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Member Since 15 Feb 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:49 PM

#56127 Wheels: Shimpo Vl-Lite Or Bailey St

Posted by Pugaboo on 05 April 2014 - 10:19 PM

I considered pretty much all the brands but some were too expensive like the Thomas Stuart and Brent lines. So I then made a list of what criteria I liked from each brand I was looking at and edited it down to the few that looked to have the features I wanted. I went with the Bailey because of the built in splash pan with the trimming slot and drain hole. I also really like the workstation I got for my Bailey and the leg extensions. I should state I tried out a Thomas Stuart, a Brent and a Speedball at the center and liked the Thomas Stuart the best there. It didn't have the drain hole or trimming slot which my Bailey does have though. I keep my studio really clean and the ease of clean up with the Bailey is lovely. I should state I am left handed so wanted a wheel that would spin to the left or to the right, I also have a really messed up back so the leg extensions, and even the large tray allow me to adjust my position to give me support for throwing but also not stress my back. The Bailey is built really well and I don't think I will ever have to replace anything on it in my lifetime anyhow. I also have to admit I really don't like the color of the Brent wheels, stupid I know but I just don't. My Bailey is pale gray and black. I also bought the ST-1 potters stool as well and like it.

To get a wheel that works for you make a list up of what type things are important to you. do you like a splash pan, do you hate splash pans, do you throw Eastern or Western rotation, how big do you plan to through (ever), is super quiet the most important thing to you, etc. Once you get your criteria set it becomes easier, I got my list down to the Thomas Stuart and the Bailey and went with the Bailey because it was enough less in price compared to the the Stuart to get the workstation and leg extensions for it.

I hope this helps you decide.


#55671 Underglaze Issue

Posted by Pugaboo on 28 March 2014 - 10:31 PM

I wanted to show everyone a drink carrier and tumbler set I made using Amaco Dark Blue. I am very pleased with the way it turned out especially after so many dismal or so so tests that I was not happy with. I painted the entire thing with 2 coats of Amaco LUG White underglaze then did 1 coat with Amaco LUG Dark Blue for the blue flowers and dots. I want to experiment with white slip as several have mentioned its cheaper than underglaze but white underglaze is what I had on hand. You can't see it in the picture but the inside bottom of each section is glazed with Coyotes cobalt blue glaze and it really sets off the blue flowers and dots.

I hope this gives those of you hope for Amacos dark blue LUG as you can see it CAN be a pretty blue.


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#52830 Choice - Which Kiln To Choose?

Posted by Pugaboo on 18 February 2014 - 05:26 PM

I too have an Olympic and went with it for several reasons:
1) their factory was close to me so I could go down and try out the various models to see which one would suit me best. Fit best as in I have a bad back and could I reach the bottom, compared shorter versus taller models and went with taller since I do smaller items and if larger tend to be taller not fat, think vase not tray.
2) since I could pick up the kiln myself I saved a lot on shipping
3) the group studio I am a member of has 2 of them and a lot of the potters also have small versions of them at home as well
4) it came in 3 stackable pieces with an electronic controller, set of furniture, kiln wash, vent, etc
5) price for me was what I could afford

I have fired mine about 15 times and so far I am very pleased with choosing an Olympic. Buying a kiln is a lot like buying a car you have to decide which features you absolutely must have, which would be nice and which ones you can live without or don't need. At times it can be like asking someone whether they would rather have a convertible Porsche or a convertible Volkswagen, I personally would choose the Volkswagen because they have character but a lot of people would choose the Porsche.

I went with the Olympic 1823
It goes to cone 10 but I only fire to cone 6 so should get more use out of the elements by not stressing them to the maximum temperature each time. The digital controller is a dream to use and very easy to adjust as I get better and fine tune my firing schedule
It was the largest I could easily wire into my house and yes I had an electrician wire a special outlet, independent circuit and shut off switch for the kiln. The shelves are big enough for the type items I make yet small enough not to pull my back as I bend over to place them in the kiln. It's small enough for me to fill easily without weeks and weeks of work sitting waiting to be fired. This is important because it helps me fire more frequently so I can learn what it is I am doing right, or wrong, so I can adjust and do better much more quickly.


