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Member Since 03 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:55 PM

Topics I've Started

What Causes Smoke Patterns In A Foil Saggar?

29 August 2014 - 01:43 PM

This is probably obvious to everyone but me, but let's say I put a pot into a trashcan with sawdust and wood.  When the sawdust and wood burn, they create smoke which gets on the pot creating color/shadings.  If I wrap the pot in a foil saggar before putting it in the trashcan with the sawdust and wood, how does it get color/shadings?  Doesn't the saggar block the smoke?  I know I'm going to be embarrassed when someone points out something exceedingly obvious in this process that I should already know.....


And while we're on the subject, why do people use masking tape to make patterns on a pot that they're going to fire in a trashcan firing instead of using wax to block the smoke and create those patterns?



How Best To Dry Reclaimed Dried Clay After It Has Been Processed Into Wet Clay

24 August 2014 - 10:07 AM

The humidity here is a solid 98% unless it's a 100%, so I'm having trouble getting reprocessed clay to dry into useable form.  I have two five-gallon buckets full of dry clay scraps and I want to turn it into paper clay. I don't mind the pulverizing, and then soaking the clay bits and adding wet shredded tissue paper, and then mixing it all with a mortar attachment on my drill -- but then trying to get it to dry is maddening. 


In the past, I've used 2x4 sheetrock slabs covered with cotton fabric (to keep the sheetrock paper from loosening and sticking to my clay).  I lay those on sawhorses set up on my back porch with a ceiling fan running constantly.  The clay is poured out and smoothed to about 3/8".  But then I spend a couple weeks trying to manuever past all those clay-covered sheetrock slabs on my porch while insects get stuck in the damp clay!  Is there a better way??  I read last week about pouring clay into an old pair of jeans, but I wasn't sure if that was serious or not!  I've read that people are now allowing homemade paperclay to dry into sheets for easier storing and then rehydrating and wedging as needed.  I don't see that EVER happening at this humidity level, but I'd be happy to be able to achieve workable clay in a reasonable amount of time. Bringing the sawhorses and clay into my studio is doable, but the humidity there isn't much better!  Any ideas???  



Protecting Kiln Shelves From Runny Glazes

23 August 2014 - 11:18 PM

I read here on the forum that when different glazes are layered, they can become runnier than they would be if used alone.  I recently attended a little Amaco workshop where Potters Choice glazes were applied one atop another.  I have no experience with these glazes, other than on flat test tiles where only a few spilled over.  I've just gotten new shelves for my kiln and I wonder if simply applying the kiln wash that came with the kiln will protect the shelves, or should I make a flat clay "plate" to put my work on so that drips don't affect the shelves?



Advice On Purchasing An Extruder

23 August 2014 - 11:10 PM

I have never used an extruder, but I've read about them and admired images of things made from them. I really dislike making coils -- I don't have the touch (or perhaps the patience) to make uniform ones.  So I'm thinking of buying an extruder for that purpose to start with, and eventually to actually make useful shapes - square tubes for small boxes or large tubes for the beginnings of human forms.  Any suggestions as to extruder size, manufacturer, material, and a basic set of dies?


thanks, Jayne

Help Me Decide What To Do About A Cracked Kiln Lid

28 July 2014 - 08:40 PM

When I purchased a large top-loading Olympic kiln last summer, it arrived with a crack in the lid where the handle's screw had been run in, apparently without pre-drilling.  The crack didn't go all the way through, and I was promised a new kiln lid if I would accept delivery of the kiln.  The lid has one of those hinges that goes all the way down the back of the kiln, which I am told is not easy to replace.  Before delivering the kiln, the merchant from whom I bought it repaired the crack with kiln mortar. It has been 8 months and the crack has not re-appeared.  I know the seller is hoping I'll forget about it, and truthfully, I'd like to.  I fear that things may go from (not-too) bad to worse if the lid is replaced.  Given that the crack hasn't reappeared, should I feel relatively confident that it won't?  Or am I being foolish not to replace it?


UPDATE:  I received a call from Bob Haugen, president of Olympic Kilns.  The delay of 8 months was not of his doing - or not doing, a fact I was well aware of.  He has promised to deliver and install the new kiln lid himself.  You can't ask for better than that. Thanks again to all of you who advised me to have it replaced.