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Rex Johnson

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    Acton, CA

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  1. In JC I was immediately drawn to the feel of the clay, the tactile 'quality', and the process. I liked how I could manipulate clay into a 3D 'something'. The relative immediacy made the effort rewarding in itself. Having endured painting and drawing, clay was actual fun. I still feel the same way to this day. Having said that, I was later drawn to glassblowing like a moth to...talk about immediacy!
  2. With an updraft like you have (and I have), in my experience, you're going to get flames coming out of the flue hole at some point in the firing to get it to target temp. There's always going to be some reduction in the atmosphere. However some flame is okay, it's when fuel is not being burned and you see smoke that it's in heavy reduction. You need to monitor that flame to where you're not getting smoke. On the stacking 'protection' bricks on top, try instead making a 'chimney' (4 sides) using the same bricks next time. I'll use 3,4,5 hard bricks stacked on their sides or ends. This will help draw the air up through the kiln. I'll use a a piece of 1/2" kiln shelf as a flue to adjust the flame and reduction. My kiln is super sensitive to this. Just a 1/4" move i the flue makes a difference. You have to be delicate in moving it as there can be brick crumbs that will fall onto your ware through the flue hole though. One way, bricks standing on end...
  3. Yes, gas kilns are all about the fire triangle, oxygen/fuel/heat. If you keep that in mind when firing you're going to get a better idea of what's going on during a firing. But we also have one more thing to consider, and that's draw, how the fuel and heat is being pulled through the kiln from burners to flue. Until one gets it all dialed in (kiln schedule), it's a process that takes attention. I assume commercial gas kilns with automated devices help mitigate the guess work. But I rememeber over-firing our college kiln first time I tried
  4. Sorry to miss your sale, decided not to drive north on Saturday. Glad you had a good day. 


  5. I ask myself this all the time. My answer is my wife and her friends want this utilitarian stuff. Fine. In the back of my mind I keep telling myself, 'if I had more time all I'd do is make art'... Cups and bowls cups and bowls cups and bowls. I have way too many of them so come and get'em ladies! I have to think of the making part as the process I enjoy if it's not redundant, but it's also essentially that they are all blank canvasses for me to have some real fun with. Still there's not enough time to really cut loose, 'cuz them ladies want certain colors...
  6. Skutt gets my vote, Legend with the removable splash pan. So much easier to clean than other splash pan designs and plenty o' room even for a water bucket. Superb wheel.
  7. Yeah, counter to common sense, turning the gas down will indeed help the heat rise. But it's all about the air/fuel mixture and the flue draw. I have to watch my Olympic bottom burner kiln real close. Bisque will over fire in a few minutes if I'm not on the ball...
  8. ...throw ten 10" cylinders all the same size in one sitting...kidding, I'm just kidding... :)
  9. Usually when a kiln stalls at the top of the schedule, it's not always obvious that it needs adjustment. You might just stare and say "Huh?" I agree with the others on needing more air and/or more draw through the flue. The schedule looks good, but yes, by 1000 degrees you can advance easily 100-200 degrees an hour by adjusting both your gas and air. The flame needs to be burning all the fuel with as much air as required to bring the flame to max heat. Adjusting the flue is key as well. You don't want all your heat going up the chimney, but just enough to keep the temp on course.
  10. My first instructor was well traveled in the orient and a believer in the discipline. Our first assignment was to throw ten 10" cylinders of the same diameter. If you cannot, then throw until you can.
  11. The ladies enjoy the view at the annual sale
  12. Well folks, I bit the bullet. It was either wait 'til something comes up on Craigslist, or wait 2-4 weeks for a new wheel. In the end, instead of paying close to $1500 for a TS wheel with all the bells, I settled on the 1/3rd HP Skutt Legend. I'm sure it'll do the job. On the spectacular setting, yeas it seemed like a good idea at the time. It has it's moments. The ones when all is quiet and the temp is just 'so'. Otherwise there's the barking dogs, braying donkeys, and whinnying horses within close proximity, not to mention raucous offroaders and every other kind of distraction. But it can be nice.
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