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TJR

Bone Head Mistakes

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TJR    359

The post about the artist who dumped wax resist on a kiln shelf got me thinking. What have you seen in your time either from yourself, students or colleagues that you would classify as a really dumb mistake. I know we have all done them.

I was the clay tech at my former art school. A student actually took an electric skill saw[circular saw], and while cutting a board, cut the end off the table. Not through the middle, just a foot off the end. When I asked him "why", he said; "I thought it was really tough going to cut that board."

I am attempting to go for humour here, as in Three Stooges. Not to humiliate anyone, so, no names please, just your own.

TJR.

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neilestrick    1,381

A customer of mine was using her school kiln to melt crayons for a classroom project. She set the temperature too high and the crayons started to burn and smoke. She tried to lift the tray of melted smoking crayons out of the kiln, but it spilled all over the inside of the kiln, and then it really started smoking. It filled half the school with smoke and set of the fire alarms. School was cancelled for the rest of the day while they cleared the air. The kiln was ruined, as there was no way to fire it up and burn out with wax without creating a ton of smoke. Plus there would probably be enough other material left over from the crayons that it would be impossible to really get it cleaned out. So insurance bought them a new kiln (from me, again!).

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Okay, I'll fess up. I took John Britt's glaze chemistry class. Five days of mixing glazes during the day and partying at night left me a bit befuddled. John said that we should lay everything out on a sheet of paper before mixing a glaze. It makes perfect sense now, but what I heard then was to literally lay all the glaze materials out on a sheet of paper before mixing them. So...I went back to my reasonably clean studio with newly-purchased glaze materials and large sheets of newsprint. I remember thinking that it seemed like a really stupid idea, but this was my first time mixing glazes alone, and I was determined to follow John's directions. I laid out the dry materials for the base glaze onto a couple sheets of newsprint, amazed at how much there was. The Kiln Goddess yelled at me from her perch, saying it was a dumb idea, that the paper would tear, but I remained stubborn in following directions. Well, just as I got the paper off the table and moving toward the bucket, the paper split in two, and the dry materials went everywhere. The mess was pretty impressive. Thankfully, I had not yet added colorants.

 

Lessons learned - Don't take on projects like mixing glazes when I am tired. Glaze mixing is best done outdoors on a calm day. The Kiln Goddess is always right.

 

BTW, I have seen almost no live bugs and so far no other critters inside my studio.

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A customer of mine was using her school kiln to melt crayons for a classroom project. She set the temperature too high and the crayons started to burn and smoke. She tried to lift the tray of melted smoking crayons out of the kiln, but it spilled all over the inside of the kiln, and then it really started smoking. It filled half the school with smoke and set of the fire alarms. School was cancelled for the rest of the day while they cleared the air. The kiln was ruined, as there was no way to fire it up and burn out with wax without creating a ton of smoke. Plus there would probably be enough other material left over from the crayons that it would be impossible to really get it cleaned out. So insurance bought them a new kiln (from me, again!).

 

Oh, that must have been so embarrassing.

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JBaymore    1,432

Ove my 40+ year career.... I've probably done every single one that is possible. ;)src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif"> Some more than once. :angry:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/angry.gif">

 

best,

 

...............john

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timbo_heff    37

Have we all put a pot on the wheel to trim it, turned on the wheel without making sure pedal was off and had the pot (always a good one) fly across the room, or just me?

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TJR    359

Ove my 40+ year career.... I've probably done every single one that is possible. ;)src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif"> Some more than once. :angry:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/angry.gif">

 

best,

 

...............john

 

 

John;

Didn't Scottie on Star Trek say;"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."

I was trying to get a Star Trek reference in here for you. Do you know how to fix these emoticoms?

TJR.:blink:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/blink.gif">[guy with puzzled look on face]

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ayjay    119

I had a kiln repair done recently, the guy who did it regaled me with a tale of a school who had re-sited a kiln and wanted him to wire it up - initially he refused cos it was a large front loader (probably half a ton at least) and it was in the middle of a room on the first floor, no-one had any idea if the floor was safe or not - eventually the kiln was moved to a safe spot and wired up - a few days later he got a call to say that there was a lot of smoke issuing from the kiln - once it had cooled enough to inspect he found a large quantity of ash in there - the pottery dept had asked the woodwork dept to make them some new kiln shelves - they made them from plywood.:lol:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif">

 

I went out to my garage a couple of nights ago to glaze (brush-on) a mug - gave it one coat and placed the lid on the glaze with the brush on top and went back inside - a little later I went out to give it a second coat - picked up brush - shook glaze - the lid was only placed on top, not screwed, best part of a pint of glaze is still decorating parts of my garage and probably will for many years to come.:osrc="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/ohmy.gif">

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trina    20

I have done the "let me just brush off that glaze bubble from the kiln shelf with my thumb" at least ummmm an embarassing amount of times.

