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CactusPots

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Everything posted by CactusPots

  1. Those pretty much are my small size stuffers. I just don't like to throw little stuff. I never learned to throw off the hump and 2 lbs is about the minimum I'll work with. The small spaces I have left can get test tiles, but that's about it. My approach to stacking is to pick out the pots I really want to fire and then fill in as best I can. My challenge is lack of uniformity. What's your approach?
  2. I run trumpet shaped pots next to each other with one upside down. Because the inside isn't glazed, I use a soft brick piece on top of a post that's just the right size. Kind of cool, because I can have the drips running to the top of the pot instead of the bottom. Nice big drip jewel right on the rim. The fun part is fitting this puzzle together especially toward the end. If I have 19" of height left, how to divide that using the pots I have? As you can see from the picture, there's no real consistency in my pots. I feel like I'm cheating if I use any glaze and application more than a couple of times. This load will be strange, I think it's the first time I've fired without knowing where the load is going. I guess I'll just box it up and get it out of the way.
  3. New procedure (for me). Dry load both shelves for one level outside the kiln. Seems obvious, but I just now figured this out. Best tightest load without extra handling newly glazed pots. All planters, so I don't glaze the inside. Soft brick wedges between pots.
  4. Also adding to the variables Bisque temperature: Softer fire will add thickness more easily. Clean pot. A dusty surface will keep the thick glaze from holding on. Crawl glazes are pretty maddening to have in your regular lineup. There are lots of different ways they can turn out from almost nothing to stalactites They always sell though. I'd be working this out with test tiles rather than finished work.
  5. My exterior skin temperature at cone 10 is about 350F with six inches of fiber. So construction material is critical. Very nice on my back to sit next to at the end of the firing.
  6. I've been regularly marking the year on my work. I can't help but wonder what people will think in the future when they see 2020.
  7. I like to get the wood ash drips normally associated with wood fire. I've been putting a fine glass product designed to be used for reflective signs in the wood ash mix. I get nice drips without any issues that I've noticed. I've also been using a small chip of glass on the shoulder of a handled pot to get drips. Most of the time I'm using a shino as a base. That's a really stable glaze that probably helps.
  8. Trippy. Porcelain will stick to the shelves, so I'd use alumina in wax as a foot coating. Nobody can object, because it looks just like wax. I fire pieces with bits of glass in a wood ash mix, right in the glaze fire. I can't see any reason to twice high fire these. Porcelain is nasty enough, in my opinion.
  9. Seriously though Actual helpful criteria for pricing within your own scope of production. 1 size cubic inches required in kiln. I know what I want from a complete load, so I can figure average square inches (or whatever) 2 degree of difficulty If you made 4 and one is sell-able, let's add a few dollars for the cause. Maybe it will get better after you have made a few more. 3 Amount of labor. If it's a 12 step process, it should be priced higher than 4 It's ok to have low priced pots that are dunk and go. 5 Gifts from the fire. Sometimes (especially shinos) it just works out killer. Add money. Got any more?
  10. If you're smashing planters, then you don't have enough plants.
  11. My wife and I live in a 1400 sq ft house and really couldn't monetarily justify the solar without the additional use of the electric kiln. One kiln load equals 2 days running the AC when it's over 100 degrees. The other part of my preference for the electric firing is control. Because of the nature of my work, the ramp I use is 5 hours to 400 degrees and 5 hours to 06. I'm sure I could figure out how to fire like this in the big kiln if I had to, but it would not be much fun. Be really hard to have the downdraft completely even at such low temperatures. I'm not a clawing my way up potter, I'm an easing my way down potter. Everyone agrees to buying convenience when we can.
  12. I'm kind of in the Warren McKenzie camp of thought. It should be priced cheap enough to use. Unless your work is repetitious, it never really gets any easier to price. I did a workshop with Tom Coleman and his quote was "If it comes out of the kiln nice, then you get the nice price".
  13. I don't bisque in the gas kiln because I haven't been able to fire gas as evenly as the electric at low temps. Also the convenience of a of a schedule over night. I figured the load of regular bisque firings into the configuration of the solar panels on the house. I get a LOT of sun where I live. My best guess of cost for 1 load in the electric kiln was about $15. So 7 x 15 = 105 Propane kiln is about 35 gallons at $4 = 140 to cone 10 But like I said, it's already paid for.
