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About nrsmdwf

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  • Location
    Fort Mill, SC
  • Interests
    Currently (2012) it's tile. Has been sculpture. Hobbyist. Dreams about clay.
  1. Pizza cutter from Goodwill cuts tiles from slabs without dragging the edge.
  2. I'm not even a wheel potter, but the rotator cuff surgery comment was a red flag to my medical mind .... surely your upper arm and shoulder muscle strength were altered by that whole experience ....
  3. Once again, excellent ideas! I haven't tried the slip idea yet - concerned it will fill in my impressions/stamps. But recently, I tried drawing into the clay, and liked the ease of it, so may try the slip with that. I need to look for a slip from clay with similar shrinkage as the main clay body, right? I had been using the two pieces of sheetrock (wall board) in the past, but I'm actually getting better results from the open racks right now. Probably because of the change in clay body. Also allows for my occasional tiles with an added on surface decoration. Also have used a rib (wood) to smooth the slab surface (need to try the rubber one) ... but never thought about the fabric taking some clay with it .... basically it seems to be just wet, but might be contributing. I don't think I could pick up and flip slabs without deforming them ... they are usually about 20 x 6 inches (to cut out 4 - 4 1/2 inch tiles). That's where I'm using the fabric to be able to slip a piece of luan under the slab to flip it. This forum and site has been SOOO amazing!
  4. An update on results of several ideas presented here, and others - : 1. Changed to a heavily grogged clay, Std 420 and Std 547 (red). The 547 seems pretty good, but have not found a glaze that looks decent on 420. Amazing shades of ugly so far. Don't like the huge sand particles, tricky to smooth edges and backs or cut hanger-hole at just the right time in the drying process when still damp enough to smooth, but firm enough to move. Really would prefer a less coarse grog. 2. Made sure when rolling out clay to have minimal movement under the fabric I was using (bedsheet cotton). I believe the surface fibers of clay were adhering to the fabric while the deeper layers were getting rolled unevenly. I'm now beginning with a slab not much thicker (1/4") than the desired thickness (3/8"), roll out, pull fabric away and flip slab/roll a couple of times so there is no 'drag' on the surface from the fabric. Using dowels for thickness guides and kitchen rolling pin. Will consider going to a local studio to use the slab roller again if I have a big order. 3. Moving, flipping slab by sliding a piece of luan plywood under the fabric and turning without distorting the slab. 4. Drying on an open wire rack with no plastic or covering. Even leaving wet tiles on the damp sheeting on the wire rack influences drying/warping. 5. The drop method suggested was not useful, at least not with wet clay. The edges slumped making an uneven thickness between center and edges of tile. Did not try after clay had firmed up a little. 6. Changed to a pizza cutter instead of fettling knife. Less distortion and drag on wet clay when cutting out tiles. 7. Tried the 'score and break apart later' method, which worked very nicely, but with the heavy grog in the clay it was too difficult to smooth the edges once dry. 8. Firing on tile racks (large size to accommodate larger thickness), and found a sale on them! As a result of these changes (and I believe primarily #1, 2 and 4), I have only 10-15% warping, vs >60%. Better, but I still do not like the clay bodies (too gritty), and have not found a good glaze for 420. Hopefully someone can benefit from my results, and suggestions are always welcome! Thanks so much to this most generous community of artists!
  5. I am a newbie over and over and over again in the past 20 years. I experimented with several clays and several glazes. I found I never figured out how to get good results (would have one single decent piece out of the whole kiln load, and couldn't replicate it). Constantly frustrated and disappointed. Closed up the "studio" for years at a time. My suggestion is to pick ONE clay body you want to work with, and only one or two glazes. Exhaust the possibilities (sizes, thicknesses, glaze application techniques, etc.) with those before you add in another clay or glaze. Make excellent notes in a spiral notebook. Don't assume you will know what you meant 3 or 6 months from now, so take time to write it out well. It takes longer than you want, but at least you will feel like an "expert" in one clay and one glaze. It's really, really hard to stick with this plan, but honestly, it will save you tons of frustration, and you really will be able to sit down and make gifts for people in the clay and glaze you know and understand.
  6. I have never used one, but I know I have seen bead trees and bead racks available at ceramic supply stores/online. I believe the wire or metal used must be able to handle the temperature. The wire itself is also available (used for hangers and such on sculptures). There is probably wire available at hardware suppliers that is rated for the temperature you are using.
  7. Thanks for that idea. I'd actually thought of that, but the warping does not seem to be consistent between tiles (some arch up, some get wavy, a few stay flat, etc.) and it seems to happen with several different glazes (I'm using commercial Cone 5-6 glazes: Laguna, Spectrum). Have tested several suggestions regarding handling and "dropping on the floor" =) and that lot of tiles is drying. I will definitely be looking at a groggier clay for the next batch. How thick and what size do you make your tiles, and how do you dry them? Thanks for all this great info!
  8. Thanks. I'd thought of that, too, but hadn't found any lower temp clays/glazes I liked. I think I prefer not to go to the earthenware temps ( I just like the stoneware "look"), but may end up there anyway, if these other ideas don't provide the solution.
  9. You guys are great! Thanks for all the good ideas and tips. I am going to try suspending one of my currently drying tiles (240G) on two kiln posts to see if it slumps, so I should know if the tile setter will work for that clay (I really like the idea of that thing!). Then, I'll definitely try a coarser grog clay and the drop method. I'll try to remember to post my results for anyone else who might be looking at this! Thanks again everyone!! :)src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif">
  10. I just looked up a tile setter - really looks like it would SAVE kiln space! Seems the tiles would slump in the middle - but I guess they don't. Any pointers on using these?
  11. I want to try this, as it makes perfect sense. It sounds like I would need to cut and carve, or whatever I am doing to the tiles, and then drop them. Assuming I am able to drop them so that the board they are on falls flat, will dropping the tiles distort their shape? Depends on how soft the clay is. Fairly firm clays stay put but I imagine really soft ones would move. ... and when would you do any cut-outs on the backs of the tiles? I cut out hanger holes or deep scored lines for mounting .....
  12. No, the only thing I have tried is grog or sand on the kiln shelf to aid in movement during the fire. I'm trying to do a fair volume of tiles - like 30-40 per order (that's 2-3 firings in my small kiln), so would need to look at something that would not take too much space. Not sure what "tile setters" are... will have to investigate ...
  13. You're right! Don't believe it! But I'm going to try it anyway! Thanks.
  14. New to forum! Thoroughly enjoying the site, gallery and forum. My mind is swirling with wonderful ideas! Wondering if anyone has a suggestion as to why my 4 inch tiles are warping in the glaze fire? (cone 5-6) I have already done the following: use groggy clay (Std 240G), carefully slab-roll (double roller) to 3/8 inch thickness, compress slab with rib, use care to not bend or drape slabs when moving, cut tiles when slab is firmed, dry between two pieces of sheet rock, flip tiles over partway through drying, dry slowly (4-6 weeks in a crawl space South Carolina basement!). Tiles are essentially flat when dry, Bisque fire to 06 and remain flat. Cone 6, various glazes, sprayed. I lose over half of the tiles to significant warping in the glaze fire. Help?
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