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Found 90 results

  1. Hi all, I'm firing a batch of round, globe-like christmas ornaments. They are almost a closed form, but with a hole in the finial at the end. I've been eyeballing the firing options on some of the ceramic stores, but they don't give much info. I could fire them standing up, with a rod inserted into the finial, but there are metal rod options and porcelain rod options. Which would be better? Or should I use a small stilt? Each ornament is B-clay or porcelain, weighs at most 5 oz. , about 5 inches in length. Fired to cone 10. Advice please?
  2. I need to find the best All-In-One clay for cone 5, great for both hand building and wheel throwing I know. That's a tall order. But I can dream. I have a pug mill and don't want 2 bodies. Problem: I have too many problems with my gas kiln for cone 06 anymore. I'm DONE. I am moving to cone 5. Criteria / Factors: I'm in Southern California I teach 180 high school students grades 9-12, all levels of art skills, so it has to take punishment Not too sandy on the wheel, not too smooth or squishy for hand building Not too dense so it is so top-heavy when trimming I'm willing to pug the new clay to soften it for throwing, if it is stiff and great for hand building, or visa versa Doesn't stain clothes or the tables, rolling pins, or make a mess everywhere Is not pure white (students can't see where they missed glazing spots when using light color glazes - painting) Good leather hard, doesn't soften up too easily when re-wetting to score things together Doesn't take every indentation to the surface of pieces, temperamentalD Centers on the wheel fairly easily, especially for teen girls with tiny hands Can take a good amount of water from beginners Pulling walls, it is strong, doesn't warp or sag easily Won't dry out too quickly in hands while hand building Doesn't bend or warp easily when removing from the wheel Not so soft that it caves when cutting and sliding off the wheel Doesn't make teens hate the class because it stains clothes or gets everywhere and of course, takes glazes well and can handle a little fluctuation in gas environments Cone 5 clays I've Tried: Laguna - Dover White: Nice clay, but pure white. easy to center, but A little soft when hand building Laguna - Plain (Buff): Nice light tan color, easy center and to rehydrate if repairing, but a bit too squishy and shows every dent Laguna - Moroccan Sand: I love this clay, doesn't leave residue - color, but a bit dense to center. It is really dark grayish brown, if they only could lighten it Laguna - Buff with Sand: Nice tan color, but WAY too sandy for students on the wheel Laguna - Greystone: Too dense and top heavy for small pieces, hard to center, but really takes a beating with water, warps when thin due to density of surrounding clay Laguna - Speckled Buff: A bit dark in color, has iron so it gets read everywhere, could stain (think girls with pure white vans) Laguna - LB-6: hmmm, can't remember, but nixed it very soon after Laguna - Sante Fe: OMG - red EVERYWHERE, like a crime scene Aardvark Clay - SBF - Too dark tan - a bit sticky for students Aardvark Clay -Arctic White: Too white Opinions???? Go!!!
  3. Mullins Pottery

    Carbon Trap Shino

    Hi all, I'm looking for advice on how to achieve a darker charcoal/black carbon trap finish. I'm working with Malcolm Davis Shino on bee mix & coleman porcelain. I have been unable to fire the gas reduction downdraft kiln because of work so I haven't been able to play around with it. This image was taken a while back before I really cared how heavy the carbon trap was (record record record). This is what I'm trying to achieve. It's Malcolm Davis Shino on Coleman Porcelain with wax resist fired to cone 10 in gas reduction. Any thoughts?