T

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JBaymore    1,432

Ove my 40+ year career.... I've probably done every single one that is possible. ;)src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif"> Some more than once. :angry:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/angry.gif">

 

best,

 

...............john

 

 

John;

Didn't Scottie on Star Trek say;"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."

I was trying to get a Star Trek reference in here for you. Do you know how to fix these emoticoms?

TJR.:blink:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/blink.gif">[guy with puzzled look on face]

 

 

I'm a slow learner???? <sunglass guy>

 

No idea how to fix the emoticons. Sorry.

 

best,

 

...............john

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Matt Oz    67

Ove my 40+ year career.... I've probably done every single one that is possible. ;)src="http://ceramicartsda...efault/wink.gif"> Some more than once. :angry:src="http://ceramicartsda...fault/angry.gif">

 

best,

 

...............john

 

 

John;

Didn't Scottie on Star Trek say;"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."

I was trying to get a Star Trek reference in here for you. Do you know how to fix these emoticoms?

TJR.:blink:src="http://ceramicartsda...fault/blink.gif">[guy with puzzled look on face]

 

 

I'm a slow learner???? <sunglass guy>

 

No idea how to fix the emoticons. Sorry.

 

best,

 

...............john

 

 

smile.gifwink.gifbiggrin.giftongue.gifsad.gifohmy.gifcool.gif

You can get some of them to work by typing it the old fashioned way, like a colon and a parenthesis, then it will be automatically converted. Definitely broken though.

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TJR    359
Mark C.    1,807

Lets see-It may be better to state things I have not done as I feel as John stated above I have done most all of them.

Thinks I have yet to do-

 

I have never used a water hose into an electric kiln

Never drove a car into a gas kiln

Never thrown upside down on a power wheel

Never filled up a kiln with unlit proane and lit it

never fired a pug of clay whole

never used gasoline in a kiln

never left a whole tool box in gas kiln and fired to 10

 

The never done list is getting shorter.

Mark

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Pres    896

The post about the artist who dumped wax resist on a kiln shelf got me thinking. What have you seen in your time either from yourself, students or colleagues that you would classify as a really dumb mistake. I know we have all done them.

I was the clay tech at my former art school. A student actually took an electric skill saw[circular saw], and while cutting a board, cut the end off the table. Not through the middle, just a foot off the end. When I asked him "why", he said; "I thought it was really tough going to cut that board."

I am attempting to go for humour here, as in Three Stooges. Not to humiliate anyone, so, no names please, just your own.

TJR.

 

 

Introduced myself to the professor of my first grad class in ceramics at Penn State. First day of class, no idea of how a Brent C worked as I had always thrown on kick wheels. Put my full bucket of water on the wheel platform, 10lbs of clay, tools all arranged. Put the clay on the wheel, pushed foot all the way down on the pedal-prof-Stevenson, was walking around, The clay went flying hit the bucket, and the whole thing landed on his pants and shoes. I shrank the rest of the summer. . . .

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kathi    2

Have we all put a pot on the wheel to trim it, turned on the wheel without making sure pedal was off and had the pot (always a good one) fly across the room, or just me?

 

 

 

I got that t-shirt, too!

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Matt Oz    67

Thanks:[:rolleyes:src=http://ceramicartsda...lt/rolleyes.gif">:mellow:src="http://ceramicartsda...ault/mellow.gif">:lol:src="http://ceramicartsda...fault/laugh.gif">:(src="http://ceramicartsda...default/sad.gif">:Dsrc="http://ceramicartsda...ult/biggrin.gif">

TJR.

