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Everything posted by CactusPots

  1. Challenge accepted. Both have inherent complications, gas firing simply has more. No where is gas easier or simpler. Obviously, first off, the management of atmosphere. Balancing damper and gas pressure. Knowing the kiln well enough to work with uneven reduction. Putting aside the modified electric to gas conversions, a typical gas kiln costs substantially more than a typical electric kiln. I would describe the typical gas kiln as about 24 cubic ft and the typical electric as 7-10, so a typical gas kiln has a larger footprint. An electric kiln is more likely to have an au
  2. Not surprising to me your explanation is mostly centered around academic ceramics. That's where most ceramics happens. Also, Cone 6 electric is just easier in every way than cone 10 reduction. Some of those ways are a very big deal.
  3. I'd like to see the glaze. Would this be considered a good food safe glaze? Not many of us firing cone 10 anymore I think.
  4. I'm convinced the best cookies for this are cut soft brick. I use a bandsaw with a shop vac attachment, because as previously noted I'm a tool geek. Cut on a bandsaw, they're perfectly even and absorb glaze really well. They're easy to grind off if needed. Without the joy of tools, a hacksaw and some patience will net a box full. They can be reused indefinitely. At least until they perform the glaze soak function. Most any old softbrick will cut into nice cookies. Don't need to use new ones, just have hoarder friends with piles they'll never use.
  5. In Southern California we would do something like this in the desert. I'd suggest some kind of similar environment. Maybe on a beach? Nottingham Art in SC did a pit firing in a open industrial area with FD permissions. If you could delay and schedule for a rainy day, maybe that would be an advantage.
  6. A diamond disk on a plexi bat on the potters wheel head with a water drip is well worth the trouble to set up. The diamond head when kept wet lasts a really long time. I put a drain to bucket in the catch pan. Live by the runny glaze.
  7. Follow up on the original post. Rented a very large wet tile saw. Thing had a 20 inch throw. It was loaded on my truck with a fork lift and I ran it in the bed of the truck. Went through the SC shelves like butter (almost). New damper works fine on 2 firings so far. Problem solved and 1 warped shelf eliminated from the rotation.
  8. What temperature would a cone 10 firing shutoff system be set at? Inattention kills, that's for sure. I see it everyday on the So Cal Freeways. Maybe self driving cars will eventually be better. Hard to say. Now that I think about it, what emergency control do non computer control electric kilns have? Lots more of those around than gas kiln these days.
  9. I'm curious as to exactly what scenario or event a high limit shutoff system could backup where an experienced operator in attendance could not. I'm looking to know the emergency that would cause the backup to trigger. Like the operator has a heart attack, while waiting for cones to drop. I ran into similar consultations when I was a telecom tech. The client would ask about backup systems and I would always ask what emergency are you protecting against? A power failure is much different than a hard drive failure. You can't protect against every possibility, so consider what you th
  10. The belts come directly from Laguna. Replace all 4 and keep any that have no cracks when you bend them as spares. The wheel will run perfectly fine with 3 belts, but is noticeably under powered when centering more than about 15 lbs of clay. There really is no good upgrade for the belts such as changing both pulleys and using a V belt. In order to get torque from a small motor, the drive pulley is as small as possible and the driven pulley as large as practical. The drive pulley on the Pacifica is only about 3/4". I couldn't find a V belt pulley anywhere close to that. I always g
  11. Cone 10 stoneware here. I don't glaze the inside of planters either. I know potters that also specialize in planters for xerophytes (cactus and succulents primarily) who do glaze the inside. For most house plants, I still wouldn't glaze the interior. It's actually a complicated subject. A lot of ins, outs and what have yous. The soil mix is going to have more to do with the water retention that the inside surface of the pot. To me the number one reason is I can stack another pot inside for the glaze fire. Very economical. Also no wasted glaze.