  14. Don't have them all logged, but I have fired pretty regularly 3 loads per year in my gas kiln. The average number of electric bisque per gas load is about 7. 3 x 7 = 21 x (20 years)= around 400 1227 is larger than my 1027 by about 30%, I think. If it's the same amperage (60), then it's working harder, right? I just don't know if this is something to pursue or not. It seems to be working fine, but I am a believer in regular maintenance where necessary. If I could find a test procedure, I'd probably do it. My electric kiln is better insulated than standard, as I run a 4" fiber blanket on the top. Cool to 200 before removing.
  15. Since I'm not going above 06 and firing on a programmed schedule, the kiln won't take longer or be unable to reach temperature, but should be using more power than new at some point. Right? Anyone have an expectation for the life span under these conditions?
  16. Being a west coast guy, I'm late to the party, but have recently come to the conclusion that Bailey's is the best to deal with ceramic supply distributor. Expensive, maybe. Shipping is a killer to the west coast, but I got a return phone call from David Bailey. Can't beat that. To me, service is king.
  17. I put a piece of ceramic fiber and a kiln shelf on the bottom so I'm not stacking directly on the fire brick. Seems to have been a good move.
  18. Now I get that this forum is largely electric fire and the ones that gas fire mostly do kitchenware. But really, no one mentions shinos? I get more different results from one bucket of basic shino with different applications than all the rest of my buckets. By far my favorite glaze. I have to consciously select other glazes.
  19. 10% off new, I expect. Get that info from handbook or website?
  20. I have the very nice programmable controller on my 1027 Skutt. It has only ever been fired to 06. After 20 years and 400+ firings it still seems pretty consistent. Will I see an increase in firing time as an indication of coil wear? I did recently replace the thermocouple. After it finishes my bisque ramp program, it flashes CMPT and a number. The load that just finished is 9.5 Is this nine hours and 50 minutes or 9 hours thirty minutes? Looking back over time, the firings have varied as much as 30 minutes. What factors can cause variation in the same firing program? I load the kiln as tightly as possible every time. I will stop and make a few pots if I need something to fill space.
  21. Test Tiles! Run a test tile on every glaze and then do test tiles for combinations. Find a way to keep them on hand, on display for glazing reference. References for clays also if you experiment there also. It's easy to forget a glaze or combination when you're glazing and loading. How many? More, more more. Every glaze fire should have at least one new glaze test, in my opinion.
  22. My point is most potters won't do plant pots for what ever reason. So consequently, you are dealing with lesser competition when you make something not a lot of experienced potters make. In addition, poorly made kitchen ware is obvious since most people handle kitchen ware. Planters have a much less rigid standards. If you have any knowledge of growing plants, it's pretty easy to satisfy their requirements. I'm just pointing out that's it's an easier market entry point for relatively inexperienced potters. If you have boutique nurseries, talk to them and see.
  23. As for using the compressor, I'm a big fan of blasting every pot before glazing. It's a dusty environment between the clay dust and the natural place I live.
  24. So, what exactly is the objection to crazed glazes? I'm guessing we are talking dinnerware. If it's strictly decorative, who cares, anything goes, right? If we are talking dinnerware, then are we assuming bacterial growth in the crazing? Or maybe weakening of the structure to not support dishwashers? I doubt any dishware producers guarantee microwave compatibility, right? Or maybe that's not an issue. Personally, all I have made all my own personal kitchenware, although I don't market this product whatsoever. I have some pretty funky stuff, as this is not my usual lineup. Can't say I have noticed any issues. Except they don't bounce when dropped.
  25. It's all about the kiln. It's not really pottery until it's fired. A small kiln (especially electric), will mean limited production and smaller pieces. If you really have something to say, then you're an artist and making art means making a name. Can take a very long time depending on your chops. If you're filling a need, then you're a crafts person and that means finding a market. Making dinner ware, etc, means competing with every potter who has been doing it for 40+ years. My advice? Make planters and find a market. Nurseries, club sales whatever. Depends on how much you need to make. Let the contrary opinions begin.
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