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Member Since 08 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:46 PM

Topics I've Started

Element Fail / Question About Shutoff Temp

21 August 2016 - 11:40 AM

I think one of my top zone elements just failed. My elements were approaching their life span, and there was one spot on my second-to-top element that looked more worn than everything else.


This morning I found my kiln was still firing after 12 hours, when it usually takes 9. The top zone was way behind, and the ramp was climbing at roughly 30°/hour. Normal program is 120°/hour for the final segment.


I looked at a cone chart, and the closest the data I could find for my situation was:


cone 5 at 27°/hour is 2118

cone 5 at 108°/hour is 2167


This is pretty close to the ramp I was getting vs the one I'm used to. The difference between then is 49°.


My final temp was supposed to be 2180°. So I subtracted 50 and shut the kiln off at 2130°.



Does anyone have any sense that I did the right thing? If not, it's ok, I'll find out tomorrow morning when I open the kiln. If the top shelf or two is underfired, while the rest of it is ok, I'll consider that a victory.

Chip Card Readers. How Do You Like Yours So Far?

19 July 2016 - 05:21 PM

I have now been using my Square Chip Card Reader since February. I have the smaller plug-in reader (not the wireless bluetooth reader).

I find it unsatisfactory. It is unreliable and slow. It needs to be fully charged before the Square app can connect to it, and it also requires a strong internet connection. If I am missing one of these conditions, the app and the reader do not see each other. If I get the app and the reader to connect, sometimes it will work fine for 10 hours, and sometimes it will stop working unexpectedly. There is no pattern or correlation to when it stops working. When it stops working, I switch back to a mag-stripe reader, which means liability for fraudulent charges is mine. This doesn't concern me too much, since it's very rare for pottery fans to be fraudsters. But still, I'd rather not have this liability.

Even when it is working fine, it is painfully slow. Whenever I launch the app to take a payment, it takes at least 5 seconds for the app and reader to connect. When I insert the chip card, it takes about 10 seconds for the payment to be approved. Not a huge deal, but when you have customers waiting in line, seconds count. The old mag-stripe reader connects instantly and processes a payment in about 2 seconds. I miss the speed!

I just received my Intuit Chip Card reader. Intuit is 9 months late with issuing their chip card reader. Not sure if that means their development is rocky, or if they took the time to work out all of their bugs before releasing it. I do remember that in the early days of internet-based processing, the Intuit reader was much better built that the Square reader. So far, the Intuit app and its reader connect to each other in about 2 seconds. I haven't processed a payment yet so I don't know how long that takes. I will use the Intuit reader at my next show (2.5 weeks) and report back.

I'd prefer to use the Square system, because of its simpler and slightly cheaper fees. But if the Intuit reader is faster and more reliable, I rather not take my chances with the liability.

I'd like to hear others' experiences, good and bad, with the various chip card readers available now. How's it going for everyone else?

American Craft Baltimore Show, Feb 19-21, 2016

14 February 2016 - 02:14 PM

This is the American Craft Council's flagship annual show. More than 650 contemporary craft artists, including 75 ceramists.

American Craft Baltimore Show
February 19-21, 2016
Baltimore Convention Center
Get complete details at: http://shows.craftco...l.org/baltimore

Why Handmade Ceramics Are White Hot (Nytimes)

18 December 2015 - 10:10 AM

"It's an antidote for all the electronics"