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About kilndoc

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  • Birthday 09/06/1972

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    Lawrence, KS
  1. Im there....and presenting . This one's going to be fantastic
  2. Almost all of the major glaze manufacturers have classroom projects and lesson plans for free download on their websites. Amaco, Duncan, Spectrum, and Laguna also all had teacher sections the last time I looked. What tends to be missing, however, from the 'project-based' approach is the unifying theme or philosophy that makes each project work for YOUR program. I'd suggest looking at them all so you can best find those that fit in your program. Some often overlooked resources: your State's Art Educator website, NCECA, and NAEA. All Three are organizations who are dedicated to art and/or ceramics EDUCATION. Above all, remember to teach to the STANDARDS. If a project doesn't meet one of your mandated goals, throw it out. Or, better yet, change the project so that it does. And lastly, buy your supplies from your local dealer. After all, THEY will be the one you run to in a pinch, or when you have questions.
  3. @ LawPots: First off, I was mistaken. Water molecules are indeed considerably smaller than bacteria. I apologize for my mistake on that point and stand corrected. I also believe you make a good point about getting crazy by misstating the problem. My post was intended to illustrate that there are physical defects in addition to chemical ones, that can render a glazed surface not suitable for food contact. If we sell our work to the general public as 'food safe', then we also have a legal responsibility to be reasonably certain that it actually is food safe. As far as the legal code I refer to: The US FDA ‘Food Code’ contains the provision describing the acceptable design and construction of Food Contact Surfaces. While initially intended as governing the retail food service industry, it is also used, albeit broadly, as a supporting legal definition within the realm of Consumer Protection as to the appropriateness of an object to be marketed as safe for food contact. It is substantively different from ASTM D 4236 (which is the chronic hazard labeling standard in the US), and the U.S. Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA). According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, 49 of the 50 US states have adopted food codes patterned after the FDA food code (from various years). The single state that has not adopted the US food code, is North Carolina, which chose instead to pattern its local food code after a 1976 Model Foodservice code instead. I will Cite the applicable portion of the FDA 2009 Food code below (you may find the full text of the code on their website www.fda.gov): 4-202.11 Food-Contact Surfaces. (A) Multiuse food-contact surfaces shall be: (1) Smooth; Pf (2) Free of breaks, open seams, cracks, chips, inclusions, pits, and similar imperfections; Pf Now I agree with Chris that the debate over cracks and bacteria is contentious, and I too believe that a person is more likely to get sick from improperly handled or prepared food than a crazed glaze. Further, I also agree that manufacturers are quite conservative and risk-averse when it comes to public health and safety but, then again, isn’t that a good thing? Don’t we want the manufacturers of the products we buy to err on the side of safety? Since we are also manufacturers, shouldn't we hold ourselves to those same standards? In conclusion (and I apologize to all for the book-sized post), let me try to restate my argument: A debate on this subject continues to go unresolved. The more conservative (safer) response is that “a crazed glaze is not appropriate for food contact†A legal definition exists that supports the conservative response. It is possible and practical to produce functional work that is not crazed, and market that product as food safe. Therefore, it is both logical and practical to adopt the conservative attitude until/unless the legal definition changes (in response to the debate) to reflect new and conclusive data. In other words, it is best to consider a crazed glaze to be NOT food safe until science proves otherwise.
  4. Kanokohata, I am a repair technician, and have been for 16 years. I have worked on quite a few CI wheels, and recently ran into a couple of clients that have them (MPs and HPs). I did some research with Speedball, and the parts are simply not available. Speedball abandoned that line of wheels when they purchased the wheel division of Creative Industries in favor of the BOSS series which use a completely different control set (parts are not interchangeable). Your best bet for parts is to keep an eye out for other used JR, MP, or HP wheels. Pick them up for a song and take them apart. Salvage whatever you can off of them and toss the rest. The wiring diagrams for the 3 leg plastic models can be found on the inside of the circuit board cover. As far as the older 4-legged square models...unless you know someone who understands motor controller design and can make a PCB, forget it. Once its controller is broken, its gone. Just be REALLY careful of that big blue capacitor under the belt guard. They can hold a charge for a VERY long time and can bite you if you aren't careful.
  5. Bad artists copy. Good artists steal. - Pablo Picasso
  6. OK, time for me to NECRO this thread and to chime in with my 2 cents. One of my favorite moments in clay came at a reception for the Cone Box Show Jurors a few years ago. There we were, eating food off of some of the most fabulous ceramic pieces I had ever seen. Not run-of-the-mill, everyday pieces; some of them could stand as show pieces. When I asked our host why she was using THOSE pieces she said, "The artist intended them to be functional, didn't they?". Another favorite quote that I'm fond of is "If pottery didn't break, potters wouldn't have a job". Functional work is intended to be USED. We spend so much of our time making every piece precious that we loose touch with some of the real value of our art. Not to completely romanticize things, but I believe part of the intrinsic nature of ceramic art is the process by which we begin with the most basic of materials (ground rock) and turn it into something that has staggering complexity of value. Ceramic art can be beautiful, informative, reflective, and all those other descriptors that are important to art historians and collectors. Yet its value can go further in that ceramic art can also be functional, and that it is relatively permanent (much of the historical record of ancient times comes from functional pottery shards). For those reasons, I agree 100% with you Carolyn. Bring on that conference...I'll be there. In the meantime, lets take the call for submissions one step further. Local pottery clubs, groups, or guilds usually have group activities. Propose to YOUR group that your next gathering should be a pot-luck, where food is served on pottery that YOU must also make and bring along with the food. Take pictures and submit them to the forum as Carolyn suggested (and send the recipes as well ) As far as the calendar....or an online digital show (shows like an ad at the top of the forum page; new one each day depending on number of submissions). "Putting the function back into functional pottery". Submission photos must show work that is IN USE, and must also include the recipe for the food or drink that is being used". Comments?
