Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Slipped

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Location
    East Tennessee
  1. If you're willing to do some basic reformulation, you can shorten this list further. I'd get rid of the Wollastonite since you've got Whiting and Silica (Flint). You can find plenty of good glazes without Spodumene. I'd go with Frit 3110 instead of 3195, maybe add some 3124, too. But honestly you can probably get by with just 3134 to start. Definitely use Gillespie instead of Gerstley- it's way more consistent. Ditch the Ball Clay, EPK will cover it. But get some Bentonite (just a couple pounds- you'll only need 2-3% per batch). I tend to use Nepheline Syenite way more than Kona. For colorants, get Cobalt Carbonate, Iron Oxide, Copper Carbonate, Chrome Oxide and Rutile, or just use Mason stains. Just find 3 or 4 good recipes and color them the way you want. Then you can really narrow down your materials inventory. I agree, you can get by with just 3134 as your frit, leave out wollastonite (sub w/whiting & silica), and I also got neph sy, you can make a sub for kona with it as well - you'll have to reformulate for both of these, but it's not that difficult. In most cases you can exchange 3134 for Gerstley Borate, but I have and use both, your budget can decide for you if you can do both. I did get some ball clay, it's pretty cheap. Spodumene can be a "wait" item too, because even a basic pantry can run you a pretty big invoice. Look at quantity pricing, when I bought my glaze pantry ingredients last year it was cheaper in a lot of instances to get 50 lbs rather than 10 (if you are at a supplier, not shipping). Like 10 lbs of OM4 was like $15 or $16, and 50 lbs was $17.50. You might want some alumina hydrate for kiln wash, but with electric I got by with silica and a mix of EPK and calcined EPK until I could pick up a few pounds. I calcined my own in a bisque firing, just fired a previously bisqued bowl full of EPK. You'll need colorants, they are expensive, but a necessity. If you want to cut one, you can maybe do without the chrome to start with, but I'd spring for the cobalt carb, iron oxide, copper carb, and rutile for sure. You'll need an opacifier of some sort too like zircopax. It kind of stinks for half your bill to fit in a brown paper bag (colorants), and the other half get loaded at the dock, such is life. So here's my bare bones list: G-200* EPK* Silica 325* Neph Sy* Whiting* OM4* Bentonite Frit 3134 Talc Dolomite Zircopax Cobalt Carb Iron oxide Copper Carb Rutile The ones with the star I went for 50 lbs, it was way cheaper. Add in whatever else you can afford, but you can build a lot with these. Once you've worked with some recipes (keep testing, try different colorants with bases), you can expand a lot and add different items as you make it to town. I live about an hour away from my supplier, but they are only open weekdays, which is when I work, so the days I'm off to drive over while they're open are few, just keep a running "grocery/wish list". Good luck, just go for it, you'll always have a list of what you'll need to try that other crazy recipe you saw on that site....
  2. Old refrigerator or chest freezers are great, it's simple to run in a lightbulb and it produces plenty of warmth to keep the contents above freezing, I just use a 60 watt incandescent. I have a chest freezer to keep clay in, and only turn on the light if it's supposed to get below 20. Most of the time I don't worry with the glazes, it doesn't stay below freezing here for long stretches, I just mix well and sieve twice if it's been really cold, but Maine is a different story. The chest freezer with lightbulb is great for storing greenware and work in progress too (got to keep that above freezing), even in warmer months to prevent drying problems as a wet box (no need for the lightbulb then). Looking back if I could do it over I'd pick an upright though, it's a pain to get to the bottom.
  3. I remember having a run of S cracks when I was learning. It wasn't in the very beginning, but after I was getting a little better. My teacher had me work on 2 things, not sure which one worked, but I still remember to be mindful of both. The first was compression, other folks have talked about that already. The other was my wedging. Be aware of the direction in which the spiral of your wedged clay is turning in relation to the direction of rotation of your wheel. If you wire/slam wedge then it shouldn't be a problem, but if you wedge in a manner that creates a spiral in your clay, try not to have it spin/tighten in the same direction as your wheel, they should spin in opposite directions to cancel each other out, or just not tighten up the spiral any more. This is so it doesn't want to "unwind" quite as much while firing - pay most attention with your teapot spouts, it does make a difference. Hope that makes sense. I think of it as the outside "lip" of the spiral is static, and the direction of my wheel needs to unwind it. Maybe that was to keep me from not overthinking the compression or to just make me work on my wedging a little, but one of them worked and now the odd crack I have is from breaking rules and putting something in the kiln wet or something else blatantly bad.
