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Chris Throws Pots

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Everything posted by Chris Throws Pots

  1. I’ve had plucking at cone 6/7 using high alumina kiln shelves without wash. I always wash the shelves used by our students but keep a personal set for my own work. I never washed those... just marked them A side and B side with RIO and alternated sides for glaze firings to prevent warping. After a while I started getting plucked feet so I started kiln washing. If there’s something else I can do to prevent plucking please let me know. I’d much prefer to not use kiln wash. Grinder update: I bought a $40 Bosch corded grinder with a slide lock switch. It’s probably in my head and makes no di
  2. I use high alumina shelves in a community studio with lots of beginners learning how to glaze so kiln wash is a must for us.
  3. I appreciate the feedback. I don’t have an air setup so corded or battery are my current options. I see some of the corded models have a paddle switch that can be locked on so maybe that’s a happy medium?The corded Ryobi grinder I’ve been using for the last 10 years was purchased for probably $60. I don’t mind spending a bit extra for a better quality/safer product but the cordless Milwaukee is probably excessive given my only use for a grinder is kiln shelf maintenance. I’m only considering it because I already have tools using that battery platform and I can get one with a battery for $179 a
  4. It's time to replace my angle grinder and I'm torn between sticking with slide-style on/off switch that locks the grinder on, or switching to the paddle-style. I have always used grinders with the locking slide switches, but the increased safety of the paddle switch seems a good thing to invest in. However I'm concerned that keeping the paddle engaged could be tiresome and uncomfortable when grinding a stack of shelves (sometimes 30+ in a session). What grinder do you use? Anyone have a paddle-style and love it? Hate it? Anyone made the switch from slide to paddle? Drilling down one mo
  5. The studio where I work has a bin labeled "ALUMINA" but it doesn't say whether it's hydrate or oxide. I'd like to mix up some alumnina wax to help prevent lids from sticking and am curious if: Does it matter if it's hydrate or oxide? If it does matter, what test can I run to determine which it is? If it's relevant, I've made kiln wash and wadding using this many times over the years. And when I've ordered it to replenish the bin, I've always just asked for alumina.
  6. @merryrogue To second what Hulk said, equally important to my pottery and display, whether for a 6' table show or a full 10'10 canopy show, is my hand truck. I cannot emphasize enough how valuable a good hand truck is. Pottery is heavy. Tables are heavy. Displays are heavy. Moving in to your new place at your masters program will be heavy. My advice: invest in a well constructed hand-truck. Mine converts from an upright to a flat/four-wheeled dolly and it is well worth it's pricetag: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-800-lb-Capacity-2-in-1-Convertible-Hand-Truck-CHT800P/100071520. Al
  7. Wedge while the clay is room temp and store the prepped balls in an insulated cooler?
  8. @liambesaw Yikes! But aside from the explosion, no issues? That feels like a weird thing to write. How hot did it get under the water? If you touched the heater with your hand would it burn you?
  9. Does anyone use an aquarium heater in their throwing water to keep it warm? I am considering trying one but am curious if anyone has experience with them, specifically if they are effective once clay gets in the bucket and if the constant cycle of getting grit and muck on them poses any risk of damage/shock.
  10. 2185 with a 15 minute hold should get you to 6 in a way that'll allow you to get into your controlled cooling segments of the firing while limiting the risk of glazes running all over the place at peak. But you should include cones in your firing to inform how best to adjust top temp if the program doesn't get you to 6.
  11. Attach a small bobber to the end of your chamois or plastic and you'll never find yourself fishing (grooooaaannnnn) for it again.
  12. Respectfully, it's not a nightmare and you are not out of luck. It's an inconvenience, pretty typical of doing business in any sector. Bel was selling sheets at roughly $1 per page. Fired On sells at roughly $3 per page. If you consider how many decals you can fit onto a single sheet (unless you are printing very large/full sheet decals), the cost increase to produce each piece is negligible. The potential savings using another manufacturer's paper is simply not worth the risk of legal trouble. Production costs increase in all types of businesses all the time.
