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Everything posted by Pres

  1. I have a wash recipe from Bill Van Gilder that calls for .25 ball Clay and .25 Nepheline Syenite. This as weight, and then .50 of various coloring oxides. Use mine quite dilute with water and it seems to work well on my two cone 6 clay bodies from SC. best, Pres
  2. @neilestrickgave you good advice as did others. Most electric kilns unless really designed for ^10 specifically will not fire there efficiently burning the elements out quickly. I have fired a cone 10 L&L manual kiln to ^6 for years. In the beginning I relied on cone packs and for a while a pyrometer. However in the last 10 years or so have relied on myview of the heat color coming out of the kiln peeps of the crack between lid and body. I usually fired slowly up to 1000F. then shot to high for the rest of the firing. Cone 6 looks like Yellow White. . . very bright, No orange. You may look up a color temp/cone chart to become acquainted with color temp changes. Easy to follow, and with a few firings you will know when your cone packs will start to respond to the heat work in the kiln. All of this IMHO. best of luck, Pres
  3. Hi folks, no new question in the pool so I will pose another. Based on my buying my first new kiln in over 30 years, anything over 4k is a big expense, especially for a retired teacher and hobby potter. So I will ask of you: QotW: What is your first and second most expensive equipment expense? This is a pretty easy question for me, as #1 is the new kiln, the L&L e28m-3 , and #2 is my 30 year old Brent CXC potters wheel. Really in the end, considering the years of use. . . these have been really cheap, even though the original sticker shock is daunting! best, Pres
  4. I got rid of a kiln that had bricks in much better shape than that, but electrical components were shot. .. . Next door neighbor decided he would like the sections and old floor and lid. Took them to his camp, and by using the sections as were he made two very fine fire pits. The family loves them as they don't get excessively hot on the outside and do a great fire. I cautioned them on the softness of the brick, and he says he cuts shorter lengths for in it. Your kiln looks like it could be a firepit in a later life! best, Pres
  5. Welcome to the forum @charlesrsmart, It does indeed seem that you have an Evenheat model 810 kiln which was built with 120v power. It doe have a skutt kiln sitter on it that is "rated" to 240vac. You kiln is rated to fire up to cone 8 which along with its size is a compromise in order to fire using house voltage. As before, welcome, and if you have further questions I believe there are several here that would be willing to help you. best, Pres
  6. I have the softcover of the Gregory book, from 1995. Packed away right now in the attic I think. This fall the library will be finished. . Yahoo! As to drying, all of us know that the best method is time and air. For that, especially in these Summer months a dehumidifier is helpful. I have some plates thrown last week, trimmed while pretty wet, that still haven't begun to dry too well. So I turned on the electric heat to provide circulation and to remove some of the moisture. Not really much heat. I also place fans in such a manner as to keep running the air in a circular motion in the nearly square garage. If things stiffen up enough to safely handle them, they go into the kiln not to be messed with until the load is ready for bisque. At such time I usually candle the kiln overnight and then start a regular bisque. If I were firing student pots, or sculptural pieces with lots of joins or thick areas, I could candle for a few days! Lately though, with the new kiln, I am using a slow bisque or medium bisque to fire pieces. I am working presently to set up some of my own programs for firing based on what I know as far as my manual firing. best, Pres
  7. Even though many of us are out of date, like a good book you can still learn lots. .. . . . Most of my library is from the 70-2000's, but then again there was an arts movement. best, Pres
  8. Hi folks, no new questions in the pool. . . but I have been thinking, and doing some reading. Often when working I stand, especially when handbuilding, Standing gives me much more leverage when wedging, rolling out slabs or coils. Later, when assembling I find myself standing over the banding wheel while working and while analyzing and planning the next stages of the piece. I stand when putting handles on thrown mugs and other forms. I stand when decorating with brush work and other forms. For me standing gives me more control over my view of the pot from different angles, up and down. I think much of this comes from standing in front of an easel when working with canvas or stretched watercolor paper. However, when it comes to throwing, I still sit with an adjustable chair that has a tilt leaning me towards the wheel. I often will change the height of the chair when throwing as the pot gets taller or if throwing off the hump. I often will end up standing in final stages of tall pieces so that I can reach with a straight arm down into the form. Everything seems quite natural, and I have not had back problems in many years, so do as I have come to be used to. So I will ask this: QotW: Whether hand building or throwing, assembling or decorating, do you stand or sit? best, Pres
  9. @Lucia MatosI would also recommend any of the Robin Hopper books, I especially like Making Marks. I also like the Simon Leach Book Potters Handbook. Over the years I have owned several ceramics books, and still own enough to fill several shelves in my library. I never get tired of them and always pull them out when wondering about something. Oh that reminds me The Potters Dictionary is also a good book on many things and covers a lot of historic forms. best, Pres
  10. I also use a mitre box (old wooden one), but I use a hack saw blade for cutting when they are cheese to leather hard. best, Pres
  11. Old prof used to talk about the rim of a mug "kissing the lip" , in my experience too thin, and they are sharp and poor feeling, too thick and they tend to dribble and feel uncomfortable. best, Pres
  12. Having some experience with these, it would be good to have a picture showing the condition of the cable hook up. best, Pres
