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Recovering From Sandy- Frozen Studio?


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#1 BarefootPottery

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:40 AM

We are trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy. Here in West Virginia we were hit with 42 inches of snow, and lost power for two weeks causing our studio (and us) to freeze. We are trying to recover our losses, both in inventory and lost time for the holiday season. Our inventory was all frozen including greenware, bisque ware, glazes, slips, magic water, chemicals, clay, and equipment (including our pug mill full of clay). Anyone have any experience with frozen pottery? We don't have time to fire and hope our inventory survived, so we have just left everything and started over. The clay is fine, but we are wondering if the glazes, slips, magic water, etc. are OK to use. Anyone who has worked with frozen materials, reassurances would be greatly appreciated!

#2 bciskepottery

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:51 AM

Your frozen glazes and slips can be thawed, re-sieved, and used. Re-sieving is critical. Always best to do a series of test tiles just to be on the safe side. I would imagine magic water can be thawed and used . . . it is mostly water, the soda ash/sodium silicate ingredients are rather small and were dissolved into the water.

I would imagine your greenware can also be thawed and fired . . . although I'd thaw it gradually and evenly, and not rush it. When firing, maybe do a pre-heat to ensure any moisture is removed.

Hope your recovery from the storm goes well. Most of the storm attention has been on NJ/NY, but WV was hit hard, too, and relatively unmentioned in the news.

#3 JBaymore

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:34 AM

Really sorry to hear about your mess.

I assume that the you are aware of CERF+ ? They might be of some help. http://craftemergency.org/

As has been said, glazes and slips can be used after the unfortunate labor of re-mixing and re-seiving, wet clay can be used after a bit of labor wedging and or pugging. Dry raw materials will be fine. Dry bisque ware will be fine, even with glaze layers applied.

Hopefully the pug mill body withstood the pressure of the expanding clay fereezing inside the extrusion mixing/extruding tube. If the ends were not capped... the pressure should have been releived there. Check for metal stress cracks.

If you had some wares that were TOTALLY dry when the freeze happened, they should be fine to fire. Anything that was even slightly damp......will have likely cracks that will not show up until the firing.

Best of luck getting things back to some semblance of normal. On the positive "glass is half full" side.... at least you have a studio to go back to to pick up the pieces. For some unfortunate people in the NY / NJ area,........ homes and studios are simply gone.

best,

........................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#4 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:35 PM

I have had wet greenware freeze and had no problems with it when it thawed. I think the glazes and slips will be ok too. Just use a mixer to get rid of any stratification. Hope you are getting back together after Sandy. Follow John's advice about CERF if you need help, especially with the seasonal sales lost.

Marcia

#5 BarefootPottery

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:06 PM

Thanks everyone!

We are starting to sieve the glazes right now! I think the pug mill might be a complete loss, as both ends were capped to keep the clay from drying out. Not sure about the vacuum on it. It makes horrible noises when we turn it on, and does not produce clay. The other equipment might work after we tear them apart. We are going to fire all the bisque wear, but hold on the green wear. We appreciate the replys, as we just don't have the time to do much experimenting right now. Hope everyone has great holiday sales!

#6 Idaho Potter

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:12 PM

Sorry to hear about all your woes, and heartened by the above replies you've received.

I don't know what brand of pugger you have, but if it were me, I'd be calling the maker or at least the dealer and ask them. It could be that the metal just kept the clay frozen longer or maybe even bent the auger somehow. I would unplug the vacuum part until the pugger is running correctly--it might be a part you don't have to replace. If the metal housing is intact, you might get away with only replacing the mixing arm/auger.

Good luck, Shirley

#7 SmartsyArtsy

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:02 PM

I have nothing to add, except to say that I am sorry you are going through this , especially at this time of year.

#8 BarefootPottery

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:36 PM

Well, The glaze worked fine and bisque ware survived firing. Thank you everyone for your support. We lost everything that had moisture in it, but at least we can reclaim it after we get the pug mill working again. Without our pugger, production is very slow, but we are at least going in the right direction. I am making a lot of slab ware and would kill for a slab roller! If we can keep the studio going, it will be a future purchase. Good Luck with Holiday Sales everyone!

#9 JBaymore

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:00 AM

............... and would kill for a slab roller! If we can keep the studio going, it will be a future purchase.


Did you contact CERF+? This is the type of thins they can often help with.

best,

.......................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#10 trina

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:45 PM

my thoughts in your direction.... T




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