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Kohaku

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    http://www.kohaku-river.net

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  • Location
    Moscow, Idaho
  • Interests
    Raku, surface carving, fountains, lanterns and other large functional sculpture, intersection of art and conservation

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  1. Intriguing... I'll have to try this (both the glaze and the gerstley approaches)
  2. Thanks Mark. What's the largest diameter bat you've used? (I guess '26 is my limit, being the inner diameter of my kiln).
  3. Thanks- that would be awesome. I'll post a photo when the behemoth is fired.
  4. Hah! Talk about my old indiscretions coming back to haunt me. <Edit> Oh... it's my sig line. That's what happens when you don't log in for a year or so.
  5. No cobalt in that image! Just silicosis inducing clay dust (which I also stay upwind of)
  6. I've been making some larger vessels lately (25 inch diameter in some cases). See image below. I'm curious as to whether there are any home-studio scale approaches to adding a foot to these. I can clean the outer edge of the base on the wheel- but if I want to add a foot, I would need to A) flip one of these monsters, and B) use a bat with an adequate diameter. The biggest commercial bats seem to be 18 inches in diameter. In theory, I could make larger bats using plywood and a jigsaw- but the mechanics of trimming over a rotating disc on that scale make me a bit nervous. Any suggestions? Do most people who make vessels on this scale just trim off the wheel head?
  7. Thanks so much! I shifted to doing an MFA earlier this year- so haven't been producing as much functional work... but I'll get on it and post a few things..
  8. Kohaku

    Fountains

    Water features with Raku-fired upper vessels and lower pedestals fired at cone six.
  9. Thanks a ton Shirley- I'll check that out. I'm not opposed to alternate techniques, but I'm pretty obsessed with the mosaic effect you get when carved lines are blackened. I suppose I could get this with India ink, but that seems a bit forced to me. Suggestions are welcome... but my experiments with sagger firing aren't promising (you can get a beautiful surface... but darkening the bare areas is more problematic) I also love the organic feel you get with a Raku surface... not just the luster, but the variegated color, the crackle, and the textural residue of the combustibles. Honestly, I feel like there's a lifetime of possibility for me to explore... and I'd rather explore form until I figure out which shapes can handle the stress and which can't. David
  10. Marcia... I've made some of my own paper clay for doing repairs... but my impression was that it didn't throw well. It's something I've been meaning to experiment with more. It's probably worth talking to SPS... although I've often found my interactions with them to be a bit... 'special'. (Whole separate topic there). Min- thanks for the tip on Plainsman's clay. I wish there was a distributor a bit closer than Helena... but I do need an excuse to visit the Archie Bray facilities. I just wedged a round of kyanite into some clay this AM, and I'll be forging ahead with a few experiements...
  11. I planned to mix the kyanite it using the slap and cut method (40 rounds). My impression was that this did a pretty good job of mixing- let me know if I'm wrong. In terms of clays- SPS (where I shop) has several Raku clays, but all have a significant grog component. On their recommendation, I've tried both Alpine white and Sea Mix with sand. I also use Helmer Kaolin (mixed and sold by local Wendt Pottery). I've detected no real difference between fracture rates across these different clays, and Helmer is by far the nicest in terms of throwing. I'd be delighted to try a commercial Raku clay with a finer grog if you have any recommendations... although shipping could be a deterrent (I have family in the Seattle area, so SPS is a convenient stop). In terms of prep, I always pre-glaze at least a day before firing. For delicate pieces, I do a very slow gradient on the temperature. I do not dunk my work- although (glaze dependent) I do 'burp' the can. I use kevlar gloves for transfering delicate pieces (no tongs).
  12. Chris- most of my stuff fires fine. There's one specific form that I make for fountains, however, that's been driving me crazy. Basically a ceramic mill wheel. See below. There was already some discussion on this thread as to why this form breaks so much. (Asymetrical cooling the most likelty culprit). Other complex objects (lanterns in particular) have never cracked... with the exception of really large objects (e.g. drums over 16 inches in height, oversize tiles and platters). I should probably just give up on this one form as a bad prospect... but I'm stubborn.
  13. I have... in that I've tried a range of pre-made clay bodies. What I haven't done is tried a re-formulated clay body. For example, Cass (in another thread) recommended adding 3-5% kyanite. I may ask my local supplier to try this. Other suggestions would be welcome. Have you tried Piepenburg Raku clay? It contains kyanite but I imagine most raku claybodies would..Maybe Cass meant an additional amount of kyanite above what is already in it? It has been years since I have done raku but you mentioned in another thread that you think the cracking occurs either in the kiln or in the reduction chamber. Would it be possible to fire the glazes to maturity then let the piece cool in the kiln to about 900 or thereabouts, then remove it when it is still hot enough to ignite the combustibles but not at top temp? Maybe avoiding the quartz inversion temp at about 1000F would help, just a thought. Min Thanks for the thoughts Min. I've used Pipenburg- and I definitely see a reduced fracture rate. The problem is that pipenburg (like a number of the specifically formulated 'Raku' clays) is full of grog. For the surface carving that I do, the grog yields a ragged line, or grabs the carving tool and throws it off-course. The second idea is interesting... but a number of the most interested surface effects seem to take place at higher temperatures than 900 degrees, and I'd hate to lose the organic character of the surface. I've thought about firing in a sagger and then adding combustibles in-situ (eliminating the rapid cooling that happens when you move your wares from kiln to can. Not entirely sure how to do this safely though. I'll be trying kyanite as an additive this weekend.
  14. I have... in that I've tried a range of pre-made clay bodies. What I haven't done is tried a re-formulated clay body. For example, Cass (in another thread) recommended adding 3-5% kyanite. I may ask my local supplier to try this. Other suggestions would be welcome. One problem- the traditional additive for strength (grog) is a non-starter for me. I want my surface decorations to flow as much as possible... and nothing wrecks things faster than a piece of grit causing the tool to hang up.
  15. Cheers. I certainly see your point (and recognize that I'm pushing the limits of the materials with some of my designs). At the same time, I do feel like there's a creative energy you can tap into when you test the limits. I'd hate to give that up.
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