  13. Excellent points @Chilly & @Denice as electronic mediums do seem to be replacing books in hand. I also believe that some of us have become lazy, looking for an answer to a specific question instead of researching material for the answer. When you have a forum, it is easy to go there and post "What does cone mean?" Than to research it. I have often seen questions that I wondered how much the poster thought about it before asking. At the same time, I believe that videos of technique certainly give more information than a description or a series of pictures. One example here is a pulling technique that one of my students has adopted that inverts the right hand on the outside to make the pull. . . I tried it, not for me, but he uses it constantly with good success. I rely on my library, and hope to have all of the books out before Christmas again. best, Pres
  14. Hi folks, I have a new question for you this week, involving reading. QotW: When looking for Ceramics related reading material, do you look for technique\, guided process, aesthetic, or historic related reading? In my earlier days, when learning how to throw, and make pieces, I would often select suck up any reading material I could on technique. Looking for all of the ways to throw, trim, assemble and anything else. I was voracious in my perusal of Ceramics Monthly, and then when Pottery Making came out it was my new favorite. I have always been more about technique, figuring I could figure out the process of how to make something. I got tired of reading someone else's analysis of an artists work early on. To me work speaks for itself. What I see and feel if anything is up to me. However, when it comes to histories I enjoy the progress of an idea through history, and the migration of a process through the parts of the world. It is amazing how much we have learned from other cultures about ceramics, and even how much we have lost from other cultures as we displaced them. Truly fascinating. So once again, I will ask QotW: When looking for Ceramics related reading material, do you look for technique\, guided process, aesthetic, or historic related reading? best, Pres
  15. Let the rims stiffen to cheese hard, then flip to dry the bottoms. I have found that in most cases if I have a warped area, it is usually because the rim was pulled too thin. I always chamois the rim (actually use my first and second finger web) to thicken/compress the rim. The cone idea works for some, but the compressed rim usually does the trick. best. Pres
  16. @Min You are right there, but I thought it was a good question for discussion as we have some out there that make for the load like @Mark C., and others that just load what they make. I believe there are more in the second category than the first, because most do not make for large scale production, but more towards an inventory for shows that they make replacements for when coming back from a show that just renews their inventory. best, Pres
  17. I have a cement wedging table that is covered with canvas. However, the last several years I have covered the table with plywood that fits tightly over top. As I am working now with a white stoneware, I don't want the contamination from the hazelnut that I work with at times. Plywood works really well, once you adjust your wedging technique to the less grippy surface. I still prefer a wedging table closer to hip height. Plywood is also a very clean and stable work surface, and I often write down notes of sizes/weights for pots on the underside. best, Pres
  18. Once again there is no new question in the QotW pool so I will pose one. I have been thinking of statements over the last year by potters who figure the size of their pots to the shelf heights they load. This is much different from me as I guess I throw together all sorts of mixed loads. I may have 20 mugs, 4 plates, some pitchers, or some small bowls and some large bowls in one load. However, some people run 50 mugs and a great number of bowls, or other things, not having the variety of forms or sizes and heights that I run. My question for the Question of the Week is: Does your stacking determine the items in the load, or does your load determine the stacking? best, Pres
  19. If you are interested in the history of molded decoration, look up the term sprigging or sprig molds. I have made some of my own out of carved basswood, plaster, bisque ceramic, and other materials. Most of the time my choice of material for the mold depends on the design of the model. silicone molds may be made over buttons or other objects where sharp angles might be a problem to remove from plaster. Or in the case of letters, plaster works very well, flowers may be carve easily in bass wood. Choice of material as I said is up to the design of the sprig or applique. best, Pres
  20. When working with ideas rather than forms, often it is a matter of what if, and why today, or how do I feel, not just about the work, but about myself. I imagine that we will have many artistic expressions over the next few years concerning lockdowns, viruses, masks, and so many other aspects of the pandemic and the way it brought many to their knees> best, Pres
  21. I moved this from the "Studio" area because I believed the content is more about feelings, and perception than process. Even though @LeeU's work is in evolution in the process and use of surface it is also as she describes it an evolution of the mood or feelings her pieces represent during the process. All of this seems to be more about the aspect of creativity and art as often referred to as aesthetics. best, Pres
  22. @awaynestudio, Have you read Jack Troy's book on Wood firing? Good read, even though I don't/haven't wood fired. best, Pres
  23. When demonstrating for different HS, arts festivals, and elementary schools, I always carried my CXC to the site in the trunk of my Mazda 3 or other vehicle. I would carry the wheel in in one trip, and carry the clay and tools in another trip. I still pick the wheel up to carry it to my preferred outside area when working on nice days. . . .always wearing a hat. It is doable, and at the same time I had the power to whow the audience with larger pots. HS students that have had some experience on the wheel do not respond well to throwing a mug form or so, but put 10# on the wheel and you get their attention. best, Pres
  24. I fired lustres at the HS, used a vent fan overhead, ran a slow firing with peeps open. Very little smell in the room. I always required that students wore the respirator mask in the room when applying lustres, also in a station with near the kiln vent fan. Lustres a great on decorative pieces, but as they wear off, little use on functional pieces that will get lots of wear. best, Pres
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