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  1. It always depends on the glaze. The person who suggested cooling faster is probably right if you're trying to get glossy clear. For some glazes, especially mattes, slow cooling is better. For some, super slow cooling is best. Some potters use incredibly complicated holds and ramp downs for cooling saturated iron glazes. The only way to find out what works best is by testing. Jim
  2. It seems common sense to assume that more heat is escaping through the top of the kiln, but that is not the case. All else being equal, just as much heat is escaping through the sides and bottom so it would help just as much to put a layer of kaowool under the kiln as on top of it. Jim
  3. Along with other clays, I use B-Mix 5 (which is really a cone 6 clay), B-Mix 10, and B-Mix Woodfire and have not had problems with cracking. It is unlikely, but possible that both of you got a bad batch of B-Mix 5. Laguna sometimes screws up their clays. I got a bad batch of Frost 5 once and had to go to great extremes (adding a little paper) to fix it and warned lots of people away from Frost because of cracking only to discover when someone here pointed out to me that she had just made a complete dinner set out of Frost with no cracking problem, that I had bought a bad batch of Frost. Ji
  4. Pfff, nonsense Jim! Crank that baby up to "11"! Hmmmm....that would be a great idea for a ceramic related poster and/ or t-shirt. Fat chance that her kiln will get to cone 11. Somebody who wood fires to cone 13 with us has a t-shirt that says, "Cone 13"... BTW, which do you mean would make a good T-shirt "Crank that baby up to 11!" or "Pfff, Nonsense Jim!"? Jim
  5. That's very interesting. Thanks for posting it and thanks for the kind words. I imagine there are many people like us who are disillusioned by the prospect that to make a living as a potter the two main courses are to teach it in high school or college or to become a dish-making machine. Jim
  6. Larry... I understand what you're saying and don't mean to pester you about not using tools, but I want to point out that I'm no experienced sage. I've been spraying glazes closer to 4 years than 30. I potted back in the 70's (worshiping the cone 10 reduction idol) but stopped because I saw no difference between production pottery and working in a factory and took 35 years off. Now, I've been potting 6 or so years and feel the same pressure you do to make up for lost time. Maybe that's why my work is all over the place now in the sense that I try everything I can. Jim
  7. Just because it is rated as a cone 10 kiln doesn't mean it will be practical to fire it to cone 10. It may have been able to reach cone 10 when new but not now or not in a reasonable time. Even if the kiln will get to cone 10 in a reasonable time it is still, unless you have some good reason for firing to cone 10, not a good idea to fire that high. Jim
  8. You may already have it and/or I may have suggested it before, but in "The Surface Techniques of Steven Hill", he covers applying layers of glazes and how to control thickness. While the tool you made is clever it is probably worthless. Even several layers of glaze applied with a spray gun correctly would be too thin for your tool to measure. If you're determined to use a tool instead of learning how to gauge thickness by eye and technique, then a simple needle tool is all you need. Jim
  9. Mark and Wadar have already answered your questions. Here is the sprayer with the built-in compressor: http://www.harborfreight.com/high-volume-low-pressure-spray-gun-kit-44677.html. You could also search the forum for threads about spayers. This has been covered many times before and there's lots of info there. I've posted this info about Harbor Freight and TCP so many times they should me on their payroll. Jim
  10. Maybe I don't have a clear idea of what you're doing but from the pic in your original post and the fact that you're using commercial glazes that are for brushing, an airbrush may work better for the detail work you're doing, but if you need spray guns, Harbor Freight not only makes cheap guns (which is a good idea for the reason nigich22 gave), but they make a great all-purpose sprayer that doesn't need a compressor for $120. For two guns and a detail gun the best deal I've found and the set up Steven Hill recommends is http://www.tcpglobal.com/itemdetail.aspx?itemno=TCP+G7000. Jim
  11. When I bought my Brent I bought the seat that attaches to it. It's simple, always where I want it and I don't have to worry about it moving when I'm trying to center 25 lbs. Jim
  12. Interesting. Maybe Vanadium or Zirconium. Tempted to add it to the couple of hundred test I'd like to find time to run. Jim
  13. Doc, are you using 15% RIO in the Readers Digest? Mine comes out a lot darker. Your gold color looks better. Jim
  14. Nice profile gallery, stephsteph! It's always nice to see what people who post here make. Your gallery was a delight. Jim
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