  12. To me, the difference between a casual potter and a studio potter is the studio. A casual potter may not have a complete investment. I know a few potters that outsource their firings. A casual potter can be quite complete with just a bag of clay and some off the shelf glazes or even just one iron wash. It's a fine hobby with almost no investment at that point. A studio potter most likely reinvests his sales in facilities and equipment for quite a long time and so has a large degree of versatility. At that point, is freedom to make whatever comes to mind. Creativity is the push. Not to
  13. An interesting topic has come up (for me) in the liner glaze thread. Basically when a glazing or any other procedure is more practical for a production potter or a studio potter or a beginning or casual potter. A production potters goals are much different from either a studio potter or casual potter. I'm using the term studio potter to define myself. Lots of experience, but no interest in making lots of the same pot. A casual potter simply hasn't made enough pots at all. For this particular operation, a liner glaze in a mug or bowl with a sharp demarcation to the exterior glaze, the cas
  14. If you glaze the inside of the pot with the blaster and then remove the top, I assume you are putting the not food safe glaze on the lip now? The object is liner glaze on the inside (and lip), super clean break and whatever glaze you like (shino, barium, much worse) on the outside. Not making a production run.
  15. Chances are you'll either get a holiday or an overlap. Unless you've done this 30k times and can now avoid that. The wax makes it picture perfect right out of the box. Worth the time, I say. The goal is the best possible result with the minimum talent/expertise/experience.
  16. Here's what I've worked out as the best way to do a food safe liner glaze with completely different exterior glaze. This is not for the production potters, too time consuming. You guys are going to find glaze combinations that don't require something like this. I'm pretty sure for this effect, this is the best method. Glaze the inside the usual way, pour the glaze in, roll it around as you pour it out. Holding the pot upside down, get 1/4 to 1/2 inch on the rim. When dry, scribe a line down from the rim, all the way through to the clay. Giffin Grip to the rescue. Easier to
  17. I've learned a lot from the posts on this forum. I do think though, that never more than today, "how do you know this?" is always an appropriate question.
  18. Have you ever actually tried this as an experiment in practice or are you only talking theory? I'm not disputing what you are saying, just asking if you've ever set up a trial and measured results.
  19. I have a cut shelf for my damper. It has to be ridiculously uneven as the inside is getting direct blast and the outside 6-10 inches is exposed. Not the advancers, but the cheaper silicon carbide shelves. Have not seen a problem with this setup. I have a dozen or so firings on the only set of advancers that I have and I only use them on the top where the cooling is slowest. They are still perfect. So here's another question: are the advancers more sensitive to thermal differences than the standard silicon carbide? Except for the fact the SC shelves warp, they are just as good for
  20. I've been operating my home designed and built 36 cf ceramic fiber downdraft for 20+ years under the premise that extra mass at the lower part of the kiln would make the kiln fire better. Primarily, I'm talking furniture. I have 1 inch mullite shelves on half inch posts over the kiln floor (2x k26 soft bricks) and then one set of 4 18x18 3/4 " shelves. The rest of the shelves are silicon carbide and advancer. What I'm thinking about is how necessary are the heavy shelves low in the kiln? Frankly, I'm tired of messing with kiln wash and would like to add 2 more sets of advancers. I gu
  21. It's definitely easier to finesse too soft clay than try to work (throw) with slightly too hard clay. Harder clay will let you more easily be aggressive with expanding, etc, but not really worth the pain. There are several good techniques for making commercial clay softer that are worthwhile.
  22. I was absolutely crying from arthritis in my fingers a year ago. Cortisone injections were sent from God. Unbelievable difference. Everyone is different and this may not help you, but I was almost in despair. Still like hot water in the throwing bowl.
  23. I'm not that good at throwing even after 25 years, so I use this cheat. Using 2 ribs instead of your fingers will even out the clay. This is really nice as the final touch to remove throwing marks. Assuming of course that you don't want them. Sometimes I do this with another standard pull following, especially if I've left too much clay at the bottom. I use the next smallest Sherril blue ones for this.
  24. New clay bag---> collect clay scaps and slag---> pug and age clay---> throw away. I usually cut the clay bag to take the really wet clay out for the pug mill, so it's done at that point. Pretty good to get three uses out of one original. I'm at least 30 bags ahead at this point, so that's good.
  25. Once again, I make a comment thinking gas kiln and everyone else is talking electric kiln. How anachronistic I am.
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