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CactusPots

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  1. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from ThruTraffic in No A/C   
    Don't do anything in the cool part of the day that you could do in the heat, such as check this forum, run to the hardware store, etc.
  2. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from PeterH in Kiln build / modification - advice needed   
    I take it this purpose is only to last for a few firings.  As cheaply as possible.  So my comments don't apply much to this particular conversation.
    My home built fiber downdraft is 20 years old with 60+ firings.
    Otherwise, I disapprove of the concept of fiber as a hot face.  As Babs said, fiber gets fragile and it's really delicate at that point, any bump will disturb it.  The coatings don't work well over time as they shrink at a different rate than the fiber.
    Looks like I'm going to have to replace the lid sometime soon.  It's 12 inch modules, super insulating, but they are shrinking away from each other leaving gaps for the heat to work on the supporting structure.  Last firing a module moved down half inch and grabbed a pot.  Ouch.
    Best use of ceramic fiber is backup material, I think.
    Thanks Mark for the Ebay link.
  3. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Hulk in No A/C   
    I start early and end early.  Even if it's 100 degrees in the day, the mornings are like 65 here.  Also extensive use of plastic bags and towels.  Especially for hand building where there may be multiple slabs joined by slip.  
  4. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Pres in No A/C   
    I start early and end early.  Even if it's 100 degrees in the day, the mornings are like 65 here.  Also extensive use of plastic bags and towels.  Especially for hand building where there may be multiple slabs joined by slip.  
  5. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from rox54 in Repairing hairline crack   
    We're assuming it's not a kitchenware piece.  I wouldn't want a crack on the rim of a mug, for instance.
    I'm liking the products from Starbond.  They're like super glue, but come in varying thicknesses and colors.  They also have an accelerant to speed curing.  For a hairline crack, you'd be looking at something that would wick into the crack.
    I've used a lot of JB Weld's products.  They have a variety called Wood Weld that is almost the color of reduced Soldate 60, say a middle clay color.  Regular JB Weld is dark gray and difficult to color.  A lighter epoxy can be easily colored to match.  Epoxy is best when you're filling a gap. 
  6. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Beebop in determining target specific gravity for glazes   
    That's the great thing about ceramics.  There's always another trial to run.  When you get the hang of predicting the glaze result by thickness applied, move on to glaze over glaze.    Some of them are really cranky.
  7. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from nomis in Problem with clay texture   
    It's not that I'm adding water, it's how much.  It's way too wet (soft) to work. .  Clay will naturally lose water, even in the plastic bag.  The aging process is what makes really nice clay.
    I don't know exactly what is going on with recycling clay and the condition you describe and I have observed myself.  I don't know that it really is "short", but that's the best description I have.  The process of adding extra water to the recycle and then letting it age to the desired firmness is the only way I have found to overcome this cracking.  The upside is that clay processed this way is really good.
  8. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Magnolia Mud Research in Problem with clay texture   
    It's not that I'm adding water, it's how much.  It's way too wet (soft) to work. .  Clay will naturally lose water, even in the plastic bag.  The aging process is what makes really nice clay.
    I don't know exactly what is going on with recycling clay and the condition you describe and I have observed myself.  I don't know that it really is "short", but that's the best description I have.  The process of adding extra water to the recycle and then letting it age to the desired firmness is the only way I have found to overcome this cracking.  The upside is that clay processed this way is really good.
  9. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from nomis in Problem with clay texture   
    I get this same problem, and for me it isn't the fines.  The only way I have found to get around this is to use extra water and let the clay age to the correct softness.
     
  10. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Mark_H in Problem with clay texture   
    I get this same problem, and for me it isn't the fines.  The only way I have found to get around this is to use extra water and let the clay age to the correct softness.
     
  11. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Pyewackette in Buckets   
    Yes, I was using the snap on adaptor screw bucket lids and they aren't worth the time.  When you pour glaze out of the bucket, you're pouring across the threads.
    In San Diego, I'm getting the good buckets from a local distributor, but looking at the bottom of the bucket, the manufacturer is M&M Industries and their website is ultimatepail.com
    If you do have throw away buckets, be sure to salvage the wire handle.
     
  12. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Callie Beller Diesel in Motorless pugmill   
    It's all about scale, isn't it? 
    I would question whether a more efficient use of human power could be had than basic wedging.  If you scale it down to 10lbs +\- , ok.  If you scale it up to my PP30 with 40lb output, good luck.  Various oriental potters use foot wedging.  I know they have water driven machines etc for grinding, but I think not wedging.  Always look to history.
     
  13. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from liambesaw in Crystal wax   
    Even if you live in a frost free area, you still can't buy wax products in the winter.  The dealers simply won't ship then.  Make sure you have a supply by fall.
  14. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Rae Reich in Brand New Skutt 818 Kiln floor crack   
    Here's an interesting YT video about what constitutes a repair worthy soft brick.  Actually quite calming for me.
     