  4. My dads family is from Northeast TN (where we live now too), but I think they came here from Western NC in the 30s, it's crazy how vast, and small the world is.
  5. Oh yes! Fabulous Sylvia, thanks so much!! I bet I can make a credit card die for my extruder and whip those out in a jiffy. The different lengths is a great idea for loading too, thanks again!!! Stacy p.s. - I almost named my youngest Sylvia, but she ended up Caroline, and my maiden name was Shirley.
  6. Thanks so much for the replies, you guys are the best! Denice, I have watched someone make a die with a cutting board before, but they used a drill press, jig saw, torch, etc., and it just seemed too intimidating in general, and I don't have all those tools! I'll have to try it with my regular drill and a file and see how it goes. I definitely have ideas for larger dies...but the old credit cards do work great for smaller shapes, like mouldings and handles, etc. That was a great video Paula! I like the low profile of your foot, and the lip/well at the bottom. When I need to make a really wide walled piece like a large platter or serving dish I throw the bottom/floor only on a nice wide bat, with a ridge on the outside edge. Then extrude a 1 1/2" - 2" solid cylinder and make a doughnut a bit smaller in diameter than what I want the piece to be, attach it to the bottom, and continue to throw the wall from there. You have to make sure you attach well and compress the coil, but it's worked well for me. It cuts down on the amount of clay I have to center in the beginning a lot, helpful since I use a kick wheel. These would be easy to do that way, no bottom! I liked your soundtrack too. The wall of test tiles that SShirley mentioned is exactly where I'm headed! I have also visited potters with a display like that in their studios, and I have the perfect wall for it in my glazing area. I have made a grid of my glazes and given each a letter for the 1st coat and a # for the 2nd for this overlap testing (A1, A2, etc.) that way I'll have a tile of the single glaze color itself also. Since I have 10 or 15 glazes I want to test and a couple of clay bodies, the number of tiles add up quick! This seemed like the best system for that many combinations. I'm really excited about it though, as it's a project for me. I also LOVE the idea of the small cylinders used on the handles of the glaze buckets - genius!! I only share my studio with 1 person, but she's a beginner, and is still trying to get past the "pink glaze that's really blue" thing. I have a small hollow round die that will do the trick, so I will be making these for sure. I also hadn't thought of scoring the "L" to facilitate breaking the stand off, that's a great tip Pres, I'll be keeping that in mind when I get my cutting board test tile dies made. I think I'm going to try the flat tiles in a stand or setter of some sort. I tried last night to make some tiles and extruded a strap about 2" wide and 1/4" thick, and cut it into 3" lengths. I was able to turn out 120 tiles pretty quickly, with a hole in the top for mounting and used a bisque stamp in the upper right quadrant for texture. I'm still experimenting with the stand/setter design. I want something fairly low profile, but sturdy enough, and quick/easy to produce (I'll be re-using them too). I'm leaning toward a "small rectangle with angled grooves", but am up for suggestions! I forgot to mention in my earlier post that time in my studio is at a premium, I work a full time job and have 2 small girls, 3 & 9. I'm also the leader of my oldest's girl scout troop, and it's cookie time, but that's a whole other ball of wax. So that factor will influence the process, I need a quick and efficient use of my limited studio time, more bang for my buck (or minute in this case). I so appreciate the tips and suggestions, I have tried to do a little research, but just not enough hours in the day! (well, not if I want to feed my kids, walk the dog, do laundry, yada yada) Thanks for sharing, I'll try to post some pics of my results! Stacy
  7. Hello all! I am fairly new to posting on the forum, but enjoy the discussions here, so I thought I'd ask for your knowledgeable input. I recently set up my studio after about a 10 year hiatus and have had a couple of pretty decent firings (cone 6 electric). One of my New Year projects is to go back to what I should have done before those firings and run some glaze tests. I have some nice glazes that I want to do some overlap testing with and try out some new stuff too. No major deadlines coming up so now is the time! To the point! I have used the standard "L" and "T" shaped test tiles in the past, extruded, with success. I have an extruder, but no test tile die at present, and no drill press or tools to create a large enough die for a test tile. I do my own small dies with credit cards and a dremel, but I don't think that would be strong enough for a larger shape. Problem #2 is I'd like to hang these on a board when I'm finished, and don't really want to go breaking off the bottom leg of hundreds of tiles (yep, I'm ambitious with these testing plans). So I'm thinking of just making flat tiles with a stamp on one side for texture and a hole for mounting, and making some little "tile setters" of some sort for firing them so they stand at an angle. How do you make your test tiles? How do you position them for firing? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Stacy
