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neilestrick

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  1. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from rick.housley@gmail.com in Opening   
    The problem (one of many) with the strong arm tool is that it doesn't center the clay well at all. It may well get it spinning in the middle of the wheel without wobbles, but that is not centering. Centering is a state of being for the clay, not just a position on the wheel. For clay to be truly centered, it must be well mixed and uniform, which is accomplished through coning the clay up and down. Without the coning process, the clay will go out of center when you open it, because the clay is uneven inside, which you can see happening when he opens the 'centered' ball. It will just get worse as you try to pull up the walls. While these types of tools may work for people who have certain physical limitations with traditional methods, they are poor substitute for practice and will limit the growth of your throwing skills.
  2. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Karen B in Unwanted Visitors To Pottery Shed. Had Any?   
    When I had my studio in the basement some years ago, my cat used to leave foot prints in my platters all the time. And one day he jumped up onto a shelf that was filled end to end with 180 bone dry votive candle holders (for our wedding reception). He walked from one end of the shelf to the other by putting his little feet inside the pots, then jumped off without breaking a single one.
  3. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from oly in Teapot Spouts 'unwinding' When Fired?   
    The spouts aren't unwinding, they are actually winding further. Imagine holding onto the top of the spout as your wheel slowly spins (clockwise) and twisting it. It continues to twist in that direction when fired. As the Vince article says, it has to do with the orientation of the clay particles. Damn those pesky platelets!
     
    If you don't cut the end of the spout at an angle, the twist won't show. But if you do cut it at an angle, a good place to start is to put the bottom edge of the cut at about 5 o'clock as you look into the spout. Different clays will twist differently, and your throwing technique will also affect the twist. I have some students whose spouts twist a lot, others who barley get any twist.
  4. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from DarrellVanDrooly in How's The Weather?   
    But in Denver it only last for a few days. You'll be golfing within a week!
  5. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from MatthewV in What Do You Like Making Vs. What Sells   
    Bingo! Even with something as simple as a bowl, which has a million uses, people seem to need to be told what it's for. I can't count how many times someone has come into m y booth and said 'That's a beautiful bowl, but I just don't know what I'd use it for.' Food, maybe?!? Of course, as soon as you say 'ice cream bowl', they say 'I don't like ice cream'! How about salsa? 'I thought you said it was for ice cream'. AAAAAUUUUUUGH!
  6. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from oly in Kiln Size V Energy Usage   
    All things being equal, a larger kiln will generally use less energy per pot. A kiln that is half full will not use half as much energy, as the mass of the kiln is also being heated.
  7. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Marcia Selsor in 12 Inch Club   
    Membership has it's rewards.....I'm not sure what they are, but I'm sure they'll be awesome.
     
     
     
  8. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from JustPeachy in 12 Inch Club   
    Thanks again. I assumed that without a video it wouldn't count. I shot mine with my phone propped up on my propane torch.
     
    Benzine, I cleaned that spot. But honestly, I can't remember the last time my wheel was clean. I usually just scoop it out when it gets full, and keep on throwing. My students, however, have to clean each time they use a wheel. Sometimes they try to clean my wheel but I stop them because I'd rather they spend their time throwing. It drives a couple of them nuts to see it so dirty all the time.
  9. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Nancy S. in Painting / Trailing Surfaces   
    Norm, there are several problems with their underglaze 'study':
     
    1. With the exception of Coyote, the underglazes they were using were not rated for cone 6. They were all rated for cone 04, so all of them were being fired well above their recommended firing range. Amaco fully admits that their Velvets will change color. They even put out a chart showing the changes!
     
    2. They were using a cone 10 clay but only firing it to cone 6. So that could exacerbate any problems they were having with their clear glaze.
     
    3. They were using commercial clear glazes, so they did nothing to try and fix the glaze problems they were having. No one glaze is going to work on top of all underglazes.
     
    4. They mention nothing about flaking. They say blistering, fading, or changing colors. Blistering of the clear glaze is caused by the underglazes being overfired, which they clearly were, or a poor matchup of clear glaze to underglaze. Fading and changing colors is also caused by overfiring, as the colorants they are using are not specifically formulated for cone 6. It would also be nice for them to specify which brands suffered from blistering, and which suffered from color changes.
     
