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dianen

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  1. Oh, Bill, thank you! It's so good to know someone else has apparently been living in the alternate universe where cones don't behave as expected.
  2. Yes, it's a bisque fire, and you have all persuaded me that I shouldn't care -- but again, it's like the business with the rulers. Without a trustworthy measurement standard, the universe descends into pure chaos. Not to nitpick or anything.
  3. Thanks, guys. I guess if I wanted to be more scientific about it, I could mark the exact spots on the shelf where the cones are to be placed and do repeated firings, alternating the positions of the cones from the two boxes. It would at least prove that there must have been some sort of manufacturing difference between the lots. Bottom line, though, I accept your argument that even if there is such a difference, it is inconsequential. Worries be gone!
  4. Mark, thanks for answering. I wish I could attribute it to spacing, but the cones were right next to each other, maybe about a 1/4" apart. None of the pieces being fired were close to them. I'm quite sure that when the cones didn't bend fully in my test kiln, they came from one box, and when they bent fully, they came from the other. They've never gotten wet. In the end, it probably doesn't matter that much if I'm achieving exactly ^04, but the dilemma is not knowing which one to believe. It's like finding two different so-called 12" rulers that are different sizes. An additional "proof" that something is wrong with at least one these boxes is that I get consistent results at other temperatures with other cones. My larger kiln will be more affected by load size, but the test kiln is so very tiny that I can't imagine there's much of a difference in temperature from one spot to another.
  5. I've been getting very inconsistent results in a new, little test kiln at ^04. Using exactly the same program with almost identical loads, my witness cone would sometimes bend close to the shelf and sometimes not bend much at all. It dawned on me that I was pulling the cones from two different boxes, so decided to test the cones themselves the other day in my larger kiln. I placed them right next to each other, and you can see the result in the attached image. I've contacted Orton about it, but have yet to receive a response. Both boxes are clearly labeled as ^04 cones, and the cones themselves are similarly marked. I can't think of any other explanation other than one of the boxes contains defective cones. But which one?? One of the boxes is older than the other, but I don't remember which one's which. Do these things have an expiration date?! Anyone else ever encounter something like this?
  6. Thanks for the additional tips, Rae and Callie. Flexing the knees is important. One of my daughters fainted during a P.E. class from locking them. The trestle table has a small board near the bottom for stability, but it also makes a decent footrest. I was thinking of putting down some kind of mat today as well. More experimentation needed for sure. Do you both work standing up?
  7. If anyone is still following this thread, I'm reporting my experience so far with the trestle table. It 's quite nice and does seem to solve the sore upper back issues, but life being what it is, my knees start to complain after standing for too long (by their definition of time). The joys of aging, eh? So, what seems to be working is alternating between sitting and standing, and taking frequent movement and stretching breaks. Gotta really baby these old bones!
  8. Jeff, thanks so much for the link to the video. Those stretches just hit the spot(s)! Indeed, it is sometimes hard to remember to take breaks, especially when I'm trying to get as much done as possible before the clay needs to be "watered" again. Yep, aging is downright annoying and so unfair. Lee, that's another good suggestion. If the trestle doesn't work out, that may be my only recourse. The trestle isn't going to be delivered for about a month. It did seem oddly comfortable working on top of my microwave, so hoping for the best. It's possible that simply working standing up results in more body movement and less getting locked into a position.
  9. Rae, that's what I'm hoping the board that I'll clamp to it will accomplish. It won't be delivered for a while, though. Of course, with the work near eye level, I may end up introducing new aches and pains.
  10. Hulk, I misspoke a bit. Actually, my glasses are progressive, but they're useless for really close work. They work for a couple weeks after a new prescription and then my eyes rebel or something and I can only use them for objects at least 2 feet away. Shrug. The Optivisors are exactly what I use sans glasses. I can get REALLY close that way and it gives me the most control. Rae, you're so lucky to found your perfect chair, and I giggled at the thought of protecting it from large ploppers. This morning, I tried every chair/board/foam combination in the house and it seemed they all required neck bending. So, next I tried working on a slab of foam on top of my microwave which is on top of a table, and voila, it was the perfect height for working standing up without neck craning. So, throwing caution to the wind, I placed an order for a sculpture trestle. The work surface is only 13" x 13", which has put me off the idea before. However, I'm thinking it should be possible to clamp a sturdy board to it and lay some foam on top of that. Maaaybeee it will work? Hope so, anyway. It's supposed to be healthier to stand rather than sit, too. I'll report the results.
  11. Thank you all so much for the suggestions. Hulk, I'd post pictures, but would have to spend days tidying up my work space first. Oh, the horror! I think you might be spot on about it being a vision issue. I take my bifocals off for close work and use headband magnifier glasses, which generally means I need to get REALLY close to the piece to see the wee little details clearly. I'm going to try all of your ideas and probably a combination of them and report back in case it helps someone else with a similar problem in the future. The devil sure is in the details for me.
  12. Hello everyone. By way of introduction -- I've been lurking on this forum since 2010, and have never posted before. I'm primarily a hobbyist, but since my meager home studio is getting overloaded with my endless experiments, I hope to try to start selling occasionally. I do mostly detailed carving and painting, which is pretty time-consuming (and is why I'll never be a production potter). My problem is that I can't seem to find a comfortable way to do this type of detail work for very long. It gives me really nasty upper back pain. I've tried adjusting my stool height and work height, and so far, have not been able to find a solution. I've been thinking about trying a sculptor's stand and working standing up, but the surface area is so small, I think there wouldn't be anywhere to comfortably brace my arms. I can sit at the wheel for hours without any discomfort, and I think that's because I can lean forward from my hips without having to bend my neck down. But the detail stuff does seem to require that sort of hunching. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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