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LeeU

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Everything posted by LeeU

  1. I wouldn't take the risk with my kiln. Bisque is still porous., so firing a washed piece the next day is way too fast for the moisture to be assuredly gone. If it explodes it can wreak all kinds of havoc. Better to dry it thoroughly for a few days-especially if the piece is not really thin--and use a preheat program before going into the glaze program. It is also possible that the new glaze will be affected from reacting to the former glaze, even if it "looks" like the old glaze it is totally gone-it's not!
  2. Do you know about cone packs? For each shelf, put your witness cones from low to high temp (ascending cone numbers) in a clay base. Most people use 3 cones, 1 a cone lower than the cone they're aiming for and 1 a cone higher than the target. If the kiln is firing at the desired/programmed cone temp, it should look something like the photo. This is a cone pack for a cone 5 fire. Orton cone 5 is in the middle. No mess on the shelf and the best indicator of what's happening with the kiln.
  3. Thanks for all the info--I already do just about everything mentioned--have for years--incl. printers blankets/proper ribbing technique etc. I have never had this problem until this bag of clay. I like the technique suggested of applying the stamp & vine to "outlined" stakes on the large slab on and then cutting them using a full shear cut---I'll try it. I like the drywall for my humid space, so now I have enough for top/bottom. Anyway, it seems like "problem solved". I switched to T3 and have not had a single crack/warp since.
  4. These are the key words---I really should have added that I was in no way suggesting that just cuz that's what was stated, the claim could be taken to the bank as guaranteed fact! I also should have added that I personally never make ware for food/beverage use so whether or not it is actually food safe is irrelevant to me. I always assume there is follow-up/deeper digging to be done before any product is used, especially if somebody just posted a comment in a discussion with no further info. Probably ought not do that either!
  5. I knew that some day, some where, some one would finally find a purpose for which duct tape was not the savior!! Congratulations Bill ! Bill has won the highly coveted Duct Tape Busters award for 2020.!
  6. Thanks--I am glad not to be misunderstood. Last night I was going to come back and add that I view being clear/firm, even directive, about masks etc. in one's own space to be just the same as using safety glasses, welding gloves, respirators, wet vacs etc., and that includes some parameters for visitors--ex. people are not allowed in bare feet in my studio-I just know there's some almost invisible Dremel splinters on the floor somewhere! But I fell asleep.
  7. Back in the 80s I was in love with making clay bodies and glazes (large gas kiln, mostly). BFA ceramics program-made all of the studio clay and all of the studio glazes-a nice variety, great recipes, & was taught the history and chemistry & attributes along with each one. Also did about a year of formulating personal mixtures. I was older than everyone else-in my late 30's.-a single mom on welfare & at the mercy of voc rehab, since the state was willing to pay part of my education if I was willing to work in graphic art (I had experience). That job necessitated a major detour from ceramics -I needed those hardship deferments! So clay got shelved while I worked on box die designs/print media. A second detour came in the form of a "call" to get trained in and provide addiction treatment (I'll spare you the backstory). After my M.S. I had a long & satisfying career in public addiction & mental health services. I kept painting & taking photos-strong interests-but no ceramics. When I retired (NH) my intention was to return to clay and my landlord let me set up a full small studio & on-site kiln. Between financial, space, spinal/other body issues, brain issues (minor TBI) and a few other things one deals with in one's 70's, my glaze-making dreams are not on the menu. I am content, and very well pleased, actually, with commercial materials, which I had never used. I've lost so much due to the TBI that I am extremely grateful to be able to do anything at all!! At first I was feeling sorry for myself, being "reduced" to making those fool herb markers & glazing w/Stroke & Coat, but I am getting over it and rising to the occasion. (Guess I'm not going to be giving Peter Voulkos a run for his money after all.) I have gotten to use some local ceramists' high fire glazes, via John Baymore's anagama firings. I can coast on those awesome experiences (the shino's & celedons are lovely) for a long time. If TMI, sorry 'bout that. Mood I'm in.
