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Everything posted by Pres

  1. This book, The Potter's Dictionary of Materials and Techniques, should be in any potters library. I just purchased the 5th edition last year, and gave the 1st edition to a potter friend teaching at the HS I used to teach at. best, Pres
  2. Once again no new questions in the pool. .. . . So I' start off with something simple. Keeping this related to ceramics. . . . QotW: What ceramics related reading are you into presently if any? I have been reading a few books of late, and also using a few as reference for some issues I have been having. My reads of late is Mastering the Potter's Wheel by Ben Carter and The Workshop Guide to Ceramics by Duncan Hooson and Anthony Quinn. I would recommend the Ben Carter book to anyone who has experience, but would like to hone their skills. He has some of the best illustrations and ex
  3. I never use popcorn when sending to another country, using Styrofoam peanuts. Have only used popcorn when sending to an immediate US recipient, and have never had any problems with my USPS service about shipping in popcorn, other than them complaining about getting hungry. best, Pres
  4. @muddkat, I would not have worried about it, just put the lid down and set my firing to regular time considering it was starting at 435F. I also wonder why you are doing a candling on a glaze load that has had plenty of time to dry. I usually only vent or candle on a glaze that I have waxed bottoms or on one where the glaze has been applied in the same day. You should be fine, just do your firing as normal. best, Pres
  5. I have an unheated shop in PA, and over the years have not noticed many problems with glazed pottery freezing, but am careful of dust getting on the pots. I did notice a few years back that a few pieces that did not get into a load had some strange crystal break up of the unfired glaze surface. I assumed it had been some frost that had gotten onto the glaze surface disrupting my sprayed on decoration. Certainly glad I am not living as far north as some of you! best, Pres
  6. I'm a little outside the usual packing materials here, as I use popcorn. I usually mail out 20 chalice sets in two months to colleges all around the country. These are packed in 14/14/14 boxes with two layers of bubble wrap, and regular popcorn popped in a dry popper. Takes one bulk bag to do the job, and there is no biohazard. I rattle free with lots of compression and tape on all edges and across the centers. I put a memo in that they can just pour the popcorn out on the yard and let the birds eat it. best, Pres
  7. I ordered two CI wheels a few years after they came out. Price was good and we purchased the HP and the MP. I never got into the MP so much, but it was a good wheel for the students or for folks working on smaller pieces. The HP at the time was a beast to me, handling anything that I threw at it. I could never torque stop it, unlike the MP. It was always my go to wheel when demonstrating. Both of the wheels are still running today, and I still like working on the HP as compared to the great Bailey wheels in the room. I would believe that the belts may be replacing, and that some lubrication wi
  8. Sabrina, do you have access to on base fam services? Is there a pottery station on base, I had access to some over the years when my dad was enlisted. They (Mom & Dad ) did poured ceramics in Hawaii. I don't remember any fam services at Warner Robbins, but then we were stationed there in the early 60's. You may also get some help from the local girl scouts or boy scouts. . I was in a troop back then, and they had a good merit badge program including ceramics. best, Pres best, Pres
  9. Lara, I did not see a reference to your bisque fire temp/cone? Many times the adhesion of the glaze in application depends on your bisque temp, and your pre-glazing preparation. Many have had to adjust their bisque temp to balance the absorption of the glaze in application. At the same time washing a pot in different ways affects the way the glaze is applied. Could you describe your glazing prep for glazing? Washing the pot with a damp sponge, dipping in water, rinsing under running faucet, no washing? best, Pres
  10. Order did not go through, will reorder in new year. I have also changed the kiln I am going for as the one mentioned is only 22" deep. best, Pres
  11. I have a CXC that I bought new back in the 80's. I t has never had more than cleaning done to it, and still runs like the first day. I have never been able to stop it, and in my earlier days did throw 25-30# pots on it. I still throw off the hump, 15# at a time, great for chalice bowl and stem throwing. It really depends on what you think you need, how you expect to throw and sadly, how fit you are. You don't need a beast of a wheel to throw, but the larger the pieces get, the easier it is to have a beast. Others will tell you that the Brents are noisy and therefore choose other wheels. My adv
  12. Sorry to disagree with you @Babs, but it is my opinion that you are mixing apples and oranges. It is true that air pockets in the wall of a pot do not cause the pot to blow up, but that it is moisture in the pot that turns to steam. However, when it comes to two layers of clay joined together expanding air with not escape route can put pressure on a layered join causing the two pieces to separate. best, Pres
  13. French presses aren't in it for me, as recent studies show they are not as healthy as they should be. I love making teapots and have made several different styles and sizes over the years. . . all within the limits of "functional". best, Pres
  14. Looks like 2021 may bring a new kiln my way. My J236 L&L has come to a point where the main wiring has become brittle, and the leads into the switches are scorched along with some other problems. Parts are not as readily available, but could be parsed from other parts. After some consulting with Neil, and some searching the L & L sight I decided on a e28M-3, with the quad elements, a furniture kit, and the vent system. I figure this will be my last kiln, and my wife says it is past time for a replacement. Right now wait time is long, but hopefully it will come sometime in the Spring.
