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Rick Wise

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  1. Would someone care to explain why slip recipes always say to begin with bone dry clay? Is that somehow better (or the end result different) than using wet clay. Its as if the instructions for boiling water said "First take some ice cubes ....."
  2. After sitting in the jar for a long while my terra sig precipitates further and forms a semi-solid base at the bottom and a watery TS (presumably even thinner) at the top. When I go to use this terra sig, should I "remix" it, or should I just use the watery top layer and consider it "super refined"?
  3. Chris -- after sitting for a long while my terra sig precipitates further and forms a semi-solid base at the bottom a  watery TS (presumably even thinner) at the top.  When I go to use this terra sig, should I "remix" it, or should I just use the watery top layer and consider it "super refined"?

  4. Does anyone have an opinion on these new silicon carbide kiln shelves I see being advertised? They are very expensive -- are they worth it? My old shelves stay in bad shape and seem to always be shedding something or another onto my work or causing small cracking on the bottoms of my pots. (I know, I know -- I should do a better job with kiln wash, but I cant seem to get it done.)
  5. "short clay" ????? What is that? I'm curious.
  6. Farmer Supply stores sell a electric corded device has a metal wand that you can submerge in the pail to heat water. I think they are used primarily to keep cattle water troughs from freezing. My only problem with them is that they get the water TOO hot and cant be adjusted to just warm it up.
  7. Another question about Wood Firing: Typically, in a wood burning kiln, have the pots been bisqued or are wood firings usually single firings? And if bisqued, does that mean (typically) that the potter has used an electric kiln to bisque and then wood fire only for the glaze firing?
  8. Excellent. As usual, this has been a great resource for me, thanks. And Merry Christmas to all my fellow potters out there.
  9. Perhaps there is something I don't understand here. Can anyone explain? I am accustomed to having new blocks of clay that may need softening. My usual method is to lay a moist towel around the block, then wrap it up again in its plastic bag and allow a few days. This always seems to work. But recently, since I had a lot of clay that was sitting around and getting hard, and in order to make sure I had a large amount of clay ready to throw, I created a "wet box" (a large plastic container -- tightly lidded -- with 2" of plaster in bottom that is soaked with water) and I put 3 or 4 bags in it with the plastic bags semi-open so as to admit the surrounding moisture. There they have sat for weeks on end. But every time I check them they are still hard as heck! Is there something wrong with this method? Any advice or explanations will be greatly appreciated.
  10. Thanks for these pics. Makes me think -- I can apply some slips to get color variations rather than use glazes, right? As long as the slip is from cone 10 clay I have no worries re runs (?) Right?
  11. Wonderful. Thanks so much. Re the seashells -- can you tell me more? Whole shells or pieces? Seems they would make the pot sit unstable.
  12. I need some advice about preparing pots for a wood firing. All of my experience has been with making and glazing pots for electric kilns firing to Cone 6. I will soon have the opportunity to put some pots in a wood kiln for firing. Does anyone have any tips for me in terms of how to prepare the pots? (I know, of course, that I need to make the pieces using Cone 10 clay.) In particular -- I think I have read that the ash from a wood firing can itself make a glaze on an otherwise un-glazed pot. Is that correct? Should I put some in without glaze? Should I try some of my reliable home-made Cone 6 glazes and see what happens in the higher temps? What can I do to maximize my output from this rare (for me) opportunity to do a wood firing?
  13. Min -- thanks for the reminder re coning. I do sometimes forget. Will re-double my efforts. Also am trying this: I cut a circle of cardboard a little larger than the plate, then cut out the center of the cardboard so that I have a ring. I coverthe ring with aluminum foil so that it does not absorb. The ring goes on to the plate while drying. Center of plate is exposed and while rim is covered. Hope this promotes even drying.
  14. I lose a lot of plates during the time after trimming them and before bisque firing. They develop S cracks while reaching the bone dry stage. I know the usual cautions about good compression, slow drying, even drying, etc. What I need advice on is this: 1. Should the plate be face up or inverted while drying, and 2. What sort of surface should it sit on? A bat? A wire rack to allow air underneath? Sand or powder to prevent "drag" as it shrinks? Thanks so much for any help! My wife is going to kill me if I dont get these plates done on time.
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