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  1. Like
    douglas got a reaction from dhPotter in Low fire glaze on stoneware bisque   
    Just curious, how could they know what glaze they wanted, when they have not seen what it looks like on the stoneware clay? Assuming they picked a test tile, why not use the same clay used on the test tile? It is unlikely to look the same on a stoneware body. 
  2. Like
    douglas got a reaction from liambesaw in Alumina And Wax   
    I use a cone six red clay and it comes right off. However when I use it in cone 10 that sometimes happens. I think your clay may be over firing if the alumina gets embedded in the clay. I still use it in cone 10 but I know I will have more clean up and finishing later when I do. 
  3. Like
    douglas got a reaction from Babs in Teapots cracking just above foot when filled with boiling water.   
    One other possible cause is too much glaze or using a runny glaze on the inside of the pot. Maybe when you are pouring the glaze out it is taking a while and the inside has a thicker than normal application? If the glaze is too thick at the bottom of the pot, and if the glaze doesn't shrink at the same rate as your clay body during firing, the thick glaze pooled at the foot is creating a stress crack and the sudden temperature change is causing it to fracture along the spot where the thick glaze ends and the clay wall begins. 
  4. Like
    douglas reacted to Marcia Selsor in First porcelain fire: questions   
    I add alumina hydrate to my wax resist for bottoms of porcelain AND flanges on lids. I put about a cup in a jar and stir in about a tablespoon of alumina hydrate. Porcelain can flux enough to "pluck" or stick to shelves and where bare clay touches bare clay as in flanges.  Alumina in the wax prevents that. 
  5. Like
    douglas got a reaction from Min in 2 piece bowl mold help!!!   
    If nothing comes out when you flip the mold over, then you might not be filling the mold up completely. If the walls are hollow that would explain why you are getting two halves instead of a solid bowl.
    You need to screen or thoroughly mix the slip to remove the lumps. You may also need more water in your slip if it is not able to run all the way into the mold before it dries at the base, blocking you from adding enough slip to fill the mold.
  6. Like
    douglas got a reaction from Magnolia Mud Research in tiny spherules in wet glaze   
    If you have access to a ball mill, try running the glaze through that before using - that might break up the particle clumps. 
  7. Like
    douglas got a reaction from Chilly in Confused about Crazing   
    Glaze fit means the glaze shrinks at a rate close enough to the clay body shrinkage, that it will not crack or shiver off the clay. Just because your glaze and clay are firing to the same cone, does not mean the glaze will fit the clay. Apologies if you know this, but it seemed like you are equating firing temperatures with whether the glaze should fit in your descriptions. 

    The root of the problem you are experiencing is you are buying off-the-shelf products. Since you don't control the ingredients you don't have control over whether they play well together in the kiln. Learning glaze chemistry is an option, mixing your own, and adjusting to fit your clay body, but that takes most people a lot of time to work out. If you want to be able to just buy glazes and clay, then you should ask your vendors to recommend clay bodies or families of glazes that should work well. If your glaze vendor's response to using earthenware was don't use earthenware, then you either need to follow their advice and choose a different clay body, or keep your clay body and find a different glaze. 

  8. Like
    douglas reacted to neilestrick in Soft Brick Repair   
    If I'm understanding the direction of the hole, it won't show when the bricks are used for a kiln wall, correct? I wouldn't even worry about the hole. At 5/8" it's likely not going to affect the insulating properties of the bricks enough to matter. If the hole will show and allow heat to escape, then fiber is probably the best way to go. Wear a respirator when using the fiber.
  9. Like
    douglas reacted to PSC in Clay Thickness Before It Explodes?   
    Its not the thickness but the time allowed to preheat and fire...thicker ware needs a longer preheat and low cycle. The key is to get all the moisture out of the clay before the molecules start firm up in the kiln. The moisture needs to escape before the passages start to close. An over night preheat and a long low cycle could insure the survival.
  10. Like
    douglas reacted to liambesaw in bisque firing in a pit kiln   
    No, doesn't cost that much to fire a kiln.  Mine costs me less than 10 dollars a firing.  Propane was about 20 dollars a firing.
  11. Like
    douglas reacted to liambesaw in Wheel trimming a Pinch Pot   
    Use a trimming Chuck.  Center and throw a mound of clay that your bowl can sit on.  Torch it a bit to firm it up and then trim away.  You can save the Chuck in a green state and use it over and over.
