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Plattypus

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Everything posted by Plattypus

  1. Hello All, I have been told that Raku ware is really not to be used for food and drink. My clay is bisque fired to 04 and then we fire it in a gas out door kiln, transfer to buckets of straw, then douse in H20. My question is; is it really a bad idea to use the mugs for coffee? What do you think might happen if I was to re-fire the raku piece in our electric kiln with an 05 clear glaze? Would it change the raku finish? Would it make it usable for drinking? Please advise.
  2. I am a high school ceramics teacher. We purchase all popular brand glazes both low and cone 6. I inherited several bottles of glaze that are as old as 2007. Do glazes go bad? Can having a glaze be too thick causing it to crack and fall off the bisque ware? Please advise...
  3. Would someone be so kind as to walk me through the making of colored clay preferably with already manufactured ingredients like mason stains. Some years back I tried adding the powdered stain directly into my clay body but with only minimal success... What has worked for you?
  4. I just assumed a teaching position where my predecessor purchased a white clay body for the Feb wood fire. I would prefer a darker one but cannot purchase anything new. I have a small supply of some Standard Clays... Can I use any cone 10 clay for wood fire with decent result?
  5. I teach Middle School Art. For years I used Amaco clay without much satisfaction. A couple of years ago I switched to a Standard clay because my High School Ceramics colleague was using it. Standard #306 I believe that it's range is 4-10. We have been bisque firing it still at cone 04 as we had done in the past... many of the glazes we use direct that (and I figured my colleague knew better than me) Last year I purchase some cone 6 glazes and much prefer their effects. My colleague doesn't want to fire in this range due to the increase in kiln deterioration. I read the recent posts on firing and now understand what the pinging is about... Since my clay order for next year has been placed and is still the standard 306, to what cone should I bisque and which glaze temps are best? The majority of my glazes are 06-05. Can someone recommend a best case scenario for my situation? AND do you have another recommendation for future years? I would prefer a warm color clay body, would like nice interesting surfaces and can't afford to be to too rough on my kilns... the only control I have for the kiln is time and/or the Dawson kiln sitter.
  6. Glaze Fit, Clay Bodies And Cones

    Thanks for your answers. I am relieved to hear them. If I understand correctly, should I consider changing the bisque cone of the clay to the cone nearest the glaze we are going to use? I could 04 the bisque for the low fire glazes and do a 4 or a 5 for the cone 6 glazes. I believe I do have the manual. I think the kiln is technically a "glass" kiln based on other conversations I've had with Bruce Dehnert from Peter's Valley here in NJ. I have fired my kiln as hot as cone 10 but only one time (turned out it was a mistake on my part but it did bend the cone)
  7. Glaze Fit, Clay Bodies And Cones

    Standard also has beautiful glazes that are well suited for their clays. I would recommend Standard glazes for Standard clay. Before your purchases ask which glazes contain zinc (which can affect your underglazes if you are using any). Straight firing of bisque and gloss isn't ‘rough’ on a kiln. Your clay has a large firing range so I recommend testing to see what happens with your chosen glazes. Cone 04 bisque is a norm but check with Standard about the recommended bisque firing temperature of their clays. Maturation point of the glaze should coincide or correspond to the maturation point of the clay. You can get some beautiful glaze results at Cone 5. If a kiln is rated as such it can be fired high and/or low. Do you have the kiln manual?
  8. I have an old Creative Industries MP wheel... must've bought around 1986 or so... direct from their factory... I drove down from L.A. and went and picked it up in El Cajon. I don't recall it even coming with an owner's manual back then, if it did... I don't have it anymore. I know that when I bought it Kenton Oakes had just recently purchased the company from the original owner, and they were just beginning to get their feet wet in the business. Recently, late last year I believe... Kenton sold the company to "Speedball" and they make the wheels now. I don't know what their customer service is like yet, but I suppose it will be interesting to see going forward. Have you tried contacting them yet? Sorry I couldn't be more help... good luck refurbishing your wheel. - Ken Wow! That was a year ago already... I think I still have it if you think it would be of use. It doesn't say a whole lot. I don't know if it helped Mickey or not. Let me know, Tracey
  9. Raku Pots For Food Use?

    I agree hhmmm. I read the wiki.. (mostly). I didn't see mention of a scientific study. Did I miss it? If you don't use milk in your tea do you really have anything to worry about? the tannin from the tea shouldn't be a problem (to my mind)... If there was another source for that study would you kindly post it?
  10. Failing Kiln Stilts

    Hello All, I have been having some issues with the star stilts and another brand stilt... forgotten the brand just now. When firing at cone 5 glaze, an occasional metal tine fails (suddenly bend) and a piece will fall over and stick to another one. Also I have had some instances where the ceramic stilts are coming out slightly stuck into a foot which is unglazed... these are both new things... they never used to happen before. Any ideas? Do they have a shelf life and weaken over time?
  11. Sludge And Resist

