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Mark C.

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About Mark C.

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 03/15/1953

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  • Gender
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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.
  1. Making terra cotta bricks

    It may be easier to pull that rabbit from a hat than a brick
  2. Making terra cotta bricks

    I assume you want to make bricks like this one that a fellow potter made that says Blue Lake block. This was fired to cone 10 very slowly Its a bit more durable than terra cotta ones I think what Tyler says-add plenty of course grog at least 20%. Fire very slowly. The one here is standard size when fired. The one below it is from Nelson New Zealand-Hand carried it home in the 90s.Xray folks all wanted to see it at every airport.
  3. Out here in the west our electric rates are sky high. I have become aware of a way to reduce them by owning an electric car. Our local utility PG&E gives you an across the board reduced electric rate for owning an electric car. So if that idea fits your auto usage (its does not fit ours) you could check into those discounts with your utility. On a more closer to home for me I have just signed onto a core transport agent contract (third party gas supplier CTA) that will reduce my natural gas cost about ½ per thermal unit If you use gas many utility companies now let you buy from third party suppliers at les costs. Your utility company still bills you and keeps track of usage as they use the same equipment to supply you (pipes and meters). I signed a 12 month contract at .45 cents per therm which is less than ½ the cost I'm paying now for a therm via PG&E on my commercial flat rate. You will be locked into this flat rate contract for 12 months at whatever rate they offer you and in 12 months they will offer you another contract at a future rate. If you want out early its 150$ for early termination. It takes a few billing cycles to get this up and running. You can check with your utility on who your third party Core Transport Agents are (CTA's) Last years gas bill on my commercial meter was $3,610.00 this should put a real dent in those costs. I’ll let you know if this works out as well as it sounds on paper.
  4. Well this is my first year that I can recall not firing a kiln or loading a kiln on Thanksgiving. I usually for the past 25 years do a show in Arizona and always fire a bisque today and glaze on Friday. I gave my assistant Friday off-as I retired from that show this year. Only a small amount of trimming to do this weekend. This really is my adjustment year.
  5. If its slow enough (sales wise for me to say anything) to say anything I may say let me know if you need any help or have any questions. Functional Pottery sells itself.
  6. I use a bison double ended custom tool for all trimming-its almost exactly like a Kemper 6 inch R2. Phil the tool Bison guy made mine all about 7 inches long. I used to go thru many a gross of 6 inch R2 s-now one tool last many many years. The downside is they are carbide and cannot be dropped. I keep it in a plastic tube at the timing wheel-its either in my hand or the tube.These are not for hobbyists -to expensive and to fragile. One end is squared the other is round-Kemper makes them in 8 inch as well as 6 inch Really its just a matter of what you get used to using at the beginning .
  7. Bottom Depth Tool

    After some practice thowing many many forms you get a feel for this bottom thickness deal and a tool will not be necessary . If you throw and trim say 50 bowls you will get this feel at the end. Nice tool but never needed it. At least with this tool you can eat some hot noodles in a bowl as well .
  8. L&L easy fire front loading kiln

    These kilns appear to be top loader turned on their sides with a swing door. Or they have that look to them.You can see the curve of the stainless on bottom.They look well thought out. Easier to load for sure. Reasonable prices as well for front loaders.
  9. I use my full size blender (thrift store buy) each week almost to mix the rough stuff like Zinc Oxide or any heavy clumping material in a glaze . A few minutes in the blender then pour to thru my talisman 80 mesh into the main glaze I'm mixing up. I'll add the tool part later its late.
  10. You could recut the rim after squaring. I tend to do this on chopsticks bowls and like the raised sides which have cut outs for the sticks. Since you have a lid and its metal the sides need to be all the same level-You could also sand it smooth in the green state and smooth out the rim afterwards.
  11. Highwater clay users

    I know a few potters whom gave up on B-mix then moved to there bodies.
  12. Highwater clay users

    (thixotropic) this happened to some laguna clays like B-mix out west here some years ago. Laguna had changed water sources and it really did a number on some clays.
  13. Keep your seconds as Mea says for other venues not shows. I used to save mine for home sales but gave up home sales after 19 years of them. Now I take them to one local show that is a lot of students whole look for seconds. I now save them for that deal.
  14. I often make square bowls bowls. After trimming and putting a foot on them I rewet them and paddle them square.Just another way to get square pots .