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GEP

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  1. Like
    GEP reacted to Sorcery in major over fire in Skutt kiln.   
    Error six has literature about backwards Thermo hookup.
    Can't find anything on 17.
    Sorce
  2. Like
    GEP got a reaction from karenkstudio in What’s on your workbench?   
    With only three shows on the fall schedule, I have time to do things that are outside of my usual inventory plans. The taller one is 14 inches tall. Both were thrown in two sections, about 9 lbs of clay in each vase.  

  3. Like
    GEP reacted to Hulk in What’s on your workbench?   
    From Labor Day's glaze firing
    Clockwise, top left,
      Test tiles for "waste" glaze (retained, settled, sieved and adjusted cleanup, wipe off, etc. - just over 1.5 gallons; it's "free!"), crazes over these clays, may fit buff and red clays better, tbd
      New lower expansion liner glaze (per recent entry to https://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/19922-clay-composition-and-crazing), goes on well, looking good so far - more testing required. I'm not minding the specks, which may be from petalite, as all the other ingredients have been used in previous low expansion trials...
      Am still liking the Lakeside Clear Blue, here over white clay; the lower part is BVG Rutile Green, which mutes the carved red slip - will be trying this again.
      Really liking this tin chrome red, here over Cassius. This firing, no bloating in the black clay pieces, likely due to extended bisque (longer holds at critical temps).
      Selsor Faux Celedon (with some minor coe adjustment) over buff clay - really like this look.
     

  4. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in What’s on your workbench?   
    With only three shows on the fall schedule, I have time to do things that are outside of my usual inventory plans. The taller one is 14 inches tall. Both were thrown in two sections, about 9 lbs of clay in each vase.  

  5. Like
    GEP reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Do certain glazes effect the tase and smell of coffee?   
    Just because a recipe fires to cone ten doesn't mean it won't leach. Oribe and shino recipes can be suspect if they're not properly balanced, and they're not the only ones. Glazes need to be tested for durability before you try selling them, imo. If you are getting reports from more than one household that the glaze is giving the coffee a "taste," I would not waste a lot of time on suggesting washing is the problem to your customers. I'd offer them an apology, and either a refund or an exchange for a mug with a liner you know is more suitable. I would also take the extra step of reaching out to anyone you'd sold a similar mug to, and offer them the same. Some people won't make the complaint to you, but they will to their friends and family, which is never good. If they take the exchange, I might even add a small extra item (ring dish, ornament, spoon rest) as a thank you for their patience and understanding. It can turn an embarrassing mistake by a newbie into a positive customer service experience from a conscientious and professional craftsperson ;).
    If you have indeed done your due diligence and you're sure it's the customer not washing their wares properly, a combination of baking soda and boiling water works much better than vinegar. Put a tablespoon or so of baking soda in the mug, place it in the sink and fill with boiling water. It will fizz, so don't do this on the counter. After the water cools to the point where it's easily handled, the stains should wipe out easily with a cloth. I live in an area of very hard water, and it works a treat.
  6. Like
    GEP got a reaction from 2Relaxed in A trend observed   
    I think it’s great when I hear that someone is retiring from another career, and becoming a potter on a hobby level or a semi-pro level. It works the brain and it works the body. When you do it full-time for a real income, it’s very different. It overworks the body, and often underworks the brain, due to the repetitious nature (couldn’t do it without audiobooks). I don’t regret doing it for the last almost ten years. I’d do it again! But there is a limit. So you can retire TO pottery, or you can retire FROM pottery. These are two very different paths, though both valid. Either way, I know that being retired and having nothing to do can be a catastrophic mistake. I also know that when your occupation is the sole basis of your identity, you’re in big trouble when you get old. There’s more to me than being a potter, but I’ve had to table everything else. When I retire from pottery, I still plan on being a maker, on a hobby or semi-pro level. And doing something that does not require so much physical work, and does not require so much space. 
  7. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Magnolia Mud Research in Humidity and greenware drying   
    It’s not about energy use, Bill. It’s about not wanting to make the studio hotter when the weather is already hot, and when there are hot kilns to deal with sometimes already. The energy use difference between a light bulb and a fan is made insignificant by the kilns. I’ll take the option that actually makes the studio cooler.
  8. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Pres in Humidity and greenware drying   
    I’d bet there is a big difference between studios that have dozens of users, and studios with only one user, in terms of how much dust is around. 
    I sometimes put pots on top of a warm kiln to dry them faster too. But I don’t think it makes sense to turn on an additional heat generating device in the summer. 
  9. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in What’s on your workbench?   
    With only three shows on the fall schedule, I have time to do things that are outside of my usual inventory plans. The taller one is 14 inches tall. Both were thrown in two sections, about 9 lbs of clay in each vase.  

