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Member Since 08 Feb 2012
Offline Last Active Feb 05 2016 07:31 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Cooking Pizza In A Pottery Kiln, Toxicity ?

27 January 2016 - 01:50 PM

Like this?  This round was pizza bagels but concept is the same.


I would NOT recommend this in a top-loading electric kiln, way too dangerous IMO.


Heat up to around 900*, pizzas cook in just a few minutes like a wood pizza oven.  Use clay pizza stones or a brand new kiln shelf w/o wash, definitely use heat resistant PPE.  After the first time I singed my eyebrows getting too close I decided it was time to make a pizza peel, WAY safer  :D


I wouldn't worry about any toxicity unless you exclusively cook all your meals in your kiln. We all likely breathe more harmful stuff just walking through the clay studio with a dirty floor, breathing in a big city, walking past an idling car in a parking lot, sitting in traffic, etc.

In Topic: How Many Kilns?

15 January 2016 - 07:14 PM

3x Skutt 1227, Skutt 1027, Skutt 818, 2 Skutt test kilns (614 and 609), Faculty Bailey/Aim oval kiln.  Also 3 Bailey downdrafts: 18/12 deluxe, Shuttle SH-54, and a custom 130 trackless.

All my electrics are nearing 20 years old in a college setting - pretty awesome I'd say.  Of the electrics I'd say the 1027 and 818 are the most used in our studio -- perfect size for a single sculpture or section of larger piece (we work life-size).  The test kilns also get used a lot too for glaze testing.  We fire the 2 big gas kilns at minimum a dozen times per year each.  We also went through approximately 10-tons of dry clay last year for 5 classes (we mix our own clay).

In Topic: Cobalt Carbonate - 46%

06 January 2016 - 07:04 PM

Thanks guys.  Testing will happen soon, side by side against the old cobalt I've got in inventory.  I'm thinking it's going to be....BLUE!  hahaha  


The source is Arlington International.  I'd never heard of them before, but a colleague forwarded me an email before xmas regarding a sale on cobalt carb.  Couldn't beat the 10# for $160 shipped, so I figured why not.  Even if it's only half as potent it's still a better deal than a 5# price from anywhere else.  Cobalt is so freaking potent as-is, I'm not really that concerned.

In Topic: Clay Bin Dolly

29 June 2015 - 06:31 PM

Are you using one of these?



Do you roll this bin around frequently?  Also, how do you store clay inside - do you mix it and just deposit it inside, or is it bagged up?  


If you're "digging" out your clay from a walled tub, that's gotta get old real quick - I'd suggest you get a new system that allows access to the sides of the clay.  Could be as simple as a platform/furniture dolly with a big storage bag sitting on top (that's what we do, only it's scaled up to 4ft pallet size)


Consider ditching the casters and let it sit on the ground (or mounted on a pallet) and move it around with a pallet jack.  Heavy ceramics is going to need a pallet jack at some point, might as well get one.  


Otherwise, try and fabricate a new base from metal and put the best casters you can afford under it, maybe even 6 casters instead of 4.  Steel wheeled casters tend to hold the most weight and guess what, they don't flat spot. I can't see it rolling on its own unless you have sloped floors, so no brake is necessary, just wheel chocks.  Overkill is always best, so definitely make it hold 2x your intended mass.


We use trash cans to store reclaim clay - they get rolled around dirty floors, cracks and seams in the concrete, etc and hold over 350# each I'd guess.  The caster base is VERY simple and could easily be fabricated to fit a variety of containers.  Casters can easily be swapped out to a different style/brand/size/etc.  The ones below are at least 30yrs old and going strong.


I've noticed in general that the Rubbermaid/Brute tubs don't really hold up due to the weight of ceramic materials and because they flex.  We do have a few rubbermaid cans currently, but you can see they're no longer on the bases made for them.  One shallow nick or cut on these cans usually ends up in a replaced container within a year, that's why the rest of our cans are metal and going on 40-50yrs. The only issue with the metal cans is over time the galvanized metal can possibly flake off.  A good alternative might be a thick rubber livestock water trough/stock tank.


In Topic: Clay Storage Environment

29 June 2015 - 05:54 PM

yes you can store clay outdoors -- where do you think clay comes from???  lol.


You WILL need to defrost your clay in winter if you plan to put it in the pugmill or any other mixing equipment.  That would be a very expensive repair should it break your new fancy equipment.  A simple shed, carport, frost blanket, etc could be all you need to keep it workable in dead winter - what do I know, I'm from California!


Think about getting yourself a couple of furniture dollies and put a piece of plywood over them - store your clay on these and you can easily roll them around studio.  That's how we store boxed up clay.


We mix our own sculpture body and store it like this.  It's never around long enough to dry out, or unless someone carelessly leaves it open.  Volume on the pallet is maybe 3500+lbs and sits inside a 6 mil pallet bag.  During high production times, we consume this much clay about every 10 days I'd guess: