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  1. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from liambesaw in Chrome tin red stability   
    I my experience, thickness plays the biggest role. They have to be on thick, or they won't go red. I keep the raspberry glaze in my studio mixed a lot thicker than the other glazes, so my students can get the proper application with the same dip count.
  2. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from liambesaw in Chrome tin red stability   
    I my experience, thickness plays the biggest role. They have to be on thick, or they won't go red. I keep the raspberry glaze in my studio mixed a lot thicker than the other glazes, so my students can get the proper application with the same dip count.
  3. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from liambesaw in Chrome tin red stability   
    I my experience, thickness plays the biggest role. They have to be on thick, or they won't go red. I keep the raspberry glaze in my studio mixed a lot thicker than the other glazes, so my students can get the proper application with the same dip count.
  4. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Motor in Outside Kiln   
    It will probably be okay. If not, you can always add more ventilation. Something as simple as a box fan blowing outside air toward the kiln will probably do the trick. Just make sure they run a standard 120 volt outlet in the shed in addition to whatever the kiln needs, so you have a place to plug in.
  5. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Bubble Glazing   
    Ok. Just wanted to make sure you weren't doing it on leather hard, as that would make it more likely to run. I've never actually done it so I'm not going to be a lot of help, but I think it's just finding the right balance of soap to underglaze. A specific recipe will require using the same brand of soap and underglaze, and having the underglaze at the same level of wateriness, which could be difficult unless you're using brand new bottles of underglaze. I would keep trying it with less water and more soap.
  6. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Bill Kielb in Kiln still stalling   
    I was thinking about the pressure today, too. It could be that those burners are meant to run on higher pressure. Was there any sort of instruction manual with it? Did the previous owner fire it with the same regulator setup? If there' s a name on the burners, you may want to call Ward Burner and see if he knows anything about them.
  7. Like
    neilestrick reacted to DirtRoads in AliExpress.com   
    Looked at my AliExpress account and I've placed 95 orders with various sellers.   I was a platinum buyer last year.      You basically escrow your money until you get the product and give feedback.  I've only had one order that wasn't what I ordered (it was just a mistake) and they replaced it promptly.  I don't see any risks at all ordering here.   Actually I use my bank debit card.   You can use pay pal (at least with some vendors) but it costs more.  I use the Ali pay, that holds your money until you rate the transaction
  8. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Narcissistic artists sell more art for more money   
    I’ll argue that the first article shows correlation, but doesn’t prove causation. I don’t think it looks deep enough at the whole structure that supports those results, and it seems to be reinforcing a lot of toxic myths about artists.    The big failing I find is that the artists they’re talking about weren’t presenting their work: others (dealers, representatives, auction houses and galleries) were doing it on their behalf or posthumously when the works commanded those outrageous prices.    Value has been created in these instances  by people other than the artist, or the inflated values, anyways. The people creating that artificial value have built it in part by playing up romantic notions about artists needing to be “visionary” and “iconoclastic” and “misunderstood.” No one wants to hear about the artist that put in a solid work day, went home to their happy marriage and family and paid all his or her bills on time. They want to idolize the tortured drama of someone’s disfunctional, womanizing, substance abusing mental breakdown that resulted in a stint in debtor’s prison because it makes a much more interesting story.    If you’re talking about making your own money and setting your own prices and not the Art world doing it for you, confidence or even arrogance plays a part in that. I don’t think that a disregard for the feelings of others or the need to be the center of the universe does, which is the more clinical definition of narcissism. It probably could be argued that it could work, but it’s not a good system if you want to be a healthy human being who makes art (or pottery), and has return customers.   
  9. Like
    neilestrick reacted to hitchmss in Older kiln burning through elements   
    Also to add in on to what @neilestrick said, make sure whomever is doing the repairs that they are using the correct hardware that the manufacturer is recommending. While there are a lot of devices designed to connect electrical components together, they are not all ok for connecting kiln element wires together. Ive seen some goofy stuff when Ive opened other kilns up.
