John Baymore has been a professional studio potter for 44 years and currently fires a five chamber noborigama which was completed in 1981 at this studio in Wilton, New Hampshire. He just concluded serving his second term as the President of the Board of Dirctors of the Potters Council of the American Ceramic Society and is now the Immediate Past President of the Association. He has a family history in ceramics tracing back to the Cook and Mercer potteries in Trenton, NJ from the mid 1800s.
John began woodfiring his student work in 1969 in New Jersey in a small woodkiln he built at his home. John studied ceramics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and was first introduced to Japanese aesthetics and clay work when shown the black and white film, “The Village Potters of Onda” in his Ceramics 1 class. He has also attended classes at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and Rivier College in Nashua, NH. In the past, John has taught continuing education classes at the Danforth Museum School (MA) and the Lee (MA) Art Center, continuing education and BFA/MFA credit courses at Massachusetts College of Art, and BFA/MFA credit courses at Boston University’s Program in Artisanry. He is currently adjunct professor of ceramics at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he has been teaching ceramics studio and technical courses as well as ceramic art history in the undergraduate, certificate, and continuing education programs since the fall of 1995.
He has worked on on the New Hampshire Institute of Art’s Curriculum Committee and acted as the chairperson of the NHIA Health and Safety Committee from 1998 through 2006. In AY2005-06 he was the school’s part-time Academic Program Health and Safety Coordinator. He sat on NHIA’s NASAD Accreditation Committee in 1999-2000. He has also worked as a member of the Leadership Advisory Team for the New Hampshire Department of Education.
John has been a presenter at NCECA conferences in Boston in 1984, in Columbus in 1999, in Portland in 2004, and Seattle in 2012. He has presented workshops for diverse organizations including such venues as the Alabama Clay Conference, the Harvard University Ceramics Program, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston University, Wellesley College, the Currier Museum of Art, the New Hampshire Potter’s Guild, Emerson Umbrella Art Center, The Potter’s Shop, Mudflat Studio, Clay Dragon Studio, New Hampshire Art Educator’s Conferences, and a NJ State Teacher’s Conference. He recently presented the keynote address for the New Hampshire Art Educator's Association annual meeting at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH.
A kiln design and technical consultant for Cutter-Eagle Ceramics from 1978 through 1984, John has been a professional kiln builder since 1973. He was the full-time ceramics technician at Massachusetts College of Art from 1974 through 1978. He has built numerous gas, wood, salt, and soda kilns for potters and craft centers over the years, as far away from home as Richmond, VA in the United States, and recently also in Japan. John was the online “Kiln Answer Man” for the CraftWEB Project in 1995. He has also done glaze development consulting for the Finer Decoration Division of Sherle Wagner International in 1982 through 1984.
In 2006, John designed and oversaw construction of a large wood kiln at the Kanayama Togei Kumiai in Goshogawara-shi, Japan where it joined the only other non-Japanese designed and built wood kiln installed there by Fred Olsen. During the summer of 2009, John was invited to return to Kanayama to lead the group of international artists in a month long project in building a large wood fired salt kiln. In 1979, John was a consultant for the living history museum, “Old Sturbridge Village“ in Massachusetts, when they constructed a re-creation of a large colonial period wood fired bottle kiln.
John was an invited participant at the First Woodfiring Aesthetics Symposium held at the Japan Society in New York City in 1983, and was included in Gerry Williams' 1997 slide presentation on "Japanese Influences on American Ceramics" at the American Craft Museum in New York City.
He was the recipient of the Judge’s Special Prize in the Mashiko Ceramics Competition in 1996, juried by Shimaoka Tatsuzo and Hamada Shinsaku, and was invited to Japan to receive that award. Both Joan Mondale (representing the US Ambassador to Japan) and the Assistant US Cultural Attache’ to Japan attended the awards ceremony, formally representing the U.S. Government. This exhibition was also attended by the Emperor of Japan.
He was an invited presenter at the Aomori International Woodfire Festival in Japan in 2002, an event viewed by 37,000 Japanese citizens, and has also been guest lecturer at the prestigious Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music (Geidai) in the summer of 2004 and again in 2008. In 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009 John was an invited artist-in-residence at the Tsugaru Kanayama Ceramic Cooperative for the international woodfire festival programs held there. In the summer of 2013 John worked at the Kanayama studios producing a body of woodfired work. All in all, John has been invited to travel to Japan in the capacity as a professional ceramic artist on eight separate occasions in the past 13 years, and has lived in Japan for almost 2 years.
