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Brian Reed

Member Since 14 Aug 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 01:27 AM

Topics I've Started

Test Firing Cone Question

11 July 2014 - 03:24 PM

I have some local dug clay that I mixed up with some Lincoln fire clay and some prepared high fire stoneware clay then and ran it through my bisque firing at cone 06 electric, and it turned out pretty nice.  I very nice orange color. It throws well and looks great like I had said.  However when I ran a small piece through my cone 10 reduction gas kiln it slumped and fell into a blob.  I testing to see if at cone 06 the piece would hold water, but it leaked pretty heavy so I know it is not vitrified.  


Now my plan is to get an entire load of this stuff and fire it to cone 01-1 and see what happens.  I suspect it may be closer to the right temp.  however you cannot just buy a few cones you need to buy an entire box.  What do you guys usually do?  Bite the bullet and buy a bunch of cones, or just rely on a pyrometer for the test firing?


My other plan was to put a small piece right near the peep hole in the next firing then record when it slumps and then I will at least know what the limits of the heat would be.


What do you all do in cases like this?

Mixing Local Clay Questions About The Process.

20 May 2014 - 01:20 PM

Yesterday was my first chance at using a locally dug clay and run through the process of making my own clay.  A friend who does excavation asked me one day if I would ever want some local clay as they run across it often.  I said yes and he calle dme about a week later asking how much I wanted, and a few days later he dropped off about a holf a pickup load.  I am not going to do this for my retail production work, but thought it might be fun making a few things for one offs.  After mixing and sieving then hanging in cloth for a couple of days I took the clay and worked it on the wedging table.  I added some fire clay as well as some 35mesh grog, as well as some prepared clay because it tended to crack easily when wedging.  The clay is dark, but after sitting a day in a bag I was able to throw a couple of bowls.  Just wanted to know if this approach worked for the mixture, or is it cheating that I used some prepared clay.

6lbs of the dug clay, seived and mixed
2lbs of Laguna Rods Bod
½ cup Lincoln Fire Clay Dry
¼ cup 35 mesh grog
I kneaded and wedged it up nicely, let it sit for a day.  Is this the way most people prepare hand dug local clay?
I will put a picture of the bowls after I trim them today.

Firing With Propane, When To Upgrade Tank?

18 April 2014 - 09:59 AM

I have been firing with Propane for a couple of years.  I have a small updraft kiln and have been firing it with a pair of 100lb (26 gallon)propane tanks, in a dual tank configuration and I run then both at the same time.  I get three firing out of the two tanks, then have to haul them down to the local farm co-op to refill them.  I am getting a new larger kiln next weekend, but the burner configuration is the same so the BTUs should be pretty close as well.  I am sure it will use more volume of gas as it has to heat up more mass.  My question is when is the right time to upgrade and which option is best.


1.  Just buy another 100lb tank to add in series and keep going with 3 firings per refill.  This is the cheapest option as the tanks are cheap.  However I would still need to go down to refill them.  Perhaps I could call a mobile refill company and have them come to me, but with such a low volume I bet I would have to pay a delivery charge.  They would not come out for 50 gallons of propane I am sure.


2.  Go buy a 250 gallon tank and then have a company come put the refill it when I need to, which may be every other month or so I would guess.


3.  Get a contract with a local propane provider and have them subsidize the 250 gallon tank and setup regular fill.  I assume this would be the most expensive.


So how do you do it.

Icheon Master Video Series

25 March 2014 - 12:15 PM

The American Museum of Ceramic Art published some videos last year that are just stunning.  This one was my favorite, but you should look at the others.




This one was my favorite, but you should look at the others.



Wholesale Crafts Dot Com

27 February 2014 - 04:02 PM

So I finally decided to bite the bullet and jump into wholesale and try and work through wholesalecrafts.com  and just got confirmation that I was accepted into their ACRE show in Las vegas as well as their catalog.  This seems to be on a larger scale than simple consignments and local wholesale accounts.  I know I have a ton to learn, and have a mentor help guide me along this path.  How many have done this sort of thing before?  I am sure there are several large whole sale crafter distributors that hold shows like this.  What should I expect at my first trade show?