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alabama

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Posts posted by alabama

  1. If you're interested in Black on black pottery...you need the book "The Living Tradition of Maria Martinez ".

    Last month I got mine off Amazon for about 10 bucks including postage...used!  It's a huge coffee table type book!

    Check out the Facebook "the wild clay club"... they deal with natural clays and are based out Australia. 

    Primitive Pottery by Hal Riegger is a good book you might should ought to read!   

    Firing greenware will give the best results for Black on black pottery....  The reducing material used for the black should be DRY, not "it looks dry", or "it should be dry"....even a smidgen of moisture will cause a mottled exterior.  

    What less videos and read more, if you're serious about learning about southwest USA black pottery .  :)

    and make lots of notes.

     

  2. I have a Pacifica 400 and when my belts broke, I tried ordering some, but that fell thru...so I tried fixing them and that didn't work...so I went to the local auto parts store and bought a 520k4 serpentine belt ... The ridges from the pulleys fit inside the grooves of the belt...not perfectly, but good enough!  :)  about  $13.00

  3. On the Facebook there is a pottery instructor based in Pennsylvania that has taken a broken electric kiln and turned it into a cone 10 woodfired kiln!  It is raised off the ground, I guess for convenience!   In the bottom of the kiln are 2 nine inch intakes above the fire box and in the back is a 12 inch exhaust for the downdraft!  His results are great, plus it only takes about 8 hours to fire a load!  I plan to do this with an old electric kiln we have in storage at the art center...it has two sections, so the plan is to add height to it by adding fire bricks between the sections...so I can still use the lid!   I suppose this plan could be switched to propane gas...and if i happen to do this with the same kiln or build another, i already have a 250 gallon and a 500 gallon propane tank!  :)

    And if by chance you interested in making a refractory fiber kiln..you need to look on the YouTube...for 

    "Salt Glazing at Clay Art 2007"...!!!  :)   

  4. 18th c. Reference books:

    1.  German Stoneware...by D. Gaimster

    2. French Colonial Pottery: an International Conference ...edited by George Avery

    3.  If These Pots Could Talk...by Ivor Humes

    4.  Pre-industrial utensils...

    Indian pottery book... "Sun Circles and Human Hands " by Funderburk 

    Pit fired pottery book ..."Primitive Pottery" by Hal Riegger 

  5. You may need to read and research more, and avoid modern books that require bisque firing.

    Primitive Pottery is a good book, articles or books about traditional pottery of the potters on the Ivory Coast, the book Traditional pottery of Papua New guinea is good, Sun Circles and Human Hands has examples of pottery.  

    Most of the unglazed ancient pottery were used for dry storage, like beans, corn, smoked jerky, etc.  The large ceramic cauldron used for cooking stayed hot pretty much 24/7 like a crock pot so food was safe to eat from it.

    Pit fired is a term that is a misnomer, kind of like "home cooked meals in a tv diner" ,   Pits for the purpose of firing pottery  are a modern invention that you'll see and understand after reading those books.     Good luck! :)

  6. On 3/1/2019 at 3:18 AM, Beggs n Achin said:

    Hubs was commenting, before I read him this post, that the little piece I had fired that glowed  white/yellow, reminded him of aluminum ore. And he also had read (bc he is the one that reads geology books for fun and rock hounds in our driveway) that the Willapa Hills where we are were a big source of aluminum ore, but that it was "dirty", or impure like our coal. Therefore it was cheaper to get aluminum elsewhere, and now we ship in our coal as well bc it is actually cheaper to ship it in than to pay to process it here. 

    Then... I'm reading in this pdf study here (again)  about the brick company that used to be here in Chehalis, and the description of the sample, that sure sounds like what I've got here , pg 186, and it describes them digging it out of the hillside and using it "run of pit" or mixed w more clay or sand to make it less goopy, or less sandy... does that mean they dig it out and used it?  I would be ok with a brick-lookin soap dish, if it didn't break when it absorbed water... My chimney is made from those same bricks, as are a lot of the buildings here.... yet my clay breaks when it gets wet. 

    I'm not tryin to argue, I'm just tryin to understand. Hubs just keeps reading the study and giving the same answer: "Our clay is brick clay"  They made bricks at that factory and also drain tile. I did note that they used coal for fuel, however.  It did not specify how long the bricks were fired. 

