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#1 Tess

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:01 AM

I am hoping that you all may be able to help me through my next phase.  I began at a pottery studio 8 months ago.  To say that I've fallen in love with pottery is an understatement.  So I took the next step. . . I have an 8 x 12 shed with a wheel and a wedging table and cabinet.  I'm throwing like a madwoman!  I've even taken my wheel out on our deck overlooking the Maine woods - nirvana!

 

So I have that down and it's time to fire up the used kiln I bought.  It is a GARE electric with a kiln sitter that can go to cone 10.  I

I am used to working with cone 10 clay and I love the 550 porcelain.  I've worked with 910 (too groggy) 700 (better) BMix, and two white clays (can't remember).  I found that b-mix at the studio seemed to pull out so much gray in the glazes so celadon was AWFUL. 

Working with glazes (cone 5/6) is all new.  I can't afford the dry (25lbs???) and do not want to invest in something until I am sure 

So I am reaching out to kindhearted potters for help. Advice about the first firing, the best glazes (I tend to like pastels), the best clay (I prefer white and porcelain).  My pottery studio also has a supply that is well stocked. 

 

So, I'm looking for advise about commercial glazes, firing, electric kilns etc.  Any information/advice is appreciated.  

 

I look forward to learning and maybe some day being able to know enough to pay it forward.



#2 Arnold Howard

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:31 AM

So, I'm looking for advise about commercial glazes, firing, electric kilns etc.

For the first firing, place the shelves, posts, pyrometric witness cones, and a couple of test pieces in the kiln. Space the shelves evenly throughout the kiln with posts. I would not load the kiln with prized pieces until you are confident that the kiln will fire to your satisfaction.

 

Before you decide on firing to cone 10, make sure the kiln will actually fire that hot. Also, you may decide that cone 6 is more feasible than cone 10, because you will get more firings out of a set of elements at cone 6 than you will at cone 10.

 

Sincerely,Arnold Howard

Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA

ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com



#3 Chris Campbell

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:42 AM

I am going to recommend that you click on the Ceramic Arts Daily tag at the top of this page. There you will find a treasure trove of all the information you need in the form of free videos, free articles and suggestions. I am not saying this to put off giving you an answer, just to point you to a fantastic source of solid reliable information that I wish was there when I was starting out.

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TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#4 Stephen

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:46 AM

 

So, I'm looking for advise about commercial glazes, firing, electric kilns etc.

 Also, you may decide that cone 6 is more feasible than cone 10, because you will get more firings out of a set of elements at cone 6 than you will at cone 10.

 

Sincerely,Arnold Howard

Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA

ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

 

Arnold, when you say more firings out of a set of elements would it be in a small percentage range or large as in twice as many. I've just heard that the elements burn out faster but never knew how dramatic this would be if fired to cone 10 regularly. 



#5 Arnold Howard

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:08 AM

 

Arnold, when you say more firings out of a set of elements would it be in a small percentage range or large as in twice as many. I've just heard that the elements burn out faster but never knew how dramatic this would be if fired to cone 10 regularly. 


 

A potter/scientist named Tom Buck sent me the following numbers. They are a rough estimate, because element life is affected by many factors besides the temperature of the firing.

 

"Kanthal A-1 wire elements:

"Firing to Cone06/05 (1000+ oC, 1832+ oF) repeatedly ONLY, ie, a bisque firing, the lifetime is over 1000 firings under normal conditions (claybody is low on sulfur and nitrogen materials, and silico-fluorides).

"Firing to Cone 6 (1240 oC, 2264 oF), the lifetime is 200 firings.

"Firing to Cone 10 (1305 oC 2380 oF), the lifetime drops to
120 firings."

 

Sincerely,

 

Arnold Howard

Paragon Industries, L.P.,

Mesquite, Texas USA

ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com



#6 Mark C.

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:47 AM

Now that we are talking cone 10 electric Is your kiln 3 inches thick?

