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Everything posted by AmeriSwede

  1. A little info..... 'The Rhinoceros Vase, designed by Thomas Brameld and painted by Edwin Steele (1803-71). Painted and gilded porcelain. Yorkshire, England, c.1826.' ...... at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England. This link also has a wonderful close up of the rhino on a field of flora, atop the piece. I love the whimsical look of the clawed feet on the bottom... Some additional info on Thomas Brameld.... 'Thomas Brameld, designer of this piece, was proprietor of the Swinton Pottery on the estate of the wealthy Earl Fitzwilliam. From at least 1818, Brameld severely strained his resources by attempting to manufacture porcelain. His eventual bankruptcy in 1825 was, however, happily resolved by the intervention of the Earl, who thenceforward underwrote the factory's debts. Earl Fitzwilliam also allowed them to name the pottery works after his famous forebear, the Marquis of Rockingham, and to use his griffin crest as a mark.' That information is among other info and additional enlargeable sharp images at this V & A link. The V & A link also adds.... ' This fantastic vase was certainly made as an eye-catcher. It was probably used to advertise the technical and artistic skill of the Rockingham factory in a London shop or showroom.'
  2. Sorry, no can do on the picture CeramicShapes, as I had done that back in 1987 and didn't even have a camera at the time. The company was years later dissolved, so I heard.... I was then living in another state. I'll try to work up a quick sketch for you, but it may be a number of days before I get that done and posted. ....rick
  3. ... who passed it to the kiln loader/unloader who passed it to the supervisor who passed it to the owner who passed it to the Queen who passed it to the V & A Museum... Certainly a wonderful example of rococo porcelain, I think.
  4. CeramicShapes.... your extrusion cutter looks pretty fine. Pretty much how mine looked. The major difference was that mine was built from 3/4" square aluminum stock, drilled with fine holes for the steel wires to enter into (which maintained the spacing) while the tension was maintained individually on each wire with hex-key set screws. Besides allowing for individual tension adjustment it also gave us the flexibility to change any wire independently of the others, though that only happened once in 6 months. Your wood frame is nice but for me it would only be for a prototype. The wood is bound to flex too much or warp with constant tension, lessoning the tension in time as well. bciskepottery 's suggestion to narrow the width may prove adequate for a while, but I would also add that possibly placing a cross brace (in the middle) to counteract the tension might also help. Not quite sure about the type of wire and the attachment system that you are using. Some wire can also stretch with tension on it. The steel guitar strings proved adequate for our purpose and never stretched. As we never had the problem of slackening tension, it is hard for me to pin it directly on the type of wire used or the use of wood vs metal as the cutters frame. Your quick manner of putting this together from the suggestion shows that your ingenuity is good enough to work out the bugs, though! You are on the right track as I can assure you the cutter that I designed and had built functioned beautifully for tens of thousands of cuttings. Good luck! .......rick
  5. Hard for me to envision the finished design of your project CeramicGriller, but another possibility might be to build it using the technics employed in making what is referred to here in Sweden as a 'kakelugn' (literally a 'tiled oven') referred to a masonry heater (in Wikipedia-English). A research of the term masonry heaters seems to give a different meaning visually (generally stone/masonry rather than ceramic) in America though the concept is the same. Though they've been built since the 1500's (and are incredibly efficient heaters- wood stoves) there are a few artist/designer/builders around building with more modern and unique designs. One such is Annika Svensson, here in Sweden. Here is a slideshow (with descriptions of her ceramic forming process) showing one of the stoves. In Canada, there is Jessica Steinhäuser at Stonehouse Pottery who makes the Kachelöfen (German) in Ontario. She has a description and answers many questions of the Kachelöfen, on this link. These tiled stoves are traditionally put together with lerputs (Swedish) which is a mortar mixture of clay, sand and water. This mortar mixture allows the stove to be disassembled, moved and reassembled, if there is a future need to do so. Using a cement mortar is not as friendly when trying to disassemble without destroying the ceramic tiles. For what it's worth... just another idea which could possibly be utilized in your design, without the constraints of sizes or lack of very large kiln. Good luck on your project..... as a grill aficionado, I find the sound of your project interesting.
