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About Sputty

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  1. Sputty

    Not Simon Leach

    Isn't it fabulous stuff? And I happen to know that he's a lovely man, too! As you say, uplifting to the spirit.
  2. Sputty

    Not Simon Leach

    Now that's a yarn bowl that would at least work as it should! It's actually remarkably difficult to find a yarn bowl which is intelligent from the perspective of functional design, but which also has some aesthetic sense to it. Almost every bowl I've seen has been clumpy - squat - to the point of ugliness. I go to a number of yarn/fibre events, and see stalls-ful (stallfuls?) of these things, almost always horrible, graceless, ill-thought out objects. Some of the nicer ones have actually been in turned wood rather than ceramic. I understand that the limitations of use do rather imply a wide, heavy base, but even so... I do quite like those made by Charan Sachar. But then he is a knitter as well as a potter, and I generally like his stuff anyway.
  3. Sputty

    Not Simon Leach

    Why the sarcasm? I have a whole back-catalogue of posts here of interesting videos that I like. People occasionally comment on them. That's what happens on forums. If the only responses you want are those which agree with you, you should perhaps add a rider at the end of your posts to that effect. I wasn't exactly rude, was I? Just gave an honest, mild, and moderated opinion. Just like your inference that watching Mr Leach was akin to taking valium.
  4. Sputty

    DIY spray booth with waterfall

    There are only slightly less than one million ideas here: Spray booth: help!
  5. Sputty

    Not Simon Leach

    The slot on that yarn bowl is w-a-a-a-y, w-a-a-a-y too wide, both for functional and aesthetic reasons. And the guy's manner annoys the hell out of me. Bring back Simon... My very own, very humble opinion, of course.
  6. It seems to be quite common here, especially recently.
  7. Sputty

    refiring bisque

    Yes, you can. No problem whatsoever.
  8. Sputty

    Bisque temp for raku

    China, rather, if anywhere. The history given here is interesting - History-Birth of Raku Ware - and especially worth a look is the 'Raku Successive Generations' menu item. Is a tea-bowl still a tea-bowl if it's not part of a tea ceremony? I'd argue that it isn't; the context of an object is as important to its definition as its form or superficial function. But it's probably all hair-splitting!
  9. Sputty

    Bisque temp for raku

    I think this is the problem, though. Cross-cultural knowledge without the traditions - which might mean the rituals, or the associated myths, or simply a history of usage - is not really knowledge at all. It's a sort of superficial, spurious bastard offspring without proper roots. Now, it might evolve into its own creature, but it really isn't related to the original except in the most trivial of senses. In the context of Japanese Raku vs Western 'Raku', this is really very obvious, as you have noted. The focus is so different, the concerns so different - the whole blessed point so different - that they are effectively entirely different aesthetics. And it is the aesthetic that is the whole point of Japanese Raku, one which requires a great deal of time and effort to assimilate if that particular sense, that way of accessing the world, is not ones immediate and natural instinct. I think all I'm saying is that I don't like one form being associated with the other! And I do like to recognise that any given aesthetic is informed by the complex, multi-dimensional context in which it is born and grows. These things are important.
  10. Sputty

    "dangerous" glaze ingredients

    The ultra-cautious can now add Titanium Dioxide to their list of terrifying ingredients. France is just about to ban the use of Titanium Dioxide as a food additive (E171), following research that shows micro-particles are able to pass through to the liver, lungs, etc. The stuff causes precancerous lesions in rats, as well as compromising their immune systems. E171 has been widely used in cosmetics and sun-screens, as well as being a food additive. So, you probably don't want to inhale vast plumes of the stuff, although of course once it's part of a fired glaze you can relax and breathe once more. For those with some French: Les bonbons au dioxyde de titane bientôt interdits
  11. Sputty

    Bisque temp for raku

    Are you sure it wasn't a L O N G time ago when people perhaps did know better? If ever the phrase 'cultural appropriation' has any meaning, it is surely in the way that the raku process has been hijacked by the West (starting in the US). The practice, process, and aesthetic has moved beyond all recognition from its root; and worse, it has gathered its own stern, almost legalistic, pre- and pro- scriptions we are supposed to abide by - absolutely detrimental to the understanding of that aesthetic. So one of the noblest, quietest, deepest and most elemental expressions of stillness and tranquillity gets reduced to buttock-clenching advice on food-safe surfaces and porosity. I sometimes get quite annoyed by it.
  12. Yes, Cromartie certainly did use brick lids at one point - mine has a brick lid! But mine has three elements, in series, 6-ish ohms a piece. The one I have is actually a really well built little kiln, fully encased in quality stainless. It's received so much abuse that it feels unkind, but it keeps on plugging along, mostly used for tests, or as a quick turnaround kiln.
  13. I'm fairly sure that it is a Cromartie kiln, which probably makes it one of the earlier Hobbytech 40's if it's rated for an ordinary 13 amp ring main. The company does still exist, and can supply elements and give technical advice. Try here. It would be worth sending them a few photos of the kiln, including any plates riveted to it, so they might identify it exactly (i.e. don't take my word as an absolute guide!).
  14. Sputty

    HELP - how does this kiln work

    Bear in mind you'll be (potentially) trying to draw 14 Amps from a 13 Amp circuit if you're plugging it in to a standard power socket. That's not necessarily a good idea, and will trip anything there is in line to trip, or possibly cause a fire if trippable things fail to trip. Is there a 7kW cooker circuit you can run it to? I'd recommend it... Is there any history with this kiln? Previous owner? Usage?
  15. Sputty

    HELP - how does this kiln work

    It's a good start! When you say 'orange glow' - was that the whole kiln interior, or just the elements? That is, do you think the kiln itself got to orange heat? This from @Pres is very useful: How many hours did it take before it shut off? What were the dials set to? Those glaze tests - what are the glazes - that is, what temperature or cone are they supposed to mature at? Bear in mind that your kiln appears to have a top temp of 1200 deg C, so you'll struggle to get anything above cone 6 to maturity. The ceramic tube is (was!) there to protect the thermocouple from mechanical and environmental (chemical fuming) damage. You should really replace the tube - in fact, unless you know for certain how old the thermocouple is, you might be best advised to replace it all while you're about it. That assumes that you think the Pye box is functioning as it should. If you have doubts about that, it might be an idea to bypass the temp controller and thermocouple completely, so you just have a box which heats up with the aid of the simmerstat. You'd then rely on cones to tell you when the firing is complete. You could also buy a new thermocouple and meter to help you judge what's going on, but that means spending money, a pet aversion of mine.

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