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Member Since 08 Feb 2012
Offline Last Active Jul 25 2016 06:22 PM

#110542 Hard Time With Extruder..not Extruding?

Posted by perkolator on 25 July 2016 - 06:12 PM

Did you get this figured out?  Which Bailey extruder system do you have?


We have 3 extruders in my studio - manual Bailey wall mount, free-standing Bailey pneumatic, and a custom 14" hydraulic extruder.


Does your extruder function without any clay in it?  Obviously it should.

If it's the pneumatic extruder - you have to press the foot pedal and let air through in order to see any reading on the regulator.

I don't really know how you can jam up a manual extruder unless the plunger gets stuck/wedged from an object or misalignment.


Soft clay is the key to getting clay to come out, less resistance for certain shapes.  Lubricating with water on the clay/in the hopper helps tremendously.  Bailey recommends spraying WD-40 on the wood die plates when you first start using them, i've noticed it help slightly.  Beveled edges seem to help on some shapes too.

#110160 Getting Fail Message On Skutt Kiln

Posted by perkolator on 15 July 2016 - 03:29 PM

Glad you got it figured out.  

I have all Skutt electrics in my studio.  The new Skutt control boxes are awesome, I have only one (all others are 20 years old!!!) - but it allows you do do diagnostic stuff from it.  Skutt website has tech info and links to videos on how to test and troubleshoot.  Also, their kiln techs DO answer the phone and will help you out with questions.

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#110155 Fixing Cermaic Tiles To Make Framed Work

Posted by perkolator on 15 July 2016 - 03:00 PM

For something like this you could use almost anything.  Hot glue, E-6000, silicone caulking,  liquid nails, etc.  Heck, you can even just use those staples/brads to hold it in the frame.  Just make sure the FRAME is up to the task.

#104115 Reclaiming Large Volumes Of Slop

Posted by perkolator on 24 March 2016 - 12:16 PM

I'd personally end up doing what I saw in a Korean onggi video if I didn't want to deal with dust or small 5-gal reclaim batches.  If you can do it, store your reclaim in trash cans and wait until the weather clears (or do it somewhere indoors i suppose).  They can be outdoors since you said no space inside.

Simply pour/scoop out your reclaim slurry onto a big plastic sheet/tarp, let it evaporate to the consistency you like, then cut strips and roll it up like sod grass.  Run these through your pugger and store them/use them.  To me it seems like much less work than doing smaller batches.

#102272 Does Anyone Recognize This Low Fire Glaze?

Posted by perkolator on 19 February 2016 - 12:57 PM

Are you looking for a commercial glaze or a recipe for a glaze that will do that effect?

#101856 Cones Do You Bisque The Packs

Posted by perkolator on 11 February 2016 - 06:32 PM

I would never personally bisque cone packs.  My theory is that when you re-fire ceramics the "maturation temp" so to speak goes down a little each time you re-fire.  So if ^04 was originally at 1941* the first time, it might be 1925* the second time, etc.  I'd never want to compromise the device that is measuring the maturation temp in the kiln, so I'll never bisque cone packs.


The standard is to either make cone packs in advance so they are bone dry, or to perforate the clay with hundreds of pin holes to allow steam to escape quickly.  In our studio we simply use kiln putty/kiln wadding to embed our cones in, instead of regular clay.  It's the same material we use between bricks and shelves in our stack, since our biggest two kilns are a shuttle and a trackless, with literally tons of weight on them and plenty of vibrations - the wadding helps dampen vibrations and also level shelves against bricks.  I've stuck freshly made cone packs and kiln gods and small wadding sculptures directly into all types of firings and have never seen it crack, split, blow up, etc.  It's an expensive material since it's a consumable that's only used for firing.


Kiln wadding recipe:

1 Silica

1 EPK/Clay

1 Grog

#101849 Materials For ^6 Copper Red Oxidation

Posted by perkolator on 11 February 2016 - 06:07 PM

I second trying a non-ceramics supplier for their silicon carbide.  Lapidary supply, glasswork suppliers, maybe sandblasting, etc should all carry it.  I want to say our print lab gets their SiC for grinding/polishing lithography stones from a print/litho supplier.  


The only issue I see with buying from a non-ceramics source is they might categorize the SiC based on GRIT size vs MESH size. I'm not sure on the conversion, there should be info online about this.  I know our print lab has as fine as 800 grit I think, which is pretty fine.

#101790 Adding A Frit To An Oxide To Create An Oxide Wash

Posted by perkolator on 10 February 2016 - 08:21 PM

You can use either Frit, Gerstley Borate, or make an underglaze with equal parts clay color and flux.  Frits, being fired material usually leave a gritty/sandy texture to the wash, some people use CMC, laundry starch, karo syrup, etc to help.  Usually I use GB and CMC gum solution, sometimes add a little bit of EPK in it too.


Look up Linda Arbuckle's majolica notes, she's got a lot of suggestions for combos of washes.  Most are by volume, not weight.


Here ya go: 



#88012 Mold Making

Posted by perkolator on 29 June 2015 - 05:39 PM

DO NOT use grease, WD-40, vaseline or any other oil-based substance like suggested above, as your mold release.  The whole point of using plaster is to take advantage of the capillary/wicking action of the material, to pull water from the clay and set it up faster - if you go and use something oil-based as a mold release, you've now clogged the pores and severely diminished capillary action, if any at all.  


