Jump to content

Mark C.

Member Since 09 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 01:01 AM

#68295 Kiln Questions

Posted by Mark C. on 21 October 2014 - 03:26 PM

Hi, I have an old AIM 1718 manual kiln with LT3 kiln sitter that I acquired a few years ago but have never used. I take classes and use their kiln but they only do low fire and I would like to be able to do mid-range stoneware work. I have never fired a kiln myself but have been reading up on the basics. The kiln I have appears to be in relatively good shape, clean, a few small areas of firebrick have fallen out but are available for patching to keep the elements from sagging. A blank section, shorter, with no elements or switches, etc. appears to have been added to the 2 sections.this kiln comes with. It is rated at 230 volts and 20 amps. Would my dryer circuit be able to handle this or would I need a dedicated circuit added? I have the kin in my garage which is where the dryer is located. If it would work on my dryer circuit, what should I look for in a test firing? How does the extra blank section affect firing? Does it take longer to heat, etc? What would I use to patch the areas of loose firebrick? Also, I will be needing shelves, posts, etc. Is it a good idea to look for used or not and if so, what should I look out for? Any other suggestions from folks out there?

You can repair bricks with this kit from L$L


If you use a dead ring it slows down the firing -any firing.

As to your Dryer curcuit what breaker size is it now (or better yet what wire size?)

If your dryer curcuit has other things on it -I would not use it.


#68280 Flower Pot Suggestions

Posted by Mark C. on 21 October 2014 - 10:02 AM

Back many years ago I made planters-I like the ones with a built in drip tray-just leave some clay on botton outside and form an outer ring. poke three holes from inside to outer tray. No suacers needed-these work well and look great. They are not sold in stores.


#68198 How Forgiving Is Placement Of Posts Under Shelves?

Posted by Mark C. on 19 October 2014 - 11:35 PM

I have a story about posts not lined up back in collage.

Another person loaded the bisque (36 cubic foot alpine kiln) He choose to not align the posts much near the bottom and changed the pattern 1/2 way up. He lit the kiln and left. I was throwing late that night when we heard a huge strange noise from th kiln room-as we approached the room was a mix of fine dust and the feeling something was off. We turned off the kiln and let it cool after opening the door the whole load had collapsed with very little greenware left whole.Seems the top shelve was now near the bottom shelve and all the pots where back to smaller clay pieces once again.


Years later this same guy blew up his home built catanary arch kiln-the two end walls blew out and the arch went up then down into a pile.


Years I bought all his materials as he gave up working with clay.


Now you can fudge some for sure on line ups but do it near the top of the load.

As to shelve on bottom-mine is a full with 1/2 broken shelve pieces on floor under it-the floor is always cooler and a shelve up helps with more heat.I only bisque in this kiln occasionally . I do not have a vent or heated floor

With my 35 foot car kiln to cone 10 or cone 08 the posts all line up always. I take care of my shelves and get long life from them this way. Theres not much reason ever not to have posts line up. Maybe large sculpture and if thats the case fire it on top.

One last note we all learn from our mistakes you will not know your limits until you have exceded them.


#68166 Very Strange Bisque Fire-Or How To Wash And Fire Advancers

Posted by Mark C. on 19 October 2014 - 11:36 AM

Those shelves look so thin Mark! Are these the light expensive mummas people write about? So you bisque with no wares present? They look so pristine!   DO you still have to grind your pots?

Yes this are the expensive mummas-Right now they are just over 200$ delivered in lots of 10.

I like to set fire the wash on shelves and posts -I have found for me this makes for less chips falling during a glaze fire if I set fire the wash. This bisque load has about 1/3 space dedicated to wash firing furniture.I only do this every 4-5 years as the wash lasts a long time.

As far as grinding pots I just rub the porcelain pot bottoms with a rubbing stone

I like these from the same folks I bought my advancers from



On another note this was never cracks if you apply it thin and build up the coats-I use two-let them dry completly between coats.-I use a 9 inch roller with a (and this is KEY a paint screen in a 5 gallon bucket) the screen drops in and is held buy the bucket lip and you roll off the excess wash on roller with it just as you would if your are using paint.-The screen is a few bucks at any hardware store.

without the screen your roller will load up to thick-also use a thick roller like a 3/8 nap.

I have a dedicated setup for this hanging in studio.

You should use the calcined material to avoid cracks (shrinks less)



#68128 Small Stuff Sells-This One Sweet Dish Is From Oldlady

Posted by Mark C. on 18 October 2014 - 08:41 PM

I still am not easy with calling her Oldlady but she insists it seems.

Here is a dish she sent me next to a dime as well as a ruler. its one sweet dragonfly dish she sells for 7$.Its a perfect stuffer size when loading.

These smaller items add up fast-my guess is she press molds a image into the clay form but she can explain.

Its an green Oribe glaze.


Attached Thumbnails

  • IMGP6297.jpg
  • IMGP6299.jpg

#68086 Are We Being Hacked Again?

Posted by Mark C. on 18 October 2014 - 11:28 AM

I report these all the time-no big deal.

#67706 Sanding Porcelain

Posted by Mark C. on 13 October 2014 - 10:08 AM

Sart with wet sponging when it in the green state-sand with diamond pad when fired.


