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Everything posted by AmeriSwede

  1. Marcia, based on a recent experience with my new SKUTT 1027 six weeks ago... I would concur with your thought of low voltage as being the culprit, probably precipitated by the other heavy loads on the system at the time... fluctuating city power and heavier demand with the electrical heating system. My electrician told me, when he wired up my studio this summer, that I may have to have a larger main cable brought into the building as he felt it might not be large enough to carry the load for the high end firing. Once I started firing the kiln, I found that I had no problems at the cone 06 to cone 04 earthenware levels. However, the first time that I attempted firing to the stoneware level of cone 6, all the circuits popped on all those items in the house and studio that were on the phase 3 circuit (ie. dishwasher, dryer, radiant floor heatpump, well pump and kiln). The controller message was 'ERR1' and showed that it did actually fire to 1090°C (about cone 03). After replacing the three main fuses on the circuit panel, I've had no more problems with three additional 06-04 firings. I do need to have the electrician replace the main cable that will carry a heavier load to accommodate the stoneware firings, though. So to me... your voltage load problem sounds very similar to mine. Maybe an alternate suggestion might be to wait until Spring to fire when there won't be fluctuations in the power supply and cold snaps tying up the heating system. .......... Good luck!
  2. With help from The Unknown Craftsman's input, I was able to locate this CAD link. Is this the information that you are looking for? http://ceramicartsda...hap-into-a-gem/
  3. In regards to clay sticking to your cutters.... After you smooth your slab, stretch out a sheet of Saran Wrap (plastic cling wrap) or a similar brand over the top. Push your cutters through this. You shouldn't require any WD-40 either. The pieces should remain pretty much on the table and can be gently lifted off with a spatula. Leastwise they lift off my table which is stretched canvas. Also the top surface of the edges will be slightly rounded, caused by the cutters pulling the plastic taut as it cuts the shapes. Not having a slab roller, my slabs are formed by using precut wooden slats to the thickness I require. Many ceramists do this. I roll out my slabs on loose canvas top and bottom 'sandwiching' the clay, on top of my canvas work table. I flip this over numerous times while rolling out the thickness. Each time I flip the canvas/clay/canvas sandwich I gently pull off the top canvas and flip it over to the opposite side prior to rolling again. This seems to take water out during the process and makes it easier to remove the piece from the canvas when finished.
  4. .... Life is wonderful....!

  5. Thanks Gwen... for posting this query. I can't supply any answers for you, as I've no knowledge or experience in doing so. However, as I'll soon be in the process of making hundreds of more (mold pressed bas-relief) tiles and recently completed renovating the house with an hydronic underfloor heating system (hidden under the tiled floor picture on my profile page), it sounds like something I would love to try. As I don't have a heat source hooked up in my studio yet and with winter setting in, a quicker way of drying the tiles sounds inviting. The bathroom which has a humidity controlled exhaust/ventilation fan, with its large tiled floor area would be a good place to try this. Also less risk of the cat walking on the drying clay as she doesn't go into the bathroom very often. I'll post my results as they come, to let you know my experience. -rick
  6. I would agree with BeckyH with checking out the CAD videos on stamping/carving... Numerous ceramists have also worked in ceramics to achieve the actual appearance of leather. To my mind, the well known ceramist Marilyn Levine (1935-2005) was one of the very best. Her website... http://users.lmi.net/ml/index.html features numerous photos of some of her wonderful leather-looking creations. Though she didn't do so much of the actual leatherwork tooling, her work is exemplary for its authentic leather appearance. It would merely be reflective of the individual artist's skills to be able to further work the clay, from her base, into a fully leather tooled looking work. It certainly can be done! Skill and patience are the keys.
  7. My reply echos Chris' ... in that there is no 'other' option. I'm presently too busy renovating my house and studio, before I jump into ceramics at the level I intend to. And as a sculptor also working with other media, I choose to divide my time among the media... so ceramics would never be 'full time.'
