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Everything posted by oldlady

  1. assuming your clay an earthenware so that stilts are necessary? grinding it off with a tool, dremel hand held or standing grinder depending on the size of the blemish. then you still have the decision about refiring. maybe it would be better to make a new one depending on the complexity of the pot decoration and your available time and interest in saving it. saving errors is also educational.
  2. thanks to both of you. i wouldn't know a frit from a kangaroo, babs. not a chemist. and i use any glaze or slip to spray on greenware, no special ones. spraying is just a method of application to me and greenware is just dry clay. this is just going to remain a reminder to MAKE MORE TEST TILES and KEEP RECORDS WITHOUT ABBREVIATIONS. EVERY TIME!
  3. good guess, but i never have had a lavender, the only deep colors are turquoise and deep crimson and the letters on the tests are precise. i am going to use your recipe and test several colors. mazerine blue seems to be cobalt so i will use the carbonate and mazerine to see which might work. i have a small test on a tiny bird that looks exactly like a true celadon and wish i knew what i did. i think that one is cerulean.
  4. i ALWAYS (but apparently did not this time) number my test tiles and write a description in my glaze book. naturally, a student wants that nice, pale, cobalt blue glaze she found on a non-standard test tile. got to make a ton of test tiles!!! can anyone think what the letters mean? SFC + 1 drop D.L. a second one is SFC + 2 drops of D.L.. SF is not someone's name that i recognize even though the C probably indicates clear. i have lots of mason stains but nothing with D.L. it really is a nice clear, soft cobalt that allows the impressed leaves and flowers to show clearly. will try tiny amount of cobalt in Min's wonderful clear to arrive at a color similar. the mystery has me distracted, anyone have an idea who or what SF could be. not san francisco.
  5. it sounds as though you are unhappy about a lot of things right now. maybe you should not make a big decision until you have lived awhile in the nowhere you seem to dislike so much. btw, 10x10 is not a big space if you have 2 things inside. each needs support space, a place to put what goes into and comes out of each machine.
  6. @JohnSiquestions are not a bother, there are other people out there with the same question and too shy to ask. have never known anyone here to bite. before you fire your kiln again, be very careful to completely remove any chips from the exploded pots that may have fallen into the channels that hold the element wires. a vacuum cleaner run on all parts of the kiln is best, use a hand mirror to inspect each groove and be scrupulous about cleaning out everything.
  7. "air dry clay" is the most important part of your question. "Foam and magic clay" is the second warning. those materials may not have the strength to do what you propose. true clay, dug from the ground, processed and fired correctly to the proper temperature is the proven material to use for this project. yes, it will need to be fired in a kiln to be strong enough for that particular item.
  8. a plain wood dowel of the right diameter would be easier. put a sock on it so it won't stick to the clay inside. stamp it earilier and ask the maker what material was used on the letter part of the stamp.
  9. size is relative. some kilns are tall and narrow, 27x18, some are 27x23, some are shorter and wider. whatever used kiln you find will probably be advertised without dimensions. contact the seller and ask for measurements and the info on the metal label with the manufacturer's name. some will advertise it as an LK3 or some other number and that tells you the seller has no idea what he or she has. you might have to dig for answers. ask for photos including one in which the camera is held down inside the kiln so you can tell the condition of the bricks and elements. if a choice between 2 brands, take the L&L.
  10. if it is not too late, decide how many boxes will fit in a row across the width and buy that amount, whatever the weight.
  11. are you talking about a shared garage or your own? if shared, i would not do it. you cannot control the behavior of your curious neighbors.
  12. #1 yes, toss it or them. (if you change your title, maybe nobody else will think you poisoned yourself) #2 i work clean so have no answer. learn to work clean for future.
  13. glad it was something simple. we have the same kiln model but i am not as aware as you are and do not fire on a regular basis. i have changed the elements maybe 3 times and i have had new relays since 2003 or so. they are still wrapped from the shipping date. how do you determine when you need to install new ones? i did not know that the clicking sound could be a warning sound. is that the only determining factor? hope neil is reading this, too.
  14. roberta, check all three temperatures to see if there is a huge discrepancy just as part of the total picture. might help you to decide to shut it down or not.
