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Callie Beller Diesel

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Everything posted by Callie Beller Diesel

  1. For functional work, it’s best to fire your clay to maturity. Porcelain shouldn’t stick at all in the bisque. As long as you leave about 1/4” at the bottom of the piece unglazed (wax resist is your friend), you shouldn’t have too much glaze trouble, unless your glaze is unusually runny. Make sure the bottoms are wiped clean after glazing and you should be fine. Its only some porcelain, usually the really translucent ones, that will “pluck” the kiln shelf, not all of them. As long as you’re kiln washed and have clean bottoms it’s not a big deal.
  2. I used to fire a soup bowl design rim to rim and got more warping that way than when I just put them rim down on the shelf. But some of that’s is going to depend on your clay, I bet.
  3. If you want to avoid cut and slam, I usually cover the slab with that excess bit of sheet hanging down, so the edges dry at the same rate as the middle. It’s a good idea to pull it off while it’s still in that too soft to work with but isn’t too sticky to wedge stage and make it into arches to finish. Easier on the wrists too.
  4. It takes about the same amount of time that plaster does, but you don’t have saturated bats needing to dry out. You can do a whole bunch at once if you need. I tend to keep it to one shelf at a time, or stagger laying it out a bit so I’m not having to wedge a hundred pounds of reclaim because it’s all ready on the same day.
  5. The only reason I could think of to add zircopax to a slip or engobe would be to get a true white-white, as opposed to something with an off-white tinge that would come from most light firing kaolins or ball clay. They're almost all cream or beige or ever so slightly gray. (Yes, I'm one of those weirdos who can see the difference in all the white paint chips at the hardware store.) If you're looking for texture slip, I would suggest that the zircopax isn't really necessary. added: out of curiosity, is the slip "fish sauce" by any chance? It was used pretty widely in a lot of teaching institutions at one point, so the recipe often shows up with lots of different oxides or other colourants.
  6. @liambesaw, are any of your shelves wire racking of any kind? If they are, they can be turned into temporary drying racks with the use of an old bedsheet. I don't use plaster because I don't really have the space for molds of any kind in my studio. To dry out reclaim slurry, I have one shelf on my wire racks that does the job, and goes back to regular shelf service as needed. (Pardon the poorly lit image. I don't have a good way of getting a nice shot in this particular corner.)
  7. You might try looking at restaraunt supply stores. The ones they use at that cinnamon bun place at a mall near you have to come from somewhere.
  8. Arg. Sorry, the iPad died before I could edit that post properly. I didn’t read the original post as closely as I should have. @liambesaw Nickel is sort of like Worcestershire sauce: kind of gross by itself, but adds depth and interest when blended with other things. Like Mea said, it’s in the grey/olive/brown range of colours.
  9. I’ve stacked mug on their sides with no ill effects. The only time I get warping in the bisque is if I’ve done something that involves plastic memory during the forming stages, usually if I accidentally knock a rim during trimming.
  10. I have had a zinc bearing glaze next to chrome green stain bearing glaze and slip tests turn everything brown. I knew a zinc bearing glaze would mess with chrome bearing stain underneath it, but I didn't think it would mess with things next to it, or how thorough the reaction would be. It didn't just flash brown, it was all the way through.
  11. +1 on the grout sponge. Sketchbooks, and craft foam for templates and small slump molds are worth a mention too. And snap off utility knives are better than fettling knives imo.
  12. I hated glazing with the passion of a thousand fiery suns when I left all my glaze decisions until everything was bisqued. Having a plan in the making phase, even if the plan is subject to change, makes the job a lot faster and a lot more manageable. I don’t usually go so far as to plan my kiln stack, but I try and cluster things of a similar height on my shelves. Having a plan does not lead to less glaze on my floor, however. Or fewer glaze dishes to wash.
  13. My studio looks like a bomb hit it after glaze day. Usually clean up day comes after glaze day, including a good wet mop. If I have a clean(er) space, it makes room to begin again. Preferably while the kiln fires.
  14. The balls in the ball mill at school were all hand rolled out of porcelain, and had a very smooth, river rock-like feel. If your items are round and roughly the same size would they be self-polishing?
  15. If it's jewelry and glaze fit isn't of utmost importance, glaze to the earthenware clay temperatures. Vitrification isn't *as* big a deal for something you're not eating off of or isn't subject to mild acid or base exposure.
  16. ...and the glaze room never ran out of bone ash! (we need to shine flashlights on our faces to tell these stories!)
  17. The week of August 12-16 (you can scroll down to the correct dates) Naomi Hunt of Bandana Pottery did a very informative series of Instagram posts on how they process their wild clay, and what they do to get it workable. (We can hope she puts it in a more permanent form on her website, but this is what we have at the moment.) You do not need an Instagram account to check out their feed. Click on the thumbnails to view the posts. Instagram.com/bandanapottery
  18. I think the trick to your situation will be to get very specific. A lot of any business numbers will depend to a degree on how you want to structure the business, and what you plan to offer as services/facilities. How much of a business plan have you built so far?
  19. In college there was one clay body we could mix that had an addition of 3.5% red iron oxide. Cleanup after throwing with the stuff looked like a murder cover up, and it easily contaminated anything in the studio. It fired to a beautiful dark purplish brown colour at cone ten, particularly in any kind of atmospheric kiln. It did not take glaze at all well. To get the iron into the clay, you had to add it to the water in the Soldner mixer before adding the other ingredients, or you wouldn't get even distribution. I think adding it to a pug mill wouldn't get the iron incorporated thoroughly enough. I am also unsure of what the exact effect of adding a flux like iron to a clay body would be. Bloating, if too much, maybe? I second Min's recommendation about adding an iron bearing clay. Red Art might work if you can't get the Redstone.
  20. @Peggy Marion If it was me, I’d snap it up, but I already know I like clay. If you haven’t had your first class yet, I’d maybe give the large equipment purchases a pass until you know for sure how you want to work, and how much work you want to make. Kiln choice should be based on your level of output and your need. Exhaust your class and it’s facilities first.
  21. Agreed. Etsy in 2014 was a place that would drive your traffic for you to an extent. That really isn't the case now, with the huge number of users and all the changes that have happened on the platform since then. Driving your own traffic is going to be a necessity regardless of the platform you use now. At this point, I think the smartest thing to do regarding ecommerce is to base your choice of platform on a cost analysis of the volume you expect to sell, and the fees you'd pay accordingly.
  22. If the Big Ceramics Store is physically close to you, I'd ask them if they have a recommendation for an electrician that knows kilns. It sounds like this guy didn't, and didn't want to admit that fact.
  23. I want to say that I think Lee had a good point about having a fun name, though. Whatever you choose, I'm a believer that fun should always be part of clay! I think that if you're making your own things, and marketing the results of your own unique talents and skill set, naming your business after yourself is a sound move, and very advisable. Since you're providing a service, it makes more sense for the name to be a descriptor.
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