Use actual "mold soap" or purelube/greensoap, which are the products that should be available from any ceramics supply.  Alternative is diluted Murphy's Oil Soap.

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#80294 The Dirtiest Job In Ceramics

Posted by perkolator on 28 April 2015 - 01:59 PM

Cleaning sink trap has got to be #1 only based on the smell.


A very close contender is making a batch of clay with a super-smelly reclaim barrel which smells as bad as a sink trap, because it's full of dead skin cells, newspaper bits, etc and has been sitting in the sun for a few weeks....and you're putting your bare hands in it...and your head goes into or very close to the trash can because you're reaching to the bottom...at least with the sink trap you can use a wet-vac and cover your nose with the free-hand.

#70250 Brent Wheel Won't Stay Stopped

Posted by perkolator on 19 November 2014 - 08:39 PM

yep, open the foot pedal via the bottom plastic plate.  inside there are two crews that control the stops of the potentiometer.  manual explains it much better.


if it was an issue of the wheel never stops or never starts - usually it's resulting after you drop the foot pedal - usual cause is either the plastic lever inside has somehow slipped off the potentiometer's lever arm, or the two plastic tabs on the main arm have broken off and no longer move the potentiometer.  I have both of this fault happen at least once a year on my Brent wheels.


this pic pretty much shows all the parts:


#68440 Clay That Can Be Used To Coat An Object Then Easily Chips Off Under Water Pre...

Posted by perkolator on 23 October 2014 - 01:10 PM

no, the different slips should not bleed into one another unless you layer them when they are sloppy wet - and in that case it should be pretty obvious when you're witnessing the previous color bleeding into the 2nd bucket while you dip.  simply dip the object, let it dry to around leather-hard or slightly wetter (at least enough to lose its glossy sheen), then dip your next layer(s) and repeat.  one layer should net you a thickness roughly 1/16" thick is my guess (on a non-porous object), but truly depends on viscosity of the slip.  you can also do multiple layers of each color so they're thicker if you need it.


the main reasons why i suggested food coloring is because the stains or oxides are pricey, but also because it sounds like you're going to be wasting the materials by hosing them off...and then you have the environmental factor depending on where your materials end up once hosed off.  clay materials should be fine to wash off into environment, but once you start adding in metallic oxides in concentration we're talking about something different.

#68427 Pictures Of Your Studio

Posted by perkolator on 23 October 2014 - 10:01 AM

As we all know, ceramics is heavy already, and when you make it life size, you have more complications with transport and storage (unless you build in sections like we encourage many to do). Also many undergrads aren't art majors, many move housing yearly, don't have vehicles, or maybe don't have space in their shared living situation that can accommodate a 6ft 200lb sculpture. We do keep some work for our sculpture garden every year if it's presentable to the public, but for the most part is up to students what happens with their artwork. Of course we encourage everyone to hold on to their work as long as possible, so you at least give it time to sink in and really gather personal thought and feedback, or if you even just keep a small piece that represents what you wanted from your failed attempt.

When it comes time to dispose of it, we encourage it gets broken up so that you will not find your own work included or claimed in somebody else's work, or so that if/when you become successful as an artist, you had a choice regarding what past work exists (ex: in case someone dumpster dove your work 20yrs ago when you were an undergrad and it now has value). I'm sure many people here regret giving away old junky pottery that doesn't represent you very well, but that's what they and the people they show it off to know you by...

I know it's a shame to toss so much beautiful (hopefully it wasn't) artwork every year, but in reality you can always make more. It's similar to when I do throwing demos in HS classes and they gasp when I chop up a freshly thrown pot (that would have taken them all class period to make) just so I can show them a cross section of what/how I just did...because you can make more :) Usually when you do continue working, your work improves as you progress.

To a certain degree it is better to make unsuccessful art and be unhappy when you open up a kiln - this is because if you're truly interested in the material, then you will have more desire to improve and take steps to not repeat, hence you learn exponentially faster. When you open your kiln and everything is successful, you have a tendency to stop forward progression because you're already getting what you wanted.

#68392 Pictures Of Your Studio

Posted by perkolator on 22 October 2014 - 06:13 PM

i'll share a few...sorry for big pics, it won't let me upload from the file sizes i have.

i'm very privileged with the studio that i get to run and maintain.  not really sure how i'm going to deal with the change when it comes time to pass the torch...


originally build as an army barracks in 1947


typical clay run, i do 2-3/year





#68387 Clay That Can Be Used To Coat An Object Then Easily Chips Off Under Water Pre...

Posted by perkolator on 22 October 2014 - 05:21 PM

i suggest casting slip.


try calling up some local ceramics suppliers (or even a ceramics studio) - you may have one that makes their own casting slip in large quantities.  if so, it's usually pretty cheap (compared to commercial slips) and sometimes you can buy it in 5-gal buckets if you're lucky.  


due to the properties of casting slip, i think this specific clay variation will be best for your application because it should really cling to the object and dries differently than your regular clay for throwing or sculpture.


also, since you want color variation and because you're not firing the material (and will likely get it all over the place with the water blasting) i would suggest you color the slip with something like food coloring.  personally, i'm colorblind and have many times used food coloring in my glazes so i can tell the difference when i'm glazing with multiple glazes.  food coloring simply burns out in kiln.