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Member Since 04 Oct 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 01:56 PM

#123531 Skutt 818 With Extension Ring

Posted by neilestrick on 10 March 2017 - 11:18 AM

Hi Niel, would a 6-50 installed last year likely be able to handle that? Its a dedicated receptacle right by breaker box on a 50 amp breaker and I have been running a skutt 1027 on it.


Yes, a 6-50 will work on that kiln.

#123419 What's Your Favorite Clay To Work With?

Posted by neilestrick on 08 March 2017 - 12:43 PM

Standard #365 grolleg porcelain. http://www.neilestri...om/Gallery.html

#123361 Going To Buy Wheel And Kiln... What Do You Like?

Posted by neilestrick on 07 March 2017 - 09:35 AM

I have 11 Thomas Stuart/Skutt wheels, and would never buy any other brand. The big splash pans keep my studio very clean.

#123349 Qotw: Are You Afraid Of The White Gold?

Posted by neilestrick on 06 March 2017 - 11:52 PM

Porcelain is unique among clay bodies. The lack of plasticity, almost a rubberiness, is terribly appealing once you get used to it. I would rather throw porcelain than stoneware any day, and actually find it easier to throw now. It was a difficult transition, though. I was a good stoneware thrower, but porcelain kicked my butt at first. I switched to porcelain because I wanted the whiteness, but it took me months and months to get used to it. I had to let it dry out until it was really stiff in order to successfully use it. I've been working with it for about 13 years now, so I've figured out what I can and can't do with it. I no longer worry about water- I drench it but work quickly. I don't baby the drying at all- after it's trimmed I just leave it out to dry. I find that drying speed after trimming is a non-issue if you make the walls even. I take a little more care from wet to leather hard, though, as the lip will dry very quickly. It's difficult to get things dry enough to trim in one day like I can do with stoneware. I also don't baby the firings at all. I often bisque my pieces on 'Fast Glaze', which is a 4.5 hour firing. Anything under 4 pounds can handle the fast firing just fine. I prefer to pull handles right on the pot, but I can't do it with porcelain. Instead, I pull them on a bisqued piece, then let it stiffen up and transfer it to the real pot. Once they're attached I can put them in the kiln and dry them out quickly if needed.


My students often ask me if they're 'ready' for porcelain, because they feel like they have to use it, like they're expected to 'move up' from stoneware. This attitude goes for moving from brown or buff stoneware to smooth white stoneware, too. I'm all for trying different clay bodies for the sake of expanding one's experience, but I stress to them that there's nothing wrong with using the groggy brown clay. It's all good stuff, just different. 

#123346 Going To Buy Wheel And Kiln... What Do You Like?

Posted by neilestrick on 06 March 2017 - 10:35 PM

Do a little searching here on the forum and you'll find billions of discussions about kilns and wheels.


For wheels, it's good idea to go try some out, either at your local distributor or at the local art center or college.

#123253 Finally Did It, Small But Done

Posted by neilestrick on 05 March 2017 - 10:24 AM

Ahh, now I get it, but I think you're overthinking it. You don't need to do the center like that. Just make the whole thing have the same bottom. You center it wide and open two rings. Pull the middle ring up for the bowl, pull the outer ring up for the outer lip. Plus that big hole in the bottom will just hold water when you wash it.

#123168 Will Electric Kiln Cool Too Fast On Cold Night, Outside?

Posted by neilestrick on 03 March 2017 - 12:15 PM

The cooling won't really be affected until you open the kiln. I wouldn't crack it the lid until it's quite cool, like down under 200F, maybe even as low as 150F. Otherwise it's like going from oven to freezer.

#123108 Hydro Bats Vs Hydra Bats

Posted by neilestrick on 02 March 2017 - 09:10 AM

They're great for platters, since they help to dry the bottoms. yOu get much more even drying with them. But they're big and heavy and bulky. I keep a couple big ones for platters, but use medex bats for everything else.

#123067 What Is Wrong With This Glaze?

Posted by neilestrick on 01 March 2017 - 02:46 PM

If it's good at cone 10, then it's underfired at cone 6. Rather than try fixing that one, take any good glossy cone 6 glaze recipe that you know works, and simply leave out the colorants and add 8-12% superpax/zircopax and you'll have a nice white glaze.

#123037 Here Is How To Get Wax Resist Out Of A Brush

Posted by neilestrick on 28 February 2017 - 06:22 PM


Thanks for the tip!


I use the wax resist from Ceramic Supply. It rinses out clean with just water, and never gums up the brushes.

What brand?



It's not labeled with a brand. It's just their house brand I guess.

#123025 Here Is How To Get Wax Resist Out Of A Brush

Posted by neilestrick on 28 February 2017 - 02:49 PM

Thanks for the tip!


I use the wax resist from Ceramic Supply. It rinses out clean with just water, and never gums up the brushes.

#123003 Glazing

Posted by neilestrick on 27 February 2017 - 07:17 PM

In my studio there is a tile board showing all the double dipping combinations of the 14 class glazes, so 196 tiles. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of the glazes, however glazes don't necessarily have the same impact on a pot as they do on a 3" tall tile. So there is still a little testing required. I also give specific instructions about how to dip:


1. Make sure the glaze is stirred well. That means getting all the thick gunk off the bottom of the bucket and stirring until it goes creamy. Poor stirring is one of the most common causes of bad glaze application.


2. The first dip of glaze should be done for a count of 6. That's 6 seconds, not 6-Mississippi or 6-hippopotamus. It's long enough for a good coat of glaze, but short enough that the glaze won't run off the pot.


3. The second dip should be a 4 count, and must be at least 1 inch off the bottom of the pot to give it room to run. Again, long enough that it'll look good, not so long that it'll run off the pot.


4. Don't touch it! Beginners always get the fingers in the wet glaze. It ruins the glaze job, and it's a constant battle to get them to stop. When it comes to dipping, the less you touch it, the better.


There's lot of other little suggestions I make, but these 4 cover the important stuff.

  • Min likes this

#122834 Kiln Setup - L&l Easy Fire

Posted by neilestrick on 23 February 2017 - 08:57 PM

That kiln does not have the spring hinges. It doesn't need them since it's so small. You do need to make sure that the kiln is not rocking on the stand. Put sheet metal shims under the feet of the stand as needed to get it sitting evenly on all feet. Open the control panel and make sure all the connections are still tight. Make sure all the elements are seated into the holders, especially at the corners. Then you're ready to fire.

#122832 "glueing" Clay With High Fire Glazes

Posted by neilestrick on 23 February 2017 - 07:53 PM

Probably not. You can glaze on small things like knobs, because gravity will hold them together when the glaze is soft. But two pieces split open will never stay together in the firing.

#122788 Number Of Firings

Posted by neilestrick on 22 February 2017 - 11:17 PM

If you want vitrification, make a cone 5/6 crater glaze. Adding silicon carbide will cause cratering in many glazes. Use a really fine mesh, like 800 grit, which you can get from lapidary supply stores online.  A good starting point is 0.5% by dry weight.