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Karen B

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Everything posted by Karen B

  1. I have about 200 brushes. I just keep taking a clean one when I need it. I put them aside until I have dirtied them all and am forced to do a massive clean up.
  2. Is it possible, practical, to take off sections of my Skutt 1027 to fire smaller loads? I am doing a lot of testing now and it is not easy (or cheap) to fill the whole kiln while I get new glazes and glaze combos right. Thanks, Karen
  3. Hi Denice, I have some that is 1" thick. So plenty sturdy, and practically weightless. It came as packing in something I ordered. I am lucky that I have 2 big pieces that are the same size. It actually is polystyrene insulation and comes in sheets that are 2' x 8'. I edited this post and my previous post for accuracy. So sorry I relied on faulty memory initially.
  4. If you have to flip a large thin slab that is rolled out on canvas, slide the canvas onto a large piece of insulating foam "PolarGuard" and put another over the slab. The foam adds no weight and is strong, then you can flip and peel the canvas off without disturbing the slab.
  5. Thanks Biglou, we are in sync. Picking up a multi meter is next on my list. I am hoping I will not have to change the elements. I received some help here so I am not so nervous about it, but the cost is steep. I have done other things which just required following directions, like replacing the relays, and putting a new motor in my vent, but figuring out heat work is a little over my head, or at least I think it is. I have been doing a cool down program for years, which bring out the speckles in my stoneware nicely. But, when I spoke to the guy at Skutt, he said he never heard of a cool down program like mine(with attitude). So now I am wondering if I have been doing it wrong. I hold at several temperatures and let the kiln cool from one to the other without putting in a rate to slow the cooling from one to the other. But I start holding at 1800 and let it drop at 50 degree intervals until 1550 with the longest hold at 1600. ps, I love that you say "prolly". It is my favorite new word.
  6. Yes BigLou, that helps tremendously. I have made about 100 test cups and tiles to test glazes and fill shelves. I will add some various paraphernalia and kiln furniture from around the studio to fill it up. Thank you so much for the link and the info! I am pretty much out here on my own in suburbia, so rely on this forum for info one would normally pick up in a group setting. I was advised by Oldlady to find a guild. Thanks!
  7. Still wondering if others have had a change in firing results after installing a new thermocouple?
  8. Terry, I remember you writing about this before and find it very interesting. What clay do you use? Thanks, Karen
  9. Thank you Wyndham and Babs for your helpful suggestions. Babs, you are so right about memory lying! Karen
  10. I spoke to Skutt tech support about some temp problems. I put in a new thermocouple. It is the newer inexpensive style. The one I replaced is not made anymore. It was old and possibly responsible. Some facts: Cone 6 firings, electric skutt 1027 kiln. About 100 firings in. More than half were cone 04. I still had what I viewed as a problem (glazes vary from looking not good to just looking different) after one cone 6 firing, so I called Skutt again. Apparently, according to the tech, when you change the thermocouple you have to re-calibrate the kiln by comparing old cone tests with new cone tests. First I heard of that! I don't save the old cone tests. Do you? So now I need to run a firing with tests of all my glazes and figure out how to "calibrate" to get them to look like they used to. Has anyone experienced different results after changing the thermocouple? Did you know about this? I realize there are many mechanical issues involved in accurate temperature readings in firing, but I appreciate it if you could help me with this one particular issue. Thank you so much! Karen
  11. As others have said, I use one piece of clay to start with. I just pick it up by the edges with both hands to turn after first roll through. It is thick enough to hold it's shape. Never had any problems from this. I have a Bailey also, and i usually start out with a rather thick slab and work my way down to the thinness I need.
  12. One time I got some clear, flexible, fairly thick plastic place mats for about $1.00 each at a Christmas Tree shop. With an exacto knife, I cut out a pattern for a somewhat complex box. Worked great. Lasted forever. It is still under a pile somewhere. It was the type of plastic that smells bad. Had to air it out for a while.
  13. Thanks for the help! The personal experiences are great. I will gather my nerves and do it myself.
  14. Very timely post for me, Bill. I am thinking that I have to replace my elements (same kiln as you). Before I replaced the thermocouple the cone 6 firings took 2 hours longer to fire than normal. Cone on the bottom shelf was bent to 5:00 the middle shelf was 3:00 and the top was 2:00. After I replaced the thermocouple, the kiln still had a very hard time reaching cone 6. It stuck at 2130 like 45 mins, I was afraid it would turn off after awhile at that temp, so I hit "stop" and put in a direction to go directly to 2245 (which is the normal cone 6 temp for this kiln). The cones were completely bent and tips melted. I had replaced the thermocouple before this firing. My glazes looked like crap, as they have for the last few firings. So, do you or Neil think that I need to replace the elements? I've had the kiln for 10 yrs, but only fire a max of 10x a year, (including bisque) usually less. And to Bill, did you have to use a tool to bend the elements? Although I am pretty handy with electrical work, this makes intimidates me for some reason. I am thinking I should hire someone to do this. Thanks for any help. I'm sorry if I am usurping your post Bill. Karen
  15. If you have some extra bricks, you can easily set up to do sawdust firing if you like decorative pottery. I did some when I was in school and again when I moved to a new residence and had no studio set up yet. Here are a couple links to see what different people do with it. I always liked the look from burnishing the pots first. - http://www.potspotspots.co.uk/sawdust-and-raku-firing/ -(you can skip to about 58 seconds with this one)
  16. Hi Mark, I wipe pots as I take them out of the bisque firing and squeeze sponge into a bucket of clean water. I get small particles in the water. It is not dust from the studio, I don't usually get this with porcelain, just stoneware. Karen
  17. Saw an article where they were used between plates when stacking them in the kiln.
  18. I use a Cone 6 translucent porcelain, (Frost). I usually glaze with a matt white with no effect on the translucency. This fall I made a simple cup mold and made very thin cups. I glazed some light blue outside and copper green inside. All retained their translucency, but a small problem with the inside color affecting the outside color because the light goes through.
  19. I hope you don't mind this explanation of Neil's suggestion. When the pot dries and shrinks, the bottom gets squeezed around it's edge. This is bowing it so it wobbles.. If you use the heel of your hand to tap it so it is concave, any bowing will go inward and not affect the balance. It is a beautiful piece.
  20. I saw doll molds in a resale shop here in MA. I bet there are others trying to sell them on the ebays of the world.
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