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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 08:32 AM

#106077 Stoneware Hanging Planters

Posted by Benzine on 01 May 2016 - 06:47 PM

Not selling these oldlady. They are a Mother's Day gift for my Wife... At least they will be if they turn out..

Here is a pic: http://community.cer...es-in-the-kiln/

I'll try and post an embedded photo later.

Note: I originally intended to fire the boxes horizontally, but despite measuring and remeasuring, they are an inch or so too big. I must have some of that clay that expands as it dries.... *cough*

#105775 Interior Supports?

Posted by Benzine on 27 April 2016 - 08:50 AM

oldlady is spot on.  The cardboard will burn out, with no issues, but the clay could crack, when drying.


Usually, when I use supports, or have students do so, we remove them once the clay has set a bit.  Also, I always go a bit looser, when wrapping or draping the clay, to prevent the shrinking so much, that I can't remove the support(s).


I have used a cardboard grid support inside a thinner slab base for a sculpture.  The figure, that made up the majority of the sculpture, put a lot of weight over the middle, so I knew it would need support.  The cardboard didn't cause any cracks, when the piece dried.  It must have compressed enough, that it wasn't an issue.  But the clay I used didn't shrink a whole lot either.

#105365 Attempt At The Vintage Look

Posted by Benzine on 18 April 2016 - 08:43 AM

It looks like the style you are going for, just a newer version of it.


Like if something was made in that time period, then sealed away and never used.


I like the design overall.

#105362 Cracks In Bowl Base

Posted by Benzine on 18 April 2016 - 08:34 AM

The times, that I have had wares develop cracks like that, were towards the end of throwing.  Fairly certain it was caused by me over-working/ stressing the clay, which created weak spots.


Biglou's explanations are just as likely.  Quick/ uneven drying will cause stress cracks, as will lack of compression.  Though, when I don't compress, I usually get the typical "S-crack".  The good news is, at least the cracks formed while drying, instead of showing up after firing.  

#105348 Cleaning Up Batts After Firing Disaster

Posted by Benzine on 17 April 2016 - 09:08 PM


someone should attach this to the question about using the wrong temp clay and glaze and point out that THIS COULD BE YOUR KILN!

This seems to be more an instance of setting the wrong temperature, not using the wrong clay and/or glazes. A mistake as easy as pressing slow glaze instead of slow bisque on a computerized controller and not reviewing the program before hitting start (or vice versa). Not that that has happened to any of us.



I obsessively check my classroom kiln, to make sure the correct Cone/ program is set.  I've had the same program entered, since I started several years ago.  Yet, I still check to make sure the program is correct.  I don't think there is a single other person in the school, or district that would know how to change the settings.  Regardless, I look, like those settings could have been magically changed.

#105221 New Mug, But Will Need A Silicone Ring! What Do You Think?

Posted by Benzine on 14 April 2016 - 08:33 AM

Short answer, not of interest. Easier ways to keep your mug contents hot than going hi-tech.



Indeed.  My wife uses the simple method of, using a well insulated mug/ reheating with the microwave.

#105038 Would Low Firing Give Me Much Better Colors?

Posted by Benzine on 10 April 2016 - 08:09 PM

I can't comment as to the "why", because I am not a glaze wizard.


I do believe bright colors are easier to achieve with low fire.  I have heard others comment, that Amaco underglazes do well at cone 5-6.  What brand are you using?


I regards to glazes, I have quite a few bright glaze colors in my classroom.  Those are very popular with the average student.


If you aren't making wares that are meant to be functional, low fire might be the way to go.  It saves on time and extends element life.

#104895 Extra Burned Glaze?

Posted by Benzine on 08 April 2016 - 08:30 AM

The only time, I've seen something like that, is when I did a Raku firing and the wares didn't get hot enough.  The glaze was boiling, but didn't have a chance to smooth out, before we pulled them out.


I can't say for sure, that's what the problem was, but that's what it reminds me of.

#104767 Qotw: Do You Sneak A Peek?

Posted by Benzine on 05 April 2016 - 07:22 PM

If it's a special project, or some new glaze combination I'll take a gander, maybe earlier than I should...


I think a good solution to those of us, who like to look early, is to do a bit of Raku once in a while, to get it out of the system.  You get to open the kiln REALLY early, and see the results in a short amount of time.  

#104727 Kiln Shelves And Stilts

Posted by Benzine on 05 April 2016 - 08:46 AM

I have my bottom shelf raised up a bit more, because otherwise, the shelves always seem to meet, where the thermocouples stick out.  Having three thermocouples leads to very consistent/ accurate firing, but it also leads to a lot of careful planning, when loading the kiln...

#104502 Glazes

Posted by Benzine on 31 March 2016 - 08:39 AM

Are you planning to do a base coat, then drip a different color over top of that?


I use a nasal aspirator (Baby Snot Sucker) to drip/ splatter glaze.  I initially drip a bit, and add more, if I want the drip to go further.  Keep in mind, the drips will run more, when fired, as it becomes liquid.  I don't allow students to drip much beyond half way down, the outside of a project, as a general rule.  The inside, they can drip as far as they want, as it can run off the project.

#103500 Fine Detail Lines

Posted by Benzine on 13 March 2016 - 11:32 AM

If I were trying to replicate that, I'd use underglaze pencils.
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#103264 Kiln Wash

Posted by Benzine on 08 March 2016 - 09:27 AM

As others have said, remove old wash, and reapply new as needed.  Signs of it's time to replace; flaking, a lot of glaze drips/ marks from glaze fuming, etc.


For small glaze drips, I usually just pop off the offending drip, and reapply just that spot.  No sense in taking the time to redo it all, for one spot.  

#103153 What Unusual Wheel Techniques Have You Developed?

Posted by Benzine on 06 March 2016 - 09:56 AM



Do you taste the clay, after poking your finger in in?  You know, like they show characters in crime films doing, to test the quality of drugs....


"Yep, that's some pure clay...."

#102876 What Temperature Does Paraffin Wax Burn Out At?

Posted by Benzine on 01 March 2016 - 09:55 AM

I've used wax on Greenware Babs.  But it's the bottled wax, that is liquid at room temperature.  


Also, I too have tried many ways to remove accidental wax; sanding, scraping, heating, torching.  Nothing works well.  Also, I would imagine that heating it too much with a torch, especially in an uneven manner, could cause cracks.