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Isculpt

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Everything posted by Isculpt

  1. I've never used a glaze on top of my underglaze finishes, and I'm suddenly unsure about the bottle directions. I have some Amaco LM Series Matt Liquid Glaze, and the bottle instructs me to apply it to "properly matured cone 04 bisque". My clay matures between cones 2 and 6, so my intention was to fire it to cone 2 and then glaze it. I have a glaze that fires to cone 05 and one that fires to cone 5. Can I use either of those to finish the piece, considering that it has to be fired to at least cone 2 at some point? It would be really nice not to have to fire to cone 5, but I'm not sure if e
  2. I usually apply a copper carbonate wash to my sculptures after bisque firing to 06. Then I fire them with the copper carbonate wash again at 06, and then I underglaze and re-fire at cone 2 or whatever is required. My firing schedule just got shortened by a few days, and I'm wondering if I can apply the copper carbonate wash (which is rubbed off and left in crevices) and then apply the underglaze on top of that without the usual in-between firing, proceeding instead to the cone 2 firing. As usual, I'm breathlessly awaiting a reply!
  3. I hand-build and sculpt, and I have accidentally (!) achieved a beautiful crackle finish by dabbing bits of wet clay onto the surface of a sculpture after it had gotten leatherhard. I then bisque-fired it, and liked it so much that I decided to leave it natural, with only a bit of underglaze in a small area for contrast. I would love to post a picture of the effect so that you could judge if it was something you'd like to achieve, but I can't for the life of me make the file attach! (I haven't been able to attach files to my profile since my first attempt, and that photo seems to have disapp
  4. Thanks, y'all. I'm going to search the archives for some contact info for the credit card services offered by the Potters Council. I'm hoping that there is an alternative to an $500 - $800 swipe machine, but I guess it's the computer age and I may have to just accept the cost of joining it.....
  5. I need to be able to accept credit cards for my work, sold primarily in craft show settings. I have followed the links to the card service offered by the Craft Council, and it all looks pretty darned confusing! And the fine print -- don't get me started! Can anyone tell me, simply, what it costs to use the service that is a benefit of membership in the ACC? I had planned to compare it to my bank's offerings, but if I can't fully grasp the info in the link, I certainly can't compare costs. Has anyone found that their bank can compete on the cost? Also, I had a swipe machine 10 years ago w
  6. Yes, I know that cold finishes are frowned upon by many potters, and I fully get it. The first time I heard the term I was in a fancy gallery in Santa Fe admiring a clay sculpture when the saleswoman, describing its attributes, breathed the term as reverently as if it meant "finished in real gold". As I left the gallery, wondering what impressive technique it must refer to, it suddenly hit me -- She means it's PAINTED, for heaven's sake! So, although I prefer to use underglazes on my sculptures, I sometimes need to pump up the colors a bit with acrylics. Which brings me to my question: if
  7. I have been following the post regarding lids stuck to pots by glaze, and it has raised some basic questions for me. I make sculptures, paint them with underglazes and fire them to cone 06. No sticking glaze issues because I only use underglazes. But I was invited to enter two sculptural teapots in a teapot show, and I suddenly find myself with glaze issues! I have bisqued the "pots", underglaze fired them (both firings at 06), and now it's time to add a clear satin cone 5 glaze. I had assumed that the lid and pot would be fired separate from each other, but after reading the post, it loo
  8. If you smoke-fire, and then fire again to a higher temperature, you will burn off the effects of the smoke-fire, a trick that comes in handy if you don't like the way a pot smoke-fired, but disastrous if you were happy with the effects. Typically, you only bisque fire to a low temperature before smoke-firing, something like 018-012. This is the advice that has been given to me by professional potters who finish their pots exclusively with smoke-firings, and I have found it to be accurate. Prior to receiving that advice, I bisqued my pots to 06, and found that the higher temperature only sli
  9. I've researched this issue a number of times, but I've found more useful information here than in a number of detailed web articles. (thanks!) I've discovered that an inexpensive alternative to a cloth backdrop is matte finish laminate -- impervious to tearing, wrinkling, or staining, and readily available at Home Depot, Lowes, and other home improvement stores. I simply clamp a piece of flexible white matte Formica to a table pushed against a wall. Clamping the formica to the front edge of a table forces it to form a gentle curve where it makes contact with the wall behind it. If it gets
  10. A 3 phase circuit is more efficient to wire than single phase. It takes smaller breakers and thinner circuit wires. For this reason, industrial buildings are often wired in 3 phase. And some electric companies charge less for 3 phase power than single phase, because of reduced distribution costs. The main consideration is whether your kiln room is wired for 3 phase power or single phase. Sincerely, Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com Thanks for the link and the general information.
