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Mark C.

Cone 6 call today-no help

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I had a person call waiting to fire her stuff to cone 6-she had the local art center bisque the work and she is glazing it to herself but they do not fire cone 6.The clay was cone 6 and her glazes are cone 6.

 Only High fire and low fire it seems.They sent here away.

I told her I only fired to cone 10 and reduction at that. Also mentioned I never fire others work and told her some of the short list of reasons. I passed on a name that may do this for her?

Seems cone 6 is not much used around these parts.I only know of a few private hobbyists  using this temp .

Seems like many ceramic Magazines are really focused on cone 6.

The local clay supplier sells hardly any cone 6 clay and supplies around here.

 

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Mark:

actually that surprises me given the cost of energy on the West Coast. I do not have an exact count, but my supplier tells me it is mostly cone six around here. Electric is cheap, I pay 0.08 cents per kilowatt. I think down in the City itself it is around 0.14 cents???  

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I've been firing ^6 since 1980. Reduction from 1980 to 2000 at MSU-Billings. Then I switched to oxidation when I retired. Actually I was transitioning to alternative firings around then. I think ^6 is a greener way to go regarding energy consumption. I developed excellent glazes  for ^6 reduction that looked like ^9-10.  Cut hours off the firing.  The Clay Studio in Phila fires ^6 reduction and has for over a decade. I did a residency there in 2003.

There are good ^6  maturing clay bodies here in Montana, although many potters still fire to ^9-10 .  Julia Galloway at UM fires soda at ^6.  The Bray has ^6 " porcelain".  I guess it depends of resources and costs. It is definitely more economical without compromising quality IMO.

Mark, I agree with you about never firing others work. I took exception when my friend, Chip Clawson, was working at the women's prison on a huge 100% for art project with the inmates. He needed to fired some pieces they made and I offered him use of my big oval kiln saving him a 560 mile run back and forth to his studio in Helena. he was the tech and manager of the Bray Clay Business and definitely knew what he was doing. Otherwise, I ave seen too many disasters from people who don't know what they are doing and wanting to use others' private equipment. I doubt those people have any sense of the costs of repairing disasters.

marcia

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Out electric rates are sky high  so that's a Big factor

Nerd they are giving you almost free electricity-must be that light up rural America program from the 30s and you are still on that rate?

My rates are tiered sand are-

.36 cents peak

.25 part peak

.17 off peak

Edited by Mark C.

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Mark:

my detached studio has it's own power and meter service. I have never gotten a bill over $100: and $25 of that was taxes. In march, there will be a rate increase. 0.11 cents for the first 2000 kilowatts, and .08 cents for everything thereafter. The house however remains the same rate. I am on a rural Co-op which plays a role, zoned AG, another factor. All electric, another discount. When I built the house in2005, the Feds had kinds of Energy Star credits, deductions, and programs. I built to the Fed standard of Energy Star consumption ( over it actually.) first five years I was only paying .06 cents a kilowatt.

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Our electricity is like Nerd's, cheap. Rural, co-op, AG area. To fire the 7 cu ft electric kiln to ^6 is about $5.00 per load. Really I was amazed, thought the kiln would pull a lot more electricity for the firing.

Mississippi does have a Nuclear power plant, Port Gibson. Really I should have solar panels for as much sun as we get.

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In western Canada it has nothing to do at all with power costs, and everything to do with gas code. Gas kilns that you would build yourself are in the same category of the code as one-off industrial boilers and tar sand extracting equipment. 

Let that soak in a moment.

What this means is that even if you're using CSA approved burners and safeties, and using a proven design to build your own, you still need to have one of 2 high priced engineering firms certify your kiln before a gas fitter is allowed to hook it up, to the tune of about $10,000 on top of whatever you paid for your materials to build it. Because of some accidents in the oil patch, they've made it so that you can't even  buy certain critical parts without a gas fitters license, so it's not something that you can easily circumvent. You cannot effectively build your own kiln any longer. One local potter who worked for 30 years in high fire reduction lost his studio in a fire 3 years ago. He was unable to rebuild anything  resembling what he was used to, even with sufficient insurance money. I believe he has jerry-rigged something with a Bunsen burner underneath an electric, and replaces elements often now.

But what about a factory certified gas kiln? There are no Canadian manufacturers of pre-certified kilns. That means if I want one, I have to order from Bailey, and pay an extra 25% US/CDN exchange rate plus a lot more shipping, plus import taxes. 

This isn't an undertaking that anyone fresh out of college, or looking to build a business on a small but gradual scale can afford to do. It's even difficult for arts centres and other group settings to do this sort of thing.

Last year, I managed to install a 7 cu ft used electric kiln in my back yard for about $2500, including inspected hookup, cement pad and the kiln itself. (The tin shed it's in came with the house.)

So cone six electric it is. 

Edited by Callie Beller Diesel
Added kiln project information

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WOW- Callie. They are cracking down just a little on gas applications: special shut offs, pipe sizing, strapping, other safety codes. However, in the City I have heard they are much stricter and in some cases denying permits. Nothing on the scale you spoke of, but they are dialing down on gas appliances (kilns included). Oddly enough, out in this rural area they throw bigger fits about open wood burning. 

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43 minutes ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

In western Canada it has nothing to do at all with power costs, and everything to do with gas code. Gas kilns that you would build yourself are in the same category of the code as one-off industrial boilers and tar sand extracting equipment. 

Let that soak in a moment.

