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Brandon Franks

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About Brandon Franks

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    NJ
  • Interests
    Pottery

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  1. I have never smelled any fumes, but I don't really know. Judging by the amount of moisture that leaves my kiln, I would say it doesn't do a great job, but it gets the job done. (*attached is the image from their website*) https://www.baileypottery.com/m-405-010.html
  2. Doing this saves me about an hour and a half of firing time and ~30 cents a firing (according to my kiln)
  3. I use a bailey vent, I don't exactly know the science behind it, but you leave one peep open and it sucks from the side of the kiln. Your point about harming the pots was one of my concern, but I have never had any cracks/damaged ware when doing this. I have found it to work with cone 6 glazes too, but have never had any crawling with them. The point of the experiment originally was to find a way to fire my kiln faster and still get the same results. I have found it to help more with the cracking in glazes then actual crawling itself. It works for me, and I shared it with one friend who does cobalt decorated porcelain and she explained that sometimes she would find that glaze cracks or is absorbed more into her cobalt decorated areas (high concentration of kaolin in those ares) more then the clay itself, and she thinks this has helped the issue a bit. Again, this is something that has worked for me, I have no idea why/how it works, but my experiments lead me to believe it does.
  4. Many of my (crystalline) glaze books have said something like this and I find it to be fairly true: "... crawling can be caused by many factors, but for crystalline, it is often because of the moisture in the glaze is leaving at a slower rate then expansion of the glaze" (that is an excerpt of a text from a friend of mine who has been doing pottery for about 40 years) I have only experienced crawling a few times, but I have found when you rid the atmosphere of excess moisture, it helps prevent the glaze from shrinking rapidly when it hits 1000^f or so. Again, that is my assumption of why it works, I am sure as hell not sticking my head in there at 900^f to watch, but I could very well be wrong about why it helps. (attached is a picture of what I am referring to when I say cracks and flaking in glaze, this is from a firing with the burping, end result is the next file, as you can see, no noticeable cracks or blemishes in the melt of the glaze) I have a lot of results like this, some worse cracking than the others. The picture of the raw glaze was taken around 600^f. One thing with the soft brick, I have found firings to be A. a bit longer and B. more expensive, it's what made me think of a new way to do it.
  5. My kiln requires the top peep to be out the entire firing for the fan to work. The fan and the peep don't actually release that much moisture. I find this super effective. If you try it, you will see the amount of moisture in the kiln - way more than I ever thought.
  6. Hello, I finally feel comfortable with the number of tests I have run to share this information and make a definitive conclusion and recommendation. I have run 34 firing tests with burping and contrasted the results with 28 firings without burping. THIS IS ONLY A PROCESS FOR GLAZING. DOING THIS FOR BISQUE MAY CAUSE CRACKS. I HAVE NOT TESTED ON ONCE-FIRED WORK. Firstly, what do I mean when saying "burping kilns." The term comes from Raku (where I got started with pottery). Burping Raku is when you let oxygen into the container/ditch that you have your raku pieces sitting, many other potters, and I have found it to allow the glazes to become more active and colorful. However, that is not what I am referring to here. I am going to share with you my process to have your ceramics be more resistant to crawling. Process: Firstly, I do a slow ramp of my glaze loads (100-150 degrees/hour) to 250 degrees to allow for moisture to leave the pots. However, this is not a slow enough ramp and high enough temperature to completely rid your pieces of water and holding at such a low temperature adds unnecessary time to firings. So, every 150-200 degrees until about 700 degrees, I pop open the lid of my kiln for ten-fifteen seconds to allow for moisture to be released. Now, you are surely asking, "Why?" and "Will this damage my elements?" Why? - When I have burped the kiln, I have found glazes less likely to crawl. I also have found it less likely for the melt on glazes to be uneven. Will this damage your elements? - From what I have found, I have seen no stress on the elements. I have measured the time of firings and the life of the elements over two different sets, testing between burping and no burping. The process is incredibly easy- Know your ramp speeds, and calculate when your kiln will progress every 150 or 200 degrees, and go to your kiln with a pair of gloves and open the lid quickly. Do as many times as you would like until you hit 650/700 degrees. Anything over 700 will not work. (Little side note- If you wear glasses, take them off before doing this. It is incredibly foggy and can probably melt the plastic) Please try this on your own and let me know if you find this process to work for you and your glazes. To my knowledge, no one has written about this, and I have come up with this process myself. If this is a process that someone has written about, please let me know, for I do not want to take credit for something that isn't mine, even something as minuscule as opening the lid of your kiln.
  7. Seems you were right, although TC3 acting a bit weird. Current read outs are 75 - TC1 72 - TC 2 64- TC 3 Bottom is a bit heavier loaded but just about the same as the middle. Will keep an eye out. Thanks, Neil.
  8. Will do, I think its the controller though, they were fine ten min before I installed the controller. I'll get back to you in a few min about it.
  9. Got a Bailey TL - Three Type K thermocouples.
  10. Hey, Getting this error message but don't know what's wrong, check connections and re-tightened them. @neilestrick I know you are good with kiln tech stuff, got any tips? (other files are below this post, couldn't add them without atrocious quality.)
  11. Just removed the elements, I got a free pair with the kiln and forgot about it. You are totally right, the top elements, don't get me wrong, are worn, but the bottom were breaking and cracking all over the place as I removed them. I will absolutely use your tips for loading my next Crystal load, thanks for that! Brandon
  12. I will be upgrading, the first option. Thanks for the help, Brandon
  13. They emailed me this morning, that price is only available if you got the kiln within the past 30 days. I just ordered one from The Ceramic Shop, a bit under $300.
  14. They emailed me this morning, that price is only available if you got the kiln within the past 30 days. I just ordered one from The Ceramic Shop, a bit under $300.
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