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About Rockhopper

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  1. I think this is a bit of a red herring, many kilns don't fire evenly, especially older large manual ones. It would be easy to get to 05 in the middle of the kiln and 06 in the cooler parts near the floor or lid. That, and the Mayco website says "Many Foundations® Opaques can be fired to cone 6 ... Their performance at cone 6 is noted on each individual product label with any changes.". So, unless the particular color you used is labeled otherwise, their own website suggests you can go to ^6 - so there shouldn't be much difference going to 05 instead of 06. I've never used Ma
  2. Definitely this... unless you're looking to do a 'science experiment' showing the kids what extreme heat does to their paint. You didn't mention ages - but I suspect most kids would be disappointed to spend time putting color on their bank, and have it look completely different when they come out of the kiln. [Edit: ... should have said "when IT comes out of the kiln". Don't want anyone to think the kids are going into the fire ;-) ] You don't have to do two firings - especially with un-glazed wares. Just make sure they're completely dry and/or candle long enough to dry them before
  3. The pairs of cones should be easy to separate... but don't try to pull them apart... instead, use a twisting motion to 'fold' them along the seam. ( Lots of information about cones, and more video's, on the Orton Website )
  4. Just another reason to 'test-drive' a wheel before buying (used or new). All electric motors make some sound. How much, and at what frequencies, is affected by a lot of different things. In the case of the video, it's also possible (likely) that the type and location of the microphone used is making the hum more noticeable on the recording than it would be if you were in the room.
  5. It looks to be a combination of at-least two different glazes in layers. If you haven't already, check out Amaco's website for hundreds of examples of layering with their glazes. (Other brands may have similar 'libraries' - I only mention Amaco because I use their Potters Choice glazes. As they say, "Actual results will vary" ... depending on how many coats are applied, and how thick... and the order in which you apply them (Glaze 'A' over glaze 'B' will often look different than glaze 'B' over glaze 'A'). Also affecting final appearance: Color & composition of your clay;
  6. Yep. And, though we're usually talking about liquids, 'functional' capacity will generally be slightly higher for solids than for liquids.. For example: A measuring cup with an 'absolute' capacity of 2 cups can usually be filled to the brim with flour or sugar, and carried to its destination with no spillage - but fill that same vessel with water, and you'll have a hard time moving it without sloshing some out... Or, a more common pottery application: You can't put 12oz of coffee in a mug with an 'aboslute' capacity of 12oz unless you have super steady hands - or plan on slurping the
  7. Sitter Gauge, or 'calibration disc' shown in place on the sitter. Around $5 at most pottery supply stores. If you don't have a kiln-sitter manual, you can find one on the web. A quick search also turned up this very detailed write-up on how the sitter works, and how to calibrate it, including lots of close-up pic's.
  8. Whether you buy pre-made harness, or make your own, give a little tug - and maybe a gentle twist - on each of the connectors before installing, to make sure they are firmly crimped onto the ends of the wires. When I picked up my brand-new L&L from the local dealer, she waited 'til I got there to dis-assemble it for me to load into my car. (Seeing how it came apart, gives a much better understanding of how to put it back together). In the process of disconnecting everything, one of the element wires pulled out of the connector, leaving the connector still on the lug. She went to he
  9. When you get your clay, check to see what the manufacturer recommends as a bisque temp. Some clay bodies are 'dirtier' than others, and bisque firing too cool or too fast can leave "stuff" in the clay, that will then burn out during your glaze fire, potentially causing a variety of problems with the glaze. Many pottery supply shops offer classes, and do a lot of firing for students of all skill levels. Even if the one you're buying from is too far away for you to take a class, or they're not currently offering any, ask them what clay(s) they recommend for the glazes you've selected an
  10. @CactusPots Would you put the shelf directly on the kiln floor ? I've always had a shelf in the bottom of my kiln, but on 1/2-inch posts rather than directly on the floor. (Don't remember the details of why - just that "someone" said I should do it that way.)
  11. If it's a top-loading kiln, it might be a good idea to disassemble the kiln and put the base on a sturdy table or workbench to work on it. That will make it easier to see what you're doing, and get a good angle of attack, without having to reach down into the kiln and possibly injure your back - or damage the sides of the kiln by leaning on it.
  12. I had a kiln by the same manufacturer, though a bit older, and the knobs were as Neil said... whatever word was at the top indicated the setting. (In your photo, both would be set on High.) Looks like a 'power on' indicator light above the knobs... A variation on JohnnyK's suggestion: Turn the knobs until the light goes off, with both knobs in the same position. Whichever way "off" is facing will be the correct guide-mark. (Make sure the button on the kiln-sitter is pushed in when testing.)
  13. @oldlady Do you use blocks with a 'finished' surface ? Seems like most of the patio blocks I've seen with a smooth surface are molded to look like brick, stone, or sliced logs, and not "table-top flat". The ones that are completely flat tend to have a fairly coarse, open texture (more like the face of a 'cinder block') that I think would tend to grab bits of clay.
  14. A ^6 body fully matured will be better for almost any purpose than a ^10 body that's only fired to ^7. What sort of "function" ? Palladium is clearly labeled "Not Food Safe" - which rules out using it on any surface that might come in contact with food or beverage. My only experience with slip-casting has been low-fire (^04) Christmas ornaments, so don't know about that - was just suggesting the NS4 as it is also a Laguna slip, that looks to be a similar color to the 500L, but at ^6 to match the glaze you're using.
  15. I've never used Palladium - but have used a lot of other PC glazes, and most of them recommend 3 coats. They are also all listed as Cone 5/6, so Cone 7 would be a little over-fired. Your Laguna 500L slip, on the other hand, is listed as cone 10., so is 3 cones under-fired at cone 7. Depending on how thick your 'normal coats' are, you're combining an over-fired, possibly too-thick glaze application with an under-fired clay... all sorts of things could go wrong with that. If you're going to use cone 5/6 glazes, I would recommend switching to a cone 6 slip - and firing in that
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