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Tyler Miller

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Everything posted by Tyler Miller

  1. Guys, it’s albany slip. Hudson river...silty low fire clay with soluble salts.....
  2. I think the truth is industry could make a superior product, but cost/benefit analysis led them away from that long ago.
  3. Nothing at all. I do feel the need to say that the former link of the two French engobe sites is very much earthenware only. Immediately apparent to a French speaker, but maybe not to a non-fluent, or non-speaking browser in the context of a discussion on cone 6 engobes. At cone 6 that much talc and frit might not play so nice. The text of the second link looks very familiar...
  4. I had a semi-ridiculous conversation back in January while working in a studio in town. The crux of my interlocutor’s point was “what’s the point of makig functional ware? Industry does it better, so why try?” She’s a tile artist, and this opinion came out to Tony Clennell on another occasion (according to her). His response was “well, clearly you don’t drink enough tea.” A response I liked. My answer, then unexpressed, is that I prefer a life of messy stories of provenance, and a thoughtful interaction with objects that maybe don’t quite fit, but have flair in their failings. It’s why I prefer OHL hockey to NHL. The showboating for the scouts, sometimes sloppy passes, and skill differences make for a better game. “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.” What’s your answer, why do you make functional ware?
  5. Chronic vs. acute poisoning. The battered sweet potatoes were an incident of acute poisoning. This is a studio hazard to be sure, but a less likely one than chronic. Over time barium can cause problems with organ function eventually causing failure. The big one being kidneys. This can be the real hazard.
  6. Monona Rossol’s book is probably a good starting point. It’s generally addressed to artists, not just ceramists, but it should help. Then talk to your GP, talk about your concerns and maybe come up with a strategy. Your doctor is your #1 go to for health info. They may not know everything off the bat, but they know how to get you plugged in to where you need to be. It helps if you know a little about the materials going in, so that you can help the doc orient themselves in the issue. Pairing this with msds sheets (despite their limitations), and independent research will flesh out your knowledge. It’s sortof incumbent on each potter to know about their materials and their risks. But I totally understand how this could be an overwhelming task for some—the research is opaque, sometimes contradictory, and drawing conclusions from numbers can be a little abstract. For those doing research, a general rule: systematic reviews of evidence > meta-analyses > controlled studies > case studies. The WHO puts out a large amount of literature on things like this and its easily accessible by web. I know this isn’t the answer you were hoping for, but I do hope it helps.
  7. Honestas probitasque per se desiderandae.

    1. Min


      Thank goodness for google translator, guessed at most of it. Good tenant to live by.

    2. Tyler Miller

      Tyler Miller

      It’s a paraphrase of Cicero, against the Epicureans.

  8. χαλεπὰ τὰ καλά

    1. LeeU


      Say what?????????//

    2. Tyler Miller

      Tyler Miller

      It's from Plato -- difficult/hard are the good/noble things.

