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neilestrick

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  1. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from blackthorn in Electric Kiln Manufacturers: Which Are Best And What To Look For   
    What do you mean by 'aesthetic benefits of cone 10 porcelain'? Porcelain is the least affected by reduction, and the best candidate for working in oxidation. Cone 6 porcelain is just as tight and translucent as cone 10, and with the exception of tenmoku and shino type glazes, you can easily recreate cone 10 glazes at cone 6. Don't discard cone 6 oxidation just because your experience in clay  up to this point has been focused on cone 10. I say this because hooking up a gas kiln at home is not a simple thing, especially if you live in town. If you live in the sticks then you'll have a lot more options. Do a little searching here on the forum and you'll find lots of information about what it takes, zoning rules, building codes, etc. 
  2. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Benzine in Starting up in a big way.   
    It depends...
  3. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Chilly in How to clean mold release off plaster mold for Slip Casting??   
    Plaster molds are not typically made directly from the wax original. I would consider making a silicone rubber mold from your wax original, then make a plaster model from that, and then make your plaster mold from that. It's a couple of extra steps, but you'll avoid the problem of the wax softening and get a better looking piece in the end. Plus you'll have a rubber master mold that you can make more plaster molds from in the future.
  4. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from dirtball in What’s on your workbench?   
    Busy day glazing today! These are all waxed and ready to dip.
     

  5. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from dirtball in Starting up in a big way.   
    Dirtballs said "Now what I want to do is pull my retirement funds and build a new house, studio, all the equipment, newer Nissan NV 200, and still have enough cash to live for a year and a half". 
  6. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Roberta12 in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    My kilns definitely heat my studio when they run. I don't vent the heat out. Nothing better than running the big kiln on cold winter days. It can replace the regular heating system for a day or two. And I don't have air conditioning, so I'm not fighting to cool that heat in the warmer months, I just open the overhead door and let nature do it for me.
  7. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Roberta12 in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    A friend of mine did a study on the ecological impact of salt firing, and found that he could fire the kiln every week and use something like 25 pounds of salt in every firing and it would pollute less than driving his car.
    I would worry more about your lawnmower than your kiln in terms of ecological impact:
    The EPA estimates that hour-for-hour, gasoline powered lawn mowers produce 11 times as much pollution as a new car.  Even refilling lawnmowers damages the environment. It is estimated that 17 million gallons of gas are spilled annually while refilling lawn mowers. In contrast, the Exxon Valdez spill was just under 11 million gallons. 
  8. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Roberta12 in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    Pretty much all of the raw materials we use- clays, glaze materials, oxides, etc, are mined for industry and commercial purposes, not for potters. If all the potters stopped using them, there would be virtually no difference in the ecological impact of the mining and production of those materials. Potters use a super tiny percentage of the materials compared to industry, which is why we have to find new ingredients when a mine stops producing something we use- there's not enough potters to keep a mine in operation. Production/mining of clays in the US in 2018 was about 60 billion pounds. Remember that it's not just about production of ceramic dishes and bathroom tile. Clays are used for all sorts of things including paints, fracking, cat litter, drilling operations, cement, etc. Our mugs don't mean squat to a mine.
    Same for firing kilns. The car you drive back and forth from the studio puts out way more harmful emissions per year than your kiln. The precautions we take with kilns are for our own safety- venting fumes to the outdoors so we don't breathe them in.
    That's not to say that we shouldn't do what we can to lessen our impact on the environment. It takes everyone doing their part to save the planet.
  9. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Maskedmaven in Olympic Model 1818 mystery used kiln   
    If you plan to fire to cone 6, you want a kiln that will at least get to cone 8, ideally cone 10. Otherwise you'll only get about 30 firings before you have to change the elements. I'd call Olympic, as they will be able to give you some info about this kiln and make recommendations about increasing the cone rating, possibly with just new elements, possibly with taking out the blank ring.
  10. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Pres in Glaze chipping rather easily?   
