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clay lover

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Everything posted by clay lover

  1. Mea, If I'de known then what know now>>>........ I have the Shutt 1027 with the computor controlls. I don't think I have an override, but this kiln is "ADVERTISED "to have hotter elements on the top and bottom to "INSURE" that it fires evenly, just read the adds. Is my frustration showing? The kiln is advertised to have a cone fire mode, but it doesn't have the holds that my glazes seem to need. I have been using a 5 ramp program with a slow (108* hr), climb from 1800* to peak temp of 2200. then a hold at peak of 15 min. then controlled cool to 1700*. That program was giving me a correct cone 6 at the thermocouple, but too cool top and bottom. It was when I tried the 1/2 shelf spacing approach the it got way MORE uneven. Another question????? How do I know if the glazes I am using have a tolerence range? The last firing, the clays didn't even mature, the speckles in speckled brownstone didn't show up in the pieces in the bottom half of the kiln. never got to ^6.
  2. Thanks, Marcia, I will try some of these changes next week. this last time I had 4"post on the bottom, a solid shelf 3" posts, another solid shelf, then the staggered shelves, 1 set 2"under the thermocouple, one set 2" above it. then a solid shelf with taller things, on up to the lid with only the thin, tall handles of a shelf full of basket forms ,14" tall but only the bottom 6 " was solid work, just handles the other 8" up to the lid. Every time I do a glaze firing, I think,"This time it will be better, but so far, ........
  3. Marcia, do you mean that I should put LESS? ware in the middle where it is firing hotter? I have considered borrowing more 1/2 shelves to see if that would help. Do I need MORE circulation where it is firing cooler?, less where it is hotter?
  4. I am STILL struggling to get my fairly new skutt to fire more evenly. I have talked to the tec rep several times, nothing is getting better. I still have a cone difference between the middle where the thermocouple is and the top and bottom, even tho Skutt says in their adds that they have prevented that by having hotter elements in the bottom and top to even things out. I do not have a vent, the kiln is outside. on a covered slab. I have a friends who gets even firing tell me she always uses 1/2 shelves for ventilations, seperating them slightly at the middle and staggering them in height when ever possible. she doen't have andy whole shelves so her whole kiln is done this way. I tried this last firing but I only have 4 1/2 shelves, so I arranged them staggered and slightly separated at the center, above and below the thermocouple, with solid shelves at the top and bottom of the kiln. WOAH,, the uneveness was WORSE!! A full cone off, way cooler at the bottom. This was with the top and bottom peeps out, and the lid slightly lifted for the first 1,000*, as Skutt recommends if you don't have a vent.. slow rise, 108* hour, to peak temp of 2000 and 15 min soak. The cones at the thermocouple were way overfired for cone six, the 6 was flat, the 7 down and touching. The cones at the bottom barely made 5. Should I have used the solid shelves around the thermocouple to 'block ' the heat, and the 1/2 shelves at the bottom to 'let the heat in'? HELP !!!
  5. We have this happen inside the kiln room at school when all of the kilns are firing and we put a fan under the controll box for each kiln, took care of the problem. The book with my Skutt says it won't fire in temps over 105, I think.
  6. So if you are on a well, like I am, what should you do when mixing glazes?l
  7. Good luck with the paper clay Cyndi:). Another thing that helps greatly with S-cracks in thrown pieces is when throwing, push the clay along the bottom in towards the middle, out again, and back in. This will align the particels. Best, Julia Sorry, I haven't been on or I would have replied. I expect the even drying is the problem, it doesn't matter how slowly you dry if it is still uneven, the do-nut of plastic is a good idea. Other thing I thought of, are you rolling the clay slab in different directions, and even turning it over to roll out? Sometime that can help prevent cracks, the clay shrinks in several directions that way, due to clay memory.