#51496 How Many Ways Can We Think Of To Put Text On Ceramics?

Posted by Pugaboo on 01 February 2014 - 10:16 AM

I bought Justin Rothshanks DVD and it's really good it's all I needed to figure out how to do laser transfers. I don't know about cone 10 but this is what I understand and have figured out for me.

I use Little a Loafers Stoneware clay, bisque fire to ^04, use either Amaco or Coyote glazes and fire to ^6. The laser printer I have is an HP and it was only $100. The importance in your printer is it has to be ONLY black and white it can't print color at all or the ink formula is wrong. No matter what printer you buy the toner HAS to have a high iron content or it won't work. The transfer paper is about $1 a sheet, it gets cheaper the more you buy, I've only bought 25 sheets. The paper comes in a few different sizes depending on your printers capabilities. At that price I fill up every inch of the paper, having photoshop or other image editor helps a lot to control you image outcome. Keep your printer off until ready to print then turn it in and immediately print your sheet. If your printer is on and the heads are hot you run the chance of melting the paper to them... A very bad thing so don't do it. I always print my designs the day before I plan to use them, they can be printed much longer than that and stored just don't let them get wet or hot.
Using the transfers:
Make your ware, if it's really textured you transfer is going to mostly burn off so a smoother surface at least where you plan to put the transfer works best. There can be some curves and such just not a really textured surface. I bisque fire to ^04. I have found smoother less mottled appearing glazes work best though you can get some interesting looks with a mottled glaze kind of old and cruddy looking. A dark with also not work as you won't be able to see the transfer. Glaze you ware with your chosen glaze, I like Coyote White, though am looking for a satin white for non food items. I glaze fire to ^6. Once fired and cooled, of course! Get your transfers and a CLEAN, absolutely clean, tray of water, I use old darkroom trays. You don't want any clay dust or other particles floating in your water of they could make your transfer not adhere to your ware. Cut your image out of the paper, cut as close to the edge of your image as possible as sometimes the edges can remain visible otherwise. You will learn when and why to cut different images closely. Soak your transfer in the water until you can slide it around easily with your finger, do NOT remove it entirely from the paper or it will be really hard to handle. Take your prepared transfer and slide it off a bit on one side. Dampen your ware surface and slide the transfer off the paper onto the ware. You have some movability with it at this point to position the transfer. Once you have it where you want get a damp sponge and smooth it onto the surface make sure you get all the bubbles and wrinkles out anywhere there is a bubble or wrinkle will burn away in the kiln. I let my transfer dry overnight then fire it. I got lucky and my glaze soften pens enough at my bisque temp to allow the transfer to burn into the surface. You will have to play with your glaze, kiln, etc to get it the way you want. I normally just put my transfer pieces in with a load of my bisque and fire it with them and it comes out beautifully.

THATS IT! It's really amazingly easy to do and if you are like me and have a few decades of art and sketches to work with you can get some truly unique pieces adding a transferred image or design somewhere to a piece. My next step is going to be to see if I can do the transfer process then use ceramic paints to color in parts of the design and fire it onto the surface, I don't know if it will work as I have never used fired paints but I want to see what it looks like. It could be interesting but if not at least I've tried it.

If you are interested I might still have some pieces in the studio I can take a picture of. Most of what I put transfers on sold over the holidays.


#51482 How Many Ways Can We Think Of To Put Text On Ceramics?

Posted by Pugaboo on 31 January 2014 - 11:10 PM

Underglaze transfers - print your words in reverse with b&w laser printer or make copies on a b&w copy machine like the library or post office have. Color in the words with underglaze, dry, soak apply to surface. You should put a clear craze over to be sure it's food safe.

Laser transfers - these are applied after your glaze firing. You bisque, glaze, glaze fire, apply the laser transfers fire again around bisque temps. I've seen them done of food items so should be safe. You buy the special paper then print with b&w laser printer cut out soak in water apply to glazed ware let dry and fire very simple and beautiful details I've used it with pen and ink sketches. Oh after firing they look sepia colored not black which gives a really nice tone.

Stencils - print, cut, lay on ware, paint with underglaze, glaze and fire

Handwrite on with underglaze pencils - this is good and gives more of an artistic flare especially if you have nice handwriting.

