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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
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#70334 My First Kiln And First Firing

Posted by Benzine on 20 November 2014 - 06:41 PM

As porcelain is relatively pure, you don't have to worry about burning out organics. So you could actually fire lower than 04. Mark C. uses porcelain, and I believe I've seen him state he bisques at 08.

#70276 My First Kiln And First Firing

Posted by Benzine on 20 November 2014 - 08:10 AM

Welcome to the boards.

As TheGuineaPotter said, your clay and glazes can't be fired at the same temperature.

Either get some clay that matures at Cone 5-6, or get some low fire glazes.

Bisquing at cone 04, is enough for most clays. Some go even lower, like 06 or even 08. The lower you go, the more porous the ceramic body will be. Low fire clays, tend to be fired a bit hotter, than their glaze firings, so the organic materials can be burned out, that could affect the glaze. For instance, in my classroom, I bisque our low fire clay to 04, but glaze fire at 05.

Good luck on your journey.

#70179 Overcoming Insecurity

Posted by Benzine on 18 November 2014 - 08:59 PM

Great drawing, great form, with an awesome decorative illustration on it.  Did you use underglaze?

#70004 What Type Of Glaze Is This?

Posted by Benzine on 16 November 2014 - 10:47 AM

Hmmmm.... I don't have the experience, that some here do. But the black lines look to be unglazed portions, that may have been achieved by putting a resist on said lines.

Also, the clay body looks blackened, and in conjunction with the large amount of crazing on the glazes, it almost looks Raku. Some of the glazes seem a little bright and "clean" for Raku, but it's possible. Some of the low fire glazes I use for Raku, aren't really affected by the reduction, and it's usually the bright ones like yellow, orange, red and green.

#69962 Huge Pots

Posted by Benzine on 15 November 2014 - 09:07 PM

Not really that big of deal.  


I make things like that all the time, except I use one of these wheels:



#69758 Dont Let This Happen To You!

Posted by Benzine on 11 November 2014 - 10:42 PM

One of the teachers said, they got a new kiln.  The other said they continued to use it for a while, and just had a mass of melted clay on the bottom of the kiln.  Since they only fired low fire, the mass never got hot enough, to melt again.  Sometimes you have to work with what you have....


I'm definitely more cautious with my kiln, after being on here for a while.  I now close the lid, when not firing, which I hadn't done previously.  I also shut the kiln off, and shut off the electrical power supplying it, when I know it won't be used for a while.  I have a nice kiln in my classroom, and want to keep it that way.

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#69521 Poppies In London

Posted by Benzine on 07 November 2014 - 07:12 PM

I'd be inclined to buy one, if I didn't have to pay the overseas shipping.

#69510 For Christmas.

Posted by Benzine on 07 November 2014 - 03:14 PM

I don't care what time of year it is, it's hard to built a general purpose mug.


That's what I make as Graduation gifts, for that very reason.  They can be used for coffee, cereal, soup, ice cream, or the college staple Ramen.  There may be another college staple, that they get used for, but I'll happily remain ignorant of that...

#69180 What Else Is Going On (Or Playing) While You Work?

Posted by Benzine on 02 November 2014 - 08:27 PM

I have a stereo in my studio, but I rarely use it.  Instead, I'll use my iPad to stream Pandora Radio.  That thing is awesome.  You can shuffle artists, and it plays similar artists, to those you select.  I've discovered some new artists and songs this way.


I do have a TV in my studio.  It was left by the previous owner, who used the space as his wood shop.  I do occasionally have it on, depending on what I'm doing, and what's on.  If the show demands a lot of attention, I don't bother trying to keep up.

#68883 Do You Donate Your Work For A Worthy Cause?

Posted by Benzine on 29 October 2014 - 10:25 PM

I'm make a few items, for a benefit next week.  A graduate, from just this past year, has cancer.  I knew him fairly well, so it's my pleasure to help out anyway I can.