  12. Like
    douglas reacted to Min in removing large platter from the wheel   
    @hantremmer, another option is to leave the wheelhead as it is and use a clay donut or pancake to stick the batts to. Use some scrap clay and throw and flat, level donut or pancake on the wheelhead then put your batt on that. For plaster batts and wooden ones under 8" or so in diameter I use the Xiem BatMate, works really well,  the batts need to be flat and not warped, no pins necessary.
  13. Like
    douglas reacted to Min in firing a fitted lid   
    Hi Chantal and welcome to the forum. Just to add a little to what Liam posted, 1-2 tsp of alumina hydrate to a cup of wax resist plus I would add some food colouring so this resist is a different colour than your regular resist. The alumina hydrate will want to settle out of the resist so stir it often while using. Also, when you use it be very careful not to get any of it on your glaze as it will fire to a very rough texture.
    edit: with your gallery, if you make the inner part of the flange at a slight inward taper, not the right angle like in your image it makes the lid fit easier.
  14. Like
    douglas reacted to liambesaw in Pinging Pots   
    You can call mnclay and ask what clay bodies are compatible with the glazes you like and then switch to that clay.  
  15. Like
    douglas reacted to neilestrick in Handle size for mugs ?   
    Like Liam, I make the top attachment of the handle to be approximately 1/3 of the width of the mug. the handle thickness should be a similar thickness to the lip of the mug, so they carry the same visual weight. The handle should taper quickly so it springs off the mug in a natural arc. Assuming it's intended for 2 or more fingers, I like a 'D' shaped handle. I'm kind of picky about handle shapes- I hate '7' shaped handles, or handles that loop up above  the rim before going down. Currently I only make 1 finger handles. I like how they feel, and they fit the style of my mugs. Some people really hate 1 finger handles, and aren't shy about telling me when they come into my booth at art fairs.
  16. Like
    douglas got a reaction from Rae Reich in Cracking in 20 inch greenware platters   
    My guess is you are letting them dry on plastic or some other smooth surface. The rim might have adhered to the surface (lots of moisture trapped under plastic could make a small amount of slip where the rim touched the surface). When the foot and insides of the platter shrank, the rim stayed put and caused the cracking. 

    One fix for this is to use paper or foam under the pot while it dries so the clay can easily move on the surface as it shrinks. 
  17. Like
    douglas got a reaction from Rae Reich in Faceting tools   
    Use a cheese cutter wire with adjustable roller. Hold your thumb on the roller while you cut or glue it so that it won't roll.  Hold the wire against the rim of the pot, and adjust the depth of the wire to the roller to 1/3 or 1/2 the width of the clay wall. 

    Then when you cut the roller will prevent your from cutting too deep (assuming consistent clay wall thickness). 
  18. Like
    douglas reacted to glazenerd in Understanding COE   
    COE applications
    Coefficient of expansion (COE) is a mathematic equation that measures compression and contraction. The clay body is compressed by the contraction of the cooling glaze. Pure silica glass has a COE of 5.5 x 10(-7) power: glaze calculators just hide the 10(-7) and only show the 5.5. When you add feldspars, alumina, and other oxides: the COE rises.
    Clay and glaze both have the basic elements required to make glass (glaze): silica + alumina + fluxes = glass. The difference between them is particle size, ratios of each, and flux levels. Flux levels in clay are much lower than flux levels in glaze. That difference in flux levels is the primary reason there are appreciable differences in clay and glaze.
    To understand why COE varies so widely: you need to understand how each glaze ingredient raises or lowers COE. Here is a short list of common glaze ingredients and their individual COE values:
    Nep Sy: 9.86 Mahavir potash 8.60. Silica. 3.52. Alumina: 6.47 EPK. 5.06
    Any given glaze recipe has a given % of flux, silica, and alumina. The list of ingredients simply supply various amounts of each until a given level of each is reached. There are minimum amounts of each that are required to achieve a complete melt at any given cone: these minimums are known as formula limits. 