    Hello fellow enthusiasts, two questions: My Middle school students are using Amaco wax resist when glazing. The various glazes tend to only partially roll off after we dip or pour. Some times it is applied on an under-glazed design, in addition to the foot. In either case, we often need to wipe quite a bit of the glaze away with a sponge because the resist is not completely effective but when the design is delicate the kids often have trouble getting it off the design without marring the rest of the surface. Any ideas on how to remedy this? Should the under-glaze be rubbed with a finger? I seem to have a memory of doing that but don't know why. My other question is about glaze consistency. Middle schoolers have great difficulty in brushing glaze effectively so I transfer all of my glazes to lidded buckets from which we dip and pour. A few of my glazes get such a thick residue on the bottom that even my electric drill can't cut through it. I end up removing the liquid, cutting through the sludge with a knife and then slowly blending the liquid back in. With one of them, Dry Champagne, I have to do that every couple of days or the kids can't use it. Any ideas why this is happening and is there anything I can do to stop it?
  12. Hi everyone, I guess you would call me an advanced beginner... I have had some throwing success lately but when it comes to trimming I sometimes feel like I ruin them. The bottoms become uneven and I also sometimes get this repetitive grooving... is it called "chattering"? Anyway I just made my decent casserole uneven!!! Very frustrating.... any ideas on what I might be doing wrong? I'm using a Giffen grip and a Dolan 310 trimming tool...
  13. Sludge And Resist

    hhmmm... not we're not. I'm guess we should be.. thanks
  14. Sludge And Resist

    Hi Chris, thanks for that suggestion. These are glazes I am buying in liquid form from Sheffield. Any thoughts on how to translate those percentages from dry weight to a liquid measurement?
  15. Trimming Wheel Thrown Work

    You raise a good point, Username. I meant the former in my post but I must admit that the latter is sometimes true. I haven't been working much and am trying to get back to it... Many of the pieces I trim belong to Middle School students using the wheel for the first time so my memory may be mixing with those. In general though, I think I have both issues. Thanks for your post.. it is not too often when surgery and the tonsorial arts are mentioned when I discuss pottery. Thanks for the chuckle and the advice :-)
  16. Hello all, I am going to my first wood fire early next month. I have done a soda ash fire and am familiar enough with that process to know that even unglazed areas gain a glaze like patina. My question is, when throwing a lid to sit on a gallery, how much play should be allowed? Are the rims generally unglazed (and therefore resisted) and if so will they gloss over and be usable as ovenware or should rims allow for the additional thickness of the glaze?
  17. Trimming Wheel Thrown Work

    Hi Mea, Your comments are very interesting... (and of course I already put a bit of effort into sharpening that Dolan, but haven't tried it yet) I had a class a couple of years ago by a well respected potter. When I trim I hear her voice telling me to speed up so of course I always do... and I do feel like I am more successful with the cheaper tools... looks like I need to be more attentive to the variables and note wheel speed vs which tool etc... Thanks so much... I'll try looking at the angle with the Dolan.
  18. Trimming Wheel Thrown Work

    I hear what you are saying about the grip. However, this has happened to me when I am using luggs of clay and centering by tracing with a pin tool also... as far as dryness goes, I was concerned it was too wet. It was quite moist. Can anyone give advice on sharpening the tool? Emery paper wrapped around a pencil or other suitable stick would help a lot or you can take an piece of fine emery paper an glue it to a piece of glass or a tile. I like to use fine wet-dry emery paper in about a 440 grit and use it wet, it stays open and cuts better. Be careful it can make the tool extremely sharp. Rub the tool across the emery papaer the same as if you were taking a cut with the tool that way you will not develop a burr. Chatter marks indicate that the tool is not cutting easily. I personally love my Gffen Grip and use it for trimming all the time, it is so handy to have and holds much more firmly than foam. Regards, Charles Thank you so much for the responses... I really appreciate them and I will sharpen my tools!
  19. Trimming Wheel Thrown Work

    I hear what you are saying about the grip. However, this has happened to me when I am using luggs of clay and centering by tracing with a pin tool also... as far as dryness goes, I was concerned it was too wet. It was quite moist. Can anyone give advice on sharpening the tool?
  20. Did you get the manual you need? I am an art teacher and we have an Evenheat maybe two... I've been there 11 years...they were there when I got there. I don't know the model numbers but I have the manuals... feel free to email me at tplatt@rtnj.org if you still want a copy.
  21. Hi Everyone, Hope someone has an idea for me.... I recently started using some Spectrum 4/6 glazes on my stoneware. I have been overlapping 2 to 3 colors and I love the finish but I have been getting sporadic pinholes and clusters of tiny pinholes. The stoneware is Standard 306 but it is usually being fired at 04 instead of the c4/10 range printed on the box (long story) Does anyone think that the disparity between the bisque temp and the glaze temp is causing the pinholes? I have glaze fired at c5 and c4 with no change in the pinholes... What about the thickness of the glaze? I'm wondering if the pinholes are due to slight thicknesses in the glaze coverage... I would welcome any thoughts
  22. Hello Everyone, just got a job working with little people for the summer. The coordinator advertised "image transfer on clay" They have no kiln and I am told they will use air dry clay.. any ideas for transfer of images? I have used water slide decals that require a polyurothane (sp?) finish but anything else would be appreciated...
  23. Sharon, Have you tried wetting the bisque as Sherman suggested? I have been struggling with pinholes as well.. please post your results if you did.
  24. Tiny Pinhole Clusters

    just FYI... I thinned the dried layers of glaze over run with a small dry sponge and fired on 4 rather than 5 (had a lot of movement with 6) and I may have those pinholes on the run.. they are better but not gone %100
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