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  1. Make a thin thin slip out of the clay and sieve it through as many grades of sieve as you have. Sounds like a porcelain grog is in the clay.
  2. It might also be possible to make a box on your kiln shelf out of hard fire brick. Place the thicker slow cool tiles inside this box and the thermal mass of the hard brick box should cool much slower than the rest of the kiln. Just be sure to put cones in the box too.
  3. Look up an article called" body building for potters". I see BOTH sides of this issue. I love using local resources and Harry Davis is A hero of mine But you have also been given some great advice and info about the pros and cons of making your own clay. Ask this. "How much clay can i make in an hour vs how many dollars worth of pots in the same time?" I'm not trying to discourage you but the advice given against is valud and the cons stated are too. Worth considering. That being said i agree with the idea that we should add to your stated goal of mixing a good clay and with that in mind... The granite" dust" you have access to sounds like it is really granite sand and while chemically it is FAR superior and less variable than the other sand i think the particle size may be a bit large. Have you done a sieve analysis on the granite to check the particle distribution? I can't imagine throwing clay with grains that large. Sounds like you also need to find a copy of Harry Davis book. "A Potters Alternative" an maybe start with the vibrating sieve project. Good luck, keep testing the absorption, glaze fit, and shrinkage, and please keep us informed. Sounds like an interesting project to me. Im jealous. I live a long, long way from suitable fluxes for clay bodies.
  4. You might not want to remove the kaolin. This gaze can settle out pretty hard due to the amount and type of clay content. I usually add some white firing bentonite and epsom salt to help keep it from hard panning. In addition, the clay content is keeping the glaze from being too runny at temp. Without the clay it might run off the pot onto the kiln shelves. The ochre might act as a flux making the glaze more fluid on top of that. Try a line blend adding the ochre. Another couple of oxides i have enjoyed playing with are combinations of rutile or titanium and iron. I did a whole series of tests with each in varying amounts from 0%-8%. My favorites were the 2-4% range. Mix a big batch with no colorants Split this into three containers. Add 8% iron to one and 8% rutile to the other and do volume measured blends.
  5. Hmm, I see a golf ball and a trip to the hobby store in my future. Thank you!
  6. I've been interested in Asian style teapots for a long time. I'm thinking about Tokoname, Arita, Yixing, etc. Many of these have a built in strainer at the opening of the spout like these. http://cultheritage.com/imgs/a/a/f/c/v/chinese_yixing_zisha_handmade_yuru_teapot__with_strainer__180cc__1_lgw.jpg http://cultheritage.com/imgs/a/a/f/c/v/chinese_yixing_zisha_handmade_yuru_teapot__with_strainer__180cc__2_lgw.jpg http://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/mij/ec_img/tokoname/9805638-01.jpg http://www.teatrekker.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/product_full/tpot-tok_kouji_low_rb_shade3.jpg I've always admired the thinness of the clay and the uniformity and precision of the holes. I've tried making a similar strainer in the past but I have run into problems. It's hard to make holes this small. I suppose the best tool may be a tube shaped hole punch like the one I use to make colanders but I don't have one that small. I've used a small drill bit but that leaves a somewhat unrefined hole. What can I make a tiny (1/8 inch or smaller ) punch out of? (I need some old ink tubes from ball point pens. I've seen brass ones.) It's also hard to keep glaze out of the holes if you are glazing. I suppose unglazed wares solve this issue. How are they made? Any tips, links, suggestions about making Asian style teapot strainers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Ben
  7. Does anyone know any technical information about Tokoname clay? Chemistry, firing temp, etc?
  8. I've experimented with dry pressing small items. Inspired by "A Potters Alternative" i made a frame to capture my car floor jack and several molds to press both damp dust and moist slab items. Damp dust is tricky. I was pressing pyrometric cones so the clay content was low. I think a binder as mentioned would be beneficial. I have talked to a guy online doing this for tiles. His method for producing moist dust was semi dry greenware run through a hammer mill. That's another possibility to keep in mind. Please keep us updated.
  9. PRankin, definitely finger wiped but the color may be due to the thin layer of glaze left behind in the wiped places. Not necessarily an underglaze but not ruling it out either.
  10. Looks like that clay is not meant to fire to cone 5. Amaco lists its max temperature as cone 3. You'll need a different clay if you want to use that glaze and vice versa.
  11. This is called shivering and it is caused by a difference in the rate of expansion/contraction between the clay/glaze. In this case the glaze is too big for the clay and because it is glassy out breaks when the clay contracts to its final size. I'm not familiar with this clay or glaze. Do the manufacturers publish coefficient of expansion numbers(COE for short) for this clay/glaze?
  12. Ahhh, but a growler is not used for bottling or carbonating nor long term storage. Usually a growler is only used to get beer from one place to another where it is consumed in short order like a party. Not sure if these would survive bottle carbonation. I like the raised bump that anchors the flip top.
  13. Small world. He and i had this same discussion once upon a time. He told stories of some dramatic failures in his early trials. The clay vitrification and glaze fit can make it or break it. Pun intended. Do you remember how he was capping/sealing his? (It's been years)
  14. Hey, diesel, That wouldn't be Martin Tagseth would it?
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