John was a lecture presenter and demonstrating artist at the International Society for Ceramiic Art Education and Exchange symposium held in Tokyo in the fall of 2011. In the spring of 2012 he traveled to MunGyeong, Korea as an invited presenter/participant in the MunGyeong Chasabal (teabowl) Festival. In the spring of 2013 he was a presenter at the 7th Yixing China Ceramic Culture and Art Festival. At that event he was appointed as a Visiting Professor at the Wuxi Institute of Arts and Technology in Yixing.
His work has been acquired for public collections in Japan including the Mashiko Pottery Museum, the Tokyo National University of Art and Music Collection, the Aomori Art Museum, the Goshogawara Art Museum, the Kanayama Resident Artists’ Collection, and Hitachi Corporation headquarters. His work is in the private collections of many Japanese potters including Shimaoka Tatsuzo, Hamada Shinsaku, Matsuzaki Ken, Ogawa Hirohisa, Kondo Hiroshi, Shimada Fumio, Yokou Satoshi, Matsumiya Ryoji, and Shigetoshi Tsuji. His work is also in the collection of the MunGyeong Ceramics Museum in South Korea and the Yixing Ceramics Museum and the World Pottery Capital Ceramics Musueum, both in Yixing, People's Republic of China.
John was selected to be featured in Japanese journalist Yokota Masuo's 2001 Japanese language book on Americans who are greatly influenced by Japanese culture. Also published in the Japanese language, a kiln he built in Japan is featured as the cover shot of issue #79 of the “Aomori Journal” and he has a six page section about him in Matsumiya Ryouji’s new book, “Clay, Fire, and a Stubborn Guy”. John’s influences from Japan are also mentioned in English in Yale University Press’s “Encyclopedia of New England”, and you can find his overglazed woodfired work which is influenced by Hamada Shoji’s work, pictured in Paul Lewing’s ACERS text, “Overglaze and China Paint”.
Other text publications involve multiple inclusions in Maureen Mills’, “Ceramic Surface Decoration”, studio information and images in Steven Branfman’s, “Potters Professional Handbook” and a listing in Yankee Magazine’s, “Guidebook to New England Handcraft Centers”. His work has appeared in Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, Ceramic Industry, New Hampshire Magazine, and other magazines and newspapers. John has appeared on NHK Television News in Japan a large number of times, in a one hour RAB Television special (Japanese language for domestic use) produced on the Kanayama residency program, on WMUR Television’s “Four O’ Clock Focus”, and on National Public Radio being featured speaking about ceramic toxicology issues in 1976.
Articles by John have appeared in Ceramics Monthly, The Crafts Report, the NCECA Journal, and other publications. In 1983, John was also a pre-publication content reviewer for Charlotte Speight’s text, “Hands in Clay” and in 2005 for Steven Goldate’s, “Dictionary of World Ceramic Art and Artists”.
Recent exhibitions include an invitational solo exhibition at Chi-Lin Asian Arts Gallery in Meredith, NH in August 2010, "Seacoast Master Artists" invitational at Soo Rye Art Gallery in Rye, NH in July 2010, an invitational solo exhibition at the Thayer Academy Gallery in Braintree, Mass. in January of 2010, "Three in Clay" invitational at Chi-Lin Asian Arts Gallery in 2009, “Faculty Highlights” at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2005 through 2009, “The Vessel” invitastional at the Cunningham Gallery in Jaffrey, NH in 2004 and 2008, “International Resident Artists” at the Kanayama Togei Kumiai in Japan in 2004, 2006, 2008 , 2009, and 2010, at the Aomori International Woodfire Festival in Japan in 2002, and the 67th, 68th, 69th, 70th, and 71st “Regional Juried Exhibition” at the Fitchburg, MA Art Museum. Other recent exhibitions include the 2005 “Endless Variations” NCECA shino invitational in Baltimore, the “1st N.H Ceramics National Biennial”, “Woodfire Potters Invitational” in Manitou Springs, CO, and “Our Cups Runneth Over” invitational at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, where he also had a solo show in 2003. John was one of three invited wood-firing artists (along with Jon Keenan and Marc Lancet) when Tokai Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston held its first-ever showing of any non-Japanese ceramic artists in 2002. John has had work in 13 exhibitions in Japan since 1996.
He is a charter member of the Potter’s Council of the American Ceramic Society, and a member of the American Craft Council, the International Society for Ceramic Arts Education and Exchange, NCECA, the New Hampshire Potters Guild, the Japan Society of Boston, Doshikai Iaido Dojo, and a state-juried level member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.”
In order for a glaze to have issues with leaching relative to the questions of food safety, there has to be something in the glaze that is potentialy toxic. Just looking at that recipe as it sits, if you know your raw materials oxide sourcings, there is nothing there that is particularly harmful. So that is a good starting point.
