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Your Kiln Is Your Partner (Most Of The Time)


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#1 bciskepottery

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:54 AM

http://cartergillies...mare-come-true/

This post from Carter Gillies is so timely. The studio where some of my work is fired in reduction a natural gas kiln to ^10 is no longer an option for me (short version of a long story: studio owner doesn't pay the rent, landlord shows you the curbside -- resulting in a group of potters without a place to work). So, I either find an alternate source for firing that part of my portfolio or I find a way to get the same effect in oxidation at ^6 in my electric kiln. But we all have love/hate relationships with kilns and Carter writes a wonderful column.



#2 GEP

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:13 AM

great read ... lots to ponder .... thanks.


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#3 Bob Coyle

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 11:06 AM

 

So, I either find an alternate source for firing that part of my portfolio or I find a way to get the same effect in oxidation at ^6 in my electric kiln

That's not the worse thing that could happen. You would have lots of company ready to help.

 

Take a look at.... http://cone6pots.ning.com/



#4 bciskepottery

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 11:13 AM

So, I either find an alternate source for firing that part of my portfolio or I find a way to get the same effect in oxidation at ^6 in my electric kiln

That's not the worse thing that could happen. You would have lots of company ready to help.
 
Take a look at.... http://cone6pots.ning.com/


Not an insurmountable problem . . . just one I had not planned on having to deal with at this point (in other words, I was not surprised over the studio issue, just it coming sooner rather than later). Thanks for the link.

#5 TJR

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 01:33 PM

bciskepottery;

Didn't read the link-have to go rake leaves-eventually.

Is it possible to talk to the owner,pay what is owed, and form a co-op so that the rent is paid every month.

It seems harder and harder to find good stoneware kilns in which to fire.

I worked in a co-op situation for 26 years before building my dream studio.

TJR.

We always split the rent. There were 26 of us.



#6 bciskepottery

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:21 PM

bciskepottery;
Didn't read the link-have to go rake leaves-eventually.
Is it possible to talk to the owner,pay what is owed, and form a co-op so that the rent is paid every month.
It seems harder and harder to find good stoneware kilns in which to fire.
I worked in a co-op situation for 26 years before building my dream studio.
TJR.
We always split the rent. There were 26 of us.


You could liquidate the studio . . . and not come close to what is in arrears. That bad. I'm talking multiple zeros with a comma thrown in just for fun. Broken knee-cap type arrears. Current studio operator had no business plan and no business sense. I actually left as an associate there about two years ago . . . saw handwriting on the wall (no equipment repair/maintenance, insufficient materials for glaze, classes starting without clay available, health/safety concerns). I just used the place for gas firings. But there is a need for such a place as quite a few folks who did throw and fire there are now without a clay home. Maybe from the ashes a new phoenix will rise . . . Even with a coop, you need a front-person. The current studio operator has shown he can't be that person.

#7 oldlady

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:24 PM

sorry bruce,  can you find someone at the torpedo factory who is not too far out and willing to take your things?  what about the workhouse in occoquan?


"putting you down does not raise me up."

#8 bciskepottery

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:10 PM

sorry bruce,  can you find someone at the torpedo factory who is not too far out and willing to take your things?  what about the workhouse in occoquan?


My problem is fixable; it will just take a bit of experimenting and testing. And I can do that in my own studio at home. Others were totally dependent on the place and are basically without options. Workhouse still does not have gas kiln up and going. 'Fraid I don't have the pedigree for the Torpedo Factory.

