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Callie Beller Diesel

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About Callie Beller Diesel

  • Birthday 11/14/1976

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  • Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Interests
    Soda fire, all things reduction, and a little bit of glass.

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  1. Biaxial and triaxial blends are great for fine tuning colours, for sure. If you do an initial biaxial blend to figure out intensity of individual colourants, you can then start mixing them together to fine tune the shades you want. Use a light hand with the nickel, and keep it out of firings with mason stains you don’t want to shift the colour of. There’s a fine line between muted and muddy with that stuff. The only reason I don’t say leave it out entirely is because you want grey. Blues and greens are pretty easy to achieve. If you want pinks and purples, you can play around with chrome tin pinks, but I’ve had great success with mason stains. If you want a sunshine yellow, you definitely want a mason stain.
  2. Stroke and Coat is its own weird animal. Most glazes do not do what this does.
  3. @ashhorth What problems are you having? Is it a technical issue, or availability or something else? Would you prefer to deal with a different supplier due to service?
  4. I would reach out to Amaco and ask them if they have any recommendations before making adjustments to your bucket. If the glaze already has some bentonite in it, adding more is going to not help, as a for instance. If you haven’t got the patience to wait for an email back, mix up your bucket again, and take some samples out to adjust as per the suggestions above (love Sue McLeod!). You don’t want to accidentally mess up your entire bucket.
  5. The thing that was taught to me was that air circulation should be kept to a minimum, because most fans that are readily available to the public and aren’t installed with rapid air changeover in mind (like bathroom fans) still kick up a lot of dust and keep it suspended. I believe there’s some better threads on specific air exchange rates in the equipment section, if you want to have a look in there. From my personal experience of having my studio in the basement, I find that mopping right after high dust creation activities (trimming, glaze day, reclaim day) and maintaining a VERY strict studio shoes policy keeps the dust out of the rest of my house. I work with red clay, so if any of it escapes, it’s pretty obvious. I find more dog hair blown out of the furnace vents, and no clay. I have a pair of shoes that gets put on and taken off at the door, even for a trip across the hall to the bathroom for a bucket of water. No one comes into my studio without a pair of shoes on that gets removed at the door. I have a tiny basement window, and no fan. I also find that if I don’t mop as soon as I ought, I do get a bit of a cough from being in my studio. The coarser particles can cause mild irritation, similar to allergies.
  6. If it’s any consolation, it’s not unusual to have a complete freak out at some point in the first month of a post secondary program. It’s a HUGE life change even without a pandemic. Do everything you can in the way of self care, and look after your mental health. Art programs can be very emotionally taxing. They ask you to question every thought that’s ever crossed your mind, and that’s difficult. Some programs (I have no idea about any in Texas) also encourage an unsustainable work ethic, and it’s important to set boundaries for yourself. Drop a class if you’ve got one too many, and clear yourself some space. If you determine your fear about the suitability of your program is more than a response to a boatload of overwhelm, what part of the course is making you feel like it’s not providing what you’re after? What direction are you wanting to go in?
  7. @lin_c I think the spots are coming from an impurity of some kind, because there’s a black speck right in the centre of each. The usual place to look for something like that here would be the clay body. If the impurity is silica or feldspar of some kind, it could explain why the spot is glassy instead of bare. One way of testing that theory would be to try the glaze on a different clay.
  8. @Elsa @Kate in Kentucky I’m so sorry I missed this thread! My son cracked his ankle the day this was posted, and I wasn’t watching this part of the forum as closely. I have one of these that I’ve been firing for years. It’s a really weird steampunk setup, but I’m pretty happy with it for the most part. I wouldn’t recommend it to otherCanadians because of the difficulty getting parts and service, but when you figure it out, it’s a good piece of equipment. If you’re in the US, it shouldn’t be an issue. The timer is a safety shutoff, in case your cone melts into place, and the lever that drops cone sitter weight gets stuck on the cone. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does, it’s epic. In a bad way. It’s only happened to me once in 25 years of making pots, and that was this spring, which is the only reason I even bring it up. The thumbwheel is actually the intensity settings, like on the old kilns that just had low-medium-high rheostats. The Firemate controller is a little servo motor on a infinite switch similar to older stoves, and that controls how fast the kiln turns itself up on its own. It’s a really analog kiln controller. If you put the kiln on manual it won’t adjust itself up and, you can either just leave it on low for something like a drying soak before firing, or you can adjust it yourself. If you start off the firing on 0 and 0, you get a really slow firing. If you start off on 0 for the thumbwheel and the speed on one of the middle, it goes faster, etc. The idea is that you can play around with intensity and time to get what you need for your glazes and clay. You can also adjust the dials mid firing if you need to. My 7 cu ft number takes about 8-9 hours for a bisque on slow, depending on how tightly I have it packed. Because I use a red clay and bisque to 04, I want that slow speed on both firings, so I use the 0 and 0 setting. A cone 7 glaze hits top temperature in about 10-10.5 hours, again starting on slow and depending on pack. Soak time is extra. Your results may vary.