     

    On.pg 176 of the study, 1960 to 2165 degrees is the cone temp range given for the clays that are real close to where I'm at, as well. According to this chart http://www.bigceramicstore.com/info/ceramics/maxcone.html.   Also, the brick factory clay sample , pg 187 is listed as cone range 04 to 8, 1915 to 2212 degrees... per that chart.  I hope I'm doing that right. 

    So... I'm looking at this chart from this primitive pottery book... and this page amazingly let me upload it today... and it's fuzzy, doggone it... if I'm reaching a dull red, this primitive pottery book says I'm reaching  at least 1300 (in my wood stove.  I know. Totally unsafe and not designed for that. It's  amazing I'm still alive. lol) but higher than that nc we are goi g into the glowing bright orange stage w the bowls and cups. Only that tiny piece I did went yellow- it was the size of an arrowhead. 

    Then I'm reading on this page....       

    https://www.ceramics.net/custom-ceramics-manufacturing/technical-firing

    alumina fires at 2850- 3100.  So do the temperatures by color in this  old book of mine not apply then? Why would it glow orange and at what temps? Urf....  For reference,  the book is  here-  https://www.amazon.com/Make-Primitive-Pottery-Evard-Gibby/dp/0943604389/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=primitive+pottery&qid=1551435498&s=books&sr=1-1

    Ugh. I need a thermometer. And will get the other ingredients.  And mash things and burn things.  We have about 4   slag piles from where the former owners of our place logged. We have been pulling the sticks from there for firewood, as they are all dry. The water pressure here is not sufficient for me to feel comfortable doing a big burn on those piles and keep it under control so we use it in the house and it is dry and burns HOT. Heats the house very well.  So that's why it gets so hot in that stove. 

    I'm rattling on, sorry. Brain is crankin on this problem that exceeds my smartness. Hubs told me I won't  be able to fire this clay and so now I have to. lol 

    20190227_124834.jpg

     

    On 3/1/2019 at 3:18 AM, Beggs n Achin said:

    Hubs was commenting, before I read him this post, that the little piece I had fired that glowed  white/yellow, reminded him of aluminum ore. And he also had read (bc he is the one that reads geology books for fun and rock hounds in our driveway) that the Willapa Hills where we are were a big source of aluminum ore, but that it was "dirty", or impure like our coal. Therefore it was cheaper to get aluminum elsewhere, and now we ship in our coal as well bc it is actually cheaper to ship it in than to pay to process it here. 

    Then... I'm reading in this pdf study here (again)  about the brick company that used to be here in Chehalis, and the description of the sample, that sure sounds like what I've got here , pg 186, and it describes them digging it out of the hillside and using it "run of pit" or mixed w more clay or sand to make it less goopy, or less sandy... does that mean they dig it out and used it?  I would be ok with a brick-lookin soap dish, if it didn't break when it absorbed water... My chimney is made from those same bricks, as are a lot of the buildings here.... yet my clay breaks when it gets wet. 

    I'm not tryin to argue, I'm just tryin to understand. Hubs just keeps reading the study and giving the same answer: "Our clay is brick clay"  They made bricks at that factory and also drain tile. I did note that they used coal for fuel, however.  It did not specify how long the bricks were fired. 

     

    On.pg 176 of the study, 1960 to 2165 degrees is the cone temp range given for the clays that are real close to where I'm at, as well. According to this chart http://www.bigceramicstore.com/info/ceramics/maxcone.html.   Also, the brick factory clay sample , pg 187 is listed as cone range 04 to 8, 1915 to 2212 degrees... per that chart.  I hope I'm doing that right. 

    So... I'm looking at this chart from this primitive pottery book... and this page amazingly let me upload it today... and it's fuzzy, doggone it... if I'm reaching a dull red, this primitive pottery book says I'm reaching  at least 1300 (in my wood stove.  I know. Totally unsafe and not designed for that. It's  amazing I'm still alive. lol) but higher than that nc we are goi g into the glowing bright orange stage w the bowls and cups. Only that tiny piece I did went yellow- it was the size of an arrowhead. 

