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Everything posted by neilestrick

  1. Which glazes are you using? There are some glazes out there that have little colored pieces in them to give a crystalline effect.
  2. @MFP What properties are you looking for- Stoneware or porcelain, white or brown, speckled or not, groggy or smooth? Also, what brands are near you? Those are really the ones you'll want to choose from.
  3. I get them too. It's probably from the boron, because I never had them in my cone 10 glazes, which didn't use boron.
  4. Was it a new shelf? I've seen new silicon carbide shelves do that. It could also be related to temperature, although I'm not exactly sure what exactly would be the cause. I say that because flat bottomed platter at the bottom of the kiln on a short shelf is going to run cold in the middle. Ideally, the bottom shelf should have tall pieces, not short ones.
  5. It can be difficult to find the pricing sweet spot when doing both retail (fairs) and wholesale. The retail price should be the same for both- you shouldn't undercut your galleries. Finding a price that something will sell at at art fairs may be too low to be able to accept a 50% cut from a gallery. For instance, I sell mugs for $34 at fairs , but for the amount of work in them, I can't afford to wholesale them at $17.
  6. VeeGum T is a colloidal magnesium aluminum silicate. It's very expensive to use in clay bodies, but it works really well. I used to mix a porcelain with it, and the VGT accounted for 25% of the cost, even though it was only 2% of the mix. Even so, the body was still within an acceptable price range for porcelain.
  7. For raku or non-functional ware it doesn't matter. For ware that is meant to be used for food or needs to be water tight, vitrification is necessary. If your clay is not tight enough, it will absorb liquids through the unglazed foot or through the glaze if it's crazed. That absorption can contribute to crazing, and it will weep moisture onto tables/furniture/cabinets, and could grow bacteria/mold/etc under the glaze.
  8. Despite what the clay companies say, clay bodies don't work over that wide a range. If it's truly vitrified at cone 10, it will be too loose at 6. If it's vitrified at cone 6, it will be over-fired at 10. You'll have to have a body for each cone.
  9. I have heard of those cracking, but no more than other shelves, and I've never seen it myself. All shelves crack eventually. I imagine having a large platter on it contributed to it heating unevenly top to bottom, and it just gave out. There was probably a hairline crack there already. Those big shelves also heat unevenly from the edge to the center, so lots of stresses at play there. You can clean up that edge with a masonry disc on a circular saw and use them as two half shelves, or just rub off the sharp edges with a silicon carbide stone or angle grinder.
  10. There is kiln paper that will work at high temps, but it's expensive.
  11. @Jeff h It would help if you could at least post the brands and models of the wheels and kilns. Pictures, too if you could. It'll save you a lot of phone calls.
  12. These round gas kilns are known to have a lot of issues with firing evenly, getting to temp, reducing evenly, etc. Based on what I've seen on the forum, the folks that have the best results are those that have modified the stacking configuration from what Olympic says, or have added in a baffle wall or flue channel. The biggest issue with these kilns is that they don't have enough room to breathe. Air flow is all-important in a gas kiln. If you load it like an electric kiln, there's not good air flow.
  13. Clay, and clay dust, gets everywhere. I would never put a wheel in a bedroom. Find a spot that can be dedicated to just clay work, no matter how small. I would not worry about the heat. My studio regularly gets up to 100 degrees in the summer with the big kiln running, and the wheels are not affected. Maybe don't let the wheel bake in the direct sun, but beyond that it should be fine.
  14. No cardboard, no paper. Only plastic bins. Wet boxes and paper can make packing in wet conditions even more miserable. I use foam sheets, but I do not wrap anything- I tumble stack. Individually wrapping each pot takes forever, and bubble wrap doesn't protect the edges unless you have several layers, which wastes a lot of space. I put the biggest pots in the bin, and start filling in with smaller pots, putting two layers of 1/16" foam between them as I nestle them into the stack. Everything is snug and doesn't roll around. I've had bins fall over and not break anything. Using the tumble stack method I can pack every pot in 20 minutes. At most shows I will be on the road in under an hour.
  15. Yes. Selling price depends entirely on condition. Excellent condition and the elements are still good- $500. But that means only small chips in a few bricks, the lid and floor don't have any major cracks, the outer jacket isn't corroded, and the bricks aren't yellowing.
  16. The wheel doesn't need to be level in order to center. Make sure the belt is tight/not slipping. Also inspect the belt and make sure there isn't a bulge in it anywhere. The womp is probably related to a specific spot on the belt.
  17. Use alumina wax on the bottoms of your pots if you don't want to wash the shelves.
  18. If it came out 1.6% just from the unglazed foot, it would be much higher than that if the entire pot was unglazed.
  19. @Bill Kielb I disagree. You can only add so much EPK and silica before the melt changes, and the crazing isn't always fixed when you reach that point. I've been there. And yes, adding in a different flux can change things, but the OP was just looking for a clear and didn't like the original glaze anyway, so there's nothing to lose. I agree that if he can fix it with flint and EPK then that would be a simple solution, but that may or may not work. I think other methods for solving the problem are valid.
  20. Now I see what you're saying. But I don't think anyone said that sodium should never be at .18. Just because it works in one recipe doesn't mean it works in all recipes. Sodium is hardly the only determining factor. Plus you're not using it on the same clay body as the OP. I also don't see why it's unreasonable to test a lower expansion flux. Adding 15% EPK and silica will also affect durability, texture, color and firing range.
  21. I'm not sure what's so exotic about spodumene. I've got recipes from the 60's that use it.
  22. I really like what @GEP said there. Being good at doing shows is as important as selling at the show if you want to make it all work and do it long term. I see so many artists who have been doing shows for years and still don't seem to have a clue what they're doing, and they're stressed out the whole time. You'll figure out systems that work for you, but here's a few things that make it work for me: 1. No cardboard boxes. Everything goes into plastic tubs so rain is not an issue. 2. Small tables, and adaptable shelving. By using 4' tables instead of 5' or 6' tables, I can set up in a number of different configurations. This is important because some shows require you to have half of your booth up on the sidewalk and half on the street, or sometimes you'll get put on really uneven ground, or have to work around a big tree root. I can set up my shelves on top of the tables in either 4 foot or 6 foot widths, or do a smaller setup for one day shows or indoor shows that have smaller spaces. I typically do a 4'x8' L and a single 4' table. For small shows I just do the L, or I can set up a U if I'm partially on a curb. I can set up in a space of just about any size. 3. Invest in the best canopy you can afford and make it sturdy. If you don't have a ton of money to spend on a premium canopy, then get a popup and spend some money on weights and stabilizer bars. You want at least 40 pounds on each leg. Stabilizer bars will make any popup much stronger, and will keep the walls from blowing in on your pots. If you do it right, you won't have to panic whenever a storm rolls in. An awning out the back of the booth to provide shade for you will be a big help, too. 4. Get there early and give yourself plenty of time. My rule is to always be set up at least an hour before the official start of the show. That way I don't have to rush, and might make some sales from the early birds. If that means leaving the house at 5am to set up Saturday morning, that's fine. 5. If you find yourself being stressed about some aspect of doing the show, figure out how to fix that. The less stress you have, the more successful you'll be.
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