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Everything posted by Genboomxer

  1. This soil is from the west San Fernando Valley in So CA. What can I infer from the result I go? No bloating or black coring evident in the samples. I'm guessing I will need to stick to low-fire, majolica or non-functional projects? Thanks again for the knowledge.
  2. Hello again Nerd! I finally got around to firing a sample of my project to ^6. In the attached photo I have 2 samples. Top sample is native soil (I call it CPM) mixed 50/50 with ^10 b-mix. I'm pleased with the results so far regarding texture and color. Shrinkage is ~12%. I also glazed a small mug made of the same 50/50 clay body with a home-mixed celadon (Britt Basic) and it turned out quite nice. I does appear to have crazed though. The bottom sample is the native by itself fired to ^6. Dark brown and glassy. It broke during firing. Probably during cool-down? It isn't brittle as
  3. Thank you for sharing! The more I see of NC the more I understand why it is such a hub for potters. Three different varieties of clay within a stone's throw? Amazing. And their work is elegant. P.S. I took a look at your website and I really like your work. I especially like the Distress Cetre mugs, and the motivation and humanity that inspired them.
  4. Thank you! I started this project about 5 months ago, but I've only recently had the time and means to fire and test at home.
  5. Thank you for the links! I looked for similar topics here but sometimes if you don't use the right key word it doesn't come up. I did drop a piece of the fired clay into vinegar and it only fizzed for a second, so I'm interpreting that to mean I'm good on lime distribution. I am working on more test tiles today, and buying more witness cones for the varying temps I plan to test at. I think analysis will also help in that I should be focusing on practicing with what I have rather than playing with a theory. But I love learning new things. So much appreciation for the wisdom and guida
  6. Testing makes a lot of sense. Do you have a suggested lab?
  7. I guess I'm not sure what you mean by "what type of clay it is". I'm guessing it's a type of high iron, terra cotta earthenware. The soil is from the west San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, in the shadow of the sandstone bluffs where I grew up. I know the S. F. Mission made its roof and floor tiles, as well as some tableware and storage ware from locally sourced clay, so this keeps me hopeful it is viable with the right treatment. I assumed I would have to do extensive testing because I haven't found a lot of other folks doing it online, and I have a tendency to do weird things few peop
  8. Thanks for the link! Turns out I've done most of what is suggested. I will do vinegar eat tonight because I know there was a lime industry uphill from my source and this is part of the geological makeup of the region. I have found more information about the source material (sandstone) than I have on the actual soil. Any help for where to look for that is appreciated. I tested a bar of it and broke it in half. No carbon coring at all. I do not have a small test kiln per se, but I do have 2 kilns to work with, one ^6 electric. 3.3 cu ft, and an ancient 7 cu ft gas kiln that can
  9. Hello Forum Folks, One of the current projects I'm working on, now that I've acquired a little skill and knowledge, is to make some functional pieces from native soil. This is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid playing in the fields where I grew up. I collected about 40 lbs of soil from an excavation site, slaked it into a slurry, and sieved it to ~40 mesh. I dried it out on a hardibacker board, wedged it up and let it sit for a week. I netted about 20 lbs of a VERY sandy and short clay body. I decided not to use or test it because of the sandy consistency. I slaked i
  10. Oldlady - One of my other hobbies is beekeeping. Wasps are not on my "nice" list already, they serve no purpose other than to aggravate, so I'm glad they've left us both alone!
