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Everything posted by perkolator

  1. I like to use a dental pick or a needle tool for glaze drips on soft brick. Weaken the surrounding brick as close to the glaze as possible, with pokes/perforations, then apply leverage and dig/pop it out. Usually this minimizes damaging the non-affected brick. For fill, use kiln mortar with about 60% brick dust mixed in - helps lessen cracking from the dissimilar COE of the brick vs mortar. Another good reference for brick repairs are the videos on Youtube from L&L Kilns.
  2. Sometimes I get a chuckle when thinking about this subject. Most of you guys are making smaller, functional work; the studio i work in is on the oppsite side of ceramics, lol. Imagine trying to control this on a much bigger scale....like work that is several feet tall sculpture, 1-2" thick in some places and weighs maybe 300lbs...talk about the forces of nature/kiln firing showing its ugly face in some work. Placement in a kiln stack has a HUGE effect on the work!
  3. I'd say test the work without the extra insurance and make the mistake, grind it off and learn control from this mistake so you don't do it again For "waste shelves", wadding, biscuits, whatever you want to call them - use a broken kiln shelf or a piece of clay body. Too much risk with unknown tiles...unless youve tested and confirmed the use in this application. FYI, CI Products now carries a great diamond grinding wheel for angle grinders...works fantastic! Our students tend to make messes that are fun to clean
  4. OOOH that central vacuum system is on my wish-list to add to the studio! So want an outlet in every room for easy cleanup! Imagine being able to push floor sweepings toward a flap that will take it all away.... On the subject of filters....the P/N-100 is a great filter, probably one of the best ones you can get but from what I was told by my EH&S Respirator Fit Tester, they are not for all types of users vs something like an P/N-95 which most people are comfortable using for their task. The reason is because it takes more lung strength to draw air through them (since they filter better, duh) - so I guess those with any health compromise, older age, or whatever it is might struggle during an extended work period wearing the device. If you're using it for a short time you'll likely be fine. The N-95 still filters out 95% of the bad stuff.... Also, I remember you used to be able to buy "dust masks" at Home Depot, now when you buy one (I want to say ever since 9-11 when ppl were wearing lots of respirators in the aftermath) they're all N-95s and you cannot even buy a "nuisance mask" anymore since we've accepted that better filtration is healthier and it's kinda now the minimum standard. Your exposure limit is entirely dependent on how you handle your materials. If you're dropping dry powdered clay/glaze materials from 1ft off the ground you'll have a different exposure than dropping it from 6ft off the ground obviously...Or if you never sweep your studio and like to stand/walk on a weeks worth of clay trimmings, which crush up and go airborne... Anyways, I have personally gone through air monitoring, using lapel and respirator particulate monitoring device in studio to see whether we need to make a "requirement" for wearing them in studio. This was for mixing clay from dry powder on our mixers which we load at chest-level, making glazes and slip for about an hour and dry sweeping a 6000sq ft studio without sweeping compound. The finding was that our particulate level was below the OSHA numbers for making respirators a requirement. Keep in mind that OSHA is figuring this level based on an 8hr work day, much more than your hobbyist doing a task 4x a year for an hour...
  5. Can't help on source for stoppers. I would personally try to use a synthetic cork for this, so there's less risk of the cork snapping in half, or at least reduce the length to help prevent it. For adhesive, I don't see it coming in contact with the contents, so anything could likely work. Most likely I would try any of the following: E-6000, 100% silicone caulk, 2-part epoxy.
  6. Silica dust is carcinogenic, try to avoid breathing any clay or glaze materials particulates whenever possible. Some things that come to mind for general studio safety: - Cheap disposable or reusable chemical gloves for glaze handling and misc hand-protection needs. - Chem goggles/eye protection for cleaning out glaze containers or flying debris from chipping/grinding fired glaze. - CMC gum in glazes to keep glaze from powdering off when transferring glazed work to kiln. - Particulate-rated NIOSH respirator for general studio use. I like 3M N95 8210 particulate respirator. Use 8011s if you have a small face. You can get higher filtering, but they are hard to breath through IMO. - Leather gloves for handling hot wares from kiln, sharp edges of wares stuck to kiln shelves, etc. - Try NOT to dry sweep, use wet-cleanup methods whenever practical. Sponge it down, mop it. - If dry sweeping use a respirator, provide ventilation, use floor sweeping compound if you have it. - Obtain MSDS info on any chemicals you have in your studio and ACTUALLY READ IT so you know how to handle, transport or dispose of your material, etc. - Clean up studio daily. In regards to your mold issue, I dunno what to do there. Sounds like your studio is too well sealed. You may consider some sort of ventilation for the room. Also, I don't know how you store your wet clay or wet in-progress work, but try to isolate it with plastic or store it somehow so the moisture doesn't raise the whole room's humidity.
  7. GOOD: chisel, silicon carbide rub brick, white stilt stone, etc. BETTER: bench grinder, angle grinder, dremel, cutoff wheel, diamond blade, etc. BEST: diamond bits -- look at what CI Products offers - they have fancy grinding discs for putting on bats for use on potters wheel, small bits for rotary tools, hand sanding/honing pads, diamond grinder accessories, etc.
  8. I'd say just start using it and learn from any mistakes you make. Clay consistency is HUGE factor when extruding clay. Good luck!
  9. Pretty cool idea, my son would love this! Wondering if there would be potential problems with the surrounding wax shedding off should there be too much heat transfer?
