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Everything posted by perkolator

  1. Main reason why I discourage people from using wadded newspaper and other armatures when hand building sculpture, they're usually unnecessary with proper construction methods and can create problems like you're experiencing. I'd bust out a drill and make a hole up into the neck cavity from the base, then get at it with extracting as much paper as you can.
  2. Silicone only really likes to stick to silicone, otherwise you're looking at more of a mechanical fit. My best advice is to get a hold of some food-grade casting silicone and basically cast your own ONTO the clay object.
  3. First thing you EVER do when working in a new studio is measure the kilns
  4. For shelves I usually start with hand tools -- cold chisel/hammer/silicon carbide rub-brick. Bad drips that eat into furniture I use a 4" angle grinder with a diamond-core grinder head -- I used to use a silicon carbide masonry head but the diamond-core head works amazingly well in comparison.
  5. Anyone looking for a good stick blender, I finally found one. Waring Pro WSB33 commercial grade at only $80 on Amazon. Went through 3x Cuisinart stick blenders, they all failed at the connection where the shaft detaches for cleaning (plastic parts inside). Anyways, this one does not come apart, steel guts inside and haven't been able to kill it yet Follow up with small Talisman test sieve. Larger batches using a drill with paint mixer head (do Jiffy mixers really do that much better???) and follow up with Talisman crank sieve. Rarely do dry mixing of glaze, it's always inside a
  6. No prob. I think the key to his success was to make a base coat of exterior house paint, then he'd use acrylics and whatnot to do his line work. He only used quality acrylics, like Golden I believe, I doubt the cheaper paints would last as long as these did. Good luck
  7. Nail polish, enamel paint, acrylics, latex paint, etc. Artist friend of mine used to paint a lot of his work with "oops paint" from hardware stores and good quality acrylics -- his painted surfaces have held up on some of his outdoor pieces exposed to CA sun and "winters" for the last 10+ years and only in last few years have seemed to fade (the acrylics)
  8. FYI, Placer High School in Auburn CA is hiring a new Art Faculty to take over Ceramics. Job just got posted this week: https://www.edjoin.org/Home/JobPosting/1016332 They want someone good, someone who knows ceramics and who will help continue inspiring and attracting students to their awesome art department - so pass this along to anyone you know who's looking. The classroom is already setup - lots of nice butcher block work tables, an elevated wheel throwing area for their electric wheels, attached kiln room with a brand new Skutt oval and another 1227, outdoor kiln yard se
  9. Wondering if anyone can please share their source for thicker nichrome or kanthal wire and rods? Thick as in anywhere from say 8-16 gauge thickness (~3mm-1.5mm), not the thin stuff. Want to make some custom kiln furniture such as stilts and bead racks, etc. The nichrome at all the local places is too thin for our application, like 20ga or thinner. They do carry the normal 1/8" bead rack rods, but they add up $ quickly when sold a la carte. Some of the thicker rolls of wire I'm finding are about 12ga at about $1.75/ft For something like 9ga I'm seeing about $4/ft
  10. ^Sorta, yes. The glaze in question is just a matte white, the speckled look you want comes from interaction with the iron in clay body mainly. If you're looking for something to experiment with I'd suggest you try ilmenite. Can be added into your glaze or wedged into your clay body to create speckles.
  11. For a project like this I'm thinking you need a slip/engobe that has a much higher than normal tensile strength or to cast it thicker - otherwise it's super fragile like you're experiencing, like look at it wrong and it's going to break, lol. The problem with trying to "layer" your material and gain thickness is that you now lose all the detail you were trying to capture -- such as the texture of fabric, yarn, sponge in this case, etc. The key is to have a very fine particle size and allow it lots of time to wick up into the material you're trying to impregnate with slip. Ceramics t
  12. I can't think of anything either that resembles glaze and is a cold surface other than paint. Closest thing I could suggest is silicone ( and possibly clear epoxy resin) There are silicone casting products that are rated food-safe - an example would be Smooth-On "SORTA-Clear", which is a translucent silicone rubber (I think you can tint/color it too?) Not sure about the epoxy resin products. I'd assume fine for cold items, but not for warm items. Silicone is good up to at least 400+*F, you can stick it in the oven for baking or pour molten sugar in them for candy, etc.
