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Tumbleweed Pottery

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    Northern Wisconsin

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  1. I recently received my brand new Skutt KM-1027, touch screen included, and set it up. It is on level concrete, placed perfectly centered on the stand. I fired it once empty, and once to cone 6, 3/4 full. I took all the shelves out to flip them for a bisque run, and saw that there are hairline cracks on the bottom of the kiln. It was in perfect condition upon arrival. According to the internet, it is just settling. But this is UNsettling, given how much I paid for it. I’ll attach images. Is this normal or should I be making repairs (I do have liquid brick repair)?
  2. Very fair points! Spendy up front, but I see the long-term benefit overall. Now, either purchase will have to wait for another very practical reason... the snow. It falls in December, and doesn't melt until March or so up here. It would be a pain in the butt to load it through the walk-in basement before then. I know the new ones come apart pretty easily though, so that will be nice.
  3. You bring up some very valid points! I have a peer who has a Cress B31H she is selling for $500, with shelves. I have no idea of its condition. I will go see it soon and reassess. It's very tempting, saving $3,000 on a "new" kiln, but you're right, I want this one to last me for years. Smart thing to do is invest in the future with a brand new kiln. I'm currently in a "temporary" position at my school (one year contract due to a teacher's longterm illness), and will have to wait to see if the position goes beyond the year, thus affording me the ability to buy a brand new kiln without
  4. It's packed as tightly as it can be, running 12 hours. I've seen others with 12 hour fire times and they say it's pretty usual for them. The lady I bought the kiln from did say the elements weren't very old.
  5. Hi all, I've been using my 50 year old Cress for these past 6 months, and I'm ready to upgrade to a larger size. Not only that, but my kiln takes forever to fire to cone 6 (12 hours usually). It's manual, but I have been following a modest firing schedule (2 hours at 20, 3 hours at 50, 3 hours at 80, and then 100 the rest of the way). No one has ever told me how fast I should turn the kiln up, and I don't have a pyrometer installed, so a lot of the manual firing schedules I find online mean nothing to me. I do use witness cones, and I know I'm reaching true cone 6, but I just don't know h
  6. Hi all... I've been making work in my home studio to a large degree of success, but I've hit a snag recently. I sell these mugs that are horror inspired, so the body of the mug is black (minnesota clay BT 12), and has red drips from Amaco (deep firebrick). I practice good bisque and glaze hygiene. Always touch bisque with clean hands. Dust off bisque that has been sitting for a while, with a damp sponge. I glaze the inside of my mugs, and leave those for a day to absorb completely. Then I glaze the outside. Historically, my red drips have worked just fine on my mugs. But recently I'v
  7. My husband brought that idea up. How do you get around having finger smudges on your wet glaze? I have tongs, but they don’t seem like they’d fit the bill here.
  8. I have a commission for 12 slab built platters. I am using a new GR pottery form I have, and the two I have as greenware right now look awesome. They are roughly 8x13 rectangles. They do have feet, but not all the way around the plate. Just enough to keep them off the ground, and one to support the middle. I plan to wax these feet and glaze the rest of the piece one color. My client (my cousin, hence why I’m probably doing more for her than I would another client I don’t know from Adam) wants 3 different glazes (4 of each). One of them we have in my communal studio, and two others we
  9. Things are moving along in setting up my home (basement) studio. One thing my husband and I are very aware of is the need to vent our kiln. He has a vent he will be engineering to fit our kiln, but he's not convinced he will even need to drill holes in the top of the kiln. He thinks that the kiln is so old that it might not even be "air tight" like some. It's a 1969 Cress B-23-H. Are there kilns out there you can vent directly and still not need to drill holes in the top brick for? I'm not convinced. I think we will have to drill holes. Thanks!
  10. Hi all. I just acquired my c. 1969 Cress B-23-H. Elements look great, brick looks great. Seller fired it this week to cone 05 and cone 6, and it worked beautifully. She started to fire it up for me, and the elements heated nice and even. She showed me how to use the kiln sitter, so that's how I know it was intact when I bought it... but transport was not kind to it. Every other part of the kiln made it just fine, but the jostling/vibrating of a 3-hour car ride caused part of the tube assembly to chip off (yes, the kiln was empty when we transported), and subsequently a bracket fell out. I
  11. Sounds like the best way to figure things out is to buy a 25lb bag, and fire a few test tiles with my intended glaze? Then if that works well, move to a small vessel?
  12. I'm looking for some clay bodies that are DARK. I have an idea in mind, and I'd like to have a clay as dark as something like cassius basaltic clay. But I've seen that it's SO finicky, and a lot of people have their glazes crater on that clay. I would like to achieve this kind of contrast between my clay and glaze: Sorry for the blur. Does anyone know of a reliable, tested clay body that is dark chocolate or near black, and fires to cone 6? *I know these clays can sometimes contain high levels of manganese. Does this render the piece non-food safe?
  13. The woman I’m buying from is firing it today to test. I will ask her if she is glaze firing. I only fire to cone 6 anyway. But that does concern me about the new elements. I plan to fire using Amaco Potter’s Choice and celadons, which I know are 5/6. She is liquidating her studio and selling me all her commercial glazes (pints), kiln furniture, kiln, like-new Shimpo RK whisper, tools, ware boards and bats for $1,400. She has a modest little studio, but the deal seems considerable. My husband is an electrician/technician for the FAA and works on landing equipment. He could r
  14. Hi all, I am buying my first kiln, a Cress B-23-H with a kiln sitter, this weekend. Won't have the wiring done for a while yet, but I'm curious if you can fire one of those old bad boys to cone 019-018? I am interested in some metallic overglazes, and I've never used them before. Any insight is helpful!
  15. Interesting to see you tried the recipe route but it became its own monster... What's the company in the northwest you use? 75-80 for 4gal of glaze is phenomenal (I'm looking at local companies like Minnesota Clay and their cheapest glazes run at 125 for 25# of dry mix).
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