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Darla

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Everything posted by Darla

  1. I've been throwing, as a hobby.... selling at one or two shows a year, for 15 years. I built my home "studio", slowly. I had a junky old wheel, and a junky, firetrap, old kiln. Then moved up. I bought a new wheel, and a better used kiln. Then I bought a 10 x 16 barn... insulated it, then a new computer controlled kiln. One 'major' purchase every few years. Pottery is my art therapy.... I'm looking to have fun, and maybe to support my habit. I toss in a community arts center class to learn new techniques and meet new people every few years. Go into it with the assumption that you are there for the Ideas and the people.... And any pieces you actually make there, and actually get home? gravy. I like to take my own bats, and take the wet pieces home, to trim and dry. I drive an old junky suv... flip those seats down and haul tons of stuff. In all the classes I've taken, driving 35 minutes home, with 8 or more wet pieces on bats in the back? I've lost something like 3 pieces. This also makes attaching handles, altering, and stacking, easier than going back to the studio. I can bisque at home, but the art center I take classes at, fires to cone 10/gas, so I do depend on them to glaze fire. I am lucky to live close to Brackers.... they have a once a month demonstration by different artists, and everyone knows to not ask me for anything on "Second Saturday"!
  2. If you're two hours from KC, you're only a little further to Brackers Good Earth Clays in Lawrence. (only a mile off of the turnpike - North Lawrence exit.) Awesome place. Family owned. Awesome people. I bought my Cone Art there, and 18 months and 80 firings later, I'm still 100% happy. They have Skutt, L&L, and ConeArt, and guided me thru the whys and how comes. http://www.brackers.com http://shop.brackers.com/Electric-Kilns-C9.aspx (I do not work there, nor am I a family member - although they do treat me as if I was.)
  3. I use a lot of Opulence. My current fav is Smokey Mist. Available in 5 pound bags, every one I've tried has sprayed, dipped, or brushed well.... although I do prefer to spray - especially clear. http://shop.brackers.com/Opulence-C88.aspx?s=OrderBy%20ASC&p=1
  4. I bought one in January. About 50 firings in, and no issues. Easy set up! My only thought - do you have a local supplier? If they are more comfortable with one brand over the other? I'm thinking parts? questions? etc. No local place? Be careful where you order from. Some of the horror stories I've heard!
  5. I really like several opulence glazes..... French Bleu is cool, but you need to make sure its on thick enough -- I have to double dip. Smokey Mist is really nice... its my favorite. I like Blue Monday, Celedon, galaxy, and denim blue too. I tried Meadow and Pebble Beach, and they are nice enough, they are just pale in color and I'm currently using a dark clay. But haven't tried Bamboo!
  6. So, this will sound a little silly, but use a lot of gentle soap and a nail brush (Gently) after you throw. Got all the little bits of clay. In my case, this is more important after a glazing session than a clay session. Then use Neosporin-type cream.... Then use a bit more of the neosporin cream at bedtime... really working it into the nail bed and the cuticle. (If you have any skin allergies... be careful of the bag balm. I'm terribly allergic to bag balm... my hands swell and buff up - itch! horrible!)
  7. If only I was ready for that! But thats also one of the things that I love about Opulence. At least twice as much glaze for your money. (Besides being easy to spray, dip or brush, and they don't run!)
  8. Nor have I had any fit issues with Amacos potters choice glazes. I really like blue rutile.
  9. I also use Standard 112... We've nicknamed it Chocolate Chip. Seems more fitting than 'brown'. My personal preference is Opulence Smokey Mountain Mist (Pictures attached), Blue Monday and Celedon. Sea Spray fits nicely too, but it's very pale pale green. When it's nice out, I like to spray glazes... 2 or 3 layers, sprayed on very thin, and I've had no issues with "fit". Love the speckles in 112. Feels like good old fashioned 'antique' pottery to me. I, at one time, was completely in love with Blue Purple from Coyote. I must have special ordered - dry, ten pounds, four or five times. I used a dozen pints. (All on Flint Hills Buff or Black. Fired to cone 6. This was prior to discovering Standard Clay 112). Then, it started to "peel" off of fired mug/pitcher/bowl lips. Any vertical edge. I loved the color, but I never could decide what the peeling was all about.
  10. Darla, would you ask your husband what's the brand and exact name of the item he uses? I tried googling flex disc 36 grit and got a variety of hits, so am not sure which one it is? And also does he use some sort of pad or backing device for it? Thanks for your help, and sharing this great idea! Warmly, Lily I asked.... he said that he usually uses an old worn out disk as a backer. (You could just use two...) He's sent me a link to an example of the flex disk ... of course, he said you can get them at auto parts stores or hardware stores.... http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004J4WO8E/?tag=hyprod-20&hvadid=15470411619&hvpos=1o2&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1329478501380980318&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&ref=asc_df_B004J4WO8E he even found me a youtube video of how what where... both the air grinder and the flex disks are pretty durn cheap... as long as you already have an air compressor!
