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Everything posted by bciskepottery

  1. A couple more places to look for ideas: google Youtube for Simon Leach for videos on constructing a raku kiln and, his most current project, converting an old electric kiln to propane firing using two weed burners and a 40 gal. propane tank. A good book on building kilns is Mel Jacobsen's 21st Century Kilns. You could also consider alternative firing to begin making wares -- this month's Pottery Making Illustrated has an article by Sumi von Dassow on using a Webber grill to low fire pots.
  2. Here is a link you might want to check out: http://www.theclayconnection.org/
  3. The recipe is consistent with that for Haynes White in John Britt's book, The Complete Guide to Hire Fire Glazes, pg. 63. The problem may be more in glaze application -- two thick coats by pouring (not sure why two thick coats are needed). Two thick coats may be more water than the bisque can absorb. May want to try a single application and see if the glaze falls off. Also, is the glaze the right consistency? May also want to consider the bisque temperature for the particular clay body being used.
  4. If you are going through 10 to 20 gallons per month, you might want to consider buying raw materials and mixing your own. That would have to be much more cost effective. I am sure there are low fire clear recipes you could use, perhaps starting with those from Linda Arbuckle. http://lindaarbuckle.com/arbuckle_handouts.html
  5. I use a chamfer tool -- sold by Bill Van Gilder -- to clean exposed edges of slabs. The tool, which he adapted from those used by woodworkers, allows me to put a nice bevelled finish on edges at the leatherhard stage. I also use Buncombe White; the clay has kyanite in it and if you use a wet sponge you run the risk of exposing the grit in the clay because the sponge washes away the finer clay particles. A soft rib can give you a smooth look and help compress the edge or seam.
  6. If you want to continue using Laguna/Miller 66 clay, then you should shift to glazing at ^6. At ^05-06, your clay will not vitrify and it will absorb water/moisture from a dishwasher that could turn to steam in a microwave; your vases could also be leaving moisture rings on table tops. If you want to continue glazing at ^05-06, then you need to change clay bodies. I also make functional ware, both wheel and handbuildt, and fire to ^6 in an electric kiln. I carefully choose my clay bodies for functional ware to vitrify at ^6 and to have an absorption rate of 1 to 2%. Those two factors, along with using stable and durable glazes, allow me to be comfortable in telling customers that the wares are food and microwave safe.
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