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About jafa5

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 04/19/1971

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  • Location
    Matakana, New Zealand
  • Interests
    Fermenting, brewing, distilling and curing meat

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  1. Great reading in this thread, I have access to heaps of clay as we are building 18km of motorway through the north island in New Zealand. Had some very good results to date with clays firing happily to cone 13 along with a few explosions of course. Nice to start understanding how I can run some tests in an organised manner instead my usual, rougher manner... Thanks for sharing and good luck with the Hudson Clay!
  2. Hey guys, I've been lucky enough to pick up a medium sized ball mill, it was used previously as a stone polisher I think. It has a 1/2 hp geared motor and octagonal body 500mm long and 450mm deep. I was hoping to use it to pummel some of the local materials down to dust for use in glaze and clay bodies. Materials include, sands, pumice, shales and basalt rocks for the most part. Unfortunately I dont know enough on the topic to phrase a question haha. I understand that you use bigger balls to crush bigger items based on their impact and reduce the ball size to get finer material, but thats about the sum of my knowledge. So I was after any useful links for ball mill operation and sizing so I can get my head around how to use it and what balls to purchase. Assuming its too hard to make my own balls for crushing? What particle size to aim for, for a specific purpose (IE Glaze material and clay body). Pros and cons, water needed? Any tips or things to avoid would be greatly appreciated Cheers, Liam
  3. Thanks for the responses and sorry for my late reply, crazy week I'll start with the bally clay and make some small batches up with increasing increments and post the results with some photos. My mate took a sample home last week and has mixed that up with ball clay and a little bentonite and is firing this weekend so will hopefully have some photos from that. The seam is about 15m thick in rolling country and sitting on top of Pakiri formation rock. Its at the top of the hill and down the bottom, the section we are cutting is in the side of the hill, maybe 30m from the top and 50m from the valley. Other areas near by where we have cut in small areas appears to have the same material though. I'll check my phone to see if I have photos of the seam. There is a halyosite mine around 20km away so definitely in the local area. Funnily enough the material from site looks very similar to the stuff in my bottom paddock so might be a nice long term project working on that. Appreciate it's a lot to learn and heaps of mistakes to be made but I like a challenge. Bisque firing was to 950°C. Yes the firestorm result at cone 12 was a tea dust surface on the clay but no distortion or melting. Unfortunately not had time to make another firing yet but the clay sample is now well wetted down. I'll find the photos and post them up this arvo. Thanks for the links, will get into this this arvo too. Cheers, Liam
  4. I've found a large seam of white clay at work that will be excavated over the next couple of months. It looked pretty promising so I bisque fired a small bead of and it turned out really well. I then fired it to cone 12, just to see and it looks awesome! So now want to make a few pieces with it and fire them. The finished fired raw clay looks like tea dust glaze, guessing this is because it's over fired but looks stunning. Only thing is its quite short (my mums term for pastry), or low plasticity, so i'm after some information to get me started on researching clay chemistry. Big topic I know, but potting is a slow game and I might as well start while I have access to so much material. Any tips, books or links would be appreciated. Cheers, Liam
  5. This is just what I was looking for thanks Magnolia - not that I knew what I was looking for when I posted of course... instead of adding new ingredients into a very good base and looking to fix the results I should be looking at the new materials and moving forward from there. Great method for testing and fairly straight forward, just need to work out how to do it in the space I have and sort out volumes. I have a variety of ashes plus a few locally dug clays, so only have to source a flint/Silica. That will probably be store bought but there is a New Zealand source a few hours away, might be a fun trip. Enough to keep me out of trouble for a couple of months I reckon. I've applied some of the other approaches mentioned above to my current glaze mixes, hopefully these will open my eyes to some of their mysterious chemistry but the triaxial method allows me to fully explore each new material which is awesome
  6. Thank you for the responses and tips, thermocouple is now replaced and Friday afternoon is here! Time to put it to practice