    I'm not sure where you're getting your data about the underglazes flaking off. If it's from personal experience, I understand. But there's nothing in that report to back it up. In my studio we have used commercial underglazes on more than 10 different clay bodies, including porcelain, for the last 10 years, and they have never once flaked off. We apply them to wet clay, leather hard clay, bone dry clay and bisque. They flux out plenty, and they adhere just fine. The Amaco Velvets MSDS form even lists sodium borosilicate frit as an ingredient. So yes, they are fluxed. This is what causes the blistering with some clear glazes. If they were just kaolin, the blistering problem wouldn't happen.
  10. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Karen B in Painting / Trailing Surfaces   
    Your slip has to be at just the right viscosity, and you have to have a pretty small tip on the bottle. We use THESE bottles that have a mechanical pencil tip screwed onto them. If you use deflocculated slip, you can do the trailing onto pots that are dryer than leather hard, which makes the slip set faster so it doesn't run so badly.
  11. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from rlovett in Crystal Glaze Over Clear Glaze   
    No idea. You'll have to test it. But it will probably run a bit, and you'll get some color shift as well.
  12. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Chris Campbell in Painting / Trailing Surfaces   
    Norm, there are several problems with their underglaze 'study':
     
    1. With the exception of Coyote, the underglazes they were using were not rated for cone 6. They were all rated for cone 04, so all of them were being fired well above their recommended firing range. Amaco fully admits that their Velvets will change color. They even put out a chart showing the changes!
     
    2. They were using a cone 10 clay but only firing it to cone 6. So that could exacerbate any problems they were having with their clear glaze.
     
    3. They were using commercial clear glazes, so they did nothing to try and fix the glaze problems they were having. No one glaze is going to work on top of all underglazes.
     
    4. They mention nothing about flaking. They say blistering, fading, or changing colors. Blistering of the clear glaze is caused by the underglazes being overfired, which they clearly were, or a poor matchup of clear glaze to underglaze. Fading and changing colors is also caused by overfiring, as the colorants they are using are not specifically formulated for cone 6. It would also be nice for them to specify which brands suffered from blistering, and which suffered from color changes.
     
    I'm not sure where you're getting your data about the underglazes flaking off. If it's from personal experience, I understand. But there's nothing in that report to back it up. In my studio we have used commercial underglazes on more than 10 different clay bodies, including porcelain, for the last 10 years, and they have never once flaked off. We apply them to wet clay, leather hard clay, bone dry clay and bisque. They flux out plenty, and they adhere just fine. The Amaco Velvets MSDS form even lists sodium borosilicate frit as an ingredient. So yes, they are fluxed. This is what causes the blistering with some clear glazes. If they were just kaolin, the blistering problem wouldn't happen.
  13. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Marcia Selsor in Adventures In Glaze Mixing   
    In undergrad we kept the dolomite in a pickle bucket. When I got to grad school I thought it was odd that the dolomite had no odor when I opened the bucket!
  14. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Rebekah Krieger in Painting / Trailing Surfaces   
    I get that, but have to draw the line somewhere. Is it still hand crafted if you fire it in a kiln you purchased, with a computer controller, rather than building your own kiln and firing it without cones? Is it still hand crafted if you didn't dig and process your own clay? Is it still hand crafted if you didn't mine the materials for the glazes? The customer doesn't care if you formulated your own underglaze. They do care is you formed the clay and applied the underglaze yourself. I use some commercial glaze accents on my pieces. Are they any less handcrafted than my other pots?
     
    I think we just started another thread!
  15. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from RuthB in Painting / Trailing Surfaces   
    Norm, I have to disagree with you and Frog Pond that underglazes are just kaolin and colorant. They are not colored slip. If that were the case, they wouldn't fuse to anything but leather hard clay. And if they were truly that problematic, no one would be able to use them the way they do. And having formulated underglazes for a clay and glaze company before, I know for a fact that if the kaolin content is too high, they don't work. They have to be fluxed in order to fuse to bisque.
     
    I know that everything Hesselberth says is supposed to be golden, and I have great respect for him, but I have used 4 different brands of commercial underglazes over the least 10 years and have never had flaking problems, and I use them with kids who put them on way too thick, or thin, or any other not-recommended method you can think of. I've got a load in the kiln right now with dozens of underglazed pots that won't have any issues. Good commercial underglazes (Speedball, Amaco, Spectrum) will fuse to bisque just fine, without any flaking or bubbling problems. That said, like any glaze, if you get it on way too thick it could flake. But I've had students brush on 6 coats with good results.
     
    There is no reason to avoid commercial underglazes.
  16. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Chris Campbell in Painting / Trailing Surfaces   
    Norm, I have to disagree with you and Frog Pond that underglazes are just kaolin and colorant. They are not colored slip. If that were the case, they wouldn't fuse to anything but leather hard clay. And if they were truly that problematic, no one would be able to use them the way they do. And having formulated underglazes for a clay and glaze company before, I know for a fact that if the kaolin content is too high, they don't work. They have to be fluxed in order to fuse to bisque.
     