Tried it. Din't work. Do you have put closed parentheses? Man, that's a tough word to spell.:[:lol:src="http://ceramicartsda...fault/laugh.gif">]

 

 

OK I found an easier way, just click and drag the emoticon you want and drop it into your postcool.giftongue.gif

cool.gifbiggrin.gifblink.gifsad.gif

smile.gif

 

Parenthesisessrolleyes.gif

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minspargal    3

Turned a teapot over to check the bottom and forgot to hold on to the lid. I've done the shake the glaze jar with the unscrewed top and now of course, knock over a jar of wax resist onto a kiln shelf, but the biggest bone head thing was to drop a 25lb. lump of clay into a 5" barrell extruder and forget to put on the end cap with the die. If my dog who watched the whole thing could laugh, he would have laughed his dog head off.

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perkolator    54

just yesterday, had a student not paying attention and bone-headedly leaned on a kiln shelf while he was waiting for another student to get up the other ladder (for loading a piece on top of the stack in our big kiln). well, we all know what happens when you decide to lean on a kiln stack that's already precarious, let alone being 7' off the ground......well, we ended up losing 4 large sculptures and 2 kiln shelves in that mishap angry.gif luckily nobody was injured, and pieces can always be rebuilt. just sucks to have this happen. i guess words/warnings can only go so far until they see it in reality. it's been at least 6yrs since a bone-head mistake like this has been made in my studio. just goes to prove that if there's even the slightest possibility of something going awry, an undergraduate will do it!

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

One time I was up at the raku site with a class when I got a report that my student assistant had blown up a gas kiln.

It seems the students got into a discussion about the procedure...turn on gas, light a torch and ignite the burner or light the torch, turn on the gas and

ignite the burner. Fortunately no one was hurt, the arch blew off, very few pots were touched, the repair work was to reset the arch. The students involved in the incident had sooty faces and giant white eyes! Respect for gas, follow instructions

In grad school, a student (not mine) wanted to cast her foot.Her boyfriend mixed a bucket of plaster and she stuck her foot into the bucket. It took her boyfirend a while to chisel her foot free.

 

Marcia

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

The post about the artist who dumped wax resist on a kiln shelf got me thinking. What have you seen in your time either from yourself, students or colleagues that you would classify as a really dumb mistake. I know we have all done them.

I was the clay tech at my former art school. A student actually took an electric skill saw[circular saw], and while cutting a board, cut the end off the table. Not through the middle, just a foot off the end. When I asked him "why", he said; "I thought it was really tough going to cut that board."

I am attempting to go for humour here, as in Three Stooges. Not to humiliate anyone, so, no names please, just your own.

TJR.

 

 

Introduced myself to the professor of my first grad class in ceramics at Penn State. First day of class, no idea of how a Brent C worked as I had always thrown on kick wheels. Put my full bucket of water on the wheel platform, 10lbs of clay, tools all arranged. Put the clay on the wheel, pushed foot all the way down on the pedal-prof-Stevenson, was walking around, The clay went flying hit the bucket, and the whole thing landed on his pants and shoes. I shrank the rest of the summer. . . .

 

I know Jim Stevenson. And Dave Dontigney. funny.

I had Dave Dontigney's nephew in my classes in Montana. Both Jim and Dave are Montanans.

Marcia

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TJR    359

I am enjoying this blog immensely! I keep thinking about those wooden kiln shelves that the carpentry shop made. Oh, man.

Thank-you to everyone who has posted. Don't be shy out there. Keep posting.

TJR.tongue.gif

Tried to drag the emoticom.Hope it works.

It worked!ohmy.gif

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Iforgot    2

you know that moment when you put a cone 7 in your sitter when you are actually firing cone 03 majolica ware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GEP    863

Once as I was unloading a bisque kiln, I picked up two pots, one in each hand. One of the pots slipped out if my hand. I let go of the other one so I could use both hands to catch the first one, without success. Duh.

 

Mea

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Mark C.    1,807

This is a crossover mistake -meaning I have made it twice and both times been able to recover from it. So a repaired bone head mistake if you will.

Twice over the past 40 years I loaded my car kiln for cone 10/11 glaze fire rolled it in. Then at 1800 to 2100 or above I notice oops no cones.

Bone head for sure but wait there's more.

I keep cone pads on heater always so I have dry ones to work with . My spy plug is 4 inch tube so I gradually and I mean SLOWLY slid on a heavy angle iron the cone pad taking about 1/2 hour in very small stages pushing them in and holding them set up on a ladder. Then when I deemed them red hot used a push bar to slide them in between pots on shelve. Out of good habit I always have left the space just forgot to put them in.

I know this seem impossible but I have successfully done it twice without blowing them up.-

The fires both turned out fine

Recovered from Bone head move.

Mark

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