  4. Hello All, I have a kiln full of goods and I want to fire it. I am a potter and have been teaching myself how to fire my kiln. So far I have been using the pre-programmed firing schedules. I now want to try a slow cooling schedule. My kiln is a Cone Art and my controller is a Bartlett. I have the firing schedule that I want to apply and I have a simple example of how to program a firing schedule with the Bartlett - but I am confused as to how to use their "9999" cooling rate code. Their example shows using "9999" at the end of a sequence but I want to use it in the middle of a sequence. My Cone 6 Glaze Firing program that I want to use: 100 deg/hr to 200 deg 350 deg/hr to 2000 deg 150 deg/hr to 2185 deg hold 15 mins 500 deg/hr to 1900 deg *** 125 deg/hr to 1400 deg allow kiln to cool naturally to room temp *** It is this stage that I don't know how to actually enter the values into the Bartlett. The notes in the Firing Book and on Ceramics.org say "I program... kiln fro 9999 degF to 1900degF so that I don't get an error message if the kiln can't cool at that rate" Is this a typo? Is the person meaning they program a "RATE of 9999 DEG/HR" (rather than entering 500 deg/hr? If someone could help sort this out for me I would REALLY appreciate it. Take care, Liane
  5. Hello Community! :-) I am pretty new to ceramics and I am learning new things about this fantastic material on a daily basis. For my latest project I am trying to crack/break up old clay bottles with the principle of the heat shock. Does anyone have an idea what would happen, when I rapidly heat up a bottle (like the one in the picture) to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit ? My wish would be to let the bottle explode and to create many fragments. Is the wall of the bottle maybe too thick (approx. 4mm) to really burst into pieces? Will nothing happen or maybe just one big crack? Or does anyone have an idea how to make the shock/explosion bigger ? Thank you so much for your help!
  6. Hello, Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for the best way to remove a sculpture that has become stuck to a clay bodied base. The base was sacrificial and intended to stop any surplus glaze from getting onto the kiln shelf. It worked but I'm now faced with the predicament of removing it from something else without damaging the sculpture. Images attached in case I'm being unclear. Thanks in advance for any advice! Carl
  7. Min asked recently in the QotW pool: Kiln stuffers, what does everybody make to fill those little empty spaces in the kiln? Hmm, Min I should have open spaces in my kiln? Naw, just joshing! For over 35 years of loading my HS classroom kiln I had to use every spot of space in the kiln whether loading bisque or glaze. Most of the time we had a pile of sculptural handbuilt projects, and one would set on the shelf, one would be on a brick right next to the first with the overlaps saving space. Thrown bowls were put in right side up, upside down, with things underneath or inside. Mugs were crammed in wherever, pinch pots the same. Some bisques used no shelving at all, just everything carefully stacked in to the walls on top of each other. . . very carefully. Same for glaze loads, I would sometimes have shelves 12" apart with 1/4 shelves and broken shelves in between creating overlapping layers. Yeah, I really didn't have to fill space, but even I had to fire test tiles, and they went in along with the rest. . . filling spaces. best, Pres
  8. Hello folks! I am a porcelain painter in Brazil! I work with china paint for 25 years... This week I lost seven plates in my kiln. Six at a time (Second firing) and another one in another time (fist firing) ... have lost some, rarely, very uncomon one piece or 2 but at this time I am very anxious because is the There have been losses of dishes a few times but so this is the first time ...I'm scared because it's a big order, the biggest one I've ever taken and this has never happened to me ...What could have been?Exaggerated load of the oven? I've done other burns like this and there's never been a problem ...Concentration of the pieces arranged in the same way in the oven?They were on separate shelves ... two on each shelf. Some broke that one that was in front and the others in the background.I changed the batch and then burned the other dishes without shelves and with less load and yet lost one more.I do not use level ... I burn straight as I have always done my whole life and I never had problems ....Can anyone give me a hint of what might be going on?Today I'm doing another burn and I used it this time ... but I'm scared to death ... The photo of the bad firing is bellow! Thank you if anyone has the knowledge to help me ...