  9. It's not really glaze day if there's no glaze in my hair by the end.

  10. Glazenerd, of course it ignites. That's the point. Actually, I'm going to side with you on this. I've done it, it didn't produce the mess you had in your experience. But it's a a bad idea. The fumes are scary. And zinc oxide is cheaper than zinc. And the reaction needs fumes. Use the powdered zinc to cast with. Make some metal soldiers or something. As long as you can control your temps that's safe. Tom, you're right.
  11. Calcine in bisque firing in a BIG pot. It grows in volume exponentially and may do goofy things like form streamers. Store air tight or you'll have to recalcine; it's hygroscopic. Edit: this makes french process zinc oxide. Edit for diaclaimer (not so much for Wyndham, for whom this is likely obvious): good ventilation and oxidation is a must. Zinc fumes are a bad news. Ask me how I know
  12. Tom's hit on a variable most don't think about--thermal mass. Underwhelming crystals from a regular cooling cycle would benefit from a large, fully packed. extra insulated kiln. There's still a devit window at work, and crystal growth still a function of time within that window. How big is Michael Bailey's kiln?
  13. It's ceramics, not surgery. If you ever feel things are too complex to explain. Remember that you're talking about something that is in books, on other forums, on websites. Others, the "old masters," thought differently. Best, Tyler
  14. The premix is the same as any other batch, they just give the paint by numbers info. The "middle road" complete with disclaimers is on the tin. It was a good starting point and matches up with the book content. I think I understand why you've kept stories of your successes and failures mum. Cattle salesmen don't give away free milk. . I can respect that. It's premium content. That's more than fair. I really just stepped into this to keep the science accurate and steer things toward experience. Maybe I'll take your class one day. Re:Shino--I haven't used soda ash in any shino since my first year of ceramics. Not an American shino guy. This is a littlw more subtle.
  15. Dick, I've been down the rabbit hole. If you want to know my experiences, I'll be happy to share. I'm genuinely disappointed no one else is willing to share. Narrative can be a helpful thing. I tried crystalline glazes to early in my ceramics career. First time I fired, it was in hard reduction (didn't quite know what oxidation looked like). The book I got the info from provided a batch recipe and a "firing schedule.". Fire to cone 10, then down to cone 6. Which is useless information. I used this, without knowing about holds and the proper temps. There were other issues as well. I wasn't good at getting smooth surfaces, which doesn't help. Nor did I really know how to apply glaze. I have three successful crystalline pots to my name. One with my mother, one in storage, and one an ex broke. The success? From that laguna premix. Found a friend with a controller and finally got crystals. That's my experience. Colour was awful, so I never bothered again. I might try post fire reduction at some point, but but it's a low priority. I remember once, I got some advice about shino. I cautaued because I thought the guy was an expert. The "secret" advice he gave was just second hand knowledge. Made my face hot as he gave it to me. I felt lied to. He didn't know the method at all. No hands on experience. I still think he thinks he did me some favour that I'm ingrateful for. I had found his trick months before. The "big secret" actually was floating around the internet for years. Ruined the depth of colour. The real method, just a simple thing. And no big secret. Found in a narrative by a prominent potter. No big secret either. If he ever wants to know how to really do it, all he has to do is ask. I've got a few other secrets as well he might like. I don't hold any ill will anymore, maybe one day I'll buy him a beer. That's why I've taken the position I have. Quality information is hard to come by, even from apparently reputable sources. And when you're without a compass, it's discouraging. Doubly discouragin in a closed and decptive environment. Real world experience and sharing real world stories is really helpful. If you ever want to share yours,successes and failures, that would be much appreciated. Talking things out in a dialogue makes things easier. Books are great, but stuff's always left out. And when you don't know what you don't know, you don't get very far. Cheers, Dick, you're a good egg.
  16. Dick, John Thanks for your replies. I should say I'm not personally going to try to fire crystalline glazes in a gas kiln. I'm just looking at this like a beginner and trying to tease out useful and orienting information a beginner would find useful. Since I found that initially lacking. Out of this, I've got the following: atmosphere control is important. Accurate controllers are essential, and results are unpredictable, with consistency as the desired end state. In addition, there are complex variables at work, not all of which you need to focus on immediately to be successful. How is this grounded in your studio practice? When firing crystalline glazes what do YOU strive for? How do you measure success or failure? You've said that you focus on application and glaze content, because that's most in your control. What is your method there? Are you talking about seeding and colourants or...? Do you post-fire reduce or strike fire? What is the benefit of the latter? It seems a less complex option for altering a result. I'd like to hear more about that. -Tyler
