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CactusPots

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Everything posted by CactusPots

  1. I've had this problem a lot, as it's just part of my work. I think what's happening is that the outside clay layers dry and trap moisture in the slip layer. A good solid connection is the first part as everyone notes. An extended time in plastic bags equalizes the moisture between the layers. A slow dry to basic dry and and then extended dry to get the internal moisture. Easy for me in the summer time, not so much now. The bisque cycle should be slow to 200 with a soak before moving on. Even if the bisque is perfect the attachment can peel up on the edge sometimes. I think it's just part of the process to have some failures. My stuff has gotten much better in this regard with time and practice. This problem is the number one contributor to my shard pile. Also, I never liked Rod's Bod. Much prefer Soldate or S 60
  2. I'd like some tips on estimating clay needed for large slabs. I'm aware that experience will help doing a ballpark estimate, or maybe even better. My slab roller is 30", so that's the max in one dimension. Some of my forms so far require a 30 x 30 slab, My current method is to keep making slabs until I get one right, then mark on the form what it requires. I'm hand rolling to get the first dimension, then using the slab roller to get the final size and set the final thickness. The slab roller definitely doesn't like a large piece of clay more than 1 1/2" thick rolled to final thickness, usually somewhere around 1/4" I'm guessing the max size I can get the Bailey roller to is about 30x40 or so. Not very easy to make a second pass on a slab when dealing with something this size,
  3. Of course the Japanese make world class whiskey and no one complains. Can't call it Scotch though. Who decides what is offensive? The most easily offended? Read Fahrenheit 451 and get back to me. I've always thought it odd when a racial pedigree is necessary to advertise/sell your art. If that's your thing and your clients buy into it, swell. In art, nothing is pure.
  4. Check out Out of the Earth Into the Fire by Mimi Obstler.
  5. Tools are super powers. Makes you able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive.
  6. I've been watching all the "should I buy a slab roller or pugmill" topics. My reply isn't specific to either, so I'll just say it here. I love tools. I can't resist the idea of being able to accomplish some task that is not practical or even possible without this or that tool. The end result product is only part of the joy in tools. The more versatile the tools the more joy it will probably bring me. To that end, my last tool I will ever sell is my bandsaw. Not even a pottery tool. I've made more cool stuff for pottery with that bandsaw than I can even think to mention. The joy from the process of being able to accomplish a creative idea with the means on hand is indescribable to me. I learned early on to design around the tools you have. Having more tools means a wider range of imagination. For me there are only 3 criteria regarding buying tools. 1 Do I have room for it. 2 Do I have cash for it. 3 Do I have a plan for it. (now). My wife says I will buy a tool to change a light bulb. Maybe. Newest tool, hot wire styrofoam cutter for making hump molds.
  7. This is on B's Shino cone 10 reduction. This shino by itself is anywhere from a creamy white to a deep orange, as you can see on the right side of the pot. The left side of the pot was covered with a light dusting of wood ash. I don't know how this technique would work on other glazes or types of firing. It would be difficult to make it super uniform, I'd think.
  8. I use a light dusting of wood ash on shino glazes for a nice mat grey. Never tried it on others, like maybe a mat white. Worth a test, in my opinion.
  9. Here are my melt tests on the bentonite (bottom), a crust from a dry lake which I take to be borax (top) and a combination of the 2. The location for both these samples is about 20 miles south of the original gerstley borate mine. According to the book, Out of the Earth, Into the Fire, the calcium bentonites do not swell in water like the soda bentonites do. My sample was comparable to the commercial bentonite we probably all use. The bentonite photo shows it after it was washed, screened 60 mesh and dried. There is a slight white powder on the edges of the pieces. I think the entire area has a boron component. I don't think I'll have much trouble building this into a stable glaze. Since I don't do kitchen ware, I have no concern for food safe glazes
  10. This is a new to me kiln. Don't know the exact history of it. Would that be your take on how a kiln may have gotten this condition? I think it's going to be functional for now. If next year is functional at all, I may have some work done on that bottom ring, replacing a few bricks and a new band. The Skutt kilns definitely seem to be prone to rust. Low grade stainless, no doubt.
  11. The inside of the bottom band. Better?
  12. Rust on the inside or the outside? I just got a used 1227, the outside doesn't look so bad, but it's dropping rust on the floor from the bottom inside band.
  13. Doesn't glaze dry on the inside wall of the bucket? By the time the 5 gallon bucket is half way down, the inside wall is covered with thick semi dried glaze for me. I can scrape it into the glaze, but then it must be sieved to get out the lumps. My buckets are sealed screw lids as well so they don't dry out between glaze episodes. Maybe you don't mix enough glaze for multiple firings, but for me reworking glazes is an ongoing deal.
  14. Well, if you give them the perfect straight line. Yeah. I'm going to run some various trials anyway. It's always fun to melt unknowns.
  15. Just finished a camping trip south of Death Valley. Great rocks, good times with friends. I guess bentonite deposits are fairly common in the area, so I brought some back to play with. I cleaned it up with a #60 sieve and will dry it back out before using. It's a rather odd green color. On thinking about it now, bentonite isn't really a glaze ingredient, but just useful as a flocculent, to my knowledge. I don't know how to experiment to see if this is a worthwhile score. Maybe use in a clear glaze and see if it adds any color? Also found something I think is borax. I'll just try a melt test on that and go from there.
  16. Their website says closed for indefinite period. My local supplier says they are out of business permanently.
  17. Even if the cracks on the lid are all the way across, if the band is in good shape, the lid will still be functionable. Be sure to look at the lid band under the handle. If it's anything more than surface corrosion, it should be replaced. When you replace the band, you want to heat it with a torch (expand it) to get it tighter than it would be able to do cold. Second hand lids are available.
  18. The thing is, the Brent has a reputation for a noisy motor. I had heard that the distinct motor noise was a deal breaker for some. I have no experience with the Brent, other than considering purchasing one when I thought I had to replace my Pacifica. When I played this video, it was the first time I had ever heard a Brent in action. Needless to say, I was surprised. I guess you could get used to it. I'm no expert, but I would guess a quieter motor is a sign of quality and cost.
  19. I had the same thought about the location of the microphone, but the speaker's voice is clear, so I thought the motor's noise was loud.
  20. I brace my left elbow into my left thigh. In any case, concentrate on what your left elbow is doing. It has to be locked.
  21. My 20 year old Pacifica makes no sound whatsoever. Motor is original. Now I'm not a full time production potter logging 40+ hours per week, but the wheel is 20+ years old.
  22. Is this what a Brent wheel sounds like? Unacceptable! I thought my nasty fluorescent ballasts were bad. Guess I'll never get rid of my Pacifica.
  23. You do want to keep an eye on that. It's easy to forget about it until it's too late. I'd recommend replacing the band when the bottom edge shows actual loss of material, not just surface rust.
  24. It took around ( 3 glaze per year, 7 bisque per glaze, 18 or so years) 400 bisque loads, but the original lid band did in fact fail. That's a bad thing, because it will fail as you go to lift the lid and the lid will then fracture. Better to replace the lid band while the lid is in one piece. So without a kiln vent, what is the recommended procedure for minimizing exhaust corrosion? I have been firing with a brick cracking the lid until 400 then finishing with the top plug out. Anyone else?
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