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SunsetBay

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Everything posted by SunsetBay

  1. I've been using Elaine's Cone 6 porcelain from Sheffield for a few years now, and I love it. I love the feel of it on my hands, I love the way it takes glazes, and overall I've been really happy with it. But over the past, say, 9 months, I've been having new problems with attachments: handles and other attachments are cracking even when I dry super-slow. Does anyone else have experience with this? Any suggestions? I don't want to switch clays, but I'm getting frustrated. Thanks!
  2. Elaine's Cone 6 Porcelain from Sheffield

    I've just been wondering if anyone else has had this issue. I still have 100 lbs left, and I'm working extra hard on the attachments. Before I order more clay, though, I'll talk to Sheffield about it. Thanks.
  3. How do they differ in terms of use?
  4. L&l/bartlett Controller Question

    I have a brand-new L&L EasyFire kiln, and my test firing results were overfired by a full cone. When I went to adjust the thermocouple offset, I found that it was already set for 18 degrees. So if I want to add, say, 15 degrees, do I reset it to 33 degrees instead of 18?
  5. When using a "hump" of throwing clay as a trimming chuck, how do you keep the clay from sticking to the piece you're trimming?
  6. All very helpful. Thank you!
  7. Can anyone recommend a good waterproof power strip? I only have one outlet (2 plugs) in my basement studio. It's right behind my wheel, and my wheel and my extra lamp are plugged into it. I'd like to be able to plug in things like my stick blender (for glazes) without having to unplug something else. But I'm guessing I ought to use something that will be safe (or at least relatively protected) from splashes of water and slip. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  8. Waterproof Power Strip Suggestions?

    That's a good idea. I could keep the wheel plugged directly into the wall (I'd prefer not to have to use an extension cord for it), and then plug everything else in farther away. Why didn't I think of that? ;-)
  9. Help! I am looking for a new clay body. I need suggestions. My goal is a ^5 or ^6 white clay (stoneware or porcelain) that: 1. Fires a nice white, not yellowish or pinkish 2. Is creamy smooth when wet 3. Throws well, both small and largish 4. Attaches (handles and such) without too much fuss (a little fuss is ok) 5. Works okay for some handbuilding/slab work 6. Reclaims well, without excessive hardpanning (and settles in water in such a way that I can end up with cleanish water that is safe to put down the drain) Am I asking for too much? I’m not even mentioning anything about how it takes glazes, because that’s a whole other exploration. Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions! (If you see this on more than one page or site, it’s because I’m casting this net as wide as I can.) p.s. I've been using Standard 213, but the problem I'm having with hardpanning in the cleaning and throwing water buckets is driving me crazy.
  10. Looking For A New Clay Body

    I emailed Standard but have gotten no reply as yet. Highwater will send me a free sample of Little Loafers if I pay for the shipping (as soon as they have some more mixed), which I will do. I think I know of someone I can ask about Sheffield. The hunt continues...
  11. Looking For A New Clay Body

    I am going to call Standard and talk with them. I'm also going to try a couple of clays I can only get by shipping--just to see what I think. Thanks for the suggestions!
  12. Looking For A New Clay Body

    To clarify: For cleaning, I use two buckets of water in the studio--one for the main cleaning, and one for a final rinse. I also have a system of buckets-inside-buckets that are supposed to spill clean water from the top after the water settles, until the stuff in the largest container drains right into my sink drain. I also have a small bucket of throwing water. What is happening with the Standard 213 is that the water barely settles out: Day by day, I get an increasingly thick layer of really hard stuff on the bottom (it requires serious elbow grease with a spackle knife to pry up) and cloudy water that doesn't look like anything I'd feel comfortable putting down the drain. My throwing water (and I try not to put actual hunks of clay in it or even, anymore, to scrape my hands off on the edge) turns into slurry in a few days--with the same hardpan on the bottom. Obviously the same thing happens to my splash pan. So cleaning is a pain--worse if I don't do it daily--and since I don't have a lot of time for pottery, the time needed for cleaning is starting to grate on me. This is what I am trying to avoid. I am open to any and all suggestions. I'm less concerned about reclaiming, since these days I just rewedge collapsed pieces and overly wet clay, and I toss the dried bits into a slip container.
  13. I've been using Amaco PC glazes very successfully on Laguna #65, a white stoneware. They also worked beautifully on Laguna #15 and #16, both ^6 porcelains.
  14. Favorite Supply Sites

    I'm in the New England, so I try to stick to the northeast. in addition to Bailey's and Clay-King (which isn't in the northeast, I know!) I've had good experiences with: http://www.sheffield-pottery.com/ http://ceramicsupplyinc.com/ http://www.theceramicshop.com/ Portland Pottery in Portland, ME, is terrific, but not for mail order, unfortunately.
  15. I am looking for a golden-colored glaze for a Cone 6 red-clay (Laguna #90) sculpture. I'd like something that has variations in color and doesn't look like metallic gold, but more like something alive. I'm open to commercial glazes, as well as recipes. The glaze will be brushed on, not dipped. If anyone has had any experience with something along these lines, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!
  16. Looking for Glaze Suggestions