  17. I won't say the sarcasm is undeserved, because it probably is, but this is still a little unhelpful. Thank you for including times in your sarcastic decision tree. That was what i was going for. I got X result from doing W, Y, and Z with B recipe. Yes, experimentation is necessary, but a concrete example provides a kind of beacon. Fara Shimbo's book provides a number of firing schedules and examples of what can be achieved with the recipes she provides. Yes, the higher temp creates spikier crystals and lower temps create rounder crystals. But there are other factors to account for, that have been accounted for. Like bringing the glaze down slowly and steadily through the devit window creates variable effects in the crustals, whereas holding creates more regular effects. Time within the window matters, and while it can be whatever you want, obviously a 1 hr hold isn't going to look like a 5 hr hold. People can and do replicate effects, and guidelines toward gaining those effects gives confidence. Like how Diane Creber explains her process with goldstuff and how to get different colours in reduction. And if you look, people shoot for those benchmarks. The results are unpredictable, I realize, but things aren't as plain as you state either. I've held off giving any advice myself because I don't have massive experience with crystalline glazes--I haven't touched an electric kiln in probably 5 years and fire almost exclusively in reduction. Tom was in a position, I think, to speak about the finer points of passing through the devit window. But maybe I've worded it wrong. What I was hoping for was a result and the set of practices that got it there. I don't think just asking for a firing schedule fully expressed that. In which case, the sarcasm I've received is deserved, since the question seems foolish. Thanka for answering.
  18. Not quite. But that's cool. Here's an old CAD article I like. It gives a sense of practice and expectation I was hoping would enter this discussion. https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/daily/ceramic-glaze-recipes/glaze-chemistry/the-new-world-of-crystalline-glazes-developing-beautiful-crystals-in-reduction/
  19. My condolences about your mother. It can be a tremendous weight.
  20. Dick White, What I was hoping for was a non-technical educational example that show the decision making process. I realize that there's no cookie cutter firing program, there's nothing hard and fast about ceramics. But it can help to see the decision making process involved in firing and how that informs artistic/studio practice. In glass textbooks, there are usually firing schedules included, despite the fact that firing schedules are manufacturer and batch specific. It just helps open up an otherwise opaque world of technique. I apologize, Tom. I feel I've been too heavy handed. I genuinely was trying to help, add to, and sometimes correct your understanding of this stuff. Your posts are always welcome. If you like, I'll back off and give you a wider berth and more interpretive charity. -Tyler
  21. Tom, Your feelings about your theory remind me of something Socrates said in Plato's dialogue "Theaetetus." Socrates explains to his interlocutors that he is a midwife of ideas, facilitating their birth, and evaluating whether they would thrive. Advising them whether or not to keep the idea or discard it--an emotionally difficult thing for the idea's "mother." Now, I'm no midwife of ideas, but I do advise you to reconsider theoretical attachment, since it is one of the mechanisms from which bad science arises. For every major breakthrough study there has been, there are (or should be) hundreds of copies attempting to disprove the breakthrough. Theae don't get press, and the perception of science is skewed as a result. There are few, if any, lone geniuses toiling away at the next major breakthrough. Einstein is fetishized as such a genius, but he almost always worked with colleagues, and he spent a lot of his career actively trying to disprove his findings. "God doesn't play dice with the universe" was a reflection of his hatred of quantum mechanics--a field he inarguably helped found. My point is that you shouldn't get too attached and avoid confirmation bias--a true nerd shows commitment to truth and learning (though I'm not fond of the term, I was beaten up as a teen while that word was applied to me). Re: conductivity. I was arguing for electronegativity, conductivity isn't relevant. Band gaps, are, again, the amount of energy it takes to move an electron to the conductive band. Metals either have no band gap (like gold), or a very small one. Insulators have very large band gap values, which is why you can't run a current through an insulator. Semiconductors have medium sized band gaps and this is how they're useful in electronic components like transistors and diodes. They work like solid state switches. This has little to do with ionization and chemical reactions. Your copper wire doesn't ionize when running a toaster, or all manner of anarchy would ensue. Might I suggest you're confusing ionization energy with band gaps? The former being how much energy it takes to remove an electron? The magnets analogy is good to explain electronegativity, keep using it. To everyone else, the non-sciencey version of the article I posted explains how the round crystal shape of a macro glaze is formed. They explain it shows up everywhere, plastic bags, obsidian, etc. The theory they state (which isn't 100% accepted) is that it comes about through a tension between different phases in the melt. This causes very specific branching behaviours irrespective of crystalline structure. Why the same patterns show up sometimes in wal-mart bags. In the crystalline glaze this is a tension between soda fluxed glass and zinc oxide fluxed glass. I used the term saturation, because that's how it plays out in our experience but it's not quite saturation. High boron high fired glazes will separate out as well, only, nothing pretty results. This article demonstrates how a glass system of fluxed with soda, borate, and zinc oxide (which will readily both phase separate and devitrify) can be exploited to create opal glass. It also explores additives (among which is lithia--Oops! wrong article! no lithia in this one) and how they modify this effect. http://www.academia.edu/9559030/Devitrification_and_Phase_Separation_of_Zinc_Borosilicate_Glasses_in_the_Presence_of_MgO Tom, Would you be willing to post a typical downfire schedule and explain they rationale behind each step? I'm also curious about what research you'd done with molybdenum crystals and how they differ from conventional macrocrystalline glazes. Moly's capacity for expressive crystalline glazes is remarkable. Edited to correct typos and an error.
  22. This article may be instructive on the formation of spherulites (the name for the shape of the crystalline formations in a macro glaze) and their formation. http://eps.mcgill.ca/~courses/c644/Biomineralization%20(2011)/Spherulitic_Growth/Spherulitic_Growth_Modelling_Granasy_2007.pdf
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