  10. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in Humidity and greenware drying   
    I’d bet there is a big difference between studios that have dozens of users, and studios with only one user, in terms of how much dust is around. 
    I sometimes put pots on top of a warm kiln to dry them faster too. But I don’t think it makes sense to turn on an additional heat generating device in the summer. 
  11. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Min in What’s on your workbench?   
    With only three shows on the fall schedule, I have time to do things that are outside of my usual inventory plans. The taller one is 14 inches tall. Both were thrown in two sections, about 9 lbs of clay in each vase.  

  12. Like
    GEP reacted to Chilly in What’s on your workbench?   
    Local pottery Association throwout a challenge every so often.  Latest is "Hug".
    These two are drying, ready for bisque.  If they survive they will go into a wood-fired kiln at end of August.  Probably no glaze, might give them a wash with oxides, might not.
    Hardest things I've made in a long time.  The standing pair are the third attempt, previous just collapsed.  They're small, as you can probably tell by the half-sized washing up sponge.






  13. Like
    GEP reacted to karenkstudio in What’s on your workbench?   
    another battery votive 

  14. Like
    GEP reacted to Hulk in Humidity and greenware drying   
    AC does pull some some moisture, which is almost always helpful...
    fwiw, I'm no longer using fans (in the studio), as the air stream is more focused, hence kicks up more dust; there just isn't a place to point it where the air wash doesn't reach places that I'm not willing to clean regularly (behind material stores, under shelves ...my studio, err, studio/workshop/bike shop, is in a one car garage - not particularly large). I open the rollup door and the person door to get gentle air movement, which is almost always enough to speed drying, and kicks up less dust. When in a hurry (doesn't happen very often, heh), I'll carry ware boards outside.
    Also fwiw, I'm "monitoring" dust levels via accumulation on horizontal surfaces about the studio - how much dust, where, how long, etc. I'm seeing that keeping the floors clean makes a big difference - stepping on dry clay makes dust - however, the biggest culprit appears to be the wedging area, where opening/closing clay bags that have any dry clay on the plastic and allowing any clay to dry on/around the wedging boards generates dust. Any cloth - rags, clothing (not much difference, heh) - that gets clay on it will generate dust. Looks like greenware sheds dust, however, storing it away from breezes seems to help.
    Point being, how to monitor dust levels? I don't know, other than watching the surfaces about the studio. I placed a clean bat out of reach at the local JC ceramic studio when I was taking classes there, and was appalled (but not surprised) how much filth built up in two days. Well, this (post) isn't the first time I've made a case for monitoring dust... 
  15. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in Humidity and greenware drying   
    Are you also recommending that pottery studios should not use air conditioning? It seems like the same thing in terms of creating a draft. In the summer, I run a portable AC when I’m in the studio working. When it’s very humid, I run a fan at night to help the pots dry. I don’t think I could be productive in the summer without either of them. If it’s dangerous, then it’s a trade off I’m willing to make. 
  16. Like
    GEP reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in What’s on your workbench?   
    I made a thing. I was originally thinking garlic box, but...

  17. Like
    GEP reacted to JohnnyK in Fresh exposure through local news article   
    As many of you know, I’ve been pursuing a serious hobby in ceramics and pottery for the last decade or so. I’ve sold a bunch of stuff and have donated a bunch of stuff to various causes. Local PBS station KVIE-TV has been the recipient over the last 3 years and this time around I was recognized with their Juror’s Award for Sculpture for this collection of my Horsehair Raku…They, in turn, had put out a press release which was picked up by a local online news source, The Citrus Heights Sentinel. I was interviewed by a young, up and coming reporter, Rylie Freisen, and the attached PDF is the article she wrote which was published last Sunday.citrusheightssentinel.com-Meet John Klunder the Citrus Heights man who works wonders with ceramics.pdf
    For those of you who are interested, my time on the Auction will be Saturday, 3 OCT at 4PM…
    Thanks for your consideration!
    JohnnyK

    These are my other KVIE submissions, both of which were “Bell-Ringers”:
     
  18. Like
    GEP reacted to Min in Studio Tools, Sponge on a Stick   
    I was looking at a telescoping sponge on a stick and kind of balking at the price. Picked up 2 mini paint rollers from the dollar store (2/$1.50) and pushed one onto a paintbrush handle, works great. 
    It's been a while since we've had a tips and tricks thread, anybody have anything they could share?