    Then I'm reading on this page....       

    https://www.ceramics.net/custom-ceramics-manufacturing/technical-firing

    alumina fires at 2850- 3100.  So do the temperatures by color in this  old book of mine not apply then? Why would it glow orange and at what temps? Urf....  For reference,  the book is  here-  https://www.amazon.com/Make-Primitive-Pottery-Evard-Gibby/dp/0943604389/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=primitive+pottery&qid=1551435498&s=books&sr=1-1

    Ugh. I need a thermometer. And will get the other ingredients.  And mash things and burn things.  We have about 4   slag piles from where the former owners of our place logged. We have been pulling the sticks from there for firewood, as they are all dry. The water pressure here is not sufficient for me to feel comfortable doing a big burn on those piles and keep it under control so we use it in the house and it is dry and burns HOT. Heats the house very well.  So that's why it gets so hot in that stove. 

    I'm rattling on, sorry. Brain is crankin on this problem that exceeds my smartness. Hubs told me I won't  be able to fire this clay and so now I have to. lol 

    20190227_124834.jpg

    I wouldn't buy anything written by McPherson,  not sure about Gibbys book, but have doubts...I have Simpson's book,(It won't help) ... I like Hal Rieggers book "Primitive Pottery ".  

    Alabama

  7. The way I use shells the most in the associated with hand built pottery are ribs. If you can find one that is smooth and somewhat oval and the right size, it can be used as a rib. If you flip the same shell over, its a scraper. The shell tool is unlikely to wear out in your lifetime! :). If you find a shell with a wavy edge it can used as a rocker stamp for texture and designs.

     

    See ya

    Alabama

  8. Shells are made from layers with a type of adhesive or bonding agent between the layers. The adhesive burns out above 451 degrees and the layers change to calcium hydroxide over 951 degrees. Calcium hydroxide is a powder that absorbs moisture from humidity, expands, and if there is enough crushed shells in the clay... The vessel will disintegrate with in a year! I know this is true about mussel shell... And assume sea shells are the same/similar!

    But then it doesn't hurt to experiment. :)

  9. Hey,

    I center my clay before I start. I used to toss it on the head, then muscle it in the center. I found out a long time ago, that when throwing 10-15 lbs. it was easier to center the lump of clay first.

    So my method now is to start with the lump of clay in the shape of a large Hershey Kiss with the bottom slight convexed, and place(not slam) the clay down. Then center using the index finger, scratching and pushing the clay in place. Then, once it's centered,

    I seal it to the bat, before any water is added...that keeps it from sliding

    off. This is how I center everything. Its a little OCD, but it works for me.

     

    Another reason I started centering this way, was because I didn't like starting with an 8 pound unit of clay, slam it down near the center of the bat, push it in the center, then take a rib and scrape off the excess clay leaving 7 3/4 pounds to work with. I weigh everything before I start so I can incise the weight on the bottom after its finished...starting weight. So if someone says, I like this form but like one smaller or larger or the same I don't have to guess how much clay to start with. :). It border lines Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but again it works

    for me.

     

    Alabama

  10. If a solar powered kiln is not feasible, its not possible. It'd make more sense to use a solar panel to run a burner and power the kiln with propane or natural gas and maybe supplemented with limbs. I think if all the equipment needed to run a cone six to ten glaze firing were added together there would be a reality check that would put this idea in perspective.

     

    You can google, "solar panel death zones for birds" to see how destructive the heat generated from solar panels fries birds flying thru or across these solar farms.

     

    Taking everything into consideration, its not feasible.

    In of course MMHO,

    Alabama

  11. Do you need a vacuum pump? A welding shop or trade school should be able to weld up the cam. My spring broke that works the shaft going to the cam.. I happen to be at my older sister while she was burning an outside lounge chair, and noticed the springs that hold up the cushions are the same size spring as mine! I stuffed my pockets full, so she could burn the rest of the chair! The connection between your pugmill motor is called a Lovejoy connector and the rubber spider grommet that fits inside can be bought at a welding supply co. for about $3.75.

    I have a vacuum pump I don't use. I think they're over rated and noisey, not necessarily in that order!

     

    See you later,

    Alabàmà

  12. The way I stain is to incise designs, or in the case of leaves

    on slabs, press in with a roller. Bisque, then stain.

     

    I work mostly with red stoneware, but it works for me.

     

    Good luck trying the many different methods...but try to remember

    to post your final results and why that way was chosen.

