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  1. Like
    Deleted user got a reaction from Rae Reich in temp for opening kiln?   
    Our impatience is usually kept by our firing schedule with our electric kiln. If we spend the day firing - hit cone before bedtime. We let it cool while we sleep. In the morning it's less than 200 degrees, and yes - it's  just like Christmas!
    We can't even drink a cup of coffee before we run to the kiln in the morning...
  2. Like
    Deleted user reacted to Idaho Potter in india ink or what else ?   
    Well, shoot! I got sidetracked. If you want the pot to be truly functional, use a non-crackle glaze on the interior, then you only have to test how soon the india ink, or whatever, will last in the dishwashing. I have glazed (to cone 5-6) the interior of a bowl, and then raku fired the exterior expecting crackle. I leave a unglazed band between the cone six and raku glaze (it becomes black during the post-fire reduction). My clay is a raku clay that can take lots of different temperatures. I have also glazed the interior with cone 05-06 glaze which matures during a raku firing. Not knowing what you are firing your work to, makes it hard to adequately address your problem.
  3. Like
    Deleted user reacted to Russ in Carbon Footprint of Wood Fired vs Electric   
    I built the kiln where the damper, blower and fireboxes were on one side. The chimney is between the fireboxes  and has a heat shield. Air is forced between this heatshield and the chimney brick preheating the air that is channeled to the fireboxes.  At our altitude (6500 ft) the problem is a lack of oxygen and the blower, scavenged from a home forced air furnace, was the remedy.
    It's an all hard brick kiln but I've insulated it well with kaowool and other various materials and wrapped it with corrugated roofing material.

  4. Like
    Deleted user reacted to Mark C. in Carbon Footprint of Wood Fired vs Electric   
    No question wood is harder on a body than other fuels.Just the physical strength needed to process is a lot.I fire my salt kiln with gas and thats harder on one than a normal gas fire because of the spraying salt/fumes and work involved .Wood /salt soda pots should cost more as they are really  a lot more labor.The wood fires I have been involved with even this way back on my property in the 70's kicked my ass. 
  5. Like
    Deleted user reacted to LeeU in QotW:What is the value of formal education in developing Ceramic skills?   
    I avoid juried groups and exhibits and try not to succumb to doing local art shows. It's just not for me. I was exposed to the "art scene" in NYC and VA and there is nothing about the whole milieu that I care for, especially the lifestyle that can come with it in some places, if one gets caught up in that. 
    The most valuable learning I got from  my formal education (a state school) in ceramics was being taught the necessity and practice of critical thinking, and vetting for myself any assertions before buying into something, (like the mass mis-perception that Picasso is a great and revolutionary artist-sorry, couldn't resist). The first time I heard an excellent art history presentation on what was beyond the surface in a 15th century painting, where the fly on the pretty piece of fruit was actually a socio-economic commentary on the deterioration of the culture at the time, I realized that art is often about more than "what you see is what you get " or what I like or don't like--that formal education about art--making it, understanding it,  and appreciating it--is important.  
    When I learned how to center and throw, I also learned about the great potters throughout the centuries, and clay artists working with non-functional objects.  This was amazing to me, and without the BFA degree program I doubt I'd ever be enlightened about the depth of possibilities for making things of clay and other materials, or the impact of art on the world. That is not to say that probably a high percentage of the learning could be acquired outside of a formal educational process, with free lectures, Youtube videos, decent local studio classes, local guilds etc. , and maybe easier to handle cost-wise , assuming there is a drive to make self-education a priority.  I often say something is not either-or, it is yes-and, and I thin k the viewpoints in this thread fit that perfectly--great discussion! 
    3 hours after I wrote the above, this popped up on my FB feed: ""The true purpose of arts education is not necessarily to create more professional dancers or artists. It's to create more complete human beings who are critical thinkers, who have curious minds, who can lead productive lives." -- Kelly Pollock
  6. Like
    Deleted user got a reaction from LeeU in QotW:What is the value of formal education in developing Ceramic skills?   
    Done with this forum
  7. Like
    Deleted user reacted to GEP in Carbon Footprint of Wood Fired vs Electric   
    In my area, there is a wood pallet supplier that will give its old worn-out pallets to wood-firers for free. This is wood that has served a long industrial life and is otherwise heading for a landfill, unless a potter gives it one last ride through a wood kiln. Environmentally speaking I think it’s a plus. The pallets need to be busted up, but the wood is already in long flat pieces, and very dry from age.
