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Everything posted by PeppernPatches

  1. Thanks Bill. The cord doesn't get too hot, just warm to the touch. My model is a 30 amp, 240v, 7200 watt kiln and about 16 years old. I'm trying to check with the electrician on the wire gauge but I suspect it was wired for the dryer at #10. Ugh, I'm not feeling good about this either.
  2. This is such an informative thread, thank you all for your postings. Wyatt, sorry for hijacking this thread but I hope this adds to the conversation and informs potters on what not to do. I have a Paragon TNF823 and it is located about 50ft away from the load center also. I have a 100 amp panel. The kiln sits 5'-0" away from an 10-30R outlet that is for a 30amp dryer located on the other side of the wall. An electrician came and made me an extension cord adapter so the original 6-50 Paragon plug can plug into the 1030R outlet. He said I can swap out the kiln plug when I fire. He didn't seem to think it was a problem and I didn't know at the time anything about copper wiring gauge sizes, voltage drops, etc. I have fired that kiln about 100 times already, and just replaced the elements, relays and thermo-couple last year. Cone 6 glaze firings take me 10 hrs on a fast fire, and 12 hours on a Ramp program with slow cooling for matte glazes. My kiln fires 1 cone hotter on bottom shelf. So if I program it to cone 5 the bottom shelf always fires to cone 6. I now suspect my issues with long firing time and/or uneven firing be because of the combination of improper wiring, inadequate power or voltage drop due to distance from load center. Any thoughts or suggestion would be much appreciated. I've been so ignorant on this subject and am learning things the hard way.
  3. Thank you Stephen! Yes I do set alarms at night and am pretty diligent about that and can't sleep well when I fire anyways LOL!
  4. Thank you Bill! I am learning so much from this process. For the larger Skutt kiln, the room is small and there is no window - only a 14" X 20" W hole where an A/C unit used to reside. We've taken that out and built a galvanized sheet metal box that the Skutt Envirovent air duct will connect to and exhaust out. The Envirovent blower is only 140cfm. There should be enough fresh air in, but I'm concerned about heat getting out. And rising. Should I add another in-line fan next to the air duct to pull more of the warm room air out?
  5. Thank you Tom! I drilled holes in the lid and I've tested it and it's drawing fine. Did the lighter test! Now my next issue is how to deal with the room getting really hot. The door opens out into another room that has a big garage door so hopefully that will be okay.
  6. This is years after the original post, but I found the information everyone provided extremely useful because I'm going through a similar thing now with installing two kilns actually. I hope it's okay I add to the discussion thread here? The first kiln a Paragon 3 cuft electric digitial kiln in my house in a backroom 120sf studio which has wood floors and wood walls. It's sitting on a 9" H metal stand and is 16" away from the walls. I've already fired it several times with just a piece of cement board under it, I'm ashamed to say. I don't have a downdraft vent but there is a window box fan nearby blowing out air, and screened windows all around the kiln and a door out to the yard that I leave open when firing. I shut the door to the studio which is far from my room, and I fire at night. Future firings will just be bisque. After reading the thread I'm going to cover walls next to kiln with (1) layer 1/2" cement board and (2) layers on the floor 12" around the kiln. Do you think this is sufficient with no downdraft vent? The other electric kiln is a Skutt 1027 7 cuft in an enclosed 106sf room with only a tiny opening, but doorway opens into other rooms. It has an old linoleum floor (the asbestos kind) and painted cinder block walls. It's sitting on an 8" H metal stand, and I have purchased the Skutt Envirovent 2 downdraft kiln vent to vent fumes outside. I was going to take Neil's forum advice and cover only the floor with (2) sheets of 1/2" cement hardi-back. Anyone have any other advice or words of caution for me, I would greatly appreciate it. So grateful for this pottery community and all the tips and wisdom made accessible to the all of us. THANK YOU!