  9. My friend and I recently bought a used kiln and wheel. Our first test with the kiln we messed up and fired our stuff to cone 6 (instead of 06). We hadn't had a lot in the kiln, just a few really small cut-out pieces. It took about 6.5 hours to get close to cone 6, but the large 6 cone didn't fully drop, and the cone 7 didn't really move much, so we weren't totally sure if it was fully done. Moving on to our second fire. We had new things to fire, so we bisque fired our stuff (half full with things stacked) to cone 06 this time. Our cone sitter fell out when we closed it (not sure exactly what happened), so after 6.5 hours, we stopped it. We again weren't 100% sure if things we underfired, overfired, or totally perfect. We tried the "lick" test and it was sticking to our tongue. We decided to glaze it and fire to completion. This time, our kiln was full. We didn't put anything on our bottom level (we were worried out glaze would run and it would ruin the kiln). We put in a cone 7 sitter (to make sure it fired completely to cone 6) and we had our large cones to watch at the top and bottom of our kiln. After almost 11 hours, it still wasn't complete (and it was 1am) so we turned it off and left it. So now I'm left with a million questions. 1) How can I tell if it is completely fired? 2) Can I re-fire the stuff and would I have to fire it from start, another 12+ hours? 3) I've read a million posts talking about different kiln lengths, but I'm wondering how exactly you can tell how long it would take? 4) I think our bottom heat isn't as strong as our tops, so should I be putting thinner stuff at the bottom? Or just get the heaters fixed? 5) If our bisque fire wasn't fully fired, would that make our glaze fire take longer? Thanks so much for any help! Already this website has been a huge help for my friend and I. We basically use this as a pottery bible. UPDATE!! We re-fired our glaze and this time everything went off after 8 hours. The glaze is a little runny, but our main concern is the bottom elements not being the best. We had our thin stuff at the bottom, and it did glaze over, but the cones didn't change at all. The top cones did, though!
  10. So, ive created this account specifically for help! ive been given two very old electric kilns, seems to be from the 70s perhaps? anyways, one is an American Beauty electric kiln model number: AB18 this thing has four switches and a kiln sitter. seems to be in relatively good condition from what my ceramic instructor had said. Problem is ive never fired a kiln and there is almost zero information on the kilns manual or even the company that produced the kiln. I find that almost unbelievable seeing as I live 5 miles from the city the kiln company was located. If anyone has any further information of this specific model of kiln that would help immensely !! Next, I have a Cress electric kiln model number : B-23-HB ive found an online manual for the company kilns but they're all for up-to-date kilns.. This model has a upper and lower nobs for high and low firing. anyone have any ideas because im totally fresh to anything in regards to firing kilns. is it worth keeping or should I try to get a more updated kiln? Help! thank you in advance!
  11. Hi, I have this problem of cracking or clay splitting when throwing in the wheel, pls find the attached picture and also, after firing at cone 08, the clay has a lot of surface cracks and sometimes structural cracks pls find the attached pic, pls advise why this is happening and how to avoid this in future. Thanks.
  12. BornonSunsetCeramics

    Reglaze tips needed!

    Just a quick question about re-firing work. I wasn't happy with some details around a logo that I carved in to my pieces so I've fixed them with glaze (and also filled a few pinholes) - my question is whether or not I need to be as meticulous about dust and fingerprints on these like you do with glaze on bisque. I had to hold them firmly and work slowly to fix my glaze errors from the past firing. I'm feeling like that stuff (oil from my hands, dust) will burn off before the glaze melts again since its technically laying over top of a hardened/fired glaze and not absorbing into un-fired glaze... thoughts? Thanks so much, friends!
  13. Hi everyone, I recently fired a gas kiln but there was very poor reduction and my pieces (with a celadon glaze) came out oxidised. Would it work to refire these same pieces in a fully-functioning gas kiln? Is there any reason the might not reduce as they have already been high-fired? Thank you!
  14. Hey guys...help! So I have been doing low fire work (jewelry) for years and have just ventured into mid fire work. My question is likely somewhat dumb but here goes. I purchased my first bit of cone 5-6 stoneware clay and had a question about temps. With my work that I have been doing in low fire, I bisque fire to cone 04 then glaze fire to 06. What temp do I bisque fire the stoneware? Not knowing any better, I bisque fired it to cone 5 and then glaze fired it to cone 5 and none of the glazes turned out to look like they were supposed to. Thanks in advance for the help.
  15. Hello I have recently acquired a small kiln for use at home (Hobbytech 40). It works and I’m happy with it for the most part, but when I have bisque fired plates, they crack during firing, down the middle to about halfway across the plate. This must be a fault when I’m making the items. Can anyone tell me what could be causing this so that I don’t waste efforts making anymore to be disappointed when they’re fired? I’ve not had this happen with plates I’ve made in my ceramic lessons. Some are wheel thrown, some are made from slabs. Clay bodies used are lavafleck stoneware, or white special stoneware. Are these plates now only good for the bin? Photos attached.