  8. I'm in the same boat, and it's a good one for a change! After about a 10 year hiatus of raising small children, I have recently set up my own studio, along with a willing but very inexperienced partner in crime. I was an apprentice at a local studio during college so I have experience, but had no space, and her parents had an unused block store building, that was even on a separate power bill, so this venture began. I've been collecting pieces over the years (wheel, etc, etc) and bought a kiln on craigslist about a year ago for $250. It's a huge 28" excalibur single phase with an orton auto fire. The very nice people I got it from got it as part of a package of kilns, and did not have the ability to hook it up and test it (so came with no knowledge as to if it even worked at all), and it was just too big for them, so for $250 I figured it was worth the gamble. Well, needless to say, we installed a 60 amp breaker, wired it in, and the test fire and first first bisque went fabulously! All elements worked great except in the floor (not to bad!), and the controller is fab!! (a luxury I am unaccustomed to) Our first glaze firing is in progress as I write, I'm too thrilled as well. Congrats on your firing successes!! I'll try to let you know how this one turns out when we open tomorrow, it's totally christmas morning!! Stacy
  9. I appreciate this question, as I am getting ready to make my own wedging table for my "new" home studio and had the same fear. Is there a particular brand of plaster that's reccommended for a wedging table, and how thick should it be? (I had planned on about 3 - 4 inches) Great timing!
  10. Thanks everybody for the advice, I went for it and picked it up yesterday. The 2 sections are separate and the bottom section has a little more damage to the bricks than the top that was pictured, but not horrible (mostly chipping of the thin lips on the bricks). This weekend I'm going to try to see if I can get it put back together. Does anyone have any advice for repairs to the bricks? The kiln shelves are in good condition too, had a layer of kiln wash on them. I hadn't even thought of a lead test, did you mean one from somewhere like Lowes for lead paint? That's definately a good idea too, one I plan on doing for sure. The man I bought it from got it several years ago from an estate sale and hasn't done anything with it. I figured the kiln shelves and spare parts would merit the $100 gamble either way, and it will be a learning experience. Thanks again for the advice, I will update with the working status after I get it put back together and really assess the condition. p.s. - It came with several plaster molds (a couple of pretty good sized vases, mugs, and a dog bowl) that I will never use - they're in great condition. If anyone has any ideas on how to connect with someone who might have use of them, please let me know as well.
  11. I have the opportunity to purchase an older Knight electric kiln - condition ultimately unknown. Here's the specs the seller sent me: The top kiln section has a Sitter Brand model LT-3K, by W.P. Duncan, timer and thermostat The bottom kiln section has a plate on it that says Knight 103-T, 2300 degree, cone 10, 350 watt, 230 volt, 45 amp Comes with some furniture, 1 whole round, 2 half rounds, some posts So, this fellow really doesn't know anything about the kiln, it's been in storage and now it's just in his way, but he only wants $100 (I attached the pics I was sent). It's been taken apart in the middle and looks to be flipped as well, and looks like there's some damage to a couple of the bricks also. I've had experience firing an older electric kiln w/kiln sitter, but it was mainly for bisque. I'm trying to set up a home studio (at last) and this would be my first kiln. Does anyone know if I can get parts (elements, etc.), from another company? Is it worth the gamble on repairs/firing efficiency? Hate to pass up a bargain, but I know most of the time you get what you pay for, so any advice is much appreciated - thanks!
  12. Funny! I think I would feel weird just buying a scale from a police auction too. I recently got an older model ohaus triple beam with the weight set on ebay as well, with shipping was under $60. Works great!
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.