  13. Monthly studio membership in my studio has a prerequisite of prior experience in a clay studio. Total beginners are required to take an 8-week class so they are taught both the ceramic process and the studio's rules, regs, systems and safety stuff. Students who sign up as monthly members after their class ends do not need a studio orientation, as their class serves this process, but they do need to fill out membership paperwork. People who have previous experience and sign up as members without taking a class, regardless of how much experience they say they have, are required to go through a s
  14. @GEP raises a good point about the shape of the channel contributing to your warpage woes. But if you're committed to the horizontal channel, I wonder if filling the gap with a coil of wadding would help. I also think using a clay with a high grog/sand content would help as @Joseph Fireborn has suggested. Using a cone 10 clay but underfiring to 6 would probably yield improved results, but then you end up with the challenge of keeping your throwing slurry and trimming scraps separate from the cone 6 clay you're using for everything else. Maybe it's worth the headache, maybe not.
  15. Our supplier (Vermont Ceramic Supply) doesn't stock the dry clay mix either, but they order it from Laguna for us whenever we need it. I'd ask your supplier... my guess is that it'll be an easy request to fulfill.
  16. To help prevent our reclaim from throwing short, we buy 50lb bags of dry mix of one of our clays and add a big scoop of the powder directly into the pugmill with each batch we mix/pug. Each bag lasts a long time and it has really helped the quality of our reclaim.
  17. @Frankiegirl Will you be moving the wheels around your classroom much? Or will you set them up and leave them for the most part? I ask because the connection between pedal and controller of the VL Whisper is more or less a coaxial cable and is pretty delicate. In my classroom we often pull the wheels away from where they're set up for throwing in order to clean beneath/behind. This cable on our VL Whisper has broken a couple times when moving the wheel and after a handful or repairs I ended up just hard-wiring the pedal to the controller. Also, even though the splash pan design has been imp
  18. Thanks, Mark. I figured I’d be calling Bluebird Tuesday morning when they open. Just a little antsy to have a sense of what I may be paying for the replacement.
  19. The chain/cog mechanism in the pedal for my Soldner S100 is slipping, rendering the wheel all but useless. The timing couldn't be worse, but that seems to be how pottery mishaps go. Has anyone had to replace one of these before? I am sure I could send it to Bluebird and have it repaired, but I just don't have the time in my production schedule to wait. The Bluebird/Soldner website is lacking to say the least and I cannot find any listing for a replacement pedal on any of the major (and some smaller) ceramic supply retailers' sites. Does anyone know the approximate cost I should be expecting?
  20. In my college Intro to Wheel Throwing course my professor had us all do this as a project over the course of a few weeks. We found pieces in Lark 500 and other ceramic books or from websites like Schaller or Musing then did our best to deconstruct and reconstruct the forms. As very green clay students we were completely unaware of the challenges that lay ahead of us when trying to recreate salt/soda/wood effects with only cone 6 ox, but it was a pretty great exercise for getting a crash course in materials we likely wouldn't have otherwise touched: latex, oxide washes, oxide resists, colored s
  21. @Denice The idea is to replace/modify the existing table so that students use it in the exact same way they currently do... to replace/modify so that the new table has the same function but takes a smaller side-to-side footprint in order to increase the walkways on either side of the wheels. The current tables are used every day, they are just a bit too wide for our space (as mentioned earlier in the thread we recently to a new studio space similar in overall size but with very different dimensions). I intend to build something with two fixed tiers or one fixed tier with adjustable tier(s) abo
  22. @PSC Me too. I stop the entire class every 45 minutes or so to have students stand, stretch and look at their pots from different angles. Most students are good about getting up form the wheel when they feel their body needs it, but some students need reminders that pottery isn't the most ergonomic activity and that frequent stretching is important. The goal of my question was to get ideas about improving the studio layout by increasing walkway space between the wheels and the shelving racks lining the walls. Our current system works well: Students place their freshly thrown pieces on wa
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