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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. 22 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

    Yeah I meant the gas kiln.  The electrics were always bisquing in the classroom and we were involved, but the giant outdoor gas one was our glaze kiln and only the assistants and the professor were allowed to touch it.  I got to watch sometimes because I was a volunteer helper after my third class, but something something insurance and I wasn't an employee, etc etc.  Community college woes

    Times were very different when I was in college back in the 1970’s the whole getting sued thing wasn’t so out of control. I lived very near my local community college and the ceramics professor gave me a key to the studio so I could help fire the kilns, two big old alpines. 

  19. 18 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

    Personally, I do not like this thread, as BCS doesn't have a presence here to defend themselves, nor is this the place to have that discussion IMO. There are places to voice your grievances- the review sites- which are available for anyone to see if they are thinking about doing business with just about any company.

    IMO, if you want good customer service, then buy locally, or at least from a reputable company where you can talk to a human being, not an online-only company. It is very difficult for brick-and-mortar folks to compete with the online-only retailers. We are expected to give the same low prices and free shipping and squeak by on the same small margins, yet also provide excellent customer service and tech support, which takes time and money.  It's a race to the bottom.

    I don't want to pick on BCS anymore I've had my say and given fair warning to those interested. I will comment on one of your points. I frequent a lot of different forums, metal detecting/prospecting, antiques, jade carving  and firearms to name a few and reviews from members are generally the most trusted and widely read among users and enthusiasts. many of the review sites are laden with shills or paid product placement, I like reviews from those I know in the limited internet way and at least had some experience and time online.  

  20. Rex thanks for adding balance and your good experience with the merchant, I have no bone to pick with them other than my experience was not one they will have the opportunity to repeat with me. If and when they show me something different I'll be certain to give them good credit for the effort.  

    the one time someone at BCS did answer the phone they said there was no way to check inventory without placing an order,  there's no way to confirm first. You have to order and then try to cancel the order, or dispute the transaction via the financial institution if the merchant is unresponsive.

    lowest prices? I would guess they seem about average and the shipping seemed on the high side for two bags of clay and 4 pints of glaze I'm also in California not that far, cost me 1/2 the shipping price for 75# of glaze from clay king and the glaze sale price they have going on was better... I'm sure the price war goes back and forth and it depends who is on sale. 

  21. I could list pages of complaints like these, but I won't wast the storage space... they don't respond to complaints, hence my warning here. Shop at your own risk, I still don't have my complete order.

    3 hours ago, LeeU said:

    A while ago another clay/glaze group went nuts posting about bad experiences with the particular vendor in question.  Many who had not even used them said they now would not ever order from  them.  Over a few years I have had only good experiences with the company, so I posted that, along with my 2-cents worth that is more fair to submit negative reviews directly to the site, rather than spreading it on a public message board.  What bothered me was it just didn't seem right to bash them where they are unlikely to see it to defend themselves---a business could be ruined that way, so that irked me.  I do think positive comments about suppliers are quite useful, healthy for the Forums, and are of  benefit...but I guess I just don't trust negatives, in general, enough to boycott a business without a direct cause. It's a tricky issue tho, since a fair warning is also something to be appreciated! 

    1 starOrdered a kiln Dec 31st 2017. Started to worry February 12th, 2018 when I had not heard about the kiln being shipped. Emailed BCS. A response a day later said they would look into it. Few days pass and I write again. Same answer. Repeat several times to today March 6th when I decided to call Paragon directly and see if they could provide any info. Turns out my kiln has been ready to ship for quite some time but Big Ceramic hasn't paid Paragon so the kiln can't be sent. 
    Poor customer service. Will never buy from again

    1 star Charge you for complete order, when items are on backorder and they have no idea when they will ship them. No one answers the phone when you call. Always sent to voice mail after being "first in queue". Should not be charging for items that are not shipped, until they are shipped.

     1 starI ordered 4 bottles of glaze from The Big Ceramic Store. Right after I placed it, I realized I forgot a bottle, so I attempted to call and add to my order. I was always "first in the que" but always was sent to voice mail. Then I find 4 of my items (basic underglazes) are back ordered. So I called to cancel my order. Of course, sent to voicemail. Stay clear!



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