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Member Since 15 Mar 2013
Offline Last Active Today, 12:29 PM

#56744 The Dangers Of Advice Without Experience

Posted by jrgpots on 16 April 2014 - 12:17 PM

I agree with vetting one's sources and reviewing other's experiences to help one along his/her own path. Yet I want to be the Devil's advocate for a moment.

1. The US government paid millions in grants to Universities such as MIT to develop a blue laser. They were not able to do it. The laser was developed by an engineering hobbiest in his garage working on a shoe string budget. He was not constrained by conventional thought within the field.
2. Columbus discovered the "new world" against the advise of the scholars of his time.
3. Soft white bar soap was discovered by mistake when a batch of soap was left in the mixing machine overnight causing it to be whipped up.
4. I have framed a quote from Dan Bennett PhD, University of Chicago:
"How monotonous the sounds of the forest would be if the music came only from the Top Ten birds."

There is something to be said for fresh eyes and minds in one's field which have not been limited by conventional constraints. This may be why most great ideas for new inventions are conceived by people before their 30th birthday....they don't know it's not possible.

Don't disregard ideas from the untrained too quickly. Their voices add to the music of the forest.


#55353 Diy Burners

Posted by jrgpots on 24 March 2014 - 11:42 PM

My burner tube is 1" diameter black pipe. with 1" to 1 1/2" burning nozzle. The gas line is 1/4". The gas nozzle is a mig welding tip .024" (the smallest diameter tip for propane.) Natural gas tip would be .030 or .035".

I used a brass compression fitting 1/4 to 1/8 to hold the mig tip in place at the end of the 1/4 copper pipe.

I used a separate cut off valve on each burner line.

I used a high pressure regulator and a 3/8" gas hose.

I will post a video Wednesday of the burners and their noise. I have to refill my propane tank first.


#55348 Diy Burners

Posted by jrgpots on 24 March 2014 - 10:14 PM

I just tested the twin burners for my small electric-gas conversion.  I haven't set the baffles on the air intakes yet. So I used a little foil to reduce the air flow.  The burners are burning at 3 psi in the second pic.


I have cut three holes in  my small electric kiln (18" dia x 24" ht.)  I still need to set the bricks for the chimney and buy a thermcoupler. 


I just wanted to show my progress.



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#53896 Native Clay Glaze

Posted by jrgpots on 04 March 2014 - 09:38 PM

About 2 months ago I made a terra sig from local clay.  It's a magnesium and iron rich bentonite. In its raw state it is purple and chocolate brown in oxidation. I don't know what it looks like in reduction yet.  It melt at cone 4-5.  I did triaxial blending of Gerstley borate, Nepheline syenite, and the clay with the results below.  The glaze has a satin finish with two coats and semi gloss finish with one coat.  It has a pleasing texture.  I like the tile that has the hole in the test tube.  Lemon juice test showed no discolorations.  There is no crazing.


Recipe: Gerstley bborate                6.52

            Neph syenite                     15.22

            local clay/bentonite           78.26


It was applied on bone dry clay and single -fired to reduce problems with the high bentonite and its COE.  I think I have my first stable home grown base glaze.


What colorants do you think I should try next?  


I have thought about adding RIO 6 - 8% to see if it will make a nice satin tenmuko that I could use as the base glase  for a cone 6 oil spot or hares hair glaze.  That is my aspiration.


Imput, critique, gut reactions are greatly appreciated.


Jedbentonite glaze.jpg

#53891 Yearly Ash Burning

Posted by jrgpots on 04 March 2014 - 09:03 PM

The kiln gods have not been kind to me this week.  I fired my test tile to cone 6.  I thought there would be enough flux in the ash to melt the glaze.  But that was not the case.  None of them melted, even the high ash mix.  To make matters worse, I used cone 6 clay test tiles, so I can't just refire to cone 10.  


Well.......... I need to add flux.  I  have  Gerstley borate, Spodumene, and  frit 3124.  Any suggestions?


My test tile had 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 gm feldspar and matching tumble weed ash to total 100 gm. (for example 30 feldspar, 70 ash)

                         whiting 20 gm

                         EPK     20 gm


I really like the third tile from the left since it crackled well.  It would be nice over a darker glaze.


This is what I get for wanting to show off to you Biglou.



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#53433 Yearly Ash Burning

Posted by jrgpots on 25 February 2014 - 11:09 PM

Last night I was hovering over my 55 gal drum as  flames shoot into the air.  The heat was intense as dry tumbleweeds burst into flame.  For about two hours I stuffed tumbleweed after tumbleweed into the conflagration as they joined in  the sacrificial flames of night.........I really enjoyed it. It is a great yearly ritual.   Every year I get thousands of tumbleweeds in my yard with the wind. They end up burning in the drum.   I have about 10 inches of ash in the bottom of the drum this AM. 


