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About MatthewV

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  • Birthday 09/12/1986

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    Making glazes for ∆6, teaching classes, playing

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  1. There are two user errors that make cones not work: 1. the tips were broken 2. they were placed straight up instead of at the slight angle given by the manufacturer.
  2. The way you are most comfortable with is the best way. I haven't been willing to load thrown plates on the rims. I do this for flat edged platters. I have stacked ~6 plates on each other and would feel comfortable loading more on top if the feet were in about the same place.
  3. I have an 8 cu ft kiln. It gets fired frequently but could still handle someone who uses up to about 4 tons of clay a year as long as they don't procrastinate deadlines.... It is 27" tall (effectively 26" of usable space) and I think about the smallest in this height. 4 glaze firings a month is typical for myself + my students.
  4. I would paint for a little while. Really, my ability to make pottery is dependent on teaching classes and using electricity. Getting a wood kiln is 10 year dream that might get fast tracked. Getting a gas kiln up and running could be done in one summer. If I have internet access to order materials from. Sigh. I am dependent on this modern life.
  5. Zirconium ceramics (engineering usage of the word) are pretty cool. Hardness and heat resistance are two strength that come to mind. And yes, most ceramics are formed under a high temperatures using similar equipment as our kilns. From the chemical side, it is the same element, yes. It is #40 and goes by Zr.
  6. Sure... I own, operate and teach at a private but community focused pottery studio. The single most important thing in my mind is requiring all members to take a class at your center. Even experienced people. All (two) thorns in my side came from people who didn't take one of my classes. After that, pricing and costs need to be what works for your center and hopefully a little extra for down the road. It is a complex especially if there isn't a director single person in charge. Or if there are multiple instructors. I've also worked and taught at a non-profit community studio in Wellington -- many many good sides and some real pains too.
  7. You can use a program fire and make your own "medium" program. The "medium fire" program is even on the second page of this: http://skutt.com/pdf/op_manual/2009_op_manual/KM_Manual-09_Programming.pg17.pdf for step 5 you could use the cone table to make it 5 or 6 with the hold you normally use.
  8. MatthewV


    Finished work
  9. Firing the kiln on its side would be a disaster. Do not do it. For your piece, put it in when you are done working on it. Let the piece dry to bone dry and then fire the kiln. Moving leather hard clay is easier to do without breaking the piece. And if you are willing to make a custom setup I think you can also let it sit in the kiln for a few extra days. Having work lean up against the brick isn't terrible as long as large areas of the elements are not covered.
  10. Take it apart, clean it out, find nothing unusual, put it back together, find you have an extra piece or screw, and see if it works again.
  11. My glazes can (for the most part) be made with this shopping list I used to start my studio with. Silica 2 bag China Clay (EPK) 2 bag Ball Clay (OM4) 1 bag Potash Feldspar 2 bag Neph Sy 1 bag Talc 1 bag Whiting 1 bag Wollastonite 1 bag G. Borate 1 bag Dolomite 10 kg Frit 3124 5 kg Frit 3134 1 bag Frit 3195 5 kg Frit 4110 Tin Oxide 2 kg Cobalt Oxide 250 g Cobalt Carbonate 2 kg Titaninium Dioxide 5 kg Copper Carbonate 5 kg Chromium Oxide 2 kg Red Iron Oxide 1 bag Rutile 5 kg Manganese Dioxide 1 kg Zinc Oxide 5 kg Zicropax 5 kg Bentonite 1 kg The quantity ordered somewhat reflects how often the materials are used.
  12. I really enjoy the teaching and technical side of pottery. Now that I have some experience I see a multitude of possibilities in the world. Doing these background steps is what keeps me engaged. In my pottery: Right now, I would say Surface finish. I see more raised clay, carving, and glaze work in this year. I've been making decorative pieces recently. There are quite a few ideas revolving around Form but I would rather have them finished in a non-electric kiln.
  13. Well, I started by mixing glaze recipes I had taken from the university studio. I later saw they mostly came from the Mastering Cone Six book. After getting a few good glazes, there is less hurry. It is possible to try a recipe in a small batch and then if it looks promising, a medium batch, and then if it actually does good things (and doesn't do bad things) a full batch. Of course if you start with good recipes then good things are more likely to happen and the process is easier. Weeding out bad recipes takes some time because the defects might depend on application or thickness of the work. Or maybe the recipe works fine if sprayed thinly but not dipped. Which is why there are so many "bad" recipes in the world; they work perfectly but only under the right conditions. In my world the glazes need to: 1. Play nicely with other glazes (requires lots of testing) 2. Not run or crawl (requires some of testing or knowledge of glaze chemistry) 3. Be applied by dipping or pouring (requires some of testing but mostly about the mixed consistency) 4. Not contain barium or manganese (I work in a community environment and don't trust these ingredients) 5. Not have more than 5% tin oxide (cost reason) 6. Not have excessive amount of cobalt (<2%), copper (<4%), or chrome (<0.5%) 7. Cadmium must be in encapsulated stains
  14. Rotting smells are common. Especially if you have added green ware to the slop bucket -- it brings in lots of air. I like adding a touch of copper carbonate and then giving it a stir. I use less than a gram for my 20 gallons of slop. At this small percentage it doesn't change the color of anything. I only have to do this once in awhile.
  15. I don't think I would have gotten very far without taking classes.
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