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Piedmont Pottery

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About Piedmont Pottery

  • Birthday 10/19/1955

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  • Location
    : Fuquay-Varina, NC
  • Interests
    traditional folk pottery, crystalline glazes, pottery instruction

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  1. I usually don't pre-fire oxide washes on bisque. Treat it like an underglaze - let it dry completely and then coat with your transparent glaze.
  2. Generally correct, but nitride bonded silicon carbide shelves from some manufacturers do need to be fired once to burn off some chemicals that can produce discoloration on pots. I don't know if this is true for all manufacturers of nitride-bonded SiC shelves or not, but I ruined a load of pots by not pre-firing new shelves.
  3. I've been using the Peter Pugger VPM-9 since 2007. It handles about 25 pounds at a time. I've been pretty happy with it, especially as the arthritis in my hands has been getting worse.
  4. I use a tungsten carbide blade in a circular saw to make smooth cuts in hardibacker. Work outdoors, cut slowly, and wear your particulate mask. I use a 60-tooth blade.
  5. I always work on the inside of a form, i.e., slump mold instead of hump mold. As the clay dries it simply pulls away from the walls of the form.
  6. You might want to try adding a long soak at 180 Fahrenheit to the beginning of your firing schedule. A 10 to 12 hour soak at 180 will take far less energy than two firings. I add long soaks to my bisque programs when firing student pieces, many of which are nowhere near dry when they go into the kiln, and have had zero explosions.
  7. You might want to try very fine grit wet/dry sandpaper like they use for automobile painting, use under water to avoid generating dust. Use successively finer grits, and be prepared to spend some time at it. Finish with polishing compound on a buffing wheel for final polishing. Or just throw it in with your next glaze load and re-fire it.
  8. N100 is best, but you're better off wearing N95 than no mask if that's all you can find.
  9. Most organic molecules, such as lanolin, would be burnt off relatively early in the firing process, so I would not expect to see too much effect from the fleece.
  10. This is an important point. I have the 2635 model, and I needed a forklift to get it up on my loading dock and then a pallet dolly to maneuver it into position in the kiln room. Definitely more up-front work than a sectional kiln to get it positioned.
  11. You might want to look at the L&L eFL front load series. Of my 3 L&L kilns, the eFL is my favorite. It give me a lot of flexibility in terms of height it can accommodate and saves me from a lot of bending that is really hard on the lower back. Nitride-bonded SiC shelves make loading the upper reaches of the kiln a breeze.
  12. I'm a fan of using good quality backer board on the top of my wedging table. It is very inexpensive, and works well to dry out over-wet clay. I keep a spray bottle of water on the table to pre-moisten an area of the board prior to wedging to prevent my clay from drying out too much while I'm wedging it. It cleans up nicely with a damp sponge.
  13. I agree that you should probably re-make the piece. However, there are a couple of approaches you could try, as your pot is not intended for food or drink. Mix a bit of sodium silicate solution with talc to make a thick paste. Fill in the crack with the paste, let it dry, and then fire. It will fire white, so if you are using something other than a white clay body you will have to add a bit of stain or underglaze to the mix to match the color of your clay. This works sometimes, but glazes don't seem to like it much as a surface, so while it could work for the bottom of a pot, not great for visible surfaces. A last last resort would be to use a polyester putty such as Bondo to fill the crack. I would not sell such a piece, but have resorted to it for client piece repair jobs on rare occasions. Only for ornamental pieces, and painted with acrylic paints for color match.
  14. I'm a big fan of backer board, both as a wedging surface and for quickly drying out slop. They're readily available, inexpensive, and no worries about getting bits of plaster in your clay.
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