  19. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Stephen in Home and Garden shows and "Booth Quote"?   
    When you are honestly not sure if a show is worth its booth fee, my advice is always the same. Skip it this time as an exhibitor, but go as a spectator. You can see with your own eyes if your work will fit it, and if the type of customers you want are there. Going in blind is the same as gambling. 
  20. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Roberta12 in Home and Garden shows and "Booth Quote"?   
    When you are honestly not sure if a show is worth its booth fee, my advice is always the same. Skip it this time as an exhibitor, but go as a spectator. You can see with your own eyes if your work will fit it, and if the type of customers you want are there. Going in blind is the same as gambling. 
  21. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Home and Garden shows and "Booth Quote"?   
    When you are honestly not sure if a show is worth its booth fee, my advice is always the same. Skip it this time as an exhibitor, but go as a spectator. You can see with your own eyes if your work will fit it, and if the type of customers you want are there. Going in blind is the same as gambling. 
  22. Like
    GEP got a reaction from Hulk in Home and Garden shows and "Booth Quote"?   
    When you are honestly not sure if a show is worth its booth fee, my advice is always the same. Skip it this time as an exhibitor, but go as a spectator. You can see with your own eyes if your work will fit it, and if the type of customers you want are there. Going in blind is the same as gambling. 
  23. Like
    GEP reacted to Dick White in Custer Feldspar Substitution   
    Kona F4 was (again, "was" is the important word) a soda feldspar mined in Spruce Pine, NC. A bit before the turn of the century, there was an unfortunate fire in the mine, and it was uneconomical to repair and reopen. End of Kona F4. There was another company mining a soda feldspar on the other side of the same mountain. That was named NC-4. For whatever marketing reasons, the company selling NC-4 decided to change the name to Minspar. So, if you ever run out of that historic bag of Kona F-4, Minspar is almost the same. In some areas of the world, the feldspars are typically not sold by brand name, but by generic type. Soda feldspar, F4, NC-4, Minspar, all about the same and mostly interchangeable with each other (after testing to be sure exactly how whatever you just got works in that particular recipe).
    Potash feldspar is the flip side of soda. Feldspars typically have both sodium and potassium in the percentage analysis, and whichever of them is higher gets the name attribution.  Potash spar is the generic term for spars that have more potassium than sodium. Custer, G200, G200HP, G200EU, and Mahavir are US brand names for spars that lean to the potash side in varying proportions. If your Custer is fairly old, it is similar to the G200 and I would just mix the small amount of G200 with the Custer and not worry about it.
    In the interest of completeness, but not really part of this specific question, spodumene is a feldspar that has lithium among its alkaline fluxes. If you need lithium and can't pay the current highway robbery for it, try recalculating your recipe to use spodumene. And finally, there is nepheline syenite. From the geologist's perspective, it is not a true feldspar, but is close enough to be called feldspathic. Names, schmanes, whatever. It is a flux material very high in sodium, higher than proper soda feldspars.
    carry on as you were,
    dw
  24. Like
    GEP reacted to Dick White in Custer Feldspar Substitution   
    Some history and clarification about the G200 series feldspars - G200 was (the important word: "was") a potash spar roughly equivalent to Custer at the time it was in production. The G200 mine in Monticello, GA began to run out in the early 2000s, but they were able to keep the brand going by using a feldspar from another mine in Siloam, GA (about 50 miles distant). That feldspar, however, was considerably higher in its potassium content. They resolved the chemistry by trucking a soda feldspar in from Spruce Pine, NC (about 250 miles distant, probably from a mine near the Minspar source and the now-closed Kona F4 source mines) and blending it 70:30 Siloam potash spar:Spruce Pine soda spar. In about 2009, the company decided it was getting too expensive to truck both feldspars for processing and blending in Monticello, so they announce to their customer base that henceforth they would sell only Siloam product with the higher potassium, now labeled as G200HP. They revealed that they had been blending it for years and customers could either blend it themselves with Minspar or recalculate their glazes to the higher potassium content of the G200HP.  Lauguna, for example, began mixing them in their own facility and selling it as "Old Blend." However, as happens in the world of mined products, the Siloam mine ran out in about 2013, and G200HP is now unavailable. To meet the demand for a potash spar, they began to import a potash feldspar from Spain that was comparable to the original G200, and labeled it as G200EU. This product remains currently available, but not as widely carried by distributors and a bit more expensive due to the transport costs from Spain.
