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Hi Everyone, 

               I want to preface this post by stating : you can point me in the right direction by link or what to search for. I tried to search paper clay and I got everything but!

 Here goes: i have an old Paragon A66B that is a 4 switch, off low med and high. . It has 1.4ft capacity, temp to 2300f. I hope to put an Orton stand alone controller on it.

I would like to use paper clay. I would like to go to cone 6 or 7. 

My questions.1st Am I being somewhat realistic?

2nd  I gather that one can underfire a clay, it will not be as strong but it will be. Not as strong as compared to itself or not as strong as clays that would mature at the cone fired to?

3rd i read here that small kilns loose there heat faster than large kilns and that that has an adverse effect on the maturation of both the clay and any glazes. If this is true , why not ramp and hold and then ramp down?

 So if i want to do tile and decorative sculpture , how hard do my glazes need to be? 

Also if I want a matt effect that is similar to the pottery designs of the art and crafts movement would I have to delve into chemical composition high fire or can I go with out of the bottle matt . 

 I do not care about perfect results, I do want to be safe and focus on learning the kiln and clays before I delve into chemicals.

If you feel that I need to look at anything other than what I have mentioned, feel free to mention. I have looked at a lot of books , but I haven"t found a book that I felt was comprehensive enough. If you can suggest any  I would be much obliged. Thank You Jolie


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Thanks Pazu (what a great name!) I appreciate your input. I feel the same way about bowls cups etc, not because they don't interested me, but because the irregularity of the shapes is so very impartical for most kitchen spaces. I adore china and couldn't ever hope to compete with commercial or hand thrown experts ! I have worked in clay a little here a little there, and the results I got were what I wanted. But I was firing in another's kiln, and my expectations were around the form, not the glazes.

So now I have a kiln, I want to start the real process of learning . I do not have lessons around here that focus on learning the process oneself. There are classes that will allow me to throw or hand build but no kiln processing. So I feel a little overwhelmed but reading others input helps me process where I might need to start.

I found a stand alone three key Orton new on ebay for $310. I found a store south of me that sells paper clay. I was trying to get a feel for what else I might need cuz I can easily fall into the collecting art supplies mode, I don't want to do that cuz it is never productive.

Even if I set everything up today , make 6 pieces this week, it will take those pieces awhile to dry so I need to slow down. Any way thanks very much for responding. Jolie

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