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Posts posted by Benzine

  1. 22 hours ago, Mark C. said:

    If you are using skutt crimps the wire is folded over to fill the crimp. Is the element toucking any spot of the outer jacket?

    a photo of the arc area would help

    Hopefully you took photos before cutting wires loose and the reassembly is the same?

    I labeled everything,  as to which wire connects where.  I *think* I got everything back right...

  2. So myself and my coworker got the new elements in, along with some new bricks.  We made the connections with the feeder wires in the bottom section, but  before doing the top we thought we'd see if the bottom would even work.  The answer was, nope.  We saw sparks from the box, and the breaker tripped like before.  The only hint of something arcing was on one of the porcelain insulators.

    Any suggestions for how to proceed?  I can't figure out what arced exactly.  Is the feeder wire supposed to be folded over to better fill the connector, or am I thinking of something else?

    There wasn't anything wrong with only have one section wire up, when turning the kiln on right?  That would be no different than having one switch turned on correct?


  3. So I finally had some time to replace the elements, some bricks and other parts on this kiln.  My colleague, who uses the kiln came in to help and learn the process.

    As we were removing the elements and control boxes, we found more damage, from then the wires arced.  One spot was on the connection socket between the sections, and part of that actually melted.  Then the stainless steel baffle?, that the control box is attached to, also had a hole melted through.

    We also discovered the kiln sitter had damage and a glob of some melted material.  Luckily that glob wasn't on the bar, that would have stopped it from dropping, but it will get replaced anyway.

    Luckily I have the same kiln at home, that was given to me.  I want to eventually convert it to salt or soda, so I've been scavenging parts from that.

    Good times!


  4. 18 hours ago, Pres said:

    Perlite was used to allow overnight drying, and then raku firing, body was very open. This was at a state level PAEA conference.




    I added wood shavings to a body one time for pit firing, for the same reason.  It's always nice to have a workplace, that has an industrial tech area!

  5. On 8/5/2021 at 4:33 PM, Pres said:

    I have used several different raku bodies in the earlier grad school years, Dontigny used one that fired to cone 9-10, but I had one from another teacher that was cone 4. I also used a fast fire clay body that use perlite as a filler along with saw dust, and grog. This clay was made for cone 4 max, and was H on folks hands so sandy.




    Yikes, that's some "groggy" clay!


    I used my midfire white clay, which is rated for Cone 6, for a recent Raku workshop.  I had never tried it before and was worried it might not handle the thermal shock.  It did just fine.

    I also have a brown midfire body, that specifies that it is oxidation only.  I kind of want to try it in Raku just to see what happens.




  6. 6 hours ago, Babs said:

    Do they have handles?

    Sometimes the attaching of handles esp on thin walled pots can cause warping  

    Nope, no handles. 

    As I mentioned earlier, I did add some stamped medallions, so perhaps that did something similar?  The medallions are about an 1/8th of an inch thick, and made out of *only* the brown clay.

    I will say that some of the medallions were getting a bit stiff, when I attached them (despite me keeping them in a damp box) so maybe it is possible that those medallions and their memory pulled on their side and caused the warp.

  7. So I just pulled them out of the glaze firing and no additional warping (And worse breaking) occured.  I forgot to mention that only the inside was going to be glazed, so I did worry that might contribute to future warping as well.

    Luckily they turned out well, and the warps aren't too noticeable.  

    In the future I will dry them slower and just to be safe, fire them upright.  

  8. 11 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

    50 feet won't be a problem. Nothing other than the elements will need to be changed since it will still be single phase.

    The outlet will be on a block wall, and I'd like it to be in conduit from the ceiling to daid outlet.  But I've heard that bundled wires are not supposed to be run through conduit because it traps heat.  Is that accurate?

  9. @Min

    I am firing them right side up for the glaze firing.  As long as they don't get worse, I can live with it.

    These were not handled.  I let them dry uncovered overnight, in my basement studio.  This time of year things dry slow.  I took them outside to dry in the sun.  Once they released from the bats I flipped them to dry slightly before trimming.  Once trimmed They dried upside down overnight in the studio, then dried outside in the sun again, still upside down.  I also attached a stamped medallion after trimming (I doubt this had anything to do with it, just listing all the specifics).

    Then as I mentioned, they were fired upside down for the bisque.

    Firing is finishing up now, so fingers crossed...

  10. I got a Skutt 1018 *looks at calendar and sighs* almost three years ago, from an auction site, with the goal of getting it up and running at my home.

    That had not yet happened because life keeps getting in the way.  But I'm ready to finally get to it.  

    Here are some photos of the kiln I posted back when:

    As you can see the previous owner over fired the load and melted them into the bottom slab.  So that will be replaced, along with some of the damaged brick and elements.  (And kiln sitter assembly that I think may have caused the overfiring due to something stuck on the rod.)

    I talked to an electrician about running the wire, setting up the outlet and sertting up the breaker/ box.  He recommended that I just buy the wire, run it from the box to the kiln locstion myself, and he'll connect everything.  He said I would need 3 wire, 6 gauge 50 amp wire.  Does that sound right?

    The kiln is actually 208, not 240, what foes this mean for the outlet and such?

    Also, as I was checking the wiring in the box, I noticed that some wires from the bottom box that are normally fed into and connected to the top, were disconnected.  I'm guessing the seller did that, so they two rings could be taken apart.  I always label wires when I do such things.  If you look in the linked gallery. you'll see I have the mentioned wires/ terminal contacts  labeled, 1&2 are in the bottom box, 3&4 in the top.  There is also a disconnected black wire with green tape (the ground) that isn't connected. It looks like there is a connection point on the box, is that where it goes?

    I looked at the wiring diagrams @neilestrick posted, but couldn't really follow them, and may have opened up an interrdimensional portal.

