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Everything posted by neilestrick

  1. Keep some inventory aside if you need to. You don't have to have everything out all at once. Too much will overwhelm people. Just keep the surplus organized so it's easy to find a certain color/shape/size if someone asks for it. Get a good cooler and keep it stocked with food and beverages. There's nothing worse than being hungry or thirsty while sitting there. Keep rain gear and a full change of clothes in your booth, including shoes and undergarments. You might need them if the weather turns. Never apologize for your work. If someone critiques it, either thank them for their ideas or explain why you did it the way you did. But never admit that it's flawed in some way. Most flaws are only visible to you. Don't de-value your work with your words. Pricing is difficult, so go with your gut until you've done a few more shows and have a better feel for what prices your work can get. I never change prices for specific shows. If they won't sell at a certain price, that show probably isn't a good fit for my work anyway. Every artist has something they say to almost everyone that comes into their booth. For me it's telling them that my pieces are dishwasher and microwave safe. It's the question I get the most, so I open with that. It breaks the ice. Figure out something simple and interesting that will get the conversation going. Give people time to look. Don't pounce on them. Find that balance between letting them know that you're paying attention to them, but giving them their space. Good luck!
  2. Also, the bricks are cut with very little waste. 2.5" bricks set the standard decades ago. They wouldn't be able to make the outer dimension larger with the same 9" long brick.
  3. With half shelves you can overlap and make them work. You can also cut down cordierite shelves pretty easily with a masonry disc on a circular saw.
  4. Just mix it up really well. The mold shouldn't hurt anything as long as it's not clumpy.
  5. The Skutt 181 usually has the old, old, old style kiln sitter, which does not have the large black cover plate. The box is much narrower than models with the modern Sitter. There may not be room to fit a controller, and the relays and controls will be subject to a lot of heat.
  6. A 'clay body' is a blend of clays and other ingredients that make a workable mix. Porcelain, for example, is kaolin, feldspar, and silica. What you're dealing with is just a single clay. Personally, I couldn't even venture a guess as to what it is without actually touching it. Have you processed the clay?
  7. Cones measure heat work, which is temperature over time. Holding temperature has the same effect as firing hotter. In general, a 20 minute hold will get you approximately one cone in added heat work. So a 45 minute hold equals roughly two cones, which would put you at cone 2. The 20 minutes is not exact, though, so it's hard to say just what cone you were firing to. The hold on the 05 glaze firing also means that you're getting to a higher cone, probably more like 03. I would either stick with the schedule you know works, or do a firing on that schedule but put cones in the kiln so you can find out just what cone you're actually getting to. You don't have to be able to see the cones during the firing, you can check them when it's cool. Once you know what you're actually getting you can just fire to that cone instead of using the hold. Or like I said, just stick with what you know works, although you're probably wasting electricity with those long holds.
  8. Cone 01 with a 45 minute hold is not cone 01. The additional heat work from the hold probably pushed it up to cone 1, 2, or 3. Without actual cones on the shelf it's impossible to know what was actually happening.
  9. It's a very debatable subject. You've basically just told all of us that we're wasting our time making functional pots. Why is a handmade bonsai pot any better than a cheap mass produced one? For the same reason a handmade mug is better than a cheap mass produced one.
  10. In my experience, air powered grinders will outlast any battery powered or corded grinder. The dust kills them. If you don't have an air setup, I wouldn't invest in anything as nice as a Milwaukee. Just get the cheapest corded model you can find. Get the locking switch. Holding a switch while working is super annoying.
  11. The Skutt is belt drive. The motor is very large for its HP rating, so it runs cooler. Their controller is also really good, with 6 different adjustable settings so you can really dial it in for your throwing style. The Whisper is direct drive, no gearing, so that limits the torque a lot. There used to be a wheel on the market, the Max Wheel, that was gear driven, not belt, and it had a craploads of power. It felt very weird, though, not at all like a belt drive.
  12. Skutt/TS wheels have the most torque- the power to keep rotating under load. It's not all about horsepower. The Skutt 1/3hp models will handle as much as a Brent 1hp. The Whisper wheels have some of the lowest torque ratings due to the type of motor they use. They work well for what most people make, but I would try one before hoping to put 25 pounds on it.
  13. @ClayToTheCore Has this kiln worked for you before?
  14. Here's one place you can get them: http://www.clay-king.com/kilns/kiln_parts/kiln_controllers.html
  15. A lot of glazes won't respond to slow cooling at all, but it's worth testing everything to see!
  16. Any kiln that will run on 120V is going to be tiny, too small for anything other than a couple of mugs. I also wouldn't waste money on upgrading the controls for that kiln. If anything, you should get an external digital controller. If you get the 50 amp size, you could use it on just about any used studio size manual kiln that you buy, up to 10 cubic feet in most cases. If you were to get a new kiln, the smallest I would buy would be 18x18, like an L&L e18S-3 or Skutt 818. It's the next size up from what you have there. It can hold a couple dozen mugs, depending on what size you make them. Your daughter's skills will improve, so get a kiln that will still be useful in 5 years.
  17. It's also possible that the screens are clogged. It would be best to take it apart and clean it out completely. There probably has to be more clay in the machine to get the it to move through. Once you start feeding clay into the machine it will probably work
  18. You probably won't get the precision benefits unless you have a very powerful kiln that can react quickly to keep temperatures steady, and you would need a type S thermocouple to really get the benefits. And unless you're doing crystalline work, none of that is necessary. Typically you would use a shelf that is sized to the chamber dimension, like a 15 1/2" shelf for 2.5" brick or a 15" shelf for 3" brick. If the kiln is indoors, the 3" brick will radiate less heat and keep the space more comfortable and make it cheaper to cool in the summer. Just get the 3" brick if you're buying new.
  19. Grog will bump up the peak temp. Is it a coarse grog or fine? I could see 266 being really nice with fine grog. Also, is the grog visible in the fired clay?
  20. 50F/hr is really slow for a cooling cycle. You'll see a difference with a lot of glazes at 150/hr cooling rate. I'd start with a faster cooling rate and slow it down from there.
  21. If they're going into a wood fired kiln, they'll get ash in the kiln. Why apply it before?
  22. If it has zone control, just distribute the load somewhat evenly, rather than having an empty section. If it doesn't have zone control, leave the bottom empty.
  23. You can make really nice copper reds in oxidation by using silicon carbide for localized reduction. You can also make all sorts of nice iron reds and oranges in oxidation, typically with the addition of bone ash. And yellows and oranges with rutile. You actually have a lot more options for color in cone 6 oxidation than you do in cone 10 reduction, because may colors are more stable at the lower temperature.
  24. Your photo isn't displaying on my computer. Is anyone seeing it? The holes should not affect the structural integrity of the bricks. If they're going to crack, they'll do it with or without the holes. But even if they do, if the compression system is good the cracks won't matter because the bricks can't move anyway. If the holes were an issue, filling them with fiber won't help. You would have to make little rods of brick and mortar them in place.
  25. If you're handy with basic woodworking tools, there are ways of making pedestals so they fold flat. Google it. It makes it a lot easier to transport them. Make them out of 3/8" thick plywood or MDF and they'll last forever.
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