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About Kakes

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  1. The Nilfisk is completely sealed, and I didn't notice any exhaust, but that doesn't seem possible, now that you mention it. I'll check next time I'm in the studio..
  2. I thought I'd report back about what I ended up with. After much research, I bought a Nilfisk Aero 21-01 PC HEPA vacuum which cost about $350 directly from Nilfisk. They sell through Amazon too. This was the most reasonably priced of the vacuums that I felt like I could trust to not blow silica dust back all over my studio - they have lots of documentation on this. One thing I found is that there are a lot of vacuums labeled HEPA, but that in no way guarantees safety from dust. Even though I do mop every day, I really needed a vacuum for cleaning (like vacuuming out the kiln occasionally). There are a couple of quirks with this model: there is no cord storage, it doesn't come with a brush attachment (I ordered one from Nilfisk for a few dollars), and the hose is super long which is kind of a pain for maneuvering around tight areas but some people might like that you don't have to move the canister around much. For a bit extra, you can get the model that hooks up with power tools - I wish I'd gotten that one. Oh well.
  3. @Mark C. @Bill Kielb and everyone else who responded, thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge. I am deeply appreciative. (Sorry for the delay in my response - it's been a long holiday season.) I"m suffering from sticker shock but I'm tempted by the Advancers, mostly by the possibility of never having to deal with kiln wash again and the never warping. BUT - it seems like there are other options that might come close which I hadn't known about til now (thanks again for all this great info! this forum is the best!!) I will mull over my choices and report back. Btw, is there a way to link to a person here without quoting an entire post?
  4. Thank you, Bill. Should I turn off the electricity to the kiln when loading or unloading with these shelves? I have a kill switch which I've always just left on. Is this a bad idea generally?
  5. Thank you for your answers, Dick White. When you say "be careful to mount them where they are between elements.", do you mean that they shouldn't line up with a row of elements? Is this generally true with kiln shelves? I thought I just had to be careful of the thermocouple. I'm using a top loading electric kiln. This is my first year and I'm learning by doing!
  6. Hello, I just spent a couple hours reading up on Advancer shelves including all the posts here that came up on the search. I still have a few questions I'm hoping some of you might be able to answer before I bite the bullet and spend the $$$. I fire large stoneware slabs (up to 20") flat on small stoneware rods (1/4" diameter) to prevent cracking. Warping doesn't matter so much. Will they do anything different on Advancer shelves? Could I stop using the rods? Right now I have the regular solid cheap shelves - forgot what they're called. Also, I have a downdraft vent on my kiln (skutt). Is this ok with Advancers? Trying to decide whether to wash the shelves -- I only use stoneware, which seems like it's ok not to wash. Do the shelves need to be flipped? (I hate messing with kiln wash, especially the clean up of shelves.) And finally, do I need to wash the ends of my kiln posts? I've never done this before, but I thought I read that it's a good idea with the advancers. Thank you!
  7. I can't figure out if this is an option -- is there a way to save posts so I can access them easily later? Like in a list of favorites? thank you, keiko
  8. Wow, that's impressive. I'm definitely going to start doing that. What type/brand of vacuum do you use? I need to buy a new one - the one I'm using is a dinky, old handheld type that spews everything out its rear end.
  9. I've heard that mopping is the best way to clean a studio, but what about a vacuum cleaner? I was told to vacuum out my kiln occasionally. I was wondering about the various models out there, wet/dry vacuums, heap filters, etc. Do any of you use a vacuum, and what type? Is it a terrible, dangerous idea?
  10. Thanks, Neil. Should I follow the slip recipe with the 240 or try another one? I'm looking for a basic black slip. Sorry, I've never made a colored slip before.
  11. I fire to cone 5, 5.5 or 6, usually 5.5. I use Standard 420, a sculpture clay, 710 which is 266 w/grog, or 240. these are all stoneware. I don't know the name of the slip recipe, I buy it readymade at a local studio. It contains: grolleg, redart, minspar 200, silica, bentonite, pyrophyllite, red iron oxide, black iron oxide, manganese dioxide, and cobalt oxide. I have a Skutt 1222, a year old.
  12. I was wondering how I could fire something so it has either glaze or slip on all sides without picking up bits of kiln shelf. Here's what I'm trying to do. I am making circular discs 5-7" diameter, pretty thin, like1/8", with a 2-3" long hole in it (for a wire). They'll eventually be standing upright on wire posts. I want to be able to have either glaze and/or colored slip on both sides. I'm using slip because I thought it might not stick to the kiln shelf. I tried to fire it on a nichrome wire post, with a little stand that I made, but they're too heavy and the wire bent over. That's why I'm using slip, so I can fire them laying flat. My problem is that even though they don't stick to the shelf, there are still little scars and bits of kiln wash sticking to them. I haven't tried kiln stilts because I wondered if there would be any little pricks, which happens with glazed surfaces. Would there be any pin pricks if I used slip? I really need their surface to be as flawless as possible. I've fired flat slabs on coils which works, but never with slip on the bottom. I've heard something about alumina hydrate but have no clue how I would use it. How do people fire things that need to have glaze (or slip) on all sides?? Any suggestions and advice greatly appreciated!
  13. I think handmade pottery is shockingly underpriced. (I'm not a functional potter, just a fan.) I've noticed that potters who have a strong social media presence, especially instagram, can sell out everything they make, either at a weekend studio sale or online. These potters' mugs sell for $60-80 and they sell like hotcakes. Also, just as a side note, I'm always looking for bowls; small ice cream bowls, larger pasta bowls (personal size), etc. Bowls, especially the rounded kind, are a very popular way to serve food now - think of all the restaurants serving rice bowls, açaí bowls, salad bowls, etc. I hardly ever find these kinds of bowls at craft/art fairs. I love mugs but I don't need anymore, except as gifts. Maybe try selling more bowls, less mugs?
  14. I've been adding surface texture to some pieces with some clay slurry I mixed up with the same clay, dried and slaked. No other additions. It seems to work fine for my needs, no fit issues, but I'm new to all this chemistry, so maybe I'm missing something. Have you tried that?
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