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Rex Johnson

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About 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. Yeah, it's all about the studio flow if your space allows for it. Even with space outdoors like I have, I'm constantly trying to improve on the flow so that I don't ave to be moving stuff around causing more physical work. But I have to adapt. Ideally in a straight line or U shaped space I'd like to wedge>throw>hand finish or slab build>dry>bisque>glaze>and load. But that ain't gonna happen...
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Sorry to miss your sale, decided not to drive north on Saturday. Glad you had a good day. 


  6. 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...
  7. 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.
  8. Gee, alotta posts since I was here last. Read it all. A few things I pickup on and can only give comparisons... First is the freezing tank. Anytime freezing happens pressure drops as mentioned, and it usually means it's getting low on fuel. Wondering if 100 gallons is big enough. Seems like it should be. Mine is a 250 gallon. On the WC, I run both kilns on 9.5 successfully, in fact for the first time last weekend I fired both kilns at he same time to cone 6-7, albeit I started the big kiln, got to 1500-ish then stated the other (already candled for 2 hours) then turned down the
  9. What sort of burner arrangement do you have? Venturi or forced air? Bottom or side burners and how many? Propane or natural gas? My propane kiln is about the same size with two forced air burners and a downdraft. Yesterday for the first time (only glaze firing this year) it stalled at about 2100 on a cone 6 firing. It took a lot of coaxing to get it to temp, flue and air flap adjustment, but gas full on. In the end once it got to ^ 6+, I started turning it down for a level soak, gas about at 1/2, air flaps about 1/2 normal. (Again) to my surprise, the
  10. 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...
  11. ...throw ten 10" cylinders all the same size in one sitting...kidding, I'm just kidding... :)
  12. 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 c
  13. This is absolutely true and what I've always believed. In general, peoples nature tells them 'bigger=better'. That's one formula. However, you may have a slew of $3-$5 items and they might take a comparable amount of effort to produce than, say, slightly larger pieces. But there's the other factor. Many, and maybe more discerning buyers, will look at the price and think 'Cheap", and they don't want something that's cheap either in price or size. It makes them actually feel better if they pay a higher price for a piece. Beauty is in the eye (and maybe in the wallet) indeed..
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