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About cmdutcher

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  • Location
    New York
  • Interests
    ceramics, woodburning, dogs, carving just about anything

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  1. My kiln is an Econo j236 from the late 80s or maybe 90s. Cone 6 electric kiln. I'm the 3rd owner of it and don't really know the history of it as to parts being replaced etc. It seems like every single glaze firing, I end up with these tiny specks of something ruining my big bowls. They're raised and sharp to the touch. I'm wondering if it's from the fire brick? However the lid has no cracks whatsoever and seems to be in good shape. There are a couple slightly broken bricks in the sides, but would that get inside a bowl? Some of my shelves are also broken (this is really starting to make it sound like a piece of garbage, but this is not from me) so I'm wondering if the specks could be coming off there? We used broken shelves at college regularly without a problem to my knowledge. Anyone know how to fix this? Or is it a matter of replacing things? Thank you in advance!
  2. cmdutcher

    1st and 2nd kiln firing

    1st and 2nd glaze firings done in my own kiln!
  3. I think everyone I know that does ceramics for a living does some things just for the money (basic pottery), but they also do their own things on the side maybe for shows or maybe just for their own pleasure. I think making a living off of purely sculptural art is far more difficult. I also think you just have to always always be trying new things. You say you've hit a brick wall, but there's literally endless inspiration. Try writing your own artist statement if you haven't already. I think that will help you realize what inspires you. As for technical skills, college may teach you those, but I think just asking fellow classmates/ ceramicists their ideas on how to make these specific things is what you need to do and you don't necessarily need a workshop or college course for that. At this time, I feel like I've honestly learned just as much online watching videos and reading as I did in college art classes about ceramics. So basically, always be trying new stuff, talk to people about what you want to do, and research techniques online or at the library.
  4. I like to use wood (unfinished) most often. Also good for ware boards if you want the bottom of a pot to dry faster. Plaster works pretty well, although I have heard that it removes some of the plasticity of the clay although I'm not sure how true that is.
  5. I recently bought an Econo j236 kiln for next to nothing complete with the kiln sitter. It's from before 1997, the woman wasn't sure exactly when. I haven't run it just yet, but does anyone have any tips or tricks to using this specific kiln or any other of the j models? I found the instructions online, but I think it's always better to hear real life experiences with it!
  6. Has anyone tried coloring gray stoneware with mason stains? I've used mason stains in cone 10 porcelain and it's been great, but I'm wondering if cone 10 stoneware is colorable too? I can of course test this out, but if someone else has done it that's of course a lot less time consuming! Of course the coloring won't be as bright as porcelain no matter what, but I'm more worried about the shrinkage rate changing possibly if I decided to use a colored stoneware with my regular stoneware.
  7. Don't worry I'm definitely functional although many have tried to tell me sculptural is better! There's enough non-functional art in the world; I like to make something that people are going to use.
  8. I'm in my senior year of college having concentrated in ceramics and I'm just curious, how many people on here sell work for a living as their primary source of income? Feel free to share your stories of how you got started, got your own studio, if you share a studio, etc.!
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