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  1. Mark, yes apologies that I left out the firing temperature. I am planning to apply a colored Terra Sigillata while it is bone dry and polish. Then fire it to cone 06 or 04, only subjecting it to a bisque fire and not going to cone 6 for a second fire. It doesn't need to be vitrified. Thank you for your feedback!
  2. Hi! I have formed an abstract sculpture that measures 18" high x 14" w . Each one of the oblong shapes is 4.5" deep and weights about 5.25 #s each at leather hard. This sculpture is hallow made from about 1/4" slab. I was wondering how best to bisque fire it, whether standing up vertical or laying horizontal. The pieces are not completely aligned with each other, rather each one is slightly twisted from the one below. There will be a base but I am making it separate (or it might be another material) so it can be mechanically fastened after firing. If I fire it vertical, I am concerned about it slumping and cracking as they are connected only at the center neck. At the moment, I've put same clay, leather hard shims to help support the cantilevers if needed. Would the use of the supports help in the bisque firing and be sufficient in preventing the slumping? It would be much easier to dry and load the kiln this way. If I fire it horizontal, I was planning on placing it on a clay shrink pad with supports to level out the twisted aspect of the pieces. I've attached a rough side view sketch of what I mean, hopefully it makes sense. Also, I am planning for the finish to be a colored terra sigillata all around. If I applied the TS, will it stick to the clay shims or shrink pad in the bisque firing? I am thinking it won't because it is the same clay just finer particles but I could be wrong. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts and suggestions for potentially the best possible outcome. Thank you!
  3. @Callie Beller Diesel Thanks for the black sig recipe! I am very intrigued but don't have a ball mill. Though, the speckling is sounding like something I would like to have in the finish.
  4. @Callie Beller Diesel I am using Georgie's Trail Mix clay. I have no idea of it's contents but description says plastic and forgiving with sand for strength. Midrange stoneware, off-white after firing. I recall reading about the particle size of stains being larger and heavier, would using oxides make a difference? If so, what would yield a good black or dark brown? As a result of my testing additional colors, I found that the peacock and hazelnut brown did very well after firing using my clay body! The colors stayed bright and sheen remained. The black and deep brown went gray as usual, even with the OM4 clay terra sig. I did notice various shades of black mason stains so I'll try the one that is called onyx (Co,Cr, Fe, Ni) , which looks very black. I'm using best black (Cr, Fe, Co, Ni), which I find interesting because they both have the same chemical compounds but in different order. Wish I could remember my chemistry days so I can understand why it makes a different shade of black!
  5. I am using a plastic bag and polishing and sometimes with a soft microfiber cloth. I've tried a metal spoon and a smooth rock but those seemed to leave marks, which might be because I'm not burnishing properly. Any other suggestions that I might try? Today, I tried a bright peacock blue mason stain and a chestnut brown with both the clay body I normally use and a ball clay. I got better results with the brighter colors with both terra sig mixes, more like I expected with a satiny sheen when dry with the color still bright. But the black and deep brown both also turned shades of gray in varying degrees with the ball clay sig. Maybe it's the dark colors? I wonder how potters get the beautiful black? Just curious if anyone might have a picture of a pot with black terra sig on it , but dry, before bisque firing so I can compare to mine? I'm new at this so I have no idea what is normal and what is not. Maybe black does turn a little gray when it dries? Or not . . . .
  6. Today I tested a black mason stain with the same clay terra sig 2 ways: one on the same textured sample and another on a greenware, smooth vessel. Both polished up nicely but the textured sample hazed a bit, though not as much as the deep brown. Still waiting on the vessel but I can see a some of it turning where it is drying. I put on as many layers as I needed to not see any of the clay underneath but unfortunately there's a hairline crack in the sig where I assume it maybe dried too quickly with as many layers as I put on (too many too quickly?). I did try a plain one without stain and at first I thought it was going to be fine but the next day it looked slightly duller. I took a soft cloth and polished it some more which added back a little more shine. I'm firing it tonight to see what happens. That's an interesting thought about adding wash then the terra sig over it. I will give that a try! I have to admit, I've only seen this process done on videos so I don't know what is normal when it has dried. I assume hazing is not normal? Is it supposed to remains as shiny as when you're done polishing like attached image where I've just finished polishing or does it get slightly duller when completely dried? Most images of terra sig pots have a lovely sheen! If I wax it, there is a lovely sheen, but I'm assuming with terra sig, you shouldn't have to unless you fire it too high. Thanks for all your relies. I will try ball clay next and see what happens.
  7. Thanks Neil for your feedback. Much appreciated! I've also covered a small, smooth bowl with the deep brown terra sig with 4+ layers and polished it. Same outcome, where it is beautiful and rich until it starts drying. Then turns hazy and gray. I've also tried different ratios of the stain to terra sig with same haziness so I guess it must be the stain or maybe the clay I am using. It's almost like the thin slip is drying over the stain color., if that makes any sense. I will try out different colors, maybe with ball clay, and test them out to see if I can get beautiful results.