  15. try to remember that you are learning a skill, not producing a product. all beginners are learning many things every time they touch clay. it will take you awhile just to learn that your clay is much too hard to throw and would be for anyone. that is what many potters find, hard clay is like working with a brick. read along and find out how you might fix it. you mention wedging. is your clay straight out of the box or is it something that has been recycled? straight out of the box means that it probably has no air in it. beginners who wedge usually put air into the ball of clay simply because they are also beginners at wedging. try cutting off a cube of clay that fits your hand, everyone has a different size hand so finding your most comfortable size means thinking of what is more comfortable for you to work with. i find using a single pound of clay difficult since it has no room for my fingers. how do you weigh out an exact pound, anyhow? of course, you cannot cut off only one, try wiring off about 3 inches down, then putting that chunk down on it's side and cutting off 3 inches horizontally and vertically should give you 9 or more pieces. i do not know if your clay comes in a cube or a rectangle but you will have some to practice with. BAG those pieces except for one to start with. make sure the next ones are sealed up so they stay in condition. do not wedge, instead, drop the first cube on each side, top and bottom. that is 6 drops from about a foot off the surface. funny thing, the clay will become more plastic and not be like a brick. round off the 4 corners by smacking the cube corners against the surface. oops, i forgot to say, "do NOT use canvas"! that discussion is elsewhere, the surface should be something like dry plywood with no varnish or other covering. you now have a piece of clay with a flat bottom and top and 6 relatively even sides. almost a circle. do not use plaster because it will remove the water as you work. making a brick of your piece. now try all those suggestions above. and sandpapering you hands with groggy clay will make them bleed until you learn to handle every step evenly, no fierce grabbing and then letting go. lots to remember before it gets to be as easy as reaching for afresh egg. you don't squeeze the egg and then drop it, you move smoothly toward it and exert just enough pressure to hold it. beginners also try to follow all kinds of rules. remember to take your brain with you on this journey, use your judgment and ask "why am i doing it this way?" often.
  16. can anyone turn the photos so they read correctly? i may know a buyer.
  17. hello, neighbor. if you have not yet met The Kiln Doctor, Mike Swauger, in front royal, va, you will if you stay in the area and ever need any kiln repairs. you might contact him to ask which kind he services more often. another point is the shipping cost. L&L is close, Skutt is on the west coast. check out bailey pottery supply for costs including shipping or ask Mike for a price.
  18. if anyone deserves monetary success, it is you. you have earned every dollar by hard work. good for you!
  19. a visual would sure be good here. yes, there is a studio in florida which uses Pam and all kinds of materials to form pieces. i use WD40 and have since the 1990s. i hate pam's greasiness and other people do not like the smell of WD40. if there is a dollar tree near you, you may find plastic christmas tree ornament sized balls. i have used several to form spherical bowls using upholstery foam. are you aiming for an entire sphere? ribs?? leaves? photo, drawing would explain what you are looking for.
  20. pres, some of the fairly local studio tours partner one or more skill at a single studio so people do not have to drive so far to see a variety of work. i do not have a tour nearby but it does sound good.
  21. hi, if you would be more specific about exactly what you intend to make it would be easier to answer your question. dried greenware is very delicate. it is just a stage in the process of completion from clay to finished product. what kind of mold to make what kind of work? do you have any experience or training at all in clay?
  22. mark, i have that really big jiffy mixer and use it. just for chuckles i will tell you about the day i tried to mix a big batch in a 5 gallon bucket. i had just mixed the ingredients and added water. the bucket was holding 10,000 grams of solids. when i turned on the jiffy mixer, nothing happened, i squeezed the trigger on my heavy drill and suddenly the entire bucket began to revolve around the stationary drill. memory loss has blessedly removed the later details, all i can recall is the visual vortex and deciding to never do that again. like looking down at a tornado from above. another reason to wait until freshly wet ingredients have time to absorb the water before stirring.
  23. thanks, beebop for posing the question and Min and Callie for their explanations. if i understand correctly, using specific gravity is a reliable way to repeat glazes and should be part of the original test of a recipe. just in case the recipe and clay and firing work well together or look just interesting enough in the testing phase to be close to perfect. knowing the SP allows for incremental additions to reach that perfect state. since the test for SP is simple, you may as well do it. thanks to all for your contribution. not promising to do this because i still have questions that i do not want to confuse this thread.
  24. learning the vocabulary of ceramics is a natural first step on the long road of understanding what you are seeing. your local public library will have many books that can be a foundation for you to build on. i know the internet is "better" but you have to know what you are looking for before you can find it. older books that were used as textbooks are the best. somewhere there is a list on this website. hope you can find it.
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