  7. Thanks for input! I agree, it really is unfortunate that we are being forced to rent vs. buying software outright. But membership fees seem to be the standard now and I don't see any way around it. Technology is rapidly changing and maybe in a couple years there will be something free or cheaper and then I won't have invested in hundreds of dollars in something that is outdated. In terms of pricing, I haven't looked at the nuts and bolts of how their software works, and totally agree you have to price in terms of market value. I would definitely use it as analysis only, so I understand what my baseline is for COG/time. It would be valuable to track which items have low/high profit margins. I found a link to software reviews for Craftybase if anyone is interested: https://www.softwareadvice.com/inventory-management/craftybase-profile/reviews/
  8. Hello everyone, Wondering if anyone has tried Craftybase and whether they can compare to Quickbooks. They're currently offering a free 14-day trial and monthly membership costs are pretty reasonable now with their 40% off sale. See: https://craftybase.com I've used Quickbooks before, but Craftybase seems tailored specifically for us and so was looking for some feedback. I started off just using Excel spreadsheets but as my business expands it's no longer practical. Suzanne
  9. Thank you Callie and Neil! I think for the US, what Neil is saying makes sense, although it seems like some non-profits are paying far less. I find that the percentage formula gives the artist more incentive to help fill the class. However, some studios will start with a flat day rate, with a minimum enrollment, and then add $50 to the rate with each additional student past a certain number. So if the minimum enrollment is 6 people and maximum is 15, then after 10 people enroll, each additional student helps the organization pay more money to the instructor. In this country the strain is being felt in art organizations, and budgets are getting tighter. It can be confusing for the self-employed potter sometimes, so I appreciate your input!
  10. I know there is no set formula for what to pay teachers for teaching pottery workshops, and have heard a wide variety of answers, which only seem to confuse the issue more. The standard, and most simplest compensation format, seems to be 50% of the total workshop fees collected (with min and max enrollment). I've had organizations offer an hourly scale based on experience, from $20 hrly to $50 hrly for only the workshop hours taught, which I feel is problematic and doesn't take into account other important artist costs (prep time, self-employment tax, travel time). The hourly scale also puts most of the profits into the organization, and can feel demoralizing for the artist. Does anyone have any opinions or thoughts on this?
  11. I also use Oregon Brown and haven't had bloating issues in cone 5 or 6. I did have bloating with Electric Brown clay. I bisque to cone 06/07.
  12. You can and just re-glue old wadding, but it will not sit the same way and be a little wobbly. I tried but the effort is not worth the time for me and I think it's safer to just use fresh wadding so the piece is totally stable.
  13. Thank you! Much appreciated. Is there a name for that Shino?
  14. Thank you Mark! I will definitely do that and study up more on this. Since I like Rods bod so much, I think it's best to change to another type of Shino for soda firing.
  15. Hi Min, Actually I did make a NEW batch of RIO slip for the last two firings which had the shivering. It was a different recipe from the one that I used before. Here's the difference: Fish Sauce Grolleg Porcelain 43.8 Minspar (200) 23.5 Silica 15.6 Bentonite 9.4 Pyrax 7.8 Red Iron Oxide 15 New RIO Slip EPK 50 Silica 35 Custer Feldspar 25 Bentonite 2 Gersley Borate 10 RIO 15 However, a few pieces of mine had no RIO slip decoration on it, and they still shivered. I'm not very knowledgeable on glaze chemistry and so really appreciate your input and have always enjoyed reading your posts! Thank you!
  16. If it is the OM4 discrepancy, then I wonder why it didn't shiver before in previous firings? Only in the last two firings, and only in combination with Rods bod clay. Does anyone recommend a better Shino recipe for soda firing?
  17. Thank you for your insight Callie, much appreciated. I'll run some tests with the recipe that has more OM4 in it! What is COE?
