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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?

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Oof, well if you use nichrome wire it better be of decent guage, 5 oz is quite a bit of weight.  You could use stilts if you don't mind having to polish off a few small marks in the glaze.  I bet there is someone here who knows the exact item you need though, good luck!

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No matter the support, ceramic or wire, how exactly are you supporting these during firing?  Are they going to be hung from a bead rack type system?

At Cone 10 a lot of what I might suggest, may not work.  I know a lot of heat resistant wire starts to weaken around then, and I've been *told*, that stilts can cause issues, even as low as Cone 6.

Stilts would be quick and easy, but of course, that might not be the case, if there is an issue.    I've never fired to Cone 10, so I have zero experience with it.

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How big are the holes? At ^10 the stilts will sag with that kind of weight causing problems. I tried using them at ^6 and they sagged to a 45 degree angle from vertical, I would imagine that they might collapse completely at ^10. It might be feasible to make a rack of some sort with porcelain or other stoneware with vertical posts that are sturdy enough to support the globes.

Another option might be to hold back the glaze around the hole, fire the globes sitting on the hole, and then paint the bare spot with an acrylic paint to finish the piece. 

JohnnyK

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I think you have two options-the best is make up some wading thats used in salt or wood firing 1/2 alumina Hydrate and 1/2 elk-add water and wedge/mix until clay consistency . Make a small pad for ball to sit. This also will be an unglazed spot on ball.-you could also form this pad into a three point(sharp) points that hold ball above pad.

The second is buy some ceramic 3 point stands-thee have no metal on them and are very fragile and have 3 ceramic points-they are three legged with a pint at each end.-they will break usually after use getting them unstuck.

either way you will grind off the sharp spots on ball with a small dremel grinder

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I fire fully glazed items to cone 10 reduction setting on sea shells filled with wadding or just regular clay.  The top of the shell is in contact with the glaze - the clay/wadding is just to support the shell when it gets hot.  for spheres I would use three per sphere.   Others at school have fired glazed items setting on a bed of crushed oyster shells (obtainable at a farm feed store).   Either route will leave a small scar on the glazed item, but that can be polished with a good grinding pad or a sharpening stone.   The shells calcine to calcium oxide (which with the help of soaking in water washes off easily.  

 

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Anything you do that touches the glaze will leave a scar. Some larger than others. Wire won't hold up at cone 10, it'll sag. Ideally you need to make the ornaments so that they can be fired on a shelf, supporting their own weight. When I was making globe ornaments, I made the so the they would be finished with an ornament cap. That way they could be fired upside down with an unglazed lip, and the cap covered that area. 5oz is very heavy for an ornament if you want it to hang on the tree. Ideally you want to be under 1.5oz. Slip casting is the best way to get ceramic ornaments thin enough, IMO.

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On 11/16/2018 at 12:18 PM, Chilly said:

Why are you firing to ^10? 

Are they for outdoor ornaments? 

If for indoor, ^10 seems a waste of energy and hassle.

You're probably right.  Firing at ^10,  because that's what's available to me in a large communal space.

 

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4 hours ago, neilestrick said:

Anything you do that touches the glaze will leave a scar. Some larger than others. Wire won't hold up at cone 10, it'll sag. Ideally you need to make the ornaments so that they can be fired on a shelf, supporting their own weight. When I was making globe ornaments, I made the so the they would be finished with an ornament cap. That way they could be fired upside down with an unglazed lip, and the cap covered that area. 5oz is very heavy for an ornament if you want it to hang on the tree. Ideally you want to be under 1.5oz. Slip casting is the best way to get ceramic ornaments thin enough, IMO.

Hey Neil, we've met at Lillstreet.  Most of these ornaments actually went through the soda kiln you built!  But I wanted to pull a few and try cone 10, hence the dilemma.  I ended up buying some small stilts with stubby metal prongs.  You think those will bend too?  Yes, ornament cap would be a great idea for my next generation, thanks.

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