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Dick White

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Everything posted by Dick White

  1. If you are in a commercial location with only 208v available, the kiln rated for 240v will be about 15% underpowered, and thus will probably reach only bisque/low-fire earthenware temperatures. Mid-fire cone 6 is highly unlikely. The switches and controls will still work. What is not working are the elements. If you replace the elements with ones that are designed to give the full temperature from 208v, then you should be able to get cone 6 from it.
  2. As others have noted above, there generally isn't much difference in the outcome with EPK and china clay. One glaze where I have noticed some difference is a true iron celadon in reduction. EPK will push the tint towards green while using English Grolleg will tend towards blue. But this is the only time I've seen a difference.
  3. I have fiddled with mica some, using it in sodium silicate stretched/crackle forms, and then a modified very low temperature (cone 018ish) raku-like firing to put in the smoke bin to carbonize the crackles. The issue is that the fun colored mica products are for cosmetics and soap (bath bombs) and they either melt out at hotter than ~1400F or the color burns out. There are a few types of mica used in ceramic bodies that hold their own at the higher temps, but you have to order them specially and they don't have the fun colors.
  4. Perhaps she had neverboiled water for tea on the stove and watched the steam come out of the spout of the kettle. It's not the paper burning, it's the water exploding.
  5. The kilns in our college studio are in a fireproof solid cinder block room with 2 more block walls to the hallway where the AP is. No wifi for us in there. Fortunately, they are old style V6-CF controllers, so all I can look at on my phone are my home kilns.
  6. Just an FYI, for the phone app to work, you need to have wifi internet available at the kiln. The controller communicates via the internet to a cloud server maintained by Bartlett, and the phone app logs into that same server to read the data. You may already have wifi in your classroom, but if your school doesn't have it, then you'll have to work with the IT department to get it.
  7. Yes, petalite is classed as a feldspar. Petalite is more often used in clay bodies than glaze, so that's why I didn't include it in my comments about feldspars in glazes. But you can use it if you have it. As for the foaming/washing issue with spodumene, a soap is used during the crushing and processing of the ore, and traces of it remain on the final product. When mixed with water in the glaze slurry, it will generate its own miniature bubble bath, which can cause problems as the glaze dries on the ware leaving bubble voids which become pits in the fired glaze. The soap can be eliminated by w
  8. The sitter bar is not "bent nicely." In a properly calibrated sitter, the bar or mini-cone is bent to a 90° angle for the claw on the outside to release the drop plate. Yours is bent less, so it released early. Hence the hard cone 5 not yet cone 6 result. If you don't have one, get a calibration disk and adjust the sitter claw and drop plate. There are uToob videos how to do that. dw
  9. Thuy, welcome to the forum. Please tell us what cone/temperature you fire to. Glaze recipes are dependent on the temperature to which they are fired. The upper picture appears to be a layered application of two glazes, and tghe lower picture appears to be a raku glaze.
  10. Kona F4 was (again, "was" is the important word) a soda feldspar mined in Spruce Pine, NC. A bit before the turn of the century, there was an unfortunate fire in the mine, and it was uneconomical to repair and reopen. End of Kona F4. There was another company mining a soda feldspar on the other side of the same mountain. That was named NC-4. For whatever marketing reasons, the company selling NC-4 decided to change the name to Minspar. So, if you ever run out of that historic bag of Kona F-4, Minspar is almost the same. In some areas of the world, the feldspars are typically not sold by brand
  11. We had this very discussion a few weeks ago with a different person who had a new-to-them Paragon kiln with a similar issue that the controller limit was set lower than the rating of the kiln, and thus made the kiln unusable at its full rated temperature when the controller cut out too low. The user manuals from Paragon all claimed this could only be adjusted at the factory, but @Bill Kielb found an instruction page that indicates how to get into the special options menu of the controller and fix this. Below is the page he found.
