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Liam V

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  1. I've recently come upon a video demonstrating that you can make your own whiting or calcium carbonate by bisque firing egg shells. I've tried this myself and now have a jar of fine white powder which I am keen to test in a predominantly whiting glaze recipe. I love the thought that I can make an attractive glaze out of materials that I can gather myself! I was wondering if any of you have any nifty ways that one could make their own glaze materials for cheap or by recycling household leftovers (Perhaps even materials that can be dug from the ground and refined). Bonus side question: Does anyone have any simple glaze recipes between cone 6 and 10 that use whiting and not much else? Bonus Bonus side question: I have also found very small particulates of alluvial gold (may also be pyrite) as well as a small amount of magnetite, any ideas for these? I was thinking of mixing the magnetite into a clay body to get a speckled appearance but am worried about the suitability of magnetite when a functional piece is placed into a microwave.
  2. I didn't realise that most people fired to cone 5 and cone 6 until it was too late. I bought about 200 kgs of cone 9-10 clay before I actually had a kiln. Now that I've got a kiln, I've been told that it can be very hard on the elements with that kind of temperature I believe I only have witness cones for 05, as that was the temperature the technician I should do the calibration firing for. @Hulk were you saying that specific gravity can influence whether a glaze crazes or not? I never actually measured mine, I used Jon the Potter's methods of unscientifically measuring specific gravity.
  3. I haven't noticed any bloating, the glazes look fine as far as I can tell, however I have very little experience with kilns and glaze; I've spent the last year doing wheel throwing only. These are cone 10 glazes and clay bodies, once I get through everything I have left, I'm going to swap to cone 5 or 6. I'm hoping I'll lucky dip on a combination that has the same shrinkage rate, not too confident with changing the temperature offset on my kiln just yet.
  4. @Babs The v6-cf comes with a few default schedules, I used the one labelled 'fast glaze' so I'm not too sure about the firing schedule. @neilestrick would I be fine with foregoing the offest and just leaving it as is? I've noticed all my pieces crazed, but I think that's related to the clay body used rather than the slight overfiring.
  5. So I recently got a brand new olympic kiln and the guy who sold it helped me do a calibration firing. I believe these are cone 05 witness cones and the kiln was fired to cone 05. I'm still waiting on their response, but in the mean time, I was wondering if anyone here could give me an expert opinion. They look overfired to me, however, since this testing I've done a bisque firing to cone 06 which seems fine so far and a cone 10 glaze firing (It only reached 1270 degrees celcius before completing; I think cone 10 is closer to 1300 degrees celcius). I've also noticed that I can see the heat inbetween the gaps of the kiln lid and around the plugs, not sure if kilns are meant to be completely sealed (I imagine this is why my kiln didn't quite make it to cone 10 before giving up) I have yet to open the glaze firing as its all still cooling down. The first image is of the cone from the bottom shelf and the second is of the cone on the middle shelf.
  6. So I ended up trying the advice on here and fired some greenware in a barrel. I didn't have enough wood to keep the fire going more than two hours but the clay is vitrified enough that it doesn't dissolve in water. This is a stoneware body and it works quite well as a planter. Definitely smells charcoally though
  7. Haha, while I was reading through the manuals I noticed a constant mention and recommendation of not leaving a manual kiln unattended (as well as on some 'electronic vs manual kiln' reivews). This worries me, although I've discovered that a manually operated kilnsitter can be partnered with an automatic thermocouple, which could potentially up the safety factor. As such, I'm having an immense amount of difficulty deciding between the paragon kiln (which seems to be a well known brand; with an approximately 84L volume) and an LT-3K controller (which I believe is automatic but not electronic) and the CTL kiln (which seems to be relatively unpopular; with approximately 74L volume) and an LT-3 controller (which is manual and I've read requires a watchful eye during firing). The paragon kiln definitely sounds better but will end up costing me somewhere around 1700 dollars, versus the cromartie which will be around 800 dollars. Then there's the issue of working out the differences in installation processes for 30 amps and 21 amps. I'd like to learn the installation process myself (these are both 1 phase kilns so I'm hoping that will make it easier), partly because knowledge is power but mostly because I'm a broke uni student and an electrician sounds expensive. I'll probably have much more clarity in the morning, considering I'll get a break from reading about kilns for the last 12 hours. Thank you all for your advice so far! I know I'm probably asking a lot of stupid questions but I'm appreciating the guidance so much! (the local potter community in my area isn't particularly interested in including novices)
  8. The inside looks pretty good; does the safety level significantly increase if I were to swap the kiln sitter with an electronic controller? Could I technically swap the LT-3 controller out for any electronic controller by unplugging the old one and plugging in the new? The SNF823 is $1500 whereas the manual one is on auction currently at $520 dollars.
  9. The seller never ended up replying so I'm thinking ill go for this kiln instead; It's a lot older looking but also a lot cheaper. I'm a bit worried about the pyrometric cones and how safe these old kilns are compared to the newer ones. I believe it is a cromartie top loader 75 with an LT-3 controller. Is this a manual kiln? Anyone know if its a good idea to buy a fire extinguisher?
  10. I found a steel drum someone threw out and fired two greenware pots in it with a wood fire. The fire lasted about 2 hours and I let it cool for another 5. One pot broke and the other one works fine as a planter; I'm currently looking for an electric kiln so that I can make foodsafe pottery. I imagine a pit fire would function similarly. edit: I used stoneware clay for this
  11. You'd be the perfect person to double check this with! Is this a phase 1 kiln? Would I be able to run it at home without any electrical reconfigurations? I only worry about being able to reach cone 10 as I've been to one class for pottery and the glaze firing was to 1280 degrees celcius which I think is cone 9.
  12. I've just found a second hand SNF823 kiln for sale for about $1500 AUD (which is the cheapest I've ever seen for a kiln in Australia). Would this be good for a first time kiln user/buyer? It has an old timey switch controller, how difficult is it to change this to an electronic controller? Would something like this be suitable for consistent cone 10 firings? It also comes with a bunch of shelves. These are my other options which do not include kiln shelves and are new: MAS1818HE Kiln $3,295.00 Olympic MAS1818HE Kiln, Single Phase 21Amps, 2.63cf (74lt), fires to Cone 10/1288°C Internal dimensions: 44.5cm wide x 47cm deep MAS1823HE Kiln $3,495.00 Olympic MAS1823HE, Single Phase 26.25Amps, 3.29cf (93lt), fires to Cone 10/1288°C Internal dimensions: 59cm wide x 57cm deep
  13. Medex seems like the most popular opinion here, we've got this at bunnings https://www.bunnings.com.au/9mm-standard-mdf-900mm-x-600mm_p0590030 Would this suffice or is medex better? MDF definitely contains formaldehyde; would it be a good idea to seal it with this https://www.bunnings.com.au/feast-watson-500ml-spar-marine-varnish_p1561089 For those of you using medex/MDF bats, do you find it necessary to seal or use as is once youve cut it to size? Edit: I've just discovered medex is actually formaldehyde free, but I don't think I can get it in Australia, which sucks.
  14. My bad, confused MDF with masonite!
  15. I'm looking to cut my own bats out, from either masonite or high pressure laminate. My only worry is that formaldehyde is used to manufacture these products and I don't know how I feel about having such materials constantly brushing against my hands. I've also noticed that some of the commercial batting systems use masonite. Does anyone have any experience or opinion with this? Is there a material that doesn't use formaldehyde and makes a good bat?
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