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Everything posted by 1515art

  1. Yogzula, i don't know what your situation is, or if you have the space and infrastructure for a large kiln, but if you are patient and do some looking around kilns can be had very inexpensively. They are large and sometimes difficult to move, taking them in pieces is time consuming and can be challenging, so sometimes people just need to get rid of them...fast, and great deals can be had. I got both my gas kilns that way, one is a nice home made 10 cubic foot gas kiln i paid $200 for based on a trent thomas design and moved it brick by brick, and the other is a 16 cubic foot alpine i was given for free, just the cost of a forklift and truck rental. Check the message boards at your local ceramic shop, with schools and craigslist. best of luck
  2. 1515art

    photo 2 10

    From the album: work at 1515art

    new work in progress, laguna solvate 60 w/slip, 35" covered jar with fish finial.
  3. 1515art

    photo 1 10

    From the album: work at 1515art

    new work in progress, laguna solvate 60 w/slip, 35" covered jar with fish finial.
  4. hi min, very smart to be extra careful, but i don't believe this stuff is any worse than any other fiber insulation the particle size is pretty large. MSDS sheets have a way of making everything seem pretty bad for you, the fibers that produced health issues in lab animals were engineered to increase exposure and were different than what we are using. "There has been no increased incidence of respiratory disease in studies examining occupationally exposed workers. In animal studies, long term laboratory exposure to doses hundreds of times higher than normal occupational exposures has produced fibrosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma in rats or hamsters. The fibers used in those studies were specially sized to maximize rodent restorability."
  5. the up side of putting all that fiber insulation on top of my kiln is the hummingbirds in my area have the warmest nests in town, its kind of cute watching them fly over and steal little pieces when its building time.
  6. Crusty, when I'm firing my small electric kiln sometimes ill stack 3 or 4 inches of old random pieces of fiber insulation on top of the lid of the kiln. I've done this quite a bit the added weight is minimal and although i was at first concerned this might promote cracks in the lid bricks, i have not had any problems, when i do this the cooling cycle is much longer. my gas kiln has fiber on top also, it was old stuff i had laying around and i think it helps, there is a picture of my gas kiln in the gallery you can see the fiber stacked on top.
  7. there are two chemicals i think that we used to use years back when making raku kilns out of old 55 gallon drum and small galvanized pails to glue fiber insulation in place, colloidal silica and sodium silicate... are either of these the agent you were referring to?
  8. i was in downtown Capitola shopping with friends a couple of months ago and in the little nature store where they sell all kinds of sea shells and rock specimen type stuff, in between the dried star fish and sea urchin shell was a big basket of little natural sponges and they were really cheap. i don't remember how much they were charging for each one, but it was not very much, so i bought a few and they work just fine.
  9. Kath, im not necessarily saying you should apply more glaze to your pieces, I'm firing at a much higher cone rating and as you said you work did not reach maturity. a trick i was taught along the way to help when you need to reglaze a piece that is already fired is to put it in the microwave on high for a minute, this will do two things, it will heat the piece so the re-dip (spray,brush) in glaze will dry thicker faster and somehow the surface of the fired piece is more receptive to the application of fresh wet glaze.
  10. it sounds like you have everything under control, but ill add my 2 cents and hope that it is additional information that is useful. if you have successfully fired the kiln in the past then i think the setup should be ok, i have both updraft kiln and down draft, the up draft kiln will not have a chimney stack, if i have not fired a kiln for a while the burners will collect insects dust and spider webs and need to be cleaned, if you are firing off lpg the tank needs to be of a volume that will provide sufficient vapor delivery to match the BTU demand of the kiln, if the tank is almost empty it will ice up and also cause problems reaching temp, if firing off natural gas there will be a minimum # inches residual of gas pressure needed at the burners to meet the cone rating for the kiln. lastly you should have no problem re-firing as many times as needed as long as the clay has not been taken all the way to maturity. the higher the cone the more this is an issue. once you have taken the cay to its rated temperature re-firing to maturity can be successful an additional thin coat of new glaze i find is helpful, but you are at a much higher risk of cracks. additional firing of work fired to maturity at lower temperatures in later firing is also not usually a problem.
  11. Cambria is a nice little town, it has some gift shops and a few galleries and restaurants, but not enough to keep you entertained for more than a couple of hours i don't think. next to cambria is moonstone beach, if you are lucky on a low tide sometimes these gems can be found. the area around cambria has a number of wineries you can visit and Hearst Castle is a short drive and worth seeing if you have never been there. a few miles north of cambria the is a wonderful location to check out the sea lions. There is a beautiful restaurant and bar overlooking the ocean just a bit south of Carmel in the big sur area with a large outdoor fire pit, they also have a nice gift shop with lots of local arts and crafts, I can't remember the name of the place, but perhaps someone on here will know the location I'm writing about.
  12. In China they are masters of taking it in chunks and making it big... i got the chance to spend a little time in one of the factories in Jingdezhen and try some of their clay on one of the big wheels. it was an interesting experience and would take some practice to get used to as the clay is very soft and the wheel had one speed... fast, the wheel was connected to some giant engine located under the factory and the large wooden batts were secured to the wheel head with soft clay. in the photo showing the two potters wedging clay you can see three large balls of clay, that's the amount used in each section of the multi section pieces also seen in the picture. the clay is centered one ball at a time on top of each other, each section is joined after it dries and then the pieces are trimmed. straps are wrapped around the pieces with as many hands as are needed to lift the joined sections, i saw 3 potters lifting and moving a 5 foot high finished green urn.