  16. hello I have just purchased a second hand cromartie hobbytech 40 kiln with an lt3k kiln sitter, having never fired my own work (I have always had a technician do it) I was wondering about the ramping speed to fire stoneware. The kiln has a dial on the side from 1 to 4 and then full, I was wondering how long I should leave between each increase in power. as I understand it too quick an increase in temperature could cause the clay to break due to the steam. here is a picture of the kiln dial. also the Kiln has a peep hole in the side and a vent hole on top, should I leave both open during firing? regards Liam
  17. Hello, I have been making terracotta tiles & glazing them in the Majolica style. The tiles were bisque fired to 950 and the 3 coats of white glaze applied to tiles with decoration painted on the surface. The white glaze was a white glossy glaze not a Tin Glaze. Pin holing was apparent on surface of glaze before firing and remained after firing to 1080. Anybody got any advice please ?
  18. I'm self-taught and a relative newbie. I am so confused about glaze & bisque firing in terms of venting, peep holes, and/or cracking the lid. I have an electric kiln with digital controller and it's outside so I have no extra ventilating system. My Evenheat kiln has one small hole in the top that does not have a plug (always open) and one side peephole with a plug. 1)when bisque firing, does the lid need to be cracked and/or the peephole open for any part of the firing? 2)when glaze firing, same questions? Thank you for any insights.
  19. As a newcomer to firing my own work can anyone explain cone tempretures? I have an electric kiln with a digital temperature control so i don't use cones. So much advice refers to firing to cone 06 or 04... I've tried researching this but can't find a definitive answer. If kilns have advanced to accurate digital control why do i need cones and why can't firing advice refer to given tempretures? Any advice will be greatly received.
  20. Hi!! I have just finished a sculpture of a baby using smooth red clay. This is my third clay sculpture, but first without a teacher to guide me. With my previous sculptures, it was easier to remove the armatures.. there were less detailed areas which made it less traumatic to cut open/join back together. I was also far less particular about my sculptures then as can be seen by the fact I removed the armatures far too early. Is it okay for me to leave the paper inside when I fire it? Also, how slowly should I dry it to make sure fingers, toes and ears don't crack? Any other advice? Thanks in advance
  21. I have just finished a sculpture out of what the package describes as "natural clay". The brand name is "craft smart" out of Texas. The piece has dried in air for over a week, and is what I would call "green" (if I remember correctly from high school art). I want to create a silicone mold of the original to create a series of reproductions, but I'm worried about the original surviving the process,as there are some thin sections. Would low temp firing, say in my oven, strengthen the clay, or am I at risk of blowing this up?
  22. Disclaimers : 1) This is more of a theoretical question. 2) I am not a potter/ceramic person of any sort. 3) all my knowledge of pottery, tile making come from youtube videos and internet. 4) actually my question has more to do with making TerraCotta (or any other low fire, easily available clay - not the high quality, high temp porcelain etc.) articles like tiles, pipes etc. Short Version: If for some reason you have to shut off the kiln halfway during firing (when the pieces are at around 1080F/600C), let them all cool down and restart firing again and go all the way till bisque/glaze temperatures. Will this work or is it just not acceptable and ruin the pieces completely because you broke the process halfway? The real reason for asking however is this: I am wondering whether I can design a solar kiln to do pottery & tile making (at least partially replace fuel/electricity needs) but it can only function the following way... So, will this work? All heating cycles can only be 7-8 hours long, i.e., when the sun shines; - Day 1 (or more than one day): drying using warm air at <212F/100C, assume this is waste heat coming from somewhere else - think of warm dry air from Air Conditioners' condenser coils. Slow self cool down once sun goes away every day. Can be more than one day if need be. - Day 2: heating from room temperature to 1080F/600C, once again during 7 hours long period. But can't go above this temperature. Heat source is in the form of hot air at a temperature a bit higher than this. Slow self cooling once the sun goes away - may not go all the way down to room temp but definitely losing a lot of heat. - Day 3: heating from room temperature (again, worst case scenario) to 1800F/1000C or whatever bisque temperatures are, in just 7 hours (yes!). Source of heat: electric heating elements. Slow self cooling once the sun goes away. Will this work? Or the interruption in the heating midway is unacceptable? Also, can the pieces be moved around a little bit between Day 2 & Day 3? I am differentiating these two days in case you're wondering, apart form what energy pattern is possible, by chemistry: End of Day 2 to me means calcining the clay - losing all chemically bound water and converting to metakaolin; hoping Day 3 energy input will be lower but only demanding high temperatures. I can give you the expected energy breakdown if anyone is interested in correcting me if I am wrong. I have TONs more questions; I just don't know whether I am and my questions belong here. Please let me know if I am. I really will/do appreciate your inputs. I am sitting and dreaming about moving mirrors covering at least 100 sqft if not more.
