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Posts posted by MatthewV

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. I like adding cobalt oxide (not carbonate) (~0.25% by guess) to white glazes to make a speckled blue. I embrace the concentrated aspect.

    A little iron (1-2%) can be added to make a warm-more-orange-brown white.


    In general, white glazes are very opaque.


    I have also done things such as mixing two liquid glazes to make a new glaze. Not good for consistency but that has never been my strength anyways.

  9. It is funny to see your list. I am not saying it is wrong, just mine is very different.


    I do not have any serrated metal ribs.

    There are only a few fettling knifes around my studio. I cannot say they get much use.

    I have a bowl of mostly green and yellow Mud Tool ribs. There are two red ones that don't get used. (This is because I use green ribs for throwing and students tend to try the same. Sigh.)

    I made my own fishing line cutting tools. They last a few months, don't get kinks or split wires. One roll will make hundreds. Best of all they can be made in ~14" lengths for students and then one really long one for platters.

  10. The difference between -10°C and 1200°C is 1210°C.

    The difference between 20°C and 1200°C is 1180°C


    So... at the high side there is essentially no difference. It will cool faster overall but this is more apparent at lower temperatures.


    Funny, this question is also answered (sort of) by the current XKCD what if: https://what-if.xkcd.com/155/

  11. I would look at adjusting your posture first. Get a foot rest for the other foot. The height of two 2x4's is perfect.

    Start setting a speed and taking the foot off the pedal more too. Most of the leg issues come from having the leg in a strong/stable position while still trying to get fine control of the speed.


    I haven't experienced the arm/shoulder issue myself but I have the feeling it relates to the height of the wheel and the height of your stool. I have my wheels raised 2-4 inches-- making the wheel head about level with my thigh.


    Some people may recommend raising the wheel to a standing position. This is more frequently to address back pain.

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