  7. Hey Pretta, This firing was to cone 6 in an electric kiln. I have a few gas kilns too but they are out of action for a week while I refit them. Three of the kilns can fire cone 10 easily. Currently I'm looking at the cone 6 glazes I've made, as they are firing really well in both kiln types. Especially when I have a functioning thermocouple and the correct pyrometric cone in the kiln. 06 pyrometric cones melt at cone 6 btw, probably not worth a news flash but did remind me to put my glasses on next time haha I'm looking to get a better understanding of the chemistry of the glaze ingredients and how they interact, cone 6 is good for this with a solid base glaze to work with as it's pretty economic. Especially with my latest gas kiln.
  8. Hey Pres, yes a few crackles in this firing as I smashed my thermocouple so finished without much control. Thankfully the new one arrived today so hopefully all good for the next one if I can suss the Tonky auto tune... They are little sake cup forms but not for use or leaving the property, our thoughts were to just practice clean cylinder forms and either make a sizable wall installation of colourful pot shapes from them or they have a date with a .22 round and drainage material under the vege garden Lots of testing atm with plenty of fails but we have grand plans for the vege gardens and a good eye with the .22!
  9. Not the best photo sorry, but you can see the glaze is quite smooth and glossy without the riverlets. I think i prefer it this way so will try with the kaolin, thanks for that and your tips on my previous post Neil. This is 10% wood ash from our fireplace and I really liked the translucent blue where it's pooled. I have more wood ash than any of the other ashes so maybe I'll run all my initial tests with this so I can get a feel for it. Kaolin testing here I come! Also decided to stop testing on sake cup forms and use small bowls to save my shelves... Simple idea you'd think but didn't come to me in time... ah well
  10. Hey Neil, they don't have a riverlet look really, they are pretty smooth and very glossy for a matte base glaze, I'll try with additions of Kaolin in 5% increments in my next firing. I'll see if I can add a photo from my phone too Thanks for the advice!
  11. I've been making ash from a number of sources over the past months and found a few local sources of volcanic ash. So I started testing and had some awesome results with pearlescent blues and pinks. Pretty stoked I'm using a matte clear glaze base that works well in both of my main kilns (gas and electric). I'm using a straight 10% addition of ash as my starting point without any changes to the base. Thought being that if I get anything cool from I'll progress it. The results are usually very runny, especially with wood ash and vegetation ash, so wanted to ask how do I start to compensate for this, knowing that each ash will have a different composition? I have no chemistry background but learning fast and really after some understanding as to where I start that process. I have a basic grasp of glaze composition and my instinct tells me to up the alumina and reduce the Silica but I couldn't back that up with any sound reasoning haha. I just joined up with Insight and will start some tutorials this week and thought this would be a good starting point. From other discussions I know I can replace feldspars with volcanic ash and that's worked well but i've not had runny issues with the volcanic ash. Not yet anyway, touch wood. VC72 Base glaze ( from John Britts mid fire) fired to cone 6 in either gas or electric: 24 Nepheline syenite 40 Silica 4 whiting 7 Kaolin 11 dolomite 12 Gerstly borate 2 zinc oxide 2 bentonite The finished glaze is very smooth and glassy so presume the ashes are high in Silica? Cheers, Liam
  12. Really like the soda firing photos LT and will look at that when I'm back home. They look neat on textured surfaces! Thanks for the insights Curt, my previous textured bowls were all dry finishes and look ok, just not giving me the feeling of satisfaction that I wanted. I think I like the tactile quality when I touch the piece as much as the look of the item. I made a small textured pot along side this with a thin matte glaze that looks good but have to wait to feel it. The other oxide pieces look awesome, but I have to wait to feel them. Like burnished bronze with orange speckles and blue highlights in the deep cracks. I don't think I gave it enough thought as to how the glaze and the piece would work together so i'll take that onboard and apply that to my next series of pots. Especially I now have 6 good test glazes from this firing and 5 oxide washes. Fun stuff!
  13. Fired pot linked below Glossy white inside and over lip with an iron saturate on the outer Fired to cone 6 gas in oxidation Not the best photo but all I have until I pick it up on Tuesday. Fired at a mates place and called to wake him up at 6 am to open the kiln and send me pics haha
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