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Mark C.

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About Mark C.

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 03/15/1953

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  • Location
    Near Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest
  • Interests
    Diving-underwater photo-salvage diving-dive Travel
    Extreme offshore tuna fishing off north coast of Ca.

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  1. Ok we all know not to cool a kiln down to fast. I had some friends who cracked their advancer shelves by opening the damper to soon to cool off their downdraft 30 cubic foot kiln. I alwaysa close the damper at cone 11 and let it sit for a few days until last Saturday. You know when ceramics seems like its flowing along well than wam two X four in the head. Last Saturday I was firing two glaze kilns (both gas) started them at 5.30 am. The 1st one went off at 4.30 pm and I closed it up as I have a thousand times before. We get into a routine about these things or so we think. Second kiln cone 11, 1/2 way down at 5 PM -turn off 4 burners on right side and then the other 4 burners left side. About 3 hours later I sat down on couch in living room and noticed the heat waves reflecting on my socks-I jumped up realizing the low sun was showing the heat waves into the living room meaning the damper never got shut down 3 hours ago. I raced out and shut the damper. The digital pyro showed the kiln dropped 1,000 degrees in that 3 hour period. I was off on a two day trip to SF in the am and for two days thought about the worst-broken shelves cracked pots under oxidized glazes-you name it. I have never done this in 45 years-made a damper mistake. I knew the cystals would not be there in the glazes 9they needs slow cooling to form) What else can happen to a 35 cubic kiln load of stuffed porcelain pots when its crashed cooled. Last night when arriving from a 6 hour drive I opened the kiln to find all is well. The only thing so far noticed is my brown glaze is muddy and very brown not reddish. I have yet to unload it all so we shall see what else is astray . Just when its all going so well-even the pros get it wrong now and again.Ceramics is most humbling at times
  2. Yes thats why I do not have the 10 tons dropped off on my road. Its far easier to pull the boxes off my 4X4 high pickup tailgate inside my clay shed than stooping over low pallets on the road and having to walk the boxes. You learn fast when you move clay-on how to move clay the least amount.
  3. Pull more lip and make the edge thinner.Its always a trade off.
  4. To much money for old wheel with cone drive
  5. One take away is buy what you can use and store in terms of a whatever price break you can get. Just keep in mind about price breaks and see if you can benefit . If you have a break at 500#s its best not to buy 400#s also the same is true with glaze materials
  6. CP They use a penetrometer for every large batch http://www.lagunaclay.com/clays/guide/characteristics.php Most clays ship out at 6.5 or at least porcelains-You can call and ask for John Pacini as he is the go to on all things clay.He works Mon-Wens. call 8-8.30 if you want to catch if at his desk. If its in the 5 to 5.5 the boxes start to squish flatter in taller piles.I cannot throw it at that point and it needs to sit and dry some time to be usable. Great for flat stuff. About 5 years ago they switched to softer clays in general as they changed the pent number system they used from the old days. That was an adjustment and about 3 years before that went thru some water supply issues which affected clay bodies. That really change the way B-mix worked and many potters I knew switched to other bodies then. Every clay supplier goes thru changes of water/materials at some point and clay comes out different. Learning how wet it is from the factory and how that effects your throwing of clay is part of the process.Most hobbyists never question all this detail .When I started using clay in volumes I had to know more.That was ion the 80s. If I lived 1 hour from them (I would go crazy with traffic and people-I was born in Long Beach and moved out in 71) but if I did I would buy smaller quantities .Any where where its hot clay will dry out fast . I'm a big clay user and trucking can really add to the cost so saving as much as the trucking cost keeps my costs down. Clay is cheap for sure In My CM article I mentioned keeping costs down-either through a co-op clay buy or working with other potters.Its been part of my success. I buy in bulk always no mater what it may be. 10 gallons of honey from a bee farmer or 55 gallon drum of oil for my older two stroke boat motor. My 3,000# pile of Kingman feldspar from 1980 is down to 500#s and it only cost 300$ back then. I have been using it for almost 40 years now in most glaze bases. Its like free glaze almost . I have space to store things-also part of the plan.The hardest part will be what my wife does with this when I'm gone. Most folks never need this info or want this much material. I'm putting it out for the few who do.