It makes a beatiful green "celadon-like" transparent glaze with custer feldspar or granite dust at cone 6 oxidation...


I am willing to give away some of this Great resource of the SouthWest to anyone who might want to try it out.  If interested, drop me a E-mail.  Otherwise, I wil continue to stock pile.



#52322 Glaze Formulas Without A Picture

Posted by jrgpots on 12 February 2014 - 05:06 PM

but if you don't have 3124 handy and 3134 is one of my go to ingredients.

I'm never trying to reproduce a certain glaze. I might like what I see in one part or an overlap that intrigues me


Good point..........funny, I have 3124 but not 3134.  I never know what frits I "should" have on stock.  There are so many..  


Still when I run out and start substituting, I don't get a better glaze. ask my wife.  She will not let some of my glaze "concoctions" in the house.  She even said one of them looked like crap.............well it did look like crap.  But it was food safe. not that anyone would eat off of it.  Perhaps I could make a line of "diet dinnerware."  A plate that makes the person loose his/her appetite.



#51296 Help On Ingredient Substitution Needed!

Posted by jrgpots on 29 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

Ask your local independent pharmacist for expired Lithium pills. They are 250mg/pill. Why they expire has always been a mystery to me.

If you explain how you are going to use them in glazes, he may give you some. Otherwise, he has to pay someone dispose of them...

Good luck,

#50060 Cristobalite, Please Teach Me

Posted by jrgpots on 13 January 2014 - 12:17 AM

My grandfather's hobby has influenced me. I remember driving down a road in the middle of nowhere when my grandfather cried out to stop. We stopped. He jumped out and started hammering at some rhyolithe at the edge of the road. When we got home we broke up the stuff to find Apache tears, drops of obsidian. Now I tend to look for rocks and clay also.

Funny how people influence us.


#49743 Naturally Occuring Glaze

Posted by jrgpots on 08 January 2014 - 08:53 PM

The geometry and particle size aside,  I get a sense of connection with my "home" when I take local materials, prepare them (ball milling, crushing, etc.) and arrive at a "new to me" glaze. 


I know there are cheaper ways, more practice ways, etc.  However, this is a road less traeled.  As Robert Frost has written about "two roads diverrged in the wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has mde all the difference." 


Bob, I'm just endulging my whim for "local grown" stuff, especially if I have hunted it, collected it, and prepared it.



#49683 Lids To Glaze Buckets Stuck, Help?

Posted by jrgpots on 08 January 2014 - 12:47 AM

It could almost be a bad ceramics pick up line... "Are you manley enough to pop my lid? Or "I need a manley man to pop my lid."

Sorry, I could not help but put it out there.


#49618 Naturally Occuring Glaze

Posted by jrgpots on 07 January 2014 - 12:44 PM

I have a beatiful butter cream colored, plastic cone 10, locally dug clay I found slaking right now. A local mine has quartz. I have a chocolate colored benonite/keolinite that melts at cone 5-6. I have granite dust and grit as well. And I have tumbleweed ash which is about 80% silica.

I plan on
1. A triaxial blend of tumbleweed ash, dolamitic rock, and local butter cream clay.
2. A triaxial blend of granite dust, tumbleweed ash, and butter cream clay.
3. Replace tumbleweed ash with local quarts in above blends.

By next week about 50 lbs of the local clay will be ready to throw. I'll post pics. It's good looking clay.

#47961 Does Temperature Of Clay Matter When Throwing?

Posted by jrgpots on 16 December 2013 - 12:19 AM

I keep my clay in 5 gallon buckets. I have placed a 40 watt light bulb in the bucket I plan on using the next day. It warms the clay without melting the bucket. I hate cold clay! I guess I should clarify that the light bulb is in a socket and turned on....


#47086 How To Make An Oxygen Sensor For Your Kiln.

Posted by jrgpots on 04 December 2013 - 01:12 PM

I am converting an old electric to gas kiln. I'm interested and look forward to your next post. It looks like you use the long galvanized pipe as a small chimney that draws chamber gas past the sensor?..... great idea!


#46712 Poor Instruction And The Cost

Posted by jrgpots on 27 November 2013 - 03:05 AM

I have been told I am a blunt doctor that gives patients what they need, not what they want. People get very grumpy when they don't get what they want.

Make sure you know what you need in a teacher as compared to what you want. If you are able to separate the "need" from the "want", you can better articulate what needs are not being met in the instruction. The "wants" are just the frosting on the cake.