that I’d made in the wood shop in school for the cost of the plywood, and a kit full of the usual small tools. In my current studio, the purchases have included $50 for paint and some lighting, $300 for my current wire shelving and maybe another $150 for the wall mounted brackets and boards. My work table was free. I’ve picked up a lot of other pieces and dry chemicals from other potters selling stuff because they were moving that it’s hard to keep track. The kiln was $500 and the install, including building the patio slab it’s on and the electrician was about $2300. The patio slab was most of that. My studio has grown over time, usually in increments of $100-200. It’s been a matter of make some stuff with the things you have, and then upgrade with the proceeds of your sales. The biggest 2 purchases were the wheel and the patio slab, and they were purchased 15 years apart.
  11. Callie Beller Diesel

    Slip- Engobe Study

    Anecdotally, I don't think the temperature affecting casting slip rheology is information that's entirely lost: it's just not showing up here, or maybe isn't well documented if the documenters in question don't live somewhere cold. I have a friend who owns a paint your own pottery place who began casting her own figures to save money. Because of some space concerns, at one point she was casting in her unheated garage before the weather really warmed up in the spring, and was having a lot of trouble. She consulted with a local expert who told her about the temperature thing.
  12. Callie Beller Diesel

    I "glaze" fired instead of bisque...

    In this instance, since you have time to remake it, do that. If you want to play around with the overfired pieces after your deadline, it could be an exploration of what you can make happen with your materials.
  13. Callie Beller Diesel

    temp for opening kiln?

    If you have a cone sitter, you just have to lift the latch to turn it back on, and lower it again very gently. But definitely set the timer.
  14. Callie Beller Diesel

    Throwing very narrow tall cylinders?

    A couple of years ago there was this thread. It's a bit long, but a couple of people from the forum (including Neil!) uploaded videos, which are nice for technique.
  15. Callie Beller Diesel

    American Beauty Glazes

    Unfortunately, that may be the best thing for you to do. My google-fu came up with a bunch of makeup palettes and a bad 90’s movie. If you’ve got that many glazes, it might be easiest to put multiple glazes on one large flat tile, maybe doing them in batches of 10. This will give you the best results for the clay you’re using in any case.
  16. Callie Beller Diesel

    Color depth for encapsulated stains

    Lesley Mcinally is a Canadian artist who works extensively with colour saturated slips, including ones with encapsulated stains. https://www.lesleymcinally.com/about Is there a particular effect or finish you're after or inspired by?
  17. Callie Beller Diesel

    Sagar question glazed pots?

    You probably won't replicate the look of that chawan in a saggar firing. That piece is sporting some really nice toasty ash glaze, with feldspar chunks bleeding through from the clay body. That's out of a wood firing, which is a much different process done at a much higher temperature than saggar firing. Wood kilns can be used to create functional wares, but typically saggar firing is reserved for more decorative or artistic pieces because it doesn't get hot enough to mature the clay properly. Also, if you glaze the pieces first, they tend to be not porous enough to absorb all the lovely carbon effects. One of our longtime members here, @Marcia Selsor is one of the best artists in North America working in saggar and other alternative firing methods. She just posted some stunning results of her latest firing in the gallery this week. Have a look at them, and hopefully she chimes in here
  18. Callie Beller Diesel

    how to make white glaze

    Titanium can help make a very nice white glaze when used with tin or zircon, but by itself will make a butter yellow. Welcome to the forum!
  19. Callie Beller Diesel

    Firing Glass on Clay

    I suppose my major objection isn’t to anyone who wants to get technical enough to combine glass and ceramic, and acknowledge the technical difficulties involved. I have a deep and abiding love for those wonderfully crazy people who revel in the science behind the art, and really explore exactly where the possibilities and limits of the materials lie. My problem is with the folks who know juuust enough to make themselves dangerous and don’t look further, because they know “enough” already. Think the inexperienced teacher that encourages students to melt stained glass into a ceramic cup that’s going into a cone 6 glaze fire because they saw it on Pinterest, and it looked like a doable project for kids. And let’s face it: if the diverse bunch of interests that hangs out here is hard pressed to find good examples of clay and glass being combined safely, and there’s thousands of pins of decor marbles being melted into ring dishes, Pinterest is going to win as the reliable information source. Quantity over quality, unfortunately. After all, why did this blogger do it in front of The Internet and Everybody if it wasn’t safe? Simply melting scrap glass into a clay pot is really, really easy: doing it so that all the safety and technical stuff is observed is a lot less so.
  20. Callie Beller Diesel

    Firing Glass on Clay

    Glass is only glancingly related to glaze and clay. There are some ingredients that are common amongst all 3, but think of them like bread, cake and pie pastry. They're all similar in that they're all baked and contain flour, but the proportions of other ingredients, the method of combining them and the temperature and duration they all need make a huge difference in the final product. It's not a matter of if the glass/ceramic combo will fail, but when. Could be next week, could be in five years. As Tom already mentioned, the COE's of the two materials are too different. Phase changes that clay and glass go through upon both heating and cooling happen at different (and incompatible) points, so the clay and the glass are actually not really adhered to each other particularly well and all that pretty, fragmented, sharp glass will pop out eventually. Additionally, a word on decorative and stained glass: if you're using anything that's meant for stained glass purposes (and it's tempting because it's so pretty), you'll actually kill most of the colours at anything higher than lustre temperatures (022-017) because the colourants that are used are often organic, or will simply just vaporize. Even other common sources, like decor marbles will actually boil and begin to decompose significantly if they're fired even to bisque temperatures, never mind some of the glaze fire mentions I've seen. And decorative glass can use colourants like arsenic that aren't commonly used in ceramics, so we don't think of them as potters, but if they boil off in the kiln, you could be unwittingly exposing yourself to a host of things that are Bad For You. Tl:dr: Just. Don't. Please.
  21. Callie Beller Diesel

    How would you build this slab

    @VladCruceanu keep us posted! We'd love to hear how it turns out.
  22. Callie Beller Diesel

    Spoonrests or Top Ramen

    A friend of mine shared a trick with me that I think makes a huge amount of sense: Make your Christmas ornaments now, while it's at least winter. Doing them in July just feels weird.
  23. Callie Beller Diesel

    How would you build this slab

    It don't think I'd try attaching the pieces before they were fired at all. In fact, it looks like the two pieces fit together and are held in place by pressure.
  24. Callie Beller Diesel

    Repairing greenware

    Congratulaions! You now have a most excellent test tile.
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