However.... add a potentially toxic colorant... and that potentially changes things.
This says nothing about visual durability as to dishwashers, knife marking, and so on.
The regulator is (theoretically) good for 195,000 BTU flow... so it is just OK for that installation.
Just by chance, did you touch the screw assembly that adjusts the outlet pressure via the diaphragm? I expect not... but covering all bases here.
I still keep coming back to the video of the burners running by themselves. The lack of a decent flame on the Ransome pilots and the VERY yellow and fluffy yellow and poorly directional quality of the MRs is really not looking correcet... even for the MRs.
Another "grasping a straws" kind of thought trying to diagnose from afar. How full are your tanks and how cold has it been when you've been firing and testing? If the tanks get too low and it is very cold, the vaporization rate drops off greatly. But to get that below the inlet pressure for the regulator is HIGHLY unlikely in this case.... but it COULD happen (looking at everything here).
In fact... are you SURE that the valves on BOTH storage tanks have been fully open all the time?
OK.... it is hard to tell from that video... but the throaty, gargling, clearing throat type sound I THINK I hear there is a classic hallmark of "backburning". Once it starts... it is hard to stop it except by shutting off the burner and re-lighting it.
OK.... on to some of the kiln design and operation course content that I teach (and give in workshops also .... plug ....plug ):
So what tends to cause this backburning problem?
Every gas burner has something called a "turn-down ratio". It is the relationship between the lowest setting that the flame will be stable on the burner and the highest output of that same burner where the flame is also stable. The MRs have a totally crappy turn down ratio.... becasue they are cheap casts with poor retantion nozzle properties. (Sorry to say........ you get what you pay for.) This means that at LOW BTU output settings... the flame does not tend to stay seated on the retention nozzle, but instead burns inward toward the gas orifice source inside the mixing tube.
Why this happens relates to a property called "flame speed", and that is what "retention nozzles" are designed to deal with.
Every gas to air mixture ratio (and type of fuel gas) has a rate at which a flame front propogates through it. Think of the flame front like a canoe on a river. If the river (gas air mixture) is flowing at the rate that the canoist is paddling (flame front burning).... the canoe sits still relative to the bank (nozzle tip). If the canoeist is paddling slower than the river is flowing, the canoe goes backward down the river bank (called "fluffing off" on a burner). If the canoeist is paddling faster than the river is flowing, the canoe moves upstream relative to the bank (backburning).
At very low settings, the flame is burning toward the gas orifice inside the mixing unit faster than the gas and air mixture is coming out of the burner. And the cheap retention nozzle on the MR likely cannot deal with keeping the flame seated outside the burner on the tip. So now when you are first running the burner........ as you asre slowly heating up the kiln........ the flame is burning inside the burner. This is so low, that you likely don't even notice it.
While this is happening, the flame is quietly heating up the burner metal. The hotter the metal gets, the worse the flame quenching action of the retention nozzle gets. So even if you can get the flame re-seated......... the turndown ratio got further screwed up because of the hot retention nozzle. So it comes "unstuck" again easily.
As you continue turning up the burner, the flame will not tend to reseat itself on the retention nozzle even when the flow of material increases a lot. IN fact eventually.... the flame can "fluff out" as the speed fo the flow exceeds the propagation of the flame front. SOmetimes you can see this where there is a space between the tip of the burner..... and then you can see flame starting a little buit away from the front of the nozzle.
Having installed gas burners with too much BTU output exacerbates this whole issue. This is again exactly becasue of the turndown ratio. At the lowest stable flame setting for those burners, the BTU output is so high, that the kiln unit jumps with too fast a climb. So the potter trys to throttle them back. This gets the burners below the turndown ratio BTU putput..... and bingo..... unstable flame problems. It becomes a choice between screwing up pots and screwing up the flame for the firing. A lose/lose situiation for the potter.
You might have been better off with slightly lower BTU burners. While it actually screws up the air entraining characteristics of a given unit a bit when you go outside a certain range of orfice sizes, ........ which are poor on those burners to start with......... changing out the orfices to smaller ones might be in order to help this issue a tad.
IF there is decent secondary air flow into the burner ports (see my comments about exit flue size and "chimney venturi" above), the spacing of the face of the burner nozzle to the plane of the burner port face should be about 1 inch +/-. 2 inches away is almost always way too far, and 1/2 inch or less is always too close. Heat energy radiating from the open burner port is also heating up the burner nozzle. You have to have a balance of flow to keep it cool enough to work properly to its design specs.
