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Posts posted by 1515art

  1. I’m not necessarily recommending this as a solution but you are asking if anyone has done this and if it worked.  I made a hood system for cheep for my 16 cu’ Alpine updraft on a outside kiln setup with a metal roof and mostly metal framing. For the hood I used a galvanized metal wash tub and just your standard sheet metal single wall ducting. I lined everything with fiber and just used 4 fairly lightweight chains to suspend the assembly from my structure over the kiln.  Although it could be a tiny bit bigger It’s worked perfect for the last 11 years this is not something I would consider venting inside through a structure or inside where you need to vent all the gasses. The same fiber lined pipe is on the home made down draft kiln  except it’s direct connect vent pipe with no hood and both have home made sheet metal fiber lined vent caps.

  2. I have two TS wheels a 1/3 hp and the other TS is the 1 hp and I like them both very much my local dealer sent me the 1/3 by accident first and I decided to keep it. the 1 hp wheel is obviously much more powerful but the 1/3 will handle 25 pounds of clay although it will slow some centering large amounts, I like them both but if I had to make a choice and was keeping only one  it would be the 1 hp. 

    I just gave an old Shempo RK2 wheel I bought back in the late 1970’s to a friends son who was learning to throw that still worked perfect after 50 years in the studio that’s the type wheel I learned to throw on and there’s still a lot of them in classrooms everywhere.

  3. I think most stoneware bodies throw basically the same unless the mix is short by error somehow particle/grog can make them feel different but if the clay is well aged that’s the key difference I notice old seasoned clay is extremely plastic and throws great. I’ll buy a ton of clay and wrap the whole batch up for a couple years  different kinds from different makers and after Time growing all the good stuff it’s so plastic you ‘d be amazed what it will do, even old bags gone bone dry rehydrated in a 5 gallon bucket come back as beautiful stuff it’s well worth the effort. 

  4. I see a T just after the regulator I’m not sure what you have on each end of that, the second picture shows a check valve to your pilot safety shut-off and then there is a knob I’m assuming controls the flame to the pilot?  Are you running a separate line from the T at the regulator to each burner? All of my setups start with some type of gas shutoff valve, with natural gas that valve controls the rate of flow on lpg the shut off valve is followed by a gas pressure regulator some type of gauge is next in line on both systems so I can monitor pressure and consistently reproduce results maintaining the kiln optimally during the firing cycle, my kilns also have air control being a screw disk air gate or forced blower giving me control over the air to gas mixture this will provide some of the atmosphere control (oxidation/reduction) where I have a valve at the burner I usually only use that to shut off one or more burners during candling (water smoking) otherwise they are all full open, lastly is the damper on top of the kiln also controlling kiln atmosphere and pressure giving you some control over heat distribution the air control will also affect heat balance and works in combination with the damper.

  5. The cylinder valve is on/off I don’t believe you have any reasonable control over the flow, the regulator is what you should be using to control the rate of rise in temperature, if you are using a Venturi type of burner the adjustment for air control is at the burner some burners may also have a shutoff valve at the burner and this can also be adjusted to control and balance the kiln the last control you have would be the damper this is used to control pressure inside the kiln as well as the atmosphere.

  6. If you only want to know if you can open you kiln really hot, I’ve opened my 16 cu’ Alpine a couple times above red heat without any noticeable damage although I’d expect repeated thermal shock is harder on the bricks than gently cooling.  One time during a cone 6 firing I opened the kiln around 2000 F cooled it a bit and then refined to cone 6 producing some interesting effects on the items without any damage to the pottery and another time I used the big alpine to raku fire a piece that would not fit in my raku kiln, the only difficulty was the heat I had to endure pulling a 36 inch tall item with the large door all the way open was quite hot.

  7. For the bottoms of my pots I’ve quit waxing and just wipe the bottom with a big tan utility sponge after I glaze holding my pot in one hand and the sponge in the other twisting my pot back and forth on the sponge until I get a clean line, clearing as little or as much as I want. If my pressure is steady and even the line is also clean, sharp and even it takes only seconds to clean the foot and I’ve never had a problem with pieces sticking due to this technique alone. It will stain white clay foot with the colorants in the glaze so resist is better if that’s a problem. 

