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Member Since 26 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Apr 19 2017 04:41 PM

#121241 Oval Pattern Creator

Posted by nairda on 25 January 2017 - 09:58 PM

If you have access to Microsoft Word...look on the drawing toolbar.  An oval is one of the Auto Shapes.  You can stretch it all directions and make it as large as your paper. You can also set the line thickness so that when you print it, it's easy to cut out.   


If you think you'll use the shape a lot, attach it to poster board (or cereal box cardboard) with rubber cement prior to cutting out the shape.  Then cut on the line.  They last a long time.

#97882 Planning An Outdoor Stepping Stone Feature

Posted by nairda on 23 December 2015 - 10:15 PM

I'd recommend adhering your tiles with commercial 'thinset' to concrete stepping stones purchased from a building supply store.   I've used 15" x 3" round concrete stepping stones and then made mosaic tiles to be added to the top.  My handmade tile pieces are about 3/8" thick. Easy to dry and fire; and when coupled with the concrete base, they're very strong. Not sure how well it would work if you were trying to adhere one large tile.  Using a mosaic approach allows you to adhere the smaller tiles, making sure there are no voids. Then grout around the mosaic.  Using the mosaic approach might reduce the potential for one very large ceramic tile to crack.   My stepping stones have been outside for 2 winters in -5F degree temps with no problems.  


Perhaps make 2 of them, install and see how they do over the course of a year.  Adjust your technique if needed and then do the rest.  


Good luck!  Nairda   

#78344 Does Anyone Pre-Weigh Dry Ingredients For Base Glaze?

Posted by nairda on 31 March 2015 - 09:34 PM

When I'm weighing out one glaze, I usually weigh out 2 others at the same time.  I check to see what glazes I'm getting low on.


I use 2-gallon, heavy duty zip-lock bags (Walmart) and label them with the glaze name, # of grams and the date weighed.  I take my time, double-checking each material/weight as I go, so as to not dump the wrong thing in the wrong bag.  Usually 3000 grams is the most I mix up at a time and that amount in dry weight fits the bag well.  


It's easy to roll the bag around and mix the dry ingredients without creating any dust.  Then, when I'm getting low on a glaze, it's ready and waiting to be mixed. I've done this for years and it works great for me.    

#67865 I Can't See/find My Cone!

Posted by nairda on 15 October 2014 - 07:02 PM

I always dipped the cone tip in some red iron slip.  Less than a 1/4".  While some say it will provide flux to the cone, I've put 'dipped cones' and non-dipped ones side-by-side in the kiln to see what effect it had; and they bent exactly the same.  Placed the cone pack as close as possible to the peep.  L & L kiln has good sized peeps so it was never too hard to see the cone at Cone 5-6 temps.

#54994 Water In A Studio Without Plumbing: Ideas Needed

Posted by nairda on 19 March 2014 - 10:06 AM

My studio (separate bldg from my house) has no water and it works very well.  There's a utility sink in our basement, about 25' away that I use for final hand cleaning/glaze mixing water. I  wet mix glazes outdoors to eliminate dust inside basement or studio.  


In the studio I use a 3.5 gallon plastic beverage dispenser that sits up on wooden blocks the same size as the dispenser base so it's stable.  Dispenser has flip up/down lever to turn the water on/off so it's easy to use with slip covered fingers.  There's a 12-cup plastic catch basin on the table under the tap.   I use a 'clean water only'  3 gallon bucket to refill the dispenser.  


I glaze about 50-60 pieces at a time and have glaze buckets on dollies.  When glazing, I spread a fabric dropcloth on the floor that catches all the drops/splops. When it gets really dirty it gets hosed off outside and line dried.


Decades ago I had to haul every drop of potable water I used in daily life in gallon buckets which prompted efficient water use habits.  While it works for me, it's probably not efficient if you are making 100 pots a day, every day. I'm in my studio almost every day, but have a leisurely production schedule and only mix 5 gallon bucket sized containers of glaze.  My studio stays much cleaner without running water, probably because it makes me mindful of not being sloppy with clay/glazes.

#30747 What to use to sketch on leather hard clay?

Posted by nairda on 11 March 2013 - 11:00 AM

Draw your image on paper. Then tape lightweight drycleaner plastic over your drawing and trace your image with a Sharpie. Now you can take the thin, clear plastic sheet and position it anywhere you want on your piece to see how it will look. When you like the placement, just trace over the lines with a stylus or dull pencil to transfer the lines to your pot.

If you find your image is too small or too large, just take your original drawing to a copy machine and re-size the image. Then use the plastic bag trick.