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Rick Wise

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Everything posted by Rick Wise

  1. A question: I want to run a test of what a particular clay/glaze combo looks like at various cone levels -- for instance, cones 5, 6 and 7. Can I fire a single piece at Cone 5, let it cool, examine it, then place it back in the kiln, fire it to Cone 6, let it cool, examine it, then fire it to Cone 7? If I do that will I see results just as if I had fired each of 3 different pieces to just one of the cone levels I want to test? Or do the repeated firings have a cumulative effect?
  2. Pres -- could you post a pic of those "plumbing parts"? I LOVE my Giffen Grip! Only problem is trimming the foot on -- for instance -- a tall narrow necked bottle. The head of the piece (pointing downward and touching the wheel) moves off center. I try to resolve this problem by using clay lugs around the head to secure it or by letting the head rest on (and pushed slightly into) a thin layer of clay. But all these methods leave a bit to be desired. Seems to me that what is needed is a GG accessory that mounts in the center, is shaped like a cone, and extends upward to a point so that the mouth of the bottle fits over it and holds it secure.
  3. 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 ....."
  4. 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"?
  5. 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"?

  6. 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.)
  7. "short clay" ????? What is that? I'm curious.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. Excellent. As usual, this has been a great resource for me, thanks. And Merry Christmas to all my fellow potters out there.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. Wonderful. Thanks so much. Re the seashells -- can you tell me more? Whole shells or pieces? Seems they would make the pot sit unstable.
  14. 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?
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. CactusPots -- what is the metric size I would be looking for?
  18. Do they make foot pedals that have pre-set speeds rather than (or in addition to) the standard accelerator type mechanism? I waste a lot of time trying to get my wheel spinning at just the right speed. It tends to resist minor adjustments - over shooting or undershooting what I want. I usually only need about 3 different speeds -- full out fast, slow, and a reasonable "throwing" speed. I wish I could just "click" to some pre-sets. Are such things available?
  19. Advice needed on glazing small irregular items: (As an example of the problem) I have made some small "spoons" for honey pots. They look like a short pencil but with a flattened end on it. Is there some way that I can glaze fire it so that it does not stick to the shelf? It has no bottom on which to rest. There is glaze all over it. It wont stand on its end. I have read about "wadding". Is wadding a way to handle this sort of problem? Or is there some device like those little 3 prong holders that I can use? If wadding is the answer, how do you make it? (Glazing to cone 6 in an electric kiln)
  20. Thanks Bill. Interested in what you say here. If I am following you correctly, I could try to fire matte glaze higher which might result in its full melt (and thus a smooth no-line look) but might also make it gloss instead of matte?
  21. Hulk -- that is correct: same glaze. The problem is just that the final product shows the fact that it was dipped in 2 motions.
  22. I regularly use 2 base glazes shown below -- one a gloss (Fat Cream) and the other a matte (Val Cushing VC 71 Matte Base). If I have a large piece and have to dip with an overlap using the Fat Cream -- no problem. The overlapped double dipped line disappears in the firing. But if I try the same thing with the VC Matte, I get a distinct line on the finished piece where the 2 dips overlapped. One melts away in the fire. The other wont. Can anyone help me understand why this happens and how the VC Matte recipe might be adjusted to make the overlap disappear? Neph Sy 45 Gerstly Borate 25 Silica 20 Ball Clay 10 Zircopax 8 Rutile 1 VC Matte Custer Feldspar 40 Silica 16 Whiting 16 EPK 10 Frit 3124 9 Talc 9
  23. Many thanks to you all for the ideas!
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