  6. A long, long time ago in a distant country, I had an employer that had the idea of making porcelain beads with an extruder for production of beaded necklaces. For massive quantities of porcelain beads made in a jiffy I made an extruder die that extruded about 5 hollow tubes (about 1/4" OD) and then designed a cutter based on the principle of an egg slicer. A metalworking machinist friend built an aluminum frame and base that would hold 20 steel guitar strings, individually adjustable with set screws on both ends. Can't remember what string it was (maybe 'E') but it was very fine and perfect for our needs. Once the frame was complete, I cut a small block of maple that would fit within the frame and with the guitar strings as guides, marked where each string would interact with the wood block. With the block marked, I took an extra-fine kerf hand saw and carefully cut each location for a wire to fit through. Upon this maple block was where we placed the extrusions. Pulling the wire frame over and down upon the clay extrusions, the wires would slice through and into the wood kerfs cutting and separating into beads, just as the egg slicer works. Once finished and mounted to the frame we had a small porcelain bead factory cranking out about 100 beads (1/4" long) per slice. Using Mason stains gave the beads different colors. The bisqued beads were lightly sanded in a tumbler with grinding/polishing medium (very little hand work involved) which yielded a soft satin finish after firing. It was a very painless process, all-in all! Sounds like something that would also fit your needs. If you lack the design skills for such an instrument, perchance you have a friend that could do it and build it. Just look at an egg slicer and visualize the same type of assembly using your designed extrusions instead of the egg. Just an idea.
  7. Now be honest........ how much of the 50# ends up .......ahem........ "missing in action" prior to arriving at the box? best, ...............john Yes, that was an issue I had as well. Some er... ahem...spillage. Never-the-less, all packaging materials are tax-deductable!
  8. Decades past when I was producing/wholesaling porcelain jewelry, rather than using styrofoam 'peanuts' I opted to use 'fresh popped' popcorn. Buying 15 pound sacks of popcorn seed at Cosco's seemed relatively cheap and took very little space for storage. Prior to packaging an order I would start popping the popcorn and would pack them loose in some bags and for next to box walls (bottom and top also) would pack the bags tighter. Always smelled great in the studio. Heavier items would require tighter (fuller) bags between each other as well. Never had any claims of damage. I felt it was just a bit more environmentally positive than all the styrofoam. As the popcorn doesn't develop static electric charges, also doesn't fly around if the bags are opened. To be on the safe side, I always included a printed note disclaimer within each bag claiming that this .... 'was not for human consumption'... although unless something saturated the box and burst open the bags, it certainly wouldn't hurt a person to eat it. The note also had a brief description of why I was doing it and possible ways of disposing of the packing material, ie., feeding to the birds, composting, etc. All my customers responded quite favorably with this and many also responded that they loved the smell when opening a package.
  9. Thanks Herb for the older link. I had mindlessly not even thought of checking older posts as my memory led me to believe the subject hadn't been covered... One of these days, I'll have to personally admit that the gray matter seems to be getting darker... Thanks Seasoned Warrior and Phill for your input on that previous posting, http://ceramicartsda...9-pizza-stones/ Great points listed on that... so methinks I'll be making some pizza stones 1" thick (after shrinkage) with heavily grogged stoneware clay (probably ^6 to maintain some porosity) and leave the surface textured rather than burnishing (for crispiness). I'll post results after a few loaves of bread and pizza are consumed! Thanks Mea, for the mention of the cordierite kiln shelf, I was curious about using those, but not wanting (at this time) to spend a load of money for a new shelf that would fit the oven wasn't in my plan. The covered casserole is an interesting idea. Is that a glazed casserole dish or unglazed?
  10. As making/baking bread has for decades been a favored activity of mine, and I now have my kiln installed and wired, I'm curious about the making of some oven baking stones. In my previous life, about 15 years ago in the USA, I had a commercial set of these stones. If I recall correctly, there were four, each about 3/4" thick measuring about 8" x 8". Again, if my memory serves me, their composition looked similar to that of standard kiln shelves. The question is.... Would a well grogged clay, mature fired to ^6, suffice for this purpose, or would a higher mature-fired clay (grogged/^10) be better? Anybody have any experience or knowledge of making oven baking stones?
  11. Actually some can and do! I just bought a SKUTT 1027 from CEBEX, one of our scandinavian ceramic suppliers (Malmö, Sweden) that is supplied with their own electronic controller, the CERAMA G9000, which has exactly that function included on it (displayed in kW hours). As I just got the kiln hooked up last friday, I've yet to use it outside of a couple of test burns. But I am certainly excited about having a kiln again! HOOOWAHHHHH!
  12. ...I found the actual written formula that I had learned... at this link-- Estimating Electric Kiln Firing Costs (bottom of the page) on 'Selecting a kiln' @claymaker.com
  13. Isculpt... The formula that I had learned in calculating the cost was similar, however it is not the amperage or the voltage that you need to figure out the cost, it is the wattage. If you do not know the wattage... then the amperage and voltage figures can be used to calculate the wattage. To calculate the wattage from these two known numbers it is just a matter of multiplying 'amps' times 'voltage'. The calculated answer, divided by 1000 will yield kW (kilowatts). So, using your example... you have calculated the total number of watts (48 x 220=10,560), times 5 hours of burning (=52,800 watts) but are then pricing that number at the kilowatt (unit price). If you divide that total number (52,800) by 1000, that should give you the kilowatt total; then multiplied by $0.10/ kilowatt will give you the total cost of the firing (close estimate anyway). 52,800watts/1000=52.80kW ; 52.8kW x $0.10 per kW = $5.28. So as you felt in your heart $5.28 was the correct answer.