  11. I have an older Knight, almost exactly like this. The only thing I'd suggest is to check the wiring right behind the switches... "Wire chase" maybe? By the way, if anyone interested, that same Knight kiln is up for a freebie, in Northeast Kansas. I've taken the lid for my raku kiln, but the rest of it is there and ready for the taking. Darla
  12. I posted this a few months ago..... I can't describe how much easier this is. I've been able to clean my shelves completely of kiln wash and glaze, turn them as has been suggested with no issues. I think my husbands angle air grinder is from sears, probably from 20 plus years ago, but I've seen inexpensive ones advertised for $25. On top of all of this, since the air grinder takes its power from the air compressor, there is no motor on the grinder itself, so it weighs a ton less than a regular grinder. Recently, my husband needed something from me, and came into the barn while I was trying to clean my shelves. Gave me this look of "you're doing that wrong", took the shelf and came back about ten minutes later - with it perfectly bare. No glaze, no kiln wash, no flakes, and NO chunks out the shelf. I, of course, took full advantage, and begged for him to do the rest. Less than 40 minutes later, every shelf I own was clean! He had taken the shelves out to his workshop, where he used an air grinder/compressor and a 'flex disc 36 grit'. Its designed to be used on Auto Body work. If you already have an air compressor for spraying or such, the air grinder and the flex discs are fairly inexpensive. (Please use safety gear!)
  13. http://youtu.be/_Y6ySO0qKnM All i get is "this video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds".... This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds. "This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds." ?
  14. My mom is the pie baker in our family.... and she doesn't care for it, when I get a pie plate too thin. She says that the crust comes out better when the pie plates are a little on the thicker side. And, since you pick a pie plate up by the edges..... Course, it's a fine line between too thick and too thin.....
  15. Come on Alice! Don't keep us in suspense. How did tonights pie plate go?
  16. Do you have a local supplier? someplace not horribly far away? a place you can build a relationship with? Only a fellow newbie's take, but if you do and they are more comfortable with brand "x", take that into consideration. I just bought a new one a few months ago. Before I walked into my supplier I was leaning one way. When I walked out, I leaned the other, and I'm very happy. D
  17. Atanzey: love your pie plate... Yedrow: I first adopted hydro bats as a defense to ruined pieces. I was just barely past learning to center, and I'd throw something halfway ok, and I'd ruin it by either cutting off too soon, or cutting the too thin bottom in pieces or something else just because I was too much of a newbie and not very good! With a hydro bat, the piece pops off the bat when it's ready... The piece and the hydro bat tell you when it's ready to be dealt with. I asked for hydro bats for my birthday, hydro bats for my christmas, hydro bats for any present. After a few years..... I was good! Now that I'm a little bit better, I throw small / cylinder type pieces on plastic bats, but everything else is on a hydro bat. (I believe the hydro bats also help with warping and 's' cracks.) And the MKM Rollers? mmmmmm I love the really little ones, I love the medium sized ones, and I love the large ones too. Love the MKM stamps too. Ha! I sound like a commercial.
  18. So... I'm NOT a fast production potter. But I love throwing pie plates. I add a small bowl, and sell them as a pie/chip/dip plate. My biggest selling item. I buy all of my supplies from Brackers, and when they had their 30th anniversary, they convinced me to throw and they taped. (if I'd had time to think it over, I might have chickened out!) Obviously, the clip has been edited to just a little over a minute...... a pie plate takes me about 5 or 6 minutes, maybe a little more. I average 6 or 7 pie plates and chip bowls in an hour. I throw almost exclusively on the hydro bat... I do trim on the bottom. I'm addicted to the MKM rollers and stamps! Darla
  19. Love love love my Thomas Stuart. Really love it. I have a whole drilled, and the slop just drains into a bucket - never have to fiddle with a two part splash pan that no longer fits well. I can throw all day and be as messy as I want without ever having to empty anything other than the bucket. At the end of a long day, I use a rubber rib to clean up chunks, and pour a half gallon of clean water around the pan, and let it drain. The wheel head is secure, but pops right off when you need it to. There is a wheel extension, so you can throw on really large bats if you want that option. It's like 13 or 14 years old with no issues, ever. Would recommend the Thomas Stuart highly.
  20. Recently, my husband needed something from me, and came into the barn while I was trying to clean my shelves. Gave me this look of "you're doing that wrong", took the shelf and came back about ten minutes later - with it perfectly bare. No glaze, no kiln wash, and no chunks out the shelf. I, of course, took full advantage, and begged for him to do the rest. Less than 40 minutes later, every shelf I own was clean! He had taken the shelves out to his workshop, where he used an air grinder/compressor and a 'flex disc 36 grit'. Its designed to be used on Auto Body work. If you already have an air compressor for spraying or such, the air grinder and the flex discs are fairly inexpensive. (Please use safety gear!)
  21. If you have access to a decent sized air compressor.... try using an air grinder, with a flex disc, 36 grit. It's actually meant for Auto Body/Paint repair work. The sanding surface is very flexible, not hard. Doesn't take ANY of the shelf - just the wash and glaze. It takes very little time... The last time, my husband took 2 full shelves, and 6 half shelves down to the bare shelf in 30 minutes! However, please protect yourself.... the kiln wash flies off in chips with LOTS of dust. Darla
  22. Thats great! but it would take me a year to bisque fire!
  23. When I take classes, they use high fire.... here at home, I use cone 6. I mark each bag, but I also use little scrapbooking stamps. A small heart = high fire, and a small butterfly = mid fire. I BARELY press the stamp in, so it can be seen on wedged pieces, greenware, and bisqueware, but can be filled in and NOT seen on glazed ware. (Also attended a raku day recently and used a tiny cupcake for raku fire.) I made sure I marked the stamps themselves.... I leave the stamp IN the bag of clay... and never use multiple clays in one session.... so I don't get confused.
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