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Everything posted by Bette

  1. Hello and thank you for all the knowledge sharing here, which has helped me so much. What differences should I expect in specific gravity and firing results with different types of water for mixing up a glaze dry mix? My options are distilled water, very hard tap water, or softened water (a salt process).
  2. I use IMCO's Navajo Wheel, a ^6 dark red clay. Some of the best commercial glazes that I have found retain strong color (although generally darker of course than shown in catalogues): Georgie's: Ohata, Nassau Blue Clayscapes: Coastal Blue, Cream Coyote: Shino, Oatmeal, Espresso, Sedona Sunset Laguna: Almond Spice Amoco: Deep Firebrick, Deep Olive Speckle I too wish commercial glaze makers would show their glazes on dark red clay as well as the usual whitish clay. Clayscapes does this on their website and I really appreciate it! Georgies has a board of test tiles with their glazes on dark red clay in their Portland store, but I have not yet seen this online or in their catalogue. I'd love to learn others' experience too.
  3. Thanks for this tip! Do you do anything special to prepare a Mack brush before you use it? I'm reading about trimming and oiling for other applications, but I don't see guidance about their use with pottery underglaze.
  4. The first time cleaning old kiln wash from my shelves, and I don't have grinding equipment so I thought it would work to have them soda blasted. But the surface is now rough and there are lots of places on all shelves where spots of stuck kiln wash remain. Mistake! It was just too easy and inexpensive. I want to flip the shelves and use the smooth side. Do I need to make the rough underside smooth for some reason? Will those bits of old kiln wash flake off in a firing? They are stuck on too hard to remove by hand with a knife. Thanks, Bette
  5. What do you use for gift boxes & where do you buy materials? I would like a supply of brown corrugated recycle boxes in assorted sizes for mugs, tumbler sets, bowls etc. and prefer not to buy and store batches of 100 each size.
  6. I noticed Bing and Google where online at bottom of page? Maybe a sign that they have taken this site over? Mark C
  7. Lets see who I am tonight?OH my I'm Bette now-I guess this is whats it like to wear someones shoes. I think the whole forum is corrupted-for now-I am not changing passwords yet as the new one will just be corrupted. I'm going to wait this out like the Gov shut down it may take a few weeks.And no one wins. Mark C
  8. or not. weird. get this fixed or take the forum offline--this is getting silly!
  9. this whole forum seems to be compromised, my old password didnt work, had to reset and now I cant access anything to edit my profile--this is justanassembler... Seems your troubles aren't over--from the outside it looks like a corrupted database.
  10. Much depends on your clay body (which sounds like it's different than example images you may be seeing) so testing is essential as you know, and consider whether that's the only clay you will be using for some time or whether you will add or change to another. Test your proposed base colors with the various layered colors before investing in quantities of the base colors. A lot of test tiles and time spent testing, but it's necessary unless you are fine with making a lot of pots you don't like I use 3 different clay bodies, a smooth buff, a mid-range somewhat groggy clay, and a dark red. I have experience with Deep Firebrick, which has been easy and reliable for me on all 3 clays. It is beautifully bright on the buff; darker and appealing to me on the mid-range; and extremely dark, too dark for me, on the red clay. Big differences. I like to layer over Firebrick wtih Iron Lustre or Light Sepia. Deep Olive Speckle is also reliable for me, but for my taste I only like it (solo) on the dark red clay where the color is rich, breaking to brown over texture. On my other 2 clays it just doesn't appeal to me...but that's just my preference. No experience here with the other 2 glazes you mention.
