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Scott G

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  1. My Skutt model 231 kiln can't make it much higher than cone 6, so I plan to keep that as my max. Can't afford a new kiln and I finally got the kilnsitter setup to trip at the right point. It's older than me according to https://skutt.com/skutt-resources/manuals/kilnsitter/ - says it is made before 1980 so it's basically a functioning antique. In good shape too.. unlike me... I'm switching to a medium range stoneware (Firing range is cone 06 to cone 8) so it will be more mature. I quoted the stoneware based off an empty box I had laying around the house but have since found the above empty medium range stoneware box in the house as well. Not sure how that happened, but the mid range luckily matches the same shrinkage rate at cone 6 so marbling should still be fine I assume. All the clay is mixed by Rovin Ceramics. The porcelain is also Rovin - Firing range is cone 6, Shrinkage at cone 6 is 11.7%, Absorption at cone 6 it is 0.9%. Description: RO-95 is a very white domestic kaolin porcelain for firing at cone 6. Well-suited for wheel work and hand-building, RO-95 is also used as a pattern clay for mold-makers. https://rovinceramics.com/collections/white-moist-clay/products/ro-95-cone-6-porcelain @neilestrick - - Did the above answer the question on the porcelain? Perhaps I need to find a clear glaze for the stoneware/terracotta and a separate for the porcelain? I never would have thought of needing different clear glazes, another reason I'm glad this community exists.
  2. Whoops, good point Neilestrick. Very nice gallery pictures btw. Firing to cone 6, and my marbled clay is rovin clay Terracotta with fine grog cone 5 and high fire light stoneware cone 6-10 and the marbled porcelain is mid range cone 6 as well. Is there a versatile clear recipe that would suit all 3 clay bodies? Had such bad luck with actual glazes that I started doing the marbling to enable clear glaze usage and have liked results so I plan to do this for a while. My kiln is an old kilnsitter so I've been careful when it trips to turn back on right after for 20-30 mins with all 3 knobs at Medium to give glaze a chance to finish bubbles and controlled cool down.
  3. I am blown away at the amount of helpful responses to this post. Thank you all! I decided that single firing would be fun, but without the ability to spray the glaze on, dipping greenware makes me nervous, so I will plan to fire bisque first. As for the glaze defects, I found a strainer and strained the crap outta the glaze and found the little chunks in the glaze, which is annoying cause AMACO dipping glaze instructions didn't even mention having to strain them. Also, $70+ for the small 1.5 gallon bucket is outrageously expensive after using most of it already. Slightly off topic, is there a favorite glaze book or recipe for a clear glaze that people are happy with? I do most of my shopping at Rovin Ceramics in Ann Arbor MI and they have a wide variety of dry goods I can use. https://rovinceramics.com/collections/dry-materials Been experimenting with Mason stains and porcelain, clear glaze is almost gone and the next batch will be ready in ~1 month so I need to get a head start on glaze experimentation.
  4. Thank you all for the well thought out responses. I have the hand pump sprayer which I will attempt a few pieces for single firing. I did notice a few defects in the dipped bisqueware too, any comments happily welcome. This whole size limiting thing makes it tough to share issues. Had to screenshot the picture and then threw yellow stars where the pinholes and red stars with bounds around it to show the milky run from a not perfectly dipped piece. Don't like that it is cloudy, would rather a thinner glaze to simply protect the body.
  5. Will post pictures as soon as I get home, but I read somewhere that one does not really have to fire greenware before glazing. I understand there is a risk, and I am increasingly frustrated with the quality of the pieces coming out of my kiln. Kiln fires to Cone 6, I bisque to Cone 06. I bought a 25lb mix of the Amaco Ironstone and have been super disappointed. Switched to clear glaze (amaco mixing clear) because I started doing work with mason stains and marbeling clay bodies together, wedging nicely, and then throwing the pieces. They turned out great, but I started experimenting with dipping greenware in the glaze, and brushing it on. The dipped pieces came out just as beautiful as the brushed pieces, but the glaze pooled and or looks slightly milky in the areas where a little extra glaze collected after dipping. (clear glaze was not cheap, I want to try making my own, and I know there are many recipes but never sure where to start... I triple checked that I measured and calculated the specific gravity properly (1.41 g/ml) and I'm wondering what the pros and cons of direct firing a greenware piece with glaze on it. The color seems to have come out the same, but dipping pieces are tough cause I cant use tongs, and small buildup seems to be inevitable with a hand held dipped piece due to awkwardness of holding while dipping. Also dont want handles to fall off into expensive glaze bucket... Brushing worked ok, but perhaps I should try spraying a light layer instead? Current picture is greenware, but hoping this shows that I'm not some n00b with terrible output. 2 marbling types to date. Ones for practice with terra cotta and stoneware, and the second with porcelain and porcelain mixed with mason stains with the same wedging and throwing process. I have lots of pictures documenting the process but I don't know if this would ever be requested for a How-To. Mostly looking for advice on: 1 - achieving a thin clear glaze (brushing vs spraying vs making my own glaze - since the 10lb bucket of mixing clear set me back $76!) 2 - pros and cons of direct glazing said greenware marbled pieces since coat will be thin and all the detail work lies within the clay so no thick / glaze run expected.
  6. Thank you Mark. Great info thanks for sharing. I had an electrician run the wiring and I told and showed them the Kiln with the specs on it so they knew they're supposed to put in at least 50 amp breakers for it. Since you were so helpful, how much difference can I really expect with purchased peephole plugs versus ones that I have custom fit and subsequently semi fired from previous uses? See pic. Thanks
  7. Hello community, first post, looking for help. Got an old Skutt kilnsetter model 231 (electric) kiln donated to me. Specs for the kiln are single phase 240volt pulling 47AMP. The electricians who ran the line apparently only installed 40amp breakers which I am working to fix, the kiln constantly trips the breaker when going to high on all 3 knobs. I just bought the envirovent downdraft vent kit for the kiln, but since this thing is older than I am, I am worried it will be pulling air in from all the gaps in each section - (base to section 1 aka low section, section 1-2, 2-3, and 3-lid). I blame this intelligent community for my paranoia because until recently I had been keeping only 1 peep hole open on firings but a recent glazed bisque firing yielded a bunch of what looked like burnt pieces and it was devastating. There was post about oxidation kilns and how I should be firing greenware with all peep holes open and the lid propped by ceramic fiber blanket until I reach 1700F. This took a lot longer, especially with me running down to breaker to reset (wrong amperage breaker, will fix) but in order to increase efficiency I want to seal each gap with blanket on the outside, was thinking of buying more fiber blanket, cutting strips 3-4 inches wide, and wrapping around the kiln so the downdraft vent can successfully pull air in through the top. Or wrapping around most of outside except manual dial area. I don't have actual peep hole plugs so I made some out of clay, which I would keep in place and figure out some way to insulate those with blanket too. Is this necessary? I read some forum where there was a comment made about the blanket causing issues for the steel wrapping around the firebrick which I would be covering and I dont want to cause more issues. I also have some kiln cement I could mix in and attempt to spackle in each gap but I already know this wont stay, seal, or work well. chemical hazard with the kiln cement as well, not ideal. The kiln and its firebrick is in ok condition, I think the kiln is 30 years old, but the small gaps will very likely reduce effectiveness of the drilled holes. I'm worried I'll do all this work installing the vent, and when I hold a flame to the lid holes I drilled, it won't suck it in much. Also, being an engineer I like the idea of insulating the outside of the kiln if there aren't many risks associated with this. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS!
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