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Karen B

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Everything posted by Karen B

  1. Nice mugs, The fish details are very well done. I was wondering if you have considered modeling a few, and making sprig molds of them either with clay or plaster. I have also carved some stamps out of bass wood for objects that I want to use in a repetitive manner. Right now I am working on a design for pine branches and needles(raised). Details are tough, but with work, I am getting better results-just takes some time. Would love to see pictures of your carving in the wood.
  2. Hi Marcia, If possible, could you please post a picture of how you lay the coils on your shelf. I am having trouble picturing it. Thanks for all your good info. Karen
  3. Hi Daddy, I also posted about this problem. Marcia is right. It was most definitely the uneven heat circulation. Apparently the shelf doesn't heat or cool at the same rate as the clay. As per suggestions, I put a thick layer (3/8th inch) of grog underneath my large slab and it worked. I also did a test of just a thin layer of grog in case is was just the friction of shrinkage, which yielded in cracks. The trouble with the grog was that it is impossible to keep from falling on other things, so I plan on creating the coils like Marcia did.
  4. Thank you for your suggestion. I already got one from the manufacturer but will keep that in mind for future needs. BTW, I have no fumes either with vent working.
  5. My vent recently broke, and when I fired without it, my firing time was significantly longer, plus I couldn't work in the studio while firing. - One thing to do to check the downdraft is to hold a lighted match over the little holes in the (closed) cover to see if air is being pulled in.
  6. Thanks for all your insight. I value it.
  7. Very interesting Mark, I have similar issues with bulk items that I have purchased more than a decade ago. But after reading some of Mea's blogs, I am aware of other issues regarding costs. Thank you for your story.
  8. Thanks Marcia for the suggestion. It is cost I am working on. Mea brings up other cost issues I hadn't been aware of.
  9. I would greatly appreciate help as I have been basically winging it when it comes to pricing my pottery as I don't know the cost. I fire twice electric, cone 04 and 6. I glaze from large batches I mixed from bulk materials. I buy clay in bulk. Could someone help me with a method or formula to figure out my cost per pot? I remember that in some studios, they price costs for students at a certain price per square inch. So I'm guessing this is based on some formula to figure costs. Thank you.
  10. Dear John, Thank you for your prompt reply. Can I get an angle grinder at the local hardware store as well as the diamond blade? I will definitely have this on hand in case this happens again. Darn near took me 2 hours and I could have been working. The respirator part I did forget. Good point in mentioning that. While now covered with kiln wash, my guess is that I still run the risk of some of the molton glass coming through if I didn't get it all. I will ensure this is a bottom shelf and place cookies over these spots that hopefully will not stick. Do people ever turn their shelves over and use the clean side as they come to the end of their life span?? Part of me thinks yes (i.e., with careful removal of as much wash as possible and another part says absolutely not). You run the risk of kiln wash still being present and ruining your bisque or glaze ware. Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. I will look up this angle grinder and see what I can find. Thank you again. Nelly Nelly, I turn my shelves over as they sag if always used on one side.
  11. Hi Evan, I use a specific cone 6 clay for outdoors. I am in Massachusetts, so you know it gets cold here. I have a large slab pot (with no bottom) around a small tree that has been outside for about 5 years with no sign of wear. This clay is called S707 and is sold by Ceramic Supply www.7ceramic.com. It is made by Standard. I didn't see it on the online catalog, but I called and they do have it. It has a Shrinkage of 12% and Absorption of 0.3%. It contains some grog and fires a nice brown. My cone 6 glazes don't work the same on this clay, so it needs testing, but slips with clear glaze work nicely.
  12. A foolproof way is to roll your coils on a slab of clay. Works wonders.
  13. I hide my thirds in various places; under the deck steps, behind books, in empty boxes, behind glaze buckets on the sides of shelves. I am surprised sometimes when I come across one in an odd place.
