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Benzine

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  1. So, I am a new high school art teacher who is in charge of the school's ceramics classes. When I was going through my classroom supplies, I learned that we have cone 6 clay, but all of our glaze is cone 06-04... SOS. What is the best way to use the supplies I have, when ordering new supplies at this time is not an option? I figured I could only fire the clay to cone 04, but then the work won't be as strong. Could I fire the clay to cone 6 as a "bisque" then follow it with a cone 04 glaze fire? Thank you in advance for any help offered!!!

    ~EllieKay

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      As others have suggested, definitely make sure your clay is indeed Cone *6* not *06*.

      It would be odd to have a mid fire Cone 6 clay body and then low fire glazes.

      If those low fire glazes are fired up to Cone 6 they are going to run everywhere.

      If the clay is indeed Cone 6, then perhaps the previous teacher  purposely underfired it, and used the low fire glazes.  I would almost guarantee this was the case based on the low fire glazes.

       

      What kind of kiln controller do you have?  Is it a digital controller or a kiln sitter?  I ask, because if it is a kiln sitter you'd likely be able to see what cones the previous teacher was firing to.

    2. (See 5 other replies to this status update)

  2. Just starting out, got a kiln skutt 1018 and a clay boss wheel.. learning all I can from books and videos! I’ve always wanted to make things with my hands, any advice for a newbie would be appreciated! :D

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Welcome to the Forums, and the World of Ceramics in general!

      Fair warning, clay can be addictive, frustrating and frustratingly addictive.  But it's all worth it in the end. 

      Best of Luck on your journey.

    2. (See 1 other reply to this status update)

  3. Finally got power back on this morning, after 8-1/2 days without due to the "derecho" that hit last Monday.

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Denice,

      Little to no damage to our home or garage to speak of.  We lost half of our front tree, which is our only tree, and it kind of fell on our front porch.  However, it just managed to dent part of the gutter. 

      We also lost a single shingle.

      This definitely gave us confidence in the strength and durability of our Century old home!

    2. (See 3 other replies to this status update)

  4. If I apply red iron oxide to an already fired earthenware piece do I need to seal it to make it permanent, without having to re-fire it?

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Yes, you would need to put some type of sealant on it.  Otherwise the oxide is just a powder that is sitting on the outside.  It comes off very easily. 

      Why  not just refire  it, after using the oxide?

  5. Hey all!  Excited to be here!  I'm a new potter and I'm looking forward to learning all I can!  

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Welcome to the Forums.  

      There is a wealth of information here.

      One suggestion, it's best to do a search, before you start any new topics, as there are many questions that have come up numerous times, over the years.  So there will be threads, with those questions that have a lot of replies.

    2. (See 4 other replies to this status update)

  6. Annual clay order comes in next week. 33,000 #s total -my share is 25,000#s.I odered a ton of dry glaze in 50# bags my formula-lasts me 5 years-I mix another 14 glazes to go along with it.

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      @DirtRoads the supplier I use charges less, the more you order.  So for a single box, it costs more, for that box, that it does, if I order ten of those same boxes.  I think once you get to the quarter ton mark, the rate is by 100 lbs.  A good deal, but it confuses me when I order, which is why I ended up with double, what I wanted, in my classroom this year...

    2. (See 8 other replies to this status update)

  7. Annual clay order comes in next week. 33,000 #s total -my share is 25,000#s.I odered a ton of dry glaze in 50# bags my formula-lasts me 5 years-I mix another 14 glazes to go along with it.

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      You've got quite the system.  It's almost like you've been doing this for years...

       

      It's great that you pug that clay for your friend.  It reminds me of watching videos of Warren Mackenzie.  He was still chugging along in his 80s, but used a pug mill to work the clay for him.

    2. (See 8 other replies to this status update)

  8. Annual clay order comes in next week. 33,000 #s total -my share is 25,000#s.I odered a ton of dry glaze in 50# bags my formula-lasts me 5 years-I mix another 14 glazes to go along with it.

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Sooooo, does most of that just stay on the pallet(s), or do you have to hand move some of it?

      How many boxes per pallet approximately?

      I just ask, because the order I get for my classroom, always has to be broken down, and hand moved.  It comes on a pallet, to the District warehouse, at least I imagine that is the case, then they put it on small pallets, that a two wheel dolly can get under, then I move it off them, to the floor.

      My first District, the Art Room, was on the 2nd floor, so it had to be carried, sometimes by hand, up the stairs, to the room....  Fun!

      My second District, we were in an old Auto Shop classroom, so it had a garage door.  In that case, they just brought the pallet directly off the truck.  But even then, it wasn't nearly the quantity that you go through, only a few boxes high.  So I have no idea, how high they stack each pallet. 

    2. (See 8 other replies to this status update)

  9. Working on a soft blue glaze today to celebrate the gender of my baby on the way. I think I might do some limited edition work in a very soft robins egg blue since that is my favorite mason stain to date. Finally getting some time in the studio again. Life is crazy.

  10. Had a long discussion with the math professor from SIU-E about writing math equations for crystalline glaze: she thought it was doable. Interesting!

  11. Had a long discussion with the math professor from SIU-E about writing math equations for crystalline glaze: she thought it was doable. Interesting!

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      You do eat it, but only a little over three pieces...

    2. (See 5 other replies to this status update)

  12. Had a long discussion with the math professor from SIU-E about writing math equations for crystalline glaze: she thought it was doable. Interesting!

