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Posts posted by oldlady

  1. denise, you might be more comfortable trying a technique i use to make bowls.   i think your husband is a woodworker if i am remembering correctly.    a woodworking friend made me a series of discs from walnut.  they ranged from 4 inches to about 8 inches in diameter and were each about 3/8 inch thick.  they thinned at the edges.

    to make a soup size bowl, i would use about a softball size piece of clay and center it.  opening it and making it into a flowerpot shape with a slightly thick bottom is next.  when the pot is about 5 inches high, firmly insert the disc that is about 5 inches in diameter.  just push it straight down to the bottom of the flowerpot shape without hesitating.   the clay will widen into a perfect half sphere on the interior and  push the excess clay outward and down.   the height will be less than the 5 inches you started with.   remove the disc when you reach the intended bottom of the bowl.  do not go too deep or you will have no clay for a foot.

     use a circular ribbon tool to cut the excess clay (that was pushed down to the bat) in a single pass and stop the wheel while you remove that large amount all at once.  this takes a little practice and a lot of nerve.  and a good ribbon tool.  not the thick ribbon that won't fit over your thumb, the thin one that will allow a quarter to pass through the circle. 

    your trimming is almost complete at this step.  do a series and allow them to dry enough for trimming in the usual way.


  2. barb,  it sounds as though you are an experienced potter and have your own kiln.   assuming that, i also assume you know the pieces are thoroughly dry and ready for firing, not too thick, either.  i single fire to cone 6 but my pieces are usually the same relative thickness and i have glazed them with reliable glazes that do not run.   i use a computerized kiln on the standard slow glaze firing schedule with a preheat first.  my large kiln is usually closely packed and takes about 14 hours from turning it on to end of firing.

      you have not indicated the kind of clay your lucky grandkids used or the temperature you plan to fire to.  or size of your kiln so maybe my info does not apply here.    you can single fire to the maturity of your clay and let them go to it.  

    would love to see photos of the banks.  and kids.  something they will have to remember the event.  i knew a middle school teacher who used water balloons blown up with air as a form for her students to work from.   great results.

  3. not a teacher but i have worked with some kids and noticed something about them.   they LOVE to add water to the color and that thins it out so much that there is not color left on the piece.  especially if they are using brushes to apply the glaze.   

    what seemed to work was having a brush in each container so they did not constantly wash out the blue and use that wet brush in the green and wash it out again for whatever comes next.

  4. depending on where you are, $600 seems a high price for a small, used kiln.   can you get the owner to photograph the inside so you can see the elements inside their grooves?    if they are upright they may have only been used lightly, perhaps for only cone 06 earthenware.   if you can find out who used it, that might help, too.    perhaps someones' mother or aunt who made china dolls.  earthenware china.

    what else comes with the kiln, shelves, posts, anything?

  5. my kiln has a metal stand with metal wheels that i use to roll it away.  it should be taller but i could not find a way to do that except to add a second one on top of the first.

    make your own kiln wash using mark c's recipe, it is the best.  a lightweight movable table to load and unload would be helpful.  pots have to go somewhere while you choose exactly where to put them inside the kiln and while you unload and inspect each one.

  6. congrats, brett!   i just read this whole thread and see that you said you turned the low, medium and high know for 2 hours each.     there have been a lots of posts lately from folks who think their firing should have finished in very few hours.   i wonder if they are reading "turn it on high for two hours"  and thinking "then turn it off"  when it should be "turn it on high and let the sitter turn it off when it has reached the right amount of time and temperature to bend the cone in the sitter"?   i see your sitter cone is bent properly so you can't be turning the kiln off yourself.  odd............

  7. min, babs and i tried this yesterday.  she does not go to the right place or something else is wrong.   i have messed up my computer and cannot use it except for here.  the page i was on slid down and over to the right so i cannot even try maximize.   cannot find anyone to tell me how to fix it.   microsoft help said try F11 which made the whole page so big that everything was gone.  today i am trying to find some way to fix it but nobody is home.  only able to send this because the blue box with subscribe is showing blue and Sub

  8. you have not indicated where you plan to do all this.  if in the US, location is important.  are you planning to retail in a shop on your property or some other way? read Dirt roads profile and see what it takes to make an exceptional living.   very exceptional.  read recent posts indicating how hard it is to find a venue these days, as well.  

    it helps if you are a natural scavenger and plan to find useful things almost anywhere at any time.

  9. nicky, in 2016 i did a series of tests of my slip with stains.    i used a white body and made the slip from dry scraps of slabs of that body.   you might want to look at my album showing the results.

    some of the colors come out true to expectations and others simply do not.   the series of 11 photos is backwards, start with the last photo in the group and arrow back to the first.  this is just to let you know that some of the chemicals in the stains work with my clay and others simply do not.  it is not important to me to have a specific color that is always repeatable so i just use the ones that work and drop the rest.  if you are looking for an exact match from batch to batch, keep detailed records and  test, test, test.  which is what i did.


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