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Found 71 results

  1. 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?
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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
  6. 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!
  7. Hi everyone, What will happen to bisque work that has fired too hot for too long? I fired a bisque on Thursday night, and realized on Tuesday morning when I checked it that it was still at 1234 degrees and not cooling. It said "Complete". I hit stop, and it didn't begin cooling (although said Idle), so I turned off the circuit breaker. I have a kiln electrician coming out to check on the kiln, but my biggest concern is the work inside (not my work, but student work). I assume it's ruined?
  8. Hey y'all, I've been lurking for awhile but haven't done much posting yet. I was curious about flashing slips. I have a converted gas kiln (which works very well and I got a lot of really good info from another thread in this forum -- thanks!) and am still relatively new at mixing glazes. (Slowly) Developing practical understanding! I really love the look of flashing slips and would love to incorporate them into my work. Though, being that this kiln was converted from electric and is made up of soft insulating brick, I'm a little concerned that atmospheric firings will flux down the bricks, so I haven't messed with it. The kiln's brick wasn't in the best shape to begin with, but I put some love into it and would rather not be wasteful. So I'm curious if y'all have any ideas about circumventing the notion of atmospheric firings to achieve a flashing effect? Might one spray ash on the surface of the slip? Mix more soda ash into the slip? Make a solution and simply brush it on top? Are any of these methods viable? I anticipate being advised to use saggars, which I'm not crazy about as the kiln just barely breaks through a "medium class" for top-loaders -- not a whole lot of space. Hopefully can circumvent the use of them, too. Holding my breath over here for a guru's advice! Thanks! Kevin
  9. Glaze Melding

    Hi everyone! I am am new to ceramics after moving to it from metal clay. Things are going well but there is one constant error. I have a small jewellery kiln and it fires to the correct temp and the ceramic and glaze is working fine APART from where the object touches the kiln shelf on a glaze fire. I make pendants and rings mostly and it is so upsetting to have the items ruined or stuck to the shelf!! I use low fire stoneware clay and low fire glazes. So my question is what do I fire my pieces on. I have seen metal kiln furniture, is that the way forward? I am hoping you can help me, if you need any more info from me let me know! Thank you! Emma xxx
  10. Propping Kiln Lid

    When I am firing my electric kiln, I start with the lid propped open about 2 inches and the top peephole out. Then at around 1000 degrees F I shut the lid. The top peephole is open the whole time. I understand that the lid needs to be propped to allow moisture and gasses to escape in the early stages of firing. My questions are: 1) is 1000F an appropriate temp to close the lid? 2) Is it necessary to prop the lid on a ^6 glaze firing as well as the bisque, or only during the bisque (^06) I have been firing this way for a couple years and the pots always come out well. However the lid has badly cracked on both the inside and outside, necessitating repair with kiln cement. I have a large electric Skutt Kiln (I think it's the 1227). Even with my repair, it is all fractured and occasionally falls onto the pots below. The metal handle is also badly rusted and corroded, an issue I didn't notice when I bought this kiln used a couple years ago. I notice when I close the lid on an 1000F kiln it makes a soft settling crackling noise. I am curious if the cracking lid is from thermal shock when it goes from hot room temp to 1000F. Because of this, i wonder if it's better not to close it so late (and hot) in the firing. Perhaps it's just time for an envirovent. Is it normal for a lid to start to deteriorate like this? The newer versions of my kiln are made with the hydraulic lid lifter, which I assume lifts it more evenly, without the torque from supporting it on just one part. Please let me know if anyone else has had this cracking lid issue. -Dana
  11. Firing

    From the album Gas Kiln

    Turning on the gas
  12. As I search for my perfect clay, I see quite a few that have a very wide firing range. Is a pot that's fired to the low or middle range of that firing range less structurally sound than one fired to its highest end? Does it make a difference other than with the glaze fit? Does it matter in some other way? Or not? Are these ranges realistic? I've been using one with a 4-10 range and also another with a 6-9 range and firing to about cone 5 3/4. Glazes fit fine. But what's actually best for the structure and health and happiness of the pots? My pots are all quite young, but will they age well? Thanks in advance! Irene
  13. Hi, I'm wondering is anyone can offer any advise!! I loaded my kiln about 9pm last night, and after I switched it from low to medium to high, I went to bed like normal. Today around noon I went in to going unload my stuff from the night before and to my surprise my kiln was still running!!! I turned it off right away. After letting it cool a few hours I was able to peak in the top and my trees looked like this!! They are glazed exactly the same as the other tree in the other picture though. I am wondering if maybe my kiln didn't reach temp. it should have which is why it didn't shut off and these did not fire all the way? Or if they fired to much and they are burnt?? Can anyone help me??
  14. Raku To 05

