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Member Since 01 Jun 2010
Offline Last Active Jul 22 2014 11:08 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Cone 6 Stoneware Vs Cone 6 Porcelain?

21 July 2014 - 03:34 PM

I have used Standard Clay 365 a grolleg porcelain formulated to fire at Cone 6.  To get translucency the clay has to be pretty thin.  For translucency you will need the porcelain to specifically say it can be translucent, as there are versions using domestic kaolin that will not be translucent. There are quite a number of choices available.


I used the 365 for objects made on the wheel, so I can't address if it hand builds well.  I found it worked well for me on the wheel.  It does help to get all the height you want before starting to expand a form.  While drying, I kept it covered in plastic until it evened out and had dried pretty well.  It tends to firm up better than stoneware, as it nature seems to be thixotropic.  To get it thin, I find it best to let it get leatherhard and trim normally, then fine tune and get thinner yet with the stainless steel rib.


Handles and such additions are more problematic with porcelain than with stoneware in my experience.  Cracking of joins being the main issue.  I find that making a paperslip type joining slip to help with that:


Martha Grover joining slip



I have also used Laguna WC-616 (Miller #15), and Coleman Porcelain (Cone 10 for translucency), and found similar throwing characteristics.  I have recently had some L178 NZ 6 - MID-RANGE PORCELAIN CONE 4-6 shipped from Clay Art Center in Tacoma, WA. It is supposed to be very translucent, similar to Southern Ice in translucency.  We shall see...


Enjoy the journey; trying new things can be fun!



In Topic: Current Opinions On Best Mobile Credit Card Options

18 July 2014 - 12:49 PM

Diesel Clay -  PayPal pays you into a PayPal account you either set up, or link to your existing account.  The account is accessed via a PayPal Mastercard (I think it's Mastercard) debit card.  You take a customers payment, PayPal takes out their share and places the rest in your account.  PayPal claims this to be faster access, as swiped transactions are almost immediately transferred.  If you are cash or credit card poor, and away from home, having this access for expenses could be a good thing obviously. 


With Square it goes to a bank account I have specifically set up to receive the payments.  A friend had an issue with one of the payment systems tying up their funds due to a customer backcharge, which froze their bank account somehow, so i didn't want to get into that kind of position if it could be avoided.  That is why I set up a specific account for Square payments.  My experience has been from a weekend show, the funds appear in my bank by Monday afternoon or Tuesday.


Brian Reed - I am not sure it is legal to refuse to accept cash in the USA.  It is the legal tender of the land.  My workaround involves pricing to always come out in even dollars.  If your price points match up in $20 increments, you stand a better chance with change, as the $20 is the predominant "coin of the realm" at ATMs.  It may also be the predominant favorite of counterfeiters too, unfortunately.



In Topic: Source For Brown Raku Clay

18 July 2014 - 11:33 AM

If you have a brown mid or high fire clay you like, then I would suggest wedging in some silica sand, if it is not already groggy, and trying a test.  I usually use raku clay for its known raku qualities, but I also use other stoneware and occasionally porcelain bodies.  I made some raku pigs and used a light brown firing cone 6 body.  I knew that it fires pink in bisque, so when I raku fired it with a clear crackle  got pink pigs.  Same thing with using a red mid-range stoneware to take advantage of the bare clay getting very dark in the reduction to contract with a white crackle.


It is all about knowing what the clay body can stand while going up and pulling to open air.  Some work fine, and others need help via addition of grog, or kyanite, wedged in.  Knowing the red/brown body will get really black when bare and reduced, or another clay will give pink when bisque fired, or that a porcelain clay with molochite wedged in does fine, will open up your possibilities.  Interest in raku indicates you are a curious person, so follow that curiosity and have fun while gaining knowledge.



In Topic: Current Opinions On Best Mobile Credit Card Options

16 July 2014 - 02:55 PM

I have been using Square for three years.  My only problem in that time was at a show where everyone with Square lost service for a period of time.  I had to delay my customers so long with waiting for approval that one opted for cash instead(boo yah), one gave me there card information so I could enter it later (did you know you need their zip code too??), and one pulled out there checkbook.  The Square is so predominant, that if it craps out, there is probably one within one or two booth lengths from you to borrow to complete a transaction, or if you have access to a number of big box stores a replacement is $10.00 refundable dollars.


After the loss of service incident, I got a PalPal Here set up (I haven't used it, as I really don't want payment via debit card, although I hear that payment is almost instananeous), and made up forms with every bit of information needed to do the manual entry for Square.  Obviously this has greatly improved my service and I have not needed either since.



In Topic: Trimming Lids.

16 July 2014 - 02:42 PM

I like to throw the lid off the hump upside down, or as a bowl shape if larger.  I roughly size it to the pot using calipers while throwing and cut the lid off and set it aside to firm some.  Then I either throw a ring of clay, or a hump of clay to hold the lid while trimming to fit and for shape.  I dry up the outside of the ring or hump with a heat gun, and set in the lid and trim.  I usually don't have any problem with the lid sticking. 


In a workshop with Fong Choo, he threw off the hump quite a bit, and would put Saran wrap on the hump so the hump could stay fresh, and still the lid wouldn't stick.  It works as well as my method, but I don't keep Saran wrap in my studio.


My favorite lid making is to close the vessel and use a pop sickle stick to depress the side where I want my lid and pot to separate.  When the depressions is just so, I dry up and firm up the area with the heat gun.  Then I carefully cut the bottom of the depression with the needle tool.  The top part is the lid, and will drop into the pot opening.  A little trimming of pot and lid makes it all fit up nicely, and get rids of any sloppy, wet, clay.  Here Bill Van Gilder demonstrates the method: