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Everything posted by Hulk

  1. When we cleaned dusty control boxes (and PCs) out on the floor at the steel mill, we then fitted them with fans that blow into the box, with a oiled foam carburetor air filter (like one used to see on motorbikes) on the outside - then there's periodically cleaning the filter instead of the box filling up with metal dust, and side benefit, the fan lasts longer. A typical callout was overheat shutdown due to power supply fan locked up - full of dust.
  2. Hi Claudia! Am guessing not actual bubbles (trapped gases) in the glaze? ...the image is somewhat low res; looks like variegation or mottling. Perhaps Tony Hansen's article could be a starting point: Oil-spot glaze (digitalfire.com) I'm using two glazes that contain rutile, which helps produces a variegated appearance; here's Hansen's article on reactive glazes: Reactive Glazes (digitalfire.com) See also phase separation, and note that while traditional iron reduction glazes don't "work" in electric kilns, there are alternatives that look similar...
  3. The Skutt I'm using is fitted with a Minarik drive board. The hefty cast foot pedal has a simple component in there that does the speed control. Likely the same board, else, if the CI HP has a bigger motor, one of Minarik's other boards could work. I have the spec sheet - shout if you want to know how to find it. Whilst the various wheels are quite similar, I wouldn't agree that the motors are interchangeable - the half horse on my wheel, that's a continuous rating, not a "peak" rating.
  4. Hi Karen! Typically greenware or green ware for pieces that have been formed but not yet fired.
  5. Well into my fourth year, just went through a bag of yet another clay, which I like, and, as the supplier's shop is right along the way to our son's house, very likely it will become a staple. It's an off white. I'd tried their very white stoneware, which I won't buy again. Of the five clays I bought in my first "big" load, the red and buff worked well for me, however, I haven't got back to working in red, and the buff clay changed - it's not the same - for the clear glaze that had worked so well now crazes - just re-confirmed in side by side test. I still really like the off white I've been using from a second supplier (shop is on the way to our niece's). All that to say it may take some trials to find the clay(s) you like and that work for you. I went with choosing a few recipes and mixing from scratch, having bought fifty pound sacks of common ingredients - silica, epk, feldspar, etc., and smaller amounts of other stuff. I've several buckets of glaze suitable for non functional ware, hmmm, which may never get used. However, I'm really happy with several glazes that are working very well for me. Among the positives o' the mix from scratch approach: there's potential to produce more glaze much more cheaply; one may adjust the recipe, that is, the ratio of base ingredients, but also the specific gravity and small additions to influence thixotropy; one may begin to learn about glazes - so much to learn; one may have a "look" (or several looks) that no one else in the area has. On the other hand, several potters in the neighborhood use pre-made glazes and are quite happy with immediate results, much less storage, ease of application, etc. As for your question, I've bought underglazes (Speedball) from Blick - they were having a rad sale at the time; you may find the color you're looking for in an underglaze (Saffron Yellow, maybe?). I've also ordered from US Pigment (good prices on many things, reasonable shipping, great service), Aardvark Clay, IMCO, Clay Planet, and a few others. Alas, there is no supplier anywhere near us, however, I do look to take advantage of opportunities, when they arise, to save on shipping costs. If you have suppliers nearby, you might save on the considerable costs of shipping!! Other thoughts: Adjusting how wet the glaze is - solids to water ratio (aka specific gravity) - and adjusting how a glaze gels (aka thixotropy), these have been as important to my glazing success and enjoyment as anything. See Thixotropy (digitalfire.com), How to Gel a Ceramic Glaze - YouTube, see also Sue McLeod's take on the subject. Practice/repetition have also been key to glazing success and enjoyment - there's much less splash and spatter then there used to be. Some simple tools also help, e.g. kitchen whisk (stir that glaze very often! stir it again!!), ladle (that pours well), ear syringe or turkey baster (so handy), purpose cut pieces of sponge (to replace that hockey puck sponge that comes with the tool kit), a selection of cheap-ish brushes, a dampened finger (great tool, that), sharp razor knife, wax resist (and dedicated wax resists brush(es) ), two buckets for cleanup water, large clean up sponge (keep it clean - dry glaze makes dust), mop and bucket. I use tape quite a bit, 3/4" masking tape. In another life, I painted new construction, hence, lots of practice using tape. Label lids and the containers they go to. Keep notes - surprising what's hard to remember after a few months. Figure out a way to indicate which clay and which glaze (when it's not immediately clear, e.g. clear glazes, white clays, buff clays, etc.); make a note of it. :| Have a bisque load to glaze this week, will add anything else that comes to mind...
  6. Hi Gone! I'm using plaster blocks 9x13 inches, almost two inches thick. After reclaiming clay, in takes several days to thoroughly dry out the plaster - where they no longer feel cool to the touch - even with a few afternoons in the sun. We're near the Pacific, hence humidity varies from over 90% to less than 50%. Temps are mild; today we started out in the low 50s, will likely reach upper 60s F. Any road, I leave the clay slurry on plaster blocks propped up on 1x1 inch sticks, hence there's air circulating on all sides of the plaster, which helps a bit; also, I leave the doors open when I'm in the studio, as any air movement makes a big difference. When the clay against the plaster is dryer than the clay exposed to air, it's working... A thorough mix - I use the half inch (big) drill and a paint mixer - where no discernable lumps/blobs remain - is definitely required, imo. Enough water such that the slurry will mix, yes, but no more, for drying will just take that much longer. I'll use a smidge of Nerd's reclaim mix (eight parts ball clay, one part feldspar, one part silica, if I remember correctly...) in the first go-round, then again a few times later. The result is a bit more plastic, but takes longer to dry. The drying phase of reclaming can take as much as a week to ten days; on the other end, less than two days, depending on weather, how much time the doors were open, and how wet the slurry was.
  7. Why? O2 is required. At my Dad's work, a man working in a tank displaced enough air (shield gas for heliarc) that he passed out; his friend and coworker tried to help. I was five, however, likely I'll never forget how devastated my Dad and his work friends were. There was a near incident at the steel mill where I worked. Two workers made their way to the top of the furnace during an outage; it had been venting for a while, however, the plume of warm nitrogen was enough to drop the first guy. The second guy ran back the way they'd come, figuring there was some oxygen in that direction, took a few deep breaths, then jogged over to drag the downed guy back - saved his life. Both were suspended without pay for violating the procedures; the second guy was suspended longer - for putting his life at risk.
  8. Please be careful supplying CO2 - such that your O2 supply is not displaced.
  9. Am finding multiple references PF == Power Failure, however, none for PFC (kiln controller display). ...had fun looking though. Below is a representative excerpt. PF - Power Failure Power was lost during a firing and the kiln temperature was below 140 F (60 C) or the kiln temperature dropped more than 250 degrees during the power outage. Q. How do I clear the "PF" from the display? A. Press the "1" key. After several seconds the current temperature will be displayed. Several other numbers or STOP may be displayed before the current temperature.
  10. Hi Mariane! That looks like bubbling and crawling as well. Perhaps a glaze that clears bubbles better and doesn't crawl as much would help. Per prior (post on page one of this thread), a longer bisque firing, with plenty of oxygen seemed to help with my problems, also avoiding any thick spots. What cone are you glaze firing to? I also found that black (and some red) clay fizzes/bubbles more when overfired, hence, went to solid cone five with a drop and hold, which also seemed to help with clearing bubbles.
  11. Hi Thuythanhthanh My guess would be there are two layers, white sputtered on, blue-ish over? Or perhaps granuals/blobs mixed in the glaze that make the white spots ...or cuts/chattering in the clay were filled with the contrasting glaze, wiped back, allowed to dry, then dipped in the over glaze. Good question
  12. Good questions! All those hot hours - the organics and such should be well burned out by now. If the ware will take glaze in about the same fashion that you are used to, would you consider just glazing and firing? err, glaze a few representative pieces and glaze fire them along with your next load?
  13. "Looks like you had a warmer day than we'll have today, and rain as well, good-oh!"
  14. Adding Epsom salt (or vinegar) to adjust thixotropy has been key turning glazing from chore to joy; here's Tony Hansen's video on the subject: How to Gel a Ceramic Glaze - YouTube Reducing "hard panning" is a side benefit for me; perhaps a nice "Gel" behaviour would be a side benefit for you Ken B? If you do increase the thixotropy, reducing specific gravity somewhat may be in order.
  15. Hi Ash! Speedball was available where I got my start*; I liked it ok, so have stuck with it. When shopping, Dick Blick was having a sale and shipping deal, so went with them ...looks like they're not having a sale just now, however, that six (or twelve) pack deal isn't bad - and it includes Royal Blue. ...was just looking, the Royal Blue is over $20 (USA) now, ouch! That's one of my favs, particularly under the tin/chrome red I'm using. Any road, I'd suggest looking for suppliers within your driving/travelling radius, in the case you're able to beat shipping expense by in person pickup (particularly for clay and bags of glaze ingredients...), then check Am a zon, then peruse your browser's shopping listing when fed appropriate search string, and watch for sales. Looks like you had a warmer day than we'll have today, and rain as well, good-oh! *At the local Junior College ceramic lab. There was a set of Duncan, aka "not for you." Speedball is less expensive, and works great for my purposes.
  16. Hi Jody! Good questions. How does one measure dust production/generation? This is a question I'll add to the qow pool (one of these days); my best answer at this point is to monitor clean and slick horizontal surfaces for accumulation - several, in key locations. Likely you'll find that most dust is generated by your making/throwing/trimming and wedging activities, given that you're not agitating any dry clay elsewhere - on your clothes, hands, rags, work surfaces, and particularly the floor. Green ware sheds a bit o' dust, so there's that. Dry clay makes dust. If you're glazing in there, that's another potential dust storm. If you keep everything wiped down, and avoid carrying dust on your feet, clothes, hands and hair (!) into the rest o' th' house, you're on it, eh?
  17. Good question Jack! Someday you'll have an answer, however, likely that answer will evolve some as your life unfolds. Opportunity to meet people and consider ideas that you otherwise might not? A mentor and friend, years ago, pointed out that my dog "...figures out where it's at, then goes for it..." as my friend's dog always fell for the fake throw o' th' ball. I'm still figuring out "where it's at" - have had some good ideas over the years though...
  18. Are the circle marks open to the clay? Looks like gas from the clay. Are there more marks where the clay is thicker/thickest? Per Babs suggestions, try higher bisque (with adequate oxygen), fire to target without overfiring.
  19. Any of the fourteen public community colleges in Pennsylvania nearby? I got a start at our local community college - the instructor stayed plenty busy with the other students, and all the "side work" of moving ware about, loading/unloading kilns, etc. No matter, great opportunity to start learning, not just access to tools and materials, no, also seeing all the work (from all the classes, not just my night class) and watching the other students - some had a'ready developed some skill, and some just starting/stumbling out... I'll suggest giving the community studio a look - fifty minutes is a bit of a drive, yah, but there's likely more people to learn from and with, eh? More action, more variety. Hopefully you'll be starting to get pleased with some of your efforts early on, and sometime later on, looking back on your progress, begin to get an idea of how much more there is to learn/master.
  20. B13 Likely a "ball clay" per Pieter Mostert entry in Glazy; see also "G&W B13 Clay" entry in Digitalfire G&W B13 Clay (digitalfire.com) Frit 91076 Per Bill's response, Digitalfire entry (and Glazy as well): Degussa Frit 90167 (digitalfire.com) Degussa Frit 90167 | Glazy I'm not finding Degussa products available stateside - there's some encapsulated stain credited to Degussa, but manufactured by Ferro - however, looks like Keramik-Kraft (Germany) has 90167, and some other suppliers (Hungary, etc.). Any road, back to Jennifer's question, which Feldspar? Are the colorants not listed? What target cone and atmosphere?
  21. Very interesting, echoing Piedmont's thanks. There's enough Wollastonite in my glazes, seemed to make sense to buy a fifty pound sack. I'm running glaze through an eighty mesh if it's been more that a few weeks since using/mixing it up, finding a few bits of random stuff, sometimes, and up to half teaspoon of little agglomerates (thanks for that word). Several glazes also use Gerstley B, so there's that as well. The sugaring, that's interesting.
  22. Hey Skip, just curious, can you describe "...slower cooling has affected the look of the glaze quite a bit in an unpleasant way." ? My guess is there's some matt-ness imparted? Less clear/translucent, more frosty, crystal-y?
  23. Fun ^ that seemed a good word. Random, that's ok by me, however, don't be careful, make mistakes, nah, no. Baking it (the idea, err, Ikea) with left of random, out toward fun, expression, unique, capturing the " " (fill it in - what? Love?) that the people making have to tap into, that's the key. My guess would be, that particular shape lends itself to bein' smushed beyond recognition, then everyone laughs a lot, really hard, afore turning their backs on it and designing/creating a nice shape.
  24. Whilst out on the bike (and waiting on glaze load to cool off), was reflecting on what I'd read in my notes, then aha! How useful notes can be, sometimes. Detailed firing notes, detailed results - clays, glazes, what worked, problems, etc. Don't count on remembering, heh. For example: > notes support my guess that yesterday's much longer firing time was related to more mass - an extra half shelf, and lots of ware - for the cool down time is also much much longer (still waiting); those times and temps can be helpful. > notes indicate that reclaim glaze came out well on one of three clays; I couldn't remember which one, aha. > the tin chrome red I'm using sometimes catches little flecks of blue, why? More to th' point, can the look be repeated? Not completely sure on why, however, results indicate that yes, the look is repeatable - the "secret" is in the notes. > am getting closer on evening out the firing, particularly the cool zone right at the top. Notes help, for I'm not quite able to remember what I'd tried, when, for how long, nor the bend in cones. There's more ...take notes.
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