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Member Since 28 Jun 2010
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#70050 Cone 6 Glaze Problems - Turner White

Posted by bciskepottery on 16 November 2014 - 09:07 PM

You can get an ebook version of Mastering Cone 6 Glazes or they have issued a b/w version that you can buy from the authors.  http://www.masteringglazes.com/ The cost of the original out of print versions is ridiculously high. The book was self-published by the authors, so runs were rather limited.

Check out the work of Steven Hill -- he made the shift from cone 10 to cone 6 and has written articles and has a dvd on how he applies his glazes and glaze recipes.

#70044 Cone 6 Glaze Problems - Turner White

Posted by bciskepottery on 16 November 2014 - 06:36 PM

Sounds as if the glaze underfired.  Were there any other glazes used in that firing and, if so, did they turn out okay?  Or was the entire load Turner White?  You may need to fire up to cone 6 or fire to cone 5 and increase the hold more than 15 minutes to get melting of the glaze.  Almost by definition, a matte or semi-matte glaze results when you get an immature melt. 


You can fire the exiting pieces as they are; no need to add anything.  They likely just need to be refired a bit higher in temperature . . . but only try one or two pieces to see how they withstand refiring before doing all the pieces and ending up with a kiln full of shattered fragments. 

#69990 New Potter: Advice Appreciated!

Posted by bciskepottery on 16 November 2014 - 07:49 AM

"Here are my goals for the next year:
1. Earn $10,000 net by end of August 2015
2. Further develop my voice: Specifically focusing on forms and glazing
3. Get out of the local craft fair scene and focus on bigger shows
4. Do all of this while continuing my full-time job (business writer) and without ruining my marriage. ;-)

My wife and I sat down last weekend and talked about the business. We decided together that if I could clear $10,000 in profit by the end of next August working very part time, we would consider taking the plunge and going full-time (assuming I could double/triple my profit once I had 40+ hours a week do devote to it)"

Setting your goals is the first step; of these, I would opine #2 and #4 (especially the part about ruining the marriage) are the most important. Your pottery and glazes are very nice. But, if you look around, they look like a lot of other potters work. Finding your "voice" on making those forms and colors truly yours is the most importing thing. And, in experimenting, you need to be able to ignore making money (you will end up with a fair amount of work where the idea does not pan out) and just focus on developing your line of work. After that, sales will come.

You may need to give yourself more than 10 months to accomplish these goals. So, don't let that be a constraint that hinders your development as a potter. Give yourself time. Seven years down the road, I'm still trying to figure this stuff out. Clay is not for those seeking instant gratification; you work on clay's time schedule, not your own.

Your local community may be your best customer. Good advice from an old time potter in Minnesota, Mel Jacobsen, is draw a 50 mile radius of where you live and that is your customer base. Build a customer network, build a mailing list, and most importantly, build good pottery with good prices and they will come. Building a customer base is a goal you might want to add.

Add to your list the following: contact the local community college or small business administration office and take a course (or find a mentor with SBA) who can help you develop a business plan and help you think out the business side of making and selling pottery. Also, reach out and find some full-time potters and get their advice and perspectives. Once you do that, you'll be in a better position to understand what it will take to succeed as a full-time potter.

Disclaimer: I am still a part-timer. I also came to clay late in life. So, I am not looking to make a living off my work.

#69981 Pride ... Is It Really A Sin?

Posted by bciskepottery on 15 November 2014 - 11:10 PM

One thing I've come to accept in working with clay/kilns, sometimes you hit it right and sometimes it goes straight to the trash. This is truly one of the most humbling mediums in which a person can work; one day you're the master of the universe, the next you get all the frustration/vexation you can handle. It's okay to take pride in your work and to feel good about your work; excessive pride or misplaced pride is something else. To keep yourself in balance, remember you are only as good as your next firing.

#69759 Use Of Plastic In The Studio

Posted by bciskepottery on 11 November 2014 - 10:47 PM

Wax paper. We all remember wax paper bags for carrying our sandwiches and bread wrapped in wax paper -- before plastic bags. Please tell me we all remember wax paper . . .

#69460 Reworked Clay Question

Posted by bciskepottery on 06 November 2014 - 09:39 PM

If you are recycling clay from wheel practice sessions, you are likely recycling clay that has had the fine clay particles washed away, leaving only the larger particles and a stiff clay body. If you recycle, use your wheel tray slop for rehydrating the clay after it has dried out; that returns some of the fine particles. Also, you could mix new/old together rather than just recycle old by itself.

