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About Maj0rMalfunct10n

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  1. Thanks Bill, maybe I'll need to reconsider my firing process. I appreciate the reply.
  2. @Min, I'm a bit lazy, and I very much dislike the glazing process, so dip everything. In that I try to maintain a cream like consistency with my glazes and only dip once for each colour. I do layer, but rarely do I layer beyond two colours, so arguably in most instances the glazes isn't too think. I am very interested in your suggestion on firing down but I am unsure how I could do that with the kiln sitter triggered. Thanks very much. ~Mal
  3. Wow! Thanks for all this information. The type of clay I use typically is Plainsmen M340, which I bisque at a slow rate. On my dial, I move stages each hour (cone 04). Dial settings 0-1 (-one hour), 1-2 (one hour), 2-3 |(one hour), 3-3.5 (one hour), 3.5-4 (one hour), 4-4.5 (one hour, close lid), 4.5-5 (one hour, put two sight plugs in), 5-5.5 (one hour), 5.5 -max temp (one hour), kiln sitter usually trips the max temp setting after 12-15 mins. Total bisque time ~9 hours. I am unable to say exactly what temp each stage is. I have used a whiteness cone in the past but fell away from the practice. Maybe I should readopt the behaviour (I gave it up because I never fully understood the interpretation of the melted cone, in terms of practical temperature). I have a Paragon LT-3K, its a bit older, but in great shape. Plainsmen M340 is a very light grey clay with the following chemical mixture: CaO 0.2 K2O 2.1 MgO 1.2 Na2O 0.1 TiO2 0.6 Al2O3 17.7 P2O5 0.0 SiO2 69.2 Fe2O3 1.4 MnO 0.0 LOI 7.5% The glazes in this are both Mayco from dry mix (Copper Float and Opaque Blue). I have attached a photo of the outside and bottom. I appreciate the input on this, I am not part of a ceramics guild and any info is appreciated. Thank you ~Mal
  4. Hello, I am hoping to leverage some good experience from potters with more know how than I. I have a Paragon electric kiln, and use commercial glazes (Duncan, Amelco, Coyote, and Spectrum. I fire to cone 6. From time to time, and with what seems like without reason I get bubbles and or pimples in the glaze. I like to think I’m fairly careful not to let foreign material infect the glaze. Any thoughts on what cause these issues? Overfire maybe? thanks in advance ~Mal
  5. Hi all, I live in Calgary, Alberta Canada. I have historically been a spring/summer/fall potter but I have been hand building this winter in my basement. I have a medium sized paragon electric kiln in my un-heated garage. I was thinking I might fire it up the coming Friday, with the weather expected to be -10C. Is this safe from a cracking perspective. The work is in my basement and not cold, but would be transferred to a cold kiln. I use a kiln sitter. I could lengthen the warming stage, but I am more concerned with the cool down (am I being rational)? thanks for the input ~Mal
  6. Hi, I have a medium sized Paragon kiln in my studio, and from time to time use a smaller retrofit raku kiln in the yard. I have only one kiln stand, and in the past have lifted the Paragon kiln to access the stand for raku fun. I look at the costs for kiln stands and find it unreasonable. Is there a cheap stand that someone can recommend? Thanks very much Mal
  7. Hi has anyone tried to apply the Mayco Stoneware Washes to green ware as an underglaze? My plan was to apply (iron wash, cobalt wash, copper wash) to green ware and bisque, the clear when I fire again at 06. any predictions or experience to what may happen? thanks ~Mal
  8. Hi Fred, Thanks very much for the clarification request. I feel that the model is a S-82-3. Thanks ~Mal
  9. Hi, Had a bit of a scare on the weekend. I have a Paragon Model LT-3K kiln, and have run it for three years without much issue. I was firing cone 06 on the weekend and was moving the top temperature dial from 1 to 2 and I saw a flash on the top side of the kiln while adjusting the knob. I looked into the kiln as the lid was notched open at this point and the top element was on. I called my local Paragon dealer and they asked if I had vacuumed the coil channels recently, and I replied no. She said sometimes if a bit of glaze gets in there it can create a small arc. She said if the element is still working it should be ok. As the kiln was working fine, and I could not get the flash to occur again (I tried to adjust the temp using the knob up and down) I continued on with the fire. Fast-forward 5 hours, the lid is closed, and plugs are in. The kiln is not at Max heat yet but pretty close. As I move the top knob to 5.5 on the dial setting a large flash occurs, very bright, with an audible pop. The flash (what I think is an arc) then knocks the power to the whole house out. The kiln is in the garage and I have a dedicated 30A breaker for it. I went to the basement and tripped the breaker restoring power. I went back to the garage, the kiln didn’t reach temp so the kiln sitter had not tripped, the power light however was not on. I unplugged the kiln, and let it cool. Yesterday I unloaded it and there was nothing touching the walls or coils in the kiln. I don’t feel that I have glaze in any of the coil channels. I am at a bit of a loss to what may have happened. Paragon is closed today as is my local dealer. I plan to have an electrician look at it, but would like to give some direction to him. Any thoughts on what may have happened? Thanks ~Mal
  10. Hi pautts, I do use cones, one in the kiln setter and one that I can view through the the plug hole. I have a couple of clay bodies in this instance both from Plainsman. I turn the kiln on min for an hour with the lid notched open and He plugs out. I increase the temperature by moving the dials to one, then two and three each hour. Then I move to 3.5, 4 and then 4.5 each following hour. At 4.5 I close the lids do wait another hour when I put the plugs in and move the dial to 5. One more hour I move to 5.5. In this instance the kiln turned itself off shortly after. Aprox. 8 or so hours to fire. I have kept the cone from the stand and could photograph it if helpful. The cone in the kiln sitter was a complete "u" shape and triggered the kiln to trip off. I keep a journal each time I fire and could provide exact times when the kiln was turned up. I live in Canada and while there is no snow right now the day of the fire it did drop to 0 c or 32 f outside and I fire in a non heated garage. I normally don't fire this late in the season. I did use one different glaze which is a dry mix Mayco glaze. All the glazes I use are store purchased, I only mix my own Raku glaze. I can go into greater detail on any area. Any input is appreciated. Thanks. ~Mal
  11. Hi, I fired my kiln yesterday and I received some mixed results. I follow a fairly strict process when firing my kiln (usually takes 8 or so hours) and have had good success in the past. I don't mix my own glazes yet, and use dry mix from Mayco. In this fire i received a fair amount of bubbles in the glaze. I have attached a few photos. I was wondering if this is a symptom of overfiring? I am sure this is ceramics 101 but any input would be great. thanks ~Mal
  12. Thanks very much! I appreciate the feedback. ~Mal
  13. Hi, I have been working on some old men busts, and I have a question about paper trapped in the head. I built a wooden armature for the work and made a paper ball to use as a mould for the inside of the head. After removing the armature and as much of the paper as I can there is still some paper trapped inside. I have let the head dry very completely, are there any concerns with firing in an electric kiln with some paper left in the head? The bust is not terribly large (9" or so), and I used 1 sheet of paper from a local flyer. I would estimate that I got about 50% of it out. I realize that I could have cut the top of the head open to fish out the paper and reattach, but I plan to Raku this and didn’t want the seam where I reattached to be a weak spot. Thoughts? Thanks ~Mal
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