  8. Please know I was not looking to stir up controversy. We do a great job here of steering way clear of assertive arguments or "discomfort" within the forums as a whole and the topic threads. I know that is important and valued--so I don't speak to the mask situation without careful thought. An individual booth/tent sale is a defined space, such that the owner has control over their signage at the threshold or outer boundaries. My point was this is not a situation in which to be wishy-washy about it. In the current environment it is real OK to be firm, clear & upfront with the signage. How potters do--or do not--take care of themselves & others in their selling space is important. There is no guarantee of total compliance, and I'm not suggesting anybody call "security" if some boorish fool gives you lip---yeah-let it go-and then decide if it's worth exposing yourself any further...it only takes one. That said, I had a secondary reason for posting what I did, in this particular forum. I was also thinking of the hundreds of readers, most of whom are likely active in the clay world one way or another. I assume a large portion of silent viewers are looking to the active regular commenters (especially our "resident experts", so to speak) for a bit of guidance or input for their own needs. What kind of message is being sent? Do we back off from the hard aspects of the discussion of masks at tent sales/craft shows? Is it a message that says it's more important to avoid "offending" some anti-masker than it is to decisively require (to the extent reasonably possible) health-protective behavior in our own space, seeing as how we are immersed in a potentially deadly, rapid and easily spread virus? New Hampshire may be an outlier, but our general population is embracing masking and not defying the businesses that are either requesting or requiring their use to enter and move about among others. All the places where I've gone (very limited, for sure!), on the same clear sign that masks are required is the statement that masks are provided for free if the customer doesn't have one. That seems to make a difference--I watch some guys (sorry--it is never the women!) look at the sign kind of scowley faced, then look a little twitchy, and then look at the person holding the sealed packages of masks, and instead of barging past, take the mask and put it on. @Roberta12 Yes, that IS a win--and that friend's respectful capitulation may end up with her spreading her new "environmental education" in mask-wearing to others!
  9. Why slip & slide & provide people with the implication that not wearing it properly (i.e. rendering it useless) will "only" mean they don't get 10% off? If you haven't yet had the experience of watching a previously healthy younger person be dying of covid, source of transmission unknown, please understand that's where I'm coming from and I am not being snarky. Make it a requirement--nose to chin, properly fitted-- or they do not get to enter your area. People need to stop messing around with other people's health when the consequences can be so severe--at any age, as we are beginning to find out. Nothing is guaranteed to reveal if an asymptomatic carrier is among the crowd-not taking temperatures, not asking 6 questions, not being tested negative, not -not -not any guarantee of safety. Masks, gloves, sanitizer, physical distance, etc. at least help a bit to prevent the invisible spread to you/your family.
  10. What kinds of forms are these? More info is useful---basic size/weight/shape and what will they be used for? Functional or sculptural? I've been stuck using high fire clay with commercial mid fire glazes & firing to ^5-6, and it all worked out just fine (not vitrified to maturity tho) but these were non-functional pieces and were not going to be subjected to water, heat, or weather. Some photos would help.
  11. Hey Marko--good to "see" you & that you're still doing your thing!
  12. Leslie's U-Series Underglazes (Industrial Minerals Co.) are the only ones I know of that are marketed as food safe without a clear glaze applied. No other underglaze products make this claim (as far as I have found); the rest need to be covered with clear glaze.
  13. If anything I am still emerging from the deep dark side of way too many of my years, and am willfully traversing a lighter existence for, lets say, about the last 20+ years (I'm a slow traveler & take every side road that comes along.) Now in this last quarter of my projected life span ( I want to still be kickin' at 100-then-poof, bye bye.) I refuse to let anything/anyone push, pull, bribe, or seduce me back to "the dark side". In terms of clay, at this point in time, this means that I must-must-must-stop looking at making something as simple and innocuous as herb markers as the work of the devil! When I read the title for this topic, my first thought was...Yep, I'm being forced to the dark side right now, "having" to make pretty things for a tourist boutique in order to pay for my dope (my clay)." I had to give myself a royal talking-to when I heard that in my head. I choose to let the light in: to acknowledge; own; be prideful; be humble; be receptive; be resilient; stubborn in moving forward; be grateful; be deliberate, and; stop thinking so much....just go finish glazing that last batch--now.
