Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Chantay

Making Cone Packs

Recommended Posts

I have never read or been told how to make cone packs.  I have seen others and copied as best I can.  Most of the time the clay the cones are in crack in the firing, sometimes coming apart.  I had a near disaster last glaze firing.  The pack had broke apart and one cone had leaned precariously close to a bowl.  So I would like some instructions on what to use to make the pack, when and how to make it. 

 

Many thanks to all.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I make up cone packs, usually 4 or so at a time, I use a thin brush handle or pencil to put several holes in the cone pack after putting in the cones. I also make my cone packs up with the angle of the cones going perpendicular to the pack length so that I can see the cones drop separately through my peep hole. I fire without a kiln setter of any type. A hassle if I fall asleep at the wrong time. :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like previous posters hit the high spots pretty well.  For me, making the packs well in advance is the simplest solution. I generally use a clay with a higher grog content...something I'd reserve for sculpture work.  Most important for me (in a high fire situation) is to make sure the early cones have a place to melt/pool without running all over the shelf.

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I've never used done packs and ought to start doing so, can I just check a couple of basics?

I know you use 3 cones - one above and one below the required cone. Given what has gone before about grog in the clay - do you just make a 'sausage' of clay and push the cones in, perpendicular and with the angle in the direction you want them to fall. Use a pencil or similar to put holes in the pack and leave to dry out completely. Place in front of the peephole and not too near any work.

Have I got it all?

Could a reusable stand for the cones be made, as above and bisqued. Making the depressions for the cones larger to allow for shrinkage?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Pretty much it.

Standard cone pack is 3 cones - Guide cone, cone, guard cone.  When guide cone melts, it's time to watch kiln more often until done.  Guard cone is to show going "too far".

 

Angle of cones is the same as the angle cut off the bottom, not perpendicular/90*.  I like to line up the stamped side of the cones, about 1/4" apart, this is so they all fall at an angle and do not overlap.  

 

In our studio, we typically use kiln wadding for embedding cone packs.  Our wadding is equal parts kaolin, silica, and grog.  They dry out quick and never had issues with them cracking and falling apart.  Regular studio clay works too, just make sure to perforate it to let steam out in quick firings and to control cracking/falling apart.  If you have time to allow them to dry completely, do that or make a few dozen cone packs in advance so you always have bone dry conepacks.

 

I'm sure you could figure out making a reusable stand for cones, but I don't see any point since embedding in clay is as simple and reliable as it gets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could a reusable stand for the cones be made, as above and bisqued. Making the depressions for the cones larger to allow for shrinkage?

 

You can buy re-usable cone stands.  I use them when I've forgotten to make one sooner and am loading the kiln and think "duh, no cone pack!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BxqaOJFCMAArF26.jpg

Here is what one of my "Happy Cone 10" packs looks like after firing...next in line are in the background.  Clay on these is pretty thin and all have been dried and ready to go for several weeks.

Good luck, all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Making cone packs trouble free is easy as long as you stick to the basics

First make them days or weeks ahead of time-I use porcelain clay and make about 10-12 packs at a time dry them and they are ready to use when I need them

second and this is a BIG one make sure that each cone CANNOT fall onto next cone so you can see the end points clearly 

You should use a guide cone on each side of the Temp you plan on going to so a cone 6 fire has a cone 5-6-7 cone in pack.

I like a little room between cones so they NEVER fall onto the next ones.Thats my pet peeve with others cones as it hard to tell the end points when they touch one another.

No need to use a tons of cones only 3 are needed unless you do a body reduction in a gas kiln.Which I do with an eyeball not a cone.

I only use two cones but you should use 3. I have been doing this for so long two is what I need so I will skip the why for now.

Heres a few photos of cone packs that work-you can see the fired ones as well-I fire to cone 11 1/2 way or so depending on how long the fire takes. so my end point cone is what I want to see

the 1st melted cone is cone 10 in my packs

Just get the angle down and give them some space put the in kiln at angle with a backdrop so you can see them well-the cone box shows all this on side of box as well.

 

Mark

post-8914-0-54124200-1411007880_thumb.jpg

post-8914-0-16928000-1411007891_thumb.jpg

post-8914-0-54124200-1411007880_thumb.jpg

post-8914-0-16928000-1411007891_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice Happy cone packs. I knew a guy who used to make his into little dragons and sell them off. A great little sculpture.

 

I have never had any problems with exploding cone packs but I always make sure they are drying for at least a day or two.

 

Good idea using the two cones, I might try that when I need to buy more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back when Orton packed their cones in vermiculite, I saved it all. I wedge a little bit into my groggiest stoneware and then make the coil to set my cones. Trim excess clay around edges of base. For bisque cones, I also poke holes with a needle tool (not too many or the pad will be weakened). Dry completely.

 

I make a lot of high-fire (8/9/10) pads at once and put them all into a bisque firing so they never blow up on my glazes.

 

When I'm caught short (eek!) I have quick-dried pads in the microwave. (Poke holes in these.) NOT on high power, go slow and low and stop it often to turn the pads from side to side on paper towels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rarely have a variety of clays to choose from so I use my standard cone 6 white stoneware clay, I make them in advance and have never had one blow up, they're only a half inch thick at the very most.

 

I roll a pointy sausage of clay, about 3" long, hold the angled end of the cone down on something level and wrap the sausage around it, never bothered to poke holes in it. Not a pack as such, but I can stand three close together in a line, does the same job.

 

post-7271-0-28146200-1417282533_thumb.jpg

 

 

post-7271-0-28146200-1417282533_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a scrap of firebrick and a small chisel you can make a reusable cone pack holder.

Little fiddly getting the angle right but doesn't take long to make one. This one is a little beaten up but still works.

 

post-747-0-80281100-1417290381_thumb.jpg

post-747-0-80281100-1417290381_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i mix up 50% flint and 50% epk and make my packs out of that. its the same stuff as my shelf stilt wadding. this seems to work pretty well, never had one blow up but i always make mine at least the day before. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.