    Hi, and best holiday wishes and a Merry Christmas to all~ I have a 55Gallon barrel drum Raku kiln, but even with two 300000btu brush torches I cant get past 1600F, and my Amaco Glaze matures at cone five, 1895-1900. Is there a burner that can get me to cone 05, or do I search for lower fie glazes? I've really been trying what I can dream up, but just cant hit that temp. Any Insights would be very helpful. Thanks! I have a 4" port, and a 6" exhaust. I have one layer of kiln blanket, and the 3" barrel bung open for exhaust.
  15. Hey all! First time posting here. I'm new to firing, and i've been having some difficulties getting my kiln to fire to cone 6 properly. Here's my problem: When I check the cones at peak temperature (2180 in my case), the cones are not bent properly yet. Last night I just let it cycle down anyway. However, when I opened my kiln at the end of firing, the cones were overfired (at least at the top of my kiln). I've been slow cooling, so is it possible that the heatwork as the kiln fires down is actually causing the cones to bend further even at lower temps? Firing Schedule: 220/60 - 100 degrees/hr 2000/0 - 350 degrees/hr 2180/15 - 108 degrees/hr (still not getting my kiln up to 2192, but that might just be a problem with the PID or thermocouple) 1400/0 - 125 degrees/hr OFF I have no idea how to tell if my pieces are over/underfired because of this. Do I base it on what the cones were doing at peak temp, or what they looked like at the end of firing??
  16. I have a new-ish L&L E23T kiln with 3" brick; one of the reasons I chose it was its ability to fire to cone 10. Now it seems that I might want to actually start to do that once in a while—I will mostly use it for bisque and cone 5/6. The motivation to do this is that since I left my last membership studio, I had a small load of cone 10 work gas fired at a friends studio, where I can also use her glazes. Despite the very reasonable $.05 per cu. inch cost, this load cost me $72—more than what two full kiln loads would cost in my electric kiln, and almost double what the friend said it cost in gas for one firing in her kiln! Obviously, that is not sustainable. I know I can't achieve the things I could with cone 10 reduction, but I will limit the firings to what will be happy in oxidation—matte and gloss white, matte black, crawl glaze, and Heino and/or Laguna turquoise. Any advice or words of wisdom about cone 10 electric firing? I'm very new to doing my own firing. I've included a pic of the spectacular Heino glaze from that last gas firing mentioned above; if I could anything close to this in electric oxidation I'd be a very happy potter!
  17. Cress Fx27P Help

