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Member Since 15 Feb 2013
Offline Last Active Today, 08:16 AM

Topics I've Started

Mixed My A First Batch Of Glaze

25 July 2016 - 03:59 PM

I mixed my first batch of glaze from scratch today, with oldlady holding my hand over the phone. LOL
Using the speaker on my phone was great EXCEPT that I was wearing a mask.
Oldlady was very good at deciphering my muffled talking. 😀
I mixed up a 1000gram batch of Shiny White Old Lady < giggle> that's what I am calling it anyway. Oldlady was kind enough to share her glossy white glaze with me. Dhpotter and Min have also been generously helping with my glaze education. I've been learning by leaps and bounds with all of their help. The true test, of course, will be glazing a test bowl with the white and firing it.

I'm kind of nervous about that... Will I pass or will I fail?


Anybody Else Get The New Style Of Boxes For Little Loafers Yet?

19 June 2016 - 11:02 PM

I just got my order in from Highwater Clays and noticed they have changed their boxes. I panicked for a moment let me tell you when the truck off loaded a pallet of 40 boxes that looked really different than I am used to. I quickly checked that the boxes said Little Loafers which they did. Whew! But I did notice the boxes say cone 3-6 now not cone 5-6. That's new as well and kind of weird since even online it states 5-6. I hope they haven't changed the formula, since I LOVE Little Loafers the way it is and think it's the perfect clay.

The boxes are very pretty though with Highwater Clay written in huge script across the top. Something I do NOT like is the boxes seem to crush easier and the sides bulge out quite easily. This makes it hard to stack more than 3 high or the whole stack starts to list. I realize clay can't be hurt by a crushed box but it's kind of annoying to have to change how I store them. The boxes use no tape to hold them shut either it's more of a tuck and fold configuration so standing them on their ends doesn't work as well either. Time will tell and I'll get used to the new style but since I can't stack them as high I now have clay running along several walls in my studio and under tables and under damps boxes to spread them out.

I just can't figure out why they changed them since the old ones worked fine. Anyone know why the changes?


Looking For A Food Safe Orange

08 June 2016 - 08:37 AM

I'm trying to find a replacement for the Coyote Orange I've been using because it has encapsulated cadmium in it. Does anyone know of a glaze of stain that is orange to orange-red that is cadmium (and lead of course) free?

I'm getting a package ready to send off to the lab for Cadmium testing but am also wondering if I can find a replacement for future use. I've looked up several manufacturers MSDS sheets but a lot of time they just do a group MSDS sheet and say some colors may contain cadmium, some may contain colbalt, etc but nothing specific.

I am willing to mix my own slip or glaze with a stain but... See previous paragraph.

I'm already working on changing the way the pieces are made so I can use a simple white glaze on the food surfaces and only using the bright colors on the exterior or rims of pieces. BUT I would like to add a detail to the center of the plates so it isn't such an expanse of white.

I wondering what do Maiolica potters use?


Programming Bartlett V6-Cf To Reduce Pinholes

17 May 2016 - 05:04 PM

I thought I would start a new subject line rather than continuing to hijack the other one. I am trying to learn how to do some basic fine tuning of my glaze firing. I am going to start by trying to correct a pinhole issue I am having with one of my more popular glazes. I think the problem is that the temperature is dropping too quickly once reached and "freezing" the glaze before it has time to smooth out and heal over. I have a Bartlett V6-CF controller on my Olympic Kiln and I glaze fire to cone 6.

With help from people over on the other subject of firing schedules (thank you!) I read through the Bartlett manual again. I read it when I first got it but didn't understand most of what I was reading so bad me for not reading it again. It seemed easiest to simply cut and paste the info from the Bartlett Manual so I don't get it wrong.
This is their firing schedule for cone 6:
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Then I found this towards the back of the manual concerning a pre programmed vary fire program called User 6.
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They have something called a 16-S (16 segment program) under the menu section on the controller.

I played around with the controller and was able to turn on this special, 16-S, user 6 cool down program. I do have a question concerning their Important Notes section. I am using the preprogrammed slow glaze cone fire program and the preprogrammed user 6 slow cool program. I don't see anywhere to do the segment adjustment they are saying to do. What am I not getting?
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Once I get the programming figured out my firing schedule should look like this if I am understanding it correctly:
Slow Glaze
Cone 6, 2232F
150 degrees per hour to 250 degrees
400 degrees per hour to 1982 degrees
120 degrees per hour to 2232 degrees
Add on the Vary-fire User 6 Program (user 6 cone 6 cool down)
Temperature starts at 2232 degrees F then cools at its natural rate to 1900 degrees F
Then cools at 150 degrees F until it reaches 1500 degrees F at which point it then cools at its natural rate the rest of the way down to kiln opening temperature.

Am I getting this right? Will adding this onto my slow glaze schedule help reduce pinholes?


Installing The Second Kiln... Pointers, Opinions, Suggestions Anyone?

11 May 2016 - 03:26 PM

This might get long as I try and describe my options and thought process on placement.

I've attached a picture of how I would like to install the new smaller test kiln. The power cord on this one isn't as long as my larger kiln so am a bit limited as to placement. I also need to use my Orton vent for both since all I have to do is install the duplex piping to be able to do so. Meaning the black thing on the floor with the tubing needs to stay in between the 2 kilns.

The large kiln to the right is 30 inches from the wall behind it, 40 inches from the door off to the right and not seen in the picture. You can see the electric panel and subpanel on the wall along with the shut off box for the large kiln with its metal electrical conduit for the wires. The vent goes out the door to the outside on the right.

The new kiln with its shorter cord will only be about 24 inches from the wall which is okay according to the manual. I don't know if the 30 inches between the two kilns if enough though. I do NOT plan to run these at the same time BUT ....
The smaller kiln control box is hanging on the side between the 2 kilns, do I need to worry about the temperature from the larger kiln when it's firing hurting the control box on the smaller one that is not running? I can't easily rotate the smaller kiln because of the short cord on the plug. If I rotated the small kiln basically backwards to the wall the controller would be away from the other kiln but I would have to slide inbetween the kiln and the wall to check the controller while firing, which is not a good scenario safety-wise. Nor would I be able to monitor it remotely with the camera I have dedicated to this purpose since the controller would be facing the wall. If I rotate it the other way the cord would have to run under the stand and back towards the wall. The stand is only 8 inches tall and I'm thinking will get too warm for the cord under there and I also need to be able to hook up the vent under there as well.

On the other side you can see a steel shelf unit that I use to store my kiln shelves, posts and such. It's an old gym stand made of very heavyweight steel that used to hold gym weights but I've repurposed it to hold my kiln stuff since its steel and not wood. It will only be about 12 inches from its corner to the corner of the kiln stand in a diagonal direction. I keep the boxes with the cones on this as well but at the far end of the unit. This is a steel shelf so any flammable stuff will be at least 3 feet away from this new kiln.

The wiring for the new kiln will come down from the same subpanel as the other kiln and then down to the floor and about to where you see the kiln plug laying on the concrete. This would be directly under the main electrical panel, is this going to be a problem?

Looking at the picture and reading my oh so detailed descriptions (lol), in your opinion am I allowing enough for safety? What have I not taken into consideration? I'm waiting for the electrician next week so have some of time to fiddle before plug placement has to be finalized.

Thanks for your input.