#67680 Setting An Electric Kiln Outside

Posted by Mark C. on 13 October 2014 - 01:27 AM

Most kilns have a metal stand does yours?If its a yes and has legs and holds the kiln up about 8 inches you are fine without bricks.

if not then you will need space between cement and kiln floor-some cinder blocks and soft bricks will work.

18 inches will work on side but a sheet of tile board (wonder board or duro rock) will be a little extra protection over the wood held in with afew screws.


#67667 Firing Of Thinnslabs

Posted by Mark C. on 12 October 2014 - 06:10 PM

There can be had here



#67635 Do You Replace Things You Sold That Break?

Posted by Mark C. on 11 October 2014 - 11:26 PM

I'd replace it. One thing I don't like replacing but do are lids on casseroles because of the fit. A bit of a tedious job if you don;t make batches of casseroles  with the same dimensions.

As above, not always in contiol of how your ware is handled by shops. I replaced a large platter because the Gallery which sold the platter placed it in a recycled plastic carrier bag. The buyer then walked 2 kms home,and yes along the way there was the big bad wolf, Gravity, which seized and smashed the platter.

Babs I learned long ago to write in the inside of the lid the centimeters-say if its 27 I write with a slipped finger 27 and glaze over that. You can read this still and customers never even see it-that way when its broke I ask what it says and I can make a new one that fits easy.

All my butterdishes/garlic roatsers are 17 so thats easy to replace over the past 35-40 years.


#67577 Setting An Electric Kiln Outside

Posted by Mark C. on 10 October 2014 - 06:32 PM

( I have already contacted a licensed electrician to do the wiring,)

Have the licensed electrician do the wiring  set the kiln and later just do a partial inclosed area on porch

If you want you can get your own permit to do this is you must but a partial enclosure most likley needs no permit.


#67443 Do You Have Any Good Tips For Curbing Your Overhead?

Posted by Mark C. on 08 October 2014 - 12:39 AM

I buy clay at the 12 ton price break as I organize a truck full at a time (22 tons) once a year.

I bought 55#s (bulk buy from a speciality supplier) of cobalt carb and sold over 1/3 of it  so my price was very low

I have bought lots of mayerials in large quanities that will last me my career-kingman feldspar-Grestly Borate-albany slip

I buy my bags by the bail at market supplier-I buy my unprinted newsprint a truckfull of roll ends at a time for 50$-lasts for years

I buy tools and the items I do not make when on sale and keep a spare for when they wear out.I hate to have to go to the hardware store for an item I can stock.

I build my own kilns and plumb them myself(need to have plumbing skills)-I do most all repairs myself-I ghave worked as an electrician so thats stuff is easy.

Have a seperate gas meter on a better price for small commercial users-have my electric on a time of use plan so I use it when its cheaper as much as I can.

My thought is learn all the trades and be less needy. they used to call it renaissance man.

learn bookkeeping and record keeping skills-learn to make your own glazes 

I keep my overhead down whenever possible-I own all my own stuff-including house and studio-do not get in over your head ever!

I share hotels at several venues with another potter to keep costs down.

I keep a shed full of recycled free shippping stuff-bubble wrap -peanuts boxes all free.I can double box whatever for only the time it takes the materials are all free from contacts at other businesses.

I never pay UPS to pick up-I just flag them down or in my case put up a orange flag for driver.

I use the potters council discount on shipping

buy my business cards in 5,000 lots from vista print when on sale for 1 cent each.

I buy in bulk-I always have-it pays-from clay to coffee.

If you are a hobbist these tips will are a bit over the top-only use what may apply-iF you are a professional they all apply.

I trade whenever I can for whatever I need. This hase been gtreat over the years from Parts to vet service.Barter is better thay say.

I leaned long separate vehicle for pottery work makes life much easier-I never empty my van -I only add to it-its 100% right off

You spend so much energy moving stuff around-in the long run its crazy. My van is only used for pottery-not erands of any sort.

A stand alone studio in the long run will also help you-not a converted bedroom-the whiole space is also a right off as well as your office.

again not for hobbist-

I will add this list has been over 40 years in the making.If you are just starting learn from it as much as you can-it will pay off.

Do not use your bank merchant services to process credit card sales-use a smart phone or tablet with a square or Amazon/local reader for lower fees 


#67263 Silicone Caulk For Mold Making

Posted by Mark C. on 05 October 2014 - 12:44 AM

Potters are also trying mold products that dentists use for impressions. Quick and they don't shrink.

Alginate is an option for casting body parts or similar high detail objects. It's more rigid and much less durable than silicon rubber, but much cheaper, and has better release.
What is the difference between the silicone rubber sold for mold making and the 100% silicone sold for caulking? (apart from cost)
mold rubber is two parts and they set very firm
The walls are hard and can take the thick plaster molds from treating them roughly, silicone is way softer
My master molds last forever and you can make working molds from them

#67195 Sponge Holders

Posted by Mark C. on 03 October 2014 - 06:50 PM

They work best as cookie cutters
You twist as you cut the dough
Also great to use as tire lug nut wrench
You can also hook a wire between two and make ear warmers which you can also hear thru
One works held over the nose to keep the sun off as well
The list is endless

#67159 What Is The Best Book In Your Pottery Library?

Posted by Mark C. on 02 October 2014 - 11:50 PM

The one I have not read.