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Member Since 22 Nov 2010
Offline Last Active Jul 16 2014 12:56 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Water In A Studio Without Plumbing: Ideas Needed

30 May 2014 - 12:19 PM

I dont use this for my studio but because we run off a well I havent been wanting to take hundreds of gallons of water for my aquaponics. So Ive used 55 gallon drums as rain barrels which you can find for very cheap and add a bulk head fitting on the bottom. Recently, I took an extra cut IBC tote and placed it near a gutter. The gutter catches an 8 by 8 area worth of tin roof and during the last storm I got 150 gallons worth of water. Totes can be found as cheap as 50 bucks in most areas. You could very easily set one up in an area that is advantageous and have a lot of water at your disposal after a rain. I hooked up a hose so I utilize the gravity and pressure but Harbor Freight sells good water (fountain) pumps at very good prices. Pretty sure a small one inside the bottom of a tote with the outlet directed horizontally to where you need it, through a bulk head fitting that is, and have it linked to a lightswitch as your on/off could work well. Pumps are rated for the GPH and Head lift. Im sure pushing horizonally will give a little bit better performance than pushing out and up the tank then down again.



In Topic: The Dangers Of Advice Without Experience

12 May 2014 - 10:39 PM

Hmmm I guess I might as well throw in my 2 cents. Personally I think that this forum has a very strong back bone for good knowledge on the ceramic side as it should. I am a dabbler that loves to toy with many forms, yet I do enjoy living and keeping all my fingers. That said I do google and google and google. Sure I could waste my time with the card catalog but that would lead me to books that date 1970 when its 2014. So as much as I might be a "armchair" type of person I will spend days lacking in productivity while I research research RESEARCH! Reading every informational report and every idiots experience. Especially when it came to metal things Ive seen the country bumpkin cast bronze and the african tribesman make a bronze bell from a form made of dung etc. I feel I have a good sense of the farce material and the material that I can learn from. I do agree with shop experience but to tote all of that as the only way to legitimize real skill and knowledge is kind of wrong. Everything came from a book "technically." You couldnt have had your shop experience unless you learned from something from the start. I was two steps from melting down some old bike pegs of mine before I found out about magnesium's burn. My pegs were magnesium coated and aluminum sleeved. The only reason I doubted myself before my melt was that I remembered when we used to grind on concrete these pegs would spark. So I took initiative and did the research.  Everyone should be able to post what ever they might feel they should say because we all want to speak from our experience no matter how little it might be. It is up to those that are viewing it to be the judge. Sadly if they are to hurt themselves in the process then its not the advisers fault, no, its the fault of the person attempting something that they havent understood fully because of their lack in research.


Everything in this world is not fully understood. I cant remember correctly but someone on this forum stated that it is still unknown when it comes to the chemical reaction and molecular reaction differences in the ceramic world. I could be wrong with my term choices but the statement was that just because it has the chemical make up to do one thing it doesnt necessarily mean it will during the firing process. WIth that said, even those with 30+ years of experience, still dont TOTALLY understand the craft. There are things to be learned and dangers to be avoided. SO no matter who you are in this world of experience there are responses to questions that will always be incorrect and might "endanger" someone. Which is why I return to the comment that all should be able to provide advice and it should be left to the viewer to determine between them all.


Really no matter what you do you should be smart from the start. You melting metal? Im sure good gloves are in order especially proper ventilation. Maybe even a respiratory mask. Same goes for clay/glaze mixing. Hmmm those are some small floating particles. Better consider what you can do to not inhale them. Wow that kiln smells funny during firing....maybe I should avoid those fumes. Common sense.

In Topic: Incorporating Metals Into Ceramic Sculpture

12 May 2014 - 10:20 AM

Well to start you could consider a recent feature on ceramic arts. It definitely caught my eye because I too want to incorporate a mixture of mediums whether it be during or after a firing.




Its even got me looking into trying out some homemade glass clay. (not really clay)


Anyways, Tyler is right. Incorporating the two together isn't going to be the easiest of thing to do. Especially when it comes to shrinkage. Most metals get nasty during the firing and can flake and give off nasty fumes. Ive done copper flake in glazes to give off greens at low temps and pretty white and blues at mid range. Reckon these were flakes from key shavings and after inquiring more I have chosen to no longer pursue the venture due to possible lead fumes. Being I have my hands dabbling on the glass side of things I know that they sell shapes and glass dams made of stainless that glass workers use without issue. Mind you though these forms are covered with kiln paper or heated and coated in kiln wash. But from a fuming stand point they dont seem to be an issue in affecting the glass so you can at least feel comfortable that a glaze wouldnt be affected. I could say any stainless could work, but if you want to go the extra mile you could find out exactly what stainless the companies use for those shapes. I was dumb and used store bought (home depot) non stainless steel to make a kiln washed dam for a glass pot melt. As you can see the steel did not fair well in my electric ^07 firing.




If you find what works for you then keep us updated. I will say in closing though do not buy your metal from local hardware stores. Seek out a local metal supplier. You might have to buy a longer piece but you will be saving a lot of money in the long run. For example.... 2 x 1/2 inch flat bar that is 36 inches long I paid 45 bucks for at a hard ware store (yeah I know ridiculous) but at a metal supplier twenty minutes from me I could of got a 144 inch piece for 32 bucks.


:edit: I knew I was forgetting something. Duckweed is a readily available aquatic plant that is a good candidate for water purification and takes on heavy metals such as Nickle, Zinc, and Copper. Wonder if there would be a way to incorporate this into the water then harvest for ash production.

In Topic: Check Your Tools

03 April 2014 - 09:52 AM

Sorry your clay got contaminated Chantay


Metal in recycled clay is a problem. My sad story is that I do metalworking in the same studio as where I throw clay. I was noticing ugly dark spots in some of my finished pieces and they turned out to be metal particles that were thrown out when I was cleaning up welds with a grinder. You would be surprised how far the grinder shaving fly... some right into my slop bucket!


I am more careful now and never aim the grinder anywhere near where the clay is being worked. I also have a fine mesh screen over the slop bucket. It slows down drying time but Keeps, at least the big chunks out. I also put a garbage bag over my wheel to keep stuff from getting into the wast tray.

Same thing for me that has had me spreading the two aspects of my studio to the far ends. Clay is on the far left, glass/wood in the middle, and metal on the far right. My angle grinder is my best friend on most days and I find that the dust can go the distance. Not to mention the wire brush pieces that fly off during use. I find them in my laundry. Ill be at work and wonder what is poking me on my shoulder...yep metal wire.


Chantay just use it as a test clay like the others have mentioned. Even for test glaze tiles, considering if there is a leeching of the metal after firing youll know it wasnt in the glaze. I have some old terra cotta that got plaster flakes in it that I use from time to time as throw away pieces. You could even use it to make supports for clay pieces during firing.

In Topic: What Has Been Your Worst Re Encounter Of A Piece Of Your Pottery?

22 March 2014 - 11:01 PM

This is a funny thread. Personally I think theres nothing wrong with having old work laying around. My parents still use a lot of my stuff from college, sure its not perfect, but they still cherish it. We are our worst critics as artists so even in our best work we will see failure. I keep most things that I find of "use" but the things that were tests and really serve no purpose go to the Graveyard. Its a pile that sits in the far back right corner of my families property. I usually dont take my truck when bringing things. I make it a point to take the long walk while holding such items before the final throw.