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S. Dean

Member Since 18 Jun 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 08:16 PM

#127271 Nine Warning Signs Of An Amateur Artist

Posted by S. Dean on 28 May 2017 - 06:23 AM

<snip> .... it annoys me when students tell me oh I can't do that I'm not talented like you! Or they say I can't do that because I know I'm not talented, or creative, or artistic, etc. I ask them why they say that and it usually goes back to school when someone told them at some point they weren't... and unfortunately they believed them and it stuck with them their whole life. <snip> 

This is a good time to plug the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.  Great read about the difference between thinking that you/others have a given set of abilities/talent/intelligence etc (fixed mindset) vs the mindset that you/others can always improve (growth mindset).

#125067 Shimpo Rk-10 Used - Repair Questions.

Posted by S. Dean on 08 April 2017 - 09:17 AM

Your inclination to walk away is spot on.  That is way too much money for the age and condition. 

#124667 L&l/bartlett Controller Question

Posted by S. Dean on 02 April 2017 - 02:29 AM



Per the L&L website, the offset was changed due to a difference in the composition of the thermocouple protection tube.  See the  text highlighted in red below which came from



  • Turn kiln on with toggle switch. Wait 5 seconds.
  • Press 1, wait 5 seconds. The kiln display will say STOP and then go into IdLE mode.
  • Press OTHER about eight times until you see TCOS
  • Press ENTER. See TC 1
  • Press ENTER again
  • It will flash between °FOS (which stands for Deg F Offset) and 0018 (The 0018 stands for a thermocouple offset of 18°F - which comes preprogrammed into the control to compensate for the ceramic protection tubes. By changing the offset to 0010 we are REDUCING the offset by 8°F- making it fire 8 deg hotter). (NOTE: On older kilns with a slightly different composition thermocouple protection tube the preprogrammed value is 0050).
  • Press 0008 to reduce thermocouple offset by 10°F.
  • Press 0013 to reduce thermocouple offset by 5°F.
  • Press ENTER to accept your input.
  • Do the same for all your thermocouples. The prompts will scroll past in the order of TC1TC2 and TC3.

#124550 Looking To Start Mixing My Own Glazes

Posted by S. Dean on 30 March 2017 - 05:05 PM



To answer your one of your questions directly, the most frequently listed frits used in the glaze recipes from John Britt's Complete Guide to Mid-Range Glazes are 3110, 3124, 3134 & 3195. These four would cover what you would most likely need to get started. If you don't want to purchase all four, Glazenerd recommended 3110 and 3124 above and information below indicates that 3110, 3134 and 3195 are pretty similar.



While maybe tangential to your original question on frits, the following background information might be interesting:


  • Here's a spreadsheet that shows the composition of the different Ferro frits used in ceramics. As you can see, they contain varying percentages of silica, alumina, boron, calcium, potassium and other items (e.g, zinc, lithium, etc).    http://www.ferro.com...ryfrits2008.pdf


  • Here's some information from the Ceramic Arts Daily Glossary on Frits

[Frits are] combinations of ceramic materials that have been melted to a glass and crushed/ground back to a powder, in order to give greater chemical stability and to eliminate toxicity resulting from water solubility of raw material. All frits are ground glass and are toxic in inhalation. FERRO 3124—high-alumina calcium-borate frit, gives greater strength in LT claybodies. FERRO 3134—calcium-borate frit often used as substitute for Gerstley borate in low-fire glazes when greater reliability and/or long-term insolubility and/or greater transparency are desired. Makes good cone 04 transparent glaze by itself. FERRO 3110 and 3195—Both very similar to 3134—run tests to determine which works best for your needs. Source: Clay: A Studio Handbook


While I've limited experience and expertise with glaze formulation, understand that glaze chemistry can impact the final glaze effect.  Here's an excerpt from Peter's Pottery that explains some factors that the New Zealand based author considers as he converts Cone 10 glazes to Cone 8.  (Full post here http://opopots.blogs...d-new-clay.html).


I take notice of what the fluxes are, these can have a substantial affect on the oxides that are added to a glaze for colour. A glaze high in magnesium will have a lovely silky feel, but a cobalt blue may end up purple. Zinc will brighten copper or cobalt and may assist with glaze fit and durability, but it will also turn chromium oxide or chrome based stains brown. High levels of calcium will assist with making chrome reds or pinks, and will help make a physically strong glaze, but may "bleach" iron and give yellow rather than brown. And so on!


Factors like the type and amount of fluxes may provide a clue as to why a certain frit was used in the glaze recipe......desired alumina levels could be another factor.... and so on (as way more experienced and proficient members on CAD can elaborate).