  10. Did you get this figured out? Which Bailey extruder system do you have? We have 3 extruders in my studio - manual Bailey wall mount, free-standing Bailey pneumatic, and a custom 14" hydraulic extruder. Does your extruder function without any clay in it? Obviously it should. If it's the pneumatic extruder - you have to press the foot pedal and let air through in order to see any reading on the regulator. I don't really know how you can jam up a manual extruder unless the plunger gets stuck/wedged from an object or misalignment. Soft clay is the key to getting clay to come out, less resistance for certain shapes. Lubricating with water on the clay/in the hopper helps tremendously. Bailey recommends spraying WD-40 on the wood die plates when you first start using them, i've noticed it help slightly. Beveled edges seem to help on some shapes too.
  11. Glad you got it figured out. I have all Skutt electrics in my studio. The new Skutt control boxes are awesome, I have only one (all others are 20 years old!!!) - but it allows you do do diagnostic stuff from it. Skutt website has tech info and links to videos on how to test and troubleshoot. Also, their kiln techs DO answer the phone and will help you out with questions.
  12. Try Ferro Frit TR-1132. It's one of the few remaining frits with "lead" contents that you can still buy. We use it in our studio as a sub for a few older items we can't get anymore. Testing definitely required, but at least its a place to start! Funny thing is I'm currently staring at a 5-gal bucket about half-full of Litharge that I recently found in my storeroom from a bunch of things donated a few years ago. Fun-Dip time, yum!
  13. I've been buying the pint jars lately because of the solidification issue. We used to consume a decent amount of SS in our studio and I was getting it in gallon size, but now I hardly see it being used. Last time I bought one of those gallons was about 6-7 years ago and last year it turned into a solid mass in the jar. It was the type of plastic bottle that looks like a jug with handle, not the wide-mouth style 1gal. Stored on a shelf with everything else. I'd never heard of or seen any products do this before, weird.
  14. Any watercolor paints that use oxides/minerals for color will leave a deposit. Biodegradable and plant-based inks will burn out. Same general rule applies to acrylic other paints too.
  15. There's a company called CI Products/DiamondCore Tools - they are/were a vendor at NCECA for the past few years. They carry diamondcore tools for doing this type of stuff - bits for rotary tools, sanding pads, polishing bits, etc. Anyways, with some tapered down abrasives from them you can get your glaze spots pretty smooth. An individual in my studio has been doing this on her work - she's been glazing these pieces all the way around and uses stilts, so of course has some cleanup work to do. Getting pretty good results, but not perfectly glassy yet. I'm sure this is a skill to learn just like everything else. For most people it's likely easier to just leave a bare spot.
  16. For something like this you could use almost anything. Hot glue, E-6000, silicone caulking, liquid nails, etc. Heck, you can even just use those staples/brads to hold it in the frame. Just make sure the FRAME is up to the task.
  17. Glad you got it resolved and it was so simple! I've got an old Alpine gear driven wheel at home that was "broken" when I got it -- needed a fuse! My pedal looks much different. Those old wheels are torque monsters with that gear drive though!
  18. I'd love to know what it is too --- I think I've seen similar glaze all over some ceramic items I saw once at Crate & Barrel. They had it on big charger plates and I just stood there seduced by the depth and color, while trying to figure out not only how they did it, but how they also priced it so low!
  19. I'm looking into getting the Enduring Images decal printer for our studio. Yes it's expensive at around $8k for schools but there aren't many options for DIY approach to color decal printing. Faculty want it since we don't really have any "modern tech" equipment in our studio. I think it will be a good investment since this type of tech will easily pair with the aesthetics of the current 20 year old student population. I suppose I'll have to update if we magically get approved for funds and buy one FYI - Consumables pricing supposedly works out to being around $0.06/sq inch of printed surface at 80:20 color saturation. Not too bad IMO.
  20. Some matte glazes will do this on their own, completely dependent on application. Usually I see these glazes go darker when thin and go opaque when layered thicker - which in this case you're seeing brush strokes. Also look at the thick spots in the recesses of the texture on the left side, opaque.
  21. Kind of depends on the glaze, glazes with lots of clay in them tend to not hardpan. Bentonite is typically used to aid in glaze suspension. At 1-2% there is enough to help suspension, but not enough to mess with the glaze. I don't always add bentonite, but I DO always add CMC gum solution to my glazes. It helps with suspension, flow off the brush/brushability, and more importantly it forms a "hard coating" that keeps the glaze from rubbing off in greenware state.
  22. All the Skutts at my studio are 20 years old. All with original control boxes except for one kiln that was a victim of vandalism a few years ago (had a break-in and they decided to pour a Coke down the control panel through the vent fins). They all seem to function just fine with the exception most of them have lost their "sound/beep" from the control pad. 300 firings is incredible! I think I get around 100-200 firings out of a relay in a Skutt 1227, 208v 3ph. Smaller kilns like our 1027 and 818 get more firings, closer to the 200 mark. I've had relays fail all sorts of ways over the years (even fail closed and keep firing, which they are not designed to do for safety reasons). We do a lot of ^04 firings with thick sculpture that sees a lot of on/off of the relays due to the firing programs we use to accommodate the thicker work. I, too, started writing dates on all my repairs like relays and keep a spread sheet of all repairs. I really need to get everyone on board with documenting every electric kiln firing though, it's kind of a free-for-all with electrics; then I'll know exactly how many firings, the programs being used, and I'll know if firing durations are changing over time. I also write a date and vendor name on every bag of materials I buy.
  23. If you're trying to add extra insulation to a 2.5" kiln, my gut says it'd be smarter to invest in some ITC-100 vs the fiber jacket
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