  7. Magpie, Chris is right when she says 'Glaze fit is Glaze fit'. Our firing schedules can affect the relative shrinkage of a glaze or clay body but, at the end of the day, some glazes just DON'T fit some clays period. More importantly however, in regards to food safety, is the physical presence of cracks or other imperfections in the glaze. If a glazed pot leaks water, then it has cracks in the glaze somewhere; even if you can't see them. An unglazed surface poses a harder problem for testing. EVEN a completely vitreous surface may not be food safe, depending on the physical surface structure of the clay itself. Pits in the clay (even VERY tiny ones), grog particles, or other breaks in the smooth surface can render a vitreous pot unsafe. India ink or VERY strong tea will usually stain those cracks and pits and make them visible to the eye, but a pot that leaks water makes that testing step irrelevant. If water can go there, you can bet that bacteria (which is considerably smaller) will go there as well. ANY pot that has a crazed glaze, is no longer considered food safe by federal health standards REGARDLESS OF THE REPORTED SAFETY OF THE GLAZE ON THE LABEL. The problem here is not one of a glaze that is safe chemically, but a food-contact surface that has been rendered UNSAFE by a physical defect. The cracks provide bacteria a place where it can hide and multiply. Soap and commercial sanitizers must come into direct contact with bacteria to kill it, and the soap molecules may not be able to get into the cracks where the bacteria is hiding. The heated drying cycle on most modern commercial dishwashers DOES get hot enough to kill many bacteria strains; but you are assuming your customer has a modern dishwasher that is working properly.... There are simply too many variables that are out of your direct control. That is why health and safety standards require a glazed surface to be free of defects; and all commercial glazes that are labeled as food safe also carry the disclaimer that they are only food safe when "fired properly to maturity".
  8. sorry about the double post. @ AndyL: One of the most popular methods that are typically used in other forums when questions are being asked directly of the development team or the forum admins or mods is the BUMP. These are post replies that contain only the word BUMP in all-caps. It stands for Bring Up My Post. It is a simple way for the members to keep a post both alive, active, AND at the top of the forum page until the Moderators or Admins have had a chance to answer the question. Good etiquette will only BUMP a post once per calendar date, though other readers who are interested in reading the answer can BUMP a post as well. It is always good form as well when a thread has been BUMPed for the original poster to mark a discussion that is complete with a post that simply says DEAD THREAD in all caps. This signals any other readers that that particular discussion thread should no longer be BUMPed. BUMPing a dead thread is called NECROing a thread (because you are bringing it back from the dead), and is usually considered bad form UNLESS the person who NECROs that thread has NEW information on that topic that is directly related to the answer of the original poster's question...OR can legitimately call into question the answer given. Posts that contain important information that is referenced VERY frequently, or answers to questions that seem to be asked very frequently, but are not contained in the forum's FAQ, are typically made 'sticky' by the forum administrators. These posts always appear at the top of a discussion thread.
  9. Sherman (and all), I know that CD quality images and text tend to be bandwidth-hogs to download. CDs as a data storage medium are a thing of the past, and DVD storage is headed that way. Blueray discs are a non-starter for data storage, and solid-state memory (flash memory) gets too expensive rather rapidly. I am not a great fan of cloud computing, as it requires an active internet connection in order to access data, but it is CONSIDERABLY less expensive to produce, manage, and maintain. I would suggest an app-based approach. Data-code and store the images in a searchable .pdf database, then develop and provide smartphone and OS apps to access that database. The database itself is the MONSTER endeavor, but those old copies have to be digitized for ANY solution anyway. As far as the app development, I'd start with iPhone (as the SDK is free of charge and iOS has the largest market share), but don't forget about android, Chrome, and MacOS apps as well. You will need all 4 for complete coverage. You could charge the nominal $0.99 for the apps. The app would allow unlimited viewing, but also have an in-app purchase-per-download option. AND, while we are on the subject, is there any talk about having an electronic delivery option for CM or PMI? I don't subscribe to print magazines anymore because of the trash/recycling issue, but would INSTANTLY re-subscribe if I could get them on my iPad.