#69459 For Christmas.

Posted by bciskepottery on 06 November 2014 - 09:35 PM

Attached File  candles.jpg   117.68KB   69 downloads

#69350 To Submit Or Not To Submit

Posted by bciskepottery on 05 November 2014 - 08:17 AM

I very rarely submit my work. Saves dollars.

Last summer, I strolled through Old Town Alexandria at their street festival -- who can resist over 200 artists and craftsmen. The event was organized by one of the event organizers who send out the calls for submissions. So, the Old Town Alexandria Craft Fair had 3 three local artists (yep, I walked around the show and counted out of curiosity). . . all the rest were from out of state, primarily Florida (which is where the event organizer is from). And, they seem to travel a circuit as they were all talking about the next stop, etc.

There are legit opportunities; you just really need to look carefully and be extremely selective. And, if it is a juried show, take some time and look over who the juror(s) and their work.

For me, the best recognition is when someone cares enough to buy a piece of my pottery; the "nice work" and "oh, you are so talented" comments from drop ins don't really mean that much.

#69168 What Else Is Going On (Or Playing) While You Work?

Posted by bciskepottery on 02 November 2014 - 06:48 PM

Classical music on radio (unless its Saturday afternoon when the Fat Lady sings; then its an Oldies Rock station) or my Ipod (predominantly folk, bluegrass, country). 

#67859 L&l J230 Maual Kiln

Posted by bciskepottery on 15 October 2014 - 04:57 PM

L&L has an extensive on-line library of manuals. You might find instructions here: http://www.hotkilns....nid=1049&title=

#67625 Cutting Off The Hump

Posted by bciskepottery on 11 October 2014 - 06:42 PM

#67479 Chipping & Breakage - Hand Thrown Vs. The Machine

Posted by bciskepottery on 08 October 2014 - 09:09 PM

According to Wikipedia, 900-940* C, or 1652-1724*F :)

"freezer burn" temperature?

#66888 I Got 84 Kiln Brick But A Reduction Ain't One.

Posted by bciskepottery on 29 September 2014 - 08:08 PM

I built and fired a small salt kiln in grad school that was big enough for one 12x24 in shelf- 27 inches tall with 27" x 22.5" interior. It was a simple cross draft with a hole in the top corner for an exit flue, and one power burner. The top was kiln shelves covered with firebricks. It fired like a charm and gave great results. But even that little kiln, which I wouldn't go any smaller than, took 500 bricks.

I was reading Phil Rogers book, Salt Firing, and he tells a story of Walter Keeler, renowned for salt firing, building such a small kiln in about an hour. Seems Keeler had agreed to sending pots to the Victoria and Albert for an exhibition but had no salt kiln. The small kiln was large enough to fire six tall jugs. (see pages 163/164 for the story). Rogers also has the plans for a ~500 brick small salt kiln, about 12 cu.ft. in the book (pages 68 to 72), including materials list. [Cue the rush to Amazon to order copies of Phil's book).

#66702 Kiln Room Ventilation?

Posted by bciskepottery on 26 September 2014 - 07:24 PM

Consider an air exchanger . . . http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_cp_hi_2

You can move out hot air out while bringing in fresh/new air.

#66307 Soda Ash Wash And Electric Firing

Posted by bciskepottery on 18 September 2014 - 07:41 AM

You can vary the effect by the ratio of soda ash to water (hot). I think Chris C. used 1/4c soda ash to a cup of water; I've been going with less -- more like 1/8c soda ash to a cup of water. Basically, you get a sheen on the bare clay surface. Works for me as I do a lot of oxide washes on bare clay for exteriors and the slight sheen gives it a bit of finished look, vs. just fired clay.

Application will make a difference. You need to be fairly consistent in applying the soda ash wash. Too much/too heavy will make a spot shinier than others. I usually just dip a small sponge in the solution, wring it out, then wipe. I'd rather do a couple of light solution passes than one heavy one.

I apply oxides/stains/underglazes to greenware at leatherhard so it gets bisqued; that reduces bleeding, etc. from the soda ash was applied for the glaze firing. But, you may get some bleeding. Just have to practice and experiment with application process).

I only do a small number of pieces per load; that is not enough soda to really impact elements. Just run a bisque between glaze loads and your burn off any residual stuff from the elements.