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About LilyT

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    What interests are there other than pottery? Well, a little glassblowing.
  1. Several of the Amaco PC glazes have crawled when I used them. The coatings need to be thick, and I can see that you are getting the float effect so yours is thick. I think that the nice thin pieces like yours need extra time to let the first coat(s) dry before applying the subsequent coat(s), otherwise the first coat isn't firmed up yet, and the rehydrating action of the new coat might cause it to loosen from the pot... though not necessarily visibly. HAve you tried using it again? It's a nice glaze.
  2. Thank you, Cass. That is very eye opening. And your display is absolutely gorgeous. Pots, too, of course. Also thank you for the details about what else you need to consider, and how to find the parts. Actually, your idea can be generalized to everything else in life, too. Warmly, LilyT
  3. Red Rocks, I am interested in what you find out, too! I have gotten advice that the ITC100 does in fact extend the life of refractories, and am planning to use it on all [non SiC] faces that are exposed to heat in my atmospheric kiln. The kiln roof will be cordierite shelves, coated with ITC. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and information! -Lily
  4. Nancy, I found that I did not make rapid progress in throwing until I practiced hard. And by this, I mean sitting down and making 20 or 30 at a time. Or more. For several days. You could also start out with your clay slightly softer, so you can develop the shaping skill independent of the strength. (poke holes into the clay with a long screwdriver and pour in a 1/4 cup of water, leave the bag closed a day or so, and then wedge it up. With mug/cup shapes, why don't you try throwing off the hump while practicing pulling cylinders evenly? You only need to center the top pound or so for your mug. This lets you efficiently work on the part you want to practice without wasting a lot of time setting up (wedge center cutoff clean) between takes. Do this for half a day at a time for a few days and you'll find you work more comfortably and fluid, and maybe also find your style. As for handles, one simple approach I've seen as an alternative to pulling is to use a needle tool to cut off the top inch or so (and repeat throughout the entire cylinder if you're just making handles). You can lay them out and warm them up with a torch or under a plastic sheet in the sun, and they can be ready for you at the end of your throwing session. And as for your comment about centering large amounts, perhaps my experience here may be helpful to you also... I am a small woman and it turns out I have very little upper body strength, even compared to other women (zero pullups, zero pushups, etc.) I found that when I did some strength training to make my upper body and hands stronger, clay became amazingly easier. I worked on pushups starting on the stairs, pullups (pulldowns if you have a machine), and deadlifts (yes, it's for legs, but it increased my grip strength, and for *my* back it was helpful). I imagine that any exercise where you gradually increase the sheer weight that you can grasp and sling around will help. And my last tips for centering large amounts are: 1. set the wheel speed slower, and 2. the very base where the widest area of the clay touches the wheelhead at the 'skirt' is the hardest part to control, so either use your sponge there, or just cut it off while you're learning how to do it. You'll get there eventually, but it's another strength thing. Hope this helps! warmly, Lily
  5. Hi, Wendey, Do you use water in your raku reduction? -LilyT
  6. LMAO! How could anyone not love an art that is such physical work and so financially challenging yet has so many amazing professionals that continue to keep it alive?
  7. Hah, a place I know of learned the hard way, too. They had an non-kiln electrician replace elements and possibly thermocouples, and then used the digital controller to fire. I've never seen IFB melted and shrunken before. What a waste. I would definitely pop in frequently during at least the first firing to make sure nothing too unexpected is happening. If you've never fired before, it's educational to see the whole process - color changes, odors, etc. You can start your kiln log and observations, too. Watching the cones will let you stop an overfiring before catastrophe. If you happen to have any cones that mature at lower than the temp you want, you can put some in (with an appropriate cookie underneath if you expect them to melt) to help you track intermediate stages. LilyT
  8. Thanks, Denice, for your thoughts! I ask because at UCSD, we used to use a regular cone 5 stoneware clay for raku (Bruce's white. It has sand, not grog in it for wet strength), and it seemed to do ok. I still have some of the pieces after 15 years, but I don't stress them much so I really can't speak to fragility. I'm not really familiar with raku clays, I didn't even realize they vitrify at raku temps... I would have thought that would make them more fragile during the rapid cooling cycle (but maybe they mature without much cristabolite at that temp). So if I try it, maybe I will do some informal strength tests. Can I ask what clay you use for raku? Thanks! -Lily
  9. Does anyone know whether b-mix (cone 5) works for raku? It seems pretty open and porous when I bisque it to cone 06. Thanks! -LilyT
  10. Now isn't that interesting, a small world indeed! Would it be hard for someone to knock that salt glaze off those shelves? Or, I suppose I'm actually asking how long it would take to clean a shelf that looked like that. They look terrible to me, but I've never used Advancers, and maybe it would just pop off with a flick? I don't actually need shelves, but based on what I've read about them (actually much of it from your posts of your experiences, come to think of it), I just kind of want Advancers because they're so awesome for certain uses. Wouldn't drive to Maine from California for them though, lol. Thanks for your input! Warmest regards, -Lily
