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NoArtist

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  1. Thanks again. All very good advice. We need to spend more time with this kiln. And will probably replace the elements before the next firing.
  2. !In Denver now, but still traveling. Is there any document that describes how to get the most out of an electric kiln? Particularly how to propery load a single zone kiln to reduce temperature variation? I have looked around a bit, but did not see anything that seems to address that area.
  3. Some very good advice. I am between flights, so i will need to wait till i have more time to discuss this all with my daughter. She was firing a preprogramed medium speed cone 6 from the controller. Also, she was using a high quality calibrated ohm meter, but that does not mean much. If you measure innside the kiln, which she did, it can be difficult to get good connections to the oxidized elements. Next time i will suggest that she ppens the controller box and measure at the relay connections. With the kiln unplugged probably. I am now expecting loading to play the biggest part in her results. The elements probably are due for replacement, but there is also more going on here. She will probably need to learn more about how this particular kiln behaves, relative to how she wants to use it.
  4. The 23 firings was a combination of what my daughter has done, combined with what the previous owner reported. But it certainly could be wrong. However, the interior of the kiln and the elements look pristine. And the kiln does seem to heat up quickly. The last cone 6 firing completed in just under 9 hours, not including cool down time. I would expect worn elements to take a longer time to get up to speed. My daughter is fine with replacing the elements if that is what the problem is. But she really wants to understand the kiln better, and not just try things that she does not understand. And right now , some of the information seems to be contradictory to her.
  5. Ok. Here are some answers to a gew questions. Yes, this is a single zone kiln. It has about 23 firings on the elements to cone 6 each time. The element resistances are 15.2 ohms for both the top and bottom elements, and 17.5 ohms for tje center element. This is over a 10 percent change since new, so perhaps that is part of the problem. This is a single phase system, and local power runs around 247 volts measured at the kiln receptacle. The over temperature diagnosis was based both on glaze appearance and witness cones. I will need to check with my daughter about more details on loading, but I am on the road for the next two days, so I may not be able to reply very reliably.
  6. My daughter has a skutt KM 1027 electric kiln, and the top shelf fires too hot. We installed a downdraft vent, but still get significant temperature difference. All of the eliments measure well within expected range for resistance and current, and the relays were recently replaced. She is also trying to leave space for convection between shelves, and it is only modestly packed. This is a used kiln, but seems to have been well cared for. Is there anything else we should be looking for?
  7. I don't know if a kiln that small is worth much unless it was in decent shape. I am no real judge of kiln values, but the values seem to vary quite a bit over condition. What does it look like inside? Are the bricks clean and un-damaged? Have the elements been recently replaced? Or, are the insides chipped, stained, and worn, with sagging and oxidized elements? How about the power cord and shell conditions? And does it come with any furniture? Perhaps some pictures might help.
  8. You might also try contacting Indiana Ceramics Supply at the address below. I believe this company was related to Sugar Creek years ago, and someone there might have advice on where to go for more information, or for spare parts when needed. 1616 S. Spencer Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46203 (317) 955-8444
  9. This sounds like the old argument over weather photography is a true art-form. The photographer does not paint or draw the image. They just point and shoot. And yet many art shows these days will feature expensive photographic prints as original artwork. Today these prints often use expensive printing techniques to produce durable vibrant images using die sublimation, epoxy on metal, or other exotic printing techniques. In most of these, the artist does not not usually even own a printer that produces the finished work, but sends the data to a printing facility to have the finished works made. Is this art? Are these photographers really artists? Today, photography is recognized by most people as a legitimate art-form. The composition of an image, choice of equipment, lighting, angles, and even post processing, all contribute to the finished product. Most of us would admit that a professional photographer can usually produce images that are far superior to those of a casual photo enthusiast. There is clearly skill and artistry involved, even though some aspects of the process are automated. 3D printing will no doubt eventually find its some nitch in the artistic community. Exactly what that is will depend on how the technology progresses and what customers want . Right now, even a cheap 3D printer can be useful to a regular ceramic artist to at least produce tools. Need a custom cutter or trimming tool? You can make one out of wood, plastic, or metal if you have the skills, tools, and materials. But you can also 3D print something with relatively little effort. Do you want to emboss, or roll a pattern onto your work? You can buy or make a variety of tools, or you may want to 3D print them. If you want, you can even share these tools if you wish with other artists at any distance, and with little cost or effort on your part. But once you cross the line and actually print the finished ceramic work, or print the mold that will cast the ceramic piece, is this still OK? Have you automated too much of the process? Is that still art? How much different is this really from the folks who paint or glaze slip cast ceramics? Perhaps it will eventually come down to what customers value and are willing to pay for. The technology will continue to advance. Right now, it is too slow, and expensive to pose any real threat to most ceramic artists. And it lacks much of the character that truly hand crafted products usually poses. Some of that will change over time, and it is hard to say how far it can go. But another question is how will the artistic community respond to this new technology? Take a look at how photography effected the rest of the artistic community as it developed. I think you will start to see some artists embrace 3D printing as a new and interesting medium in its own right. But others will perhaps take a new look at what is that is unique about their work, and why it is different from 3D printed products. Before photography, most painting, and drawing, was focused on producing the best representation of what the world looked like. To document people, events, or scenes in the most realistic way possible. Photography can compete with some of that previous use for painting and other artistic representation. But rather than taking the place of traditional artwork, it actually freed up artists to embrace the more creative side of their craft. To develop new techniques of representation that were not necessarily realistic, but impressionistic. Art that conveyed emotions in ways they perhaps had not previously considered. So I ask you. If the technology for 3D printing ceramics becomes much cheaper, and faster, what would still make your work different? Is there a revolution about to take place in ceramics that will be initiated by the self reflection brought on by this new technology? Is one of you about to become a Picasso by distilling the essence of what is truly unique in handcrafted ceramics and taking a bold new direction with their art?