  8. Jeff, for detailed work I’ve watched the decorators in the factories in China  using a latex resist I’m not sure if it was water or ammonia base or if it would make a difference duplicating detailed blue and white traditional designs. They made it look easy although I’m sure it’ll take practice brushing on green tinted latex over transfer design and then immediately tracing the transfer design with a sharp bamboo stylus through the latex removing a fine line on the still wet resist. Repeating this process small area by small area until the entire piece is covered in the latex with as fine a line cut as needed over the complete design using the stylus. After the latex dries completely they brush on oxides, peal away the latex and spray on clear glaze single fire I think. it’s a nice effect and when they do it produces clean sharp cobalt blue designs. Having not tried this it may not work as well on bisque ware, watching them work they cut the wet latex quickly and easily and the lines remained clean I’m not sure of the mix they used for the oxides. I have some photographs of them working I’d post but don’t have them handy at the moment.

  9. It probably works for me because I seldom (never) do slip cast objects and do mostly press molding with my plaster casts, I’m only interested in the quality of the mold surface and if the object releases from the mold, dryings not an issue and so far I’ve never had issues attaching parts or with the firings because of the oil. I guess I’ve used it for years because it good on the skin and was handy one time when I needed something not knowing any better, I’ll have to try the soap.

  10. You did good keeping your cool, I had a friend here in the US ask me to make some green ware for a book he was writing about his memories growing up in China, he’s a ceramic artist but was unable to make the traditional everyday life pieces that needed to be thrown. I later found out he sold the work at auction in China and took credit for the work I did as his own, I was pissed off but let it go although you can bet it won’t happen again with him.

  11. I’ve done it many times with mostly positive results, the difficulty is getting a sufficient enough layer of new glaze material to stick to the previously glazed vetrified piece. I’ve never used hair spray although have read it can help the glaze to adheare, if the piece is small enough I’ll put it in the microwave for a minute or two that will do 2 things , heat the surface a little and neutralize some of the surface oil from things like oil transferred from skin contact. Otherwise I’ll heat it with an electric heat gun, Then  work quickly while the piece is warm.  Use a loaded brush, a soft touch and try to avoid going over areas a second time as repeated brush strokes will begin to work against you. You will have to practice a little to get the feel, luckily if it fails to apply like you like it’s very easy to rinse off the newly applied glaze and start over.

  12. On 11/23/2016 at 2:52 PM, Pres said:

    I think that a variable height stool really works best. My reasoning for this is for the many different positions you might find yourself in when throwing. If you throw off the hump, you may be more comfortable with a higher seat, but as the clay gets lower, you find you are bending over too much. Trimming may require different heights, I don't like to get my arms too far past perpendicular to the wheel at the level of the pot bottom. So think about the types of chairs that would give you multiple heights. One of my favorites is:



    This type of stool allows variable height, and the angle of the stool actually supports your body and pushes you slightly forward.




    I have 3 of these and Pres is right, chair height is important I’m constantly adjusting the chair height depending on what operation. I like the chair high centering  for better leverage then will adjust to a lower setting throwing so its easier to watch how the clay responds to my touch and trimming I’m usually sitting low again for me personally I can have more control and can better see the tool working.

  13. 40 minutes ago, Hulk said:

    "...steady drip of water then use a diamond burr while spinning the ceramic ware on the wheel." 

    Good idea! 

    Regarding the diamond wheel glued to an old bat, I went with 1200 grit because it was cheap and for sure would leave a polished surface. However, it is a bit slow - a 600 is probably fine enough to get a nice polish, and would be faster. Back to the other hand, 1200 is forgiving and doesn't "grab" much. 

    Specifically, I use an old camel,back bladder it has the bag (naturally), hose,  valve, a hook to hang  and a snip of the mouthpiece with a diagonal cutter makes the nozzle. Holds plenty of water and you have great control over the drip. If you have access to medical supplies an iv drip works too.