Hope this helps to understand this.
You shouldn't have to "fight " to get early draft. A short while on the Ransome pilots there should soon get things going OK. A fire in the chimney will start it instantly....... but it shouldn;t take TOO much to get it going.
Those Ransome pilots seem to have a VERY yellow and short undirected flame. They should burn sharp and mainly blue (like your kitchen gas stove ring burners). Particularly with the high gas pressures you are running. This leads me to think there it SOMETHING ELSE WRONG HERE. Looks like the gas pressure is maybe NOT what you think it is at the burner manifold in this image. Do they look that yellow and fluffy and weak at the BEGINNING of the firing? Or do they slowly get this way as the firing progresses?
Wish I could see this kiln in person..... it is hard to tell WHAT is going on from this stuff. Wrong angles of images, etc.
Whether we like it or not, choices of words often matter a lot...... that is why authors, editors, and in particular copy writers, ad agencies, and advertisers agonize over that stuff.
Your customer was right.
There is a saying that has been gooing around the clay community for years........ (stated a bit more "coarsley" using a slightly more crude word for urination and adjusted here for more G type rated forum)........ that kind of addresses this preception issue:
"If you can pee on it, it is art. If you can pee in it, it is craft".
And in our society, "art" is percieved to be more valuable than "craft".
A "vessel" goes on a pedestal with a spotlight to be admired for it's beauty. A "pot" goes in the sink, covered with the evening's remaining spagetti sauce.
PS: And to beat this horse to death........ I don't PLAY with clay.
This FAQ thread will slowly over time be populated with links to past threads that address questions or subjects that repeatedly come up in the Technical forum section. It will be a locked thread, so you will not be able to post directly into it.
The number one topic list was easy to pick..... you can see from the number of threads on this subject.
You can fire clay that is inches and inches thick. I believe there was a kind of misleading thread on here a while back that seemed to point to some magic "limit".
It is not about the clay thickness.... it is about firing cycles and specific clay bodies.
A firing cycle is developed to FIT the wares being fired. No such thing as a "one size fits all" for either bisque or glaze fire.
General thought........ the thicker and the less "open" the clay body,..... the longer the up cycle will have to be to not cause problems caused by water of formation, chemically bound water, organics and oxygen penetration, and thermal lag through the walls.
This kiln is used to fire pieces that JUST fit in there height wise...and maybe 3-4 pieces per load. You can bet that they are thick.
I think some of the "pricing" issues are that pottery creates both functional and art pieces. Painting tends not to be functional (Sign-writers excepted). So when people see mugs in the pound shop, why whould they want to pay more for hand-built, exclusive pieces of (mug) art?
A Mercesdes and a Lotus and a Lamborgini are all also "functional". They also happen to be a 'cut above' the physical craftsmanship and aesthetics of an old (pick your automotiove target here). They would want to buy them because they are (potentially from the really skilled artist/craftsperson) a 'cut above' the physical craftsmanship and aesthetics of a Walmart 'I heart My Poodle" cylindrical mass produced 1/2" thick mug.
But that assumes the awareness that there might be a difference. And we are back to my comments about aesthetic and craftsmanship training in the education systems today and the new focus on stuff like STEM, rather than STEAM.
The problem is finding the right venues and manner of selling to the higher price points. And to do so the WORK must be appropriate. You likely can't sell a Ford for a Lamborgini price .
And yeah......... us Americans are spoiled by gas prices. But America has essentially no effective mass transit other than in large city centers... so we are quite dependent on the car. And American is BIG. When I go somewhere here, it is often the equivelent of going thru England, France, and Germany in Eurpope. And I'm only changing States.
I am (unfortunately) locking this thread since it has deteriorated in non-productive manner and is no longer carrying the spirit of the helpful and courteous Ceramic Arts Daily atmosphere we wish to promote here.
I can assure you that the Mods and Admins are looking into this matter, as to how we arrived at this place.
I guess my experience in my own studios and the student-filled studios where I have taught at MassArt, Boston University, and New Hampshire Institute of Art have failed to teach me anything about novice type screw-ups and the nature of various glazes and other stuff people put into kilns. Sorry.
Take the shelves to the local place that is likely associated with an auto repair facility........ that does sandblasting. If the shelves are clay type.... tell them to take down the surface until it is all just beige. If they are silicon carbide, tell them to take it down until it is sort of black. And so on. Won;t be very expensive, that is the tool for the job, and they can handle the toxic dusts.
I HAVE seen people make the mistake repeatedly of using an unlabeled bucket of "white stuff" that they thought was kiln wash.... and glaze their shelves!