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About hitchmss

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 01/20/1987

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    Cincinnati, OH

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  1. hitchmss

    Kiln firing variations

    Thanks Neil, in college we had huge Johnson burners and weather never impacted our firings. Once going to natural draft 7 years ago I learned quickly how weather could impact a firing; sometimes the pressure and wind would cause initial ignition challenging unless all the doors in the studio were open. It is the only variable that I can think of which would impart a drastic difference. Figured I'd ask a group of more experienced than I to see if I'm overlooking so.ethjng obvious; oftentimes I am.
  2. hitchmss

    Unusual Questions

    Not to be snarky, but what you show as wanting to make is not newbie material, and to Learn how to make those will require more effort than it sounds like you want to put in. "us advanced" artists have worked hundreds and thousands of hours to perfect a very basic process which you want to learn to do in a weekend. Save yourself the hassle, and pay "one of us pro's" to do it, but be prepared, we don't work for near as cheap as the Chinese do. Find the artist whose work you like and buy what they make as part of their standard line. If they have to custom design and make work for you it will cost you much more (I charge $80/hr for custom work). Glazes fall into same category; the bowl is glazed in a what looks like floating blue at cone 6, and fairly common recipe but not every Potter is using it, or willing to add a glaze into their palette just for you, without charging you handsomely for it. When it comes to food safety and glazes; there unfortunately is no certification for small potteries to go through to meet safety certs so you're gonna have to trust the artist, which most full time professionals are credible but some idiots still exist. Some artists may allow you to participate in the making process but be a little more open to the creative process, and be more interested than "not wanting to learn it as much as we do".
  3. Hey everyone, so seeking some information regarding some variations in my firing times. Not new to gas firing; been firing gas for almost 15 years now, current kiln for past 6 years, doing about 40 firings a year, with my studio mate doing about 20 a year as well. Some info about the kiln; about 60 cu foot car kiln(short of 4' cube interior dimensions, before Arch), 2800 deg IFB's, 4.5" wall, 2300 deg-1.5" blanket on cold face, ITC 100HT coating on hot face, downdraft, 12"x8" x20' chimney, burner ports =flue opening, big Bertha burners on LPG, low pressure, using ball valves for gas flow, and low pressure psi gauge. Use the same firing schedule(what I think is faster, but not pushing it) for all my oxidation firings (soft cone 12), and reduction firings(cone 11) have slightly altered schedule (naturally). Question is; MOST all oxidation firings run almost 8 hrs on the nose from room to maturation, and redux are about the same length 8-8.5 hrs. However, (herein lies my question) is like on a day like today, loaded and fired kiln off in ox, using same schedule, and kiln shut off at 6 hrs mark. I get these rogue firings every so often and have tried to wrap my head around the "variables" which would play into this change in speed. For reference in the broad spectrum: been using the same kiln, and schedule for past 5 years, maybe 300 firings, and possibly a dozen or so rogues. A more finite reference is havijg done 6 firings in the past week: 5 ox, 1 redux, of the 5 ox firings, 3 were 8 hrs on the nose, 1 was 7.5, and today's was 6, redux was 8. The propane is the same fill-up, setup/schedule hasn't changed, load density is all about the same, with the shortest maybe being the most dense. The biggest variance is outdoor temp/weather; today was 30's, and windy (didn't check pressure), other days were warmer, but windy also. Could the drop in temp, increase the velocity in my stack enough to shave 2 hrs off firing? I understand that the denser my load the more the radiant heat, but also more mass to heat to that point (advancer shelves, so minimal furniture). I've been running on a 24 schedule (2 hr to load, 8 hr up, 12 hr down, 1 hr to unload), so when reloading there is some minimal heat in the brick still, maybe a 100 deg; cool enough to unload/handle brick with bare hands. What do you think? Kiln gods making sure I'm keeping eyes on my kilns? Here's my schedule; Start 1/8 psi, damper 3 1/2" open Hour later, 1/4 psi, damper same Hour later 1 psi, damper same Hour later, 2 psi, damper same Hour later, 3 psi, damper same Hour later, 4 psi, damper 4" open (damper open to maintain ox) Hour later, 5 psi, damper 4 3/8" open Maintain until soft ^12
  4. Maybe I got a Pacifica when the getting was good. Vintage 2004; thrown around 25,000 pots on it over the last 7 years since going full-time. During college years it was used but not as much now. Does everything I want to including 4-6' 100-150# pots. Bought a Bailey with the two piece oversized splash pan a couple years back. Worst splash pan design. Both wheels have responsive pedals, comfortable noise levels, power, and durability. Wished I spent an extra $600 and bought a CXC though.
  5. As others have noted, silicone can be very tricky to get to stick to certain materials. Silicone glues/caulks are not always 100% silicone but have an adhesive added to promkte, well adhesion and durability. Pure silicone is not very durable and won't withstand much handling/use before it will wear off. A rubber, like plasti tool dip, can be brushed or dipped on with great success, but may not survive a lot of dishwashing, likely isnt food grade, and microwave safe. I believe Matt long used tool dip on mug handles; might contact for more info. There are lots of other urethanes and other rubbers which might be better for your job. More details on what specifically you're trying to do with bonding silicone to ceramic might yield better ideas.
  6. hitchmss

