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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:05 PM

#72047 How About Toothpicks For Spike Supports + Other Questions

Posted by Benzine on 17 December 2014 - 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.  

#71938 Old Kiln Help

Posted by Benzine on 15 December 2014 - 08:26 PM

Diesel beat me to it.


That's what I get for being distracted by the T.V..

#71937 Old Kiln Help

Posted by Benzine on 15 December 2014 - 08:25 PM

Welcome to the forms.


I wouldn't spend money, to make the kiln automatic, if it's getting on in age.  If you replaced the elements, it should be able to get to whatever the kiln's original maximum temperature was.  Unless it has other issues, like poor insulation, or something of the like.  The manufacture's tag, should list the max firing temperature.


I'd recommend fixing the kiln sitter.  The pyrometer that you are using, only  measures temperature.  With firing ceramics, you want to measure heat work, which is temperature over time.  The cones on a kiln sitter do just that.  


The best clay to use, is the one that works best for what you are doing.  Are you throwing, hand building/ sculpting, etc?  I'm guessing you meant to say cone 5-6, when you said high fire, as 05-06 is considered low fire.  Even 5-6 is more mid-range.


Best of luck in your ventures.

#71470 Making Small Handles

Posted by Benzine on 08 December 2014 - 06:48 PM

Thanks for the tips folks. I'll give it a go, soon. I have to make the cups first...

I am also building a wooden box to put them in. I talked to the Industrial Tech teacher, at my school, and I was going to buy some spare lumber from him. He had a large, slightly water damaged piece, that he gave me for nothing! And he's offered some extra tools/ help, that I wouldn't have otherwise.

I'm thinking of making a stamp for to mark each piece in the set, "To:", "From:" and the year/ occasion. That way she can look back years down the road, and even pass the set on.

#71425 Trimming.

Posted by Benzine on 07 December 2014 - 10:35 PM

I have gone from hating trimming to loving it.  That happened when I got my Giffin Grip.  That thing is awesome!  I use trimming to think about the decorative piece.  I smooth out the throwing lines and determine where I will texture and where I will put the design.  It's really fast now so I enjoy the process.  


I used to hate handles also, then I watched a youtube video...(I don't remember who it was) about pulling the handle off the pot itself.  I tried that and not only is it a lot faster than what I was doing, but my handles are soooo much better.  I heart youtube for pottery video's.  I also learned to throw goblets, salt and pepper shakers, make ocarinas, and throw fully enclosed jars.  I swear I have learned more from youtube than I did in my 5 years of undergrad!



Based on your work, you should be a spokesperson for learning skills via Youtube videos; great stuff!

#71422 Making Small Handles

Posted by Benzine on 07 December 2014 - 10:24 PM

I'm making a child's tea set (tea pot, four cups, four plates), for my daughter's Christmas present.  It's presented some fun challenges, like working with smaller amount of clay, than I am used to, and using altered techniques.  For instance, the teapot spout I made was so small, I had to use the handle of a paint brush, to pull from the inside.  My studio often feels like Santa's workshop, especially this time of year, but sadly, there are no elves to help with these tiny pieces.


The tea cups will be small, 2.5" X 2.5" or so.  My normal pulled handles will be too big.  Any good ideas, of how to make them?  I'm thinking of using a mini extruder to make a coil.  Any other suggestions?  The tea pot is a bit bigger, like the size of a standard mug, so I can probably just pull that one.

#71380 Lettering On Clay

Posted by Benzine on 07 December 2014 - 11:50 AM

If your screen name was reverse, Clay Diesel, you'd sound like either an arm wrestling truck driver, or a pro wrestler...

#71283 Lettering On Clay

Posted by Benzine on 05 December 2014 - 07:55 AM

I've done lettering a couple ways. One, is to cut the letters out of a thin slab, and attach them on. Another is to use some old letter print stamps I have; either pressed into the ware itself, or pressed into a small, thin, square slab, that I make for each individual letter.
But, if you don't want the lettering raised up, here is a nice technique:


I've used this to create words and imagery on multiple wares. It works very well.

#71128 The Morning Aftermath...

Posted by Benzine on 02 December 2014 - 08:30 PM

On the plus side Guinea, you are now properly prepared, in the case that you need to punch/ kick/ knee someone in the face.....


What sensation does a blown thoracic disc cause?  I'm thinking something is wrong with mine as well.


In regards to my hands, I've never really had a problem with them after throwing.  My wrists would hurt from centering a lot, or large amounts, but that hasn't really been an issue, since I started centering differently/ smarter.

#70603 Holy Oldschool Goodybox!

Posted by Benzine on 23 November 2014 - 10:43 PM

Check the labels for safety issues.



Not likely Neil.  Those bottles look so old, that the labels probably encourages that you smoke, while handling/ using the glazes.

#70548 Cut-Off Date For Christmas Custom Orders

Posted by Benzine on 23 November 2014 - 11:19 AM

As I don't currently sell my work, my only deadline is the gifts I'm making for me to give myself.

I've got a few projects, that I intend to get done. My deadline is a couple days before Christmas....

#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.