     
  15. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from claybodybri in dealing with a studio that has bad practices   
    More likely to get closed either by the health dept or their insurance carrier than for them to clean up.
    Some people's creative process seems to  require lack of attention to background noise like cleaning up after themselves.  The way I dealt with it was to limit my time to essentials and to enjoy it for what it is, not what it isn't.  I'm sure you're already doing that.  Best thing is to work in off hours if you can.
    I do miss certain parts of the communal studio experience.  Not enough to choose it over my own place.
  16. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Hulk in Brand New Skutt 818 Kiln floor crack   
    Here's an interesting YT video about what constitutes a repair worthy soft brick.  Actually quite calming for me.
     
     
  17. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Roberta12 in dealing with a studio that has bad practices   
    I did my initial learning in a studio just like that.  I referred to it as "Anarchy Central".  One of the instructors always wore a mask inside.  She was the only one who ever did.  My advice would be to learn the basics from the undoubtedly good potters there and make a commitment to establish your own studio.  If you find a product you enjoy making and can develop a market, keep reinvesting the sales back into the venture.  
    The problem of course with Southern California is buying a property to work with.  I didn't start ceramics until I bought my first home. 
    Still, ceramics can be done with a card table and an electric kiln.
    That studio was the UCSD Crafts Center and it did get closed down. 
  18. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from claybodybri in dealing with a studio that has bad practices   
    I did my initial learning in a studio just like that.  I referred to it as "Anarchy Central".  One of the instructors always wore a mask inside.  She was the only one who ever did.  My advice would be to learn the basics from the undoubtedly good potters there and make a commitment to establish your own studio.  If you find a product you enjoy making and can develop a market, keep reinvesting the sales back into the venture.  
    The problem of course with Southern California is buying a property to work with.  I didn't start ceramics until I bought my first home. 
    Still, ceramics can be done with a card table and an electric kiln.
    That studio was the UCSD Crafts Center and it did get closed down. 
  19. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from PeterH in "Geometric" Crackle / Crawl Glaze   
    Everything will alter the crackle/crawl glazes.  Dipping, brushing, pouring, applying with a baster.  Thickness of glaze is critical.   
    Thickness, cone  firing of bisque, cleanliness of bisque.
    My opinion is they are cool if you can accept inconsistency in final results.  The best will be really good and the worst will not even be acceptable by my loose standards.  You should see some separation as soon as the glaze is dry, but too much and the firing may cause the platelets to separate from the pot.  Stalactites are no good.
    I have used a lot of Coleman's shino crawl and currently using more Hopper reticulated.  Like Min says one is well fluxed and the other is not. 
  20. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Rae Reich in Best Silicone for Slip Casting Master Molds?   
    I've used a couple of Smooth On products for building plaster press molds.  One thing I've learned is to plan to use the entire batch you buy.  Once opened, there's a shelf life as described in the product descriptions.  Very complicated to calculate volume needed for some projects.  Since I'm only building a 2 dimensional form, as opposed to a 3 dimensional model, I've gone to multiple layers of latex.
  21. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from liambesaw in Building A Work Table   
    If you were casting a plaster wedging table, the thing to do would be to cast in a piece of expanded metal.  Used mostly for lath and plaster, I think, it's like chicken wire or hardware cloth, but more metal, less space.  Be like rebar in concrete on steroids.   My wedging table is still solid after 25 years and maybe 2" thick.  Well supported also.
  22. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Pres in Using a vacuum formed sheet to release clay from a plaster mold   
    I've been using a layer of plastic food cling wrap as a release agent on my hump molds.  The super thin plastic leaves no impression apparent to me on the clay.  It sticks to the clay but releases without issue from the mold itself.  This technique really perfects hump molds IMO.  I can form the body, add feet, textures, and a rim, immediately turn it over, remove the mold  and finish the inside.  Cling wrap is available in 18 inch widths.
  23. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Paulius in Glaze with barium carbonate   
    The case description of barium specifically states ingestion.  No mention of skin absorption.  Also, the description of toxic amounts is missing.  I suspect it's a pretty good amount.
    I live in California where every single thing has a warning label.   For me it's the old Boy Who Cried Wolf.  I handle barium just like any other glaze ingredient.
    Your mileage may vary.
  24. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from Paulius in Glaze with barium carbonate   
    Have you ever heard of a documented case of barium  poisoning?  The only one I've ever heard of was a case of mistaking barium for for baking powder.  I'm not saying reasonable precautions aren't advisable,   I would like to see the data on raw barium entering the body through skin contact.  Doesn't seem like we hear much about death by potter's studio.
  25. Like
    CactusPots got a reaction from LeeAnets in Hand-built Sculpture Disaster   
    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
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