  14. I really like the idea of grinding wet to eliminate dust issues, I’ll have to pick up a suitable diamond abrasive wheel, I’ve glued wet sanding disks to old throwing bats but their useful life is short. I did lapidary work many years ago and we used a flat lap that didn’t seem much different than a wheel head with a 1” lip to dress the backside of polished stones a much more involved version of Hulks method. 

    Sometimes I’ll chuck a finished piece on my giffen grip and hang a bag of water over the wheel head to provide a steady drip of water then use a diamond burr while spinning the ceramic ware on the wheel. Not the easiest way to go about finishing the bottoms, but if I’m not in production mode I’ve saved a few glaze disasters and am able to produce very clean edges with glazes that like/need to run and have smoothed bottoms with it.

  15. George, thank you for the information interesting piece, I was more focused in it’s recent history how you came to own it and I’m guessing it’s been to a few experts or evaluations? You have knowledge of it and knowing some of that history will help, I’d imagine there are concerns beyond damage to just the kiln, any work being fired within the near proximity to your  jar should it react unexpectedly would be in jeopardy.  Another issue to consider, many copies are produced and have been for a very long time as I’m sure you are aware and it’s important to be certain of the materials used in the process of making it and their temperature range. It could be fired in it’s own sagger even then I think you are going to invest  many times it’s retail decorative value in the process. Shipping will be expensive to and from China and you need to be aware of customs restrictions on antiquities some things going in can’t come back out.

  16. Most all the work I throw comes from a few basic forms, cylinder, cone, inverted cone or flat cylinder, but mostly a cylinder. Practice throwing a perfectly centered cylinder, everything else will fall into place as your skills progress, just have fun... sometimes turn the cylinders that aren’t working into other forms, many early cylinders become bowls and plates:D.

  17. What are your travel limitations?  Firing in China? I can’t say if anyone would be interested in your piece not personally knowing enough on those works but I have many friends and connections with experts across China and can ask the question and possibly get you valuable information on the various aspects of your decision should the piece be valuable enough to generate interest and if no one cares you are probably just fine doing with it as you wish. 

    PM me if you want me to ask


  18. 13 minutes ago, Fred Sweet said:

    Ah, but gold particles have more mass (think weight) than clay particles and drop out of the suspension quickly. Whereas, the fine clay particles need a “slow flow” to separate. Just something else to consider.



    Lol, if only my dirt had enough gold where that was a factor and actually the golds never supposed to get that far as the settling tanks are only for the soil/clay suspended in the water when the waters to dirty the fine gold won’t settle fast enough in the sluice and then it will be lost in the tailings.

  19. I was amazed how well this worked when I saw a guy using it moving water between tubs, some ancient technique for watering crops or something like that .  JohnnyK is right and this isn’t for everyone and if I was concerned about an accidental overflow I would drop the whole thing down into a water tight box and add a p trap at the end. I’m using it inside my studio this way for now and my clay water is diverted outside into the garden and waters the hedges so the traps not needed.  The water level between the first and second tanks stays very close and the third tank is slightly lower. I think the large diameter pipe has little friction loss at this volume so the siphon action with atmospheric pressure keeps it fairly level. The tubes are 4 or 5 inches off the bottom so I think it will hold at least a gallon or two of sediment.



  20. I thought I’d share a trick I picked up for separating mud from water while running a recirculating power sluice looking for gold. The same system seems to work well for the sink drain in my studio, it works off of some simple hydraulics and siphons water from tank to tank giving the heavy particles time to settle before exiting the tanks.


    I used three 5gal trash bins and connected them using 2” ABS, each connector was made from one 2” U joint, two 2” elbow and two 8” long nipples. The drain is one 2” ABS adaptor and a 2” sink drain gasket and one 24” long ABS nipple, everything glued with medium ABS cement. The elbow on the bottom allows you to fill the tubes and submerse them into the tanks while maintaining the siphon in the connecting tubes. Total cost for everything from Home Depot was under $50 and build time under an hour.


    The system easily handles the volume of the water as it drains directly down into the first bin and when the bin is at capacity with solids it is simple to remove, empty and replace. The design allows infinite number of settling bins and any size and shape of container pretty much can be adapted to work, so I think this could be made from a variety of free parts.


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