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  1. There is a great product that I use in my studio. It is a fiber cement product called Hardi Board. It comes in large sheets and makes a great table top for wedging and working with slabs. Stacking several makes it even more absorbant for wedging. I even bought a bundle of their 'shingles' for small projects and ware boards. It is absorbant, very strong and can take the sharp edges of pin tools without damage.
  2. Nelly. I use another construction product that works as well as dry wall but doesn't chip or break on the edges. It is a fiber cement 'backer-board' manufactured by James Hardie. It is intended for ceramic tile backing, but its absorbacy makes it great to reclaim and wedge clay on. You can use several layers of it to make a wedging table top. I also have a stack of the exterior fiber cement shingles they make and use them everyday for strong, thin, absorbant ware boards. They are perfect size for rolling out and stiffening slabs on for hand built work. I cut on them and have never had one break or release fiber cement into my clay. And you can wash them in the sink to clean them and re-dry them for later use! Jacqueline
  3. Skutt, L&L, and Olympic use the Bartlett Instruments controller. Paragon uses the Orton controller. In 1987 we introduced the DTC 100 controller, which we designed. In the early 1990s we gave that technology to Bartlett Instruments. They improved upon the DTC 100 for us by adding segments and controlled cooling. We introduced their updated controller as the DTC 600, which later became the DTC 800 and DTC 1000. In 2001 we switched over the the Orton controller, which we call the Sentry. By pyrometer, do you mean thermocouple? The S-type is the best thermocouple for potters. The thermocouple wires in the S-type are extremely thin, but as long as the thermocouple is not jarred, it will last for many years, and without temperature drift. If you bump the S-type thermocouple and break the ceramic protection tube, you will most likely destroy the thermocouple, which is quite expensive. The K-type thermocouple is standard throughout the industry because of the cost, but the S-type is far superior. It is optional on both the Orton and the newest Bartlett controllers. If you change thermocouple types, however, you must configure the controller for the new thermocouple. Sincerely, Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com Thank you for that clarification. This is exactly the type of information I need to make an informed decision.
  4. Thanks Joe. There are some good questions to ask in that thread.
  5. Thanks Mark. I never thought about the quality of the pyrometers...but that is important to me. Do you know if the digital controllers are all made by the same manufacturing company? My husband and I have had a run of bad luck with digital controllers on everything lately, including our gas stove, furnace thermostat and eliptical machine!
  6. Need some kiln expertise....I am looking for a larger electric kiln with a digital controller. Probably about 10 cubic feet( approx. 27" diameter x 24" deep) that fires up to at least cone 6 . I live in the Northwest where Crucible, Skutt and Olympic kilns are quite common, but I'm having trouble differentiating between the different brands because they all seem to have 3" brick, lid-lifters, and red digital controllers. What is the quality difference I should be looking for in these kilns. Are the digital controllers all made by the same Dawson company? I am going to the NCECA conference to look at them first hand, but I would like some unbiased opinion before I talk to the salesmen. Thanks, Jacqueline
  7. I live near Seattle and would like to attend the NCECA conference in Seattle to see the commercial exhibits. I am in the process of researching kilns, slabrollers and extruders and would really like to compare the manufacturers and products before buying my new studio equipment. Is there a way to get into the vendor area for one day without having to pay the large conference admission fee?
  8. I had the same thing happen just this week to a bright red glaze I wanted to use. I called the ceramic store (they mixed the glaze), they said it was the lithium in the glaze that hardens when the glaze gets cold. You need to store it at room temperature. Just heat the glaze to dissolve the crunchy lithium. It isn't practical for me to heat the studio all the time, or reheat the glaze, so it is going back.
  9. It's a beautiful baking dish! What kind of clay are you using? I would like to make a covered chicken roaster and wondered what would be best.
  10. Thank-you for all your suggestions.
  11. Thanks Anthony, that really helps alot! I'll try them all. HI Jacqueline, Ah .... legs and arms; those spindly things. Aren't they fun to work with? There are several techniques you can use here. 1. Let your broken leg pieces and the horse body dry completely to bone dry and then use the dry to dry joining technique. In this way, the dried legs will be strong enough to support the body. 2. Another alternative is to use hollow tube paper clay armatures (covered in Rosette's book). Attach them securely using dry to dry technique. Let everything dry out completely and then you can "flesh" in the musculature of the horse legs using wet to dry joining techniques. 3. You can also work on your piece upside down so the horse legs are pointing upwards. 4. Work in sections and let each sub-unit dry completely to bone dry and then assemble them. 5. If you prefer to work with the moist paper clay, you can "speed dry" or "force dry" the paper clay with a heat gun (not a hair dryer) to firm up the area you are working on. DISCLAIMER: When working with any power tools, please be very careful and protect yourself by wearing eye protection, gloves or face masks, if applicable. Remember paper clay develops its maximum greenware strength when it's completely BONE DRY. Hope this helps. Anthony
  12. Hello Anthony and other paper clay sculptors, I'm new to ceramic sculpture, and recently bought some paperclay after reading Rosette's book. I am trying to create some abstracted horse sculpture but have still have difficulty with the legs breaking off easily while I'm working on it. I devised a sort of sling in which to hang the body (much like the vet would rehabilite a horse with a broken leg) to take some of the weight off of the legs. I was wondering...could I insert paper straws, or bamboo skewers to help strengthen the clay legs and they would burn out during firing? Thanks, Jacqueline
  13. I'm just getting back into ceramics again after 35 years. I could really use some help figuring out glazes for mid-fire clays in an electric kiln. At this point I think I would like to stick to pre-mixed glazes from reliable manufacturers rather than mixing my own. Can anyone recommend some good, food safe glazes, preferrably satin finish, for mid-range firing in an electric kiln? I tried a sample pack of Amaco Potter's choice glazes that fired beautifully in 12 great colors, but they were all very glossy and not quite earthy or natural looking for my tastes. Thanks, Jacqueline
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