Many older kilns are rated higher than they should be. For example my older skutts say cone 8 with 2 1/2 inch wall thickness and only 48 amps. This thing would take a long time to reach reach cone 8

Newer cone 10 kilns are all 3 inch or more walls and a midsized model is 90 amps

Check out your walls . How many amps is it?

 

Mark


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#7 OffCenter

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 01:35 PM

Just because it is rated as a cone 10 kiln doesn't mean it will be practical to fire it to cone 10. It may have been able to reach cone 10 when new but not now or not in a reasonable time. Even if the kiln will get to cone 10 in a reasonable time it is still, unless you have some good reason for firing to cone 10, not a good idea to fire that high.

 

Jim


E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#8 Benzine

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:21 PM

Just because it is rated as a cone 10 kiln doesn't mean it will be practical to fire it to cone 10. It may have been able to reach cone 10 when new but not now or not in a reasonable time. Even if the kiln will get to cone 10 in a reasonable time it is still, unless you have some good reason for firing to cone 10, not a good idea to fire that high.

 

Jim

Pfff, nonsense Jim!  Crank that baby up to "11"!

 

Hmmmm....that would be a great idea for a ceramic related poster and/ or t-shirt.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#9 OffCenter

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:32 PM

 

Just because it is rated as a cone 10 kiln doesn't mean it will be practical to fire it to cone 10. It may have been able to reach cone 10 when new but not now or not in a reasonable time. Even if the kiln will get to cone 10 in a reasonable time it is still, unless you have some good reason for firing to cone 10, not a good idea to fire that high.

 

Jim

Pfff, nonsense Jim!  Crank that baby up to "11"!

 

Hmmmm....that would be a great idea for a ceramic related poster and/ or t-shirt.

 

 

Fat chance that her kiln will get to cone 11. Somebody who wood fires to cone 13 with us has a t-shirt that says, "Cone 13"... BTW, which do you mean would make a good T-shirt "Crank that baby up to 11!" or "Pfff, Nonsense Jim!"?

 

Jim


E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#10 Benzine

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:49 PM

 

 

Just because it is rated as a cone 10 kiln doesn't mean it will be practical to fire it to cone 10. It may have been able to reach cone 10 when new but not now or not in a reasonable time. Even if the kiln will get to cone 10 in a reasonable time it is still, unless you have some good reason for firing to cone 10, not a good idea to fire that high.

 

Jim

Pfff, nonsense Jim!  Crank that baby up to "11"!

 

Hmmmm....that would be a great idea for a ceramic related poster and/ or t-shirt.

 

 

Fat chance that her kiln will get to cone 11. Somebody who wood fires to cone 13 with us has a t-shirt that says, "Cone 13"... BTW, which do you mean would make a good T-shirt "Crank that baby up to 11!" or "Pfff, Nonsense Jim!"?

 

Jim

 

I was referring to the former quote.  I would never wear a t-shirt that said "Nonsense Jim".  There is a lot of truth in what you say....hilarious, hilarious truth.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#11 Tess

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:21 AM

Thank you all for your comments.  I should have clarified and said that I do not intend to fire it above cone 6 but i love the T-Shirt idea!  

 

Chris, thank you for pointing out the videos and articles.  

 

I do plan to do the test firing next month.  

 

How did you begin with your glazes?  Pint size brush it on? 

 

Thanks to all.



#12 clay lover

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:48 AM

I'm suggesting buying a sample pack, several glaze companies offer that.  They give you enough to try the glaze, brush on, and see if you like it.  Other economical route, get pints, liquid, of what you think you might like, do several firings, since the temps and peeps out or in and other things will effect you color- surface results, then when that settles down, buy the 25 lb dry mix, by far the cheapest route for commercial glazes. That amount allows you to dip pieces and will last a long time.  Much better results possible than brushing .

 

Other good info source, Google Big Ceramics Store and check out the FAQ's.  Huge store of straightforward info.  And , of course, post here!



#13 Nancy S.

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:32 PM

Since you're in New England, I'd recommend checking out Bailey's for glazes (reasonable prices & reasonable shipping). I've had good luck with Coyote's shino and gloss glazes, as well as Amaco's Potter's Choice and Sahara glazes. Definitely do some test tiles or cups to be sure that you know how the glaze will end up looking with your firing schedule before you commit to a whole kiln load!