  10. @ Herb: nice post. Many of the things you bring up are the real-life questions that I ask people when they ask me about which kiln to buy. I especially like your point about the 'best' kiln. My typical answer is: "The best kiln is the one that does what YOU need it to do consistently, reliably, and safely. One that you understand how to operate, can get support for when you need it, and that stands up to the abuse that you put on it". Its a pretty vague answer, but its the only *real* one that I can give to such a broad question. @ Arnold: Spot-on as always, my friend. @ Ms. Kathleen: Its an exciting time for you...FINALLY time to have that studio at home. Make sure that you talk to your local kiln dealer. Merely purchasing a kiln from the lowest-bidder tends to get support and service to match; that is to say- NONE AT ALL. My suggestion, and I'll admit up front that I'm biased, is to work with someone local (or as local as possible). Get to know your local supplier. Take into account the amount of help they have (or will) be giving you as you make this journey in clay. Make sure that you ask the same questions of every dealer you speak to. If a dealer won't take the time to answer your questions when you are trying to buy a kiln, they certainly won't be around to answer them after; and therefore don't deserve your money. Good luck and happy hunting.
  11. I've done this type of conversion a number of times, and it works out quite well; provided your expectations are reasonable for the materials. There are many sets of instructions out there for converting an old electric kiln to a raku kiln, and that is where I would have you start. Look at Steve Branfman's book Raku: A Practical Approach, for a step-by-step guide with some nice pictures. The principals and the steps are really the same, you just need to get the burner rating figured out. For that, I refer you to The Kiln Book by Fred Olsen for the charts about BTU requirements, and to Mark Ward at Ward Burners for a safe burner system. YES you can build your own burner (I've done it too), but if you haven't ever done it before, PLEASE leave it to the experts. Saving a couple of bucks just isn't worth the potential cost... That said, here are a couple of important points to remember: 1) Most electric kilns in North America are made of K23 IFB (or equivalent). This brick is NOT designed to stand up to heavy reduction atmospheres. Light to moderate is fine, but unless you coat the kiln brick with ITC (or something similar), you won't be able to get those GREAT shinos or those Malcom-Davis-Style carbon-trap glazes without SEVERELY reducing the life of the brick. The bricks tend to just fall apart. 2) Don't expect the sheet metal, screws, handles, or turnbuckles on the burner port side to last for very long. Also, just get rid of the hinge. It WILL rust out rather quickly and can break while the lid is open. Better to put additional barn-door handles on the lid and just remove it for loading/unloading. 3) You should expect to loose about 1/3 to 1/2 of your interior space to a combustion chamber. Again, I refer you to The Kiln Book by Fred Olsen. You CAN save this space if you create a Bourry-Box either beside or below the kiln to act as the combustion chamber, but you will loose some effeciency. 4) Plug EVERY SINGLE HOLE that is not being used for burner inlet, spy hole, or exit flue with ceramic fiber. Be thorough when looking for them. Even small holes will have fire shooting out of them when the kiln is reducing. I have a pair of work boots with a burn hole in them from one that I missed.... 5) YES you should have a chimney stack on top of the lid with a damper (if its an updraft)...YES its a pain to stack every time...NO you shouldn't skip this step... Good Luck.
  12. I admit I'm a bit biased, but I am a real fan of Flint Hills' Terra Blanc clay. Its a very white, low fire clay body that is NOT TALC BASED. It was developed at Bracker's Good Earth Clays as an alternative to talc-based white earthenware bodies that can feel like toothpaste to throw. This body still 'feels' like porcelain, but tends to behave itself without getting 'gummy'. My pieces fired to a bright white at ^06 oxidation. As far as glazes, Amaco LG10 and Spectrum 700 gloss clear glazes work quite well, and the matte glazes from those same lines (can't remember the numbers) work well also. I have also seen pieces fired in Duncan's dipping clear with great success.
  13. I agree that an iPad is the way to go. AirPlay your iTunes content or Pandora radio to a set of speakers hooked up to an AirPort express. And there are still Apple Specialist locations out there that still have their iPad 1 demo units, which you can buy for less. Ultimately, if all you want is iTunes and email, don't waste any money on a full computer.
  14. I'd be careful. Most of the parts for that wheel are no longer available, so if the controller or foot pedal goes out, then you are out the money you spent on it. Look for rust on the wheel near the foot pedal. Take the bottom off of the wheel, and look inside it for rust, mud dauber nests, cracked belts and drive rings, etc. Good Luck.
  15. I have to agree with Chris on this. More than likely, it had to do with the speed of the firing. Take the time to slow down, the pots will be better for it. You certainly aren't alone, either. There is a great contingent of potters from all levels of experience and academia that tend to rush the glaze firing. Often this comes from a time-management issue (I know I always seem to be just 'behind' schedule ), but for some its intentional. For those people, the general thought seems to be that the clay is 'done' or at least 'unseen', so if the glaze looks right, then the pot is right. I couldn't disagree more. There are just too many things actually happening during a firing, and rushing it typically (for me) leads to a piece that might be *nice*, but would have been better if it weren't for....(insert description of defect here). Now that certainly doesn't mean that Fast speed is ALWAYS inappropriate, just that it is not usually the right choice for normal glaze firings. As a former professor of mine said to me once "Its taken the clay millions of years to get to THIS point, why do we think we can speed up the LAST step?"
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