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  2. It comes down to electricity rates as far as costs go. I pay 9 cents per kwh, so my kiln firings are cheap. About 5 dollars per firing with my 18x23 kiln. I don't have natural gas so propane would cost about 4 times that price. When I was gas firing in a 1.7cuft kiln it took a 20lb tank (which is 18.99 here) for bisque and a tank and a half for glaze firing
  3. That seems high for a cone 6 electric firing. I've seen an average estimate of about $20 per electric firing so $40 for a bisque and glaze.
  4. Well Bill started this company back in the early 80s and it all started with lotion pump tops made in China. for him He called his company Aftosa. Back then he had a snappy catalog and business started hopping. For us fiunctional potters he had a few items that helped us sell pots. He has great customer service.That business was sold over the decades about 4 times and every time the service went down and the prices went up.At one time I could call in an order and have it next day for very low cost.The prices slowly went up and many items where discontinued. I sourced items from other sources for less as did others. Quainity discounts where dropped. The once thriving Business was absorbed into what was once called Richmond Ceramics as they expanded they bought out Leslie ceramics in Berkley as well recently and a few other long standing ceramic businesses like Brant street ceramics in SF. The renamed (rebranded) them all to Leslie ceramics less than two years ago. Yesterday I got a email that they (the owners) are retiring and closing the doors (I assume they got an offer on the property that was to good to turn down(specualtion on my part )As California property in some areas is many millions and this area is one of them. I have many newly minted friends who are millionaire friends who parents property sold for millions when they passed away in Bay Area and sold out. So if you want anytrhing from Leslies you better hurry as its all 25% off and going as fast as they can ship it out the door. I placed my last order with them on some specialty products (600$) and thought about the 40 years of doing business with a place that will be gone this month.I'm a little sad about it Well I'm downsizing myself to a degree so I can also relate- last call for Aftosa
  5. I am seriously thinking of finding a used Elec. kiln "not working" and modding it over to gas. Our elec. bill doubles with 1 load firing a month which equals 1 bisque and 1 cone 6 glaze.. on our bill it puts us at $135.00 to $150.00 a load... we have a 18x27 kiln we recently contacted L&L and ran the tests on the elements- we are replacing them as soon as they come in with the HD elements. that was $318.00 ... the ceramic work i was doing before, we only had to bisque fire.. for those of you using Gas, propane or natural . how much does a load cost you ? what kind of maintenance do you have?
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  7. So is this what it comes down to in this instance? If the piece of the decoration was attached with a high fire mender or glaze and the fix didn't show would it still be considered a flawed piece? I don't think so. @CactusPots,could you repost your photo so we can see what you're talking about?
  8. One note on JB weld epoxy -I recently found out it let go of some stainless metal I had glued when it got hot in summer sun-so be careful is hot gets near it as it can let go .Cactus Pots your photos do not open for me.
  9. hey sorry I pissed you off, din't mean to. Everyone has to make their own decisions and only you have all the info to make the right one for yourself and your business. I was just tossing out some thoughts hoping they might be helpful. I'm certainly no expert and any and all of my advice might not be right for your situation.
  10. Well, here's another thought . Anything short of smashing the pot will put them on the "market". These pots will have a travel life long after we are gone. If you're so concerned about your legacy, then by all means smash away. I read in one of the Brother Thomas books that he smashed the vast majority of any kiln load. I'd like to have access to his shard pile. That attitude certainly helped the Pucker Gallery make a fortune off his work.
  11. just read your post while I was typing, nah I would never send a repaired piece to a wholesaler. Epoxy is not near as infallible as you think. We've used a couple over the years for designs that used epoxied parts (I forget the brands off the top of my head but they were 2 part and the 'right' ones to use) and we had a few failures and stopped selling those designs. Very popular and profitable but didn't like that they could separate even though they were solid when made. Fortunately the the failures were ours and a family member and we never had a customer complain. Over time there will always be a chance of the repair failing and it just seems unfair to sell that to a retailer for them to resell to their customers. I would also bet that if one of your retailers got a pot back that clearly had a repair by you that account might be in jeopardy. Don't mean to be preachy, just an opinion.
  12. Sanding the bottom of a pot is not a repair, because it's permanent. Applying a finish to a porous pot is not. The most important thing about ceramics is that it is permanent. Archaeological digs are usually looking for ceramics if possible. I think we are mixing the definitions of repair from anything done post firing to reassembling multiple pieces. My opinion is that if using epoxy to fill a crack is a repair, then so is urethane, wax or any other surface enhancing application.
  13. go to YouTube and watch as many wood firing videos as you can.. you will get a good idea of how to place your pot for maximizing the ash contact.. the kiln will have sweet spots where the pots naturally get more ash or you can put your pot on its side . you "should" get 1 ash glazed side and 1 that is not.. if you place your pot on its foot, your foot may turn out really awesome but you cant see it as the pot sits on it... your asking for problems with a cone 6 glaze- you wont be happy.. maximizing the output- if it were me, i would be happy as could be to simply be part of the firing. learn as much as you possibly can, be there on site as much as you can- i would keep every pot if it were me.. not many wood firings in my area..