    If the custodians or electricians arent familiar with how to work on kilns specifically then maybe do some research on your own so you can instruct them on how to do the repairs properly. Im sure Amaco would be more than happy to send you any instructions or tutorials on repairs.
  10. Like
    neilestrick reacted to hitchmss in cress kiln underfiring   
    The rust on your bottom while is a concern, is not one in relation to the underfiring. Eventually the metal will deteriorate so much that it will fall apart; I would make a decision on when you will replace the metal jacket. Id do it before it falls apart uncontrollably, which could mean damage to the floor of your kiln. From the pics it doesnt look like there are open spots in the metal, and like its "structurally ok" for now; keep an eye on it, when it seems like its going to fall apart, replace it. If you happen to have another kiln bottom lying around, you can slip it under your current kiln, or you could use a piece of sheet metal if you have that; something else to provide support for your failing metal banding.
    Did your electrician measure the resistance of the element wires? Even though the elements may be getting full voltage to them, if he has not measured the resistance, and found it to be acceptable, this could be the cause of your underfiring. Essentially element wires provide heat, by making electric current struggle to pass through the wire (whereas a copper wire provides little resistance), this "friction" is what produces the heat in your kiln. When you get a new set of element wires you can use your voltmeter to measure in ohms the amount of resistance in the wires; jot it down, and save it for later. You will notice over time that the ohms will increase, which is a sign of decrease in power. Without tracking what your ohms were on brand new wires, it will be difficult to measure currently the resistance, and make a judgement on whether or not they have adequate power or not. Neil may have some information on what is acceptable ranges for element wire resistances, even if you cant provide the specific information on what kind of element wires you have.
    As long as your kiln is receiving the proper voltage from your supply, and it is not being interrupted anywhere along the path from your line to load, then its got to be your elements. That is unless you are loading the kiln more densely than you did previously, are using a different program than previously, or doing something else which would be different from previous firings.
  11. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from hitchmss in Best way to fire flat pieces   
    You really only need a dusting of sand  to allow the piece to move on the shelf. Any thicker than that and you're just increasing the insulating factor of the shelf, and creating a mess for cleanup. Silica sand has smoother edges than grog, so acts more like little ball-bearings. It allows the piece to move easily on the shelf as it expands and contracts during heating and cooling. Grog has jagged edges, so isn't as effective. At low fire temps play sand should work, but for anything hotter you'd want to test fire the sand or stick with silica sand. If the problem is cooling, then the coil method will be more effective since it makes an air gap between the shelf and the work. With low fire clay it shouldn't sag or deform from the coils. I wouldn't trust it for cone 6, though, unless the piece is thick enough to not deform, and the coils were supporting the piece very evenly.
  12. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Guocheng Pottery Machine Help   
    If you don't mind, I'd like to change the name of this thread to include the brand name of the wheel. That way people searching the web for info about them will be more likely to find it, and we may save someone else the same headache.
  13. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Guocheng Pottery Machine Help   
    @Jenylea18 If that's one of those super cheap Chinese pottery wheels that have come onto the market recently, you're probably out of luck unless the place you bought it can help you. We were discussing those wheels a couple of weeks ago (HERE) and were shocked at how poorly built they are. It's possible it's just a wiring connection that fired out, but chances are it's something bigger. Take a look underneath and see if you can find anything obvious. If not, contact the seller and see what they can do for you. Does it have a warranty?
  14. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Benzine in Porcelain   
    If your kiln maxes out at cone 6, it will only get to cone 6 if your elements are in perfect condition. Once they start to wear, they won't have the power to reach cone 6, and you'll have to replace them. That means you'll be replacing elements 2-3 times as often as if you had a kiln that could go to cone 10.  The general rule is that you want to be firing at least 2 cones lower than the max of the kiln if you want optimum element life. Even then, element life will be a bit lower than one that's rated for 4 cones higher than what you fire to.
    As long as your clay and glaze are rated to mature at the same cone, you're good.
