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Nancy S.

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Posts posted by Nancy S.

  1. Anyone familiar with J.W. Good kilns and/or know where I might be able to find a manual for one ?


    I was just given a J.W. Good - model 18R, with a model LT-4 Kiln Sitter.  The person I got it from never used it, and knows nothing about it.


    If there's no manuals available - how about a formula for estimating firing temp based on wattage ?


    I can't find any markings that indicate max firing temp - only the electrical ratings that state it is 1700 watts at 240v.  This seems like a pretty low wattage for a kiln - considering my electric hair dryer is 1500 watts.


    I guess I could get an assortment of cones and do an empty test fire - but don't want to damage anything by putting too high a cone on the sitter.


    Would you be able to post some photos of the kiln and the sitter? Does it have two sections or three? 1700 is probably the wattage for each section. (Wattage / voltage = amps, by the way; make sure your wiring is up to snuff.)


    Don't forget to check if it's a 3-phase or single-phase kiln; it should say 1P or 3P on that metal plate.


    Also, if I'm not mistaken, you can't make your kiln fire hotter than what it's made to do. If you set all of your dials (I'm assuming it's a manual kiln, since it's older) to high with a cone pack ranging from 5-10 (you can try 11 or 12, but only if you are super worried about knowing whether it goes over 10; small kiln like that, not likely), put a cone 10 bar or junior cone in the sitter, set the timer for 8-10 hours, and then (after proper cooling time) check it and see what your highest falling cone is.


    I think LT-4 is an Orton product and you can still get replacement parts from Skutt (who purchased Orton when they went under).

  2. If you don't need buckets of it, I highly recommend the Amaco zinc free clear. Colors stay true.



    I don't have any experience with Mason Stains, but I have used Amaco's zinc-free clear (HF-9) - on white ^6 clay it's slightly off-white (kind of "antique-y" looking).


    I'd love a ^6 clear that lets the whiteness of the clay come through, but I'm not sure I'm ready to make my own glazes yet. :/

  3. Well, I don't have any actual scientific fact or study to back this up, but here's my educated guess based on what I know of kinesiology:


    The "dominant" or "active" hand (right hand in a right-handed person, left hand in a lefty) is better suited for fine motor skills like writing, design carving, etc. The "passive" hand (the left hand in a righty; right hand in a lefty) is better suited for what is called "gross motor movements," using large muscle groups. Many times, the passive arm is actually a tiny bit stronger than the active arm. The body adapts to have a 'right tool for the right job' -- the passive hand does the brute force work so that your active hand doesn't get damaged (which would make it unable to do those fine motor skills).


    Applied to pottery, as a right-handed person I am better able to center clay using my left hand - a gross motor movement, brute force. The counter-clockwise motion of the wheel brings the clay toward the heel of my left hand, making it easier for me to maneuver the clay without it catching on my hand. My right hand holds tools (fine motor movement) at an angle to the clay such that as the clay comes around (counter-clockwise), it again does not catch on the tool. If I were trying to do a scribbley design on a clockwise-moving wheel, I'd have to hold the tool at a very different angle to keep it from jabbing into the pot as the clay moves *toward* me instead of *away* from me on the right side.


    A left-handed friend of mine who also does pottery has her wheel going clockwise for the same reasons, just reversed. smile.gif Some lefties will throw "right-handed" (counter-clockwise wheel) in the same way that some southpaw athletes will do things right-handed.


    I know very little about Asian pottery techniques; maybe they don't do the same things to their pots as Westerners do. Maybe they have a cultural tendency toward something closer to ambidextrousness (even if you aren't born ambidextrous, you can train yourself to do more with your passive hand -- I knew a gal in college who learned to write with both hands because the nuns always took the pencil out of her left hand and put it into her right!). Not that it's good or bad, just different.


    I suppose that if your wheel is reversible, you can do what works best for you. And if it's not, you just have to adapt your techniques to work with what you have....

  4. My friend and fellow potter Carrie Althouse has been using discarded scraps of stained glass -- the brighter the colors, the better they turn out. Here's an example of her work with it - http://carriealthous...2%20%284%29.JPG


    She just puts oddly-shaped shards in little bowls that have been glazed and fires them to ^6. She said they can have a tendency to "crawl" up the inside of the bowl at times, but I tried it myself with a chunk of random glass I found in my backyard, and it turned out just fine.


    It does have a tendency to crackle, so I wouldn't recommend it for food use (as previously noted by another poster). I don't know if a lower firing might reduce the crackling or not - I haven't had much of a chance to experiment with it other than the one piece.

  5. I don't know about Bag Balm, but I personally swear by Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme. It comes in a little tin and all you do is rub your fingers on the waxy stuff and then massage it into your nails and cuticles before bedtime (do it every night whether you've been potting or not). It helps moisturize without petroleum products, helps your nails to grow and strengthen, and also works on those little cuts as well as chapped lips. Lemon has antiseptic properties, plus it smells refreshing and tastes great! It's all natural as well and easily found at many stores including CVS.


    If you don't want to spend money on the Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, go with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Rub a dab into each nail/cuticle until your hands don't feel greasy. If you do it at night you don't have to worry about contaminating your clay, etc.


    PS, clip your nails...don't bite! That can worsen your problem. But I do echo the sentiment about keeping them short.

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