    I personally think that wood-firing is less healthy for you, the potter. After a wood-firing, my lungs and throat feel like I’ve smoked a whole pack of cigarettes.
  8. Like
    Deleted user reacted to Mark C. in Carbon Footprint of Wood Fired vs Electric   
    I agree that the carbon footprint  of wood is next to zero compared to hydro.
    Wood is a natural deal and as a forestry /art major at one long ago distant time (1971-1972) before I dropped forestry and stayed with art. We learned that trees have a given life cycle and after they mature (called climax forest) they degrade and burning is a natural process for the next one to restart.
    Wood kiln do take lots of wood but in your state wood is a harvestable resource that is similar to cutting grass.
    I would go for it and yes compared to electric fire wood pots shine more in most values-they are big work to produce so you need lots of help firing.
    As to gas well -propane is expensive and I think you are not in a natural gas zone which is way cheaper . I myself love high fire pottery for many reasons but I also have had natural gas kilns for 45 years.
    I'm a gas kiln person-I like the fire and the results and the process.
  9. Like
    Deleted user reacted to liambesaw in Carbon Footprint of Wood Fired vs Electric   
    Your personal impact on the environment with wood firing is pretty low unless you're chopping down trees specifically to burn.  When we go out and get wood (up here in Washington) we always take fallen trees, which would eventually burn in a forest fire anyway.  But it may be hard to source that amount of dead fall if you're firing very often.  You could mitigate this by building a large kiln and firing periodically instead.  
    Gas is very dirty in comparison, it is marketed as clean, but it's only clean burning.  The process of extracting, refining and transporting is where the environment suffers.  
    Electric, especially hydro\wind is pretty clean (and CHEAP), and like you said, it's very easy to keep track of the cost.  Hydro does have a pretty negative impact on wildlife, but the amount of energy created is very high, so the environmental cost is low (compared to traditional sources).
    No matter which you choose to use, your impact is near zero, so choose with your mind and not with your heart.
  10. Like
    Deleted user reacted to liambesaw in Help with 3rd/4th Glaze test results   
    Are you using their same bisque schedule?
    Same clay body as the studio?
    Sometimes those bubbles are from bisqued pieces that were fired too fast
  11. Like
    Deleted user reacted to neilestrick in QotW:What is the value of formal education in developing Ceramic skills?   
    I think that what you get out of school is what you put into it. I know several people who came out of the same programs as me with little to show for it, and others who came out ready to take on the world. I found college and grad school to be a place of a million possibilities. It's where I learned to make pots, and where I learned a ton of technical knowledge that set me on the path toward a career in ceramics. In college and grad school I had far more clay and glaze materials available for testing than I could ever have in my private studio. I had kilns of every type available. I had the knowledge of dozens of other students who had come from other programs. There was no surrendering of free will, self-fulfillment, or creativity. In fact I would say there is far more creativity because a college program has far more resources and knowledge available, which allow you to work in directions you wouldn't be able to do on your own, or didn't even know existed. I had teachers that demanded and supported creativity and experimentation. If I didn't show up to the weekly critiques with something creative I was in trouble. In ceramics, and any art, lack of knowledge and technical skill are stifling. The more you know, the greater the possibilities. And all the non-art classes that I took? Those come in very handy too. Calculus, sociology, biology, writing, Spanish, music, economics, etc. They are all helpful to me as a business owner, husband, parent, and teacher. You can't live in an art bubble.
    A college program also has a much faster learning curve, because there is a schedule that must be followed in order to get the grade. You either practice and learn the skill, or your grade suffers. An art center program doesn't have that kind of schedule, so the learning curve is much, much slower. Are you really 'wasting tons of cash and years of your life' if you get more skills in half the time? The whole purpose of an MFA program is to create a body of work that can then be produced and sold when you get out of school. I don't see how that is a waste of time or money.
