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Briggs Shore

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  1. Ok. Thank you so much for this, and yes, I do think some tinkering with the glaze formula is in order. It's just so frustrating because *I thought I had it down perfect* and really didn't want to have to go back to the drawing board. I'm very interested that I seem to have gotten competing advice between you and Babs (the silica ammt) and will def do some tests when I can. My biggest hurdle here is that I've got a massive oval kiln, and it takes me a few weeks to fill it up ... so I'm going to have to find a small kiln to do some testing in before throw another huge kilnload of work onto the mercy of the kiln gods.
  2. Thanks so much! I've worked really hard on them, so this is such a meaningful compliment! I explained above that it's worst on the grey (1.5% MS6600) and dark blue (Amaco Velvet Turquoise Blue V-327) so it makes sense that it's related to something specific about the colors but I don't know what.
  3. It's a good thought, and the elements and thermocouple are starting to show their age and should probably be replaced soon, but the last time the problem occurred was about a year ago when all equipment was much newer so unsure if that's the issue. Unfortunately I didn't have witness cones in this firing (I KNOW) but all other signs point to it reaching the usual temp over the usual timeframe.
  4. Yeah, I was also surprised it worked so well so effortlessly ... until it doesn't. Could you please explain what you man by refractory? It's a term I keep hearing and I have no idea what it means. It almost never happens on un-colored pieces, and is worst on the grey (made with 1.5% MS6600) and the dark blue (Amaco Velvet Turquoise Blue V-327). Thanks so much for your help!
  5. So, I'm already pretty careful about making sure the pots are still moist enough to receive the slip because otherwise they crack. I often sponge them or set them overnight in a damp box to get them the right dampness. But I'm intrigued by this answer because it certainly does have something to do with the slip/underglaze on the rims. The pots seem to absorb the slip pretty well. The whole pot gets a bit soft after the application, which led me to believe it was adhering ok, but is there another way I might check for this? I'm also intrigued by your second idea of adding silica and then firing cooler. This seems counter-intuitive to what's been happening so I'm really interested in your thinking. The bubbling is happening in the cooler part of the kiln, but your advice seems to be to *raise* the melting point by adding silica, and then re-firing cooler ... and my brain cannot wrap itself around why that might work? Especially when the hot spot in the kiln doesn't give me this problem, so if anything I would think firing hotter would be a solution? I don't mean to sound ungrateful or like I'm second-guessing you, I just really don't understand and would love to know more.
  6. The clay's firing range includes ^6. It's just that the official name of the clay is "Laguna Cone Five Frost" and I didn't want any confusion. Why am I firing it that way? Well, because a few years ago when I was doing extensive testing of clays and glazes, at a place that wouldn't let me fire my own kiln I was obligated to fire to ^6 and fell in love with this clay. I've been using it off and on for years since, and while I've occasionally fired it to ^5 in order to accommodate other glazes, I usually default to ^6 because there's a greater wealth of glaze/slip/etc formulas to pull from at that temp. I don't have a deep knowledge of glaze formulation, so I often use a try it and see approach when testing new glazes, and only use ones that have good results with little to no tinkering with after initial tests. This clay/glaze combo works beautifully 90% of the time, it's just this one firing that really sucked and I have no idea why.
  7. I’m having a glaze issue I can’t figure out. I’m getting bubbling and blistering on the rims of some but not all of my pieces. It’s only the rims, not the walls or interior or bottom of pieces. The bubbling is definitely not just raising the glaze, it’s picking up the color underneath. Doesn’t seem to matter if it’s slip or underglaze, it happens on both. Here are the details: Color is applied when clay is leather hard, so it’s bisqued onto the pot before glazing. The glaze recipe is 20% ea: EPK, Wooll, Custer, Silica, 3124 I’m firing in an electric kiln to ^6 The top of the kiln get’s about half a cone hotter than the bottom. The middle is a true ^6 Clay body is Laguna’s ^5 frost porcelain. The color is either slip made with the clay body + mason stain OR Amoco Velvet Underglaze. It’s much, much worse on wide low pieces like bowls, moderate on cups and mugs, and non-existent on vases. In this most recent firing, the vases were all on the top level, so I’m wondering if temp may have something to do with it. I’d had this issue once before and thought I’d solved it by being making the rims a bit fatter and being careful to compress them really well with a chamois. Any ideas? This happened to about half my most recent firing, and I'm loath to go into my next one without some idea how to avoid it. It has happened in previous firings on a small handfull of pieces, but this last one was just brutal. No idea what was different about it.
