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Member Since 04 Oct 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:45 AM

#80412 Moore White - Matte

Posted by neilestrick on 30 April 2015 - 08:10 AM

There are two ways to make a matte glaze- under fire it or grow crystals. It's hard to tell from a photo, but yours looks to be of the under fired family, which is why it doesn't break. Breaking glazes flow off the ridges and settle in the low spots. Formula-wise I would look for glazes with magnesium in them, and play with slow cooling schedules to achieve matteness.

#80380 Perfect Fire Digital Controller: Using/fixing?

Posted by neilestrick on 29 April 2015 - 02:30 PM

1. If they are all coming on and staying on and not following the program, then it's the controller and should be replaced.


2. If it's only one relay staying on, it's a sticky relay. That's assuming that all the relays are controlled by the same output on the controller.


3. If each relay is on its own output, then it could still be a controller issue. In that case you'll have to get a meter on it while the relay is stuck on, and see if the controller is signaling it to be on or not.

#80326 Cone Ten

Posted by neilestrick on 28 April 2015 - 08:29 PM

Yes, I saw a translucent body that was achieved at bisque temps ... Amazing stuff though not commercially available yet.


I think we're in an exciting time in ceramics. Now that mid-range oxidation firing has gained some respect, I have to think that we'll start to see more vitrified wares being done at even lower temps. I began work on a cone 2 'porcelain' a couple of months ago. It's not so difficult to formulate one that's vitrified, but the color and cost are a challenge. My whole reason for doing it is to reduce my firings costs, and increase the longevity of my elements. I estimate they will last at least 50% longer, if not twice as long, as firing to cone 6.

#80319 City Studio: Firing Work?

Posted by neilestrick on 28 April 2015 - 08:09 PM

Whatever you do, get the ok from the local authorities and your insurance company. You don't want to get shut down after spending all that time and money.

#80194 Reccomendations For Sc White Stoneware/porcelain

Posted by neilestrick on 27 April 2015 - 01:36 PM

We use a lot of 240 in my studio, but it is very fine grained, so not all that forgiving. We also use a lot of 630, which is very forgiving and a pleasure to work with whether throwing or hand building. It's a little more grey-white, where as the 240 is yellow-white. The 630 is basically a cone 6 version of 182. It has fire clay in it, so it has a little more tooth, although it feels quite smooth when working with it. I use 365 grolleg porcelain for most of my work, which is one of the best throwing porcelains I've ever used. It's not quite as glassy as some other porcelains, but I almost never have warpage or cracking problems. I've made 50 pound planters with it with no problems. 181 is a cone 10 body, very smooth, prone to cracking and not good for larger pots. We also use 112 in my studio, which is their speckled brown. It's an excellent stoneware body, one of my favorites of all time. They also make a non-speckled version, 225.

#80066 Burner Placement In Kiln Design

Posted by neilestrick on 25 April 2015 - 12:56 PM

Are you building the walls only 4.5" thick? You're going to have a mighty leaky kiln that way. Lots of joints open up when you just have butt joints like that. I would back up the bricks with a layer of rigid fiber board.

#80048 Burner Placement In Kiln Design

Posted by neilestrick on 25 April 2015 - 08:45 AM

The burner channels don't really need to be any wider than the burner openings, however you don't want the burners blasting right onto the ware. And I think you may need a bag wall of some sort, even if it's short. There's a chance you may not need one due to the small size of the kiln, but you should leave room for it just in case.


In a kiln that size I wouldn't mess with fiber at all. Build it with an arch and brick up the door.

#80013 Attaching Porcelain To Plexiglass (Adhesive)

Posted by neilestrick on 24 April 2015 - 03:16 PM

My rule of thumb is to use a mechanical fastener whenever possible. Adhesives will always fail at some point, unless they are made specifically for structural bonds. For instance, there are some architectural grade silicone adhesives that are approved to seal 2 pieces of window glass edge to edge, for a seamless appearance (I used to work for a commercial glass company), and even to hold glass windows in place. Adhesives for metals can also achieve incredibly strong, permanent bonds. There are some high end car frames that are held together with adhesives, because the bond is stronger and faster than welding.