  11. Hi Forum Folks, So this happened today - I bought a used kiln this weekend and was very excited to get it up and running. It is a Cress FX23p, 20 yrs old, and the elements, bricks, etc. are in excellent condition. I loaded it up, plugged it in, followed the instructions and everything. The kiln sitter button would not engage. I repeated everything several times; nothing. Power was fine. Lights stayed on as long as I kept a finger on the button. Timer was turning. All settings correct, but the button still did not engage and stay put. I called Cress and was forwarded to their Tec
  12. Hi Kiki, I'm a newbie too and I'm in the process of setting up my home studio. I am currently practicing (...and practicing, and practicing) making small functional pieces, i.e. mugs, bowls, tumblers, pitchers, etc. I acquired a very old and very manual 7cu. ft. gas kiln from a local potter who couldn't operate it any longer. The price, $0.00, was right, but I discovered that at my current level, 7 cu. ft. is a bit on the large side. I'm a little slow, and I don't have a lot of spare time yet to practice as much as I should, so it takes a while to get a full load together. Also the ki
  13. Don't believe everything you think.

  14. So here I am, back from the pottery trenches with more knowledge, bruises, burns, and experience! I got this old girl to fire up for a bisque load and it worked out better than I expected. I replaced all of the piping not associated with the burners, cleaned out the orifices and replaced the WC gauge. I figured out how to use the pilot ring to help light all the burners, and I engineered a separate pilot light assembly that keeps the Baso valve open. It's a bit of a dance to get the balance right, but once everything is warmed and going it is quite easy to make adjustments. It's very sensit
  15. Hello Rex, Thanks for the pointers. The lid has a damper on top with what are apparently graduated marks scored into the brick (see image). These graduations are original to the kiln's design and how and when to use them are described in the manual that came with the kiln. I think I understand from what you're saying that I should build a chimney to extend the flue and damper so as to draw the heat higher inside the kiln. Of course I will test fire a few times before adding a chimney. It may not be necessary, but if so, is there a height I should start with and work up from there? Sou
  16. I do live where those type of wasps are. I will certainly keep an eye open for that. Thank you.
  17. They're not kiln props. They are made of a ceramic material. The cross section of the cylinder is cone shaped at the bottom, and the top is straight. I think this is designed to create the venturi effect for the gas.
  18. I have about 2 dozen boxes of various cones for firing. I'm not likely to touch the burners unless I absolutely have to. My side yard is 9 ft wide, concrete, and has no overhanging from the house. I will definitely be getting some backer board for shielding. Thanks for the tips!
  19. Yep. 3/4" pipe. I will probably rebuild the gas train, but I worry a little about removing the burners from the pipe. Thanks for the valve recommendation. I didn't realize they were that expensive, but it's cheaper than a kiln explosion. I'm a pretty handy guy so the plumbing is in my wheel house. I assume a thermocouple for a water heater will do the job? I'm just happy that I didn't get a recommendation to scrap the kiln! Do you have any other recommendations for other safety or convenience features I can incorporate into this design? Would a kiln sitter be feasible, or w
  20. Thanks Neil. It is set up for natural gas. The pilot ring is 1/4" perforated copper. There are tiny holes all around it; not just at the burner. The previous owner says she never left it unattended while firing, but had someone install the pilot ring as a precaution anyway. Not exactly safe, but better than nothing? There is no safety valve or pilot valve w/thermocouple. I'm thinking of installing a new ring with thermocouple, and reducing the number of pilot holes to 2, each pair pointing at a burner. Theoretically that should mitigate clogging problems. The piping appears to
  21. Here's another interior look. Learning to resize...
  22. Hi Mark, I will attach more photos to answer your questions. It is pivot-hinged at one side and swivels open. Not worried about the asbestos. I mentioned it because of its age, and in anticipation of remarks from others. I don't plan on disturbing the liner unless absolutely necessary, and I would take all needed precautions.
  23. Hello All, I am very new to ceramics, but I am keen to learn as much as I can. I recently acquired a gas kiln in as-is condition, and I need to know what to do to make it safe to use. It is completely manual and has no modern safety or control features. It is a Cerami Craft kiln of late 60's to early 70's vintage. All I have been able to find online for this particular kiln are a couple of ads from old trade magazines from '72. It also came with a booklet that is more of a guide for use than actual instructions. 7 cu ft 5 burners underneath Natural gas 2 pe
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