#9 neilestrick

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 12:42 PM

Bruce, this is a blessing. You just maybe haven't accepted it as one yet. I was trained in gas firing in undergrad, expanded into salt and wood firing in grad school, and was taught the whole time that cone 6 was the realm of hobby potters and art fair potters, both of which were not to be taken seriously. After grad school I played around with electric fired terra cotta and sigs, as well as a tiny bit of cone 6, since that's all I had access to. I never embraced it, though, and therefore never had success with it. Then I got a job with access to a gas kiln and felt all was well again. When I opened my shop 9 years ago, I of course built a gas kiln. After 3 years I found myself thinking about playing with cone 6 again, because running the gas kiln was eating up so much of my time, which was keeping me away from my family. It was also not practical for running glaze tests and filling small custom orders, since it took a few weeks to fill the kiln. But I had been taught for so long that cone 6 wasn't right that I had a hard time jumping in and doing it. Finally, after 4 years in my shop, I had to move to a different location. I couldn't find anywhere that would allow the gas kiln, so I tore it down, sold off the bricks, and bought 2 new electric kilns. Since that day, when I fully embraced my circumstances, I have never missed the gas kiln. There are only 2 things I can't do in the electric- shino and copper red. And I can live without both of those.

 

So embrace this change.


Neil Estrick
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#10 bciskepottery

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 04:05 PM

Bruce, this is a blessing. You just maybe haven't accepted it as one yet. I was trained in gas firing in undergrad, expanded into salt and wood firing in grad school, and was taught the whole time that cone 6 was the realm of hobby potters and art fair potters, both of which were not to be taken seriously. After grad school I played around with electric fired terra cotta and sigs, as well as a tiny bit of cone 6, since that's all I had access to. I never embraced it, though, and therefore never had success with it. Then I got a job with access to a gas kiln and felt all was well again. When I opened my shop 9 years ago, I of course built a gas kiln. After 3 years I found myself thinking about playing with cone 6 again, because running the gas kiln was eating up so much of my time, which was keeping me away from my family. It was also not practical for running glaze tests and filling small custom orders, since it took a few weeks to fill the kiln. But I had been taught for so long that cone 6 wasn't right that I had a hard time jumping in and doing it. Finally, after 4 years in my shop, I had to move to a different location. I couldn't find anywhere that would allow the gas kiln, so I tore it down, sold off the bricks, and bought 2 new electric kilns. Since that day, when I fully embraced my circumstances, I have never missed the gas kiln. There are only 2 things I can't do in the electric- shino and copper red. And I can live without both of those.

 

So embrace this change.

All -- thanks for the comments.  I have one type of item that required gas firing -- and that was to achieve a surface texture/color on unglazed wares.  I also had a wonderful clay body that fired black at ^10 with 1% absorption (Laguna Dark Brown).  Virtually everything else I make goes through my electric kiln at ^6 -- using ^6 clay bodies that mature at that temperature.  While my initial thought was a small gas kiln at home (hoping the county authorities did not notice), I am pretty sure I can work through the one item in my electric kiln.  I  think I've got a clay body (Standard 266 and/or Highwater Red Rock), I found (via John Britt) a wonderful satin black matte glaze for interiors, and I think I can get a similar/close to surface treatment/look by using a soda ash wash over an oxide wash.  Will be testing over the next few weeks.  So, thanks again. 

 

I do hope everyone who has commented on my near-term dilemma takes the time to read Carter's essay/blog entry . . . that was my real intent and hope; my own dilemma was intended as an introduction to his piece.  He's a wonderful writer and thinks deeply about whatever topic he writes about. 



#11 oldlady

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 09:36 PM

bruce, years ago the president of the washington kiln club was rita shafer who had a gas kiln right outside the door of her studio in fairfax.  it was approved by the county and she used it often, creating lovely things.  it was a simple single burner through the floor, regular ten sided sectioned kiln with a hole in the top.  it looked just like and electric kiln but it operated on natural gas. 

 

i have an old former electric kiln which i planned to convert to  LP gas.  arranged for steve branfman to come out and do it as a workshop for the entire guild, contacted ward burners for particulars and was ready to set up the date when the local LP gas company told me i would have to get a 1000 gallon tank of gas if i were to go ahead with the project.  having no $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to fill such a tank, i am still firing at cone 6 in an electric kiln.  so, if you would like a nice, big empty kiln shell, come and get it.


"putting you down does not raise me up."




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