  8. Good luck with the paper clay Cyndi:). Another thing that helps greatly with S-cracks in thrown pieces is when throwing, push the clay along the bottom in towards the middle, out again, and back in. This will align the particels. Best, Julia
  9. Hanson, I would be very interested in knowing some of the "4-5 ways to extend the firing range of a glaze," that you mentioned. Are you willing to instruct?
  10. The local pawn shop had two dial a gram Ohaus today 65 each but no weights, check e-bay.
  11. Kristen, I got the 2", I guess the 3" might have been better, but I talked to Bracker's where I got it and they said it wouldn't make any diff in the performance of the kiln, now I'm wondering if I should get a vent. John Hesselberth said I should get no more than 1/4 cone diff between shelves, that's after I figure all this oout. I want to know more about how taking out peeps should help even it up.
  12. Chris, I increased the peak temp 5* and increased the hold from 10 to 15 min. Seemed better, if I increase the hold to 20 minutes, do I need to lower the peak temp? I am doing a controlled down fire, ramp 4 is a drop from 2200 to 1900 and a hold of 30 min at 1900. Then down 125* and hour to 1750, no hold and off. The kiln cooled to 200* to be opened in 13 hours from the 2200 peak. I didn't have any matt glazes in this firing, so don't know how that will work with these settings.
  13. I would appreciate some suggestions from more experienced potters on this. I have a new Scutt 1027 Kilnmaster, hope it is OK to mention brands. I haven't been able to adjust things to get it to have cones even from top to bottom. I am new to firing at home and working my way through this. So far, I have fired with all peeps in and gotton a full cone cooler on the top shelf, with resulting glazes under developed. I put the cones in the same place each time and leave 2" above and below the themocouple with shelves. I use the Corelite shelving. Next firing I took out the top peep at the suggestion of the Skutt tec guy, got the same looking cones, but that time the bottom was a full cone cooler, like I flipped the temps from top to bottem. Skutt guy said to slow down the last climb, I had set it for 200* per hour to 2195 with a 10 minute hold. He said that was too fast to get even temps through out. Last night I unloaded a kiln that I has increased the peak soak from 10 minutes to 15 minutes and with a slower, 125* climb to peak, which I set at 22200*. I kept the peeps all in. The cones look more consistent, but I didn't have a top shelf, the only shelf was at mid way, with a full shelf of tall slender pieces with tall handles, so not real dense at the top. I should add, I don't have a vent, the kiln is outside of my studio in a covered shed. the breeze blows through. The Skutt rep says I won't get even without having peeps out, but when I took them out, nothing improved, only reversed the cool area from top to bottom. Any advice or similar experiences, I would love to hear. Thanks in advance!
  14. I agree with you, Linnet, and I am even more anoyed when the gallery rep tells me about how it's really hand made and doesn't see any difference between this stuff and what is hand thrown . I am in an area where ceramics isn't very understood or appreciated by the buying public, they go for the look and don't care how it was made. Personally, I don't feel the pressed into a mold , multiples falls into the same category of work as hand thrown or sculpted. But I will admit to doing a small line of 'money makers' of that nature to fill out my booth of hand thrown larger pieces. Got to pay the rent, ya know.
  15. I haven't used one of those sprayers but I have always used a 80 mesh sieve without any problems Thank you, I'll give that try ...my first attempt at using this was a mess, so I'll have to give it another go I bought a length of 1/2 inch vinyl tubing at Lowe's and slip that over the mouth end of the metal sprayer. It fits snugly enough that I can then put the other end of the tubing in my mouth and blow through that. That means that I don't have to lean down over the piece awkwardly in order to use the sprayer. I also have better control with the spraying when I don't have to try to aim it and blow into it with my mouth at the same time. It's a cheap solution. I bought one of thosem thinking it would be a good alternative for when I want a little glaze effect around a rim, but don;'t want to load up the sprayer. It was a disaster! I got spray all over everything withing 3 feet of the pot, no focused direction , even tho I was close to the pot and didn't blow very hard. Any suggestions? I seived the glaze to 60, could that have beenn the trouble?
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