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About neilestrick

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     Grayslake, IL

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  1. Most manuals don't tell you how heavy the kiln is. Generally that information can be found on the company's web site as they usually list shipping weights. Norman is long gone, though, so you may just have to try it and see. How big a kiln is it? Can you post a picture? If it can be separated from the angle iron stand it should be pretty obvious, as it will either be connected by bolts or welded.
  2. Too me the milky areas look like there's not enough silica in the glaze for the calcium to work on. It would also explain all the other things going on with bubbles and such. It's probably got a very narrow firing range, and slight changes in firing temp cause it to behave differently, hence sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not. I would increase the silica until you find the sweet spot where it stabilizes but still runs.
  3. Can you post the glaze recipe? Cobalt will fume and leave rings on the shelves, but if you're getting actual droplets of glaze on the shelf it may be from Gerstley borate spitting.
  4. Most likely it's just one of the ingredients that didn't get mixed well enough. If you wedge it up into the block you probably won't have any issues.
  5. Copper carb, cobalt carb, rutile will give you a good set of blue-greens. Use red iron oxide to knock down the brightness of most blends, especially with blues. I think warm colors are easier to get with mason stains.
  6. I like a big triaxial blend when doing color tests. You get line blends along the sides and tri blends through the middle. The bigger the better if you want to get close on the first try. Hyperglaze has a section in the software called Potter's Friend that allows you to put in the percentages of the colorant for each corner of the tri, then it gives you a list of what goes into each tile. It has a nice 66 tile blend that gives you a ton of color variations. If you don't have access to Hyperglaze or some other program that simplifies the process, I'd be happy to plug in your stuff and post the charts here for you. I just need to know the percentage of each ingredient you want at the corner. Attached is a sample of a 66 tile blend with (1) 0.5% cobalt carbonate, (2) 3% copper carbonate, and (3) 4% rutile at the corners. 66 Tile Triaxial.pdf
  7. In a kiln that size I would expect the firing to be about 9-10 hours. It probably can't keep up with a 450F/hr rate, more like 300F/hr. Regardless, 16 hours is too long. What firing schedule are you using?
  8. Either location would work. As long as you're a couple of feet from the heater it shouldn't be a safety issue. And yes, you can always prop the garage door to help cool the space. The only worry about location 2 is if weather can blow in on the kiln when you open the garage door, like if you're parking the car during a rain storm.
  9. If you got within a couple of cones it will be slightly more porous but you can adjust your glazing to accommodate that. Like Hulk said, the organics are likely burned out fine.
  10. Correct. And it doesn't have to be anything super slow. 175F-200F/hr cooling rate would slow it down enough to mimic the big kiln and not affect things. Of course, nothing is definite in ceramics so test it before jumping in full on.
  11. Your pic isn't working. Can you please try to post it again? Is this a specific burner system on a brand name kiln, or something you're building yourself?
  12. All knowledge is good and will help you with your art, so even those non-art classes will be a benefit in the long run. I started college as a math major and ended up with an art degree with an emphasis in ceramics and photography. I use my math skills all the time, both in my ceramics work and in running my business. The sociology and psychology classes I took help me in dealing with customers and students. The science classes help with the technical aspects of clay and glaze development. Art is a reflection of life, so the more you know the better your work will be. It can definitely be a bit of a drag at times having to take non-art classes, but they will make you a more well-rounded person. Plus you'll have some skills that can help you earn money as you're getting started in your art career, or if things get tough (like during a pandemic). So give it a chance before you make any big decisions. It may also be that your school just isn't a good fit for you. But it takes more than 3 weeks to figure that out. Finish out the semester and reflect on it before making any changes.
  13. I moved the other way, from gas to electric. I think that's pretty common nowadays what with the limitations on where you can set up a gas kiln nowadays. I could have continued to do gas, but there were numerous benefits to switching to electric, which together far outweighed my need to fire shino and tenmoku glazes. Oxblood can be done very well in an electric kiln, using silicon carbide for localized reduction. Shino not so much. I've yet to see a convincing electric kiln shino or tenmoku. None of the commercial glazes they call shino are at all close to the real thing. So if you want to do shino, then yes, you'll need a gas kiln. Are there any potters or community studios in the area that have a gas kiln that you could use just for that, and keep using the electric kiln for everything else you're doing? If your'e also looking for that earthy, iron-specked look of reduction fired work, then get a good cone 6 brown speckled body and find some glazes that will play well with it. They're virtually indistinguishable from cone 10 reduction when done right.
  14. Is that the position it's supposed to be in, with the motor plate at an angle like that? If so, then the bolt probably needs to be bent in order for the plate to pivot like it is. Either way, it shouldn't matter if it's bent because the bolt isn't rotating or moving in any way, it's just holding the plate in a specific spot. It won't cause a wobble if the nuts are tight at both ends.
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