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Member Since 04 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Jun 18 2010 01:34 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: My Head's Full Of Clay, But Which One?

17 June 2010 - 09:41 AM

h a n s e n ==

Thanks for the additional information.

QUESTION: Can matte glazes create that "dry look" in an oxidation firing? I want to avoid reduction methods at first, in part because I may have to use an electric kiln initially...

(Humble suggestion to all: don't quote long posts [absurdly long quotes, in my case] in your own illuminating replies. It makes the thread unnecessarily long and visually confusing, thereby obscuring the gems of information you contribute. Just delete unnecessary quoted content before typing your own comments. Merely a suggestion in the interest of effectively communicating so much EXTREMELY HELPFUL information)


In Topic: My Head's Full Of Clay, But Which One?

13 June 2010 - 09:52 PM

You could make masters in regular clay (non-paper) and cast plaster molds from those for making paperclay tiles...masters in plasticine, or wood, or whatever. [avoid] worrying about sintering prior to carving...watch out for undercuts.

7 foot span in one ceramic piece is a major stretch. Perhaps better to cast those in concrete or learn stone carving!

There are varieties of plaster that are pretty durable if you're looking at decorative, but not structural.

bptakoma ==
How nice to hear from Takoma Park, Maryland! I used to live not far from there before relocating to dead center of the nation (which really is quite lively as it turns out). I hope Takoma Park still has its enclaves of quirkiness. Years ago I recall driving one short stretch of road that designated that neighborhood a "nuclear free zone." I used to chuckle then, and I am again, while typing this. Takoma Park is an interesting place.

Good points all. I like your suggestion for carving masters in regular clay, and then press molding paper clay tiles.

QUESTION: Can you point me in the direction of information on "durable plaster" - not structural, but perhaps something that might be durable to the extent that softwood moldings, door and window casings, etc are?


In Topic: Natural Gas Kiln: Cheaper To Run Than Electric?

11 June 2010 - 09:37 PM

h a n s e n ==

I don't mean to drag you through another slog. but am not sure I understood your last transmission. When/if you reply, may I suggest you delete my entire quoted remarks from your reply - for the sake of clarity? Too bad this forum doesn't allow us to choose whether to reply with-or-without quoted remarks, on a per-reply basis.

Defining terms: I assume your use of the terms fire brick, refractory brick and soft brick all refer to the same material. And you seem to have said the fiber blanket insulates better than those bricks. Am I right?

Here's where I get quite lost: Are you saying the folded insulating blanket can be substituted in place of brick? Or that it cannot? I'm speaking in terms of firing Stoneware to Cone 7 maximum. Or perhpas you're suggesting wrapping the fiber blanket around the outside of a stacked refractory brick kiln - in order to maximize the bricks' temperature-holding ability.

It seems to me a lightweight metal frame--perhaps a rebar armature constructed on the outside--with the insulating blanket attached to the underside of the armature might contain the heat well enough to keep the rebar from melting. Would such a "wigwam" not be far lighter, more easily reconfigured and more easily moved than stacked brick?

I appreciate your help (and patience),

In Topic: My Head's Full Of Clay, But Which One?

11 June 2010 - 01:26 AM

What was the question? I got lost in all that.

Hey, Matt.

The #1 problem is that I ask TOO MANY QUESTIONS in a single post. They're all related to one another, and the combined answers do form a unified (albeit complex) strategy that helps me a lot. There really IS a Method to My Madness, but when I read this thread from the beginning, I too get slightly lost. But many, many thanks to h a n s e n for tackling my "tidal wave of ignorance".

The #2 problem is that some of us leave the entire quoted coments to appear in our replies. My posts are too long, containing multiple quotes and responses. When several other members reply to that, and each reply contains my entire multi-point preceding post...the thread becomes garbled and diluted. It's MY fault. Apologies to all.

So I hereby commit to asking one question per post.

And maybe others will commit to editing down the quoted comments that appear in their replies...?

Since I'm so interested in large-scale, architectural work, perhaps I should construct a ceramic Tower of Babble...(shakes head)

In Topic: My Head's Full Of Clay, But Which One?

11 June 2010 - 01:08 AM

Dear Tom, I know you are on a tight budget but have you considered buying a electric test kiln..regular 110 outlet.

They save you money...especially when your experimenting with clays and glazes.

You can run all the test you want and not have to wait until you have a full kiln to add some test too.

I know you plan to put in a gas kiln and the glazes won,t come out the same in the electric test kiln, put you might like the results of the oxidation firings.

I can't get along without my test kiln, and if you don't use it you can always sell it.

Denice (Wichita, KS)

Thanks very much for that suggestion, Denise. In fact, I tried to buy a used electric kiln (approx 24' x 24" internal dimensions) locally as an interim solution, but was unsuccessful. I responed to Craig's List ads, but received either no reply or replies that refused to answer important questions. Eventually I did run across the "Test Kiln" concept as an alternative, though I haven't figured out who makes a good one at a fair price.


In my 'natural state' (ignorance) my plan is to use a natural gas kiln for oxidation firing primarily - opting for gas mostly because it's less expensive to run and will let me construct my own unique kiln size to suit my needs. Certainly I don't know, but I'm hoping an electric oxidation firing will produce glaze results very similar to the same oxidation firing in a gas kiln... If so, the test kiln seems to be a GREAT idea.

Thanks, Denice,