  14. Do yourself & everyone else a favor and provide free masks to those who show up without one---my H.S. classmate is dying of it now, and has no idea where she picked it up-she was extremely careful. Not worth the risk of exposure-make it required for your space, your health. Can't leave it to gov't officials to do it, and you have the right to require masks on your own property.
  15. Hope you keep popping in from time to time/me-with pics & a little commentary of course.
  16. What do you mean a holder like ones? I was firing them flat, glazed on one side. Please describe this holder--and are we talking about glazing just one side or both, in terms of overwintering strength (I'm in New Hampshire & most of my customers are in NE. We freeze hard & long up here). The breakage is the stake snapping in half when I look at it cross-eyed! Has even happened during drying when not touched after being set on the drywall. My process is to roll (table top Bailey) & rib-compress a slab, set up a row of paint sticks, cut the tops in a line across the sticks and then down each side of each stick. Gives me perfect sizing. I don't have my metal v-shape yet to make the points (like a cookie cutter for the tips) but I am cutting the points just fine. If any slight smoothing on any given edge is needed, I do it gently with a tiny piece of damp chamois. I let them firm up a bit and then carefully move them from the slab mat to the drywall (I use a large thin pizza-peel-like spatula, slid under the whole line and onto the board in one motion and don't touch until dry and ready to glaze. They dry under a thin dry cleaner bag w/a tile on top to weight them flat. I remove the tile once they are past the stage where they could still warp. SO far so good, with that. And Mea, I am working hard to maintain the patience to walk away and let the clay firm up before cutting/stamping (I am impossible sometimes-talk about shooting oneself in one's foot-I do know better, but no, gotta jump on everything right away). I'll probably switch to a stiffer clay regardless-this is clearly not the right body for this form. ..probably terrific for throwing. Thanks.
  17. My current project is making herb markers for retail sale. The basic form is like a paint stirring stick with a point at the end (no indent at the top). Greenware is about 9" x 1" x 1/8". The pic is not the final design--I'm not running the stamp to the top, for example and the point will be a bit longer/pointier. I'm still perfecting my technique for a retail production process-it is quite the opposite of my usual headspace when working w/clay (I'm very rough & tumble/freeform/warts & all). While I am doing this mental (& physical touch) reset to get into a mode of more precision & refinement, I have learned that the clay I am using is not suitable--way, way too moist/soft/sticky. In the past I have used Bella's Blend, a supposedly "true" low-to-mid fire body at 05/5 with great results, tho I personally favor stiff clays w/grog. I am looking for some suggestions, based on experience, regarding a body (any supplier-I'll pay the shipping!) that might be especially suited to making this form. I think I want to go low fire using Mayco Stroke & Coat, IF it is likely the sticks will be strong enough to stick in a planter outdoors (thoughts?). If not, I'll do 5-6. I really-really-really want to do single fire. Someone would have to convince me if that's a bad idea and give me a good reason why! Thanks in advance-I am experiencing way too much breakage with the current clay.
  18. I know that Spooze & Magic Water are not the same thing. I looked at the recipe for the water, but I don't mix chemicals these days (no room to make clay/glaze/storage etc./low volume production). Is there any major-major diff 'tween the two for simple repairs (^6)? I love Spooze-it's never not worked for me.
  19. Rained lightly for all of 15 minutes this morning. We're in a drought. NH climate is no nowhere near as horrible as Virginia was (lived there for 30 years). I love-love-love the snow & cold weather & it's a long season, so it suits me fine here-we skip spring (maybe have 2-3 weeks of it, after Mud Season has run its course) and have a short but blazing summer, then by Sept. your plants could freeze overnight (OK exaggerating just a bit).
