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Beardbangs

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  1. Hi all, I'm in Montreal and am wondering if people have had success with air purifiers in the studio. We have an air vent connected to the window which we use for sanding and glaze mixing (and for the kiln of course), but I'm talking about general dust buildup and air quality. Our studio has about 20 members (kind of works like a gym but for ceramics) so it gets dusty really easily. Do plug-in air filters/purifiers work to help take harmful dust particles out of the air? If so, which models do you all recommend? Low wattage is best as our electrical wiring is pretty sketchy and the fuse tends to break fairly often. Thanks!
  2. Hello all you experienced glaze chemists, I have been using this recipe at my studio for a few months now and I really like it except that when it's thick it moves more than I'd like. I'd like to slightly adjust it so it's a little more stable. Any recommendations? Also, the iron oxide and copper carb wouldn't affect any of this, right? Soto Amber - Cone 6 Frit 3124- 32% Feldspar Minspar- 26% Silica- 19% Calcium Carbonate- 13% EPK- 10% --- Red Iron Oxide- 3% Copper Carbonate- .75%
  3. ok, thanks. makes sense!
  4. Ok, yeah, that makes sense. I do have cones, but I just stopped bothering to put them in after a while because it was just always working fine. I think I'll try bisquing to cone 04, just to see if that helps, and then put in my cones for the glaze firing and keep a close eye on them. thanks so much for your help.
  5. Hmm, ok, I'll try re-glazing a few of them. I'd be surprised if that's the problem I'm having, as I don't think it's thinner than I usually make the glaze.
  6. I don't use any cones because it's a digital kiln and when I set it to cone 6 it's usually fine. So do you think it might be worth re-firing to cone 5? From reading a little more about bloating, I'm wondering if that's the issue, related to your second idea- I still don't really understand how to better burn out my organics. I'm a bit nervous to do anything more than a pre-programmed firing on my bisque as I've never done it. Could I just fire to cone 04 instead of 06? would that burn off the organics or do you need to soak?
  7. I hand-mix a transparent glaze, which I've used for the last year continuously with great success. The last two times I've glaze-fired, TONS of little bumps appeared, a few of them up to a cm wide (those ones looks a little more like an air bubble in the clay. The clay is white and the glaze is clear, but the bubbles that are appearing are white (so it looks like the glaze has fused to the clay body and pulled it out into bumps/bubbles. Please see the attached photo- this is what all my pieces came out like. I thought my glaze might have been contaminated so I mixed a whole new batch but the same thing happened. The only other thing I can think of that might be different is that it's more humid in the studio because it's the middle of summer. Please help! I'm getting so delayed on my orders because I keep having to re-make everything and I'm freaking out! Should I try re-firing the pieces and doing something differently, like holding it a bit? I fire my bisque to cone 06, and the glaze to cone 6. The kiln sometimes runs a little on the hot side, but I haven't found that to cause this particular problem before. I use PSH cone 6 white stoneware #519. My glaze recipe is: 25% epk, 25% silica, 10% wollastonite, 25% frit 3134, 15% feldspar minspar. Thanks in advance!
  8. Beardbangs

    Shipping

    If you're using popcorn to ship over the border you will likely have problems as it is a food product and will need to be inspected by the FDA. I wrap everything in foam sheets first (I wrap extra little pieces around delicate areas like legs and handles), then small bubble wrap (3/16" thick) and then big bubble wrap (5/16" thick or bigger). Then I usually put a layer of peanuts on the bottom and top. My general rule is to leave 2" between the actual pottery and the walls of the box, with padding in between. It might seem excessive but I have found that if I ask the question "can I get away with this amount of packaging without it breaking" the answer is probably no. I want to feel safe dropping the box on the floor myself, because that's what the post will probably do! For boxes with multiples, I usually use the biggest bubble wrap in a continuous piece to wrap all the pieces together so that there are big bubbles between everything but also that they aren't shifting together. Everything is taped or saran wrapped (not crazy-tight, just enough to not let the wrap shift out of place).
  9. Beardbangs

    Shipping And Fda Approval

    Oh, interesting! I fit much more into the first category. I guess I had been thinking it was most important to get the materials used most accurate, but what you're saying makes a lot of sense. I will look into other code options a little bit. Thanks so much, John!
  10. Beardbangs

    Shipping And Fda Approval

    I also made sure in my most recent shipment to include copies of a NAFTA agreement form... I was told by UPS that if I included that I wouldn't have to pay duty in the future.
  11. Beardbangs

    Shipping And Fda Approval

    Thanks everyone for your responses! The tariff code that I used is 6914.10, which seemed to be the most appropriate judging by the Canada Post HS Code finder on their website. This was the code they gave me for sending ceramics to the US in general, so I don't really understand what happens in regards to the specific states... I am beginning to understand what brokerage is about a bit more now; thank you, Diesel Clay. I'll check out FedEx... has anyone tried out using courier companies with an outside broker? I've heard that can save money but I also makes things a little more complicated I imagine.
  12. Beardbangs

    Shipping And Fda Approval

    Thanks for the advice. I had been shipping larger quantities with UPS, but am beginning to wonder if it's better to just stick with Canada Post- I get a little bit more nervous about breakages with them, but they only have an $8 brokerage fee compared to over $50 with UPS (and I imagine other couriers are similar).
  13. Hello! I am a ceramicist working in Canada and selling to retailers in the US. I have found that when shipping large quantities of work (around 20 objects) to the US, my customers get charged with an FDA fee- this fee was applied only to the objects that fall under the food-use category (to protect against import of food-use pottery that contains cadmium or lead). Any thoughts on how to work around this fee? Thanks in advance.
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