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About terraforma

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  • Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests
    Cone 10 reduction stoneware and porcelain, kiln firing, glaze chemistry, surface decoration

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  1. First chance I've had to check back on this discussion. Thank you VERY much to all so far who have answered. And to neilestrick especially—truly a revelation I have to study further, that I can reformulate the Heino Turquoise for cone 6. I will have to do much studying of glaze formulation to see what I can do about this. With its spectacular complexity of color and speckling, I miss this more than perhaps anything else about cone 10 reduction firing—second most-missed for me are the wonderful gradations of toastiness and speckling of the clays themselves.
  2. I have a new-ish L&L E23T kiln with 3" brick; one of the reasons I chose it was its ability to fire to cone 10. Now it seems that I might want to actually start to do that once in a while—I will mostly use it for bisque and cone 5/6. The motivation to do this is that since I left my last membership studio, I had a small load of cone 10 work gas fired at a friends studio, where I can also use her glazes. Despite the very reasonable $.05 per cu. inch cost, this load cost me $72—more than what two full kiln loads would cost in my electric kiln, and almost double what the friend said it cost in gas for one firing in her kiln! Obviously, that is not sustainable. I know I can't achieve the things I could with cone 10 reduction, but I will limit the firings to what will be happy in oxidation—matte and gloss white, matte black, crawl glaze, and Heino and/or Laguna turquoise. Any advice or words of wisdom about cone 10 electric firing? I'm very new to doing my own firing. I've included a pic of the spectacular Heino glaze from that last gas firing mentioned above; if I could anything close to this in electric oxidation I'd be a very happy potter!
  3. Thank you, Neil. My main concern with the terminology is how I refer to my pottery, say, when I'm posting items on Etsy or describing pieces to buyers at shows. But I am still in that gray area working both with cone 5 and 10, where I have to be careful of which pieces I will glaze fire and which will be taken to my old membership studio for cone 10 firing!
  4. Now that I have my own studio and electric kiln, I'm moving from cone 10 clays to cone 5. This new world of mid-range clays, glazes, and firing is like starting all over again. I'm uncertain about whether cone 5/6 ceramics are correctly referred to as stoneware. Pretty sure that the term "earthenware" refers to low-fire ceramics, but I await the wisdom of those who know better about these things. :-)
  5. I'm getting a new L&L Kiln in just a few days, and it will be installed in a room with a sloping (concrete) floor. The rep at L&L told me to use "metal shims" to level the kiln, but a quick google search doesn't seem to come up with metal shims for this purpose; there are very expensive options for precision situations like machinery, engines, etc. Now it's after hours for L&L, and I'm feeling desperate. Obviously, I can't use wood shims. If there's a very serious difference, can I use concrete pavers as part of the shimming? Just realized how dumb it is that L&L doesn't have leveling feet. I'd love to hear how others have shimmed up and leveled their kilns, or anyone who has a clever idea. Thanks!
  6. I live in Los Angeles, I've just started renting my very own studio in a commercial space, and I need to find an electrician to do some upgrades to include installation of a new electric kiln (either Skutt or L&L, my first kiln, and I've never even fired a kiln yet!!) I've already heard and read more about the myriad nightmares that can come from a bad electrical job than is good for my mental health. Even done by a licensed electrician, when they don't understand the extreme requirements of a kiln! (has anyone seen the instagram pics of @lyonclay's kiln meltdown?) I plan to avoid that from the start if I possibly can Whoever does this work will be getting a strict lecture from me about taking no shortcuts and following the manufacturer's specs and installation instructions TO. THE. LETTER. but it will be more of a comfort to know that the one I hire will have done this at least once before—successfully! Thank you for any and all recommendations and advice!
  7. I, too, will be looking for a second wheel. One thing I'm considering—and you also might want to—is whether you would prefer a removable splash pan that you have to take to the sink to wash, or one with an integral splash pan, such as the Brent, that you have to sponge down. One plus for the removable splash pan is more versatility—if you wanted to throw huge bowls and platters, for example, you could simply remove the splash pan to make room for a huge bat; with an integral splash guard, you might need to attach a "riser" bat so the bottom of the piece is raised above the level of the splash guard. On the other hand, not carrying the splash pan to the sink might be a bonus for you.