  14. I agree with Liam that just absorbing them into your own garden is a great way to go and trash the rest. A fail is a fail and just a cost of doing business. There is always, always going to be a failure percentage and if you start trying to eliminate or reduce this by repairing cracks or allowing obvious flawed pots hit the market it is a slippy slope and really seems like a bad way to go. That said we have done a box or two of heavily reduced two of 2nds with really really small defects and nothing 'repaired'. Personally I think 2nds should mostly be small glaze defects that keep it off the shelf but otherwise a perfectly fine pot. The defect is perfectly noticeable and the person picking up a 2nd will often ask why its reduced and you can point it out. A slash across the bottom with a sharpie might be a good way to make sure most others know its a 2nd if your worried about rep. I think a lot of people that buy pottery understand the slash or 'x' on the bottom indicates a 2nd. One bright spot is that clay and glaze is cheap so it's just time, spread the labor cost across the pots that make it through the process and price accordingly by using a plug percentage for failures.
  15. Oh, aye that; here's the 112 and 113. I'm cutting, grinding, heating, bending, and sharpening cutting and trimming tools from available materials (e.g. old/dull saw blades) where I'd like to try something a bit different.
  16. The only reason I don't sell a pot like this is that I need a good number of pieces for trade for plants, or such. When I point out the "repair", my friends laugh at me for overly fussiness. Actually, the other reason is that I mostly wholesale and don't want my retailer to be in the position of a customer finding fault. That said, this pot was not broken. A piece of the decoration separated at the foot. The filler is 2 part epoxy which is as permanent as the clay, discounting refiring the piece.
  17. For me, I wouldn't sell anything repaired, but I make dishes. If it's going to last for a long time, it can't start out damaged. I have turned some glaze mistakes into planters, but it was an error that only I would have thought of as an error, and I don't make a habit of it. That said, there are some that work in a much more decorative vein who have capitalized on breaks, and incorporated them into the piece, making it more effective. I'm thinking of Mariko Paterson, who makes a lot of really involved, detailed work. She had some platters crack while in process, so she wound up filling them with hot pink epoxy and glitter, which assisted the subject matter of the piece. Since it was never intended for food use, in this instance something like that worked.
  18. I see what you're getting at here, but would you consider sanding the bottom of a mug to be a repair? A repair implies that it was broken and put back together. Sealing a raku pot is just part of the process. I see raku like any other non-functional or sculptural work- there are no rules when it comes to how to deal with the surface. If that means a non-fired treatment, so be it.
  19. The quality of the repair isn't the issue for me. It's the fact that there's a repair at all. I won't sell something that was broken and then glued back together. Quality control.
  20. poor dad, just trying to help. Good luck with the fix. If you can even it out and then drop the lid down then Dad did actually help by solving the original problem, just didn't know how to finish the job is all.
  21. hulk, that is the exact opposite bevel to the one i use. and yours is flat so it does not gather and disperse the crumbs. that is what the curved "like an eagle talon" shape does for me. the very best one was discontinued in the 1970s and i think i bought the last two in existence back then. long worn down too much to use. the Speedball is a poor substitute but the best one i have found.
  22. Did you mean these were the element resistance measurements, in Ohms, not amps? That would match up with the wiring diagram.
  23. If you put a sealer or finish of any kind over the surface of raku, wouldn't that count as a repair?
  24. Possibly, there is confusion regarding the difference in our work and the quality of the repair. Here is a good example of what I'm talking about.
  25. I give a box of seconds away at xmas every few years -on a take one basis depending on the issue -usually its to customers but also anyone who sees the sign-nothing thats hurtful or going to not work well. Just pots that are a bit off. I usually do not want anything for them I used to never do this but at my xmas booth if I have a pile of true seconds I have done this before.Its ben a good feeling for those who cannot afford the work as well, during the holidays. This year I do not have any. Seconds are best left to the hammer most of the time.Repairs on functional ware will not stand the test time so why bother.
  26. OK, Neil has the correct drawing I believe so TNF for now which I think is correct, and looking closely at your picture probably wired OK but likely has a problem with top or bottom wiring, relay or connections based on your results and your measured amperages. Some of the difficulty diagnosing this has to do with where you place your meter to measure. So to that I took your picture and made notations of how these things should be connected to your relays, themselves as well as where to measure the amperages. There are basically three amperages to check and the best way is to measure is the wires that go to each relay. So You should measure R1, R2 and R3 as shown (only one of the two wires is necessary) and compare to what I have written down as the anticipated "New element" amperage. This also assumes that your voltage is truly 240 Volts so if you are very close then all is likely good with that element set. An interesting thing to know The top and bottom elements are identical and should measure nearly the same so - about 13.3 amps top (R1) and 13.3 amps bottom (R3) The middle (four) elements are hooked in series parallel and act as one giant 5000 W element, 20.9 amps (R2) Suggested I like neat wiring and neat clean tight connections. It not only looks good but decreases heating in the wires, so when you can: neat, clean appropriate length connections with some room to be cut back and repaired later. Not a huge amount, maybe 4 inches of spare, no unnecessary loops and double backs. Wires to be amprobed (Clamp on Ammeter) can often be tie wrapped at a convenient point making it easier to remember and measure in the future. There are only three basic amperages to measure in this kiln as a starting diagnostic. Top element(s), Middle element(s) and bottom element(s) Last observation I think you will find a bad relay, or loose wire or burned end so look closely with the power off The thermocouple - if it is working now likely will not fix this, its not a thermocouple issue. I have written your anticipated new element resistance as well. This is a great way with power off to be able to check the wear and tear on them. The easiest way I believe is to measure as marked and once these values rise by 10% or in the case of measuring amperage the amperage decreases 10% your elements are wearing out and likely need replacement soon. This kiln has three zones of heating. when measuring amperage just clamp around one of the two wires that goes to the element set. This is the amperage for the whole element. Either wire can be clamped around and in these circuits they will measure identically one at a time. Good Luck, stay safe and good luck with your show!
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