  12. This is a question for the knowledgeable electrical engineers in the audience. I am trying to remotely help an acquaintance far across the pond who is having trouble with her kiln taking too long and tossing E1 errors. There are no proper kiln technicians in her area, so she must rely on a local sparky to do the necessary maintenance and repairs. We have been tossing ideas back and forth, including information reported to her by the sparky. One issue is her house appears to be suffering some voltage drop, but a review of the log of a full power test shows a severely lagging ramp of between 30
  13. Some history and clarification about the G200 series feldspars - G200 was (the important word: "was") a potash spar roughly equivalent to Custer at the time it was in production. The G200 mine in Monticello, GA began to run out in the early 2000s, but they were able to keep the brand going by using a feldspar from another mine in Siloam, GA (about 50 miles distant). That feldspar, however, was considerably higher in its potassium content. They resolved the chemistry by trucking a soda feldspar in from Spruce Pine, NC (about 250 miles distant, probably from a mine near the Minspar source and th
  14. 1. Get a 5 gallon bucket for each bag you want to reclaim (or just a few buckets and work through the clay a few at a time). 2. Open a bag and pour one or two cups of water into the bag around the dry block of clay. 3. Put the bag in the bucket. I like to leave the top open for now. 4. Start filling the bucket with water. As the water rises in the bucket, it will expel the air from the bag. 5. When the water in the bucket reaches just above the level of the top of the block of clay, seal the bag with a twisty wire or rubber band. There will be only a little bit of air left
  15. If the glaze has been fired, it is permanent. No household or hardware store chemicals will remove it. If the glaze is just a mistake on the bisque ceramic, usually it will wash off with water.
  16. For better or worse, the test was partly successful. The decal fired properly, but the glaze did not like the refiring. I will need to develop a glaze that doesn't mind two times through the sauna. dw
  17. Somebody's jackboots may be breaking my door down in a day or two and this wonderful Ceramics Arts website might be taken down for what I am about to do, my apologies in advance, it has been nice knowing y'all. I recently purchased a package of a "standard" waterslide decal paper from a big river south of the equator, the paper is made by a company in S. Korea, so beyond the reach of US patent lawyers. The brief instructions make no mention of ceramic firing, but there are pictures on the package label of graphic images on mugs and plates. I have a test piece in the kiln right now of an image
  18. Another thing to consider is that the notion of Olympic being the only one to offer "dual media" is false. Any programmable kiln that can do higher temperature ceramics can also do lower temperature glass fusing/slumping. All that is needed is a different custom program to fire the glass properly. The new touchscreen controllers (Bartlett Genesis or the Skutt branded version of it) already have glass programs built in. Since you want this kiln to last you a long time, get one that will be easy to maintain (the L&L hard ceramic element holders are worth it for this alone) and multi-zone con
  19. The 120V 20A circuit is going to limit you to either very small things or lower temperatures. There isn't much out there other than a few doll/test kilns.
  20. You raise an interesting question about the Clay-King 129, but let's look at all of them so you can see the differences. Starting with the smallest of them, the Doll kiln, the inside of the kiln is rectangular 11 1/4"L x 7"W x 9"H, or 0.3 cu. feet. Since you need to leave some space around your work in the kiln, the largest you can fit in there will be smaller than a piece of regular letter paper and no taller than the span of your hand. It produces 1800 watts of heat and needs to be on a 20 amp circuit (heavier than a regular 15 amp household circuit). But because of its very small size,
  21. No, the shine and luster start disappearing at around cone 010, until finally gone around cone 1. It is still smooth, as you have seen, but not shiny anymore.
  22. And worse, in my book, there is no written documentation of the complete operation of the KMT. There is what amounts to a quick start, and then all further information is supposedly available only through the on-screen help button, which is rather useless if one does not actually have one at hand. The Genesis has a reasonably full user manual available - a printed copy included with the purchase or online if you haven't yet purchased it.
  23. @Katie Piro yes, programming is easy once one understands the logic of the controller and the technical requirements of clay and glaze. I have several very complicated custom programs for my crystalline glazes. But for many hobby potters, the simplicity of the cone fire method means they don't have to know all the details, it just works. And the quick link to a slow cool in the old controller gave them easy access to one more very useful option, no matter what cone. Now, one must program the whole thing, and know how to change it (or establish another program number) if you want to go to a dif
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