  14. I wanted to let you all know that I finally fired my platters. I had 2 successful platters fire nice and flat with no cracks. They had about a quarter inch of grog smoothed out under them. A third platter did crack, and I had only put a very thin layer of grog underneath. I believe that the issue was the heat circulation on the bottom and top. I had read that the shelves heat at a different rate from the clay. I had put a thin layer of grog under the one tray that cracked, based on the theory that the friction from shrinking on the shelves was the only issue, but obviously that wasn't correct. I used grog because that is what I had, but I intend to try Marcia Selsor's suggestion of the coils under the pots. Working with grog on shelves is not easy. It wants to fall onto everything and in spite of the utmost care, it did find it's way onto other pieces. Thanks.
  15. Denice, did you leave the top cracked while cooling?
  16. Thanks T. I was able to call Skutt this morning and ordered a new motor for the vent. They agreed with you about not blocking the vent. They also said to open peep holes just like when I fired the bisque.
  17. Hey Neil! Lest I forget again, thanks for the tip on pancaking out the clay when throwing off the hump. It is working very well! Anyway, I'm kind of surprised that you haven't had any problems, but not real surprised. We fire our kilns around 4 times a week, year round. Both kilns began their breakdown period by having error 1 issues (RoR if I remember right). The newer of the two lasted less than 2 years before developing this issue. The company I work for has full time electricians to work on the kilns and they couldn't find the problem. The only solution we found was to limit input to data from 1 thermocouple. Countless phone calls to L&L failed to yield a solution. I suspect this is because they aren't trained to deal with PIDs. I wondered if the heuristic wasn't coded to function with the wear rate we put on the kilns. I know we replaced the boards, the thermocouples, the elements, the relays, the wiring (we improved the grade of wiring even). If I remember right it was the early stages of temp. control where some the breakdowns occurred ~500-1000 deg. or they couldn't reach temp, stalling out in the 1750-1900 range. I still think that the heuristic got freaked out. It is worth noting that we only bisqued in them. In the end they were really too much kiln for the job. Again, were I given a choice I would buy the L&L. And, if I hadn't found that Orton controller for $16 I would have bought a Bartlett controller to go on my kiln. I think both are professional products, an opinion I don't have for many of the devices used by potters. Could you please tell me where to read about this "pancaking out the clay..."? Thanks!
  18. My vent died as I was starting a bisque (of course I have a show on Sunday!). I found info on how to vent the bisque, but I haven't found anything on how to vent the cone 6 firing. I am really worried as to how the glaze fire will come out. I have a 12 cu.ft skutt kiln with computer controller. I have 3 large platters which leave just enough room on the shelves for the posts, and a bunch of bowls and mugs. My kiln is in my garage studio. I left the window and side door open with a fan facing the window. The garage door doesn't open although it has about a foot open at the bottom. (my 16 yr old just drove into it a couple days ago) I did read that I need to remove the vent for the glaze fire and plug the holes in the bottom. I appreciate any suggestions to make this work until I can get this vent repaired.
  19. When I started out, I worked for a potter in exchange for studio time. I learned a ton. But, I too would happily exchange lessons for photos. Good luck!
  20. Carolyn, I use 6 clay bodies! That sounds like a lot, but I really need them for different uses. I use a ^6 speckled stoneware, ^6 porcelain and ^04 terra cotta for throwing similar items with similar designs. The glazing is so different and I like that variety. I use a ^04 white earthenware for making detailed 3D decorative tiles. And a ^6 white stoneware which works better for handbuilding than does porcelain, Finally I have a very sturdy ^6 clay body which is optimal for permanent outdoor items such as bird baths or flower pots. I have 2 wheels. One is reserved for dark clay bodies, and the other for white. I am VERY careful about labeling the plastic bags with a sharpie as they are indiscernible when wet.
  21. I think you need to upload an avatar. Go to the section where you upload your profile photo and right under that is change avatar, that is what will show in the forums. Hope that helps Thanks Matt! I would've never seen that!
  22. My profile picture doesn't show up on my posts. It is the right size and I can see it on my profile. Any ideas about that?
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