  10. Perhaps those of us responding to this thread are the ceramic wire nuts that Bill was referring to.
  11. If you are interested in the type of wire that normally gets used for this kind of setup, and know someone that has a commercially manufactured wall mount style controller, you can ask them what type of wire it uses. Most wire will have information printed on or stamped into the jacket that would include a part number that can be looked up online to determine the temperature rating. It might even have the temperature rating printed directly on the jacket. Common wire you might find at a home store is usually rated to around 90C or just under 200F. Various high temperature wire is available in the range of 200C to 250C, or about 400 to 500F. And there are some more exotic types that go even hotter. The exact way that the wire is used may affect the temperature ratings a bit. The fact that the wire is exposed to open air and not in a conduit shared with other wires helps a bit with temperature concerns. But the fact that this wire powers a kiln, which is a high current device with an automatic controller, can hurt. However, the biggest concern that jumps out is what appears to be a lack of electrical insulation at the connection points. I sure hope that you are being very careful. You probably should have someone knowledgeable in electrical wiring look over your setup to evaluate the safety.
  12. Thanks. I probably should have done more searching first. It seems that sieving is something that gets a lot of attention.
  13. My daughter just bought a screen for removing lumps from glazes. It is just a bowl with a screen on the bottom, and you need to brush or squeegee the glaze through. She mentioned that they make a better one with a crank that is like a sieve they sell for processing berries for jam, but they are fairly expensive. I decided to take a look online at the "better quality sieves, and got a bit of sticker shock. Are these things really $200? Even replacement parts seem outrageous. Just one (out of three total) replacement brush is $8.00 and looks like a dollar store fingernail scrubber. Am I missing something? Is it just the limited production that makes them so expensive, or are there less expensive sources? Or perhaps potters are just more flush with cash than I expected. They look relatively easy to make, so I think I will give it a try. I just found a nice stainless steel sieve at Goodwill for $3.99, and I can get enough 80 mesh stainless screen for making several replacement screens for about $11. I just need to fabricate, or 3D print, the brush holder, and find the right brushes to use. Has anyone converted a kitchen sieve for this purpose? Do you just use a manual sieve, pay the price, or make your own? I am starting to think that potters need to be either relatively resourceful, or wildly successful, since buying everything you might need adds up so quickly. I suppose you do not really need the hand crank version. But I can see why starting at a community studio where she did not need to invest right away in all of these things make a lot of sense.
  14. This is all very helpful. The slab roller is still just an idea, since I have several more time critical projects to tackle. However, if I do decide to build one, I will probably not be worried about using chain drive.
  15. I have had some success lately building an extruder and some custom dies for my daughter, so now I want to move on to the more ambitious project of a slab roller. I want to build something better than the do it yourself cable driven single roller type. Those are quite clever in design, but also seem to have many drawbacks. My daughter does mostly hand built work from slabs, so if I build one, I really want something with a wide two roller design similar to the North Star. I plan on using surplus thick wall aluminum irrigation pipe for the rollers. Knurling the rollers will take some effort, but I think I am up to it, and the tensionizing adjustment does not seem too difficult. But driving the rollers will be the real challenge. I do not have the ability to machine custom gears, and purchasing them can really run up the cost. Also, gears are much more fussy about precision alignment and engagement. But bicycle chains and gears are readily available and produced at an economy of scale such that they are very affordable. They also do not require as much precision, and by selecting the correct gears I think I can get a 4 to 1 reduction ratio similar to the high end machines.. But are they strong enough, and are there any unseen issues? I have seen some moving table style slab rollers that use cables or chains. Other than the known disadvantages of the moving table design over a dual roller design, how do they hold up? Do the chains wear quickly or break under heavy use? Has anyone ever tried driving a dual roller setup with chains, and discovered it is a dead end? Does anyone know how much force is needed to drive a roller on a system like this? And, am I crazy to consider trying this approach? The chain path will need a bit of thought to get the rollers to both move in the correct direction, and to also maintain proper tension as roller spacing changes. But am I missing something else that will be very important? Eventually I may just give up on the idea and just help her buy what she really wants. But like I said. I know that I can build the rollers and the tensionizer. It would really just be a matter of designing and fabricating the correct drive mechanism. What types of issues are seen on these dual roller units?
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