  7. Cactus Pots I ordered this special soft (pent. #6) that way it takes longer to dry out. I use the old stuff 1st-I'm working on clay from 1.5 years ago now that was ordered soft back then . We like clay that is harder to make handles from and softer clay for throwing. So two softnesses is best here. The wet climate indeed works well and my shed is facing north and never sees the sun also keeps it cool with no air movemeant . I also like to order before Laguna area gets hot as the summer clay starts out more firm due to the dry air there then. The winter or spring clay is always a bit wetter. After 40 years of ordering you get this dialed in. If I have to I will it through the Peter pugger to add water but thats last resort. Recently I found they did pug two tons at my softness from the year before and last fall I added two sponge squeezes of watere to each bag and then flipped all the boxes on all sides over a few months to soften them all up evenly. It worked well but was a pain in the neck. Thios time I ordered 12 tons of softer pent #6 clay and they made it all the same. Usually I order regualr 6.5 and #6 this time no screw ups all #6.Its easy to make it firmer but hardewr to wet it evenly. Porcealin is not as easy to rewet as stoneware.
  8. I have two tons power loaded (forklift) put into my 3/4 ton pickup and drive slow home where I hand load it into shed.Cars really cannot handle much of a clay load-a ton is to much.I also have a trailer (self dumping) that can handle two tons and I hitch it to my 1 ton Van as well. Its just harder to unload that last ton from the trailer than my truck.I can slide the load in the truck buy using the brakes to get that inside pallet to the rear.After 30 years of this I have it down.
  9. Well my clay came in last week the day before leaving for a 5 day art show trip.It was dropped off at a specialty lumber yard who are friends of mine. About 4 miles away. My total weight was 23,628. #s I got 4 tons the 1st day in two trips. Another two the day I drove home from show on Monday and the rest on Tuesday just before the rain came The shed holds just over 12 tons and the pile you see is 400 Boxes of Daves porcelain or 10 tons. I also got a ton of dry glaze -my formula in 50# bags and a few hundred #s of glaze materials as well as some Babu Porcelain and my friends 500# of Danish white (two kind one its sand one without) that I mix for her. I'm dropping that to her today while firing two glaze fires. This clay I hope will last almost two years. The clay send is on my dead end road on a steep hill. Clay is stacked 9 in front and 10 in back -boxes high and 7 deep This shed is on the backside of my studio and I store about 1 ton inside to have it warm. This year I did all the logistics this year and hired my own truck as Laguna is 12 hours away one way. I saved 1k getting over 12 tons which made the trucking free. I also hired a friends son to help me move about 2/3 of it so I only did 4 tons myself solo. Its job you want to be over.
  10. I use a few masons stains in my fish for colors under a clear glaze at cone 10-the blacks work-I thin them for greys. I tested the pinks and they work as well for salmon color. Testing is key. I'm firing reduction
  11. Not familiar with that wheel-I would contact maker for info
  12. I do a show in the PNW . Its about an hour and a few minutes north of Seattle. Its my 25th year at this show. Its the Anacortes Art festival in early August.For me its a great show . I run a double booth. The best shows are in locations that only have one art show year in the area as they are well supported by the community . The only downside is its a commsion show-but on the upside its for local art education and other local causes .Not a private promoter.
  13. I suggest finding someone close by to constant with as the mistakes can be huge if you proceed on your own
  14. You would need a clear resin to keep it from spalling off but its going to spall off over time otherwise as the bond is gone underneath you could try the superglue in small sections but I'm thinking it will continue to spall elsewhere. yes ceramics can get you at any point.
  15. I share many of my glazes when asked. Not all but most. I have a few that where given to me to keep to myself and I honer that deal.Most of my glazes are already published. My favorite iron glazes is from a Ceramics Monthly mag a few years ago.It uses synthetic bone ash-I just bought a 50 # bag as my last bag was given to me and the new bag cost$199 and that is with the 12 ton discount on materials. Spendy stuff I gave out a few recipes at a show a few days ago. The deal is if you have my formula the chance you can create the same look in my reduction atmosphere in your kiln is usually pretty slim. The best way is testing,testing testing. That glaze looks sprayed and I'm guessing is cone 6 with gold luster refired to cone 018 but its just a guess.Ask the potter and you may be surprised
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