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Posts posted by 1515art

  1. A lot will depend on the clay body and glaze fit as previously stated, I have had success repairing bottom leaks with stoneware laguna soldate 60 fired to cone ten and then lined with Amaco food safe cone 05 to seal leaks. Sometimes I make the bottoms too thin and a little leak develops and this works to seal a pinhole or small crack in vitrified clay if the stoneware was fired to maturity.


    You may experience subtle changes in the original glaze as a result of the second fire, this is also an opportunity to add low fire glaze to the outside and a lot of art glazes and brushing glaze work well in this application and have additives that make application easier. Microwaving the pot for 1 minute will make the glaze stick better and helps remove oils from your hands so the glaze won't want to crawl when you brush it on.

  2. One more little trick and I do this often with no problems, wait to cut the pot from the batt and do an initial trim right side up if for any design reason you want to trim the top, sides or even the inside. Then cut the piece free and finish trimming with any of the other methods. One more technique I use especially on pieces with small tops is to throw a heavy chuck with fresh clay on the wheel to fit my needs and when done trimming I finish throwing the chuck and turn the chuck into my next pot.

  3. One of the motorcycle cops in our city was telling me this story years ago...he was stopped at the side of the road working a minor traffic accident when another motorist pulled up alongside where he was standing, the citizen in the car rolled down his drivers side window and said, officer, excuse me could you please tell me how to get to the University of Santa Clara? My friend told him without missing a beat...study, study, study.


    Throwing is the same way, you need to feel it over and over...keep going and I know you will get where you want to be, it takes lots of practice and pushing your limits.

  4. rex, do you wire through the cylinder to check even thickness or is it too precious to lose that beautifully straight cylinder?

    Ha, I think you are being funny, but... there is that perfect straight cylinder you worked so hard to make and then there needs to be this leap of faith diving in and going for another form, sometimes it works and sometimes it don't, but that round even canvas sure looks good spinning evenly there on that old wheel. Almost every time I throw I have to go through that struggle...;)

  5. You do have a smaller wood rib that will work, but the one that is a bit bigger is better for the job.


    Body position when throwing is important also and what I mean by that is you have to be braced...braced with the wheel, braced against your legs and hips with your arms, basically the more solid your body position the easier to stay very steady when you move the clay and very steady keeps things centered, centered, centered...

  6. nerd, a lot of really good advice here...wish we lived a little closer, I'd come over and give you some throwing lessons, but you are doing great.


    What Joseph said about squeezing the clay at first is also something you should work on, when everything is very thick the clay can be shoved around a lot...most important is to keep everything centered, centered, centered.


    Also I was looking over a picture of the tools you throw with, you have a really nice large curved wood rib... you also would find the rib that is about the same size, but has one side flat very helpful. When I'm throwing tall cylinders and as things can get a little out of whack after a couple of pulls, slow the wheel speed, use the flat side of the rib on the outside of the cylinder starting at the bottom and with very careful gentile pressure use a finger or three on the inside of the cylinder against the wood rib. Now, slowly and evenly raise the rib and your fingers to the top of the cylinder. This may take several passes to bring everything back straight and you will need to pay attention to the angle of the wood rid so you don't catch and have it stick to the cylinder when it is very thin.


    A heat gun is a wonderful tool and opens up new avenues also, I use mine a lot.

  7. Soft clay is much easier to work with, How hard the clay is mostly a matter of preference and how physically strong you are. The more strength you have the dryer the clay you can throw and I think the dryer the better. I've watched Claudio Reginato throw soldate 60 that was as hard as a brick and had been left out of the plastic bag for days drying out in preparation for a throwing workshop and it was still a little soft for his style. But he is incredibly strong from 40 years of throwing 8 hours a day 7 days a week and can handle it, he also uses a special style of wedging to get the clay ready. Normal wedging techniques don't work very well when the clay is very very hard and he uses a technique of slicing the clay, rolling a curve and then slaps the sections back together.

  8. The attached chart provides the maximum capacity you can expect to pass through a given steel lines at various length. If you know the maximum cfm required for the rated temperature of the kiln you are planning to use check the chart to see the diameter line needed to handle the volume for standard residential pressures for the distance from the meter to the burners on the kiln.



  9. The front of the kiln has a peep hole, this kiln is fired by baby sitting (closely monitoring) the firing by visually observing the state of the object in the firing chamber during the firing process, monitoring pyrometers or, observing pyrometric cones placed within view of the peep hole.

  10. Small cracks without any gap in the brick that would reduce the actual thickness of the insulation should not be a problem. Larger cracks and voids can be filled with a refractory patch material available at ceramic supply shops or online, the material comes in a couple of different application styles depending on your need.

  11. If this is your kiln it fires off a 120v 15amp so any normal household 20 amp circuit will be fine. Max temp is listed at 2000 F and actual max temp will depend on the useful life remaining in the coil elements, replacement coils should be available online.


    The kiln if operating properly can be used for anything that will fit inside the firing chamber that reaches maturity within the temperature limits... And while a little hard on the electric elements you could even try to raku fire small pieces, but your kiln probably is best suited for enamel or glass.


