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Everything posted by bciskepottery

  1. Just a friendly reminder: any inquiries about cost, locations, etc. should be done privately with Tom and not via the forum. Terms of use preclude conducting business on the forums. (And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming).
  2. A 30 amp kiln will require a 40 amp circuit to be safe (you should always have a circuit 25% higher than rated amps). I would also have the wiring checked to make sure it is the right gauge for the stress the kiln will put on it.
  3. I've been using Little Loafers for years; fires to an ivory/off-white, hardly a "tan stoneware". I've not had Old Lady's glaze problem.
  4. Agree with Mark, probably used for kiln wash. Using calcined clay reduces cracking when the wash dries.
  5. Make sure there is no conflict of interest between your new community studio job and your taking on personal students.
  6. For an initial run of test tile, that works. You'll want to run a second set of test tiles once you choose the one or two tiles that look closest to your desired color. Just repeat the process.
  7. If you look at a manufacturer's cone chart, you will find end temperatures that vary depending on the rate of temperature rise over the last 200 degrees or so of the firing; so, a cone 6 cone will have a different end temperature if the heat rate is 60 degrees an hour for the last 200 degrees vs 150 degrees and hour for the last 200 degrees. That would explain your end temperature variance. So long as the cone tips properly, your glaze is getting the heat work needed to melt. The last variable is your kiln brick. Thicker 3" insulated fire brick is a better insulator and holds heat better than 2 1/2". As for eutectics, it is not only a matter of hitting the melting point temperature; you also need to hold the heat to allow for a smooth melt. You can put a pizza in the over and bring it to the baking point (say 400 degrees); take it out, it may be uncooked. Leave it in for 18 minutes, and it has had time to absorb the heat and cook through. Same for pots and glazes.
  8. From her ceramics page . . . and if you click on the works for sale tab, you can see some very nice work. "Stenciled and incised details are added before the first firing. "Colours are applied as slips, glazes, oxides, enamels and lustres. "Works are fired at least three times, the highest temperature being 1230 Centigrade." Likely approach . . . applying colored slips at greenware stage, then bisque firing; adding glazes and oxide stains/washes at cone 6 glaze firing; then adding enamels and lustres at a third firing. Testing is necessary as your clay will behave differently than hers (unless using the same). Check out Robin Hopper's books for advice on how to mix stains and washes; he provides amounts, what combinations produce what colors, etc. Check out books on China painting for advice on enamels and lustres. The process for this type of work is time sensitive . . . you really have to work around the clay and when it is ready for carving, applying slips, etc. And it takes time to make mistakes and find out what works for you.
  9. http://johnbrittpottery.blogspot.com/2012/02/magruder-red-cone-6.html John Britt recipe.
  10. 6 of one; half dozen of the other. Comes down to personal preference. Many community studios use 05 as it the bisque is hard enough to prevent over-absorption of glazes by beginning students who all count to 1003 (or 1005) at different paces. Not sure you'd notice a difference unless some glazes are real sensitive to thickness.
  11. Mine is in attached garage, but I have it vented (I fire both bisque and glaze). I also crack the garage door open during overnight firings to vent heat and fumes. I had an electrical subpanel installed to support the kiln and rest of studio.
  12. Go for one that fires to cone 10; that way you will have no problems firing reliably to cone 6. Go for 3" of insulated fire brick (or equivalent); retains heat better and cools slower. Go for an automatic controller. Go for multiple zones (not single zone); you will get even firings with three thermocouples. Think about service and maintenance. Will you do your own element replacement? Etc. You can get terrific prices on the internet, some with free delivery. But are you okay with setting up the kiln once it arrives? Buying from a local shop keeps you dollars in the community and builds a long-term relationship. I chose a local shop . . . and his final price with installation was not much higher than a drop shipment. And he walked me through all the controls, etc. We want people to support local artists/potters; potters need to support local suppliers, too. Works both ways. My kiln is an L&L, 6.7 cu. ft. No regrets. Others I looked at were Cone Art and Bailey. Very seldom do you see these brands on the resale market; other brands, more likely. Main reasons for L&L were the element holders for easy changing, solid construction, and it was the brand I learned to fire on at the community studio (also fired some other brands, but the L&Ls were the workhorses).
  13. I've used widgetco in the past and was happy with service.
  14. Dang. I was on page 28 of my equations to solve it and he beat me to it. I knew I shouldn't have taken time for a nap. Oh, well.
  15. I use Slabmats (one on top; one on bottom); I place the clay on the mat back far enough so that I can feed the front couple inches through the rollers to start. I do not canvass in the studio as it collects/retains dust.
  16. I bought the NorthStar porta-roller about 8 years ago; no regrets. Dual rollers, no shims. I just leave it set up on a table. It was my first piece of studio equipment.
  17. This is interesting. Was it mostly for the liability or for the home protection of your studio? Mostly liability . . . some shows require proof of liability insurance, generally up to $1 or $2M.
  18. I use State Farm and bought a separate business policy (~$400 annually) to cover kiln and studio at home and liability for shows. Yes, it is $400, but it is also tax deductible. Net zero.
  19. You can use wadding . . . puts the small trays above the kiln shelf and allows for more even cooling. 50% EPK/50% alumina. I've started doing this on my trays and very seldom get any warping.
  20. I believe the cause is glaze thickness. Some glazes are very sensitive to thickness of application, with the result being cloudiness or different color. For those glazes that are application sensitive, the clay body or firing schedule is immaterial. Thicker/thinner areas will appear to be different colors/shades. Comes down to the ingredients in the glaze . . . which are uncertain here because they are commercial glazes. Work on getting your glaze to a better application consistency so there are not overlaps or drips that cause unevenness in application.
  21. Gas bubbles in the 266. The glaze is maturing and sealing the surface before the gas bubbles from the clay body are released. Most common remedy is to hold top temperature during bisque to allow more of the Sulphur and other impurities to burn out. Also, stack the 266 loose in the bisque to maximize surface area to promote burnout of impurities. Not an uncommon problem with 266 and similar clay bodies.
  22. It is called plucking, often happens with a porcelain or a porcelaineous stoneware. From your description, it sounds like you do not wax bottoms. That could be a first step. Or add some alumina hydroxide hydrate to wax -- the alumina in the wax will help keep the wares from sticking to the kiln wash. Or, use wadding. Edited 5/12
  23. Soda and salt firing atmospheres are corrosive on soft bricks like those lining your converted electric kiln, unless you have treated the bricks with some type of refractory material. And, once you go soda or salt in your kiln, it is pretty much impossible to go back to just gas firing due to soda/salt collecting on the surface of the bricks. As you indicated you know nothing about soda firing, you would be better off finding someone with a soda or salt kiln and learning the ins/outs of firing with them and understanding soda/salt kiln design. Then build an appropriate soda kiln.
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