    Firing Pots With Lids

    Min nailed it on the head before I could post. Freezing will do nothing to unstick your lids. The only way a temp change is going to cause your glazed portions to separate is if there was a rapid temp change, and consequently expansion/contraction which would likely break more than your desired area. Short answer, theyre on there for good unless you cut them off with diamond cutting tools.
  7. Unfortunately your pedal is affixed to the wheel unlike a lot of electric wheels with pedals on cords. If you build a box to stand on (bringing you closer to wheelhead comfort), then you cant reach the pedal without attaching something to the pedal so your foot/leg is comfortable. Ive seen wheels with stick like shifters (even seen a wheel which used a V6 jeep motor and transmission)affixed to a foot pedal, but if yours is spring loaded to return to the "off" position then you'd have to constantly have your hand on the shifter. Hate to say it but a block of wood bolted to the pedal might be the best option. Im not a fan of throwing standing up; dont like how loosey goosey my elbows feel, but many that do like to pull their wheel closer to a wall so they can lean back against the wall. A padded board screwed to the wall can provide some support on your hiney.
  8. hitchmss

    Why did my plates split ?

    Compress and dry slowly. My studio dries work unevenly so for large plates (over 12-16") I have to dry for a few hours, then bag tightly overnight, repeat next day until dried out completely. Otherwise Ill crack them everytime. If I had enough space to leave plates covered until they dried out completely I would, but I dont, so alas, here and there some die because they dried out too quick. Plates are a pain in my butt, and I think I'll speak for most other potters, and say they are for them too.
  9. Amazon has some cheap and expensive diamond drill bits; not like the kind you'll typically find at hardware stores for making holes in glass/ceramic. The ones Im referring to are actual spiral bits that are coated with diamonds. The cheap ones work fine and a set of standard sizes will run you $5-15 bucks. when they wear out, toss em. Expensive ones will "cut" better than cheap ones, and usually hold up longer, but for intermittent use, cheap is good. Not that there is "material" which needs to be pulled away with the flutes, but I find that these style wobble less and I crack work less using these. Take some wax based clay and build up a "well" around the area needing to be drilled, fill it with water and use low speeds on your drill. Dont push too aggressively. Key is steady and slow. If you have a drill press it would be better than hand drill but use what ya got. Might break it, so if it can live without having the hole drilled out then do so.
  10. Make a lot of work IMMEDIATELY and USE all that glaze!......then I guess you have a lot of pots to move. Pick your poison!
  11. hitchmss

    Working less-sort of

    Im with you Mark; 2017 I fired 60, 60 cu/ft car loads using about 9 tons of clay. Im looking forward to the day when my prices go up and pots go down. Id like the make the same income from 2 tons as I do now with 9 tons. Unfortunately Im at the point with my business where Im actually going up and not down. Sigh! I have a lot of time to think about useless stuff when I drive to and from shows. One time I was curious to figure out how many times each # of clay gets handled from the time I pick it up off the supply store floor to the time I hand it to a customer. Its a disgusting like 30 some times each pound gets handled. Im tired of handling 270 tons each year! It would be nice to get paid $1 for each pound moved a year! Read the ad in CM; enjoyed it thoroughly!
  12. the amount of clay used depends mainly on your throwing abilities. For me a 10# jar would hold way more than 5 pounds of flour; I make utensil crocks which use 3# of clay and they are thrown to 7.5" high x 7" wide ; not pulled excessively thin but uniform. A helpful tip though if you are wanting to make an item to be a certain size, or hold a certain volume; a formula to calculate your final size which factors in your shrink rate. 1- (shrinkage rate)=x, divide your desired dimension by x=wet thrown size. i.e. if I wanted to make a 4" object. 1-.12=.88, 4/.88=4.54 You can eyeball the size you need by looking at and measuring a 5# bag of flour, or pour it into a round container that's a similar size to what you want. I dont have a formula for calculating necessary volumes even though I know they exist.
  13. You can use plaster no 1, which is a totally fine gypsum product to use but it does take some care in making and using. Like others have said, having a nice flat surface when you make the bat is step one. If you have an uneven surface, if/when you slam down a hunk of clay it could cause the bat the crack(seen it many a times), which is exacerbated if your using a product like bat mate to get your bats to adhere to the wheel head. If you throw a flat disk of clay on your wheel head first, and use that to stick your bats to, there is less stress on the bat. Clay is more flexible than a metal wheel head. There are other gypsum products which are harder and more durable than plaster but less absorbent/porous. I like commercially made hyrdobats from the ceramic shop in Philadelphia; made using hydrocal. They cost a little bit, but have rubber "grommets" (for lack of actual term) inserted into the base for use with bat pins (which I do use) which keeps the bat holes from getting blown out. Ultracal is even harder, but even less porous. Mix according to USGS specs and pour just like you would No 1 plaster.
  14. You can use a small blast of compressed air at the edges of your slab/mold to try and get the clay to release.
  15. hitchmss

    firing schedule needed

    Are you trying to dry slabs out in your kiln? Let them get nice and bone dry before loading. If they are too fragile to handle while bone dry then load them onto a kiln shelf which you can place into kiln when it is dry enough, or load them into the kiln when they arent so brittle and then let them dry naturally. But, like everyone else said, program a hold at 210 deg F for 1-4 hours (depending on need) before ramping up to temp.

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