  18. Hi Min, No the shivering is happening on areas on a couple Rods bods vessels that had no slip on it.
  19. Hello everyone! I am stumped on this issue and was wondering if anyone had any insight or advice on this. We opened our soda kiln a couple weeks ago and I had a problem with my work. I fired 64 pcs, most of which was Rods Bod clay body which also had some Red Iron Oxide slip decoration on it. I used Penn State Shino that I mixed the day that I glazed. 60% of it had major shivering! The glaze was just crumbling off and some thicker areas coming off in large pieces, leaving a grey stony finish behind. Such a bummer! See video here: https://youtu.be/0cbd0eXvYII Some things to note in this firing: - No one else's work shivered, but no one else used Rods bod or PSS Shino. - Pieces from previous firing that didn't make it in kiln and fired this time were ALL okay. They had been sitting for 6 wks and were Rods Bod with RIO decoration and PSS glaze. - I fired over two dozen spoons with Takamori clay body and PSS glaze, and NONE of them shivered. There was some crazing. - All my Rods Bod pcs with SF Shino or other glazes did not shiver. - 5 sake cups that fired cold didn't shiver. - There was crazing on several pieces. - Areas that got hit with a lot of soda on Rods Bod/PSS would shiver. - I did rush the drying process of Rods bod, drying in the sun and did a 2 hour pre-heat when I bisqued. I never had a shivering problem with Rods Bod and PSS glaze until the last two firings, which make me wonder if it's a clay body issue, a combo of clay body and glaze fit, or something happened in the glaze mixture. Or could it be the soda ash? I did find a discrepancy in our PSS recipe vs. the one from Liz Willoughby when I double checked today; we use 4.9 OM4 amount instead of her 14.9 OM4 amt, and I wonder if that makes a difference in anything. SODA ASH SPRAY RECIPE 1 lb soda ash to 1/2 gal water PENN STATE SHINO RECIPE - LIZ WILLOUGHBY 14.6 Neph Synite 7.8 Soda ash (light) 9.7 EPK 4.9 OM4 34.0 F4 feldspar 29.0 Spodumene
  20. both are wood fired pots, reduction fired for at least 48 hrs. the first image might be shino, but the second is very likely from an anagama kiln with no glaze. It would be very difficult to come close to having a cone 6, 12 hr firing look like those images. Will you fire oxidization? I think creating texture on the clay body, and layering glazes would be helpful to achieving something that might pass for your clients, but it will be a great challenge to make it feel a wood fired piece. Good luck experimenting!
  21. I'm a little confused by this topic - are we talking about Cone 6 Clear or Cone 10? I am also looking for a Cone 10 Clear recipe that will work well in soda firing and not go opaque.
  22. Thank you Neil and Potterbeth! Very valuable feedback Neil, we only fire once a month at most. And people who bring pieces here usually will use our glazes, wadding and sprayers. Two people usually rotate being the kiln masters, and both will load/unload. So it makes sense that their labor should be factored into the fees, because at this point they don't want anyone else touching/running the kiln. I think we will also charge based on our guess of what percentage of the kiln is used. But if the items fall below 25% percent of kiln space, then we will have to charge per sq inch. This is where the amt per sq inch gets tricky. We have a 14 cu ft kiln. I think once we figure out the propane costs per cu sq inch, then we will have to just tack on a percentage that will cover wear and tear, expendables, glaze and the labor that others put in for loading/unloading and firing. It will probably be 30%-50% on top of the gas.
  23. Hello everyone, Thanks for all your input, it's very interesting to hear the three different outlooks! So amazing that I can reach out there and get such nice feedback from the community. Much appreciated! Thank you for the spreadsheet, I will definitely study it and then change the variables based on our kiln! I think for our situation, membership is not something we want to do because there are only 3-4 main people who will be using the studio. Most of the outsiders have their own studios, clay and electric kilns and just want to get their pieces fired in the soda kiln. It is important that the costs be more on the accurate side so people are paying fairly. This is due to the high cost of propane in the state of Hawaii, and that soda kilns are quite costly to fire and accumulate more wear and tear than your typical gas kiln. I believe this is the only soda kiln studio on the island. Any other input would be great appreciated!
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