  11. Thanks Marc - helpful to hear about your experience. I have used Venus too and loved it for smoothness and ease to work with overall. A variety of glazes from Coyote, Amaco and Georgies have fit well, except I have not yet found a zinc-free clear that fits (they craze), so I use Georgies Super Clear and I'm happy with that. I do get some pinging that sometimes goes on for a few days, but don't know which glazes or layering combos are the culprits. I have also been using Clay Planet's 612 Mid-Fire clay because I prefer a clay with some color and iron speckling. Some glazes, such as Coyote's Shino, produce a richer, darker color with this clay - more beautiful to me, and most glazes I use with Venus also look great with this clay. One glaze I like, however, Amaco's PC Tenmoku, seems to require the buff/white clay to show it's stuff so I don't use it with the 612 Mid-Fire. The downsides I have found with the 612 Mid-Fire are that it is slightly more prone to s-cracks and less tolerant of uneven drying when working with attachments. The grog makes it interesting, in a good way to me - but glazes on it tend to pinhole when wet, and unless I smooth them or fill in, the pinholes on this clay will remain after firing. Also the rims of cups can be rough with this clay so I burnish the rims when leather hard. I recently bought a bag of IMCO's Navajo Wheel, which Clay Planet sells, and just started throwing with it. It is very smooth, much like Venus, but very deep red-brown. So far so good; however, no firing experience yet - test tiles are in the works. In my Skutt 1027, my results with ^5 and 15m hold appear to be no different than just firing to ^6.
  12. My nearby clay supplier is Clay Planet in San Jose CA, and I am testing and enjoying their mid-fire clays. I would like to share experience / learn from others who work with these clays and use commercial glazes. I am mostly using glazes from Coyote, Georgies and Amaco. Anyone with similar interest?
  13. Before using brush for waxing, rub a small drop of liquid dish soap into bristles. The wax will rinse out easily. +1 for blazing hot water for rinsing.
  14. The glaze effect in the attached picture happened by happy accident where a 2nd glaze applied somewhat thickly to the top of the pot 'cracked' and the 1st glaze shows through. I like this and want more of the cracking next time. Any suggestions about technique or an additive to improve the chance that it will happen again? This is fired to ^6 in electric kiln, and the glazes are Amaco PC Light Sepia over Deep Firebrick.
  15. Baileys carries a silicon carbide disk that with adhesive backing - fits on a standard bat so you can use your wheel
  16. I use mid-fire glazes, mostly commercial. I look forward to the day when I will have the space to create my own, but meanwhile the commercial solution is the way to go. My system is to pick a few glazes I want to try and buy in small quantity (usually 1 pint). I prefer to pour and dip, rather than brush, so I dump each glaze into a 2.5 qt paint bucket (and usually need to whisk in a little water for the right consistency). See pic for my fav type of small bucket. For the selected glazes I come to love and use the most, I buy larger quantities and keep in 3 gal buckets. Starting out, it helps to think about which glazes will look good layered or party overlapped so you get many combinations out of them. Also consider experimenting with different textures: something opaque and glossy vs opaque and satin, something that breaks nicely over texture and rims, something transparent. I make a lot of test tiles and always have some in the kiln along with pots. Personal favorite glazes have come from Coyote and Georgies; also some of the Amaco Potters Choice glazes. I am not into shopping for other things, but when it comes to glazes I love to web-shop to fine tune my collection.
  17. OK so I have not done this yet, but I have gone to sleep while the kiln in my garage has not quite completed the firing. I hear ya, that's a bit risky. I appreciate the advice.
  18. I am wondering if others worry about going away for a few days while a kiln (electric, programmable) is firing. I am not inclined to worry about this....should I?
  19. I must wear gloves due to a nail condition that flares up when my hands are wet for prolonged time. After testing different gloves, the best for me is here http://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Clark-Purple-Nitrile-Gloves-Latex/dp/B000RW8EEA - good tactile sensation, snug, and with a little effort I can re-use them several times. Took me a while to get over the loss of bare hands touching wet clay, and it bothers me every time I toss used gloves in the trash... but throwing and fine clay work is really fine with these and of course I still have fingerprints :)/> and soft clean hands. I think it's key to find the type/size gloves that are a snug fit for your hands and feel reasonably good.
  20. Fascinating, John - this history helps me understand much, thank you!
  21. I use hardie back board (sp?) - you get a large board from Home Depot, it's just 1/4" thick and cuts easily by scoring with a razor tool and snapping off pieces. I use this for ware boards (with no tape, and I have never had plaster bits); also I have attached this board to my work table and desktop using c-clamps and for me it's a wonderful, absorbant surface for wedging and other work. Very lightweight and cleans easily. End of sales pitch!
  22. I would appreciate advice about how to carve letters (words) in greenware. I want a hand-written look, not stamped. What's the preferred tool or technique to get a clean result? The clays I am using are mid-fire range: one is a buff with extra fine grog; the other is coarser with 35 mesh grog and 60 mesh sand. Thanks for the help!
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