    I know that everything Hesselberth says is supposed to be golden, and I have great respect for him, but I have used 4 different brands of commercial underglazes over the least 10 years and have never had flaking problems, and I use them with kids who put them on way too thick, or thin, or any other not-recommended method you can think of. I've got a load in the kiln right now with dozens of underglazed pots that won't have any issues. Good commercial underglazes (Speedball, Amaco, Spectrum) will fuse to bisque just fine, without any flaking or bubbling problems. That said, like any glaze, if you get it on way too thick it could flake. But I've had students brush on 6 coats with good results.
     
    There is no reason to avoid commercial underglazes.
  17. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from TwinRocks in 12 Inch Club   
    Membership has it's rewards.....I'm not sure what they are, but I'm sure they'll be awesome.
     
     
     
  18. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Darcy Kane in 12 Inch Club   
    Membership has it's rewards.....I'm not sure what they are, but I'm sure they'll be awesome.
     
     
     
  19. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Marcia Selsor in Extruder - Worth The Money?   
    I hate to be negative, but personally I can't stand the look of extruded mug handles. Learn to to do a nice pulled handle. Extruders do have other uses, of course, but if you're just looking to make handles, I'd save your money.
  20. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Carol Eaton in Advice On Trimming/turning Feet On Plates   
    I trim a foot on plates just like any other pots. A lot of clay comes off due to the width of the foot, but I think it looks much more finished than a flat bottom. I do not leave a ring in the middle, as I don't have slumping problems with my porcelain. With stoneware it shouldn't be a problem at all.
     
    The foot should sit where the lip meets the flat part of the plate. If it is unevenly trimmed, the plate can warp during drying, resulting in the plate sitting on the center section rather than the foot. I do not glaze the bottom of my plates. There's just not enough clearance.
  21. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Marcia Selsor in B-Mix Question   
    More than any other clay body, I have heard about random quality issues with B-Mix over the years. I don't know if it's because more people use it, or because it tends to have more problems, or both. But it seems like it tends to have issues for a month or two every now and then, and then it's fine.
  22. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from nancylee in Help! New Help With Nameplate Splitting Off   
    Roll your sprig very thin, like 1/16 inch thick or less. Then drape it over a cylindrical form similar to the curve of your mug, like a rolling pin, let it dry to almost leather hard before attaching. It needs to be able to flex just a little bit to attach it. The closer it is to the moisture content of the mug, the better. You can join it with regular slip this way.
  23. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Babs in Help! New Help With Nameplate Splitting Off   
    Roll your sprig very thin, like 1/16 inch thick or less. Then drape it over a cylindrical form similar to the curve of your mug, like a rolling pin, let it dry to almost leather hard before attaching. It needs to be able to flex just a little bit to attach it. The closer it is to the moisture content of the mug, the better. You can join it with regular slip this way.
  24. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from nancylee in Throwing Plates   
    Throw a pancake, rib the heck out of it to compress and smooth it. Then dig under the outer edge and pull up the lip. The deeper the dig, the bigger the lip. Pull it almost straight up. Then lay it out with a wooden rib. YOu can either smooth the lip into the center, or leave it defined for a gallery lip. Compress the edge of the lip a little after laying it out. Cut it loose from the bat. Then wrap the lip with plastic- I use 'Caution' tape. This will keep the lip from raising up as it dries. Leave the center uncovered for 2 or 3 days till it's leather hard. Then unwrap the lip, flip it to dry more if necessary, and trim. I work in porcelain and throw my my plates to 12.5 inches, so they shrink down to about 10.5. Wheel time for throwing is less than 2 minutes. For trimming I first scrape down the top with a metal rib to get it super smooth. It's easier than trying to get it smooth when throwing.
  25. Like
    neilestrick got a reaction from Biglou13 in Buy Vs. Build (Kiln Dilemma)   
    You can build for about half the price of buying, especially if you're planning on building your own burners. A good, safe burner setup from Ward will run you about $3000, but you could build your own for half that or less. Don't skimp on the safety systems. The system with a purchased kiln will be the ultimate in safety, however you can build a pretty good system yourself, or buy one from Ward.
     
    Whichever way you go, the venting system for a kiln that size may have to be beefed up to handle the greater BTU's coming off the big kiln, depending on where your kiln is set up. More info about that, please.
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