  13. That moment you have been making jars with a gallery and also a lid inner gallery that are so perfect that when you wax them they no longer fit inside of each other... perfection. Then that moment where you realize you forgot to turn on a preheat for your greenware to fire in a glaze firing and remember at 540F before you have a terrible disaster in your kiln and you stop it and vacuum it the next day. Thank you Jesus. 

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      I am OCD, on my kiln.  I will check the program numerous, times, check that the vent hood is on,  etc.  Because that one time that you don't...

    2. (See 5 other replies to this status update)

  14. That moment you have been making jars with a gallery and also a lid inner gallery that are so perfect that when you wax them they no longer fit inside of each other... perfection. Then that moment where you realize you forgot to turn on a preheat for your greenware to fire in a glaze firing and remember at 540F before you have a terrible disaster in your kiln and you stop it and vacuum it the next day. Thank you Jesus. 

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Single firing, I take it? 

      I have neither the skill nor disposition to attempt that...  I have had some of my students, make that decision for me though.  Thus far, it has been on wares, that I didn't stack...

    2. (See 5 other replies to this status update)

  15. raku'd all morning & then I get into the kitchen tonight and burn my hand from the steam of a microwave dinner. Looks like I should have kept the raku gloves on.

     

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      When you are dealing with temperatures around 2000 F, for a ceramic firing, you are ready for anything.

      A couple hundred degrees, in the kitchen, autopilot is engaged...

    2. (See 3 other replies to this status update)

  16. Got an order for 10 medium bowls for Christmas gifts...when asked about color, the customer said "Just work your glaze magic!", sooo...pix in about a week or so.

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Apparently word of your "Glaze Magic" has spread far and wide...

    2. (See 1 other reply to this status update)

  17. Daylight savings time is going away this weekend which means less time in the yard and on the farm and more time in the studio,,,YAAYYY!

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Mark, how long does it, to dry pots, this time of year, in your toasty studio?

    2. (See 3 other replies to this status update)

  18. Daylight savings time is going away this weekend which means less time in the yard and on the farm and more time in the studio,,,YAAYYY!

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      I like having light, when I wake up in the morning, and get ready for work.  But I DO NOT like it, when the sun, seemingly, goes down at 4 in the afternoon!...

    2. (See 3 other replies to this status update)

  19. Aarrgghhh...we only got a few weeks notice that the guild I belong to is doing a raku demo 10/28.  I just emptied my kiln and I do not have anything low fire to fill it with,  so I could bisque (required) a few raku pieces for the event.  I'm going to try to crank out a lot of ^5 and bisque that along with the raku clay. I don't want to pass up the opportunity.  

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Careful, Raku is addictive...

      It's the gateway to other alternative firing methods.

    2. (See 3 other replies to this status update)

  20. Big weekend coming up as my trio of Horsehair Raku jars goes on the auction block at the local PBS KVIE station's annual Art Auction. At the preview Gala on Monday it already had an early bid of $150 against an asking price of $120. My segment of the auction will air in the 1PM hour on Saturday...

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Wait, if it's made out of horse hair, wouldn't that be considered weaving?!...  I kid.

      Great work, for a great cause.

    2. (See 4 other replies to this status update)

  21. Have to cancel my next weekend art fair due to broken elbow  1st canceled show ever

    (cracked radius bone)

    I was in my old apple tree when a 5 inch limb broke and I fell about 7 feet.1st ever broken bone.Two weeks in sling no clay for at least a month. kiln is firing last glaze fire now.just coming to terms with this setback

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Here's to a quick recovery Mark!

      I know, that scaling back on work, might not be the norm for you, but healing is something that you want to get right.

      Hurt by an apple tree.  Now I have images of those tree from the Wizard of Oz, throwing apples at Dorthy and crew.

    2. (See 15 other replies to this status update)

  22. A pile of pots is in the kiln for a bisque firing...managed to fill the kiln to within 1" of the top...half of it belongs to a couple of friends. Will open in the AM

  23. New kiln arrived and is in place.  Got the kiln vent installed too.  If the pending hurricane doesn't drop too much water on us...should  be able to test fire soon.

     

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Best of Luck to you, with the weather.

      I have good friends, who live in Western N.C. .  They didn't sound terribly worried, the last time I talked to him, a few days ago.

    2. (See 10 other replies to this status update)

  24. New kiln arrived and is in place.  Got the kiln vent installed too.  If the pending hurricane doesn't drop too much water on us...should  be able to test fire soon.

     

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Ooooo shiny *Reaches hand towards it*

       

      At first I thought your kiln vent, was your sewer line stack.  I was thinking, "Probably shouldn't block access to that..."

    2. (See 10 other replies to this status update)

  25. Got  my 2 new raku kilns sprayed with rigidizer. Now they just need the kiln shed finished to get them protected from the weather. Last year it snowed -22" around Sept. 15th. First frost ( its late this year) is expected next weekend. Happy to have those kilns out of the studio. I now have 3 raku kilns outside the dining room patio door.  It makes it easy to read the pyrometer.3rakukilnssmall.jpg.26fc1b75a9b0421dd52ddab4ccaa9ae1.jpg

    1. Benzine

      Benzine

      Awesome Marcia!

      You are accumulating, quite the collection of kilns!

      Indoor Raku firing.  That sounds like a great idea, especially with your Winters.

      It seems, that every time I do one, either with students, or at home, it's either too hot or too cold.  Though mid-Fall tends to be just right, where I live.

      I have fired my Raku kiln, in my garage, when it was cooler out, and I was having issues, with a form continually cracking.  It's not something I've ever done again, and my garage has high ceilings, so it was safe.

    2. (See 6 other replies to this status update)

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