    Also, because your kiln will fire off any indoor 20 amp outlet don't be fooled that it is safe anywhere inside, use it only in well ventilated areas and keep the kiln a safe distance from any combustible items.





  12. I usually buy my clay by the ton mostly because the price is so much better, I have a lot of other interests and don't throw as often as I should so my clay gets time to age a bit and I find the more it ages the better it throws as long as you can keep the moisture level where you like it. The clay always comes much to soft from the dealer for me than I like, so 6mos or a year of age all the boxes packed tight together is what I like. My current batch is about 2 years old and very plastic and throws wonderful.

  13. I was a member of a studio some years ago and we were having a problem with the recycled clay cracking like your casserole dishes, the clay was difficult to throw also.


    Seems the clay barrels had developed a pretty good odor after a few years and one day one of the tech's dumped in just a touch of bleach to freshen things up...


    Killed all the bacteria and the clay lost most of it's plasticity, we wound up dumping a couple thousand pounds of recycle that had already been pugged and bagged. It might have recovered given enough time I guess, but not really worth keeping it around that long.

  14. I've never had a problem with low temperatures in the range you are experiencing, when it's warm and the air very dry then things can dry to quickly. My studio is not insulated and when it's cool and the air is moist everything just takes forever to dry, when it's summer I cover everything in plastic left over from the dry cleaner laundry, or wax resist depending...

  15. Lisa, if you need a lot of water to throw comfortably, then be diligent about frequently soaking it up and keeping everything as dry as you can while you throw, so you minimize shrinkage and stress. Keeping the clay compressed and dry means less open space as the water evaporates and equals denser clay. No guarantee this is your issue, but is something I always do and I have very good success if I follow this rule. When I don't compress the bottom of the piece while throwing and use excess water I will generally get a crack of some sort.


  16. I've done sets of photos for display together, where I'll use an object like an artificial flower if I don't want to spoil the picture composition with a coin or ruler and establish the relative size vs a coffee cup in one of the pictures. And then use the same flower in every shot I take with each piece of pottery.


    It's not as clear and obvious as the coin or ruler, but looks nice and gives a standard for scale that's not to hard to figure out.

  17. I've watched the artists work under glazing very large porcelain vessels with cobalt oxides in the factories in China, one of the techniques they use is to first start with a pattern of the design printer (transfer) onto the vessel. The painter then brushes a thin layer of latex over the design and then quickly uses a stylus to scrape the wet laytex off the pot over the design lines. They do this a small area at a time until the entire design is exposed through the laytex mask. When the laytex is throughly dry they brush on the oxide and after the oxide dries they peel off the laytex masking leaving behind very clean lines and very intricate designs. This is all done on green ware and single fired to 1300 c, they have the glaze and under glazes down to a fine science from centuries of trial and error and due to the consistent application of materials and controlled firings achieve very clean results.

  18. I posted some kid pictures to the gallery, I was having trouble getting them the right size to post here.


    First two were a teaching and throwing demo at the makers fair for a studio I belonged to. The others are from my daughters elementary school, every year she was in elementary school I would volunteer and provide all materials, firing and instruction for the whole class and we would make something. One year the kids made ceramic red white and blue pendants and the teacher sent them overseas to the troops fighting in the Middle East.

  19. hi Evelyn, thanks for the welcome to the group... no, only one studio located at the home downtown in Santa Clara so I have to drive back and forth whenever I work and fire the kilns, although we do keep a bedroom (and kitchen) at the studio house for visiting guests. it was a lot easier back when we were living there for studio access now I have a 6 mile drive back and forth, but the new house has the best school district and is located in the foothills, also its nice to have a separate place to host events away from home.

  20. We are currently living in a different city from my studio, a house that sits on a busy street in what has become the center of town that my wife and I are turning into a gallery and studio space. It's a slow process and we have been taking our time and involving lots of our artist friends to help and participate in the fun, my wife is a jewelry designer and we have invited other friends so far involved in oil painting, sculpture, jade carving and fashion design to join us. We are also designing a website to support the studio and artist network, 1515art.com, although the website is not active yet, it's designed and almost ready to go. 


    my studio uses about half the 3 car detached garage space patrician by a framed wall, but will eventually expand to the entire garage when i get a shed to store essentials (and junk) in. I also have a covered area just outside my studio sitting on a concrete pad that runs along side of the studio where i have my gas kilns set-up.


    Developers just finished a brand new large retail center as the "Town Centre" directly across the street, so as you can imagine there is much street noise and activity... the reality is, mostly I don't hear it and when I do hear the commotion I don't mind and it doesn't bother me.


    At times I do get a lot of visitors in the studio if friends are over or there is some event going on and sometimes the interruptions make work different. One of our friends is a fashion designer in San Francisco and was heavily involved in the International Fashion Week in San Francisco's China Town. She used our studio as a training area for about 30 of the fashion models for the week long event, now it's very difficult to complain about 30 beautiful Chinese fashion models popping in and out of the studio... but, a lot of the time (most) my studio stays as private as I need, sometimes a little to private and I consider joining another studio group or doing some more teaching just to add some balance.

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