  9. Is there a silica based grog or chamotte that’s common in the clays in your area? Crushed granite or feldspar or something? The glaze looks like a boron based floating blue of some kind, and if there’s enough active flux in the glaze, it could theoretically react with any silica or feldspar bits to leave that glassy spot. It could also be a little over fired. If the top end for the glaze is 1170, and you fired to 1160 plus 20 minutes, it’s possible the heat work pushed it too high.
  10. They’re intended as fast turnaround test kilns, or for things like miniatures and jewellery . If you’re making enough to warrant purchasing your own kiln, a 5 cu ft is probably the smallest you should go. And the best advice out there is to buy the kiln you’ll need in 5 years.
  11. Standard doesn’t seem to have a 370. I know that’s a Plainsman number, but I don’t think much of that makes its way down to Durham.
  12. So, you figure roast it off for an hour or so at about 500 C? That would get the greater bulk of it out, and doing a slow glaze fire from quartz inversion on looks like it might help the issue.
  13. In other places on the internet that also have some European potters, I’ve seen mentions that colemanite can have issues similar to the crawling and spitting you’ve got in your images there. Tony Hanson refers to the phenomena called decrepitation here, but he doesn’t really say what to do about it, other than use a boron calcium frit instead. (He’s got some biases.) However, I’m given to understand that calcium boron frits can be less available than colemanite or ulexite in parts of Europe, so that might not be an option for you. If it isn’t, I have seen a few people mention that they roast their colemanite or ulexite to try and prevent this, but I’d have to track down a temperature they do that at.
  14. So it sounds like you’re trying to solve a couple of problems. The first is getting out of the house, and the other is getting some clay guidance. I think that a sweet spot can be found, but it’ll take breaking it down into a couple of steps. I don’t think an almost 2 hour round trip to go to a clay studio is feasible, even on a good mental health day. Add to that the frustration of no guidance for a beginner, and….Just thinking about it is a big, fat nope. You still need a bit of structure and a source of answers though. If it were me, I’d take that handbuilding class that’s close to home. Hands on instruction is head and shoulders the preferable choice, especially as a learner. Let your instructor know that you need to leave a few minutes early, so you might need a cleanup signal a few minutes ahead of the others. After the class is done, you still need out of the house. So then you want to pay for a number of studio hours at the nearby place that fits your budget, and combine that with a little working at home. Transporting work is a nuisance, but it can be done and it’s much better than not working at all. Once you’ve had an in person class, there’s a LOT of things in the videos that will make a lot more sense, so working independently at the studio and at home will be easier. Watch all the free videos you can get your mitts on, from artists at all skill levels. There’s lots to pick up from them. But know that it IS worth it to pay for some specific instructional ones if you get stuck or need something fun to try. (You really, really really want to take that workshop from Sunshine Cobb on Clayshare!) There are also a number of really fun ones on this website, and so many potters on every social media platform have started offering workshops or other tutorials online in the last year. Finally, if you have any other questions on “how to,” this forum is reasonably active, and you can usually have answers from someone within a few hours. And that’s assuming the question isn’t already in the archive somewhere. The free information trove here is pretty extensive.
  15. Several years ago now, Ben Carter and Molly Hatch put together a marketing for ceramic artists course, and I signed up for the first round of it. At that time, Molly has done a number of designs for Anthropologie, and she talked about what it was like to licence designs for some of those upscale retailers. This was before some of their more recent design theft controversies. In the class, Molly talked about how Anthropologie chose her designs because of her “hand.” They were seeking something that looked handmade, and at the time there was the option to either supply them with an order, or they’d pay you to licence a design for them to mass produce. The one design in particular that I’m thinking of was a bit more oval than round, and it looked like it might have been pinched out. The handle hand a groove down the middle as if it had been pulled _very_thinly, and it felt a bit precarious (my sister bought one, so I got to hold it). At the same time, there was still a number of ways that it was very uniform, and you could tell it was slipcast. There are a number of her designs that have handles that differ from the usual D shape on a standard coffee mug blank, and others that have mock throwing rings, and more that play with proportion in a way that I recognize from certain throwing exercises from college. Molly said in going to the production centres in China, the workers there were all incredibly skilled technicians and glaze chemists, but they weren’t artists. Their job is to copy a prototype, be technically perfect, and stay within spec. I agree with Mea, those factory techs look incredibly uncomfortable in the IKEA video. Normally, the big retailers want to let the folks that know what they’re doing to do their jobs, so when they say they want different from a designer, they don’t always want anything *too* different. If there’s too much variance (looking at that bottom sag and the one vase that’s been torqued at the 1:53 mark), you run into packaging and shipping logistics issues. They still have to be uniform enough to put into some kind of standardized boxes for shipping and things like that.
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