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Member Since 04 Oct 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 03:59 PM

#77602 Firing In Mold

Posted by neilestrick on 18 March 2015 - 02:27 PM

Shrinkage could be an issue, as the mold will not shrink at the same rate as the clay unless it is made of the same clay. Thickness will also be an issue, since to withstand the pressure of dry pressing the mold would have to be very thick, and would probably not survive firing.

#77523 Gloss Going Matt

Posted by neilestrick on 17 March 2015 - 02:40 PM

Did you just dry mix the 10,000 grams and pull out 100 gram tests of the dry mix, or were you working with wet mix?

#77421 Kiln Vent Operation

Posted by neilestrick on 15 March 2015 - 04:28 PM

A vent will not even out a firing unless it's only very slightly uneven. The only way to ensure even firings is to modify the load as I described above (which still may not do the job), or to get a kiln with zone control. More thermocouples = even firings. Most brands offer zone control as an upgrade (Skutt, Paragon, etc.), L&L has it as a standard feature. It's well worth the money to have it.

#77074 The Max Wheel 1500?

Posted by neilestrick on 10 March 2015 - 03:32 PM

Alpine made a gear drive wheel. There are still some in use.

#77071 The Max Wheel 1500?

Posted by neilestrick on 10 March 2015 - 02:55 PM

We had one of these in grad school. Tons of power, but had a very different feel than all the other wheels because it was gear driven, no belt. It'll be great once you get it running. If you know what's wrong with it, I'd just Google search by the part numbers on the parts you need. Chances are it was built from off-the-shelf parts.

#76940 Underglazes Vs Glazes

Posted by neilestrick on 07 March 2015 - 12:33 PM

Commercial underglazes fuse more than a slip would. That's why they can be used on bone dry clay and bisque ware without flaking off. They can be fired in bisque and still be porous enough to take glaze. But they don't go into melt like a glaze. They are quite versatile. Most home made underglazes are either more of a colored slip that has to be applied to leather hard pots, or are just stains with a frit binder and work best on bisque. I was working on a new commercial underglaze formula when I left my last tech job, and I can tell you that they are fairly complex. It's a fine balance to get them to fuse to leather hard, bone dry or bisque, but still be porous enough to take glaze after bisque firing, to play nicely with glazes, and to brush well.

#76772 Pizza Stone?

Posted by neilestrick on 04 March 2015 - 05:12 PM

Just buy a kiln shelf.

#76764 Are You Taking Pictures/notes While Working?

Posted by neilestrick on 04 March 2015 - 03:59 PM

Hi Neil, maybe I should join Instagram or another social media to force myself to take pictures...


Yes, it's a great way to force you to do it, plus it's great free advertising, too. I've got 600 followers in IG and I don't know most of them. I like it much better than Facebook because there's no drama or games or all that other stuff that makes Facebook so annoying.

#76762 Are You Taking Pictures/notes While Working?

Posted by neilestrick on 04 March 2015 - 03:26 PM

I try to to take a picture every day of what I'm working on so I can post it to Instagram. I keep them all on file to use on my web site and Facebook, too.

#76398 What Causes Glaze/clay 'tide Mark'?

Posted by neilestrick on 28 February 2015 - 09:38 AM

It's solubles seeping out at the edge and/or fuming. Lots of glazes do this, it's not necessarily tied to the barium. I would point to the neph sye as the culprit rather than the barium.

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#76245 Favorite Online Resources For Pottery Images

Posted by neilestrick on 26 February 2015 - 09:43 PM


#75802 Here Is What I Ordered - Never Mixed My Own Glaze Yet

Posted by neilestrick on 19 February 2015 - 09:45 PM

Really?! Oh man, that crap from Seattle Pottery clumped as bad...OH WAIT, HAAAA
THAT'S what I mean! Bleeding BENTONITE
These names are too much for my wee rodent brain, anymore... >.>


You won't need to mix it in the blender if you dry mix it well with the other glaze ingredients before adding it to the water.

#75800 Setting A Kiln To Start Firing At Night? - Finishing When I Am Awake? - Nest...

Posted by neilestrick on 19 February 2015 - 09:41 PM

I do 99% of my firings in my shop at night while I am away at home. But my building is all concrete, so there's not much that can go wrong. I think if you have all the proper clearances and such then there is very little that can go wrong aside from an electrical fire. But even then, if everything is done properly there's very little chance of that happening either. If you've got the money to do it, then go ahead and get the Nest alarm. It wouldn't hurt, and it will give you the piece of mind you need to sleep at night with the kiln running.

#75762 Firing Disaster? Fired For 20 Hours - 9 Hour Soak?

Posted by neilestrick on 19 February 2015 - 12:26 PM

The big question here is why did it sit at temp for 9 hours, unable to reach peak temperature, without putting up an error code? Review the program to see if there was a program error. Were you doing a cone firing or a custom ramp/hold?

#75696 Photography Backgrounds

Posted by neilestrick on 18 February 2015 - 04:05 PM

Depends on what you're going to use the photos for. For online sales on Etsy or something like that, using other objects like tables, drapes, etc. can put the item in context, which helps the buyer see it in its intended habitat. But for entering juried exhibitions or art fairs, you just want the traditional backdrop of gray fading to black. All white or all black is not good, because the piece will look like it's floating in nothingness.