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  1. I work at a local studio that wanted those clays, so I was looking for the formulas so they could make their own version of the same procelains. As it turns out, I think a member of the family that used to run Mile High Ceramics is going to start a new clay company and will bring back Zen and Jiki. I hope. There are plenty of porcelains (pre-made) that you can buy, and each one has its own characteristics. But if this new company works out, we will have the specific clays we had in mind. Thank you for your interest and suggestions. I appreciate your time.
  2. When Mile High Ceramics went out of business a few years ago, my understanding is that they took with them their private formulas for Jiki and Zen Porcelains. Does anyone know if these recipes are "out there" for our use? If not, we might be able to come up with raw, unfired samples of these clays in the hope of sending them somewhere for chemical analysis. Is there a place to do this? Thanks.
  3. Hi, Everyone. In our hurry to get everything done at our local middle school before the end of the year, I've been rushing things a bit. We're using Cone 04 clay and Cone 06 glazes. The glaze instructions say to brush the glaze onto bisqued (Cone 04) pots and then fire to Cone 06. So I loaded a bisque firing but threw in some glaze-test pots. The net result was that I brushed the glazes onto green clay (unbisqued) and once-fired those pots to Cone 04 (slightly higher than the manufacturers wanted). There were several craters from blisters that hadn't healed. I suspect that either the kiln fires and cools very quickly, or the craters were caused by once-firing. This electric kiln is old and has only a kiln sitter and timer, and it's hard to intercept it at the end of the firing because the school day is only 7 hours long. The firings are taking 8 hours. If I'm correct in my suspicions, how can I correct this defect with this kiln? Thanks for any ideas.
  4. Hi, Tom. What a fun forum! I've wanted a set of alphabet stamps for a long time but didn't want to spend the $ and discovered that alphabet pasta works well. The pasta can be found at some local groceries or ethnic groceries (Hispanic). Also, there are a few shapes that can be cut from fast-food drink lids and used as stamps. And a sewing pattern tracing wheel gives a nice mark; it's easy to make straight or curved lines. Plastic food wrap or dry cleaner plastic can be used on both sides of a slab of clay while rolling it out--it keeps the table top clean and you can get incredibly thin slabs. Although the slab should be turned over prior to each rolling-pin "pass" and the top sheet of plastic reapplied. After the final rolling, remove the bottom piece of plastic and rib the clay smooth because the bottom plastic always tends to wrinkle. An unplugged fridge works well as a "damp box" for pots in progress. A picnic cooler is a good place to store small amounts of unused clay. I loved lots of the tips, especially using crochet hooks or knitting needles. Thanks for opening up this interesting discussion--I've learned a lot of fun things to try.
  5. Hi, Chris. You're probably right. It's the cheapskate in me--I just hate to see something go to waste. Maybe I'll take a minimal amount of time to get a general idea of whether a clay will melt at Cone 10 (with a high-fire container for safety, just to make sure my kiln shelves won't be ruined), without worrying about the other aspects of porosity, etc. Then I can, as you say, make "yard art" and be happy for the experience. I appreciate all the comments received. Thanks, everyone!
  6. Most of my work is functional, so I want them to be safe for consumers.
  7. Get a hold of a little high fire clay and make a couple pinch pots. Make sure what ever the other clay forms are will fit inside the pots acting as a reservoir if and when they melt. Fire at different temps till you at least know there range. Test test test. There is a ton of other tests you can do to find out how a clay will act. That's a good solution to protect kiln shelves. Thank you! But I still need to determine the maturation temperature. I'd like to know more than the melting point of the clays. It might be possible for, say, a Cone 5 clay to fire to Cone 10 without melting--but that doesn't mean it's the optimum temp for that clay. Do you or anyone else have any more ideas or resources? Thank you for your time.
  8. I've accumulated lots of clays with various firing temperatures, and I'd like to use all of these clays. But they are unlabeled as to type of clay or maturation temperature. What's a good, safe way to determine the firing temperatures of each of these clays? The clays range from earthenware to midrange and high-fire. Many thanks!
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