Hope this was helpful,



#124226 Favorite Tools

Posted by S. Dean on 23 March 2017 - 09:01 PM

Interesting tool that cow's tongue.


I just googled this and mostly came up with recipes but I finally did find more info about this tool, Thanks


A cow's tongue is also known as a gyubera

#124176 White Lead

Posted by S. Dean on 22 March 2017 - 05:58 PM



I'm sure that this isn't what you wanted/expected to hear, and I'm sorry that you will be dealing with potentially unanticipated costs and liabilities.  Hopefully, you will be able to find a safe, legal and inexpensive disposal option.  


This should serve as a general reminder that we need to know and understand the consequences/risks before purchasing any known and unknown chemicals/glazes.  Once we insert ourselves into the chain of ownership, we become responsible for the proper storage, handling, transportation and disposal of these products.  Do your due diligence and do not buy other people's problems! 



#123642 Website To Order Pottery Tools Cheap

Posted by S. Dean on 12 March 2017 - 03:35 PM



<snip>  Only problem I've had with Bailey's is with their free shipping code for small tools, it doesn't work whenever I've tried to use it.  <snip>





If you are requesting shipping into Canada, I think you might be running up against the fine print on the Bailey free shipping offer on small tools and brushes-


"*Free Freight/Shipping in contiguous US only, applies to in stock items only, minimum order must be $25 after discounts are applied. Some restrictions apply." 


I just ordered some small tools a few weeks ago and the website discount code worked fine.  Bailey's price on Mudtools seems to be a low as anywhere I've seen. 





Thanks, but I have a US postal box and still can't ship. Their sale emails I get have the small tools free shipping on the weekend and yet they are closed then so I can't call it in. I've tried emailing them (twice), no response so just gave up and bought locally. What I really wanted from there is one of the do-all trim tools, can't get them here, shipping to Canada is silly expensive from just about everywhere. The free shipping code for Bailey's that I have is "STFS" is that the same one you used?


Yes - that's the code I've used.  If I recall correctly, I think you have to enter in your shipping zipcode first - then after that you can type in the code and click the apply button. As a backup, I also put the code/offer in the notes section of the order.  Bailey always sends a pre-ship email of the order and gives you a day to confirm/correct before they ship.  This way if something happens, you could talk with them during normal business hours.




edit - you have to press the calculate shipping button

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#123411 Tell Me How To Brush Glaze

Posted by S. Dean on 08 March 2017 - 09:42 AM

Hake brushes are great for brushing on glazes.  There are lots of versions of hake brushes, but I'm partial to the wide multi-stem versions for this job.  You can really load these brushes up with a lot of glaze and that allows you to keep that "wet edge" that's been referred to above.  Just keep reloading the brush with glaze so you are not dragging.


I find that three coats work well with my glazes  - brush the first coat in one direction, wait a bit for the glaze to set up and then brush the second coat at 90 degrees to the first coat, and wait a bit before brushing on the 3rd coat at a 45 degree angle to the 2nd coat.  For me, I'm able to get a more consistent and even coats than I do with dipping, although YMMV.  One thing to watch out for is that you are not taking glaze off of edges/rims.  If that happens, you need to let that area dry and then come back to it later.



#120266 Broken Ceramic Element Holders

Posted by S. Dean on 09 January 2017 - 12:32 PM

Here's some info from the L&L site: https://hotkilns.com...element-holders


My gut reaction is that I would go with Method 2 unless there were only a few element holders to be replaced.  Maybe Neil can weigh in on this from his wealth of experience.


I believe that L&L updated the design of their element holders at some point. I'd suggest that you call L&L with your kiln model and serial number and find out what your options are.

#118937 Warping Of Platters

Posted by S. Dean on 22 December 2016 - 10:01 AM

Hi Andrea,


Lovely work.  Some more questions for you in addition to Roberta's:


What are you using for your mold (plaster, bisque, wood, plastic, other?)

How stiff are the platters when you are removing them from the mold? 

How are you forming/rolling your slabs?

How do you transfer the slabs into the mold?

How are you removing the clay from the mold?


 It could be a handling issue as clay has a memory. Minimizing handling and flexing the clay might help.  However, some porcelains are very finicky for hand building and warpage is the price to be paid for working with that clay body despite careful handling.


Please tell us more about your process and maybe we can try to offer some long distance advice.



#110341 Karen Karnes, 1925-2016

Posted by S. Dean on 19 July 2016 - 10:24 PM

We've lost another icon.  I didn't realize that Karen Karnes had passed away until I read the following tribute from Ann Bailey (of Bailey Ceramic Supply) earlier today.