  8. Hello and Thanks Janet/George for your posting on my site. Yes, I am back to work once again... but I must say five broken ribs can certainly take the wind out of ones sails. From your posting, I realized I needed to update my page as I've been up and running for 6 months, though not hardly near 100% until the last two. I checked out your URL and enjoyed seeing your work. Continued success ...

  9. Yes... you are absolutely correct Lucille, possibly... if I'm wrong, I stand corrected. Been out of touch with the terminology for too many years. I also have Frith's 'Mold Making for Ceramics', and heartily recommend it for those desiring information on moldmaking. Additionally I would have to say that as much as I've used the included USG Cement and Plaster Volume/Mixing Calculator through the years ... that is probably worth the price of the book alone. In Frith's book he defines a case mold as, '...Simply put, a case mold is a mold from which to make other molds.' which is as Lucille stated. However, in the book's index 'mother mold' is tabbed to an example (pg.4) and also referred to 'see case molds'. The example (a pictured entry) is of two identical fired clay molds (described), '...indicating that they were taken from one master mold'. In the text description's following page he goes on to state "...That the molds were evidently made from a 'mother mold' or 'case mold'....". (Also 1300 B.C. Palestine didn't offer too much urethane or latex, so that is possibly a more recent defining.) My thinking (am I wrong?) was that he was implying that a mother mold is also referred to as a case mold. Additionally I learned, during my formal education, the term, (if my recollection remains strong) mother mold as the mold from which the other duplicate molds are made. Kind of like a mother having children, that are replicas of herself. Invariably, whatever one my choose or decide to call 'the main mold' to make additional molds from, a harder plaster is generally warranted as this will yield a more durable mold for reproducing many other molds.
  10. A harder casting plaster (ie Hydrocal) is generally used to make the 'mother mold' from which the production molds (softer casting plaster) are made. To maintain the same size (allowing for shrinkage) of the finished pieces the mother mold is never used for production. As it is a harder plaster, if it is used for casting slip, because of its density, it will take much longer for the 'shell' of the slip to set up. Softer plasters (casting molds) have greater porosity and suck the moisture from the slip much faster allowing the shell of the casting to set up at a much quicker rate.
  11. I've been meaning to say something about that... I've never been able to find a link from the forum pages to the main Ceramic Arts Daily site. Carl... Do you not get this (photo below) header on the top of your browser page? IF so the link is circled (green)... if not... WOW... I'm perplexed and don't know. Uploaded with ImageShack.us
  12. As Chris mentioned previously, .... ask the electrician coming to install the unit, to check it out. It could be that the previous owner had just damaged the plastic knob on the exterior and found a quick and cheap replacement. It may in fact have nothing to do with the internal rheostat behind that knob.... the electrician could check tell you more about that.
  13. Good eye, Chris! I'm curious if the 'broil' setting is what you would use for steaks or kabobs .... Oooops! Forgot... not recommended to eat (or roast things) in the studio.
  14. Those would be the ones always looking for that shortcut... not having the time nor patience for 'self-learning' or discovery through either study or experience. ---rick
  15. In casting glass, an oxy-acetylene torch can be employed by adjusting the flame to a heavy reduction flame which produces lots of carbon. This is directed toward the inner surfaces of sand molds to lay a surface of carbon directly onto the sand which serves as a separating layer between the molten glass and sand. Also in glass, a separating agent of 'liquid graphite' is often painted on surfaces like metal to prevent the glass from sticking during slumping and fusing. Since graphite is an allotrope of carbon, my thinking is that the use of a sufficiently thick layer of carbon, in one of these forms might be a good starting point for experimentation. good luck... ---rick
  16. OR Idaho Potter, perchance you were RIGHT... with your experiences. There lies the possibility that your grandmother actually did own an antique Posset Pot (worth thousands, unbeknownst to her) and was using it as a chamber pot.