That's all I can think of right now to add to your other choices.


#51192 Hobby Potter Teaching Others.

Posted by Pugaboo on 28 January 2014 - 09:40 AM

A little background.... I am a fairly new, 1 year doing clay with 12 weeks of concentrated pottery classes under my belt, potter. I have never done wheel but am taking a class now to learn. That said I have been working with, slab, coil, and pinch techniques. I keep my forms simple and then I decorate the surface, my background is as a painter. I have been painting and doing photography for over 20 years and have been making my living with those for most of that time.

What I do with the surface of my pieces nobody else in the area does. I have been asked to teach a class. At first I was no way I haven't been doing it long enough. Then over the months as other potters came to me and asked me how I did this or that technique and if I would help show them where they are going wrong with decorating one of their pieces. I came to realize I am NOT capable of teaching a pottery class that covers all the basics but I AM capable of teaching a surface design class. Once I realized that I agreed to do a class if it could be on surface design and that the criteria for class would be that the students were familiar with clay already. I can help with creating pieces I just don't feel like an expert in that area. I am not an expert in any way and those taking the class will know my credentials, or lack there of, and decide if they feel I know enough to help them on their artistic journey. I am very enthusiastic about what I do and get a kick out of helping someone and seeing the light bulb going on when they "get it".

I get asked all the time about how to do something and have to think hmm I've never done this before but if I were going to to this I would do it this way or that way. I always try to give at least 2 different ways to achieve an certain affect and explain to the questioner that I have not done this particular thing before but they could try this or that. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting them thinking outside the pottery box. When they start looking at the problem from a different angle that's all they really need to realize ohhhh I can do it like this and get the look I want! It's very satisfying to see them achieve their goals and the pride they have in their finished piece.

The teacher I studied with was a retired school teacher and he was very enthusiastic. I learned a lot from him not only in making pottery but just watching him interact with the other students. He would demonstrate then give us a chance to try it, he would keep an eye on us and gently step in and make suggestions when he would see us struggle. He never said this is how you have to do it, he always asked what are you trying to do here and then suggest a couple ways to get over the hurdle. He was really good about answering all our questions and with me he quickly realized I was there to LEARN. I wanted to know everything about what I was doing and he suggested books to further my knowledge when I asked questions that he did not know the answer to. I was that annoying student that asked WHY a lot, why do you wedge, Why do you tap the mold on the table, why do you scrape the sides of the bucket, why why why. He was great with all that and finally towards the end of my last class handed me one of his college text books to read. THAT was eye opening I spent more time looking up words and terms than reading! But I got a lot of my detailed questions answered and I learned tons. Some of the others were there just to play with clay and he interacted with them totally different than he did with me, that taught me a lot. listen to the student and then give them each what they need. I wanted to know details another student just wanted to make a cool tray for a gift and he gave us both what we needed.

If you have passion for what you do and are honest with your students and give them each what they need by not treating them all the same I think THAT makes a great teacher.

I always say this forum is my second teacher. There is so much knowledge here with all the varied members just waiting to accessed with the right question and that I think is the most invaluable resource in the world.

Sorry it got so long I am just completely obsessed with clay!


#46831 Learning How To Throw

Posted by Pugaboo on 29 November 2013 - 09:41 PM

I too have been watching Hsin-Chuen Lins you tube videos and he is really amazing. I have his videos page marked and watch them again and again. I even sit there and mimic his hand movements while watching the video to just try and get a feel for the positioning even without clay. I might have to figure out a way to have them playing on my computer where I can see them when I get to seriously working on the wheel in December when I plan to just PLAY, yes I said play, with clay on the wheel not even trying for something kiln worthy just getting a better feel for what happens when I do things in different ways. I find I learn better at times when I am not trying to actually make something but just focus on the steps and repeat them until I get them down before moving on to the next step.


#44108 Anybody Else Use The Daily Clay App On Their Ipad?