  8. Hello there! I very much like terra sigillata and have started to make small batches of my own, using the same clay body that's dried and crushed, water, and sodium silicate as the deflocculant. I let it separate, decant the top layer of water and ladle out the sig. I am adding a mason stain (deep brown) after the preparations. I have applied the colored sig to a piece of greenware (a bowl) and a textured bisqued sample. I apply as many coats as needed to get an adequate layer and then polish with a plastic bag and buff some more with a soft cloth. When finished, it's the most beautiful color and sheen I've ever seen! But then as it dries, the color starts to turn hazy and grey. The polish is still there but the color is dull. I've attached an image of the sample where the edges are starting to dry and turn grey. The center where it's still moist shows how I assumed terra sig should look when dry? As a side note, I am using terra sig in a slightly different manner on the textured sample, kind of like a wash to get variation in color/depth. I really like how the higher areas get polished and the lower areas less so. From all the images I have seen with terra sig, all the finishes with color look buttery and bright. Just curious if this is normal for this color of mason stain or if maybe I'm not doing something correctly along the process. I have added wax to one of the pieces after fired to cone 06 and the wax brought back more of the the color. Also, I tried a sample with plain sig (no added stains) and it's stayed a nice soft sheen. Is there any way to eliminate the haziness? I've tried polishing more as the haze sets in but makes very little difference. Any suggestions on what I can try or comments would be greatly helpful! Thank you
  9. Happy New Year wonderful ceramics community! Earlier this past December I had my first open studio and sold a few things, which I was quite pleased to have sold anything! I also made a bunch of tea mugs for gifts which went out as client gifts for a company. To add to my excitement of starting to make a little money, I received an inquiry from Instagram for a tea mug set as a gift and luckily I had one more set left. I rush packed it and sent it out Fedex 3 day which cost around $15 for delivery (customer paid for this). I asked the customer to text me the ship to address thinking that it would be safer to have him text it rather than me possibly writing it down incorrectly. I thought I was doing everything right until I saw the delivery confirmation email saying it was sent to a different address. I texted the customer back and he realized he had sent me the incorrect house number. The package made it but now Fed ex is charging me for the delivery correction of $30 instead of $15. My instinct is to just eat it but am irked that my $20 tea mugs each are now $12.50 each. I feel like this is a good lesson learned and the irony to be great. Even better, the customer offered to give me his fedex account but I declined thinking it would be easier, better customer service, and faster to pay for it up front. Just curious on your thoughts and what you would do? Would you let the customer know?
  10. Thanks for everyone's feedback! I turned it down. Began to realize that this really wasn't such a great opportunity. The only thing I would gain would be lots of unneeded stress and more grey hairs. No thank you.
  11. Hi there! This is my first time posting but have read and learned many great things here. I have been throwing on the wheel for about 1 year now in my studio. My level is perhaps lower end of intermediate, maybe, not sure. I've taken one class so mostly self taught, have made big vessels and small vessels with throwing and combo coil/throwing to get tall (around 18"). Everyday I learn something new. So a great opportunity came to me today. I would be making vessels, of their designs, for a prominent company. They would show these vessels at an industry market and if orders come in, I would make more. I would submit a cost proposal for the first 2 sets delivered and would be paid accordingly if approved. My hang up is the time frame in which they would want the 2 sets of 3-pieces to be delivered. The time frame is 5 weeks from start to completion to arrival to their show which is in the opposite coast of where I am located. I'm attaching an image of the basic parts of these vessels I made today which still needs trimming. Essentially a rounded bowl attached to a tapered base with 2 handles. Not complicated except there is a larger piece. The pieces are sized 1) 7" diameter x 7 h, 2) 10.5" dia x 10 h, and 3) 15" dia x 6 h. All with about 3/16" - 1/4" thick walls. While I think I can form these pieces , my feeling is 5 weeks is not enough time. I'm figuring 1 week to make samples for their approval (color and finish), 1.5 - 2 weeks (because of my skill level and in between clay stiffening times) to form the 6 pieces, which leaves only 2 weeks to dry completely, bisque fire, glaze, final fire, packing and shipping. I fear any rushing of the drying process will result in a cracking. It's still relatively dry where I live now and not yet the rainy, wet season. I am wondering what everyone's thought is on the time frame. I haven't had to make anything in ceramics with a deadline so I haven't had the experience of timing how long it takes for clay to dry. I usually finish a piece and let it dry very slowly while starting on another. I started an order of 40 tea mugs 2 weeks ago that are due in December! Wanted to make sure I had plenty of time for the entire process. If you were an experienced thrower, would you take on a project like this to be done in 5 weeks or is this an unrealistic time frame? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
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