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Red Rocks

Member Since 24 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active Feb 17 2014 10:23 PM

Topics I've Started

Using Old Ceramic Fiber Blanket

08 August 2013 - 07:08 PM

We have a bunch of ceramic fiber blanket that we got from an old fiber kiln.  I want to cover the arch of my kiln with it to seal and insulate it better.  I want to cover the blanket with a layer of castable refractory or other suitable coating to create a shell over the blanket (think M&M’s).  It is an updraft kiln, so part of the driver here is to keep particles/pieces of it from separating in the strong winds we get and blowing into the kiln. Also want to have the finished product to essentially be one piece.


I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with this process and their recommendations for the materials that should be used.


Many thanks


ITC Coatings

05 October 2012 - 08:10 PM

I just finished reading Nils Lou's book on kilns and firing. In one of the chapters he discusses the fuel efficiency advantages of using ITC coatings on the inside of a kiln, advantages which are widely known (up to 30% reduction in fuel). Not so widely known, he also discusses using ITC on kiln shelves, I will summarize his comments below:

He recommends applying ITC100HT to kiln shelves and firing them twice. He then adds ITC296A as a top coat and fires again. He says that this will upgrade the common cordierite shelf from a rating of 2282F to 2462F and significantly extend its life. The shelf will not warp and it does not require kiln wash.

Has anyone on the forum had successful experience with this approach? If you have, one important detail he leaves out – is he putting the coating on both sides of the shelf and flipping them or does coating one side suffice?

I have sent him an email as well in the hopes he will respond and clear this up for me. It sure sounds promising.

Email Invites to Events

05 October 2012 - 12:22 AM

I would be interested to know what electronic tools/software people are using to create announcements and/or invites to open studios, shows and other events. I have had good success with Evite largely because it is ways to use and create simple designs. It also has a great RSVP feature so that you have some idea of attendance and who is responding to your announcement.

What other tools are being used out there?

Old Glaze Formulas

29 September 2012 - 12:25 AM

I wonder if anyone can shed some light on this. I found an old glaze book with some great recipes I remember in it. There were some that do not fit the glaze formula adding up to 100% and the additions normally take it over or are in addition to 100%. The two recipes below are examples of what I mean. They are more like a cake recipe made up of various ingredients in a random fashion, one formula adding up to 112% without additions and the other only 94%. The percentages were not with the recipes, I calculated them because the formula did not look correct.

Is this way of mixing glazes a correct way or is there a calculation you are supposed to use to convert the glazes so that they fit the 100% rule?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.

Glaze 1

Chemical % Grams
Kona F-4 54% 1620
Silica 29% 870
EPK 8% 240
Magnesium Carb 8% 240
Bone Ash 13% 390
Sub-Total 112% 3660
RIO 8% 240
Bentonite 2% 60
Totals 122% 3960

Glaze #2
Custer Feldspar 45% 1350
Whiting 13% 390
Silica 25% 750
EPK 11% 330
Sub-Total 94% 2820
RIO 8% 240
Bentonite 2% 60
Totals 104% 3120

Sorry for the way this is formatted - I tried 5 different ways and it always turns out a mess. Hopefully you will be able to decipher it.

Insight into our Art

12 September 2012 - 11:42 AM

I wasn't sure which forum to put this on but this one appears to be the most active and I wanted to share it with all of you in the hopes that others will share insights in a similar vein they have gathered and that have positively affected their life and work.

I just finished re-reading Marguerite Wildenhain’s wonderful book for the first time in 25 years. It is an amazing book full of insight and observations on her life as a potter and teacher. She was at the world famous Bauhaus in Germany before the Nazi’s came to power. She escaped to California and established Pond Farm in Sonoma County where she had her studio and summer school. Many renowned and successful potters studied with her.

The book is full of her philosophy on art and pottery, the following one spoke very loudly to me and I thought it was well worth sharing:

“Some days everything seems dark, hopeless and full of negative self-criticism, for nothing, no matter how hard one tries will develop as form – but there are days when an angel seems to have touched you with his wing – life is then radiant, work flows easily out of a mysterious source that is barely of your own making, that carries you way beyond what you could make yesterday, and a beautiful piece of work is born under your trembling soul. Be grateful. It does not happen often. “

Marguerite Wildenhain – Pond Farm, Sonoma, CA 1973