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Magnolia Mud Research

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    : Texas
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    ceramic chemistry

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  1. Functionality of anything, and especially ceramic art/pottery items, is determined by the user, not the maker; regardless of the maker's intent! A large ceramic vessel designed and manufactured to separate butter from fresh milk is functioning as an umbrella stand. A heavy cylinder of fired clay (closed on one end) is functioning as a paper weight one day; a pencil holder the next day, and recently was functioning the amount of epk going into a batch of glaze, and the when the rain stops will be functioning by holding a window partially open! meanwhile its function is to hold down the table on which it sits so that the table does not float to the roof of the building. I know of a large collection of ceramics items that functions only to fill the space in the corner of a brick building awaiting an opportunity to function in a different way. Yes the use of the word "functional" for ceramic items is ambiguous, but As "The Eagles" says in the opening track of "Hell Freezes Over": "get over it!" LT
  2. a lead article in July 2021 issue of Industrial Heating magazine: How Long Should My Thermocouple Last? https://digitaledition.industrialheating.com/july-2021/how-long-should-my-thermocouple-last/ yeah, the author is focused on commercial applications and the examples are not pottery kilns; however, the discussion of the corrosion of the thermocouple and the protection tube however is generic and does address some important insights not often mentioned in the studio pottery discussions. LT
  3. switch from "hump" molds to "slump" molds; thin use the half-dome steel forms; the clay shrinkage will pull away from the form without cracking. coat the form starch. has worked for me using glass, metal, and "found object" forms. LT
  4. Dianna I have used low fire clear glazes from Amaco (and several other brands) on clay bodies fired to cone 3, to cone 5, and to cone 10 in a gas kiln without problems. The cone 05 maturity for these low fire glazes are slightly above the bisque temperature of these clay bodies; this means that the clay body acts as a sponge for the melt and soaks the glaze. Try it, and see what happens on your clay, the way you apply the glaze, and the way you fire your ware. plan on using cookies until you are determine cookies are not needed. Always remember that thickness of the glaze application is important; thicker often means running. Glaze "fit" may be a bigger problem than running. LT
  5. I’ve used Corn Huskers Lotion in the studio for a long time; it has no oils, don’t smell, does not act as a glaze resist, and is compatible with ceramic materials.
  6. keeping the "shed" cool enough to prevent combustion of the "shed" is important; equality important is to keep the controller of the electric kiln cool enough to properly control the firing; that temperature is likely to be lower than the safety fire protection temperature of the building. LT
  7. I have used watercolors on bisque ware followed by glazes. Treat both as if you were making a watercolor painting. adding some soluble organic material that will act as glue when dried can also help: skimmed milk, sugar, clear water color medium, ... I have used clear acrylic and cobalt blue acrylic paint on both greenware and bisque ware and the acrylic does act as a repellant to water based glaze. Mixing the clear glaze into a clear acrylic would probably work, but why go that route? cobalt acrylic paint does work on both greenware and bisque, but the bonding is poor unless something similar to baking soda added to the "paint' to assist in the low temperature bonding when firing. Keep tinkering with the materials. LT
  8. Vince Pitelka wrote about his homebuilt pugmill: https://vincepitelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Building-the-Harry-Davis-Pugmill.pdf The "motor" can be any device, hand cranked, water fall, windmill, etc. I recall reading years ago about using a hand driven sausage grinder for small amounts of clay. a pugmill is just a tough version of a bread/cake mixer. clay mixing has been around a lot longer pugmills. think outside of the standard box and improvise! LT
  9. my first and second choices: #1 "The Craft and Art of Clay" by Susan Peterson; any after edition 2. #2 "Hands in Clay" by Charlotte Speight & John Toki; I have edition 5, any are good art ceramics. For sound science: the engineering textbook "Introduction to Ceramics" by Kingery, Bowen, Uhlmann; second edition. LT
  10. @Rick Wise @neilestrick the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) has the "official" meaning of the terms "flocculation" and "deflocculation" see: https://doi.org/10.1351/goldbook.A00182 flocculation https://doi.org/10.1351/goldbook.D01555 deflocculation https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1351/pac200779101801/html the document for the official definitions of the terms. see pages 1820 & 1824 logic also implies that something can't be deflocculated until it has been flocculated and vice versa. LT
  11. Try 1 part iron oxide plus 1 part frit (which ever one you usually use at low fire) plus 1 part bentonite or equal parts iron oxide plus gerstley borate. Test it and see if it's doing what you want, dilute or increase the iron or frit/gerstley borate as necessary. BTW, cone 4 is roughly 1160C so thinking you meant cone 04 which would be roughly 1060C. I use a mixture of iron oxide and water as an ink for my logo on greenware. the bisque is fired to ~cone 07 (~950 C) and the marks are fused to the ware; therefore at 1000 C the marks will be well attached. Adding tiny pinch of the moist clay body can act as a carrier for the iron oxide slurry; the optimal ratio of clay body to iron oxide to water is determined by your testing and the way you apply the marks. keep it simple. LT
  12. @Bill Kielb @Min Bill, I won't argue your choice of design. The main point is to make sure that the incoming air is equal of the air being exhausted with the fumes. there are more one way to accomplish the requirement of having a safe environment in the kiln room. This particular room, as presented, has some missing information (aka constraints) that must be considered before making a sound recommendation. My comments are focused on making the assumptions visible especially to the person that will make the final decisions. I made a poor choice of the word "pumping" in the sentence: "If your window is the source of fresh air, you need to put the fan in the window pumping air in" The point is that fresh air must be forced into the room, which means from an area of higher pressure than that in the room. your explanation assumes the leakage rate is sufficient to remove the fumes created in the room and is sufficient to prevent the fumes exceeding the "an unstated" maximum concentration of fumes that will be allowed in the room; that maybe true, but if not, then the problem has not been solved. I have no preference of the designs available, but getting assumptions and constraints visible are important to make a sound decisions. LT
  13. that is the problem! To ventilate a room there must be an inlet source of fresh air and a separate outlet route for the exhausted air. These outlet exit must always be "downstream" of the of the environment of "fresh air" so that these two "airs" never mix, or the system will just be mixing/circulation device. This simple requirement is seldom mentioned in instructions for installation of venting equipment, and in online discussions. If your window is the source of fresh air, you need to put the fan in the window pumping air in and install a separate route for the exit air to leave the room such as the diagram in your initial post with a vent pipe through the wall into a chimney stack outside that terminates sufficiently high to keep the exhaust from being pumped back into the window by the fan. If you want to use the window fan to pump air out then you must find a different source (not the window) of clean air to come into the room. remember: for each volume of exhaust air you pump out must be replaced by fresh air. LT
  14. Yes. the college studio standard clear (and the base glaze for ~ four other glazes) cone 10 reduction glaze has 2-5% zinc and there is no evidence that the zinc evaporates. my memory says that some reduction crystalline glazes also have lots of zinc but i don't have the recipes. question: Has anyone set down and calculated zinc oxide decomposition to zinc vapor in a combustion kiln environment for the various oxygen levels at various kiln temperatures that the glaze mixture will see? All the data should be available in the CRC handbook or the NIST database. LT
  15. Yep; probably more of a "toothpaste" consistency paste applied first; followed by "lumpy butter milk" poured over it all. LT
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