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Dick White

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  1. My view is that only "food safe" (a term which is actually quite fuzzy, but let's not get into that right now) glazes should be used on the entirety of any ware that is intended for functional eating. Both inside and outside surface, handles, etc. should be "food safe." This is not because anybody might be licking the outsides and handles of their coffee mugs - they won't; but because the notion of "not food safe" is usually synonymous with a less stable glass that might leach a metal oxide colorant. But further, if that glass is not stable and durable, then it probably won't survive repeated trips through the dishwasher (with its highly alkaline detergent) and consequently, the (exterior) surface will begin to degrade and the color leach out into the dish water. Nobody will die from it, but that mug will get ugly fast. Save the non "food safe" glazes for purely decorative work.
  2. Further to Min's comment, you say you glazed the inside and painted and glazed the outside. What did you paint it with? I am confused by your use of both words "paint" and "glaze."
  3. Just a small technical note from my experience - I have found that there is little or no shrinkage in the bisque firing IF your work is already bone dry. The first round of shrinkage (typically about half of the total shrinkage in stoneware clays) is the loss of water from the moist clay. If your wares are put in the bisque kiln still slightly moist and candled dry, then there will appear to have been shrinkage between the time you closed the kiln and opened it after the firing, but that shrinkage actually occurred during the candling to dry, not during the firing to bisque temperature. Stoneware will shrink again as it matures and vitrifies in the glaze firing, and this is where cracking of large slab bottoms occurs, because of the friction against the immovable shelf as the slab shrinks. This is where the bisqued waster slab of the same clay body shows its worth. The waster slab and the valuable ware will shrink together, and the waster may crack from the friction with the shelf, but the ware on top of it will not. There are other techniques (e.g., alumina dusted on the shelf, ceramic balls) but those are not the subject of this topic.
  4. Further to what liambesaw said, cone 06 and cone 6 are not the same. There is about 400F difference between them. Cone 06, the brown ones, are typically use for bisque or earthenware glazes, while cone 6 is for mid-fire glazes. Most of the ones you were given are very old (but still good) as they are packed in vermiculite. Also, the cone 6 ones are white, now they are pink. The ones in the box in the lower right corner of your picture are self-supporting bisque cones, which will stand up by themselves on the kiln shelf where you can look through a spy peep (while wearing appropriate eye protection) to see when the cone has bent. The others are mini-cones used in the kiln sitter.
  5. Neph sye is mo'betta soda. If the soda spar is not melting enough at cone 6 without any boron available, then step up to more sodium in the neph sye.
  6. Can you get nepheline syenite? That's a feldspathic mineral that has more sodium than soda feldspar, so it will melt sooner. Also research Bristol glazes. Those are glazes first used in the Bristol England potteries in the mid-19th century that contained zinc oxide as one of the fluxes in place of the toxic lead oxide. These will likely not be as glossy as you want, because you'll need boron to get a better gloss at cone 6.
  7. If it is a new kiln, the warrantee should apply for a replacement lid. Contact Skutt.
  8. What she said in the edit. If you got one raw at that price, I will order 2, as that is cheaper than the dumb 3 button model.
  9. If you are looking at thrift shop blenders, don't get a Waring, only Hamilton Beach or Oster. The threads on the bottom of the blender pitcher (where it screws onto the blade base) are the same as a standard mason canning jar. Mix your glaze in the mason jar, put the blade thingy on the jar, flip it onto the blender, and hit puree. Store your glazes in the mason jar and reblend whenever needed. Nothing wrong with Waring blenders as blenders, but the thread on the pitcher is different, can't use mason canning jars.
  10. The above information about the hardware from @Bill Kielb and @neilestrick is good. A comment about your crystalline firings - it is good to keep the loads light unless you have a super powerful kiln like the L&L JH series (named for the late Jesse Hull, a crystallier who helped them design it specifically for crystalline work). A light load allows ordinary kilns to maintain the specific fast ramps needed for crystalline work. You mentioned you load the few pieces all on the bottom shelf. That puts all the thermal load in the bottom zone and nothing but hot air for the upper zones. Over time, that will result in uneven wear on the elements, leading to uneven firings. Add a few small shelves and spread the work within the kiln.
  11. That's a very good price for the Genesis controller, I wonder why they are selling them for half the price Bartlett sells them - unless as @neilestrick suggested, that is the upgrade price if you want a Genesis instead of the standard version on a new kiln you are buying from them. If you are getting one raw, as @Bill Kielb and Neil said, it is a direct swap for the Bartlett V6CF or L&L Dynatrol (which is their private label on the V6CF). The wires will be the same except the thermocouple terminal has been moved from the left side (facing the back of the board) to the bottom of the board. It will not fit on a Skutt, as their version of the Bartlett product has a larger face. If you are building from scratch for a manual kiln conversion, that will take more parts as Bill mentioned. I have built 4 so far for manual kilns, not hard. Will require some minor sheet metal work, a specific transformer, relays, and high temperature wire. Let us know what additional help you need. As for the WiFi, in addition to the firmware push and KilnAid app for monitoring status on your smartphone, it is necessary for the internal logging of firing data (it needs the WiFi connection to know the current date) and for transferring the logged data to your computer for subsequent analysis. The operation of the WiFi is simple - it must be within range of your existing WiFi network. My kilns are on the other side of a brick wall that blocked the signal until I installed a repeater. Note that the WiFi-to-smartphone interface is strictly read-only. You cannot control the kiln in any way, just get current status. On this aspect, the status data runs through the Bartlett cloud server so you can monitor it from anywhere your phone has cell service.
  12. Yes, definitely a refractory coating, about 1/16" thick. It is cracking and lifting off the surface in a few places. I've avoided manipulating it out of fear it will all peel off. Thanks Bill for finding that bit of a Skutt maintenance page. It definitely looks like a flipper. Interesting idea Mark for the ITC. I don't think I have enough left over from when I did my whole kiln over 10 years ago, so perhaps I'll order some more to do the tops-soon-to be-bottoms. Thanks for the advice.
  13. Pictures in the morning. These are OEM Skutt lids, no repairs that I know of. I installed them probably 10 years ago and am the only one who performs maintenance in that studio (new elements annually, kiln sitter parts as needed, etc.) and I never did anything to the lids. Yes, I understand lids are not generally coated, or at least none of the dozen or more L&Ls and Paragons I've worked on over the years had any coating on the brick lid, but these Skutts do.
  14. I have two older Skutt 1227s at the community studio on which the coating on the underside of the lid is cracking, separating from the brick, and dropping crumbs onto the ware on the top shelf. Does anyone know of a repair method for this coating? TIA, dw
  15. Your math is correct. 2% of 100g of base material is 2g of colorant. 2% of 1000g of base is 20g of colorant. Etc. I don't have an absolute answer whether 2% of cobalt will give you the eggshell blue you want. Too many variables - cobalt carb or oxide? how pale is pale in your opinion? Test a small batch to see if it comes out the way you like it.
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