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  1. I used to make fairly sizeable ornaments (10cm squared roughly and about half a cm thick) and I used hooks of kanthal wire, usually 1.4mm which supported the ornaments well. I bent them in to tight 'S' shapes and hung them from thick kanthal rods between kiln stilts, much like clothes hangers on a rail. A bit of a rough and ready method and took a little while to set up in the kiln but I was working with semi porcelain and was taking my ornaments up to about 1260, so about cone 8-9. I didn't experience any problems, as long as I was careful to ensure glaze wasn't in contact with the wire and the hooks were tight enough to compensate for very slight movement and sagging during the firing. I watched Janice's video to see more clearly what you are trying to construct. If it was a tree you were going for, I would just suggest making the diameter of the tree the right balance between wide and low to avoid tipping but I can't suggest more than that as I don't have experience specifically in that construction. If you wanted a different method of hanging altogether, kanthal hooks suspended on thick kanthal rods, supported in the middle as well as on both ends, works well and is robust. You could perhaps build a more robust version of the bead racks using kanthal rods and custom made clay stilts. Nichrome works but is more brittle, less strong, sags more easily and can leave green flash marks on white clay.
  2. Absolutely loving these replies, making me laugh instead of cry at my crappy bubbly glaze! I'm using a locally bought commercial glaze so maybe mixing my own needs to be an option. My glazing schedule is 90 up to 700 and then full to 1270 with a 25 min soak. I don't shut off the kiln till it's cooled riiiiiight down at around 60- takes an absolute age - what sort of slow down would you suggest I programmed into the cooling period? the max temp on both glaze and clay is 1280 - should I take it right up to this?? also, the bubbles don't look terrible, but you can see it has a very slight orange peely texture in the right light. And I guess when you're trying to achieve a certain finish it kind of doesn't matter if it turns out alright another way - you kind of just want to get it how you meant to in the first place you know?
  3. Very irritating problem - stoneware transparent glaze on a white stoneware body, comes out more satin than it does glossy and when looking close the surface has thousands of tiny bubbles suspended in the glaze. As well as satiny finish it gives an every so slightly uneven surface when in relief. Especially noticeable over colour. I bisque fire to 1000 and then glazing to 1270. My glaze is particularly thin, more milk than cream, as I both dip and spray and was told to think glaze because of bubble problem. Is this a really common problem with a simple solution that I'm missing? I've recently ordered a sample of new glaze recommended by the same company that make the brand of clay I use and so maybe it will be a better fit all round, but I have a fair bit of my current glaze left and want to be able to try and solve the problem and use that before switching glazes. After trying lots of variations of firing schedules and temperatures and glaze thicknesses I'm really lost! It might just be one small thing I need to change but it's a nightmare trying to figure out what it is when there's so much that can affect a glaze! I've found lots of info on blistering but nothing on tiny bubbles. Help!
  4. Hi, sorry I didn't explain very well what I want them for! I use bead rods to hang all over glazed decorations from using kanthal wire hooks. I use kanthal wire rather than threading them directly onto the rods as they are quite heavy, and the rods are made of nichrome and would shed green deposits over my white stoneware with transparent glaze. I take my pieces to cone 7 but often do work of the same nature that requires me to take the temp up to 1270. Though the nichrome rods can go that far, the higher they go in temperature, the more they sag despite being supported, and the more they shed sooty deposits. Kanthal has a high melting point and doesn't shed at 1280 (hence why I use kanthal wire as opposed to nichrome - nichrome wire was giving me staining problems on the glaze). Now to try and avoid the problem of sooty deposits landing in the glaze and on the shelf, and to prevent sagging, I was hoping to see if I could source some kanthal rods - I think/hope they would be more durable at higher temperatures. I've considered potclays kanthal wire at 3.5mm but as it's still wire, I think it's still slightly malleable - I need bars to support the weight of hanging decorations ideally. I'm at an internet dead end!
  5. Hi, can anybody suggest where might sell or manufacture bead rods that go to cone6/7. Currently using bead rods you find commercially, usually made of nichrome and so when reaching temps of over 1200 they tend to start sagging and releasing green/black deposits into the kiln - usually I have kiln shelves covered in black soot by the end of a firing. I use kanthal wire which has solved a green deposit problem I had on the clay when using nichrome, but for the life of me can't find anywhere to replace the kiln rods with higher firing ones! I'm UK based.
  6. Mead, I make hooks and loops to hang decorations, and often fire up to cone 6-7. I use 0.9 for my lighter pieces and 1.4 for my heavier pieces to avoid sagging. Unfortunately kanthal is far more brittle than nichrome at higher temps so I have to refresh my stock fairly regularly. I've started buying from a local supplier who repairs kilns - if you have somebody similar nearby they may be able to help supply you. Also: The same man who sold me the kanthal wire told me recently that painting bat wash on to nichrome wire before firing it helps eliminate the green flashes - I've since gone over to kanthal so haven't tried this but it might be a temporary fix for anybody experiencing the green flash problem?
  7. Hi Pugaboo, I'm UK based so I got my wire from the supplier Potclays in Stoke-On-Trent ....however this should help if you were wondering which one was best to get, helps me to know what to type in next time I go hunting for some! http://kanthal.com/en/products/materials-in-wire-and-strip-form/wire/resistance-heating-wire-and-resistance-wire/ http://kanthal.com/en/products/materials-in-wire-and-strip-form/wire/resistance-heating-wire-and-resistance-wire/list-of-fecral-alloys/
  8. Update: Hi, thank you to all that gave suggestions. For anybody looking at this post down the line who is having the same problem, I dropped the temp to 1180 with a new batch of nichrome but the green flashes were still a problem and so have tried the same tests, as Marcia suggested, with a batch of kanthal wire - success!
  9. It was as bad with the old wire as it was with the new. On top of the green marks its probably worth mentioning that it leaves a lot of black dust deposits after a firing which can't be healthy for my kiln!I wonder if trying a different wire altogether would work? Perhaps kanthal?
  10. I use nichrome wire hooks to hang decorations no larger than half the size of the palm of your hand and no thicker than 5mm, though often a lot smaller and a lot thinner. I've been using hooks as the decorations are fairly heavy and so I use thick bead rods - too thick to thread directly through the holes made in the clay. (If anybody could suggest a better method I'm open to making my life easier, bending 100 pieces of wire and hanging takes a lifetime!) The wire itself is sturdy and doesn't slump, however I use a white stoneware body, decorated and transparently glazed. After a stoneware glaze firing (I glaze to 1250) I have what I can only describe as green burn marks above the area where I've cut the hole, right where the wire sits, though the wire does not touch the piece. I thought it might be the wire getting old, it can become quite black and brittle after several firings. However after replacing it with new wire I have the same problem on the first firing. I can't remember it being a problem I've always had, and I've tried several different clays recently in a sampling run - it's happened with all of them, so just trying to rule things out. It's ruining what would otherwise be completely saleable work and I'm totally confused! I really hope I'm missing something obvious here; can anybody shed some light please!?
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