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Brandon Franks

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Everything posted by Brandon Franks

  1. I made a 3d model of a really simple and small planter, then cut the model in half. I can cast the bottom of the mold straight on MDF so its completely flat. Then put the whole model in and cast the top portion. Only bad part is I cant make circular keys that easy, I don't have the bit to do it. I just chiseled out some sloped lines that will work equally well. I designed this so the mold lines will line up with the pot lines - should be little to no clean up. (its not cleaned up yet, just de-molded it)
  2. Making slip. Already have darn and all the clay components. I have read up on the slip testing methods. Just rushed the first few pieces because I was eager.
  3. The molds are actually smooth, I think it's the clay that caused the bubbles. I think my clay had too much water in it, and it was drying uneven. Im about to pour new molds now, A different method and going to be way smoother. Ill take a picture and post them on here in about an hour. I am using my normal cone 6 body, just formulated with less Bentonite- only .5% instead of 4.5%. I tapped all the bubbles out pretty vigorously. I know for a fact one of the pure was a little late, but the others felt good to me.
  4. Brown glazes for cone 6 are mostly faux temmokus. Temmokus are very runny (My kiln shelves have found that out the hard way) However, a common misconception is that this glaze will be thicker than that of the bottom glaze, in your case that bottom glaze would be a white, which is most often not true. Let me explain a little more. When you layer 1,2,3, some even 4 glazes on the rim of the piece, all of the glaze will melt downward as they get to their respective peak temperatures. When these glazes melt, they do not stay in the same position as they were dipped (sort of), they begin to *mix together* (I say that lightly because it is sometimes not the case). Below is an image of a piece with commercial glazes, this is from last year, someone wanted a set in the color combo. The second picture, you can see what that layered glaze looked like pre-fired- Multiple rim dips. Because these all had a similar melting temp, they were able to form a heterozygous (as in, you can make out the colors still), yet smooth and glossy finish. The third is another example of rim layering, this being the same combination in my past reply. That picture I attached was a poor example of a more subtle mixture of layered glaze, but I assure you it is smooth to the touch. My best advice if you dislike testing glazes is to just buy commercial glazes. It is far from the best decision, but I understand why people do it, better consistency and easier (in the short term, that is.)
  5. Below are my first attempts. Came out better than I expected. My clay was not perfect yet, did not deflocculate it completely since there was a lot of water to being with, just wanted to try it out. Obviously, a bit rough. Nothing a little practice and a sponge cant fix, however. These were done with both 2 piece molds and three piece molds (respectively)
  6. How funny, was just watching one of his videos. Don't understand a word he's saying, but I feel like I am learning something.
  7. I ordered a book off amazon, coming tomorrow. I have done some online reading and watched every youtube video I could find. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1600590772/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 What do you mean by using water to find the center? The black lines I marked out on this one are pretty close to center, I am hoping they are close enough. Im about 90% sure they are. These pics below are what I am currently designing. These are "Mother Molds" for a two part mold. I think this will be the easiest route, assuming they release from the plaster easily. The second one is the "female" piece of the mold, still being printed at the moment. About the multiple piece molds- I found this video and it seems fairly easy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4rDS5rBWb8&list=PLN1iBYK2Y2X_dpUZvWZlwk17XxBErWkpy&index=2&t=0s
  8. Are you trying to replicate the matte effect or the drippy effect (or both). Matte glazes are fairly easy to make, I think that first picture has two glazes, one along the rim, the other is covering the entire body. Try this recipe if you want a good matte-https://glazy.org/recipes/2419 A dip of a faux temmoku around the rim could give you a cool effect. Drippy glazes, such as the one in the last picture, are almost always achieved by putting two or more glazes on top of one another. I did a glaze combo a while ago, produced my favorite glaze results ever. Going to start doing it again now that I am firing back at cone 6. It is two glazes, both with high amounts of silica, on top of one another. Some glazes don't do this well, the base glaze is a faux temmoku, so the iron also helps with melting. You have to experiment with it.
  9. I sanded mine down, but have had some sticking issues in the past. I could probably coat the plastic in polyurethane too, that might help. I will try it without first. Worse comes to worse, I re-print and coat in something. What I am most concerned with is trying to get the piece in the exact middle of the slip form. I have had issues in my very limited past attempts where the center of the piece was 1 mm off and it would just rip the clay as I took it out of the mold. I am thinking about doing 5 piece forms, doing 4 pieces for the body and 1 piece for the foot, while that seems like the better option, I don't want to get way over my head. I think the 2 piece forms will be better to learn and experiment with. This is super exciting for me, I have never been into this side of ceramics.
  10. Do you have any tips on getting the plaster to not stick to the 3d prints? The one other time I tried this, it was incredibly hard to pry the plaster from the print. I was just thinking about using mold soap as a barrier.
  11. Hey all, I really, really suck at making plaster molds. I have tried twice but messed up badly each time. However, I think I've got it down now, after doing a load of research and reading. Now for my question- The way I am going to be casting is using 3d printed plastic forms and cast them in plaster. I have seen other people do this (Kurt Hammerly is best known for it), however they use a silicon mold and then cast the cup from the silicone. Is there a reason why? I am using PETG which can handle temps of 200+ºc. I figure the basic way of making slip casting molds, covering half in clay, pouring plaster, etc, (you know the drill), would be substantially easier than making another mold from silicon. Do people purely do the silicon so they can make a large number of molds? Attached are pictures of what will be my first 3D printed mold attempt. The black line is the middle mark, if you are wondering. Anyway, I will let you know how this goes later in the week. It's ironic because I always thought of slip casting as "Lazy Pottery," but I make so many test pieces now a days, (I prefer to test on cups and such rather than regular test pieces, it helps me vision the glazes better, especially crystalline), it is too time consuming to spend hours throwing "disposable" pieces.
