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Dancing Earth Creations

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Posts posted by Dancing Earth Creations


  1. I bought a wheel when I got hooked after taking my 3rd ceramic class. The first two 7 week classes were all wheel and although I liked it very much I wasn't financially able to continue at the time. Years later it was taking a class that was a combination wheel and hand building that finally hooked me (and the kids grownup and gone.) Hand building taught me many things that I sometimes incorporate into my wheel thrown pieces and someday hope to have more time to get back to sculpture. After that class I made the plunge and bought the wheel. Then it was sheer determination that I would learn how to use it and started taking more Wheel I classes. Since I'm not a natural I can't imagine learning it without help from my teachers and the encouragement of potter friends. I know you said you don't have access to a community college or a commercial pottery studio but you might look for someone selling pottery in your area and see if they give lessons. It made a huge difference to have someone watch what I was doing and suggest another way.

     

    Somewhere around here I have one or two of my first pieces--not nearly as nice as Big Electric Cat's! When I get frustrated and think I am not making progress I look at earlier pieces. But beware giving them away to friends and family because after awhile you will be asking if you can swap them so you can throw them away and not have to see them when you visit. biggrin.gif I also liked using the early pieces to test glazes.

     

    Clay is not like any other creative pursuit I've done. Big Electric Cat expressed it very well. It has been my addiction for four years and has been getting me through the most difficult job in my life (actually boss who makes a stressful job pure hell.) When I wake up upset about work I divert my brain by thinking about ideas for clay or get up and go throw some pots before work.

     

    Let us know how it's going!


  2. When I moved back to NM from WA I brought several cone 5 clays with me and they sat for four years because I was taking classes and firing at cone 10. After buying a kiln I decided to learn cone 6 so I started using the clay. Unfortunately I love the Navajo Wheel - beautiful dark red after firing. But it's not available here and so far I haven't found anything I like as much. angry.gifhuh.gifsad.gif I'm trying SB Red but haven't fired it yet. I like BMix for white.


  3. When I first started throwing one of the first things I tried to make was a covered baking dish and I was less than successful at it. Besides being beyond ugly the inside shape was not at all practical, The lid wasnt a good fit.. just all around bad.

     

    Lastnight I decided to throw another one and I really like how it turned out, size, inside/outside shape, lid etc. To me it turned out great and I cant wait to try it out after I get it fired.

     

     

    Very nice!


  4. but got frustrated with not having my own kiln, the community centre where I took my pottery for firing made errors, like opening the kiln too quick after firing, other peoples items exploding and taking mine with them, so I built my own kiln LPG gas fired, I actually gave it up after about 2 years, which is now 8 years ago, I finished up donating around 100 pieces to the Animal welfare society for them to sell through their shop, I simply ran out of room, it's ok making them but you either need to sell or donate, it doesn't take too long to run out of room

     

     

    Can relate to these frustrations! I love the soda kiln at the community college but also got frustrated for these same reasons. I wish I could build my own soda kiln but it's not feasible where I live. I also wouldn't want to do all the work of it myself since I have limited time to make pots. Maybe someday when I retire.

     

    my daughter's workplace closed so the past 9 months I didn't have anywhere to sell my pots. I was trying to talk myself into going to a flea market to sell them but then she found two other places that wanted to sell them so I just shipped her 5 boxes and sent two boxes to family. Now I have room to make more.


  5. I bought my first electric kiln last spring so since then I've been learning how to make cone 6 glazes and firing them. I posted some pictures in my gallery. I've made waterfall brown, licorcie, spearmint, and one of the blues from this book. I tried the whites but didn't like the results. I fired bisque to 06 and a friend suggested I fire it hotter because I've had some pinholing problems. Since I'm using a variety of clay I bought years ago in Tacoma WA I assume it might be the clay. This next batch I will bisque to 05 and put a hold like it suggests in the book and see if that helps.

     

     

    I had drip and run marks and pin holing at ^06, when I changed to 1910*, which is sort of ^05 all that stopped.

     

     

     

    Good to know. I'll try 1910 next time. Thanks!


  6. I bought my first electric kiln last spring so since then I've been learning how to make cone 6 glazes and firing them. I posted some pictures in my gallery. I've made waterfall brown, licorcie, spearmint, and one of the blues from this book. I tried the whites but didn't like the results. I fired bisque to 06 and a friend suggested I fire it hotter because I've had some pinholing problems. Since I'm using a variety of clay I bought years ago in Tacoma WA I assume it might be the clay. This next batch I will bisque to 05 and put a hold like it suggests in the book and see if that helps.


  7. I like your mugs Buckeye. Make sure to let us know how you like them after you use them. They would be good tea or water mugs for me. Little coffee mugs work better for me because I don't like it when it gets cold. I throw the handle off the mug because I hate making the handles and then waiting for them to be dry enough to attach. The round handle shape is nice. If I were buying the mug I'd be a little concerned that the handle is so big and sticks out just far enough that I'd probably hit it and knock it over. For a klutz I'm doing okay at throwing pots. :P You're really good for only doing it a year! Every time I throw I make at least a couple of mugs just to practice handles.