    Hey everyone! I recently purchased a used Cress FX27P Electric Kiln, and after bisque firing the first time with the automatic kiln sitter, I noticed that the thumbwheel does not move, and appears to have some sort of malfunction. I figured out a way to bisque firing while moving the thumbwheel manually, but I haven't tried glaze firing yet. Anybody owns this kiln or a similar version of this kiln and can help with how I can glaze fire (cone 6) by moving the thumbwheel myself? For everyone that doesn't know what the purpose of the thumbwheel is, there are numbers 0 to 10 on it, and it moves gradually by itself during a firing. 0 being no power to the elements, and 10 being maximum power to the elements. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
  18. Learn excatly how our cones work. here
  19. Help! Last night I thought I started a slow glaze to ^5 in my LL e28s, but discovered this morning I had actually hit slow bisque instead. And yes, I had reviewed the program before I ran it - but still missed my mistake. After 8 hours it was at 1080F, and I couldn't find any info on what to do about it so I turned it off. Can I save this load? Anyone else ever done this? Thanks!
  20. Hi everyone! I just recently bought a used Cress FX27P electric kiln so I can start firing work at home. So I just recently started my first bisque firing yesterday at 4pm. It was more of a test fire, so I didn't put a lot of work in there, about 15 wheel thrown pieces. There were a couple pieces in there that were not fully bone dry so I set the firing speed at E, the slowest speed. I also put a pyrometric cone (04) in the sitter, 1 peep hole open, and set the thumb wheel to 1, and I set the timer to 16 hours so it can shut off at that time in case anything goes wrong. Throughout the day and night I checked periodically, and the kiln did get red hot, so the elements seemed fine to me, but I didn't take a look at the thumbwheel. So this morning I went to go check on the kiln, and it fired the full 16 hours! and the kiln sitter didn't go off, so the the kiln didn't reach cone 04 temp. Also, the thumbwheel stayed at 1! It didn't move! So I'm thinking the thumbwheel is broken or needs repair, I didn't put the cone in right, or something is wrong with the elements. And even 16 plus hours later the kiln was still showing orange to red heat signatures inside the peep hole. So I talked to my friend who has experience firing kilns, and he said to just fire the thing until the kiln sitter shuts off and set the thumbwheel to 10 max temp as soon as possible so the kiln doesn't have to reheat back to 1000 for the sake of energy efficiency. If anyone has any ideas, input, advice, or suggestions I'd greatly appreciate it! I'm hoping to bisque fire and glaze fire using this kiln in the near future, I already bought a couple pints of cone 6 glazes to test out. Thanks!
  21. Okay, so I really pulled a goofy one this last firing. Had everything in glaze load, loaded up water smoked a bit to keep morning made cone pack from blowing up and to allow the recently glazed pots to dry up. It comes to 12 midnight, and decision time. I know it won't be anywhere near ready til early morning if I fie it to all switches(3) on ten, probably 5 am. I decided to put the bottom on 10, Mid to 9, and the top to 7. All this figuring to fire a little on all at 10 when I got up at 7. Next morning 7 out to the kiln, cone 5, 6, and 7 are down. Can't really tell how bad, but glow is not white still yellow orange. 24 hours later, I unload and find that one teapot lid is glued on, another lid that did not get fired on the pot is glued to the shelf, but other than some darker earthier colors, all is good. Definitely a potentially bad situation came in OK, Lucky me! This got me to thinking about my cone packs, and how I am the last of a really gone breed. Still firing with cone packs in an electric kiln. Got me also to thinking that maybe someone would like to see what my cone pack looks like. You can see the standard fire I do in the middle, the one on the right is Wednesday nights, and the one on the left is one I made at the same time as Wednesday for the next load. best, Pres
  22. Guys I'm having a serious issue, almost every bisque I have done recently in my new kiln sitter is having explosions. I have been letting my clay sit out longer and get even more bone dry yet it still keeps happening. I've made sure no air bubbles except for one piece had them however this is becoming an issue. Any help or something someone might recommend would be great! With the kiln being a kiln sitter I don't have much control to do holds I can only control the switches on the way up which I have lengthened a lot but once I hit the second switch everything goes boom, very discouraging
  23. I have a number of bisque fired ^10 clay pieces that I made during a class that used ^10 only. At home, I work with ^5 - ^6 clay, and glazes. Can I take my bisqued ^10 clay pieces, fire them in my kiln to ^ 9 or 10, (without glaze) and then glaze them with ^5 glaze and refire to ^5? I know this is an odd question, and it seems to me it would work in theory, just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this? I no longer have access to ^10 glazes, and would rather not purchase some just for 6 things. Thanks, Linda
  24. Hi everyone! Im so glad I found this page, I recently started up my own little studio finally and was given a small little even heat kiln model k-810 with a kiln sitter. Im doing test firing and it seems to heat up and everything seems fine however being so little I assumed it won't take as long to reach temperature, the cones look like they weren't even affected at all. Im so confused and cannot find any info on this older kiln! Please help
  25. Hello! New user here, I am pretty new to ceramics and just inherited my first kiln! My grandmother passed down a Duncan EA-092 kiln to me, and through internet searches and reading the manual I can not find what its maximum cone temperature is! I read somewhere that someone fired it at 019 (1220 degrees F)....which is a bit disappointing as I wanted to be able to fire at at least cone 5 for the typical clays and glazes I am used to using. I have only been using glazes and kilns through classes, so I have not had much hands on application for firing my own ceramics. My questions are, what is the EA-092 max cone firing. And if it does only fire to 019 what are my options for clays and glazes? Thank you!
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