  8. Hi all, Thank you all for your recent comments. I'd like to find a clear glaze that works over Amaco Velvets because they are not considered food safe unless they are glazed over; and, because they mostly remain very dry matte in finish after firing, I assume that they can't stand up to the abuse that a functional surface might experience—silverware scraping, dishwasher abuse, etc. If I find this "holy grail" clear glaze, I can finally add some new color pop to the functional interiors of my pieces. I tend to love dry matte finishes, especially including unglazed cone 10 stoneware (Black Mountain!!) and porcelain, but I would definitely love to offer more colorful functional pieces for that large segment of people that want them. Of course, I admit it will be fun for me, too, to have that fresh new palette to play with And my two cents about cone 10 reduction? The gorgeous range of glaze complexity and depth; the happy accidents (especially if they outnumber the unhappy accidents that are all too frequent...); the earthiness and complexity of various unglazed stonewares coming out of the fire; the durability and bell-ringing quality of the highly vitrified ceramic. Of course, I fire at cone 10 also because it is what all of my membership studios have used, as well as the colleges where I took my original ceramics classes. The thought of firing a cone 10 gas kiln myself if/when I finally have my own private studio is, quite frankly, more than a little scary—not to mention the prohibitive cost! When I find that studio, I may dabble in some mid-range firing with the electric kiln I will get, but the majority of my work will still be transported to my favorite cone 10 membership studio for firing. coffeecupsandcuriousities: I haven't yet tested any of the glaze recipes mentioned in this post—I've been absorbing the information coming in. In the new year, I will try the two recipes provided and share pics/info about them. Mark C: Thanks for the formula! I will try soon as I mentioned above. Elaine, Humboldt Potter: did you try that recipe yourself yet? Rayaldridge and Chris Campbell: thank you for mentioning some ingredients to avoid. and Paul, ChenowithArts: thank you for all of your recommendations and for your formula, which (as mentioned above) I will test and share results of as soon as I can manage in this new year!
  9. Here's the DIY video for the splash pan: http://ceramicartsdaily.org/ceramic-studio-equipment/clay-extruders/diy-clay-tools-video-contest-finalist-3/ It's for an extra-large splash pan, but the idea can be easily adapted and modified.
  10. Thank you, Mark--that does look like a very nice cone 10 clear; there may have been a little confusion in my wording, but I'm hoping that someone has a clear glaze that they've experienced as working well specifically over the Amaco Velvet underglazes. I will keep this recipe to test, though.
  11. Yes, I am tilting at windmills... I've been doing tons of trials with Amaco Velvet underglazes to introduce some bright colors to my pieces, and I currently work only in cone 10 reduction. I know what I'm up against, but still I must persist. I apply the underglazes on leatherhard so that they will be bisque-hardened to better withstand cover glazing. Yes, most of the colors will not be true, but I've found many I like—without a clear glaze cover. What I need to find is a clear gloss cover glaze that will not completely alter so many of the colors. Amaco's own house brand has its problems, including the crazy price for enough glaze to dip pieces, (they offered no help "because we sell a clear glaze") and the best choice at my membership studio still transforms most of the colors, some into a completely different spectrum (see image). Does anyone have a clear gloss glaze recipe with a better hope of allowing the underglazes to stay as true as possible in a cone 10 reduction kiln? When you stop laughing, I'd love to hear.
  12. I've learned that it's good to have photos of your work against an all-white background with minimal shadows, in addition to the "lifestyle" shots and graduated background images—this is how a lot of sites/graphic designers/etc. want to have them so that they can easily "slice" the image away from the background and insert it into whatever format they're using (postcards, websites, etc.), to achieve consistency with images from multiple sources. You can do this on the super-cheap and achieve really good results: http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html — this box works well with outdoor light as well as studio light.
  13. I second bciskepottery's answer—I once had a commercial glaze that had settled—quite literally—to dry rock hard at the bottom, while there was still clear water above it. I chiseled out the whole mess into a large tray (including the "clear" water), patiently let it completely dry out, broke it up into fine pieces, and rehydrated it. I have since added a tiny amount of epsom salts solution, and try to remix it about every two weeks if I'm not using it. BTW, I am in love with my Braun stick blender for remixing settled glazes—they don't make them any more, but I found a beauty on Ebay for about $18, and it's one of my favorite tools.
  14. I was about to post this question myself (except that I was going to ask about recommended artist-friendly bookkeeping software), so I will anxiously await anwers as well...
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