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Member Since 28 Jun 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:42 PM

#117691 I'm Trying Not To Be Angry But

Posted by bciskepottery on 02 December 2016 - 03:16 PM

Well, that email from the organizers left a lot to be desired.  So, a first email might be to find out why they decided to move the event . . . if there is no good reason (hey, at least consider the possibility this was not something they wanted to do but had to do for reasons beyond their control), follow up with a reply to the effect that your decision on whether to apply to their event next year will depend on whether or not you can fit their event into your schedule, your need to have reliable and dependable venues for your customers to shop, etc.   Maybe close with something along the line that their decision to cancel at the last minute is causing you -- and many other vendors you have spoken with -- to reconsider their event for next year or to find alternative events.  They have to think many will not return; a single vendor not coming back -- to them that is the cost of business and they deal with that every year.  Strength is in numbers. 


Unfortunately, there is often a greater demand for shows by artists/craftspersons than vice versa.  Many organizers think/know they can always find someone to replace you (and they usually can).  The organizers get their money up front, whether turnout is good or bad. Organizers will think nothing of dropping you or wait listing you to bring in someone else -- and then you get to explain to your repeat customers why you weren't at a venue when they showed up to buy from you. 

#117311 Craters Appearing After Decal Firing

Posted by bciskepottery on 27 November 2016 - 02:24 PM

When you refired your wares for the decals (and also ran bisque), you heated the glazes up just enough to start melting . . . and went into cooling that froze the craters.  Decals can be fired at a much lower temperature than bisque -- some recommend cone 017 to 012 or so -- which is just enough to fuse the decal into the glaze without affecting the overall glaze.  As suggested, do not combine the loads, fire them separately. 

#117257 Cracking Platters

Posted by bciskepottery on 26 November 2016 - 07:24 PM

Put either a layer of grog or silica sand beneath the platters or put them on clay coils or slats (bisque fired) so they are sitting above the kiln shelf; that will help allow them to heat and cool more evenly. Sitting on the shelf, they bottoms of the platters stay hotter as they absorb heat from the shelf while cooling.

#116787 Cone 2-3 Poll

Posted by bciskepottery on 20 November 2016 - 09:19 PM

My understanding is the shift from cone 10 to cone 6 was driven by the cost of fuel during the energy crisis days, along with environmental awareness to reduce carbon footprint/reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Absent a new energy crisis and with fuel (natural gas, propane, especially at low prices), folks will stay where they are today. Commercial industry has spent too many $$$ coming up with faux cone 10 reduction looks for electric cone 6 firings that they will hold off any change until they realize their ROI and then some.

Costs will also be higher at lower cones due to increased use of frits in glazes to achieve melting of materials. It is not just the availability of clay, but also getting glaze costs to be competitive with cone 10 and cone 6 glazes.

#116670 Stoneware Glaze Unexpectedly Crazing :(

Posted by bciskepottery on 19 November 2016 - 07:17 AM

There are 25,000 plus members on this forum: I do believe it is petition time. We need to send a petition to the various clay companies demanding that they stop the practice of "ranging" cone. Specify a single cone, or at most 5/6 or 9/10... etc.

That number is registered members . . . not all active, etc. I doubt you would get more than a couple hundred signatures to a petition (and that is generous). It is not only the manufacturers, but the schools and community studios who order and make students use multi-range clays. And one would figure those places would know better.

#115953 What Clay Would You Suggest For A Beginner?

Posted by bciskepottery on 09 November 2016 - 03:00 PM

Regardless of the brand, get a cone 6 clay body -- not one that ranges from cone 6 to 10.

Consider also your glazes . . . are you using commercial glazes or ones you mix yourself? Glazes can look different on different colors of clay bodies.

#115682 Buying An 8 Year Old Used Kiln

Posted by bciskepottery on 04 November 2016 - 07:33 PM

To the photos, add a photo of the electrical info on the controller.

Ask the owner for the kiln's firing log . . . will give you an idea of usage, firing time lengths, etc. Also check on the electrical requirements -- single phase or three phase, 208 vs 240, amps, etc. and if that is compatible with where you plan to install the kiln. It is not so much the age of the kiln, but how heavy the usage has been -- fired once a month vs three times a week. Ask when the elements, relays, and thermocouples were replaced -- not length of time, but number of firings. You are looking at a cone 8 kiln -- what is your target firing range: cone 6? low-fire?

#115658 I Ate Some Clay.

Posted by bciskepottery on 04 November 2016 - 01:04 PM

like this . . .

#115384 Stoneware Warping In The Kiln

Posted by bciskepottery on 30 October 2016 - 07:45 PM

Ditch the stilts.  Instead, use either a layer of grog on your kiln shelf or make some clay slats or coils that the houses can sit on while being fired.  Your houses expand and contract during firing; giving them an easy surface to move on will help reduce the chance of warping.  Coils or slats made of the same clay body will expand/contract at the same rate.  Coils and slats will also allow for more even cooling. 

#115336 Qotw: What Means "imperfection" To You?

Posted by bciskepottery on 29 October 2016 - 01:22 PM

I've been fortunate to take one of Akira's workshops and hearing/reading those words always takes me back to that weekend. On the second day, we were stretching our kohiki slip slabs and I was standing at my table turning the slab clockwise, counterclockwise. During the stretching part, I ended up with a flaw in the texture and was trying to figure out how to work around it. Akira walked over and asked what I was doing and I explained. He replied, "Make it the focus of your pot," and then walked away. To me, that is "finding beauty in imperfection".

#115284 Help With A Glazing Process?

Posted by bciskepottery on 28 October 2016 - 11:16 AM

Thanks — Testing as suggested with underglaze. I read that engobe is often used for sgraffito — not underglaze — but not clear on why. (?)

Engobe, underglaze, oxide washes, colored slips . . . they can all work fine for sgraffito. Depending on application, each may offer a bit of a different look and feel. Mostly, it is a matter of preference.

#115102 Two Glaze Firings, Cone 6 Then Cone 06

Posted by bciskepottery on 25 October 2016 - 06:49 PM

Is the clear the same batch as used before or a new batch? It could be something changed in the ingredients used to mix the clear. Is the black underglaze the same?

#114919 Water Seeping Through

Posted by bciskepottery on 19 October 2016 - 06:48 PM

I'd find a new clay manufacturer and clay body. A properly vitrified clay fired to maturity should be water tight without glaze. Only an underfired/non-vitrified clay body weeps. Sounds to me as if they do not know their product or are unwilling to admit their product is faulty. Find a cone 6 clay body with less than 2% absorbency. Then you will not have to rely on glaze to make the vase water tight. A clay manufacturer stating that glaze is needed to seal the clay body is just plain out to lunch.

I make and sell ikebana vases; my cone 6 vases are made using cone 6 clays (Little Loafers and Red Rock from Highwater; occasionally 266 from Standard) and fired to cone 6 with a 10 minute hold. I chose those because they have low absorbency at Cone 6. My cone 10 vases are made using cone 10 clays (Laguna's Dark Brown, Standard's Troy wood fire stoneware or porcelain, or Highwater's Phoenix) -- clay bodies with absorbency of 1% or less at cone 10. I use a liner glaze -- sometimes clear, sometimes another color glaze. Most of mine are only glazed on the inside. I also randomly pull vases and test them with water. I've had vases sit on my table with water/flowers for two or more weeks with no weeping.

#114779 Pestal And Mortar Machine

Posted by bciskepottery on 16 October 2016 - 06:22 PM


#114715 Concerns About Wood/anagama Kiln Smoke Vs Neighbors...

Posted by bciskepottery on 14 October 2016 - 06:18 PM