    It's not any cheaper to learn to make pots at an art center than at a college. Say you take a class at a local art center or studio and it costs $150 a month (which is a little low in many places), that's $1800 a year if you go all year. In that class, you're going to learn, at most, 1/2 of what you would in a decent college program (if even that). I know this because I teach community classes. When people only come into the studio once or twice a week,  it takes a lot longer to learn the skills, and the resources aren't there to provide a really comprehensive ceramics education. So if you do the math, you'd need to go 2 years, $3600, to get the equivalent education of one year of a college program. Add in the cost of clay, and in many studios also the cost of glazing and firing, and it's even more. And you probably don't get to load and fire the kilns, or mix glazes, or have formal critiques, or have the variety of kilns and raw materials available to you. Full time tuition at UW Whitewater for residents is $7,692. That's for 4 or more classes, so no more than $1923 a year per class.
    Yes, there are some college art programs that are very expensive, but you don't have to go to those. I went to  state schools that were quite inexpensive at the time, and got a better education than my friends that went to the expensive schools. But I also worked really hard to make sure I got a good education. It wasn't just handed to me. I took advantage of all that was available to me and made sure I wasn't leaving anything out. I spent 40+ hours per week in the studio from day one, 70 hours a week in grad school. I helped our lab tech with all of his maintenance jobs. I learned how to fire every kiln. I built kilns. I ran thousands of glaze tests. Not all schools are the same, not all schools are good, and not all schools are a good fit for every person. You have to do your research and figure out what's best for you. I'm sorry if you've had a bad experience with formal education, but to say that all college is bad is inaccurate.
  12. Like
    Deleted user got a reaction from Rae Reich in Skutt Kiln S/S rings reattaching   
    Strength! That's what's missing!
  13. Like
    Deleted user got a reaction from liambesaw in QotW:What is the value of formal education in developing Ceramic skills?   
    Done with this forum
  14. Like
    Deleted user reacted to Min in QotW:What is the value of formal education in developing Ceramic skills?   
    This is an interesting topic, people on both sides of the debate with very strong points of view. Just a friendly reminder that even though we may agree to disagree we need to avoid being disagreeable. Lets keep the tone civil so the discussion may continue.
    Thank you.
  15. Like
    Deleted user reacted to LeeU in QotW:What is the value of formal education in developing Ceramic skills?   
    I think that painting everyone with the same brush is inherently inaccurate.  I submit there are many people who do not justify their good fortune in earning a degree by assuming negative things about others who did not/were not able to go the same route.  Just because  someone is educated and has a degree, that does not automatically tell anybody anything about their life, their values, their struggles, their pain (or joy), their economic status (good or bad) or their politics/philosophy/world view. 
     I always wanted to study art and the creative process as expressed in this and other cultures, now and in history. The value of formal education in developing my skills in ceramics is worth 1000xs the price, for many reasons, and it is still paying off to this day.  As someone who earned a BFA from an esteemed art school, while on welfare and struggling mightily as a single parent with a toddler in tow, and 20 years older than the other students, in deep poverty, at times homeless, with many other crippling hardships, plus the add-on of student loans, I must assert how  enriching, valuable, freeing, and supportive of my creative expression and drive, and my very survival, the experience was.
    What I got was a sterling education from the best faculty of knowledgible, competant, and skilled artists/instructors one could ever want. I have carried and used the benefits of that excellent education throughout all aspects of my life, not just in art interactions, but in ctitical thinking, world-view, career, understanding people and cultures, and many other areas of functioning. My formal training was invaluable and has enhanced my creative expression and appreciation of crafts & art. It took nothing away from my innate creative drive, my ideas, my self-concept/identity, or my preferences for working with my materials. When someone is being derisive and dismissive of that "piece of paper" Old Lady's line comes to mind:  "putting you down does not raise me up." Or rather, putting me down does not raise you up.
  16. Like
    Deleted user reacted to neilestrick in Best Tent For Craft Show?   
    I would never go to a show with a $200 canopy. They just aren't strong enough. I've been using a  Caravan popup for the last 6 years, but it's worn out and needs replacing. THIS is the canopy I'm buying this week. It's going to cost me $800, but it's got 2" legs, 1.5" cross bars, aluminum brackets, and is totally waterproof. I would also never use a popup without additional stabilizer/cross bars. You can get them from Flourish and they're worth every penny. They make your booth way more stable. Even the heavy duty canopies won't survive without them. You'll also need heavy weights for the corners so your booth doesn't blow away in wind. I use 35lb. cast iron dumbbells. You really can't go cheap when it comes to your booth. Even with all that I've had my popup crumpled in 80 mph winds, although it didn't blow away, unlike many of my neighbors. Several heavy duty canopies got crumpled that day, too.
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