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About bellonart

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  • Birthday 10/01/1986

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  • Location
    Monmouth, OR
  • Interests
    Aside from being a ceramic enthusiast and student, I enjoy film, music, fine wine and food. I also enjoy volunteering at various art events.
  1. That was not the intended purpose of this program. But I suppose you could use it as such. If you calculated a program to take 16 hours to fire and it took 20, then you'd know something was up. It wouldn't be of much help identifying what the problem was... just that it was there. Are you familiar with the term "ramps?" The calculator does display the time needed to complete each ramp, so that information could be useful in identifying an issue. Say if everything was fine, ramp 1 and 2 completed on time, but ramp 3 was either way too early or took too long... I guess I'm just not experienced enough to really know what to do with all that information.
  2. Yeah, the calculator doesn't have anything to do with cones. It calculates the time needed to complete a firing schedule and it allows the user to figure out the approximate time the kiln reaches a desired temperature. I used this program in my college studio to determine the time to shut the lid on the kiln, but what I've found out is that most hobbyists don't manually vent their kiln. Either they just don't do it, or they have some kind of venting system installed to where leaving the lid open is not necessary. I was taught that leaving the lid slightly propped open until 800 degrees can save the life of your elements. Just a few inches... it allows carbon and other materials burning off of your greenware or glazes to more easily escape the kiln and are thus less likely to attach to the elements. This is just what I've been taught... but maybe the added energy cost of propping the lid open negates the benefits. I just wanted to, more or less, find out if anyone could think of additional uses for calculating the exact time a kiln reaches a certain temperature. ....... Maybe I'm over-thinking this........
  3. Wow, that's a lot of good information! Sorry it took me so long to reply, this project kind of got put on the back burner... It sounds like for the most part it's not super helpful, but maybe someone will find a use for it or maybe something unexpected will surface. I know that I'll use it when I do finally get my kiln installed. It is intended to be a free web tool, not sure when or if I'll be able to make it an app, but it was programmed to work on an iPad/iPhone in the web browser... we'll see how the webtool works out and I'll make sure to let everyone know when it's available. Thanks! ~Marcus
  4. I figure seasoned ceramicists probably don't need a tool like this, but it might be really useful for people who are super busy and need to calculate a specific time to handle a programmed kiln, or someone who's not good with math and want to make sure they are available to shut a kiln... I think this would be a good tool for a University or community studio setting. Basically, I'm trying to get more feedback before my site goes live. It's actually up and running now, but I'm still tweaking the design and features. We're also working on a reverse calculation tool where you tell the program when you want to shut the lid, and it tells you exactly when you need to start it. I'm hoping that other uses will arise from this tool... perhaps experimenting and testing results can be better documented or calculated. Don't know yet...
  5. I was wondering... I'm in the process of developing an easy to use web-based tool that will calculate the hours required to fire an electric (computerized) kiln. The calculator is useful in that it can tell you, surprisingly accurately, exactly what time your kiln reaches a desired temperature. I developed this as a tool to easily figure out when I need to close the lid of the kiln... Can anyone see any other potential uses for this kind of calculator? Or, perhaps, why this calculator wouldn't be all that useful? ---------- The reason I ask is because I learned to fire kilns that needed their lids to be left open until they reached 800 degrees to let out the moisture and other organic materials that fire out of the clay body. This was necessary because the kilns weren't vented, and leaving the lids closed could cause carbon to attach to and damage the elements. Leaving the lid cracked open allows those materials to easily escape. By 800 degrees, the organic materials are burned off and the lid can be closed to save electricity and the life of the elements. Feedback?
  6. Yes! Georgies is fantastic. If you head down to Salem at all, there is also the Willamette Art Center (http://willametteartcenter.com/).
  7. I would suggest going to a community ceramics studio and seeing what they have. If you don't have any locally, you could probably find some online. If you honestly have no idea what you're doing, maybe hire or ask someone who has their own studio to come in and see your space. Ceramics equipment is very expensive, fragile and very dangerous. It would be a shame to waste 15k on stuff you either don't need or won't use. Good luck!
  8. is entering the next part of his life... post college...

  9. Okay, I've been warned that this is most likely not going to work... *sad face* I'm still interested what people have to say though.
  10. Uhhh... anyone else having problems viewing the pictures because they're HUGE?
  11. I'm in the process of planning a very large slip cast mold. The dimensions of the final piece is aprox 16-20" in one direction. I'm also estimating the mold will hold 5-7 gallons of slip...But there's a twist... This is not a traditional slip cast I'm attempting. It's a much larger version of the "series of two part molds" in this video: The reason I'm doing this is because I want each casting to be slightly different (rotate the layers, move them around, put them in different orders, etc.) My questions before I attempt this are: Do you think this can be done? Is the weight of the slip too much to hold in? Do you have any suggestions for attempting this? Have you done something similar before? What were your challenges? Please help! I've already invested time in a small scale model and it works perfectly... but, I need all the help I can get on this one because it HAS to work one way or another or I'm in deep do-do (time-wise). Any input would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks! I've also attached pictures of the test mold I made and the first casting. You can see that the casting is very rough... this was because the slip was very thick for a small mold and I opened it up too soon because I was so damn excited to see if it worked or not. Once the mold dried I poured another one and it came out perfect.
  12. If you make your own clay, I have a recipe for a very versatile porcelain body that is pure white in oxidation and offwhite/grey in reduction. It's can also fire to ^10, but is very nice at ^04 - ^6. My experience with porcelain hasn't been as difficult as a lot of people make it out to be... one thing to keep in mind is to let it dry SLOW. Cracking is the issue. I've also yet to be very successful with joinery at ^10... It looks fine at the bisque stage, but once it high fires the joining areas become very noticeable. I'm using the slip and score technique, so maybe I need to adjust my method... not really sure how I can slip and score better. I'm not being lazy about it or anything..
  13. Last year I was helping a fellow student make a plaster mold for a giant sphere... at least 1.5 feet in diameter... she had the coddle made, sealed and ready to pour the first half over the sphere... I should add that the sphere we were trying to make a mold of was a giant inflatable ball... Attempt 1: The coddle cracked and 50-75 lbs of plaster spilled all over the floor. (She was cleaning plaster for hours). She decided that the weight of the plaster was too much for the wood and screws to handle, so she decided it would be easier to cast in the bottom of large garbage can... Attempt 2: The pouring was a success, obviously the garbage can wasn't going to give. About a minute after pouring, just long enough for our anxiety to subside, we heard a loud gurgling sound. My professor, who had stepped in to help out, asked me if it was my stomach. After a pause and an timid reply, "...noooooo..." We both began to inspect the wet plaster. Had it set enough to hold that buoyant ball in place?... nope! It shot straight out, with impressive force, shooting plaster everywhere! After laughing ourselves silly, we held the ball down in the wet plaster with our hands for about 15 minutes until it set and ended up with a very useful press mold.
  14. Yeah, those are some sculptures I did last year. I had given some thought to using a wax resist or tape, as you suggested, but I ended up trying the wheel method. It was a challenge to get the different stripes centered on the wheel... as you can probably imagine, in order to get the top spinning in the center, the bottom needed to be off center. It was an experiment that I will admit didn't give me the straight lines that I'd hoped for, but then again it was the first time I had ever attempted it. Not bad for my first go... If I continue with that series I'll try your tape method and let you know how it works. Thank you for the suggestions. I love Anne Curriers work... she was a huge inspiration for the series I'm currently working on. And yes, to answer your question, I'm in a BFA program. I know I have a ways to go as an artist, but my best work is still inside me. That can't be said for everyone.
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