  13. one of my teachers a few years back was a great thrower and i really admire his work his name is Michael Berkley www.pitfiredpottery.com, he had an interesting way of getting across to his beginner and sometimes not so beginner students how to center clay. it was just using the basic good body position, but he would have them hold a brick in their hands and press the brick into the clay instead of worrying about hand position or what your fingers were supposed to be doing. as long as they kept their hands steady depending on how pressure is applied by tipping the brick the clay can be conned up and down and is centered very quickly very much like using the centering tool. once they got the feel for being very steady and how to apply pressure the rest was easy. i don't know if this was a new technique, but it was the first time I saw it. He also used to do a workshop at NECCA conferences teaching this method of centering. another guy I've taken a few workshops from is my pottery throwing hero, he's a potter from Italy and 8 time (at least) world throwing champion. his name is Claudio Reginato, i don't remember the city in Italy off hand but the guy is incredible. he makes trips to the US and other countries doing workshops, if you ever get the chance and have not seen him throw it should be on the to list, there are videos on ytube. anyway I've never seen anyone center clay as stiff and hard as he uses. he was doing a throwing demo and the clay was too soft, so it was left out in the open outside of the plastic bags on the concrete floor for several days. well it was ok, but he would have liked to have seen it a little stiffer. the deal is the guy is a 3rd generation potter who throws on average 8 hours a day 5 to 7 days a week and has been doing this for 45 years. he is incredibly skilled and amazingly strong, the stronger you are the stiffer clay you can handle... me I'm starting to feel my years and where i liked the clay firm back in college and 50 pounds was doable, now i like to cheat a little on the big stuff and bite it off in chunks also use my tools a little more to my advantage.
  14. i'm not much of a glaze person and have relied on commercial and studio glazes a lot and only recently have been mixing my own in an effort to get results I'm happier with. so I've tried one batch of laguna crystal palace, i think it was around 20 pounds of dry glaze to start with. i did a number of cone 10 firings in a small electric kiln with an automatic programable controller and experimented with a range of soak periods from 15 min stages to stages of 2 hours, the soaks were in the 1900 to 2100 range if i remember correctly (whatever is posted in the firing schedules on the Laguna web site). my results were very disappointing, very small crystals and very few crystals, this was on Laguna southern ice porcelain. my glaze was mixed i think locally according to the laguna formula, but because i did not mix it myself, i don't know how carefully everything was measured out and i feel something is off. next time i try crystals i will mix my own from a good known recipe, the Brit Book is very good. the glaze is very clear and bright on porcelain also very runny i would recommend you throw small stilt trays to do the firings on. take the bisques tray and cement it to the bottom to the crystal glaze piece with kiln wash. after firing you score and remove the tray and grind the base smooth. doings will save a lot of work cleaning the kiln shelves afterword.
  15. great little set of pipes, i like the feel of your work and the mugs look comfortable in their skin.
  16. stuart... Thomas Stuart, my spelling is not so good...
  17. my favorite wheel is the original Thomas Stewart, it is very good quality and I have had no issues with the speed control or anything else. if you are planning to work with large forms I would recommend getting more horsepower rather than less if you can afford the additional cost. I have two Thomas Stewart wheels one is 1 hp and the other is 1/3 hp, centering a large piece of clay on the 1/3 hp will slow down the wheel head, centering is when you need the power the most, the 1 hp will maintain a steady speed with any pressure you apply making centering easier. I also have an old Shimpo RK2 i bought 40 years ago that still runs strong.
  18. ya... this one is not very practical, mostly done as a sculptural artsy kind of thing, most of the others you can wear with no problem.
  19. there may be a small area near the batt that remains stubborn, with this i just run my finger downward along the side of the centered clay and trim off the little bit at the bottom if it bothers me.
  20. centering like throwing has a feel to it, the clay becomes fluid in your hands as you press steadily and evenly down against the wheel head. I agree whole heartedly with everyone here developing that skill is an important part of the process. body ergonomics are critically important when centering, sit close to the wheel and grip the sides of the wheel tray with your knees and legs to lock yourself to the wheel... next rest your elbows on top of your quadriceps and then lock your hands together over the clay resting your forearm on the splash tray. this type of body position or as close to it as you are comfortable will give you a very steady position and help prevent you hands from moving around as you press on the clay while centering( in this position your body will be over the clay). I then press downward at a 45 degree angle against the top of the clay toward the spinning wheel head always starting pressure slowly and against a small enough area (if it is a large piece of clay for you) that you can begin to take control of. working from the top towards the bottom bring the clay even and centered, it may help to cone the clay back up if some parts are not centered by now and then repeat the process of pressing down starting from the top again. if the clay is properly wedged its not necessary to continually cone and center as this will cause the clay to absorb additional water.
  21. 1515art

    photo 2 1

    i might has misunderstood what you were asking, i throw the pots first then I create the decorations to fit the piece I've thrown on the wheel. pot first, next day trim the bottom and then I threw a small form (fairly dry) for the body of the octopus, next I pulled 10 handles and attached the 8 i liked best to the small octopus form and carefully begin attaching to the pot starting with the body first then one leg at a time as i feel looks fluid and life like.
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