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Everything posted by Wyndham

  1. As for the three tea bowls, I'm in camp throw-facet-stretch. I do not think they are carved. I'm there too. They look like a cheese cutter did the faceting then a throwing stick on the inside to stretch them. That's really cool. Gotta try it. Wyndham
  2. Normally when I go to home CAD page I get a full page layout but for the last 2 days I get a list index page with links. I'm using win xp but other sites, even the forum comes up as it should. Am I the only one? Wyndham
  3. Silica comes in different fineness or mesh. 200, 325, 400 mesh. most potters use either 200 or 325. I was given some Amorphous Silica once but did not notice any difference, though others say it will melt earlier and change the look of a glaze. Amorphous Silica I believe cost more than 200 mesh. try some and see what you think. Wyndham
  4. I was not trying to be unkind. The fact that in a 6 month period, I have had 20+ people inquiring about work only to fulfill paperwork requirements for different type of assistance, quite depressing. I live in a section of NC that has high unemployment, high, high-school dropout rates and a diminishing pottery tourist market. It really doesn't matter the deeper causes of these issues, because we have to deal with our daily reality in a very slow economy. What this means for us is to try and keep the retail doors open for those that still come by and scramble for other markets. Show cost have gotten very high and considering the downtime from production, wholesale is more profitable than shows. Cost of clay, glaze, and firing have gone up, but there is a ceiling to the price we can charge for a coffee mug(universal example). If you are not aware of the economy around you, you may make a major financial mistake in your biz plan. Wyndham
  5. You might use an online glaze calc program here's one I like http://glazecalculator.com/ Give it a try Wyndham
  6. If it's a cone 6 body fired at 06 ,even glazed, it's water absorption likely would be high and strength low. so microwave usage would be out of the question for me. If it's an 06 body at cone 6, hope you have some kiln wash on that shelve, I've done it and got the shelf to prove it. If on he other hand, you have a cone 6 body for a base of a sculpture and added a 06 clay body and glaze for the top, fired at cone 6, I think that might win in an abstract art competition. Good luck, Wyndham
  7. Well the first thing to tell us is the size and amp rating which is on a foil/metal plate with the serial number. That information will tell what the max temp rating for that kiln. Is it plugged into a electrical socket or is it wired into an electrical panel? What temp did the previous owner fire the kiln to,cone ? It should have 3 switches, each switch has an off, low,med, high settings. Look on the INTERNET for Olympic manuals for your kiln and dl a PDF file Wyndham
  8. I think many who come out of our education system have never been schooled in "real world work ethics & economics" . Many students can't balance a check book but want a 100k/yr profession. Ceramics is a little different than most professions, in that there are fewer limits on structure and more on creativity and personal expression being taught. There are fewer hard facts and information about ceramics being taught about what makes a technically acceptable ceramic object compared to a welding course at a tech school. A welder taught at a tech school can get a $50-$80k/yr job as a industrial welder and a pottery grad has yet to learn how to set up a booth at a craft fair, get a sales tax number and plan inventory. One field has stronger guidelines and structure than the other. No one needs a coffee mug but a welders skills may have life and death consequences. If there is no educational structure, create it for yourself and demand from yourself the quality education that other fields demand. Math,finance,geology,history,marketing and more, are the foundations of a pottery career. It takes years of hard work and learning and still no guarantees of monetary success, but the self discipline will be it's own reward. Don't expect to go to the front of the line, without time and hard work, even with all that, you maybe far from the front of the line. Why are so many beginning potters asking elementary questions on this forum, if there are well rounded courses teaching in-depth ceramics. Something is missing, such as planning a long road trip and not filling the gas tank. I recently had a young lady, just graduated from HS come in to ask for a job. She had no idea what was needed for a retail job. She had no training in handling money or what going on in a retail store, she just wanted a job. When I told her I had nothing she smiled a left as if asking for a job was all she had to do, maybe before going to apply for welfare. I may have rambled a bit, hopefully not too much Wyndham
  9. Your local library may have ,or access to, books and videos on pottery. It can be a tremendous help Wyndham
  10. 2 cinder blocks and an old wore out quilt. For 20 years I stood to turn but after a hip replacement , I sit & turn but not as much as I used to turn, too many miles on the bod. Wyndham
  11. Yea there's a bit of cleanup. Plasti-bats sorta melt & cut at the same time and my cut was less then perfect, but it shows up for works everyday. The bats I'm talking about are the solid black plastic ones. Wyndham
