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neilestrick

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neilestrick last won the day on August 30

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About neilestrick

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    Neil Estrick

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    http://www.neilestrickgallery.com

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    Grayslake, IL

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  1. Tyler, you are obviously able to work in ceramics in a more philosophical way than many of us, and I don't mean that to be a negative. I hope you didn't read my comments to mean that I find your method to be inferior. On the contrary, I love working with numbers, but it's just not the way I work any more. My current schedule is too busy to allow for mixing tests for fun or doing calculations by hand. I find that working with UMF on the computer is very good for time management, and can prevent me from wasting a lot of time mixing non-functional glazes. Yes, there's something to be learned from the failures, but when I'm working towards something specific, I'm usually too pressed for time to care about that. I also think that you can't rule out the UMF as part of the whole package. Yes, test tiles alone can be the path to a good glaze, but I find UMF to be the best way to tweak a glaze to make it perfect, or to fix a problematic glaze. It's not just for original formulation. It's improbable that I would take a glaze from a book and use it as is. All glazes need tweaking for your clay body and firing schedule, and the UMF is a great way to to that. These discussions are what make this forum great!
  2. I learned by hand as well, and I agree that it gives a much better understanding of the process, but I have no problem using the computer. It's no different than using a calculator- I can calculate big numbers by hand, but why waste the time and risk the mistakes? Once you understand the process, the result is what's important, not the process. Even if the UMF only provides a means of comparative notation, that defines it as data. The glaze recipe is data. UMF is data. The raw glaze is data. The fired test is data. All of it is information needed to determine the qualities of a glaze. da·ta ˈdadə,ˈdādə/ noun facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis. synonyms: facts, figures, statistics, details, particulars, specifics; More COMPUTING the quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media. PHILOSOPHY things known or assumed as facts, making the basis of reasoning or calculation.
  3. Hump and Slump Molds

    Mold soap is only used as a release when making the original mold, to get the plaster to release from the original. You then have to wash it off and let the plaster dry. You don't want to use mold soap to get the clay to release from the plaster when actually making pieces. You need the plaster to be completely dry before using the mold, which may take a week or two of drying depending on the thickness of the mold ad humidity levels in your studio. Damp plaster is worthless.
  4. Hump and Slump Molds

    I think concrete molds would be mighty heavy and you won't be able to easily alter them if necessary after making them. With plaster you can easily sand out little imperfections in the molds. What was the issue with the plaster molds? The easiest way to make slump molds is to cut them out of insulating foam board, like the pink your blue stuff from the hardware store. Cut it with a box knife, then clean up the edges with some coarse sandpaper.
  5. Dipping Bisque into Clear Glaze

    So you wash them unless they have underglaze?
  6. Dipping Bisque into Clear Glaze

    Glazes that are mixed for dipping don't have the necessary additives to make it brush on smoothly and evenly. How are you washing your bisque? If you're running it under the tap then they're definitely too wet to dip.
  7. Dipping Bisque into Clear Glaze

    The crawling has nothing to do with the bubbles. The issue could be thickness, since brushing glazes are usually mixed thicker than dipping glazes, or possibly too much water. When glazes are mixed for brushing they add a gum solution that allows the glaze to hold more water. This allows them to brush more smoothly and dry slower. So if you're washing your bisque and then dipping a brushing formula you're totally saturating your pots, which loosens the physical bond between the clay and glaze before it melts. Then once it melts it pulls away and crawls. I do a lot of double and triple dipping on my pots, and if I don't let things dry enough between dips they get over saturated and the glaze crawls. You don't want to let them dry completely between dips, but enough that the pot can take in the water of the next dip without becoming overly wet. So, you either need to let your pots dry completely after washing them so you're starting from zero water content in the pots, or you need to use glazes that are made for dipping, not brushing.
  8. @Tyler Miller Have you found any research on the effects of copper and cobalt on children?
  9. @Tyler Miller I'm sorry, too. I didn't mean to push so hard, and I didn't explain myself very well. I'm super paranoid about liability because it's a big deal for my business in regard to both my students in the studio and my kiln repair customers. It was also a big part of my previous job as a tech where I was responsible for glaze safety labeling. I totally understand your point, and I know the point your were making is totally valid, and I am certainly relieved that copper isn't as bad as we've all been led to believe in regards to glaze leaching. However, while the amount of copper that could be ingested from a piece of fired pottery is more than likely a non-issue, the raw material is not, and I felt that your statement didn't address that issue or the issue of total body burden, and could unintentionally lead people astray. I did a poor job of making that clear in my original posts, and I apologize for that. The difference between raw glaze and fired glaze is a big deal, and many people do not understand that, or the safety labeling that comes with ceramic materials.
  10. On my wheels if you run your hands on the spinning wheel with some slip you'll get a bunch of black. It's not a big deal.
  11. Glaze Gel Fix

    The Gerstley Borate will gel, but it's not particularly high in Gerstley. Did you sieve the glaze after mixing? Are you sure it doesn't just need more water? Any chance you added too much bentonite? Have you test fired to the glaze? That will rule out if you messed up any of the measurements, for the most part.
  12. Indie and go fund me efforts

    There was recently a well know potter who did a gofundme type thing to build a new kiln. The potter has been around for a pretty long time and sells a lot of pots, has a big following on social media, etc. He raised the money in a very short amount of time. It really bugged me that someone who is making a living from his work would think that this was the proper way to go about getting the money for his kiln. Like Mea said, how does this fit into a business model, and why would I give to someone who is more successful at selling his work than most people? If there had been a disaster of some sort that ruined his kiln, or he was sick and couldn't make work for a while, etc., then I'm might consider it, but not just because he decided he didn't want to save up for the kiln. It's not a surprise when a kiln needs to be rebuilt- you can see it coming for a long time. I think this method of raising money should only be used for disaster relief, emergencies, illnesses, and startups. It should not be used because you aren't willing to save money.
  13. Kiln brick question

    Yeah, I'd just buy them. It's a good price and they should work just fine, even if they're not as high in alumina as is ideal. I've built a couple of small salt kilns out of random used hard brick and they all worked well.
  14. confused over earthenware and glazes

    Many terra cotta bodies will go as high as cone 3/4 before they start to slump, although most people glaze fire them at cone 04. White earthenware bodies won't typically go beyond cone 1, and again most people glaze fire around 04. I would plan on bisque firing at 03 at glaze firing at whatever cone is recommended for the glazes, probably in the 06-04 range.
  15. It's a sculpture body, so they want it toothy. Val Cushing knew his stuff. I would trust his recipes to work.
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