  8. My boss (she/her) said that gasses build up in the soft brick during a bisque firing. She was a little vague about it, so I was hoping to get more concrete info.
  9. Hi all. I'd love some advice. I have a 15ish-year-old Skutt that so far has only been used for bisque firings. I'd like to use it to glaze fire ^6 porcelain. My boss has suggested doing a 'burnout' firing before the first ^6 firing. I'm wondering if anyone can give me more info on what exactly that kind of firing entails, how quickly I should fire, to what temp (boss has suggested ^4), and if there is anything else I should do to/for this kiln before the first ^6 firing. Thanks for any help!
  10. Woah. This thread blew up while I was gone. Just checking in to say thanks for the info. I'll come back and be part of the conversation when not on my phone.
  11. I'm doing a lot of testing to find the right base glazes for my work. I'd like to find a nice, very smooth smooth gloss and satin that takes mason stains well. I'm looking at the recipes in Taylor & Doody's Glaze book, and the recipes provided by Jeff Campana and Chandra DeBuse look absolutely perfect. I'd like to test them out, but they call for different Frits (3134 and 3124 respectively). I already have 3124, and am wondering if I really need to buy the other. I don't have a local shop that supplies raw glaze chemicals, so ordering and shipping things is always a bit of a time consuming pain. While I know testing on my own clay in my own kiln is the only reliable way to know exactly what my results will be ... I'm wondering if anyone here has any idea what the difference is in these 2 frits in terms of how it will effect the glaze. I think 3134 has more sodium, but I don't know how that effects the glaze. Can anyone enlighten me?
  12. You might find Paul Blais's podcast helpful. He interviews potters specifically, but many of them will talk about how the got started, and how they transitioned into full time artists. You might also have better luck getting interviews by emailing artists directly through their websites. I'm actually very interested in this topic myself because I'm just getting started taking my art seriously. It seems like a really broad topic for a thesis, so I'm curious if you're narrowing it down by type of art, region, or generation? It seems like what would have worked for a potter getting started in Montana the 80s is probably different than what will work for a jeweler in Australia today. Also, you seem to imply that the business world doesn't think that artists and creative thinkers are the ones creating new local businesses ... this impression is different than mine. It seems to me that it's generally acknowledged that creative types are the ones most likely to start new local businesses. Perhaps you're from a more big city corporate area than me with a lot of people who open businesses to make money without actually caring what kind of business it is?
  13. I've been in 3 small local shows this summer, and have a few more lined up for fall. I'm definitely a beginner career-wise, and this is my first year regularly selling my work at shows. I have yet to have what I would call a truly "successful" show. I've made back my booth fee and all basic expenses at each show, but not much more on top of that. The shows have been really small and sparsely attended because I'm in a large town in Iowa (so local shows will always be pretty small), and I initially chose shows in small venues so I could start slowly. My goal was experience. I wanted to get comfortable talking to customers, setting up and taking down my booth, making and keeping track of sales, etc. In a month I'll participate in my first sizable, juried show and I'm really looking forward to seeing how different it is and how I do. I will be happy to sell $500 there, but hope for somewhat better.
  14. Mea, I've found your blog so, so helpful over the last year as I've tried to get my own business off the ground. This post especially was packed full of wonderfully candid, practical advice. I can't tell you how much I've appreciated it. I was wondering if you'd give any different or additional advice to someone right at the beginning of their career? Someone who hasn't gotten into any big name shows yet, and is just trying to get used to the rhythm of making art shows a part of their life? I ask because I remember you specifically advising against "music and art" festivals, yet that seems to be a large chunk of what is available to me right now. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series, and everything else you blog about in the future. Thanks so much for being so open and generous.
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