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About earthfan

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Perth Western Australia
  • Interests
    All aspects of design and making, in all crafts and buildings

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  1. I notice that you have pressed lace into the ornaments. What looks even better is to press the lace into a slab of clay about 8mm thick, wait for it to firm up a bit, then remove the lace. Dry the clay slab and fire it to bisque. Use that as your mold for lace texture. It is easy to do on a small scale and your pieces will look as if they have real lace stuck on them.
  2. The spodumene supplied by the Greenbushes mine is a fine sand that is 88% spodumene and 12%silica. I fired a little bowl of it to about cone 7 and it converted to beta spodumene, puffed up and turned into a fine pink powder. It did not melt at that heat and didn't even fuse to the bowl it was in. Spodumene has one molecule of lithium oxide to one molecule of alumina to 4 of silica, so it is like feldspar, but with a lower proportion of silica. Spodumene has a negative co-efficient of linear expansion. It doesn't shrink when fired, it gets bigger. Lithium carbonate is Li2CO3 and is slightl
  3. Don't neglect the traditional hand-building methods. It takes a lot of practise to make a large pot on the wheel, but by using coils, a complete beginner can make a large pot at her first attempt. Slab building also has much potential because you can add texture in ways that are impossible on a wheel. A good tool is a long pastry rolling pin and sets of two wooden slats the desired thickness of the slab you want to make. Even better is a potters' harp, but I don't know where you get them nowadays. Always make everything bigger than you want them to be because of the 12% to 14% shrinkage. The
  4. A different issue: I want to apply lustre to stoneware. Would it fire onto a glaze that was already high fired, or would it require a layer of glaze that would fuse at a lower temperature?
  5. If you are in Australia, you will have access to fibre cement, which is the best stuff for wedging tables and bats. Fibre cement has a smooth side and a textured side, and, when dry, it sucks water out of slip very quickly. When using it as a work surface it will be necessary to keep it damp, or it will dry out your clay too soon. (Make sure that it isn't asbestos cement.) It is fairly cheap at Bunnings and local hardware shops. You can cut straight lines with the scoring tool they sell for the purpose, but you will want round bats when you start to throw wider things. An angle grinder with a
  6. Does the lid have to be brick? My homemade gas kiln is top loading. The lid is a frame of stainless steel with a couple of bits of angle aluminium across the top from which homemade ceramic buttons on shanks of kanthal element wire, suspend 5 inches of ceramic fibre. I get into the kiln by lifting each side onto a hook and swing it out of the way.
  7. I like the dirty dish story too. Reminds me of an acquaintance who fed a roast dinner to 35 people one Christimas, She roasted a leg of pork, a leg of lamb and a turkey, together with trays of potatoes, carrots and pumpkin in her front-loading kiln.
  8. When you are considering how heavy a pot can be, you need to take into account the weight of the pot PLUS the weight of the intended contents. Also, whether the user will be happy to use two hands, or will want to have one hand free. A light pot is more practical, so long as the rim is thicker and smoothly rounded.
  9. "went to a big pottery show at the weekend and was shock to see pots at £450.00 with crazing on them tut tut" If people pay 450 pounds for a pot, they are not going to use it, so it won't matter if it is crazed. Many years ago, I went to an exhibition of work by Greg Daly, who writes books on glazing. The work was beautiful big platters with up to 4 different stoneware glazes layered in various ways. I was horrified to see that the glazes were about a centimetre thick and thoroughly crazed. I attended his seminar and, of course, he wasn't giving away his glaze recipes. Which was OK by m
  10. My last cat died at the age of twenty. Now I don't have to feed anyone, ever again, if I don't want to. But women seem to have the instinct to feed something. I don't want a pet because I want to travel. So I feed the bandicoots that live in my yard. And the birds, too, of course. If I still had a cat, I would photograph her playing, and decorate my mugs with cat silhouettes, because cats form attractive shapes. But I have no cat. What I do have, is a visiting kangaroo. I have static photos of him grazing and a couple of him jumping away from me. He is jumping because I am chasing him with
  11. Have a look at the containers for sale in the shops, and the containers in which yoghurt, dips and icecream are sold. Every single one has a foot ring of some kind. The bottom of a vessel MUST be concave. I have a plastic cup that has a foot ring of tiny half domes, which I consider to be ideal for dishwashers, because they don't collect grotty water. Vitrified stoneware has a tendency to slump a little when there is a wide span of bottom unsupported between a foot ring. I give plates a double foot ring, one on the outside and another small one closer to the centre point.
  12. Small homemade shelves in different sizes allow shallow things like plates to be fired as a stack rather than spread out over a whole shelf. You cut a triangular shape out of thickish chipboard and place it on a smooth surface and pound the mixture into it. The shelf mixture is 50% fireclay and 50% stoneware grog in a mixture of sizes from dust to little chunks. Fire a cone higher than you are going to use it. Perhaps find someone who fires to cone 9 or 10. The more they are fired the better they are, because mullite develops with every firing.
  13. Instead of stamping, could you get the same effect with a sprig?
  14. Staining with oxide is easier on bisque. You can clean off the excess without damaging the texture. Use an eyedropper, rather than a brush, to flow a very dilute mixture of water and oxide into the grooves. On stoneware, straight iron oxide fuses to the clay at cone 8 without any flux.
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