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Member Since 10 Nov 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:49 AM

#125070 Robin Hopper & John Glick Have Passed Away

Posted by JohnnyK on 08 April 2017 - 09:36 AM

The body is gone, but their spirit remains...They are all here forever in their writings and videos.


#124353 Thickness For Platters And Other Centerpieces

Posted by JohnnyK on 27 March 2017 - 12:19 PM

If you've been making these pieces for awhile now and have been satisfied with the product, why change now?

#123741 Can Unglazed Pieces Touch In Cone 6 Firing?

Posted by JohnnyK on 14 March 2017 - 01:05 PM

Love the pieces...particularly the metallic!  What kind of paint are you using. I have some acrylics that are designed for automotive use and cure under heat (like a heat gun).


#123343 Marking Up And Using Holes As Decoration

Posted by JohnnyK on 06 March 2017 - 09:00 PM

Hi and welcome juliad,

Since you are into slip casting, are you making your own molds? If so, are you doing the same carving on multiple pieces? If so, you might try laying out an accurate pattern and carving your pattern lines with a sgraffito tool. Then you can make a mold of the carved piece. When you cast your new pieces, the carving lines will already be layed in, providing you with the guide you need to finish the carving. Good luck!


#122429 Propping Kiln Lid

Posted by JohnnyK on 17 February 2017 - 10:34 AM

I reused the screws that were holding the handle on the lid when I switched them.  If they are too rusty to use go to a hardware store and buy some replacements, don't forget to take the old one with you for comparison.   Denice

If You replace rusty screws, do so with stainless steel. They're a little more expensive, but they're stronger and won't rust.


#122164 Hummingbird Feeder Spout Placement

Posted by JohnnyK on 12 February 2017 - 10:55 AM

My wife & I made and sold these feeders and didn't have much of a problem with juice leaking out.

Since your cork is tapered, I would suggest that you make a test strip of clay about 2"x6" and the thickness of the globe feeders you are making. Because the clay will shrink in the firing process, you should cut multiple holes in the strip that range from about 1/8" larger in diameter than the small end of the cork  up to the largest diameter of the cork in 1/16" increments if you can.

 Bisque fire the piece; glaze it and glaze fire it as you would if you were firing your globes. I would not glaze the inside of the holes because the glazed holes might be too slick to keep the cork in place. The finished test piece will give you a range of hole sizes to work with.


A photo of your globe feeder would help for suggestions on where to put the hole.



Attached File  Hummingbird & feeder web.jpg   131.29KB   4 downloads

#122048 Imco Mid-Fire Clay Reviews Wanted

Posted by JohnnyK on 10 February 2017 - 02:16 PM

If you live near enough, you might just go to the plant and talk with them personally, bring up the issues you cite here, and get their input.


#122043 Why Is This Happening?

Posted by JohnnyK on 10 February 2017 - 02:00 PM

Regarding your inability to center...I had that problem until I tried centering with my eyes closed. If your hands are in the right positions and the clay is close to centered when you place it, you will be able to feel the clays reaction to your efforts with closed eyes. It was fascinating the way it worked the few times I tried it. After blind centering four or five times, I have gone back to centering with open eyes and haven't had a problem at all.


#121832 Vertical Heat Clearance

Posted by JohnnyK on 06 February 2017 - 12:07 PM

A downdraft vent won't have any effect on heat coming off the kiln. It only vents fumes. Even in a basement with 'low' ceilings, the clearance between the kiln and ceiling is not an issue from a safety standpoint. If you can stand up in the basement, then it's fine. The bigger issue is heat radiating through to the floor above. Depending on the size of the kiln, the room above the kiln can be noticeably warmer from the  heat of the kiln. To help that, you can put a layer of cement board on the ceiling above the kiln to help block the heat, and also keep some fresh air moving through the space with a fan. The best solution to deal with kiln heat is a vented hood above the kiln, like those made by Vent-A- Kiln. The hood also vents fumes. They're pretty easy to install, but more expensive than a downdraft vent. If you have a window near the kiln, a fan in the window can do a good job of pulling out heat.

The cement board works even better if you install 1" spacers between the board and the wood joists.

#121775 You Break It You Buy It Rule?

