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  1. Bad Habits with Manganese

    Not to minimize the danger, but a lot of people worked their entire lives around manganese fumes/dust and very few developed the horrific permanent nervous system issues traditionally associated with it. Point being, its not an instant death sentence, and thats coming from someone who really once thought it more or less was. Also manganese isnt water soluble, it cant be absorbed through the skin (according to an employee of Aardvark I reached out to about these exact concerns). Do what is needful to work with it responsibly from now on, but its extremely unlikely you've lit the fuse on any neurological time bombs already.
  2. Went off without a hitch. You folks are the best, thanks for excellent advice as always.
  3. Nod, understood. Skutt's actually terminate the electrical connections per-ring apparently, so there wont be much to worry about there once I remove the control box and unplug the ring-specific leads.
  4. So I decided to go the responsible adult route and call Skutt, who said that as long as the bands on the rings are tight, they can be moved from horizontal enough to make it through a door, but generally its not a great idea because its a lot of stress on it of course. If anyone has anything to add, naturally, you have my gratitude.
  5. I just got my new kiln delivered and have to bring it into the studio, which is going to require breaking down the rings and such and moving them one at a time then reassembling, of course. My question: is there any danger of the rings collapsing / becoming damaged if we turn them on their side to get through the door? EG will bricks slip out, will it bend under its own weight, or is it designed to survive this sort of maneuver? It's a Skutt 1231pk, aka http://www.bigceramicstore.com/skutt-km1231pk-single-phase.html Thanks!!
  6. I appreciate the help / guidance, Neil & Mark, very much. That front-loader thread is certainly thought provoking. It's worth noting that I'm shifting focus somewhat to large sculptural pieces, so the consistency issues that would concern someone doing a run of functional ware apply a bit less here.
  7. That's truly unfortunate, a narrative regarding what problems I should expect is exactly what I need most.
  8. Ach... this is worrisome... the kiln size is something I can adapt to, no worries there, but clearly I better read the fine print regarding what sort of warranty is in play.
  9. I'm about to invest in my first 'grownup' kiln and so far, the Olympic FL20E seems like it has such a massive value edge over the competition that I've become suspicious. Can anyone pitch any opinions my way? I'm particularly attracted to the size and the fact that it's front-loading. Apologies in advance if this isnt an appropriate subforum to ask questions like this in, of course.
  10. Black Clay Advice

    Ive seen a lot more black clay that's made black by the inclusion of manganese than iron. Point being, I would double check whats making that clay black. Manganese has a pretty huge stigma attached to it, due to it being really toxic stuff when improperly handled, so its possible that it's listed in the fine print. Best to know exactly what you're dealing with before you start chasing down solutions.
  11. Worth it many times over, this thread got incredible fast.
  12. my mind is absolutely spinning, taking the time out to explain this to me (simplified or no) is remarkably kind and generous, i cant think you enough.
  13. Im oddly terrified of using alcohol in this context.. I've been filling a large dog-bowl with combustibles (rice husks, shredded paper, so on) and placing it on a layer of wet towels, then foisting the hot piece in and once the flames kick up, gently slamming a larger galvanized steel bucket over it for about 15 seconds.. Whats interesting tho is that although I get really interesting effects from silver nitrate, none of my copper based lusters ever turn that lovely red, and your post makes me wonder if I'm not creating a severe enough vacuum to properly provoke them.
  14. Which is what Raku is: depositing a thin film onto a glazed piece. The crystal structure is refracting light back through the thin film; creating the optics of iridescence. I have much to learn; I thought 'raku' (in this context) focused on reduction.. I dont see how vapor deposition has any relation to the reduction environment/oxygen depletion.. again my apologies if I'm confusing something, I thought these were two very distinct, very different processes (reduction vs vapor) to obtain luster..
  15. "Most common rock-forming minerals are anisotropic, including quartz and feldspar." the plot thickens.....