     

    Alabama

  13. I guess legally I go by "S. E. Replica Pottery".  I was told if you make something exactly with materials and

    methods, its replicating,  and if you make something  that appears dead on accurate using new/improved or

    alternate means, then its a reproduction.  I started out making south east Indian pottery replications and wanted

    something to convey that... So the Mississippian and Creek Indian pottery I make are replicas and the European

    French, German, and British colonial pottery I make are reproductions, at least in my mind.  There might be some

    grey areas in my definitions, but thats what I go by until further notice. :)

    My avatar cup is an example of a London potter in 1684... He wanted his vessels recognized from a distance,

    like across the room.  So at one point he started making all his bowls, cups and pitchers, double walled with

    pierce work on the outside, which removed all doubt who the vessels were made by.

    Alabama

  14.  

    >>>>No one mentioned putting terra sig on bisque pieces ….. has anyone tried it?<<<

    The closest of putting terra sig on bisque ware was when some of the students were painting colored slips

    made from porcelin sludge and mason stains.  The question came up why paint the greenware with mason

    stains and paint them again on bisque.  What they were actually doing was painting the greenware with the

    pigmented slip and after they came out of the kiln, they were TOUCHING UP any bumps or dings while being

    loaded in the kiln (this was a Jr. college)... After the touch ups everything was dipped in clear glaze then fired.

     

    Just out of curiosity, is putting terra sig on Majolica new?  I thought it was done with red earthenware clay painted

    with colored slips or glazes and fired in clear glaze to cone 06, oxidation. I'm familiar with 18th century pottery is

    why I ask if its something new.

    Thanks,

    Alabama

  15. Hey,

    Do you add the terr Sig while leather hard or bone dry? I suggest

    leather hard. Sometimes when there is an issue with flaking its

    because the terr Sig and clay is shrinking at different rates.

    Sometimes the remedy is as simple as adding some of the clay to the

    terr Sig slip..that should slow down the rate and make both clays

    compatible. Hope this helps.

    Alabama

  16. So the curator of the Art Spirit has offered to represent

    your art and its driven you to fire pottery with Lepus

    poo! ;-)

    I d use the manure as à reduction agent on pottery. I found

    out years ago that absolute dry manure resulted in very

    black pottery. Manure you think is dry will result in

    mottled finishes. (There seems to be enough moisture to

    cool pottery making the surface gray.) Manure is better

    than leaves because leaves will burst into flames if

    they aren't covered with sand/loose dirt in 2 or 3 seconds.

    Manure will turn the ceramics black then smolder.

     

    Congratulations on the Art Spirit connection. Can't

    wait for the day you send Beth Caventer Stichter an invite

    to your exhibit!

     

    Alabama

  17. Hey,

    I seldom if ever wax the bottoms of anything.  After the vessels are trimmed to my likings, I take the long trimming

    tool that has the "triangle" blade on it and gently rock it back and forth on the bottom of the vessel creating a foot.

    It serves two or three purposes, 1. it makes a defined foot. 2. it holds in check any drips headed for the shelf.

    3. gives my hand something to grip while glazing in either a 5, 10,  or 20 gallon bucket..

     

    The reason I quit using wax was because 1. in school there was always a line to wait for...

    2. there is a dependancy built upon the use of wax, whereas you see panick strickened

        students completely helpless because the wax has run out.  3. It gives you a false sense of

    security as "since i waxed, I have no need to wipe off any glaze."  4. There is always one student

    who glazes the entire piece, panicks because they didn't wax, then waxes over the glaze.  (and if it

    isn't caught before the firing, its always noticed AFTER the firing.  5. Its annoying when the new guy cranks

    up the dial making the wax smoke.  6.  The do-gooder who throws in a smelly scented candle.

    Need I say more? ;>)  7. There are costs involved and inventory also.

     

    Yall take care,

    Alabama

  18. Hey,

        When I sign my work,

        I use a needle tool made from a blow gun dart that Michael Hanson made me in April of 1990.

    I sign my name and date backwards but put the lbs. and cone temperature on frontwards as well

    as any other information.  I'm not sure what a stamped signature will mean in 20, 30, or 40 years

    from now, if its only initials.  I also stain the bottom with black iron oxide to make the information visible.

    Its useless if you can't make out the name and/or date. 

    see you later.

    Alabama

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