  15. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Pres in Foreign Contaminates in Clay   
    When I worked for A.R.T. we looked into a metal detector for the clay when a hole appeared in the stainless steel liner of our mixer and we had no idea at what point it had happened. It just wasn't feasible. It would maybe be able to find larger pieces of metal, but not shavings that would still be large enough to cut someone, and not at the speed it would need to be done to maintain a decent production schedule. So we threw out 9000 pounds of clay.
    If the production crew is doing their job properly, and the equipment is maintained properly, there is very little reason for anything to ever get into the clay. I could see the occasional piece of paper bag from the raw material, but never twigs or cigarettes or plastic.
  16. Like
    neilestrick reacted to amanda b in Kiln still stalling   
    hi linda, 
    sorry I'm so late to the party. as it happens, I have a slightly larger estrin downdraft that provides me, the Oregon Potter community and everyone who knows me with no end of frustration and funny tales. 
    fun facts about estrin I've discovered on this journey: they're out of business because they made bad kilns. according to the guys at geil who have been incredibly generous for literally no reason whatsoever considering I do not own one of their kilns... they've helped me to understand that estrin basically ripped off their kiln designs,poorly. 
    so while at base what you have looks like it should fire like a normal kiln... it's a box with a damper and there's fire.... you're going to have to start ignoring everything everyone tells you because they have no idea how to deal with an estrin, and you're going to have to ignore all common sense. 
    I've had some of the same problems you have. you are welcome to contact me off the site. amanda@ceremonyclay.com. what I will say is that it's been a great little kiln to really dig in with and there will be a part of me that is sorry to see it go someday. but it will be a very small part. 
  17. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Glaze cracking bottom of pots   
    When stretching bowls, I always work from the top down not because of the compression factor, but for stability. Here's what I mean: The more vertical a form is, the more stable it is (less likely to collapse). If you stretch/widen a bowl from the top down, then the area below your rib is always more vertical than where your rib is pushing, and therefore more stable. If you work from the bottom up, the area below your rib is always more horizontal than where you're pushing, and therefore more likely to collapse, especially because as you push outward with the rib there is also some downward pressure. I disagree that this will prevent cracking, though. It may help, but uneven walls, or walls that are too thick, can crack regardless of how you stretch.
  18. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Glaze cracking bottom of pots   
    Thank you for the kind words! Poor coning technique is the root cause of many issues that show up later in the throwing process, especially once you get into larger pieces of clay, like 3 pounds and up. If you don't have a good foundation, everything else will be affected. With good coning, good compression, and even thickness, S-cracks should rarely occur.
  19. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Does calcined EPK rehydrate if it gets wet?   
    But couldn't it just be absorbing physical moisture, which could be dried out again by heating to a couple hundred degrees, vs absorbing at a molecular level that would require calcining? You'd have to weigh it, dry it out, and weigh it again to see which you're dealing with. I would think that all of our materials vary in weight to some small degree depending on the humidity in the studio at any given time, unless they are in well sealed containers.
  20. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in colored slips   
    I think you mean yellow ochre? That's a form of iron oxide, so it'll go brown. If you want yellow, you'll need to use a yellow stain. Like Min said, many stains require a certain chemistry for them to keep their color, and some will only work at certain temperatures. To stain a slip you'll need a lot more stain than you would use for a glaze. Generally you need 10-20%.
  21. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Underglaze color   
    Line blends are usually done in 10% increments, so 90A/10B, 80A/20B, 70A/30B, 60A/40B, etc. With a little pocket scale you can do 20 gram tests, so you don't waste a lot of product. I use small plastic cups. Put the cup on the scale zero it out, weigh out the first underglaze color, zero it out, weigh out the second color. Just make sure you do't overshoot the second color or it can be tough to get it out without getting some of  the first color. If you weigh the lesser amount first it helps. The other option is to use a lid from a pint jar or mayonnaise jar and weight them out side by side, then mix.
  22. Like
    neilestrick reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Frequency of sanding a potter's rib   
    When I became self employed, I thought that since I didn't plan on hiring anyone else, I'd never need my HR training again. ha.
