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Posts posted by akin4843

  1. Hi guys. I have yet another question. I bisque fired some pots yesterday and used the kiln sitter for the second time. I put in a ^05 junior cone in it and had the witness cones at 06, 05, & 04. I usually babysit the kiln and shut it off myself when the middle witness cone falls. Yesterday the kiln shut off and when I looked in the peep hole I saw the first cone bend but the middle one (05) was only slightly starting to bend. Is this normal for sitters? Its only my second time using the sitter - kiln is a Skutt 1027 KS. The first time I used it, the same thing happened, but I was glaze firing so things still came out good. If it's not normal, I'm assuming the pieces got bisqued at 06, so is that a good temp for ^6 clay, or is it under-fired? Thanks in advance. I've learned so much from you folks already!

  2. Not sure if this goes in this forum or the studio, so feel free to move it if it's wrong.......


    Well, recently I tried porcelain for the first time and all was good until I tried recycling it. I did everything I normally do w/ stoneware (let scraps dry, rehydrate them in water, then dump wet slop into a plaster mold I use). The next morning I wake up to find what I thought was nice clay ready to be wedged....WRONG! When I picked it up to wedge, it immediately crumbled and became unwedgeable. Its still moisturized, but in a bunch of tiny, crumbly, chalky pieces. Thats the other thing, as soon as I started hydrating it, the stuff that collected at the bottom of the bucket was real chalky. But thats probably what its supposed to be like, not sure since this is my first experience w/ porcelain.


    So, what did I do wrong? I would really like to reclaim it, as I really enjoy working with it and getting more isn't the most convenient method (must drive 3 hrs to pick up b/c shipping is too expensive). Any advice is appreciated. I should mention I'm using a ^6 domestic porcelain from alligator clay.

  3. I am using a Skutt Manual Kiln (Lo/Med/High Knobs) and this is my second glaze firing on the kiln. The first batch came out where I'm pretty sure I over fired because they all came out brown. Well this time I stopped the kiln (sitter is broken) earlier to see what happens and I noticed that the color of some pots are "ok" while others are still too dark. You can see below and example. In the pic those two bowls are the same glaze color (croc blue/coyote) but the one on the right is just way to dark. I forgot to note what part of the kiln the pots were stationed so I can't rule out uneven elements....although the elements are new. Also, this was done at cone 6. I was wondering if I fired at cone 5 would I get better results...Not sure what to do here as I have little knowledge of kilns and this old manual kiln was all I can afford at the moment..Any ideas/suggestions? Thanks in advance!


  4. Thanks for the replies everyone. The reason I want the chart is purely for reference, not as an end-all/be-all. Sometimes when I'm throwing (let's say a mug with 1.5 lbs of clay), I often wonder if that's an appropriate amount b/c I find everything I throw to be too small once it comes out the kiln. The charts you guys have linked are essentially the same chart I found through google and it really confuses me b/c of the oz. My scale doesn't have oz. and I wonder why you would need to get something down to the oz. anyway. If it's 14 oz. then why not just say 1 lb. (close enough for me, anyway). I will look up that book Dianne mentioned and see what that's about. I just like having a reference around is all since I'm a total beginner and don't have the skill to even throw 4 lbs of clay (yikes).

  5. Does anyone know of any good weight/size/measurement charts for different types of pots? My ceramics teacher used to have a chart that listed the type of pot (mug/cereal bowl/pitcher, etc), how much clay to use (in lbs.), and how tall & wide each piece should be. I kick myself when I think how I should have copied that stuff down b/c I can't find anything anywhere similar. There are a few sites that have them put the weight is in oz. & ml. I would like something that lists how many lbs. b/c that's how my scale is. I am just starting out on my own, having already graduated and I would find this pretty handy to have. Thanks in advance...

  6. One trick I learned from an old CM magazine. Get a short length of1/4 inch rubber of plastic tubing . Hold it about an inch from the inspection hole where your cones are, and blow some air through. It will cool the cones momentarily and they will be dark enough to see in front of the glare of the furnace. 


    I got too close the first time and melted the end of the tubing. But it works and doesn't require special glasses. I don't know if this would work for a gas kiln but it works for an electric kiln.

    Oh my! With my clumsiness I'd probably do something dumb. Wouldn't the cold air going into the hot kiln cause some sort of temp. disturbance?

  7. I recently performed my first glaze firing this weekend and noticed that the cones were very hard to see once the kiln was at full throttle (I was not using a sitter). So much so that I over-fired all but one mug :( So, I've decided to buy some goggles/glasses to help me see inside the peep hole better, but not sure which option is best. I found some didymium blue glasses and much cheaper green infrareds, but will they both help me see what I need to see? Any thoughts?


  8. After lots of lurking and 1 post I feel inclined to say something. This is directed toward the original poster (I'm staying out of the other discussions): I noticed you got pretty defensive when someone didn't reply with "OMG your stuff is awesome"! I am currently pursuing my BFA (Graphic Design, but still) and can tell you that you most definately will have critiques for all your art classes and everyone will tell you like it is. And some teachers have been known to purposely say only negative things to make you want to improve. You MUST have a thick hide in order to succeed. Take what these wonderful people said and whatever your future professors/fellow students say and apply it to your work. Don't whine, don't try to argue with them, just say thanks and see if you can improve based on their advice. Of course, you don't have to apply EVERYONE'S advice, but you should take a good, hard look at what's wrong with your work.


    Just because someone is raving over your work right now and can't believe that you can do what you do at 17, doesn't mean it will always be this way. For every compliment you get, there will be 10 negative things that will be said about your work. Just thought I would put my 2 cents in, even though something similar was said by MEA and a few others. Maybe you'll listen to someone who is in college right now and experiencing the same things you will most definately experience. Take what you will, but getting even the slightest bit flustered will show your flaws.




  9. Mea I love this! Like you, I am also getting my education in graphic design. I think this is a wonderful idea to combine two art skills. It makes the work feel more complete and screams to the buyer "Buy Me!" If I may ask, are you still working as a graphic designer? If so, how do you juggle to two professions? I sometimes feel torn because I am putting all my effort and money into school for G.D. but also want to do pottery. I want to do both and be successful with both but not sure if it's even possible.

  10. Hello everyone! I am an amateur potter (novice on the wheel, decent with hand-building) looking to start a home studio. I saw an ad in the paper for a Skutt KS 1027 for $100 bucks. At the time I thought, "this is probably the best deal I'll ever get so I better jump at it!" When I got to the sellers house, she told me it was her deceased sister's kiln and she really didn't know how to turn it on, much less if it worked. Well, me being a sucker for a good deal, I bought it. Now that I have it home, I don't know what to do with it. It had been sitting under a shed but the inside looks to be in tact (only a few cracked/crumbled bricks) and I did go ahead and order a new bottom slab from Skutt because the old one had huge cracks in it. I got my step-dad to put it in his warehouse that has a 220 hookup and its plugged in. I guess what I'm asking is, what should I look for to see if it works once I turn it on. I don't want to just turn it on and put a load in and cross my fingers. I live in a very small, southern town where there are no "kiln repairmen" or art community for a couple hundred miles. Can someone give me a few pointers. I have only ever loaded a kiln. I have a few youtube videos and I do have a .pdf skutt manual, so I can figure out how to operate it, once I know that it works.


    thanks for any advice in advance

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