Posted by JohnnyK on 05 February 2017 - 11:04 AM

It's been a long time since I ran a gallery, but you may check to see if 1) the gallery has insurance to cover this event; 2) the deductible is not unreasonable to where it wouldn't be feasible to make a claim. Otherwise I agree with Mea.


#121358 Choosing An Angle Grinder

Posted by JohnnyK on 28 January 2017 - 11:08 AM

I have been using a Makita 4 1/2" grinder for about 15 years. I use it for cutting granite slabs, concrete, and steel...dry diamond blades for the granite & concrete, metal cutting blade for the steel. The tool cost me around $100 when I bought it refurbished and I've had to replace the brushes in it once.

Harbor Freight sells grinders, and all the accessories. The grinders cost around $15. Go to:

http://www.harborfre...s-buffers.html  to check them out.

To keep the dust from being a problem for the tool as well as you while you're wearing your respirator, do your grinding outside and set up a fan to blow the dust away.

Having been in the construction business for more than 35 years, I've learned that by paying the price for good tools, I've actually saved money over time. I used to buy cheap Black & Decker drills and saber saws. I would pay $20-$30 apiece for them and they would last about 6 months with hard use. I bought my first Makita saber saw for around $170 and it lasted for more than 20 years. The same applied to my drills. I've calculated that by buying good tools I've saved more than $3000 over the 20 year period.

The choice depends on how much you are going to use the tool and how much you want to spend.


#121259 Lake Superior Agate, To Provide The Silica For Jun Glaze

Posted by JohnnyK on 26 January 2017 - 11:06 AM

Still looks a little lumpy in the pan...are you sure that was a 325+mesh? :lol:  

#121200 Qotw: What Do You Do When You Temporarily Absolutely Cannot Do Clay Work?"

Posted by JohnnyK on 25 January 2017 - 10:50 AM

Well wishes for your recovery, Evelyne!

While I was in the remodeling business for more than 30 years and very deeply into photography for more than 50 years, all I read were books and magazines about construction and photography. After my first shoulder surgery, not being able to work for awhile, I took up reading novels, mostly action thrillers. That was about six years ago. Since then I've read a book about every 2 weeks on average. Sometimes you need to take a break from what you are involved with on a daily basis and go in a different direction to relax your mind while you are forced to relax your body... :) 


#120148 Can Tall Teapots Like These Be Handbuilt? These Are Extruded

Posted by JohnnyK on 08 January 2017 - 11:04 AM

Hi again! So I'm up to the spout! I imagine I need to handbuild the spout, as how could such a tall and narrow spout be thrown? And I dont have an extruder die that puts out a narrow and hollow tube. Thanks!

You might try this, Nancy...

Get a dowel stick or other rod the diameter of the inside of your spout and wrap a couple of times with newspaper. DON"T tape the newspaper to the rod, but do tape the outside to itself just to hold it together. You should be able to slide the paper a little on the rod. Roll out a slab to the thickness and length of the spout, then wrap the clay around the dowel, joining it to make the tube that will become the spout. Practice a little so you can get the spout looking like you want. After the clay is a soft leather hard and you can handle it without breaking it, pull the rod through the tube and out. The paper will stay inside the clay tube you have made, but you don't have to worry about that now. When the clay dries, you will be able to pull the paper out. What doesn't come out will burn off in the firing.

I used this method to make stems for some yard-art mushrooms and it worked well.
​The left over spouts, if you have any, you can dry and fire and make wind chimes with them. :) 


An alternative to this method would be to go to an auto supply store and buy an oil funnel which is long and tapered and use it to wrap your slabs around.


#119588 Can Tall Teapots Like These Be Handbuilt? These Are Extruded

Posted by JohnnyK on 01 January 2017 - 11:43 AM

But i don't have an extruder. Am thinking of buying one, but don't know if I'd find enough to make to make it worth it.
BTW, I am not good at throwing and I'm finding handbuilding quite challenging, so extruding may help my pottery life.


You might check into a book on extruding to get an idea of what you can do with the tool. If it is inspiring enough, get an extruder that will enable you to do what you want and have at it. My feeling is that if there is something that will help you achieve what you strive for and you can afford it, go for it!