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Member Since 14 Nov 2012
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Topics I've Started

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.

Underglaze Ombre/gradient Effect

08 October 2013 - 07:01 PM

Hi everyone -- hoping I can get some advice from you all.


I've got a tall (~20in), narrow form that I threw from grogged B-mix. It has been bisqued, and I've been wracking my brain about how I want to glaze it.


I really like the idea of doing an ombre effect on it, starting with white at one end and going to a dark, rich cobalt blue.


Something like this.


The link above says it's done with a cobalt oxide, which is easy enough to get my hands on.


But I'm definitely not a painter. Does anyone have any tips or tricks for getting this kind of gradient? I'm guessing just progressively watered down concentrations of the oxide, but I feel like that will get tricky in the super-faint almost-white areas.


I have things to practice on, so no worries there.


Thanks in advance!

Thoughts On Drying New Form

15 August 2013 - 12:54 PM

Just made a new form yesterday, working on making a lamp.


The problem I'm having is trying to figure out the best way to dry this.


It's hollow inside (obviously), and there is no base to it. There is a hole in the top (for lamp hardware), and one on the base for wires.


The outside is drying as expected, but the inside is remaining pretty wet.


I can't put it on my normal slatted open-air racks because the weight is enough that the base deforms around the slats.


Any thoughts on how to dry it more efficiently?


Edit: not sure why the picture is sideways... But you get the idea!