  14. EXCELLENT! There is a great need for this. Hopefully there will also be a great interest in this. And Carolyn, how about the annual potter's calendars have a specific edition added to the mix that shows pots WITH food... and has the recipe included on the page? best, .................john ...possibly including a recipe for the glaze and for the prepared dish.... would be wonderful! I was meaning the food recipe....... but I guess that I can see where that wording of mine was confusing . best, ..................john No confusion, John. Your idea was a great idea! I was only thinking that with the printing of the recipe of the (eatable/prepared) dish that the inclusion of the recipe for the glaze on the dish (in those cases where glazes are wonderful) would be a nice touch also. Perchance I made it appear confusing....sorry!
  15. EXCELLENT! There is a great need for this. Hopefully there will also be a great interest in this. And Carolyn, how about the annual potter's calendars have a specific edition added to the mix that shows pots WITH food... and has the recipe included on the page? best, .................john ...possibly including a recipe for the glaze and for the prepared dish.... would be wonderful!
  16. Yes, Lucille, thanks for that link, and thank you Lakeside Pottery for maintaining such a wonderful and valuable historical clip on your website.... it is certainly a must see for any with an interest in the history of ceramics or pottery. What an awesome ceramist Isaac Button was! ---- Rick
  17. Great idea, BeckyH. I'll be making and casting some molds in a few months and since I've about finished rebuilding the house, I've many pieces of 4" thick styrofoam insulation remaining that can be utilized. A great solution for reusing some of the waste.
  18. OUCH Yes there probably is a chemical... one of the strongest, most dangerous to handle acids that a craftsman could ever even consider using, called hydrofluoric acid. It can eat away glasses and human tissue, interior and exterior! The expense of the NECESSARY and PROPER safety clothing, equipment and highly exhausted work area is far greater than what your end goal would achieve. This is certainly not to be taken lightly. And yes, I have 5 years experience in working with HF on glass. Even with the appropriate knowledge, safety equipment, professional site and skills in handling the vile stuff, there always remained an incredible respect and FEAR of the acid, in my mind! ABSOLUTELY and DEFINITELY READ THE INFORMATION LINK in its entirety (GOOGLE and read everything about its horrors also) and then disregard the attempt to eliminate the glaze on your tile, altogether. Then follow the advice already posted! If it is an antique majolica tile as you mention in your original posting then chances are high that attempting to melt or burn off the glaze at a higher temperature would in fact damage the tile itself, or kiln shelves, which would be contrary to your objective. Using an acid to dissolve the glaze off is even greater in its hazards as the damage is to YOUR body, forever. My suggestion is to actually model a new tile in clay from the original or have someone with this skill if you lack the modeling skill yourself! You will end up with a crisper defined relief for firing or for making a mold. A mold made from a new modeled tile is certainly the best idea, as you have the opportunity to try various other glaze (color) combinations on numerous tiles then. After all, who's to say that if you were actually able to eliminate the glaze from the original tile, that your new glaze would be as good or better? Chris' query above, '...Why?' amplifies my own question of 'Why' .... when it could be easier to remodel. ----rick
  19. Tien... if you want to PM me, you'll have to do it via Amerikanska, as this site doesn't have that function I believe! I'm vejbystrand.
  20. First.. I wish to congratulate you on getting hired, Tien. I personally find it difficult to address your questions directly as, to me, it implies so much knowledge that one should have at a basic level in order to be teaching others (especially early teens) if your desire is for them to truly learn. I admire your courage and willingness, none-the-less. A question here... are you still living in Malmö or have you returned to the U.S.? ha ha.... We've discussed other issues on other forums .... I just figured out who you were. Welcome to this forum! Reason for my question.... if you are in Malmö, the best ceramic (keramik) supplier of clay, glazes, tools, BOOKS, etc., is CEBEX (located at Erlandsrovägen 3). My personal recommendation would be to purchase one or two of the books from them (listed below) that should answer probably all of your questions (plus more) and give you a good idea of what this pursuit may involve. ----The first book ALTERNATIVE KILNS & FIRING TECHNIQUES is in English and costs 268 SEK. It would give you a good idea of many different firing methods, with insightful information and also what can be done on the cheap. ----The second book could be either HANDBUILDING- Ceramics for beginners, @ 270 SEK or PRISMAS STORA KERAMIKBOK @ 261 SEK if ordered on the internet from BOKIA, otherwise it is an expensive 510 kronor at CEBEX. My personal thoughts would favor PRISMA'S book (which you may find at the library in Malmö- as I've checked it out from my Skåne library as well), it is filled with beginner's techniques and advancing a bit further, plus it is written in Swedish. Thinking that if you will be teaching mostly Swedish teens or 'invandrare' (that might be learning the language), it would be more helpful for you and them to learn what the technical/vocational terms are in Swedish which could aid you/them if a higher pursuit in the medium was desired later. I hope this can steer you in a good direction on your undertaking and again.... Congratulations .... and good luck! Maybe others can jump in and will explain some of your specific concerns, if not you can PM me for other specifics. ---rick
  21. ... or perchance it was just a clever (?) idea by the cover's photographer to include a piece causing the viewer to question, ...'What the ...', trying to tie in (somewhat) with the magazines subheading of Art and Perception. Maybe the actual ceramic piece didn't actually include the drill bit, but it was added by this 'clever' person merely as a meaningless marketing ploy.