  8. Hi Buckeye and all,

    I'm Karen from Santa Fe. In 1996 I took a class with my daughter at Santa Fe Clay and loved it but at that time wasn't able to commit to the time and expense to learn it. In 2003 after my youngest was out of school I decided to follow an old dream and went to college in Olympia, WA. While there I took a ceramic class to relieve the stress of reading and writing and that was that. I bought a Shimpo wheel and put it in my tiny kitchen. After graduating I came back to my old job in Santa Fe that paid enough to fund my ceramic addiction. I started classes again at Santa Fe Clay, went to workshops, and took classes at the community college which has a high fire soda kiln. Also read, read, read. This summer I bought an L&L electric kiln so I'm not taking classes while I experiment with cone 6 glazes. I'm really hooked on the soda kiln so will probably end up doing a combination of the two. I ship my pots to my daughter in PA to sell at a local shop in her area. I don't make much from them but I am relieved I don't have to spend time selling them. After working my day job, I'd rather be making pots.

     

    Since I love to learn and try new things ceramics is perfect--never ending learning. Creating ceramics is often my way of dealing with a very stressful boss and job. Instead of obsessing about the situation, I think about a pot I want to make and how I could finish it. I try to carry a sketch book with me although a little difficult to do when I'm swimming and wondering how I could get the reflections I see in the water on a pot! I have made sculptural and functional ware and really like combining the two. The last couple of years I've focused on getting better on the wheel. I'm fortunate to live in a place with so many awesome potters and resources to continue learning. Also appreciate the help I've received from this forum. I like potters. :D


  9. L&L also has 60 degrees an hour for the preheat but does hold at 200. The pieces were very dry and I thought 6 hours was probably overdoing it but I wanted to play it safe. I looked up the firing profile for the slow bisque program and it said it should take a total of 12.73 hours so 19.11 sounds too fast if it takes over 3 hours to get to 200 then hold for 6. The thickest piece was a 1/2" slab and it cracked. All other pieces were small and appear to be fine.

     

    Next time I'll do a custom preheat at 180 to keep it below 200 and program the bisque instead of using the slow bisque program and see if it makes any difference. I also sent an e-mail to L&L to ask them for their suggestions.

     

    Do you use the witness cones as the true representation versus the temperature reached on the control? From my reading that appears to be the case. I'll also put in 3 cones next time - 05, 06, 07. The first initial firing to cone 5 seemed to be underfired but the kiln was empty.

     

    Thanks for your replies.


  10. I bought my first electric kiln and did my first bisque firing this past weekend. The kiln is a L&L Easy Fire. I did a preheat for 6 hours then did the slow bisque program. I had 06 cones on the bottom and on the top shelves. Final reading was 19.11 hours and 1824 F. The cone on the top was flat and the bottom was mostly flat with a slight curve where the top hit the base and curved back up slightly. I live at 7000 elevation and I'm not sure what that does to firings. I believe the temperature was okay for 06 but not sure why the cones were flat. Should I make adjustments to the thermocouples?

    Karen


  11. I like to incise drawings on my pots and am still searching for the best tool. I've tried calligraphy tools among many other things (pencils, dental tools, shish kebob bamboo skewers, actual clay tools meant for carving.) Next I'm trying my collection of knitting needles with some duct tape wrapped around them to make it easier to hold. I use big nuts from some sports equipment long gone to make cut off wires from fishing line or the line that was suppose to be used when I made necklaces. Knitting and jewlery making has been cast aside in my addiction to clay.

     

     

     


  12. I can't do anything about the design of the kiln or loading and firing since I'm a student and work during the time they load and fire the kilns. I assumed they tested their glazes but I won't assume anymore. I am testing the glazes I like and won't use Baileys or School Bus in the soda again. I am curious about the chemistry of what is happening. I'd love to take a glaze chemistry class but that is during the day so I'm attempting to teach myself through books.

     

    Here is the Bailey's Red recipe:

     

    Custer Feldspar 18,800

    Silica 5,200

    EPK 5,200

    Bone Ash 5,600

    Talc 9,200

    Lithium 1,000

    Red Iron Oxide 3,200

     

    Here's one I am hoping is safe:

    Ranch Butter

    Custer Feldspar 36.3

    Silica 26.5

    Whiting 8

    EPK 5

    Talc 6

    Gerstly 13

    Zinc Oxide 5.2

     

    Zircopax 14.9

    Rutile 2

     

    Thanks for all your suggestions and help!

    Karen

     

     


  13. Thanks. I thought it might be that for the school bus--it looked odd when it came out but the Bailey's looked fine. I am in a community studio and I have no control over the firing. Recently I had a plate that was obviously underfired and they decided there was a cold spot in the kiln and won't load there anymore. We have a ceramic sale coming up and now I'm concerned about selling pieces that are not food safe. Fortunately I did not like how the school bus looked and stopped using it. Is there anyway to tell if a piece is underfired if it's not obvious? I've been testing the Woo Blue glaze but there is only so much wine I can drink. ;-)

    Karen

     

     

     

     


  14. I have two cups that have been fired in a soda kiln at cone 10-11 and used for drinking red wine (Baileys and School Bus.) The glazes have lost their luster and feel dry. The school bus cup might have been in a cooler spot in the kiln since it didn't have the gloss when it came out but the bailey cup looked good. Is there a reason why this is happening? I'm concerned about food safety issues.

    Karen

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