  17. I feel a bit guilty in answering this question---so I won't---but I'll tell you how I know the answer: Google images. Anyone who is interested, take a screenshot of the pot, go to Google, select "images" from the search options, and drag/drop the screenshot into the search box. It works like magic---such a cool function. I encourage everyone to check it out. Lucille, I hope you don't think I'm a spoiler for this---I really think it's an amazing research tool. Be good. Sherman Holy kiln wash, Sherman! THANK YOU! That is AMAZING. best, ................john TOTALLY WOW! ... I had heard quite a while back that Google was working on an app like that, but didn't realize it was here now! Thanks Sherman for the enlightenment. A new research tool is always great to have, I think. So now that I know what the vessel is called and what it is used for... I have a question regarding the design of the vessel that perchance someone could address. Why would the design 'need' (if one calls it that) to have two handles placed at a perpendicular plane to the pouring spout versus say a teapot where the handle is generally in line with the spout? I can't understand why two hands to pour would be more acceptable to one hand... unless it was more in line with the dictates of the bourgeois of the times and the refinements of their good taste... or...?
  18. O.K. ... I see now... just a matter of semantics.... and in actuality, I do come from the glassblower's realm so I was aware/experienced with the term cane as in the 'murrini cane' just didn't realize it had been used in other media. Hmmm---- just wondering how does one go about pronouncing the word 'majolica'.
  19. Lucille.... is there any particular size associated with that vessel?
  20. Sorry, but call me a tad bit confused here... is this process that you are calling 'caning'... is that not the process referred to as nerikomi/neriage ? Is this just a more recent term (as an English name for the English tongue) of the same technique. I learned this technique back in 1987 (Oregon) with porcelain stained clay bodies as 'nerikomi'.
  21. Very, very good point! Too many people blogging these days (my opinion) with nothing to say! All trying to give credence to Warhol's oft-referenced statement* (as here), by appearing important enough or desiring to be famous.... * "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." The expression is a paraphrase of a line in Warhol's exhibition catalog for an exhibit at the Moderna Museet, in Stockholm from February to March 1968.
  22. I would go over 4 or 5 depending on how they feel...if they are heavy, etc. Put the heaviest on the bottom and so forth. Lip to lip...same considerations...maybe 3 sets...depends on the thickness especially the lips. Marcia Marcia, I'm sure you meant to say .... 'not' go over 4 or 5 depending... Sometimes those quick, light touches on the keyboard just don't seem to trigger any electrical impulses...
  23. CeramicShapes... Here is an abbreviated sketch (reduced number of cutter strings, screw holes and saw kerfs in wood block) of my design. I had a machinist friend make it as it was quicker, easier and more accurate to have him do all the precision drilling for the cutting wires and the set screw holes which required both boring and tapping. It was also easier for him to bore the holes all the way through and tap, for the set screws, rather than boring part way and using a bottom tap. He mentioned that this might also be a better way to do it as the set screws could be positioned to grasp the wire at the direct center. Otherwise if the wire was tightened against the walls of the hole, it could shear the wire. If I recall, he used 3/4" square aluminum barstock (he had scrap) which was also an easier metal to drill and tap. The top frame was then penned (two clovis pins) to the base frame which I had attached the kerfed maple cut-off block to, from the underside, using tapered flush-set wood screws. The guitar string was the thin 'E' string (steel). Drawings are not to scale. You can see that what you built is in actuality quite similar. Difference being in materials used and manner of attachment for the cutting wire. As the above design did and does work, I think that your problem lies in those differences. Good luck! -------rick
  24. If you are on the west coast of Canada... In Seattle, there is Seattle Pottery Supply. They sell underglaze pencils, pens and chalk, and ship to Canada. Don't believe there is a minimum order. Also there is Georgie's Ceramics in Portland, OR. They sell underglaze pencils and chalk, but I don't know about pens. Also ship anywhere in North America. No minimum order.
  25. I would conjecture that the cartoonish feet are also representative of the gryphon's feet, whose crest was allowed as a mark granted to Brameld the previous year (1825) when the Earl Fitzwilliam resolved his bankruptcy and underwrote the factory's debts.
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