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Everything posted by Natania

  1. Can anyone recommend a stamp fabricator / maker?I used to use Jett stamps but it seems they've gone out of business.
  2. Ha! Well Mark, I actually think it has gone downhill since then. Living here as I do I guess I interpret the "live free or die" slogan more as "leave me alone". It must be the lobster shortages that makes everyone so grumpy. When I visited my brother in California he said I kept "blanking" people who smiled at me on the street. I honestly didn't mean to! We don't do that here!
  3. follow up: Tried to get the shelves sand blasted at two auto body shops, forgetting that I live in New England where people are notoriously Unfriendly and unhelpful! No one wanted to "get into that"....but, my husband happened upon some sandpaper called "sandblaster" at a local builders supply, and put it on his sanding machine. Worked like a dream.
  4. Thank you. I am in Massachusetts, not in India. I will look into finding a shop to sand blast them for me - would that be an autoshop, Mark? I don't actually have a grinder, although I could look into buying a motorized wire brush if it isn't too pricey. I'd like to avoid the cost of new shelves if possible, so I wouldn't want to invest too much money in getting the kiln wash off. Thanks again!
  5. My kiln shelves are warping and I'd like to turn them over. However, I'm having a hard time getting all the kiln wash off them. I tried scraping and a little sanding. Neither worked very well. I don't want any flakes of kiln wash falling on glazeware....Any ideas?
  6. I suggest you cut out the trimming. Redesign the pieces so that there is no extra clay to trim. Will save time.
  7. When I am in production mode going through many 25 lbs. bags of clay I can really see how fast the plastic bags accumulate. I've tried to find uses for them, but there are too many and it is very time consuming to try to clean them. Not sure if one can recycle them or not. Wish B-mix 5 came packaged a different way. Maybe Laguna will start using wet leaves, etc. if we agitate enough? Seriously though, does anyone have good ideas for reusing or recycling the plastic bags commercial clay comes in, or other suggestions?
  8. I've decided that centering is a lot like parenting. It's usually a conversation, but sometimes an order!
  9. My sister in law went recently to see the installation with her two sons. Said it was amazing. Sent pictures but the ones posted here are better. I wonder who came up with this idea? It is a really beautiful one and extremely successful both visually and conceptually....
  10. I have some bright white talc that someone told me is from a new York state mine that closed. Is that Nytal? I don't use it. I use a gray talc from Texas... I can tell you where I got it if it is what you are looking for Marc.
  11. I know the feeling all too well. How many students in the class? Is there a cap? Sometimes in your position, I tell students that we are going to have 20 minutes (or whatever you decide) of silent work time so that people can really introspect. At the end of the 20 minutes they will share what is the single most important question a student at their level should be asking...at least it buys you 20 minutes of quiet in which to think.... good luck!
  12. ah. It turns out that my kiln is not sectional. It is an old Gare kiln. That would make sense, though, and I'll remember it when loading the kiln I use at the school where I teach, which is sectional...
  13. The kiln was glowing bright orange when I shut it down. I did let it cool and looked at the ware before refiring, and it looked like it maybe reached cone 3 or 4 instead of 6. Glaze was hard but crusty and not shiny. I will look in the sectional and report back...Thanks!
  14. It was a denser load than I typically have, but I didn't change it at all (except to put in a new cone) for the refire which was fine. Odd......
  15. Thanks very much Neil and Bob. I will get an ohm meter and try using it. Knowing how an electric kiln works is one of my goals...Yes, my kiln is manual. The odd thing is that I refired it today and it went off (reached temperature) in the regular 9.5 hours. Neil - could it be that the extra water vapor just made it take longer to get to 500F? I have had this happen before (ok, so I have a bit of a problem with being impatient and loading wet glazed ware) with a different kiln, which also fired fine when the ware was good and dry...or maybe there was a bigger draw on the electric grid that day
  16. I will get a multimeter. What will checking the resistance of the elements tell me? How well they are holding/building heat? Thnx.
  17. I loaded my glazed pieces in my electric kiln when they were still pretty damp and may not have candled enough as I usually do in that situation to dry the glaze. I also suspect my electric kiln does not have enough (hardly any except 2 tiny holes drilled in top with vent on) air flow, and am wondering if the water vapor in the kiln could account for the slower firing the kiln experienced yesterday. It usually takes 9-10 hours, and I turned it off at 13 (going to cone 6) because I was surprised it wasn't off. The elements are not popping out of the tracks, etc. and the inside of the kiln looks
  18. I was just thinking yesterday that maybe I should check that, since wet clay and slippy-water migrate to one side of my splash pan. However, then I decided I was too lazy since the level (which was in a shed all of 20 feet away!). Everything I've been throwing is coming out all right, but I don't usually throw anything higher than maybe 9". Actually I did throw some taller bottles a few weeks ago but didn't notice anything. I am leaning toward agreeing with Marc about over-thinking this (or am I just rationalizing because I am still too lazy to go get the level?).
  19. I'd like to start assembling a list of good and inspiring pottery videos to show to my high school class, but there is an overwhelming amount of stuff on the internet. Which ones are your favorites?
  20. Thanks, Neil. I will try this next time. The motor is mounted away from the kiln, so I will shut off the vent and open the top peep when the kiln reaches temperature and shuts off. I was worried that with one peep out the kiln will cool too quickly and cause cracking of glazes, but it doesn't sound like that is likely since it is a bigger kiln.
  21. I recently got a new (to me) kiln and find myself with a few niggling questions. It has a manual kiln-sitter shut off: 1) the kiln manual says to fire it with the top peep out. However, I have a down draft vent, and I am wondering if this would create too much airflow? If I do fire it with the peep out, should I close the peep for cooling after the kiln reaches temperature and shuts off? 2) my glazes were more glossy, and less matte, in my old kiln. I am thinking that the old one perhaps cooled more quickly because it was a smaller kiln with thinner bricks/ not so much insulation. If I
  22. Plates. Hate plates. Easy to throw, but take up so much room in the studio and take forever to dry slowly to avoid problems.
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