  11. Hi, all, I saw this listing for 2'x2'x5/16" Advancer Shelves on ebay. Not that I need 50 shelves, lol, but was wondering whether these sound authentic - the listing mentions that some of these are thinner than 5/16" esp at the corners due to wear. Do they actually noticeably wear? Aren't they different molecularly on the inside than the outside? And these shelves have kiln wash on them... I thought that advancers didn't need kiln wash since they were so dense that glaze wouldn't soak into them anyway? http://www.ebay.com/...em=330790011456 What do you all think? These sound like a great deal if they are for real. -Lily
  12. I know the props with the metal pins (stilts?) or often sold with the recommendation that they not be used at mid to high range because steel softens at high temps. I still use them with children's things because they want to glaze bottoms... and as long as the items are not too heavy (or you use more of the little points) it works well. I fire to cone 5 with a long soak that essentially tips cone 6 over. So I think if you want to use them to mid range, maybe test a few with some pieces you won't be sad about losing. Be careful about avoiding tipping and rolling off if the pins soften and bend (support them at the outside edges of the piece). -Lily
  13. Hi, Stewart, I have my burner port on the side of the kiln just above the floor, and the flue/exit port is a hole cut into the lid of the kiln. I'm not actually sure of the configuration of your Euclid, I'm thinking it's a standing cylinder, so you can cut a hole there (drill to start, tin snips to cut, and saw of series of drilled holes is one way to get through the shell layers) I suppose you could try a chimney flue at the bottom of the kiln (and you might need a stack in that case, though I'm not sure), but I don't know that there's enough room for a bagwall in such a small kiln and there could then be problems getting the top of the kiln to temp. Does anyone reading this know? Of course there's nothing to keep you from trying both, just save any soft brick pieces and you can glue them back in (I like a mix of fireclay and sawdust as brick 'glue'). In fact, don't forget to save the burner port brick because you'll need to plug that up some way during the cool down. Sorry, I noticed I was a little unclear in my original post about the kiln shelf damper - it sits on the lid of the kiln in a top loading cylinder configuration. Feel free to ask specific questions to clarify. I remember how nervous I was before my first conversion, but once you do a couple, it's pretty straightforward to get it working :-). Marcia's idea of having a "Y" to connect two tanks so each has only half the flow rate is the standard way to do it right - I was just cheap and the connector and hose is expensive for my situation. Don't forget that propane tubing needs to be checked frequently for weaknesses or leaks, particularly if they are exposed to sunlight. The 5 gal bbq propane tanks must always remain upright because otherwise liquid propane may jet out the relief valve, causing a fire/explosion hazard. If you buy used propane tanks meant for another use, be sure you know that you are hooking your burner to the vapor and not the liquid output of the tank. Putting liquid propane into a gas appliance is a good way to ruin your day and lots of other stuff, to say the least. You should have enough power with this setup to get your kiln to cone 10 in well under 6 hours, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it unless you know what phase your clay/glaze is in. -Lily
  14. I don't know about the physical requirements for natural gas at normal house pressures, but with propane (a barbecue tank) and a venturi (mk750 or similar small sized plain venturi), a burner port is a hole cut into it [the side] and the chimney is a hole cut in the top. I run mine as an updraft and have no problem controlling reduction. Although I don't use any sort of oxygen monitor, I feel like I get oxidation when I need it, and reduction is of course easy to get in a fuel kiln. Adjusting the damper does more than affect the conditions for your glazes, it also helps you use your fuel effectively. Many people recommend placing a shelf inside the kiln just below the 'chimney' hole to reflect heat back in, but I like to instead entirely cover the hole with part of a kiln shelf supported on 1 inch posts around the kiln. I 'adjust the damper' by leaning firebricks on it to partially block the effective opening. It's easy and works well to keep the top from cooling too quickly. And you don't need to plan for extra posts on your top ware shelf. As an added bonus, you have a number of warm bricks that can be used to warm a water bath to keep the propane tank from chilling down too fast if you are running the regulator at high pressure from a single 5 gallon tank. I run my venturi up to 6psi (which I think is much higher than natural gas pressure) and it is able to draw quite a lot of air. You would probably be able to fire 4 cu ft to cone 10 on a single tank, but if you go this route, I'd have a backup tank just in case. A disadvantage of the propane torch setup I use is that the flame enters from the side at the bottom and the first shelf is 4 - 5 inches above the kiln floor. Of course, for a soda kiln, you can use this space to load your soda (I do this). I am following Mark's (and others') advice to coat my brick to protect it, (colloidal silica/zircon or ITC) but Laguna has been slow to fill my order for zircon recently so I don't have direct experience with this. I think you'll have a great time if you try it. warmly, Lily
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