Karen Karnes

1925 - 2016


Karen Karnes left this world last week after a long and prolific career as a clay artist. She was 91 years old. Known early on for her functional casseroles, cups, and jars, she was later admired for pushing the boundaries of function to explore the realm of clay as sculpture. Although referencing function in her later work, she was clearly stretching her expression in clay to speak metaphorically about the human form and human emotions. These intimate and very personal pieces reference the male and female form; they are works that lean in and caress each other like lovers, like old friends. 


Karen was a major influence in the studio pottery movement in America. A force to be reckoned with, Karen was a very influential person in my young life when I was an aspiring salt potter. Known for mentoring young potters struggling to make a living, she offered me her spot to show my work (12 place settings) at the Whitehouse in the 70s during the Carter administration. "I don't make dinnerware; why don't you do it!" she said. I was all of 23 years old. I'll never forget it. Needless to say, my life as a potter flourished from there. I participated with her and a small band of potters in The Old Church Cultural Center Shows for many years and made many friends. We'd always go to Mikhail Zakin's house for a pot-luck dinner. It was fun, and we all felt sheltered and encouraged by Karen's big spirit. Sadly, many of those friends are no longer with us.


Never afraid to speak her mind, Karen was very disappointed that I didn't continue making pots. She wrote to me often to try to get me back into the studio. Life can be complicated as she came to understand. We had many great conversations back in those years. Conversations I will never forget.



Karen helped so many young potters throughout her life. She presented a viable pathway for all of us to consider. Always a determined and very independent person, she pushed hard and worked hard to be recognized and respected as a clay artist. And she was. Many strong bonds were made around her commitment to inspire and educate the world about beautiful, well-made work.


Karen was an artist and a mentor and friend to many. She will be missed by everyone who knew her. I feel lucky to have had time with her during my life. Our deepest sympathies go out to her lifelong friend, Ann Stannard, and their many friends and family members around the globe. We have lost a great one.


-Anne Bailey


#105049 Need To Step Up Production

Posted by S. Dean on 11 April 2016 - 04:36 AM

You've probably already thought of this, but add in some additional contact info for the customer such as phone number and email.  That way all the information you need is in one place.

#101081 What Happened To The Guy Who Wanted................

Posted by S. Dean on 31 January 2016 - 05:50 PM

I am so glad that we have CAD.  I used to subscribe to Clayart.  Just couldn't take it anymore, between the sacred cows, holier than thous and all the drivel sprinkled between a few nuggets of useful information.  Never felt comfortable posting anything there - the slightest thing could erupt in flame wars.  


I hope we can maintain our culture of being welcoming and helpful.  



#98579 Labeling Glaze Containers Large And Small

Posted by S. Dean on 02 January 2016 - 08:56 AM

<snip>  I know that in about a year I'll likely be upgrading the volume and type of glaze storage containers, though these will still work for glazes I use in lower quantities. Right now I'll be mixing them by 1/2 to 3/4 gallon and saving space is very important since my studio is only half-finished and my glaze shelving section isn't in yet. I plan to do all actual mixing in a thick two gallon plastic bucket and only use these for storage once they're mixed/sieved since they are brittle compared to heavy-duty paint buckets. <snip>




I've found a couple of good sources for free studio buckets.  Smaller size containers can be obtained from the deli/bakery departments at the grocery store.  Containers for icing work well and are heavy duty (although after  you wash one out you will never want to eat icing on a store bought cake).  I get bigger 4-5 gallon sized buckets from my dry cleaner that their powdered laundry soap comes in.  These are the best because they are constantly the same size and ready to use with just a quick rinse.  Buy a lid opener for 5 gallon buckets - these are available in the paint section of the home improvement stores.  


At the bakery/deli, I just usually ask each time I'm in there if they have any buckets that they are throwing out that day.  Sometimes they may agree to hold them for you, but most places will not.  If they agree to hold them, pick them up when you say you will and don't be surprised/upset if all the employees don't get the message and your saved buckets got thrown out.   If they help you, put in a nice word (letter is better) with the grocery store manager.


So, although these items are "free" they require effort & time to obtain/get ready for studio use.


For labeling, right now I use a sharpie on colored duct tape on both the lid and side of the bucket.  It's quick and works well enough even though it may not be the most elegant solution.



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#98086 Proper Hand Position For Wheel Throwing?

Posted by S. Dean on 27 December 2015 - 09:13 AM



This video might be helpful to him - there are some cut away shots with hand positions.