  22. Sorry to say, tluv, I've never witnessed anything like this before. Viewing the photo, I can see that there are the two cracks, the center core and the larger almost completely uniform concentric crack circling the interior, equidistant from the inner crack and the walls of the piece. That implies to me that it is most certainly a problem in how the piece is drying. My reasoning tells me that as the interior portion of the tile is shrinking the exterior portion is binding (probably through too much friction) which may be preventing the entire piece from shrinking uniformly, thus pulling the casting apart (cracking). My first attempt at remedy would be to place a couple sheets of newspaper on top of the piece and then the plywood/sheetrock panel before flipping it over and removing the cast from the plaster mold (onto another panel of plywood/sheetrock). This would allow the piece to have a couple layers of newsprint under it while drying. After the first day, I would then place five or six sheets of newsprint (for padding) on the detailed face side and then a plywood/sheetrock panel on top of that and gently turn the cast over so that it was face-side down. At this point I would transfer it to a wire rack (like that in your oven) by placing the wire rack on top of the casting, sandwiching it between the wire rack (on the back side) and the newsprint layers and plywood/sheetrock (front side) and flipping it over. Then remove the newsprint and plywood/sheetrock and allow it to finish drying. The wire rack, touching the piece only in linear points and allowing air to dry both sides uniformly, should offer less resistance to the forces of shrinkage. Also, at about day one (or day two), once it has set up enough to carve on prior to flipping onto new newsprint, I would take a ceramic loop tool (similar to that pictured below) and gently level the thicker, raised edges to the flat plane of the back, so the whole piece would be more uniform in thickness. That would be my preference. Good luck
  23. And some people even spend hundreds to thousands of dollar just to soak in mud (clay) or have mud (clay) splashed on their faces, just to stay as young looking as all the ceramists..... Beauty is around the eyes, of those who spend time with clay...
  24. Two notes here on this, your last posting.... I earlier noticed a few air bubbles visible in your second posted photo.... this is no doubt caused from shaking the slip prior to pouring. The slip should be gently stirred so as not to include air into the mix, for best results. This may take a little more time but the payoff can be more successful pieces. The Amaco rep that you spoke to 'mentioning the use of a release agent...' , this could possibly be the light dusting of talc as I mentioned previously. I would forgo the use of that unless the other fixes warrant additional assistance. Ideally, in making the mold, if I desired a finished thickness of say 1/2" then making the model should include an additional percentage of added height (maybe 1/4"- 3/8"), which would allow me to pour just one time. The shrinkage of the greenware and from the firing would be compensated for by the additional 'reservoir height' of slip. When the cast tile appears firm enough to remove, place a plywood board or piece of sheetrock on top of the tile/mold, flip this over and gently but firmly slam down on the table surface and the tile should pop right out. May take a little practice, but once you see how much force it takes it becomes quite easy and natural.... Good luck!
  25. My first observation does confirm what you stated... one can see the repetition of concentric cracks that follow exactly the same pattern as left by the slip. Not having personally witnessed anything like this before, I am a bit stymied ... I would be inclined to think that there was certainly some uneven drying taking place along these pouring trails. A couple of things that I would look at in determining the problem... • How does the total thickness of this general area (front to back) compare to the rest of the tile? Thicker, thinner, about the same? • If this was the first casting, possibly the mold was too dry, which can really suck moisture out too quickly. To alleviate this instance, it is often beneficial to lightly spray mist the surface prior to pouring. I have read of some that actually recommend a light spray mist followed by a fine dusting of talc, though I've never actually done that. • When this last trailing of surface slip was poured, was the slip underneath already drying and set? • Are the cracks visible on the face side as well? If not better results may be attained with a quicker pouring, since it is a rather thin piece. A little skill development with that one. • Are you using commercial slip or your own mix? Is it mixed to a smooth homogenous consistency and does it have just the right amount of deflocculant? Have you checked the specific gravity? Those of some of the first questions that I would seek answers to in order to correct the problem. Good luck!
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