What this means is that even if you're using CSA approved burners and safeties, and using a proven design to build your own, you still need to have one of 2 high priced engineering firms certify your kiln before a gas fitter is allowed to hook it up, to the tune of about $10,000 on top of whatever you paid for your materials to build it. Because of some accidents in the oil patch, they've made it so that you can't even  buy certain critical parts without a gas fitters license, so it's not something that you can easily circumvent. You cannot effectively build your own kiln any longer. One local potter who worked for 30 years in high fire reduction lost his studio in a fire 3 years ago. He was unable to rebuild anything  resembling what he was used to, even with sufficient insurance money. I believe he has jerry-rigged something with a Bunsen burner underneath an electric, and replaces elements often now.

But what about a factory certified gas kiln? There are no Canadian manufacturers of pre-certified kilns. That means if I want one, I have to order from Bailey, and pay an extra 25% US/CDN exchange rate plus a lot more shipping, plus import taxes. 

This isn't an undertaking that anyone fresh out of college, or looking to build a business on a small but gradual scale can afford to do. It's even difficult for arts centres and other group settings to do this sort of thing.

Last year, I managed to install a 7 cu ft used electric kiln in my back yard for about $2500, including inspected hookup, cement pad and the kiln itself. (The tin shed it's in came with the house.)

So cone six electric it is. 

Sounds like Alberta is a tough go.

I know folks in B.C. who have built and certified smallish gas kilns without nearly as much expense or hassle.

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It could possibly be fixed if someone had the political will to get kilns classified differently, and I think that there are arguments for cultural preservation that could be made towards that, but it's a matter of someone who has sufficient time on their hands to pick up that particular project. 

 

BC has a more prevalent under-the-table-work kind of culture than Alberta does, and it's probably easier to find that friend of a friend who will do the final hook up for a flat or a bag of good weed. That, and code enforcement is up to the individual province. Alberta gas code hasn't been altered in over 40 years, but no one cared at all before about kilns until there were some relatively recent industrial accidents in the oil patch. That has lead to greater across-the-board enforcement. 

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Maybe you could send a few truckloads of tar sands  down to Nerd and since his electricity is almost free he can cook it down-I think oil is still valuable either side of the border.

On a more serious note gas kilns on the west coast are very hard to get permits for these days. I know of several potters who moved and could never get piped in (natural Gas) gas again-all had to go propane and bootleg that as well.

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Hahahaha! "You're not a real potter unless you refine your own natural gas!"

I used to have a job testing core samples for their bitumen content. You get to reflux hot toluene through 100g tar samples to separate water and bitumen and sand. A legitimate and not creepy question at my job interview was "do you have any plans on becoming pregnant during the duration of this contract?" There were a lot of carcinogenic and mutagenic things in the air in that lab. We could have a whole new OHS thread around that one!

 

curt and Marcia Selsor like this

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Have a book called alternative kilns and another one by Olsen, the kiln book. In one of those there is a set of plans for a fairly small CF wood burning kiln that uses about a half cord of wood to fire. Just found a reference to one on this site as well (Manabigama):

https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/woodfirefreemium.pdf

I know that's over a $100 bucks a firing but for 24 cf really not that bad, how does that stack up to natural  gas and propane?

Anyone have any insight to this kiln?

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Ya know I am stumped. I decided that this post was really kind of off topic and decided I would first research to see if this kiln has already been discussed and then post in a separate thread if not, but I do not see that I can delete this post. has that ability been removed?

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5 hours ago, Stephen said:

Ya know I am stumped. I decided that this post was really kind of off topic and decided I would first research to see if this kiln has already been discussed and then post in a separate thread if not, but I do not see that I can delete this post. has that ability been removed?

Correct. The ability to remove post was removed. 

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Hi everyone, I sent a PM to Stephen this afternoon, to explain the change in the deleting/editing functions of the forum. I offered to delete his post so he could post it again in a new thread. I hadn't heard back from him by the time I went out for dinner. When I got home I saw Stephen's reply to me, plus saw that Mark asked the same question and Joseph chimed in too. Therefore I'm going to leave this all here, since other members might have the same question.

The forum settings were changed a few months ago, and now you can no longer delete your comments. You can still edit your comments, however edited comments are flagged as "edited." You can edit a comment and remove all of its content, which is similar to deleting, but a shell of the comment will remain, flagged as edited. This way, anyone who reads the thread in the future will be able to see that a comment was removed.

We decided that it is important to preserve conversations here as they organically happened. People come to this forum everyday, and read threads that are years old. One of the objectives of this forum is the "archive" aspect of things. So as much as possible we want the words to be preserved. 

There are situations where it is perfectly reasonable to delete your comment. Such as in this example, where Stephen wanted to delete a comment so he could post it as a new thread. In those situations, you can ask a mod to delete your comment. 

curt and Sheryl Leigh like this

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Inability to delete feels a bit obstructive...I fail to see why I cannot have the right to change my mind and remove something--with  a simple click, without the rigmarole of having to create an empty "edit". 

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10 hours ago, LeeU said:

Inability to delete feels a bit obstructive...I fail to see why I cannot have the right to change my mind and remove something--with  a simple click, without the rigmarole of having to create an empty "edit". 

Whilst I can see your point, I have (once only) replied to a post, only to have the original post deleted by the author a few weeks later, leaving my own dangling idiotically in mid-air, seemingly referencing nothing but the futility of its own existence.  So in turn, I deleted my own post. One could imagine an autophagic chain reaction where post by post, the entire forum disappeared.

I know why the author snuck back to delete his/her post, and I won't embarrass him/her in public, but it was vaguely and mildly annoying. But then, I'm a sensitive flower.

Edited by Sputty
Excision of redundancy.
Sheryl Leigh likes this

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