    Chipped when bumped, or flaking off on its own?
  11. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Chilly in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    A friend of mine did a study on the ecological impact of salt firing, and found that he could fire the kiln every week and use something like 25 pounds of salt in every firing and it would pollute less than driving his car.
    I would worry more about your lawnmower than your kiln in terms of ecological impact:
    The EPA estimates that hour-for-hour, gasoline powered lawn mowers produce 11 times as much pollution as a new car.  Even refilling lawnmowers damages the environment. It is estimated that 17 million gallons of gas are spilled annually while refilling lawn mowers. In contrast, the Exxon Valdez spill was just under 11 million gallons. 
  12. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Chilly in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    Pretty much all of the raw materials we use- clays, glaze materials, oxides, etc, are mined for industry and commercial purposes, not for potters. If all the potters stopped using them, there would be virtually no difference in the ecological impact of the mining and production of those materials. Potters use a super tiny percentage of the materials compared to industry, which is why we have to find new ingredients when a mine stops producing something we use- there's not enough potters to keep a mine in operation. Production/mining of clays in the US in 2018 was about 60 billion pounds. Remember that it's not just about production of ceramic dishes and bathroom tile. Clays are used for all sorts of things including paints, fracking, cat litter, drilling operations, cement, etc. Our mugs don't mean squat to a mine.
    Same for firing kilns. The car you drive back and forth from the studio puts out way more harmful emissions per year than your kiln. The precautions we take with kilns are for our own safety- venting fumes to the outdoors so we don't breathe them in.
    That's not to say that we shouldn't do what we can to lessen our impact on the environment. It takes everyone doing their part to save the planet.
  13. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Chilly in Starting up in a big way.   
    Right now is definitely not the time to jump into a new career in pottery. The pandemic has thrown everything about our livelihoods into disorder, and there's no end in sight yet. And even if we do get back to 'normal' soon, it's going to be a different normal, and we don't know what those differences will be yet. Nor do we know when the economy will get back to normal or what people's spending habits will be.
    You basically have three ways to sell pots- in person at art fairs and other gatherings, online, or in galleries/shops.  Art fairs were cancelled for the most part this year, and we don't know if they'll happen next year or not, or if they'll be any good if they do happen. Just like all small businesses, the future of galleries and shops is in question right now. Many will close before the pandemic is over. It takes years to build up a following to be successful at online sales. Just putting your work on Etsy does not mean you'll sell anything. Search 'blue mug' on Etsy and you'll get 135,000 results. Etsy is great as a shopping cart, but worthless as a method to drive sales.
    I would say this is the worst possible time to try and start a pottery career. Maybe in a year, but more likely in two years. Take that time to start building up your business as much as possible, but keep your current job.
     
  14. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Chilly in Starting up in a big way.   
    Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund. Do not spend your retirement fund.
    Plus there are usually large penalties for pulling money out of retirement early.
    I don't think anyone should be selling any handmade pottery for under $20, unless it's very small or very simple, like a spoon rest that you can crank out by the hundreds without thinking.
  15. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Chilly in Starting up in a big way.   
    It depends...
  16. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Babs in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    My kilns definitely heat my studio when they run. I don't vent the heat out. Nothing better than running the big kiln on cold winter days. It can replace the regular heating system for a day or two. And I don't have air conditioning, so I'm not fighting to cool that heat in the warmer months, I just open the overhead door and let nature do it for me.
  17. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Benzine in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    In addition to the impact being very small, there's also just not a lot of us. If everyone in the world had a kiln the way we all have cars, then there would likely be more rules about dealing with kiln emissions. As it currently stands, the issue is the air quality in the kiln room, and venting properly to make it a safe environment for us, not preventing those fumes from entering the outside environment. I suppose that if the EPA really wanted to hammer down on us with the same rules as large commercial enterprises they could, but it would be difficult to justify the cost and effort for such a small improvement to environmental health.