    I am ready to test some glazes on the red clay. I just realized that the recipe referenced above is the same one I already mixed up and tried on white stoneware! The photo in the link is gorgeous. I hope it looks nice on the red clay, too. I'm going to try a couple of others, as well. Fingers crossed. Ijust realized taht
  17. Does anyone have any experience with either or both of these types of underglaze pens? I would like to try some, and I'm curious about other people's experience with them. Thanks!
  18. I have a manual Skutt kiln and just installed a pyrometer and used it for the first time for a bisque firing--mainly out of curiosity, just to see what my kiln is doing and make sure it is doing what it is supposed to be doing (I'll be more concerned with glaze firings, as I'm just starting to make my own glazes; so far, with commercial glazes, everything has been firing just fine). Problem is, I can't figure out, looking at what I recorded, what it means. I used 03, 04, and 05 cones, with an 03 junior cone in the kiln-sitter (my kiln seems to want a kiln-sitter one one cone higher than my goal of ^04 for bisque and ^6 for glaze). I follow the Skutt manual firing schedule: approx. 3 hours on low, approx. 3 hours on medium, then shut the lid all the way and turn the switches to high until the kiln shuts itself off. This time I tried to remember to run out hourly (I was only partly successful in terms of regularity!) to check the pyrometer. Here are my results: 10:30am: turn kiln on low 11:20am: 230 degrees F 12:40pm: 411 degrees F 1:45pm: turn kiln to medium, temp 507 degrees F 2:45pm: 730 degrees F 3:40pm: 857 degrees F 5:00pm: turn kiln to high (lost track of time!), temp 990 degrees F 6:10pm: 1762 degrees F 6:38pm: 1911 degrees F Looks like the kiln shut off at about 6:45, but I wasn't there to check the temp 7:01pm: kiln off, temp 1838 degrees F 7:31pm: 1576 degrees F 8:00pm: 1372 degrees F 8:30pm: 1199 degrees F 9:00pm: 1058 degrees F 9:30pm: 932 degrees F After which I got tired and decided to stop checking. I'm wondering if someone can decipher all this for me. Is that seemingly slow rise to a sudden jump in speed to high normal? Will that cooling rate be too fast for a good glaze firing (though it will likely be different when it starts cooling from the much higher ^6 temps. Just trying to understand. Any help will be welcome! Thanks!
  19. Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately, it will be a while before I can mix my new glazes and do a firing, but when I do, I'll try to record the same kind of temp info and see what it looks like. I wonder if it makes sense to try to do two identical (well, as close as possible) versions of each test tile, and do two glaze firings--one the usual way, and one trying to slow down the cooling phase. Am I over-thinking things?
  20. I've been using Standard 182, which I like. I might be able to get Laguna clay more locally now, but not Standard, so I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for a Laguna clay that is similar to 182. I've used #65 and like it for throwing, but it doesn't hold up well with handbuilding; I've used #66, which is better for handbuilding, but I don't like the sand in it for throwing. Any other suggestions would be appreciated!
  21. Amaco Ancient Jasper Question

    I like Ancient Jasper (and Potter's Choice glazes in general, though sometimes I feel they are too glossy on untextured pieces). Here are two examples of my usual results. I do a 9-hour Cone 6 glaze firing in a manual Skutt kiln (3 hours on low, 3 on medium, then turn to high; kiln-sitter shuts kiln off pretty reliably after 9 hours total). I haven't done anything special in terms of placing the pieces in the kiln. Oh, btw, the red inside the mug is Firebrick Red, not Ancient Jasper. Also, when I had a question for Amaco and emailed it, I got a very swift and helpful response from the company.
  22. Question About Pyrometers

    I am glad that you are familiar with the L&L Kiln , I had called Skutt to find out where to drill holes in the side of the kiln and they were the ones that recommended the peep hole installation. I was skeptical at first but I have been getting accurate readings, but each brand of kiln probably has a ideal set up. That is odd about Skutt. I have a Skutt kiln and it has a precut hole in the stainless steel jacket for drilling through the firebrick for a thermocouple. Why would they recommend using a peephole when they already design their kilns to accommodate a thermocouple?
  23. No effect whatsoever. The only time I've ever propped lids is to slow down kilns that only have on/off switches, not low-med-high. You'll be fine! It WAS fine, you were right! Thanks!
  24. You need to leave the top peep open if your kiln is not vented, to allow gases to escape. I always leave the top peep open, but I just discovered when I went to turn the kiln to high (I'm doing a glaze firing) that I'd forgotten to prop the lid, too. Any idea what effect that will have? (Though I guess I'll find out tomorrow when I unload the kiln.) Your post seems to imply that the open top peep should be sufficient to vent an unvented kiln. Is that true? Thanks!
  25. As a newbie to selling, I beg to differ with the idea that "beginner" pottery should perhaps not be sold. I'm just starting to sell because 1) people have seen my work and asked to buy it; and 2) to "get rid" of some of my extra pieces (the better ones, of course) instead of having to find more room for them at home. My goal is only to get a little extra cash to help pay for my pottery addiction; I have a paying job and don't expect pottery to pay me a living wage. But back to the point about selling early work: No one is forcing anyone to buy my work. If someone buys a mug I made, I can only assume they bought it because they liked it: it pleased them aesthetically, felt good in their hand. Hopefully they get pleasure every time they drink their tea or coffee from that mug. So who's to say that work was "good" or not? Or even "good enough?" If some stranger liked it enough to buy it, then it's good enough in my book. And if my work improves and I start charging more, I am going to assume that the quality/properties will have changed enough to make people see the differences and appreciate them. That's how I'm thinking about it now. I just don't see the point of keeping my work in my house until some point when--who? how? what? decides that it is finally "good enough" to sell. Just sayin'.
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