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Member Since 07 Apr 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:00 AM

Topics I've Started

Changing The Firing Range Of Porcelain

27 August 2014 - 09:26 AM

Hi folks, I've been gifted 700-800 lb of Highwater's P10 porcelain which will have to be remixed, no problem as I have a mixer.

What I'd like to do is reduce the maturing range to cone 6 .The specs say that the bottom range is cone 7 at 2.5 % absorption but the working at cone 10-11 is the optimum range.

I've noticed that some clays can be brought from cone 10 to a cone 6 with added flux, either g200 or nep sys.

Some of you here have made clays more that I have and thought someone might have some idea of a testing % of flux to add when I remix a batch for cone 6.



Building A Small Cantenary, Mortar Question

25 August 2014 - 08:19 AM

John's pic of the kiln build has inspired me to dust off plans for a small soft brick cantenary car kiln. The 2 kilns I previously built were dry stacked but I noticed John used a mortar.

I was wondering if it is fireclay used for leveling each course or kiln cement to hold the brick in place. my concern is material from the mortar, falling into the pots during firing. My last 2 kilns were sprung arch with  ifb in the arch that contained no sand, those were used in the side walls.

Any thoughts?


Purpose Of Sodium Silicate In Slip Casting

02 August 2014 - 10:26 AM

I'm wondering about the use of sodium silicate in slip casting. Is it to help release the firm slip from the mold?

Here's my problem. I have some plaster plate  hump molds that if I use slabbed clay draped and formed, even with Mea's help with cornstarch(which works very well), slabs can retain some memory and rims warp slightly .

What I would like to do is create a mud that can be jiggered onto a hump plate mold, yet release easily on drying.

This is where I thought sodium silicate might come into the process, allowing the mold to release the clay.

I seem to remember a potter using this method but that was 30 yrs ago and is no longer around, so I have no idea if he used sodium silicate or any other release agent in the mud or on the mold.

The clay, as I remember, was firm enough to stay without puddling out or releasing any water as is sat and jiggered smoothy over the mold.

I feel I'm missing a key step or ingredient to make this work





Where Does Clay Stand In Fine Art

28 July 2014 - 02:45 PM

I have seen and been part of discussions about art and clay that have degenerated into mediocre slams on both sides.

I would like to open a discussion on what makes a clay pot more than the sum of it's parts. Is it an illusion that there are artist that rise above the production genre, that make pieces that even the untrained eye recognizes it's artistic merit?

With so much hype about emerging artist and the wish to leave the constraint of form and function for some new vision, where is the common sense line of design and art, or is there one?

Though I won't be able to go to this talk the information below might spark some interest and comments.




Is the production potter destined, either by choice or chance, only to live in production.

Is the university trained potter, destined to live in an academic clay circle?

Are the prices the public is willing to pay either exclude or include either group?


I hope this elicits some deeper insights into where clay, as a expressive medium ,lives in the real day to day world.


Found A New Tool

23 July 2014 - 07:41 PM

Well at least for me. I have always had problems glazing berry bowls(colanders). This version of my berry bowl has no foot to hold on to while glazing. If I hold the bowl with 2 fingers on the rim and thumbs on the bottom, finger marks on the glaze is annoying.

Several days ago I found a spatula in the kitchen was coming apart so I took the handle to the studio thinking to make a trimming tool.

What I did was to grind the bent end enough to fit into the center hole of the berry bowl. The bent end(about 45 deg) created a hook that held the bowl and balanced with my other hand made the best tool yet(for me) to glaze the difficult form.

Hope the attached photo shows this well enough to possibly help others.