Posted by Pugaboo on 13 October 2013 - 05:31 PM

I reinstalled it and it's working now. THANKS,

#40891 Slip Transfer Help For Leather Hard Work

Posted by Pugaboo on 15 August 2013 - 10:34 PM

Mel340 - You can get really cheap pads of newsprint from the art or craft store and it flexes a bit more than printer paper so is easier to wrap around a rounded form. You might try that and see if it helps you get a nice release.
I paid a little over a $100 for my printer which is pretty good I think. The toner cartridge lasts a long time too so even for printing other stuff it's cheaper to use than an inkjet.
I have Paul Wandless book as well plus a couple more all of which are super helpful in figuring this stuff out.


#40824 What Time Of Day Do You Fire?

Posted by Pugaboo on 14 August 2013 - 05:30 PM

I program mine to start late night/ wee hours of the morning. I figure out how long the last firing took and what time I plan to get up and count back the number of hours needed to have it end an hour after I get up that way I can be there to make sure it shuts off as its supposed to. We have variable rates here too so am hoping running it during the night or predawn hours will save me a little bit. I have to prop the garage side door open so make sure I lock up the interior door but frankly I'm more worried about encountering a wild animal than a wild person. I also have a video camera installed that I can check from the bedroom and not even have to get out of bed to make sure everything looks ok.


#39751 New To Kiln Firing And Need Help

Posted by Pugaboo on 28 July 2013 - 08:14 AM

Congrats on running the test firing of your kiln. Doing it with shelves in was exactly what my book said to do so I think you did fine.

Kiln wash, I asked this question just a little while back and got lots of helpful answers. You can do a search for kiln wash here on the forum and I it should show up. A quick overview of what i was told and did is:
Mix your dry kiln wash with water to a chocolate milk consistency. Lay your shelves out face up. Use a large flat brush to brush on the wash. It will soak in very quickly and you have to kind of try different things to get it to go on as evenly as possible. Some people said they liked to use a roller so you might want to try different rollers or brushes to see which you like. I ended up using my biggest Japanese flat brush.
You do NOT put any on the sides or bottoms of your shelves and if you get any on those locations use a clean wet sponge to wipe it off before it dries completely since its easier to do so. On the inside floor of you kiln you can carefully brush on a coat of wash. Do NOT get any on your elements ( the metal wires in the walls and possible floor of you kiln) as this will make them burn out. I put a coat on the floor of my kiln and I also keep a whole shelf on 1/2 inch posts sitting in the bottom of my kiln. Doing this helps to protect the floor of your kiln. Do NOT put any wash on the walls or lid of your kiln.
Yes your shelves will have a powdery look to them and if you rub them the wash will come off, or at least mine do. I think this is normal so that if you have glaze get on them you can easily remove the glaze spots. Once you have run all the shelves through the kiln, this kind of seems to fix it on better, you can store them by placing them face to face. This protects the wash and keeps it from getting on the bottoms of the other shelves.

Good luck on finding out the mystery kilns name.


#39289 Test Firing My New Kiln For The First Time

Posted by Pugaboo on 20 July 2013 - 08:10 AM

Offcenter - thanks!

#38310 Test Firing My New Kiln For The First Time

Posted by Pugaboo on 06 July 2013 - 10:40 AM

Well it's taken a long time to get to this point let me tell you. I took over a month to get the electrician to actually show up and install the wiring and new 50 amp breaker. After that well I did something stupid and messed up my back so was. Kind of outa commission for awhile. I painted the first coat of kiln wash on the shelves this week. Thank you everyone for all your help on that subject your pointers and suggestions made it very simple and easy to get what I think is a goof smooth even first coat.

Yesterday I vacummed the garage and moved anything out that I thought might be a problem and set up my steel shelf for the posts, shelves and other kiln gear. I also found some metal pieces at the hardware store to use as shims since the back legs needed to be up a bit to get it level and it said not to used wooden shims.

I finally got brave enough to drill a hole in the bottom and top for the Orton kiln vent. Was much easier than I thought! Well except for laying on the floor trying to get their new spring loaded cup installed underneath the kiln! Back is still wonky and thought for a minute I'd have to play the tune help I've fallen and can't get up! I did manage to get up it wasn't pretty but I'm on my own two feet again lol.