    At the same time, Laguna found a potash spar in India that is very similar to the original (and blended) G200 and imports it under the name Mahavir feldspar.
    Shifting now to the Custer issue, the original G200 and the blended G200 were roughly equivalent at the time, and often subbed 1 for 1 for each other in glaze recipes with no problem. When potters began to realize the bag of G200 they had so blithely just picked up from their distributor was in fact G200HP (the bag and label coloring were similar, only the printed name with the additional letters "HP" was the give-away) and their glazes were overfluxing, some did their own blending but then changed to using Custer. But then people who had long been using Custer began to notice their glazes were underfiring. After some potters sent their Custer out for testing at independent labs, it was found that the Custer product was now actually significantly lower in potassium and alumina and higher in silica than advertised. Pacer Corp, the producer of Custer, still claims in its technical literature that the analysis is basically the same as advertised some 20 years ago and blames the problem on customer (the potters) misuse. In my experience and similarly reported by others, if you have an old recipe containing a significant amount of Custer (40%+), you might need to recalculate your recipe, or change to G200EU or Mahavir.
  25. Like
    GEP reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Christmas Shows?   
    We were locked down as a country for the better part of two months, so our Covid numbers dropped quite a bit all through the summer. My socially distanced farmer's market has been one of the best years I've ever had there! The "support local" energy is even stronger than it usually is, and people seem to be nesting, since they can't travel, or have been working from home. Which means buying pots, apparently.
    Numbers are on the rise again in my province however. Technically we can have indoor trade shows with no attendance caps at the moment, .as long as there's room for social distancing. That last caveat has cancelled a number of larger shows operated by Signatures (but not all). There's too many unknowns to be able to properly make adequate contingency plans if numbers spike two months from now, so the organization decided to just call it for everyone's safety and comfort. Full refunds have been given promptly for any shows they've cancelled, and kudos to them for it! Signatures has been hinting at some sort of "alternate experience" on social media and in newsletters, but they haven't said what they're doing with the remaining few shows. S
    OOAK Toronto, the largest show in Canada (2 weeks long normally) has cancelled their in-person show, and has decided to offer 2 months of some pretty serious online and conventional media promotion and a fairly sophisticated online shopping setup for $650 if you've never worked with them and $450 if you have. They are encouraging everyone to set up a Shopify website so they can link them all together somehow, and they've negotiated the free 3 month trial with them for all Canadians to facilitate that. (If any Canadian lurkers wanted to set up a Shopify but haven't yet, here's another chance at that deal they were offering earlier this year.) That one's interesting, because OOAK isn't one I can pull off in the physical world because it's too long and too far to haul a trailer full of pots alone at a time of year not known for good road conditions. If they're promoting my shop for 2 months though, it might be good value. There's something to be said for paying people who know what they're doing....
    Spruce Meadows has announced they won't be doing in-person, but is taking their show online. I don't do Spruce Meadows at the best of times despite its size and the fact that it's located in a very upscale area as the overhead is too high. Millarville, which is 10 minutes up the road from it and runs the week before for half the price, has in turn announced that they will be going ahead in person. They're using the signup time model, and the show will be held over 2 weekends as opposed to the usual one to accommodate everyone who wants to come. Because of all the other cancellations, the vendors who want to should be able to attend. They will however, only be approving half the regular number of vendors to allow for physical distancing. 
     
    While I'm waiting to hear from Signatures about 2 of the 3 Christmas shows I had signed up for, I'll be probably redoing my website on Shopify, and building an online catalog. I figure if the in person shows do wind up going ahead, I can offer it as a "pre shop for your convenience" service. If the in-person shows don't go ahead, I will likely do what Mea did, and run a sale for the Edmonton and Red Deer folks where I take a road trip and drop off the purchases in that area on a given day. If I was going to travel there anyways, at least this way I'll only have 2 days worth of travel expenses instead of 5, and no booth fees. I'll keep the website stocked with my best sellers this year (mugs and berry bowls), and just keep to the smaller items for shipping.
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