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About neilestrick

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    Grayslake, IL

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  1. neilestrick

    University Assignment Survey

    I agree! @Wiktoria can you tell us something about yourself and the purpose of your survey?
  2. neilestrick

    Crawling matte glaze. Any hope of saving these?

    Don't forget about cooling rates. Many matte glazes will only achieve their matteness if the cooling is slow enough. I've seen many a matte that is glossy without a controlled cooling. There has to be time for the crystals to grow. Steven Hill has some great examples of this on his Instagram account. It doesn't necessarily have to be a really slow cycle, but slower than the natural cooling rate.
  3. neilestrick

    Cone 10 and 11 melting at the same time

    Unless you're firing fast. On the Dynatrol/V6-CF, they use 200 per hour for the final segment.
  4. Switches are easy to replace. There's generally just a nut that threads over the knob stem. Getting to everything may be a pain, but the actual changing won't be difficult. Before you go changing them, though, you should figure out exactly where the problem is. Using a multi-meter, track the power from the power cord to the elements and find where it's actually dead. There are a lot of possible dead points in there. If only the bottom elements are coming on, then (according to this wiring diagram) the problem probably isn't either of those timer switches because those switches feed to both the bottom and top sections. You'll need to get in there and see if you have power coming out of those switches, then follow the power and see if it's coming out of each relay or switch on down the line until you find the spot it's dead. That said, this wiring diagram seems really odd to me. For starters, I've never seen a kiln with elements ohms graded like that. Second, if I'm reading it correctly (and it is difficult to read), the middle elements are going straight to the sitter, with no switches or anything. That means the middle section would be on full blast as soon as you push push the power button on the sitter. In that case, you would only have the middle section dead if there was a broken element. Just check for continuity between the top and bottom element of each section to see if there's break. Have you confirmed that the kiln actually matches the diagram?
  5. I set the glazes in my studio to be the correct thickness with a 6 second dip. People don't always pay attention to what they're doing, so a 3 second dip doesn't leave much leeway. If they go a second or two too long with 6 seconds, it's not such a big deal. How long you need to dip will depend on the viscosity of your glaze and the absorbency of your pots. If you bisque to cone 06, they'll take up water faster than if you bisque to cone 04. Stoneware isn't as absorbent as porcelain. Thin pots need a less watery glaze because they can't hold as much water.
  6. neilestrick

    Cone 10 and 11 melting at the same time

    Cones 10 and 11 are only bout 18 degrees apart at a climb of 108F/hr, so they'll often drop together.
  7. That happens. Heat work works in strange ways sometimes. Cones 10 and 11 are only about 18 degrees apart at a climb of 108F/hr, so they often drop at almost the same time.
  8. neilestrick

    Favourite craft show tools and tricks

    Waterproof shoes! Setting up for a show in the morning on damp grass, or when it rains, will ruin your feet for the rest of the day. I always take two pairs of shoes to shows. In the summer it's waterproof sneakers and some sandals, at fall/winter indoor shows it's waterproof sneakers and a nice pair of loafers. I also always have an extra set of clothes (socks and undies included) in my backpack with a hat and rain gear- jacket and pants. You never know when you'll get wet or someone will spill something on you or your lunch will end up on your shirt or whatever. Be prepared!
  9. neilestrick

    steel nail in stoneware?

    The pot will probably crack around the nail during drying and again during the glaze firing. Also, the nail will degrade heavily during the reduction firing, and possibly melt its way through the pot. Reduced iron is a flux. I've seen this happen several times in wood kilns where there were nails and such in the wood that ended up doing damage to pots, melting part or all the way through.
  10. neilestrick

    Favourite craft show tools and tricks

    For me it's just being prepared for anything. I can't have a good show if I'm worried about structural things like the stability of my canopy. I take two toolboxes to shows. One has all different size of wood shims for my table legs plus a bunch of clamps. The other has tools- hammer, vise grips, side cutter, screwdrivers, allen wrenches, etc- plus more clamps, tent stakes, and straps. I also carry an assortment of cable ties from 4" to 18" which I don't generally use for anything except emergencies. Instead, I carry about 2 dozen clamps from little minis up to 3" which get used quite a bit. A lot of what I carry gets loaned out to at least one neighbor during every show. Someone is always missing something, or something has broken or whatever. We've all been there. Two weeks ago a friend loaned me a small table for wrapping pots because I had forgotten to pack mine. It's good to have your neighbors in good condition, too, so everyone can have a good show and everything looks professional. I once cable tied a neighbor's canopy back together that was broken during a wind storm. Her tent was toast, but it made it through the show. I carry twice as many tent stakes as I'll need because I know someone else will need them. The last thing you need is your neighbor's tent blowing into their work (or yours). When things start breaking, the customers can't focus on buying. I see of fair number of art fair people who have the attitude that it's a competition between artists, but I don't see it that way at all. Not everyone is going to like my work, so I'm happy to see them by someone else's instead. We all put our best foot forward and hope for good sales. If they're not buying my work, that's probably my fault for not having quality work or for picking the wrong show, not the fault of my neighbor. It's good for the art community for people to be buying anything. So I carry way more stuff in my tool boxes than I'll ever need just in case someone needs it.
  11. neilestrick

    What kind of mask do you wear?

    Technically, by OSHA standards, a half-facemask like that is not approved for use by folks with beards unless the beard is trimmed short enough that it does not interfere with the seal of the mask against the face: The Respiratory Protection standard, paragraph 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A), states that respirators shall not be worn when facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function. Facial hair is allowed as long as it does not protrude under the respirator seal, or extend far enough to interfere with the device's valve function. Short mustaches, sideburns, and small goatees that are neatly trimmed so that no hair compromises the seal of the respirator usually do not present a hazard and, therefore, do not violate paragraph 1910.134(g)(1)(i). That means a really short beard, like George Michael. That said, most people with beards use them anyway. It's not ideal, but it's definitely better than not using a mask. The best type of mask for folks with longer beards are the full-face powered type.
  12. I'd also be using that clay at cone 6. An absorption rate of 3.4 is too high.
  13. Yes, there is a bubbly stage. Here's my concern- if it's still bubbly at cone 4, fine but overfired at cone 6, you've got a very narrow firing range, which is bound to be a problem in the future.
  14. neilestrick

    Local clay scumming

    Add 0.5% barium carb to your clay to eliminate scumming. Disperse the barium well in water first or you'll get white specks.
  15. Two things: 1. Refiring won't necessarily fix the glaze problem. Sometimes it gets worse, sometimes it gets better, sometimes it's the same. Don't use refires as an indicator of whether or not the changes to the firing schedule are helping. Only fresh glaze will tell you that. 2. All the firing changes haven't fixed the problem, so maybe it's time to try the glaze formula. Try adding 2% each of silica and EPK, in increments up to 10% and see what happens. Wait until you get a solid cone 5 schedule worked out, though.

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