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Member Since 14 Nov 2012
Offline Last Active Oct 07 2014 04:36 PM

Topics I've Started

Anyone Know Of Us Kiln Manufacturers That Do Anything Like This?

30 May 2014 - 01:55 PM



Looks like a pretty nifty little downdraft kiln. I've been thinking about doing an Electric -> Downdraft Gas conversion project, but this is essentially one that's build specifically for the task... And it's on wheels, which would be great in a studio setting for me (move outdoors and monitor it for firing, then store it indoors).


Sadly, I'm in the US and they're in the UK. I'd love to find something similar in the states (I trust someone else's kiln-work much more than my lack of kiln modification experience).



-- Will

Frustration Finding A City Workspace!

08 May 2014 - 12:29 PM

Sorry for the venting (no pun intended), but I'm just really frustrated.


I've been looking for months for my own space that I can install a gas kiln in, and it's just ridiculously difficult in a city (I'm in San Francisco).


And every time I find a place that's OK with me installing a kiln, they don't have natural gas service and there isn't enough (non-publicly accessible) outside space for a large propane tank. 


I shouldn't complain too much... I have a place in a nice group studio that has a few mid-fire electric kilns, but I just really miss high-fire reduction, and would love to work in my own studio at my own pace.


It would be different if I had the money to buy a place, but that's just prohibitively expensive. Renting is all I can do. I keep looking for warehouse listings, artist studios, basement workshops, welding spaces, etc....


Has anyone else gone through this and have some words of encouragement or wisdom?

Black Mountain Bisque

18 February 2014 - 02:21 PM

Hey everyone -- just a quick question hopefully.


I'm using some ^10 black mountain clay for my first time (not the sculpture), and just did a bisque load including some bowls and a few test tiles.


It was thrown in with my studio's normal bisque cycle (^05-06), medium rate, along with a bunch of the normal ^6 clays that we use.


And it came out feeling VERY soft / porous. Is this normal for black mountain? It obviously has a higher vitrification point than the rest of the clays in the same kiln, but it feels softer than our normal bisque.


It does "ring" when tapped, but I was able to snap one of the test tiles in half pretty easily.


Thanks in advance!

-- Mr

Black Mountain / Shino -- First Experience

15 January 2014 - 03:07 PM

Hi Everyone -- I'm getting married in April, and have been thinking that as a wedding present to my partner I want to give some bowls and plates. Looking around in various shops, he has always loved the rustic look of a rustic frosty / orange-tinged shino.


Unfortunately, my studio is all ^6ox... BUT a friend of ours with a large ^10 gas rx kiln recently offered me some kiln space (she makes large sculptural pieces with plenty of space between them), and I feel like this is a perfect opportunity to make this happen.


I've bought some black mountain clay, because I always love the look of it glazed (I've seen it with shinos), and unglazed too.


I've read all of the "Complete Guide to High Fire Glazes" book in preparation, and have looked over a bunch of Shino recipes over at Kazegama too.


My problem is that I don't really know / have control over the reduction cycle of the kiln. It may not even have a very strong reduction needed for my friend's sculptural pieces.


The question: If you were going to go with a shino on black mountain clay, but wanted it to look aesthetically pleasing regardless of reduction... What might your recommendations be? 


I'm leaning away from carbon-trap shinos because of the higher dependency on reduction. I was thinking maybe a very simple 70/30 or 80/20 ratio. But am very welcome to suggestions from those with more experience.


Thanks in advance!

(And sorry for being so wordy)

Glazing Tall/narrow Cylinders

08 December 2013 - 04:45 PM

Hi all -- I've been working on some lamp forms lately, and am really liking some that are elaborations on simple tall cylindrical forms.

Attached File  unnamed.jpg   14.67KB   2 downloads


The only problem I'm having is that glazing them can be a bit annoying! Our glaze buckets are wide-mouth 5g paint buckets, and the glaze level isn't tall enough to get the entire thing in one dip (even with the displacement).


For some glazes it's fine -- lines don't matter. But for transparent glazes (like the celadon in this picture, which was brushed on) lines are very visible.


Does anyone have ideas for tall, narrow, cylindrical containers to hold glaze? I was thinking a tall/skinny trash can, or an umbrella stand, or something like that... But can't seem to find the "just right" container on Amazon or in hardware stores.



-- M


EDIT: Height is around 16" or so, give or take a few inches.