  12. For a DIY, get a12" round plasti bat and cut an 8" sq out of the middle, notch one corner to get the bats out. Then go to home depot and have them cut a 8ft x 4ft hard on both sides 1/4 in Masonite board to 8 inch squares. They charge a few dollars for the cutting. You'll have all the bats you need for a long time. Do that again with 6 x6 in for mugs. Glue several, maybe 3, Masonite 12inch bats together and cut out the 8x8 in sq with a jig or scroll saw and make the plaster of hydrostone inserts on the cheap Wyndham
  13. Slip glazes can crawl or pop off in the firing. Using about half calcined (or more)and half raw in a slip glaze recipe will help eliminate that issue. Many slip glazes with Alberta or Albany are almost all clay. I try not to have more than 10% raw clay in may glazes with the balance calcined clay. For me 10% will keep most ingredients in suspension and not hard pan. Wyndham
  14. Saw a recent Nat Geo program that mentioned that in Sanskrit it mention the tower of Babel being made from burned bricks. I would guess the earlier pits for pit firing would have fused enough to create a fired lining for pit firing, if the clay were low enough temp, but that's just a guess I would think the Chinese were more likely to have fired brick before the middle east Wyndham
  15. Check the info on your clay. The mfg will post the amt of water absorption at the firing range the clay is designed for.If the clay is 7 to cone 10 and you fire to 6, it won't help. Wyndham
  16. I think it is Vermiculite Vermiculite is a hydrous, silicate mineral that is classified as a phyllosilicate and that expands greatly when heated. Wyndham
  17. Karen, the better thing to do right now is to compare(as best you can), a piece from an older firing before the new T/C and what just came out. Does one look over or under fired? Did one run more than another? Start by putting cones in each shelf c5,c6,c7. The calibration will be adding some hold time if the new firings are too stiff. You will need to do only one adjustment at a time. The other thing to consider is the age of your elements, were the firing going longer between firings? There are several things that you need to take notes on as well as remembering how long (aprox) the old firings took and compare that to the new T/C firings. I'm sure others will have more info for you as this goes along Wyndham
  18. The other way to make a larger non seamed slab is to cut your slab thicker and use a mallet to pre flatten the clay to slab thickness. A rubber mallet from home depot is about $10. Cut your clay lengthwise about 3-4 in thick cover the exposed clay with a empty plastic clay bag and beat on it till it's the thickness you want. The other way is to drop it repeatedly on the floor(have a canvas down first) alternating one side then the other, until it thins out. Works well for us, Wyndham
  19. Here's a guess, based on what the early pioneers did for dirt floors, Milk. After the floor was compacted, at which point I'm not sure, they poured milk from the cows(goats, sheep ?)onto the floor and polished them( don't know this part). In another thread, this is mentioned for sealing earthenware pieces(after firing). The oil and protein of milk might be what did it I think this might be a path you might look into. Wyndham
  20. Me, I take a deep breath and have a good heart to heart with myself, sometimes it works Seriously, making unwarranted assumptions, such as "I know I turned the power off" before working on something. Everything is at a state of rest until we interact with it, snakes excluded I'm closer to building a smaller kiln to test some of those cone 6 reduction glazes I've seen of yours. That copper red mug in Micheal Baily's book looks very inviting. How close is the color photo to the piece itself? Wyndham
  21. Instead of loading you up with a lot of variation, it's most likely better to start simple, get results and add to or change ingredients, then fire again The other is to make a line test 10/90 20/80 /30/70 percent of the 2 ingredients and go from there. Most of your time will be testing until you find a promising path to refine your test. You will likely go through hundreds of test tiles to find what you like. Wyndham
  22. I'd try about 30-40 % local red clay and the rest fireplace ash. Wet Screen the red clay with an 80 mesh screen , add some screened ash, make some test tiles and try it out. From this you can see what adjustments are needed. Anytime you use ash in water, you'll be making an alkali solution that can burn you hand, use dish washing gloves. This is just a starting point, from there look to some of the books on ash glazes. Wyndham
  23. There are several online glaze calculation programs that will work very well for what you need, just Google. Wyndham
  24. No, the radiant heat from coals/embers is where you need to investigate. If you have a charcoal fire pit or can have access to making a small cooking fire on the ground, that would be the better way to learn from. Wyndham
  25. John hit upon one of the key elements of a glaze palette, how are you going to fire. Wood is different that gas which is different from electric. Each has it's strong and weak points but you are choosing a partner in the finished work by firing method you choose. From there, the choice of clay will be the next determining factor. I keep moving to light clays and may go to porcelain soon. Next is the question of runny overlappin or static decorating glazes, I like runny , reduction glazes similar to John, where I use a Mamo or Temoku as a catch glaze for a runny top glaze. Wyndham
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