  18. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Benzine in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    Someday they'll require catalytic converters, but that'll double the price of the mower. I feel really bad because I'm still using an old 2 stroke engine. I keep hoping it'll die, but it won't. My dream mower is an 80 volt cordless electric self propelled.
  19. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Chilly in Moldy smell to glaze   
    I have a recipe for a glaze I call 'Dog Breath Yellow', due to the smell of the glaze when I mixed the first batch. I'm not entirely sure why it smelled like dog breath, probably from the natural wood ash, but I had other ash glazes that did not have the same smell. The name stuck though.
  20. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Pres in Beginners Wheel   
    Don't get a 'beginner' wheel. They last 30 years or more, so get a good one. For Brent that means a C or CXC. For Skutt, anything with 1/3 or 1/2 horsepower. Not sure with Bailey, but anything that's higher end. Invest now and you won't have to invest again. FYI, big splash pans keep the studio a lot cleaner.
  21. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Sile in Beginners Wheel   
    It can't be removed, but it can be cleaned. You just pop the wheel head off and scoop it out. The benefit of that design is that the wheel is heavier so it doesn't move when centering large pots, and the pan is super solid so you can brace against it if needed. They're not at all difficult to clean, you just grab a big sponge and scoop it into a bucket. Many of my students prefer the built-in pan to the removable. If it's you're own personal wheel, you don't have to clean it spotless every time you use it, anyway. Either way, like GEP said, it holds a ton of trimmings so they don't end up on the floor nearly as much.
  22. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Benzine in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    A friend of mine did a study on the ecological impact of salt firing, and found that he could fire the kiln every week and use something like 25 pounds of salt in every firing and it would pollute less than driving his car.
    I would worry more about your lawnmower than your kiln in terms of ecological impact:
    The EPA estimates that hour-for-hour, gasoline powered lawn mowers produce 11 times as much pollution as a new car.  Even refilling lawnmowers damages the environment. It is estimated that 17 million gallons of gas are spilled annually while refilling lawn mowers. In contrast, the Exxon Valdez spill was just under 11 million gallons. 
  23. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Benzine in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    Pretty much all of the raw materials we use- clays, glaze materials, oxides, etc, are mined for industry and commercial purposes, not for potters. If all the potters stopped using them, there would be virtually no difference in the ecological impact of the mining and production of those materials. Potters use a super tiny percentage of the materials compared to industry, which is why we have to find new ingredients when a mine stops producing something we use- there's not enough potters to keep a mine in operation. Production/mining of clays in the US in 2018 was about 60 billion pounds. Remember that it's not just about production of ceramic dishes and bathroom tile. Clays are used for all sorts of things including paints, fracking, cat litter, drilling operations, cement, etc. Our mugs don't mean squat to a mine.
    Same for firing kilns. The car you drive back and forth from the studio puts out way more harmful emissions per year than your kiln. The precautions we take with kilns are for our own safety- venting fumes to the outdoors so we don't breathe them in.
    That's not to say that we shouldn't do what we can to lessen our impact on the environment. It takes everyone doing their part to save the planet.
  24. Like
    neilestrick reacted to GEP in Ecological impact of studio pottery   
    I have a friend who, years ago, moved to a new area, and learned that she would need a permit to build a gas kiln. So she went to the county offices, and learned that the person who approved the permits was her next door neighbor. He said he didn't know much about gas kilns and would need to research the matter, and get back to her. She figured she had no chance. The permit guy found out that firing a gas kiln emits lets than a commercial passenger airplane does every 30 seconds. He gave her the permit!
  25. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Hulk in Beginners Wheel   
    Don't get a 'beginner' wheel. They last 30 years or more, so get a good one. For Brent that means a C or CXC. For Skutt, anything with 1/3 or 1/2 horsepower. Not sure with Bailey, but anything that's higher end. Invest now and you won't have to invest again. FYI, big splash pans keep the studio a lot cleaner.
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