But plastics- Plexiglas (acrylic), Lexan (polycarbonate), PVC (poly-vinyl chloride), HDPE (high density polyethylene (cutting boards)), nylon, etc. are an entirely different beast. We can glue two pieces of the same plastic together with a chemical adhesive that melts the plastic to form the bond with another piece of plastic. It's more akin to welding than gluing, though. The 'glue' actually evaporates away.  But attaching a different type of material to plastic is very difficult. Plastic is very smooth, and not at all porous, so adhesives have a very difficult time bonding with it. Even if you rough it up before gluing, you're relying on the glue to grab into tiny little cuts in the surface in order to hold. It's just not a strong bond. I have yet to hear of an adhesive that everyone agrees works well on plastics, which means that even if it works for you, it will likely fail at some point.


I have tried half a dozen different glues to attach plastic soap pump collars, and all have failed within 2 years, even those that people swear by. So now I use the cork stopper type.


I definitely would not trust silicone for long term adhesion. Notice how you have to re-caulk your bath tub every few years? It dries and shrinks over time, and loses its grip.


Ceramic pieces are permanent. They will last for hundreds of years or more. Use a fastening system that will last just as long.

#79984 Cost Or Running A Kiln .

Posted by neilestrick on 24 April 2015 - 09:00 AM

I have no idea what electricity costs where you live, but that seems outrageous and inaccurate. Most kilns in the US can be fired for under $15. HERE is a handy way to estimate the cost. My big 21 cubic foot electric costs me about $35 per firing to cone 6.

#79957 Water And Different Clay Bodies

Posted by neilestrick on 23 April 2015 - 07:30 PM

Different clays dry differently depending on their makeup. Porcelain dries quickly, because it is low in clay, which holds the water better than the other ingredients.


Pres, yes, the more humid the environment is, the higher the moisture content when a piece is bone dry. But I'm doubtful it's enough to require a different firing schedule unless it's really super humid, like it's in a root cellar with standing water on the floor, in which case a short preheat wouldn't hurt.

#79845 Ian Currie Test Tiles Forums?

Posted by neilestrick on 22 April 2015 - 09:34 AM

I make functional work, so I focus my efforts on food safe glazes. I guess what I'm getting at is that the grid can be used in a multitude of ways, to achieve very broad or very specific results. It's a wonderful tool.


I use Hyperglaze glaze calc software. It has a function where you can plug any glaze into the limit formulas and adjust them easily. 4 corners of a grid can be done in a matter of minutes. It even has a quadraxial blend function. I think glaze cal software is worth every dime. It's a great way to catalog your glazes, it saves a ton of time when working with formulas, and it enables you to see what's really going on with a glaze. Unity formulas are far more informative than recipes.

#79792 No Tare Beam ;-(

Posted by neilestrick on 21 April 2015 - 11:56 AM

If the seller won't accept the return, file a complaint with PayPal. They have a category specifically for 'Item Not as Described'.

#79735 Newbie Bat Help?!

Posted by neilestrick on 20 April 2015 - 02:05 PM

You shouldn't need a bat for anything under 3 pounds or so, which the exception of plates. It's good to learn how to remove pots from the wheel head. Bats are pricey, and take up a lot more room on the shelf. Not good when you get into making a lot of work.

#79733 Advice On Drilling A Larger Thermocouple Hole

Posted by neilestrick on 20 April 2015 - 01:59 PM

Yep, the bit will follow the existing hole.

#79583 How Often To Clean Your Kiln?

Posted by neilestrick on 17 April 2015 - 06:31 PM

I shouldn't tell you this, but I've got almost 1000 firings on my smaller kiln and I've probably only vacuumed it out about 10 times.