    **** see " Hesselberth & Roy" for formula limits.
    To paint a simple picture of glaze formulation: as the levels of fluxes rise ( sodium, potassium, boron) the Final COE rises. As silica and alumina increases; the final COE lowers. The reason EPK is commonly suggested to fix crazing ( cracking) in the glaze is because kaolin is 37% alumina and 48% silica: both lower COE while maintaining formula limits. The other simple premise: the lower the cone fire; the higher the level of fluxes required to achieve melt. As the cone fire gets higher: then flux levels are lowered: which in turn lowers COE.  Cone 6 recipes typically run 50-55% fluxes in the recipe: more means lower cone fire, less means higher cone fire. This general rule will help you figure out if you have a low, medium, or high fire glaze recipe. Obviously there is wiggle room at any given cone range.
    The COE values of cone 6-10 clay bodies run 5.5 up to 6.10 typically. There are variances for highly translucent porcelains, and high talc content low fire recipes. It is best to ask your supplier for the COE of your clay of choice. Glazes typically run 6.95 all the way up to 9.00 (crystalline glaze). Normally they are in the 7.25 to 7.95 range. The trick is to keep the COE of your glaze within 1 to 1.25 of your clay.
    Example: clay COE of 5.75 plus 1.25= 7.00 for glaze COE. This is a target range, not an exact number.
    The above is the chemistry and science between clay and glaze COE. However, let's throw that in the trash and use something easier. No, this is not accurate but it conveys COE differentials between clay and glaze in digestible terms. Look at COE in terms of percentages.
    A clay body with a COE of 6.00 will shrink 6.00% from peak temperature to room temperature. A glaze with a COE of 9.00 will shrink 9.00% from peak to room temperature. The clay is shrinking at 6.00% and the glaze at 9.00%: that is a 50% difference in shrinkage rates. As the differences in shrinkage rates climb: crazing issues increase. The closer you can get these two values together, the chances of glaze issues goes away.  The terms are compression and contraction: but shrinkage conveys both in easy terms. When the clay and glaze are within acceptable percentages of each other: the term is "glaze fit."
    Hope this helps.. Tom
  19. Like
    douglas reacted to LeeU in How to start a path toward making pottery a career?   
    Whether as a full time, income generating, business or a satisfying low income job or part time avocation, know up front it will be expensive. I took small business classes as I earned my BFA in ceramics and was able to plan out a "how to, and how much" if I were to pursue clay work as a career. I did not go that route and only returned to it a few years ago, establising a home studio after I retired.  Knowing the cost projections was very helpful--if I went in blind about the start-up and ongoing expense I would have been sorely disappointed at how long it could take for any investment to begin to pay off. 
    With issues such as depression, or any health challenge, it is important to factor in the wear and tear, the known cycles, the possible practical limitations, and the obstacles any such condition might pose when trying to ignite enough fire to sustain interest and push through over the long term. It is easy to compare oneself to others who seem to be having an easier time of it and misjudge the reasons as having to do with talent or motivation (i.e. self-blame or lack of encouragement from others) rather than confronting the reality of the fallout from a serious health condition. I had an instructor who chastized me when I disclosed I was having health problems that were affecting my work but that the work was keeping me going. He told me "art isn't therapy" and suggested I should quit. I was almost crushed, but my nature is to scrape it off my shoe and say "Oh yeah, watch me", so I came through OK.  Lesson learned, support from people who understand such dynamics is crucial for channeling my passion into a steady state that is at balance with the rest of my life. 
    Becoming a professional potter is no different than establishing any other career--requires hard work, time, money, ability to withstand set-backs, and above all the willingness to learn the tools of the trade (the chemistry, the techniques, the history etc.) Take the best, most comprehensive courses/workshops you can find. Also check to see if there is a local or regional Potters Guild where you are and join it. 
  20. Like
    douglas reacted to Min in Help me diagnose this problem?   
    The more you edge toward a dry stony matte the more cutlery marking you will get. Stony mattes are fine on the outside of pots if cutlery marking is an issue. For surfaces that will be used for cutlery a glaze that has more gloss will mark less. You need to find a balance between the two that works. 
    Basically if you take a clear glaze and do a glaze line blend with it and your matte you should find the sweet spot where it is no marking and yet isn’t a gloss either. If you haven’t done one before a line blend is super easy to do and gives you a bunch of test samples with just 2 glazes.