I went and bought a dryer vent and hose. This was actually one of the things that also delayed me. My house has hardiplank cement siding and the manufacturers website said only special materials and blades could be used to cut and set up the dryer vent. So I dithered around not wanting to ruin the siding on my house or cause a leak from water getting in, seriously don't think hubby would understand THAT. Soooo what I ended up doing was using the side garage door. I wanted to be able to open it anyway for airflow since there are no other windows in there. What I did was cut a piece of plywood to fit the door opening about 4 feet up leaving the top open. I then cut the dryer vent opening through it and installed the vent out through the center. The open door actually holds the plywood in place. Not a perfect solution but I hope it will work as both my air flow and vent openings. I could have just left the door open and ran the vent on the ground out through it to the outside but I live in the national forest and am terrified of slithery things coming to visit so the plywood blocks the bottom and keeps them outside where they belong. Doing this of course means I can't leave with the kiln running but for safety issues I shouldn't be leaving anyway.

This morning I loaded the shelves positioning them at the correct heights to place the ^06 cones in the center and in front of the peep holes as instructed. Allowing for room away from the thermocouple and used 1/2 inch posts for the bottom shelf right above the floor of the kiln as suggested. Also allowed for a least one element row to be between each shelf. I put 2 test cones on each shelf.

I have a question the books say to place the shelf posts above the legs of the kiln stand for support. But then they also say to use 6 legs, 3 per half shelf.... How do you do this? When I placed the posts in line with the legs the other 2 posts did absolutely nothing in helping to support the shelves. I'd really like to know what the secret is to get 6 posts, 3 per half shelf with 4 positioned above the kiln stands legs om each level and still have a balanced shelf. I have an 8 sided kiln and shelves.

I entered all the starting data into my kiln log book. Not sure exactly what all I am supposed to record so basically put everything in it. The number of shelves, type of shelves, post heights, cone placements, cone number, and drew a picture of where everything was placed in accordance to the kiln and stand. I also wrote down the starting number on my electric meter as well as all the programming data the controller gave me on review. Probably over kill but if something goes wrong maybe my teacher will be able to at least look at what I did and tell me what I did wrong.

Once loaded I programmed the Bartlett V6-CF controller to do a fast glaze fire. And am now sitting here watching the temperature rise and listening to it click and hum its way to hopefully the proper temperature.

Only thing I am not sure of is how long its supposed to take to run through a fast fire ^06 glaze cycle. I'm too scared to leave the room now that its running... Guess I should have brought snacks!


#36207 Crazy fun tools for in the studio

Posted by Pugaboo on 31 May 2013 - 08:17 AM

Thanks Wayne! I haven't even started wheel throwing but was wondering how I was going to figure that bottom thickness out. I will keep your tip ready to go when I start wheel work.


#36135 My NEW Slab Roller

Posted by Pugaboo on 29 May 2013 - 04:50 PM

Under another topic I asked about a portable slab roller well I ended up going with a table version instead. It arrived a few days ago in five boxes and I got it assembled and used it for the first time today. I got the Clay King Slabmaster slab roller near as I can tell its a generic version of a Shimpo, I'm sure the pros can detail the difference but it doesn't really matter to me since I couldn't afford a Shimpo and I could afford the Slabmaster. It seems really nice and heavy duty, looks like something built in the 1950s all steel gears and no nonsense usability. My husband is coveting my wheel and has threatened to steal it he thinks its so cool. The only thing I changed was the thickness scale since it came in metric and even though I had it in school it never stuck. So I peeled off the scale scanned it into Photoshop and converted it into inches printed it out reattached it rolled some clay checked the thickness with a ruler did some fine tuning reprinted and permanently attached it to the machine. I didn't want to spend the next decade converting the gauge into inches every time I used it and it was an easy fix. I got a set of heavy canvas with it and also got a second set when I ordered the roller so I now have 2 sets of canvas for rolling. I only need 1 now but since I eventually plan to branch out of white clay into red as well I am already set up for it. I plan to take Oldlady's advice and build a rolling platform to fit underneath to store my clay on. I also plan to add a shelf or two to handle the extra canvas and some tools.

As promised I have attached a couple photos of it in my studio. It fits really well right inside the door without blocking the walkway and its right next to my work table as you can see in the second picture.

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