  13. Have you tried firing it even hotter than ^6? Like up to ^7 even though it's a ^6 clay? IMO it's worth a test (use a waste tray/shelf underneath just in case) You mention you "can't see any crazing"....to a molecule of water or a tiny bacteria, a teeny tiny fissure in the glaze is like the grand canyon, of course it will make it's way through! If your glaze is crazed, the glaze and clay body do not fit one another, their coefficient of expansion is too dissimilar. This is only part of your problem, the other seems to be lack of vitrification in the clay itself. For those experiencing s
  14. A lot of people come and ask me about used kilns they either see for sale or have been offered. Besides looking for the obvious things mentioned above, one of the most overlooked things I've noticed is that people don't pay attention to the power requirements and somehow end up looking at 3-phase kilns instead of 1-phase that most residential has. Yes, pretty much any kiln with a sitter can be converted to a digital control box.
  15. I have no science behind this, but if you're crash cooling at the top end of your temp you're going to end up pulling in significantly cooler air through your peep holes - could possibly thermally shock hot elements and brick local to the peeps. I do it because I already know I'll be working on my kilns continuously through the year, some home ceramicists might not ever touch their equipment until it breaks. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. I've been known to crash cool the student's work in a big gas kiln firing - just leave the damper and burner ports fully open and remov
  16. For crash cooling I usually let the students pull spy plugs below 600*. Crack the lid with a piece of soft brick when it's below maybe 400*. Fully open lids at 250* or lower and unload with gloves if need be. Typically leave vent on until room temp.
  17. For a damp box it likely won't make any difference since I'm assuming it's the type with just a slab of plaster. If it's slip casting molds then it likely would. I've always known regular gypsum plaster to be "weaker" than the Pottery #1. Your mold will degrade faster and won't hold the detail as long. I also think they have different absorption rates.
  18. You can use either Frit, Gerstley Borate, or make an underglaze with equal parts clay color and flux. Frits, being fired material usually leave a gritty/sandy texture to the wash, some people use CMC, laundry starch, karo syrup, etc to help. Usually I use GB and CMC gum solution, sometimes add a little bit of EPK in it too. Look up Linda Arbuckle's majolica notes, she's got a lot of suggestions for combos of washes. Most are by volume, not weight. Here ya go: http://lindaarbuckle.com/handouts/majolica-handout.pdf http://ceramicsweb.org/articles/arbucklemajolica.html
  19. since we essentially duplicate the process of forming rocks, all of our ceramics is permanent and will be here until it melts again with some great force of energy. maybe some sort of ultra hot explosion from warfare, volcano or lava flow, or perhaps heat from asteroid colliding with Earth. with that said, there is a lot of terrible ceramics out there that will be here forever.
  20. our students do this all the time with both commercial tile and dinnerware from thrift stores. simply use low-fire commercial glazes and underglazes. decals also work. definitely make sure you test fire the object at the temp you plan on firing to BEFORE you do your entire kiln full of them - sometimes we'll come across a random tile or plate that looks all good, only to find a puddle where it sat in the kiln. also, not all colors work with this technique - for example greens with chrome sometimes don't fuse well or flux out with the existing glaze
  21. aside from the foot itself, you will have to learn to use and control your glazes so you can get them close to the edge without them flowing past - test test test
  22. pretty sure the top loading Bailey electrics are the same as a Skutt, where elements go directly into the soft brick channel. It's the front-loaders he now makes that have the element holders similar to an L&L. Personally, I don't see the issue with a Skutt kilns, I think they are great. I'm on the West Coast, they are also, so why would I not support them? I don't really ever have issues where I need help with them, but when I do call Skutt I always have quick help and excellent service. Have 7 here in studio and know numerous people that own them at home or in other schools. See
  23. 10% is right about the starting point you want to use any mason stain in glazes, slips, clays, etc if you want to get the intended color.
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