  15. Looking through the forum today, and find that @Hulk posed a question in the QotW pool, it was very appropriate and upbeat for the future. . . "What do you think 2021 may bring to your potting life? I'd like to: explore a few more forms, particularly the teapot (have initial trial and first design adjustment under me belt a'ready), sets of lidded forms, and "smalls"; fill the kiln more efficiently; throw a lot more pots, hence more time at the wheel, and more efficient use of time; get out and see/feel others' pots, and interact in person with other potters - missing this, big time;
  16. @JohnnyKgood call, on the dryness of the slabs, sometimes leather hard slabs seem to be damp enough, but really aren't. I usually prefer to assemble when slabs are cheese hard than leather hard. @LeeAnets The formula use has been around for years. . . 1 gallon of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid sodium silicate, 1 1/2 teaspoons of soda ash best, Pres
  17. @Bill Kielb, **for, cleaning up nicely and making certain they are dry before firing. .. . when in doubt, always fire slowly! best, Pres
  18. I have seen this sort of problem in the past with student pots when I was teaching HS. I don't know as it is a perfect solution, but here is my take. If any air is trapped in between the two layers of clay that are joined, it may expand enough to cause some expansion cracking thus weakening the joins and causing the pieces to fall off. We used to put pin holes on the inside of the pot where the so that the bottom surface could let air escape into the pot as it expanded. This was often a problem with a lot of the "fairy houses" we used to make, as the students would want to add layers of clay
  19. I have not noticed much in the movement, as I do not sell. However, I have been reading about the "stay at home" movement because of covid. Seems many that I have talked to have decided that it is best to eat at home instead of out, to treat meals as an occasion as going out is not a possibility. This often means breakfast with nice ware, matching pieces, or specialized pieces. I have made special bowls to microwave my eggs in or other bowls for microwaving oatmeal , and my wife an I sit in the kitchen at the island watching the birds and eating breakfast, where as before we would get up and g
  20. I'm probably about as non conformist as can be when it comes to stacking, as I have often n the past used one or two full shelves in the bottom of the kiln, then half shelves. At times I have used spiral stacking using a variety of stilts and broken shelf pieces to st a spiral that would allow me to place 3 patens/plates in the same space as two plates (diameters of patens do not allow placement across the diameter of the kiln). This technique allowed me to un a load with about 20 plates in the same kiln as a normal pack would run 15. My biggest concern when doing these stacks if that the stil
  21. @liambesaw, Know where you're at. Fired a glaze load last night with a green piece that my granddaughter wants to paint. From the heat color I figure at about cone 4 middle switch went off. I quickly shut off the breaker, and checked the fuses, both in good shape. Today the load shows the glaze pots are semi gloss, and the pieces my granddaughter wanted will be perfect for painting with acrylic. I just hope that there is a burned lead somewhere not an infinity switch needing replacement. Elements had recently been replaced last Summer. best, Pres
  22. @liambesawIt would cut my current production down so far it would not be nearly as enjoyable. However, the time on the wheel would become extremely precious! best, Pres
  23. @liambesaw, I am really not ready to go back to digging my own clay, mixing the clay bodies, or so much of that stuff. .. . isn't healthy either. As to my knees, @Denice, they are good, but I have found for my throwing I need the power of the CXC. Still have an Amaco kick in the basement, but never use it, and it takes up too much room in the shop. best, Pres
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