 

I do the pint-sized jars and brush on the glazes, but I'm still in the "I want to try EVERYTHING" phase of pottery...

 

Get some good hake brushes. They are *wonderful* for brushing on glaze - gets it nice and thick but still relatively even.



#14 Tess

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 07:48 AM

Thank you for your response.  

 

I did some research and in 2011, coyote glazes were rated the highest. I plan to start with pints.   It looks like they also sell some in 10 lb. bags which looks a lot better than 25 lbs!   I plan to do the test firing in the next couple of weeks.  I have to have an electrician wire it for me. 

 

Would you mind telling me more about how you are brushing on glazes?  I appreciate the advice about the hake brushes.  I am wondering if you are able to do any two glaze effects or putting two glazes in separate places for a breaking effect.  I have only brushed glazes on once and I did all one color.  I put it on 3 times.  

 

Any pictures would be great or letting me know where I might find it on this website

 

I am also getting used to the idea of Cone 6 clay and what happens with that.  Do you have any experience or warnings about Cone 6 clays and how they interact with certain glazes.  Bmix in cone 10 brings out grays in clay and celadon pretty on most clays is awful on bmix.  

 

Thank you again.  I am both nervous about this and excited.  Waiting for firings in the studio (and often the unpredictability of gas firings) has been difficult.



#15 Nancy S.

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 09:59 AM

Would you mind telling me more about how you are brushing on glazes?  I appreciate the advice about the hake brushes.  I am wondering if you are able to do any two glaze effects or putting two glazes in separate places for a breaking effect.  I have only brushed glazes on once and I did all one color.  I put it on 3 times.  

 

Any pictures would be great or letting me know where I might find it on this website

 

I am also getting used to the idea of Cone 6 clay and what happens with that.  Do you have any experience or warnings about Cone 6 clays and how they interact with certain glazes.  Bmix in cone 10 brings out grays in clay and celadon pretty on most clays is awful on bmix.  

 

Thank you again.  I am both nervous about this and excited.  Waiting for firings in the studio (and often the unpredictability of gas firings) has been difficult.

 

Brushing - 2-3 moderate coats. Not thin, like you'd apply nail polish, but thick enough that it's a good layer. Do the second in an alternate direction, and the third in yet another alternate direction. I wait for them to dry a tiny bit before adding the next coat. With the Coyote glazes, I find that I have to usually water them down a tad because when I apply them thickly they bubble or crack and then I have to rub my finger over the bubbles/pock marks/cracks to make sure that it doesn't  show up in the firing. It's hard to describe in words, so do a test tile with a few different techniques to find out what's going to work best for you. Make a lot of notes so that you don't forget what you did where! Don't rely on your memory!! :)

 

And yes, you can layer many glazes, especially the shinos. Coyote has pics on their site (click the glaze tiles for sample images) http://www.coyotecla...dbyfamilies.htm plus shino overlap with black samples http://coyoteclay.com/Shino%20overlap.html I have also tried to keep track of my "experiments" in my Photobucket gallery (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/rubian77/library/Pottery?sort=6&page=1) though I have a bunch I need to upload that I haven't had a chance yet because the day job's been kicking my butt in the past few months. (Today is a well-deserved day off!)

 

I've never tried Bmix; I usually use Standard's ^6 clays because that's what my local studio carries. I started with the Hazelnut 211 (opaque glazes like the shinos work great!), but I've also tried the white 240 (works well with the celadon and throws all right, but isn't WHITE white) and white 563 (which I'm sure would work with celadon and is whiter, but *very* creamy and buttery and hard to work with at times). There are other ^6 Standard clays I'm planning to try eventually, like the speckled ones (112 or 760) for non-glazed stuff.



#16 Nancy S.

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 10:50 PM

Oh, and I forgot to mention....the shinos have lovely dimensional effects, but you have to apply them unevenly to get those effects. :)






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