  20. Thanks Bill--the clay is more moist than any I've ever used and I found out today-by going back to where I got the drywall (several 4/4 pieces, at a discounted price) that the whole stack of partials had been sitting outside for a couple of weeks and were just brought inside recently. The humidity out there is pushing 85%. I think I can call it 'mystery solved'.
  21. I found nothing in my search of topic so I'll ask my question here, since it is about mold. I have never had any mold in or on anything in my studio. I have a new clay I've not used before and new drywall boards I'm using to dry my herb markers. I have never had mold develop on drywall, which I've used for years with all types of clay. I am not worried about the mold--it isn't gonna hurt anything--I am just curious--is it likely coming from the moist clay or is there something about drywall that could promote it? There are no changes to the studio environment (& I run AC & a dehumidifier when needed). Here's a pic, but it's gotten worse since then. The stakes are drying under smooth tiles to provide some weight. Plastic alone is not sufficient to keep the tips flat. The clay is fairly soft--it's a W1A cone 6 Sheffield white stoneware w/molochite grog -could the molochite be provoking the mold? If this should be posted elsewhere-feel free to move it!
  22. I got myself an AI smart speaker, and put a ton of music into playlists of all sorts that suit my fancy, with some designed to take up X amount of time, some designed for pacing myself while doing specific things (like mixes for rapid energy, or for low & slow, etc, --not about mood, but more about tickling the brain/body connection to help me move in harmony with the work at hand. The latest one I've been using a lot in the studio is Midnight Diner. It's an understated, quirky series (requires subtitles) on Netflix and I love the music. There is no commercial soundtrack available so I had to scout around to find the individual pieces and put one together. That, and the commercial soundtrack for the online game June's Journey--great music to work by.
  23. Thanks...yep--that is exactly what I'm going to do--I have a heart shape I can snip and it's pointed end is perfect! The pencil thing doesn't work for me but cutting between two paint sticks is perfect. Once I stop trying to stamp clay that is too soft the labels will look better, also. I hate this type of work, but I'm sure it's good for character-building or something My daughter is being my task master (a coach with a whip) and she's really helping me get over myself. I chose to do this, I want to do this, so reverting back to being like a stubborn 4th grader is not serving me well.
  24. This is an exercise in discipline & stick-to-it-ness. I find people want these (herb markers) but they are not my favorite thing to make-the factory mentality is off-putting to me. Antithetical to my "let's just play slap & tickle with the clay and see what happens" mindset. Just FYI, no I don't open-dry; I have them under sheets of smooth wall tile to keep 'em flat and slow dry them. I'm beginning to develop the patience to be more precise with the stamping & cutting. I'm getting a metal V shape made so I can do the point easily and consistently. Getting better at uniform sizes, tho I honestly don't care if they are not all the same & perfect. Probably should, but I just don't. These are just so "not me" that I am rather pleased with myself for giving it a go. In addition to the artisans shop I am in, I have a second outlet, too--the local feed store, and I know of a third place, a nursery, that is highly probable. I'm changing to a different glaze line (my go-to's are not suitable; these won't work with oil spot or tenmoku This batch will get Stroke & Coat--we'll see. Update 7/23-looked at 'em again today & am fighting hard not to just trash half of 'em, but I know if I do that'll be the dead end of it. Part of the problem is the clay's too soft and I hate waiting for it to firm up before cutting/stamping, so I need to devise an engaging, constructive distraction while the slab gets itself together. I made up a poem today after cleaning up the studio: Whines and moans, oh my weary bones, the aching back, don't cut me no slack; wedging hurts my wrists, and that leaves me pissed; but onward I will trudge, just need a little nudge. (Maybe I should reactivate the blog on my website & whine & moan there.)
  25. I organize my tools very well, thank you. Just can't seem to keep them from running off.
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