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Everything posted by OffCenter

  1. OffCenter


    After reading reviews and articles about pugmills, I decided to buy a Peter Pugger (the smallest one). During my first incarnation as a potter back in the '70s I used Walkers and Bluebirds. I loved the Walker but those aren't available anymore. I've had the Peter Pugger 2 years and have only used it a few times because, first, it is almost as much trouble as just mixing clay by hand and, second, the clay that comes out is the most unplastic, unusable crap I've ever seen. Even when all I'm doing is running some clay through it to even it all out (same wetness) and put really nice plastic clay in, it comes out horribly unplastic. Even aging it doesn't help much. I've got some Frost and Southern Ice that I ruined by pugging it over a year ago and it is still crap clay. I've tried adding a little beer. I've saved slip to add instead of water. I tried adding a little Ball clay. Nothing helps. Anyone else out there experience anything like this? Jiim
  2. It always depends on the glaze. The person who suggested cooling faster is probably right if you're trying to get glossy clear. For some glazes, especially mattes, slow cooling is better. For some, super slow cooling is best. Some potters use incredibly complicated holds and ramp downs for cooling saturated iron glazes. The only way to find out what works best is by testing. Jim
  3. It seems common sense to assume that more heat is escaping through the top of the kiln, but that is not the case. All else being equal, just as much heat is escaping through the sides and bottom so it would help just as much to put a layer of kaowool under the kiln as on top of it. Jim
  4. OffCenter

    New Regs On Silica Dust

    Thank you for the above post. Jim
  5. OffCenter

    Cone 5 B-Mix

    Along with other clays, I use B-Mix 5 (which is really a cone 6 clay), B-Mix 10, and B-Mix Woodfire and have not had problems with cracking. It is unlikely, but possible that both of you got a bad batch of B-Mix 5. Laguna sometimes screws up their clays. I got a bad batch of Frost 5 once and had to go to great extremes (adding a little paper) to fix it and warned lots of people away from Frost because of cracking only to discover when someone here pointed out to me that she had just made a complete dinner set out of Frost with no cracking problem, that I had bought a bad batch of Frost. Jim
  6. OffCenter

    New Home "studio"

    Pfff, nonsense Jim! Crank that baby up to "11"! Hmmmm....that would be a great idea for a ceramic related poster and/ or t-shirt. Fat chance that her kiln will get to cone 11. Somebody who wood fires to cone 13 with us has a t-shirt that says, "Cone 13"... BTW, which do you mean would make a good T-shirt "Crank that baby up to 11!" or "Pfff, Nonsense Jim!"? Jim
  7. That's very interesting. Thanks for posting it and thanks for the kind words. I imagine there are many people like us who are disillusioned by the prospect that to make a living as a potter the two main courses are to teach it in high school or college or to become a dish-making machine. Jim
  8. Larry... I understand what you're saying and don't mean to pester you about not using tools, but I want to point out that I'm no experienced sage. I've been spraying glazes closer to 4 years than 30. I potted back in the 70's (worshiping the cone 10 reduction idol) but stopped because I saw no difference between production pottery and working in a factory and took 35 years off. Now, I've been potting 6 or so years and feel the same pressure you do to make up for lost time. Maybe that's why my work is all over the place now in the sense that I try everything I can. Jim
  9. OffCenter

    New Home "studio"

    Just because it is rated as a cone 10 kiln doesn't mean it will be practical to fire it to cone 10. It may have been able to reach cone 10 when new but not now or not in a reasonable time. Even if the kiln will get to cone 10 in a reasonable time it is still, unless you have some good reason for firing to cone 10, not a good idea to fire that high. Jim
  10. You may already have it and/or I may have suggested it before, but in "The Surface Techniques of Steven Hill", he covers applying layers of glazes and how to control thickness. While the tool you made is clever it is probably worthless. Even several layers of glaze applied with a spray gun correctly would be too thin for your tool to measure. If you're determined to use a tool instead of learning how to gauge thickness by eye and technique, then a simple needle tool is all you need. Jim
  11. OffCenter

    Using A Paint Spray Gun To Spray Glaze

    Mark and Wadar have already answered your questions. Here is the sprayer with the built-in compressor: http://www.harborfreight.com/high-volume-low-pressure-spray-gun-kit-44677.html. You could also search the forum for threads about spayers. This has been covered many times before and there's lots of info there. I've posted this info about Harbor Freight and TCP so many times they should me on their payroll. Jim
  12. OffCenter

    Using A Paint Spray Gun To Spray Glaze

    Maybe I don't have a clear idea of what you're doing but from the pic in your original post and the fact that you're using commercial glazes that are for brushing, an airbrush may work better for the detail work you're doing, but if you need spray guns, Harbor Freight not only makes cheap guns (which is a good idea for the reason nigich22 gave), but they make a great all-purpose sprayer that doesn't need a compressor for $120. For two guns and a detail gun the best deal I've found and the set up Steven Hill recommends is http://www.tcpglobal.com/itemdetail.aspx?itemno=TCP+G7000. Jim
  13. When I bought my Brent I bought the seat that attaches to it. It's simple, always where I want it and I don't have to worry about it moving when I'm trying to center 25 lbs. Jim
  14. OffCenter


    Interesting. Maybe Vanadium or Zirconium. Tempted to add it to the couple of hundred test I'd like to find time to run. Jim
  15. OffCenter


    Doc, are you using 15% RIO in the Readers Digest? Mine comes out a lot darker. Your gold color looks better. Jim
  16. OffCenter

    Hiring An Assistant

    Nice profile gallery, stephsteph! It's always nice to see what people who post here make. Your gallery was a delight. Jim
  17. Even if the work is not dry it will not warp... it will explode instead. Jim
  18. Knowing your glazes and equipment and developing an eye for thickness is even better than the needle. It's sort of like tapping on center in that it takes practice but is far better than using a needle (or a Griffin Grip) to center a pot. Jim
  19. OffCenter

    Why Earthenware?

    Clay Lover and Trina, I do, indeed, intend to make muscadine wine this year for the first time. I've had to drink a lot of wine to save up bottles. Jim
  20. I got my copy of CM yesterday. Your piece is wonderful. Congratulations again. In the review, I like the part where the reviewer picked up a hair dryer to see the breeze ripple through your "Straddling the 405" and was stopped by a guard. BTW, John Baymore has a nice piece in this issue, too. Jim
  21. OffCenter

    Why Earthenware?

    When I saw the above nonsense, I thought Oh crap, here we go again, I gotta dig out the Pinnell MOR test results, etc., but thanks to Trina and Marcia I can go pick muscadines instead. Jim
  22. OffCenter

    Wax On, Wax Off,

    Why not support Hobby Lobby, because their prices are ridiculous? It's political so I won't go into it here. Jim
  23. OffCenter

    Wax On, Wax Off,

    For those of you who don't want to support Hobby Lobby, other craft stores stock Mold Builder Liquid Latex and Amazon has it for a couple of bucks less than Hobby Lobby. Jim
  24. OffCenter

    Natural Talent....

    When I was a kid I liked to throw clay balls at other kids--we didn't get much snow. Other than that, I've never really cared that much for clay. Jim

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