    As always, any help would be appreciated.

  11. I am experimenting with a couple new mid-fire clay bodies I got at the beginning of Summer and thought I'd try to mix them together for a marbled look.  I made several cups with the mixed bodies, and noticed that some warped during the bisque.  I am almost positive none were warped prior to the bisuque.  If it were just one or two, I'd just say that they warped while drying, and I just didn't notice before loading them.  But it is was more than just one or two.

    I did some tests with the clay bodies before hand, including making some test tiles with the marbled clays.  Both bodies on their own fire to cone 6, have a shrinkage of 10% and have an absorption if 1% or less.  The test tiles came out well, as did a smaller test cup I made and glazed.  No defects that I could see.

    The cups are thrown evenly and were all dried together in the same condtions, and fired together (upside down on their rims).

    Any idea what caused the warping?  Could it be something that happening in the forming that didn't show up until they were fired?  I would blame it in an issue with the two clays not being compatible, but over half had no issues (thus far).

    I've never had anything  warp in the bisque before.  Are they guaranteed to get worse in the glaze firing?

  12. I guess I don't know what you mean, when you say it is getting "dusty" inside.  Is it getting dusty from the clay work?

    In any case,  work dries very well outside, especially with a light breeze and direct sunlight.  10 degrees is still on the "cool" side, but anything above freezing would be OK, it will just take longer. 

    You could also try drying them outside of the cabinet, to allow for air circulation all around.  The cabinet is limiting that. 

  13. 5 hours ago, GoneFishing said:

    It makes total sense to do this in a classroom setting.  You have knowledge about glazes which should be passed down to the students in a ceramics environment

    Well, I try.  I tell them we will be using *Underglazes* and explain what they are and how to be used.  Then I tell them about *Glazes* and what they are and how they are to be used. 

    Then at some point someone says "Overglaze" and I explain how those are very much a thing, but we don't use them.  I then spend the remainder of the course correcting students, who call glazes, overglazes.  I totally get why BUT still...

    4 hours ago, liambesaw said:

    When I was in school there was no rules, except wax the bottoms and keep it half an inch or thinner

    I tell them nothing close to an inch or thicker.  I don't require the bottoms to be waxed either.  We do low fire, and most "stay put".  They are not allowed to glaze the bottoms, unless permission is given though. 

    @Denice to everything you said, I am truly sorry.  It's bad enough to have a poor instructor.  It's even worse, when that instructor treats you poorly, simply because who you are. 

    The last class I took in the Art Department in college, was my worst grade (Not failing or anything, just way worse than any of my other grades).  The instructor gave me little to no feedback during the individual class periods, or throughout the Semester.  He gave me comments at Midterms and the final grade.  He really only talked to students, who he had previously had in class.  On the plus side, it didn't give me a good model, for who I *did not* want to be as a teacher!

  14. Personally I would qualify a painted ceramic, as a ceramic sculpture, just obviously not utilitarian. 

    With that said, I personally finish all my work with a glaze, underglaze or oxide stain, and require my students to do the same.  I have occasionally kicked around the idea of allowing students to opt for acrylics to paint their more sculptural work, especially those, who I suspect will trash their project as soon as I hand it back (paints are cheaper than glazes/ underglazes), but I've never allowed it other than this past year with some of my students working remotely from home. 

    The Elementary and Middle School teacher does just have his students paint their projects, so they don't need to be refired.

    My School's Athletic/ Activities Conference has a yearly Art Show.  We actually have three separate Ceramic categories; Ceramics Sculptural, Ceramics Non-Utilitarian, Ceramics Utilitarian. 

    The final one is pretty self-explanatory.  They are generally wheel thrown, and are glazed.    Non-Utilitarian could be wheel thrown, but has qualities that make it not actually functional, like pierced or other such open sections.  The Non-Utilitarian works are also generally glazed/ underglazed, but if I recall some may have been painted over the years.  Ceramics Sculptural,  are generally always hand built, and can be decorated with any type of surface decoration; glaze, undergalze, washes, acrylic paint, watercolor, etc.  As I've mentioned, I do not give my students the paint option normally.  Other teachers in the Conference do and have.  For a few years, one of the Schools had a student, who made some excellently sculpted pieces, and used acrylic paint to add illustrative qualities to the surface.  Was it fair that a work like that was compared to those that were using materials that are slightly harder to predict and mistakes harder to correct?  I would say "Yeah".  I also think that those works would have looked even more amazing had those illustrative elements been done with underglaze and a  clear on top. 

    Over the years, we teachers in the Conference have discussed just dropping Ceramics to two categories; Utilitarian and Non-Utilitarian.  Every time we discuss it though, we never thought it was fair to compare a well done coil pot that isn't functional, to a representational ceramic sculpture, or a wheel thrown piece.  And so it stays at three categories.

    This year, I have a student submitting a mostly slab built sculpture of a wooden fence post, that is underglazed, with an oxide stain on top, then a hand-formed bird that is glazed to emphasize it.  That on its own would place it in the Ceramic Sculptural category (Though it does actually have a removable lid).  But the student added actual rusty barbed wire after firing.  So that moves it to the Mixed-Media 3-D category.  Obviously I have no problem with that. 

    We also have a separate sculpture category that is done in any single material *besides* clay. 

    Man, we artists like to complicate things.  Probably to keep everyone else from knowing exactly what we do...

  15. 3 hours ago, oldlady said:

    of course you know that nobody spit tobacco onto the pottery, it was just a name.

    That's good, because in a high school, I don't think I want an answer to the question "Does anyone have some tobacco they can spit onto this pot?"

    I have purchased a glaze in the past, that was called "Tobacco Brown".  I told the students it looked more like "Tobacco Spit Brown", because it was mainly an off white to cream base with little specks of brown in it. 

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