    In the chart below A would be your dry matte glaze and B a clear gloss. You would weigh out 200 grams of dry base for each and add the exact same amount of water to both. Then use a teaspoon, tablespoon, syringe, whatever, to scoop out the parts of each glaze to blend together. For example #4 would be 3 parts of matte plus 3 parts of gloss. The #1 and #7 are the control base glazes. Glaze and fire the test tiles the same as your pots are fired.  After doing this test you can then fine tune it if needed. (I like the G2934 matte from this page.) 
    Re leaking, this has come up here a fair bit lately. If your clay is either under fired or has a high absorption rate it will likely leak. As you are using porcelain it should be nice and tight and not doing that. What clay are you using? Hopefully it's not a wide firing range one. Also, are witness cones used to verify firing? There is more on absorption here. 
    I just plunked your recipe into Insight,  calcium and magnesium are not high enough to be matte from those and I don't think the alumina is high enough for a stony alumina matte so it leaves me thinking it is matte because it is underfired.

  21. Like
    douglas reacted to Joseph Fireborn in Mixing glazes again.   
    I think I read somewhere that if your mixing into water, you should start with clay. So that the other materials go into the clay water mixture instead of hard panning at the bottom. 
    I am not sure how correct this is, but this is how I do it: I mix clay, then silica, then feldspars, then colorants.
  22. Like
    douglas reacted to neilestrick in Atmosphere Kiln   
    Flashing happens in soda and salt kilns because there is some fluxing of the surface of the clay. In wood firings, small amounts of melted ash have the same effect, and the vapor from the burning wood has a similar effect to soda & salt, although it is not nearly as strong. It's all about the reaction of sodium, potassium, silica and alumina, with reduction and cooling. In all cases, too much fluxing and it all just glazes over and you lose the flashing. It all has to do with small amounts of iron at the surface.
    In a basic natural gas or propane firing you don't have the vapor, so things don't flash unless they've been formulated to flash without the vapor, like shino glazes.
    Pit firings are all about trapping vapors, carbon, etc. into the porous clay. It can have a somewhat similar organic look to the high firing processes, but it's a different mechanism at work.
    This is a terribly simplified explanation.
  23. Like
    douglas reacted to Mark C. in Making Plates For A Restaurant -Or Not   
    My thoughts are most restaurant owners are just unrealistic on the entire process and most potters also fall into that as well.
    If you are a ram press outfit with high volumes you really are not a small handmade shop making pots on a wheel .Nothing wrong with either just  stating the industrial output needed for this type of volume for potters and food owners.
    The whole trend in the current magazines seems to to portray small potters making dinnerware but really its large slip and ram press outfits doing the big jobs-not us.The details always seem to get swept away in the fluff.
  24. Like
    douglas reacted to Min in Glaze Firing Cone Packs — Can They Be Bisqued First?   
    You can just use scrap clay, don’t need to use wadding, poke a bunch of holes in the cone packs with a pencil tip after you’ve pressed the cones in. Make up a bunch of them and let them dry out so they are ready to go when you need them.  Doesn’t matter if the clay cracks a bit, I've never blown up a cone pack Just be sure to have the angle they stand up at correct, cone should be at 8 degrees which is simple enough to do by holding the cone so the bottom sits flat on the tabletop then keep that same angle when pushing it into the clay.
    Also, it’s helpful to use 3 cones in a pack, a sentry cone (^5) first, target cone (6) in the middle and a guard cone (7) last. This way if you are watching the cones towards the end of the firing the 5 will give you warning you are getting close and the 7 lets you know if you have over fired. 
    Once you get used to how your kiln fires you might want to then cut back to just using a single cone in the pack.
    +1 for what Tyler said about not bisque firing them first.
  25. Like
    douglas reacted to Pres in Studio Design Input?   
    Hi Pamela,
    I used to have a large studio in my HS that I taught at. An air cleaner as long as you are putting money into this would help you a lot. I had one similar to this in my classroom:
    At the same time, I think you need to consider can LED in the ceiling. We recently redid a kitchen, and the can lights are great. I have LED's in my present shop, and wipe downs occur every couple of weeks, but again to LED's of any type are the way to go especially if you get daylight bulbs. YOu never know when you will want an evening studio bash/kiln opening sale and the lighting is important.
    I don't see anything about a sink trap, or sludge trap. I used a Gleco trap in the studio in the last few years at the HS, and it worked very well, was easy to clean, and had replaceable sludge bottles. I really think you should also consider your sink situation. 
    I'll keep thinking.
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