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Everything posted by bellonart

  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.
  15. Sorry, I should have been more specific... where did you submit them, not how. I'm just wondering what the best forum would be. Thanks though!
  16. Just out of curiosity... where did you post them?
  17. I talk with my adviser and peers weekly. I'm more interested in getting some critique on my most recent work that isn't on my website yet. I think I'll post some photos like buckeye suggested... I just wasn't sure if it would be appropriate for this forum.
  18. I did a little searching around, but I can't seem to find a good place to get a little unbiased critique on my work. I understand that people aren't jumping at an opportunity to critique a complete strangers work, but surely there is a niche somewhere where I can get some feedback without bothering my friends. Perhaps there is already a topic on here that I missed? If not, perhaps I should start one...
  19. Damn, I was holding on to the idea of doing this first... As far as the signing my work debate... I think you should do what you feel is right. If you want people to like your work simply for the fact that it's good work, then that's a philosophical choice you've made for a reason... and that reason, whatever it may be, must be important otherwise you would have been slapping your name on everything willy-nilly without a second thought. That's my two cents....
  20. By the way... this is old news BUT.... I ended up spending the summer in Greece. Despite the riots, I had a fabulous time... it was incredible! And... I learned a lot. Thank you all for your advice, it helped.
  21. 3 credits is a small number to take an entire semester off to acquire. Is this in addition to other academic credits for that semester....or is this all they allow to you to bring into your program of study overall? Do you mean that there is no "Study Abroad" office at the college, or that there is nothing specific to ceramics offered? Are you talking to the ceramics department chair and your advisor as your first line of information? Remember.... you are paying for their expertise. Living outside your home country will be an invaluable experience for you as a human being and as an artist...... so by all means try to make this work. But evaluate things as to the relavence to your current situation carefully. Where to go is such a personal decision based upon your needs and interests; for one person China or Japan might be the exact correct choice........ for another it might be somewhere in Africa or India. The "right" school for one person might be the "wrong" school for another. Once you make your decision..... give it 110% and wring it dry. best, ......................john The 3 credits is all that is required of me to complete abroad. I will be taking this over the summer because I do not have the time to take off for a whole term - i would not graduate on time otherwise. So I'm specifically looking for summer programs at the moment. There is a Study Abroad office at my University, they just don't have any art specific programs that they offer for my program... which is weird because you'd think they would since it's an option for my degree.
  22. Yeah, I'm trying to find more specific information... there is just too much crap online. Everytime I find something good, i'm hesitant because anytime something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, right? I guess I'm just looking for people with experience actually going through a specific study abroad program and I'd like to hear the details. The sad thing about my school is their BFA program gives you the option of satisfying a service and learning requirement with 3 credits of studio art in an accredited university that is not in the USA, however, they do not have a specific program for students; nor can I go to the Study Abroad office on my campus and say, "I'd like a program in studio art. I'm in ceramics." It just doesn't exist. I've just been getting led around in circles... so I'm forced to find my own program and hope that the art department approves it. It's really quite frustrating.
  23. I don't know what the actual definition of a mentor is, but my understanding of the word is that a mentor is someone who is responsible for the "passing down" of knowledge or experience. A true mentor should care about the development and success of their student(s). Being a mentor is a great responsibility because they are often seen as role models and students tend to shape their values and beliefs after the person who is mentoring them. I don't have an opinion about whether one on one mentoring is better than group mentoring, but I do think that it should be personalized for each student. Sometimes, certain students will respond better to a one on one environment, and a mentor should take time to figure out when this is the case. A good mentor will also recognize when their student(s) is not learning and may need a different approach. I feel that a bad mentor would pass a student along because they could not get through to them... But, perhaps this should be handled on a case-by-case basis, as not every situation is alike.
  24. This makes me giggle a little bit, but I think it's an interesting way to think about your own work. I never thought about evaluating my work in this way, and while I don't know if it's really useful to help improve, it's an interesting way to see IF you're improving. I work in a more of a sculpture field, and I think I will try using this tool to assess my work before I fire it. Sometimes I neglect certain angles of my sculptures and it ultimately hurts the overall successful"ness" of the piece... interesting to ponder at least.
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