  11. The price for a particular size kiln also varies depending on the kiln series rather than only the brand. Paragon offers several 10.57 cubic foot (28" x 29" interior) kilns: among them the Viking-28 and TnF-28-3. The Viking is more expensive than the TnF-28-3 because the Viking has mercury relays, built-in 30 amp CC fuses, and is a 60 amp kiln while the TnF-28-3 is a 48 amp kiln. You are right about the price difference. Currently the TnF-28-3 is $21 lower than the equivalent Skutt and $28 lower than the L&L. Skutt has usually been the price leader. Sincerely, Arnold Howard Pa
  12. I'm using an old 18" kiln, and I'm ready for a larger one (27x28 at least). It looks like L&L is out of my price range, so I'm looking at Skutt and Paragon. The Paragons seems considerably cheaper than the Skutts, which makes me wonder if I'm comparing apples to oranges in terms of quality. I would only fire it a couple of times a month, since I would use it for larger sculptures, so I don't need a heavy duty production model. I'd like something that can be added to with additional rings, but I'm also considering an oval kiln. I haven't yet seen an oval that can be added to with addit
  13. Thanks for the practical "how to" advice on making terra sig from my clay. Now, because I've gotten curious about this stuff, I really want to know: Why two clays in the recipe? What does the sodium silicate do? How is it that you can make terra sig from a clay totally different from the one you're using for your pot, and there is no compatibility problem? Does terra sig sometimes crack off in the firing, and why? Coincidentally, I was thumbing through an old issue of Ceramics Monthly (September 2000) and found most of my questions answered in the "Questions" section. Thanks fo
  14. Thanks for the practical "how to" advice on making terra sig from my clay. Now, because I've gotten curious about this stuff, I really want to know: Why two clays in the recipe? What does the sodium silicate do? How is it that you can make terra sig from a clay totally different from the one you're using for your pot, and there is no compatibility problem? Does terra sig sometimes crack off in the firing, and why?
  15. So let me get this straight: ANY clay that is not groggy can be used to make terra sigillata? The recipe given in Lark's "Alternative Kilns and Firing Techniques" reads "1.5 cups ball clay, 1.5 cups EPK clay, 10 cups water, 2 tbl sodium silicate". Why those TWO clays? Do they each bring something to the equation that is necessary? If so, does that mean that I couldn't mix 3 cups of a smooth clay into 10 cups water and 2 tbl sodium silicate and get an equally useful terra sig? I'm asking that in particular because I'm using a hand dug clay and I don't want the color of that clay lost to an
  16. This is the novice question of the day (read: dumb) -- I understand that slip is made from the same clay as the pot, but I keep seeing recipes for terra sig, and that confuses me. Can you just use any terra sig recipe and slap it on any unfired clay pot? Is there not a problem with shrinkage differences? Is there some magic ingredient in terra sig that makes it "one size fits all"? I've been wondering this for awhile, but it has suddenly become relevant. I've just made some coil pots from a clay that turned out to be groggier than I realized. After burnishing the pots with a river rock a
  17. Hi lsculpt, Your tried-and-true method of making paper clay from scratch is pretty much the standard "recipe." I have not used fresh clay from the bag to make my clay slip as it is very difficult and time consuming to get a nice, creamy consistency that way. The clay being completely saturated with water is very resistant to taking on more water so it remains in lumps. I guess with a high powered mixer one can force the wet clay into a slurry. The dry clay method I use ensures an even mixing with the paper pulp. Whatever paper is used must be broken down completely into a pulp so wedgi
  18. Thanks, Shirley. I did not imagine that you could throw chunks of wet clay into a bucket of water and after mixing, end up with slip. For some reason I thought drying the clay first was the way to go. I learned a few other things -- like the imporance of ensuring the paper was thoroughly pulverized. Thanks again. Jayne
  19. You might try making your support rods out of clay, fire them, then use them as the armature. They will be brittle, but strong, and you can shape them any way you want. Of course, shrinkage will still have to be dealt with. . . Interesting idea. Thanks to everyone who contributed sources and ideas.... Jayne
  20. I have a tried-and-true method for making paper clay from dried scraps of regular clay: I place the scraps in a heavy bag (like a 20-lb dog food bag), lay the bag in my driveway and drive my car back and forth over it to crush the scraps into small pieces. Then I pour the bits into a bucket, add water and mushy cellulose, mix a few times and pour it out to dry. My method works fine with dry clay (although I'm open to easier methods!), but I'm trying to find a way to make paper clay out of wet clay fresh from the clay store. Someone suggested placing sheets of toilet paper between slices of
  21. I have made beaded mugs using nichrome wire bent into little u-shaped pieces which are stuck into the clay when it was leather hard. Then they are fired to cone 6 and they work fine. A friend uses nichrome at cone 10. Sylvia Thanks, Sylvia. Where do you find nichrome wire? And hello again, Idaho. I know that some folks use paperclay as an armature, but a paperclay "rod" that's 1/4" to 1/2" in diameter is not strong enough in my experience. Thanks for all the help... I got mine at Bracker's but any good supplier should have it. Sylvia
  22. Thanks Madison for the sources and ideas ("put them in the kilnand see how they do" BEFORE putting them in a labor intensive sculpture -- uh, why didn't I think of that!!). Those two websites are treasure troves -- I may as well plan to take tomorrow off so I can look at EVERYTHING they offer! Jayne
  23. I have made beaded mugs using nichrome wire bent into little u-shaped pieces which are stuck into the clay when it was leather hard. Then they are fired to cone 6 and they work fine. A friend uses nichrome at cone 10. Sylvia Thanks, Sylvia. Where do you find nichrome wire? And hello again, Idaho. I know that some folks use paperclay as an armature, but a paperclay "rod" that's 1/4" to 1/2" in diameter is not strong enough in my experience.
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