  12. Hey, Sorry for just getting back, not on here super often. First thing first, you should check to make sure this controller is compatible with your current setup and any other wires, thermocouple, etc you need. You may want to email Bartlett (http://www.bartinst.com/kilns/1) they make the controller and can help you price out switching to automatic, (its totally worth it) If it works for your setup, I will part with it for $100 (normal price is near $300 last I checked). I am near Montclair NJ.
  13. @ImogenBIf you use this you need a liner glaze. Sorry, I'm so used to using liners, I forgot to mention. Any clear cone 6-8 glaze would work. There are plenty in Britt's books.
  14. Here, I just came across this, looks nearly identical. I saw it and immediately thought of your posting. Give it a whirl and let us know how it comes out. https://glazy.org/recipes/2467 Also, You can probably squeeze this in a cone 8 load. If you want, I can make a test of it, Im getting rid of my last bit of HF clay, and don't have enough glaze for all the pieces
  15. That is most likely a stain or a very saturated cobalt. Most saturated cobalts are dark blue, I have never seen such a light blue like that with cobalt. Look at these mason stains below. https://www.theceramicshop.com/product/8693/delft-mason-stain-6320-1-lb/ https://www.theceramicshop.com/product/8703/copen-6368-mason-stain-1-lb/ https://www.theceramicshop.com/product/8682/vivid-blue-6306-1-4lb/ Note: Stain are usually between 3-10% in glazes. If you want to make (say a 5000g batch) you are better off getting 1 lb of stain, many people (myself included) often get 1/4 lb and it's a few grams off, and there is not enough for a batch.
  16. Yes, exactly that. If you have extra clay around, you could make a flat slab and use that to lay, fire, and mark them on, may be easier if you want to look back at it quickly. If you are making a marking liquid, use a "recipe" or else it is really thin and hard to see. I made a batch of like 70 test tiles when I first started doing my new glazing technique, used a thin RiO mark on all of them to differentiate, bug it burned right off - couldn't tell what was what. I now use- 25% EPK (or Grolleg on my porcelain now, but doesn't matter) 75% RiO You can also do cobalt, it is stronger and easier to identify - also quite a bit more expensive for marking things. If you want to use cobalt carb, its 2.5% and 97.5% EPK. For RiO, you may want to do two or three coats, especially on stoneware.
  17. Mostly studios will use clay that is bisqued at the same temp throughout. I have a stoneware that I use for some parts of my pieces that get discarded every firing - fires the exact white as my porcelain, so, as Neil said, it is near impossible to gauge the peak temp or the bisque temp by the color. Here is what I would do. Break a piece of every different color clay body that you have. I can see from the picture you provided that there are some pieces that look a little dinged up - chose those ones. Explain to the studio the situation, and ask them if they could fire shards of your clay (no glaze). At this point, once fired, you will be able to determine if the clay is cone 10, or is a cone 6. Cone 6 clay will melt in a cone 10 firing. It will not cause any damage to the kilns either, the clay comes right off the shelves from my experience. You may also have clay with a wide range of temps, I have used a stoneware that matures between cone 03 and cone 9. Every studio I have been in, the max temp of the clay usually stays consistent so there are no issues with work melting to shelves. If you explain your situation and bring in some small shards (1-2 inches) they will most defiantly understand and fire them. Hope this helps!
  18. I cut the wire end and cut back - maybe - 1/4 inch of the insulator. I didnt bend the wire over, just have the wire coming out of the insulator. That was when it originally happened. I will take a paper towel, and clean it up, then sand it like you suggested. Must be something with that element, the only think that makes sense at this point.
  19. I think the element is pushed into the insulator a bit too, I may be able to get another 1/8th or 1/4 of an inch of element wire. Do you think this is something I should contact ConeArt about? That new one smoked in less than an hour, I don't know any reason why that would happen so fast, its pretty tight,
  20. I replace the copper bit about 2 hours ago, and the new one is already starting to burn. I don't know whats going on here. Im going to wait until it hits the peak temp - should be less than an hour, then shut the kiln off as it falls to my crystal growing temp. Should give me an hour to see what's happening. (pictures are of the new copper piece.) *addition* I have one more copper piece, and another ceramic insulator. I will replace both as soon as my fall to growing temp begins. (I know the insulator isn't the issue, but it is burnt now)
  21. I just had this happen again I opened up the control box, just as a precaution, didn't notice anything wrong, just wanted to double check everything, and the top thermocouple piece had burned out. I quickly shut the power, got some wire cutters and fixed the problem, only lost about 100^f worth of heat too, and just shut the kiln back on. Am I doing something wrong? The element piece was sticking out like a half inch from where the wire meets the copper bit (should have been cut, forgot to do that when I went in and tightened everything), but it was fastened down correctly.
  22. I bet you know about this, but I'm sure AMACO or Standard also has glazes similar to what they were selling. I'm not familiar with Great Lakes Clay, but AMACO seems to make every color at this point, I would check out some of their combos and see if there is anything similar. I don't use any of their glazes- I did a while ago to test for a friend, they come out nice and have a more *luxurious* feel than some of the other pre-made glazes. https://www.amaco.com/t/glazes-and-underglazes/high-fire/potters-choice#potter-s-choice-layering-279-content Also check out this- https://standardceramic.com/collections/glaze And most importantly, go through glazy, there is bound to be something similar there. https://glazy.org/search?base_type=460&production=false&photo=false
  23. I just replaced the floor element, but I need to do a bisque tomorrow. Since it is just the floor element, do you think it's alright to fire it for the first time with my bisque load instead of doing an empty firing with it?
  24. Thanks for that, I never even considered I could have been installing them wrong. Now that wire, its probably shot, right?
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