#68577 Exploding Pots During Glaze Firing

Posted by Benzine on 25 October 2014 - 10:31 AM

Exploding, during the glaze firing?  I've never heard of that happening.  


Why do you wet spray the wares?  Is it to control the spray application?  I don't spray glaze, so that's not familiar to me.


The general reason things explode in the kiln, is due to moisture, which is why it happens in the bisque firing.  Bisqueware has no moisture, so it shouldn't explode.  Glaze doesn't have much moisture in it.  I've put freshly glazed wares, in the kiln, and fired them immediately with no issues.  It is possible to have some glaze defects arise, from doing so, but it shouldn't affect the ceramic body at all.


If the body was saturated with water, and you tried to glaze fire it, they could theoretically explode, much like how certain kiln shelves will do the same if they get wet, and aren't dried properly.  

However, you seem to be bisque-firing to the clay's maturation point.  It shouldn't be that porous, when you go to glaze.  So I really am not sure what's going on.


I guess I should ask, what the wares look like.  Are they coming completely apart?  If they are just cracking violently, it could be a glaze fit issue.  The glaze is shrinking more than the body, and the glaze is it to fracture.


Trying posting some pictures, and others may be able to help.  I'm stumped.

#68492 Well Said

Posted by Benzine on 23 October 2014 - 10:50 PM

I guess we can all interpret this our own way. When I read this, I did not detect anyone saying "poor me." I detected a person who was dedicated and proud of himself/herself.


I'm with you Mea.  I didn't read it as "Guilt Trippy" at all.


 Puts us miles ahead of those who just work to make money and live for the weekend.



Now I've got the song "Everybody's Working for the Weekend" in my head.

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#68489 Pictures Of Your Studio

Posted by Benzine on 23 October 2014 - 10:28 PM

Very nice set up Marcia.  I'm guessing the Texas summers are still thawing you out, from the Montana winters.


perkolator, great pictures of the studio.  The wide angle shots, really give me a feel for the space.  The fact it used to be Army barracks is excellent.  I love it when a structure has a history.  


It is indeed sad, to see so many projects discarded.  I understand the reason(s), but it's still unfortunate.  Only one of my college projects, ever met the hammer.  Now it's serving as erosion prevention, for a creek in my parent's backyard.  The upper level students, at my college, almost always smashed their rejected wares.  They didn't want anyone dumpster diving, and pulling them out.  And believe you me, there were Art students looking through dumpster, for any type of free materials!


Why go so large though?  Can't they learn the same processes and techniques, on a smaller scale?  They'd be less likely to to their works, if they were more portable perhaps.  

I makes my high school students take everything home, or at least out of the school.  I don't let them throw anything.  I tell them, if I see it in the trash, anywhere in the school, they will receive a zero.  Because they are telling me, that it wasn't worth their time, my time and the department's materials.  If they don't care, why should I?  Once they have them home, they can do what they want.  Many times, their parents see a project, and snag it, before anything "accidentally" happens to it.

#68311 Underglazes Flaking Off

Posted by Benzine on 21 October 2014 - 05:57 PM

Neil, I'm inclined to agree, that there is something on those spots. I haven't the foggiest what it could be. What would not have burnt put after the first firing, that could still be causing glazes to pull away from the claybody? Angry Kiln God magic, is the only conclusion I've reached. I would leave a shot of alcohol out, but the school will probably frown upon that, and my answer of "It was for a kiln god offering, will not probably help matters...

#67566 How To Complete A Mistake? Please Help

Posted by Benzine on 10 October 2014 - 01:36 PM

I didn't find Min's post to be condescending at all.
The "Air pockets cause explosions" myth is one that has been perpetuated for a long time. I myself am guilty of spreading it, as that's what I was taught. In fact, the only reason I know, and now teach otherwise, is because of discussions we've had on these forums.

Min clearly and respectfully stated the information. A hole is not necessary, but will expedite the drying process. I put holes in all my sculptures, and hollow out thicker portions, for this reason.
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