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Benzine

Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:24 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: How About Toothpicks For Spike Supports + Other Questions

Yesterday, 08:58 PM

For my "precarious" work, and that of my students, I usually use scrap clay, of the same body, to act as supports.  On larger, overhanging pieces, I'll make a post out of the clay, and hollow out if it is too thick.  For smaller props, I'll just use a little wad or ball of clay, lightly pressed against the rest of the sculpture.  

 

The good thing about the clay props, is that they shrink at the same rate, as the clay your firing.  


In Topic: More Pit Fire Questions...

16 December 2014 - 10:40 PM

There's no guaranteed way to protect the tiny bits, in a pit firing.  The wares and fuel can shift around, causing things to break.  It's best to make things not stick out too much.

 

Almost any clay will work for pit firing.  I've used low fire, that was bisqued first.  Stoneware, or Raku clay might be recommend, simply because the grog they contain, helps with thermal shock.  

 

Both things you mentioned will work great for burnishing.  I'm told that that finishing with a piece of thin plastic bag works well too.

 

In regards to thickness, I wouldn't go tea cup thin, but they don't need to be super thick, by any means.

 

When I pit fired, I didn't cover anything with dirt.  I used sheets of thin steel, to cover the pit.

 

My guess is the bunny waste will work, but having some wood or saw dust will help get the firing going.  The poo will be more for the smoke effects.


In Topic: Old Kiln Help

15 December 2014 - 10:45 PM

If you can go to 5-6, a good stoneware, will allow to throw, and hand build/ sculpt.  There are a lot of colors out there, from white to multiple shades of brown/ tan.  The also make some mid-range porcelains.  

 

If the kiln won't reach mid-range temps, you have a lot of low fire options, as well. 

 

I would still fix the setter.  It helps, especially if you are getting back into things.

 

To fire manually, you will still need cones.  You will have a cone one temperature lower than you are firing, one higher, and one at your desired cone temp.  Once the first cone bends, you know you are getting close.  You then check more frequently, to watch for your actual temp cone.  Once it bends, you shut the kiln off.  The last cone is the "I waited too long to shut the kiln off" cone.

Many potters use cones, even if they have an electric controller, just to make sure what should be happening, is happening.


In Topic: How Many Kilns Needed?

15 December 2014 - 09:15 PM

When you say you have X amount of sections of Ceramics, is that at one time, or all year?

 

I can tell you, that at one of the districts I taught at, I had two kilns, one for bisque, one for glaze.  I had three sections of Ceramics a year, each with around fifteen students.  So let's say forty five students.  I had five or so projects, they had to make.  So that would be around two hundred and twenty five projects to fire.  A good chunk of it, was right at the end of the term, but I did firings throughout, and sent things home as I went.  My cut off for wet clay, was the week after Thanksgiving Break.  That gave me enough time to bisque, and the students enough time to glaze, before the end of the Semester.


In Topic: Glaze Flaking Or Eggshelling Off

15 December 2014 - 08:35 PM

Has anything changed; new clay body, different glazes?

 

Is it flaking off once the glaze has dried, or once it has been fired.  If it's the former, the glazes are most likely getting a little flocculated.  If if's the latter, it sounds like either  a fit issue.