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  1. I have used the Adobe products since 1988 and I am so hooked. Perhaps I need an intervention. I have been paying $50 a month for years to have the whole package. I don't know how I would work without Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and InDesign. But then again I don't buy wine and don't have TV cable which I am sure everyone else I know is spending way more than $50 a month on. We all have our own priorities. But whenever I hear people complaining about the cost of using professional tools as if they are poor I think, there is not one potter in this country who is not richer than more than 90% of the worlds population. (little rant over, please pardon). The thin foam is sold at Michaels and it works just fine on the Silhouette for clay texture mats. There are lots of youtube videos with instructions for setting the blade depth. You can do test cuts to get your depth right by just holding the blade assembly in your hand and rubing it over the foam, adjusting setting till it cuts all the way through without maring your sticky backing sheet.
  2. I have bought a few of the DVS and find them very helpful, and I use many of the techniques I learn from them. But I also love to take online courses. I finished 2 of Diana Fayt's e-courses and I got so much out of them. The camaraderie of sharing the assignments for the 6 weeks with all the other students was a joy. I work alone in my studio and I am not able to leave home for workshops so having that experience online was perfect for me. We were all working on the same weeks assignments and could ask questions as they came up. We could upload photos of our progress and workspaces and finished pieces, and then see what others were doing. The feedback from the instructor was so helpful and encouraging. I don't think it would be right of me to share any specifics of how her classes were organized and implemented. And without stating the cost or how many were in the class, I will just say that it looked to me to be a good income source. Some of the comments above that talk about how it is not something that can be done are completely missing the potential of this exciting new method of teaching and learning. It reminds me of myself in the late 1960's when my Dad bought a first Texas Instruments computer and I kept asking, "But, what good is it? And, "Why would anyone want a computer?" Right now I am making my first glazes and doing many tests. I have John Britt's DVD and his book to guide me. But I sure wish there were online courses that could direct my week's glaze work. I keep getting lost in the process. A class would give me the direction and focus and feedback that I have always thrived on.
  3. Simon Leach, in one of his most recent videos, put his 5 gallon glaze bucket on the wheel and a regular sieve on top of the bucket. He turned on the wheel medium speed and held a spatula in one hand and a dishes brush in the other to push the glaze through the sieve. It made quick and easy work of a lot of glaze sieving in a short time.
  4. Some of these shots were before I started producing. Lot's of mess now.
  5. OK, Neil, thanks. I just opened the vent half way. Didn't know that was there. What is a sweet spot and how will I know it is there? Thanks bciskepottery, I will keep the vent on through the firing for sure. I think it was around 800F that I began to smell it but it is up to 1400F now and there is no smell. I am vented to the outside and also it is way too warm in there to be working. I think I will do a few more firings to get familiar with everything and then I will fire overnight. I did a preheat for 10 hours last night to make sure my kiln shelves were dry.
  6. Actually I did do the first firing a couple of weeks ago, with an empty kiln to burn off the elements. Also not using wax resist. Does the sulphur dioxide come off all through the firing or only at specific temperatures.
  7. I am firing a bisque in a new L&L kiln with a Vent-sure running. I can at certain times (not exactly sure what temperatures) smell some strong smells that keep me out of the studio. At what specific temperatures are the gasses from a kiln toxic? I have the studio doors and windows open, but I am still concerned.
  8. Thanks to each of you for your teaching. Mark, that makes such sense that they should not fall on each other.
  9. I thought I knew how to do this but now I'm confused about how to position the cones in the clay pack. In the image there is a cone box with an image of a cone pack. It has each cone turned so that it has a sharp edge toward the bend direction. That is how I did the front pack. On the second pack to the left, I did it how I always thought it was to be with the flat face of the cone facing the drop or bend direction. Which way is correct? Second question: I read on this forum that someone said the cone must be angled 8 degrees. I am using a protractor to measure that tip and I am assuming that is referring to the part of the cone facing the bend direction. Not the back of the cone which has more of an angle. Sorry if I am over thinking this. Oh also, how far apart should they be? Thank you.
  10. If "Glazes" applies to their underglazes also, you might consider the Amaco Velvet underglazes. I just finished an online course with Diana Fayt and learned so many great techniques for underglaze decoration on ceramics. Perfect for cone 6. I am making a set of test tiles with all of the colors I have so far and am getting ready to do color blends, similar to what we did in watercolor classes. Great fun.
  11. Thanks for the answers. I pulled out the pdf and am reading it from the beginning. One safety issue was to not wear loose clothing near the kiln. I'm glad I saw that because that is the type of clothing I wear except when throwing. Glad to know that I can stack test tiles. Great suggestion to get the hole making tool. No more spinning the fettling knife, I like that. Now question #3 Is there an inexpensive gage that can go on the kiln or the fused disconnect box that will tell me how much the firing is costing? Thanks
  12. My new L&L 6.8c.f. kiln has been shipped! Thank you Neil Estrick. Now I am overflowing with questions. 1. Do I fire my first test firing with just shelves and posts? Or can I add test tiles to bisque? Or can I do a whole bisque in the first firing. 2. I built these test tile holders with the help of Bob Coyle after I saw them in a post of his. I am experimenting with different sizes to fit nicely on the shelves. Should I bisque fire the tiles in flat piles like in the front of the holders, and how high a stack can I pile them? Then I will glaze fire in the holders. I don't want them to warp in the bisque, but say they were 5 high...would the middle tile be discolored from being sandwiched between the others.
  13. And once it is vented out do these fumes rise or do they linger at the altitude where they come out? Should there be a stack up to the roof line? Do these types of fumes fall?
  14. Yes Mark that was a question I had when I looked at the catalog. According to Benzine above, the 1" can be very wobbly. Are 1 1/2" wobbly also? So perhaps the 2" would be the best choice.
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