    I don't think it's an unreasonable expectation to have an employee re-learn better habits if the old ones are markedly impacting productivity. Economy of motion is important if you're talking about production pottery. If you have other employees who are finding the job expectations reasonable, and everyone is getting adequate stretch breaks, etc., if this person isn't meeting those same expectations because they're working inefficiently, that's a performance issue. If this person is doing it wrong and they decline to relearn on the basis of "I don't want to" or "I don't see why I should do it that way," it's a again a performance issue from an HR standpoint. 
    It's important to note that "I don't want to" or "I can't because this is frustrating" is different than "I physically can't or this will hurt me" or "I have a disorder that obliges me to do it this way." The latter two instances need to be, and should be accomodated however medically necessary. This is up to and including buying a few more ribs and accepting a lower production quota. The former two instances do not need accomodating at all, and are possible sources of staff morale problems that are even harder to deal with. The first two instances need to be stopped and stopped now, or you'll have more HR work to do, which sucks.
    If this person is otherwise unimpaired, if you've offered to provide alternate more durable tools to speed this person up, and support/reduced production expectations during a relarning period, that's being a reasonable employer in my opinion. 
    In my experience, dealing with employees compassionately does involve knowing exactly where all the boundaries and job parameters lie, communicating them clearly, and being willing to gently but firmly enforce them. There's a lot of "If This Then That" scenarios, and you have to know what you're willing and able to accomodate, and when you need to call it. As an employer, you have respnsibilities to fulfill your orders to your customers. If you have done your utmost to train this person but that person isn't able to adequately do the job you hired them for, they either need a different role, or they need to go on to find more suitable employment. It's ok to do this. No one is good at every single  job out there, and sometimes we find things out about ourselves through trial and error. Maybe this person will turn out to be a glazing wizard with his scrupulous attention to detail if they aren't able to speed it up enough on the wheel.
    As noted in the first few comments, this level of rib sharpening is idiosyncratic at best. Because there are so many ways to make pottery, I don't think it's strictly necessary from a making standpoint.
  23. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Hello from a new potter & process question   
    I don't think you'd ever get it to stay on the lathe. You can't chuck it up like a piece of wood. You can trim things on the pottery wheel, though, which is similar to wood turning. If you're looking to join wood or metal elements to clay pieces after firing, it's best to fit the wood and metal to the clay. Clay shrinkage is not precise enough for fitting things together.
  24. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Frequency of sanding a potter's rib   
    There is absolutely no reason to be sanding a rib every 14 mugs. That's ridiculous. If he needs a rib that sharp, then he should use a metal rib. If he's just using the wooden rib for stretching, there's no reason it has to be that sharp. Plus, since the ribs is usually used at a bit of an angle, it's kind of self-sharpening.
    From a business standpoint, if I were to spend 20 minutes a day sanding, that's 10 fewer mugs that I'm producing each day. If he's doing something that the other potters aren't, and his production is lower as a result, then as the employer I would put an end to it. Plus it's costing you money to replace his ribs. I would have him try producing without sanding the ribs for a week and see if it really impacts the quality of his work. Chances are it won't. Ultimately, that decision is yours, since it's your product. If he wants to sand his ribs for making his personal work, then fine. But it's your call for your pieces.
    I've got ribs I've been using for 15 years and have never sanded them.
  25. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rae Reich in Clothing for Raku Firing   
    I wear an old firefighter's coat. Fire resistant clothing is best, of course, but any clothing that is made of natural fibers and is thick enough to keep the heat off can work. I have used an old canvas Army coat in the past. Never wear synthetic fibers, because they melt when heated. Always wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. A face shield and hat are also required. In addition to the obvious danger of the heat of the open kiln, you also need to be protected if a piece decides to crack or pop apart and a hot shard goes flying. If you're doing this in a group setting, everyone in the group should have long pants, closed toe shoes, and safety glasses. The biggest gripe I have about raku workshops is the lack of safety equipment for people watching.

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