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Achilles

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About Achilles

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  1. Kiln Wash Ruining My Work

    Thank you all for the helpful suggestions. The recipe for kiln wash above calls for "calcined EPK", which I am not familiar with. From what I found online, this is made by firing regular EPK in a bowl. Is it sufficient to fire the EPK in my next bisque firing (come 04), or do I need to fire it to the same temperature as my glaze firings (cone 6) before mixing it with the aluminum hydrate and regular EPK?
  2. In my glaze firings, I have found kiln wash stuck to the inside of some bowls. I checked my shelves and there is absolutely no kiln wash on the bottom or sides of them, so know it isn't flaking off the bottom of the shelf above and landing in the bowl. My working assumption is that the kiln wash is flaking off of the shelves and floating around the kiln. Does that sound possible? If so, is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening? In case it is helpful to know, I am using pre-made kiln wash that I buy in powder form from the local supplier. I mixed it with water and then brushed it on my shelves. Per the instructions, I applied 3–4 layers in the following manner: apply a coat of wash, let it dry for several hours, repeat. I waited about a week before firing the washed shelves, and I first bisque fired them to ^04, then later glaze fired them to ^6. Nevertheless, the wash seems is brittle and is flaking off. What should I do?
  3. I think the answer you received needs some qualification— while it may technically be possible to make a plaster mold using any model, some materials are much easier to use than others. The two main concerns when making plaster molds are: (1) the model shouldn't be made of a porous material (or the plaster will stick to it) and (2) the model should give slightly (or you will have trouble getting it out of the mold intact, especially if the form is complex). Examples of materials that are too porous to be useful are bisqueware, papier mâché, and untreated wood. Applying a mold release agent, like murphy oil soap, will only help so much with these materials. Examples of materials that may be too stiff to be removed from the mold without breaking either the model or the mold are thin glass or ceramic and wood (particularly fragile wood, like balsam). Better options for making models are green clay, modeling clay (oil-based), or carved plaster. If you have an existing model that is too porous or stiff, make a new model of it using silicone.
  4. I understand from reading other threads on this topic that I can make a cone pack by putting cones in some clay wadding; however, they will explode if they heat up too quickly. Since I glaze using a fast firing schedule, I am concerned about this risk, and thought it might be safer to first include the cone packs in my bisque firing, since the bisque uses a long, slow schedule. So my question is: if I put a bunch of Cone 6 cone packs (i.e., cone 6 cones in clay wadding) in with a cone 04 bisque, can I then use them in later glaze firings? Or are the cones less effective if they go through a preliminary firing, even if they don't reach Cone 6 temperature?
  5. A lot of great suggestions here. I will give them each a try and see what works. I am glad to know I am not the only one who struggles with this issue.
  6. Hello, I hope someone can help me: I use Standard Porcelain 365 for Cone 6 to throw mugs off the hump. Part of the nature of throwing off the hump is that there is a thick wad of clay at the bottom that I need to trim. The problem is that the rim of the mugs dry out well before the bottoms are dry enough to trim. This also makes attaching handles problematic because the top of the mug it bone dry by the time I am ready to attach the handle. When I have wrapped my pieces in plastic, after a week the bottoms are still too wet to trim. Is there something else I should try? Thank you, Achilles
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