  23. I have a Skutt KM822 I have been firing since I bought it new in March 2013. I fire to cone 6 in it. Lately I have noticed a change in when the relays "click." Let me preface by saying the firing I did last week I got error code 1. Kiln stalled out at 2177. I fire to 2210 with a 10 min hold. It was a very hot day when I did this firing, was mid afternoon when the error code 1 came on. I have multiple fans going to move air around in my kiln shed. I did diagnostic test and for amp, voltage. All OK. I also did a test fire of the kiln to 1100 with a 30 min hold and checked every peephole to see if elements all on. They were and I heard relays clicking the entire firing. OK..here is the issue. I just completed another cone 6 firing. I do ramp/hold program. Modified from one I saw online here in this forum. All are degrees Fahrenheit 150 to 250 degrees no hold 400 to 1900 no hold 130 to 2210 Hold 10-13 min. This firing I heard the relays clicking at the beginning. When I checked at 1700 degress no clicking but the temp rising. Checked again at 1923 and I hear clicking relays. Checked again at 2127 no relays sounds but the temp rising. I didn't hear the relays click again until I was in the hold at the end. The temp during the hold rose to 2217 and then the relays began clicking and the temp dropped to 2210. I have fired a manual Skutt for decades, so digital is foreign to me still. I will probably call Skutt this week, but curious if this sounds normal or not to those of you who have more digital firing experience than I do. Appreciate any insight!
  24. Being a less-than-tall person, I bought an L&L 18" deep kiln - I couldn't reach the bottom of the 27â€ers. Kiln works great, tho I have to add degrees to the cone offset for 04 bisquing, and remove some from cone 6, ( according to my witness cones). Actually right now I’m using the cone 5 setting and that seems to get my 6 cone to the right spot. My e28s has 4 elements and 2 thermocouples, and this creates some challenges. I get even responses from my witness cones only if I fire with only 2 shelves. With 3 shelves in, the witness cones vary widely. I’ve tried every variation on shelf placement I can think of, including staggering and using 2 1/2 half shelves. The manufacturer says that you need 2 elements and 1 thermocouple per shelf, and I’m pretty sure I also read that the shelves should clear the elements. With my kiln , that means you can only have 2 shelves in, and when I follow these guidelines the kiln gods do favor me with matching witness cones. This has all turned out not to be a big problem for me anyway, because I haven’t had as much time as I’d hoped I would to be making stuff. Also running the kiln seems to cost me only about $10 a month for 3-4 firings. I expected the cost to be much higher. I'm making less at one time, but also getting more instant gratification, (instant being a relative term when applied to a slowly cooling kiln). Should I be less concerned about matching cones? I assume it's a matter of degree. It can be more than 1 cone. Also, I have been "lidding" the load with the 2 unused half shelves because I feel I should have them in there to increase the thermal mass, which is already 1/3 less than what the kiln could hold. Any thoughts on that? Thank you in advance for your advice and experience Irene in NJ
  25. I'm working with B3Brown (Laguna) and I really like the color and surface texture when it is fired (C5). BUT stoneware glazes I use are bubbly/pin holed and dull - not matte but dull in color and surface. Lower fire glazes are fine if I refire at 05. I'm planning to bisque, fire to maturity, and then glaze fire at lowfire range. My question is, can I skip the bisque firing and fire greenware to cone 5, glaze, and fire to cone 05? Would that be too much shock for the greenware? I will test as needed but thought someone might know. Thanks!
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