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Posts posted by Tabathos

  1. 2 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

    If I can suggest the wires that jump between boxes look like they need attention, especially the holes without bulkhead connectors. If it were mine I think I would attend to them sooner than later and make them more code approved so to speak. High temp wire run inside flexible metal conduit with the proper connectors at the cabinets is probably a reasonable solution.

    Ok, ok. I'll comment it with the technician. This kiln is a really old econo kiln kr18, gotta contact the company for more information. 

    Current mood: watching the kiln and feeling that it is slow at gaining temperature. What would you people do? My other kiln, at this point would have had the cone bent, but I feel like this one is slowww. 

  2. Update: just put the kiln on its new repurposed sheet of steel, and it looks great. Also bough a vacuum, and vacuumed most of the kiln wash that was on the walls of the kiln. 

    Some questions: is it normal for the coils not glowing? Just put a glaze load, and it is certainly heating, but I can't seem to see a glow. Also the bottom peephole is kinda cool, in comparison to the upper one, that is really hot. 

    I don't know why my technician says that my kiln is "weird", compared to the others. He says that the electric diagram is different, but who knows. 

    Thanks in advance, my best regards. 


  3. On 24/1/2021 at 9:50 AM, Pres said:

    I notice that the rail rust indicator on the bottom is off center, if this is so, it also created more stress on the floor. I would certainly make sure that the base is centered up next time on the metal stand. 

    I have also seen a firebrick base built using firebrick, and angled steel bolted together to hold it in place. This was a square base used on an octagonal kiln, but did not have any movement or anything so it did not matter the shape, as long as it is larger than the smallest outside diameter of the kiln wall.




    Thank you very much, I did it just as you said. 

    On 24/1/2021 at 11:14 AM, Chilly said:

    I paid £25 for my kiln.  Then new wiring, then new  elements as other half didn't realise elements would be brittle. 

    Several years later added a digital controller.

    Still less ££s than a new kiln.

    Certainly new kilns are pretty expensive! It is cool we are able fo find used kilns at an affordable price. 

  4. 2 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

    Repairing that floor isn't really possible. Mortar will not hold them back together. Just scrape down any loose stuff on the surface, and do another skim coat of mortar. The bricks can't go anywhere with the stop sign underneath and the metal band around the edge.

    Using it as a glass kiln shouldn't change anything in the wiring or elements. Good to have it all checked out, though. Most of these old Econo-Kilns I work on need new wiring. The old wires are usually pretty brittle, or they have the old waxy wires and the covering has degraded. So unless they're in perfect condition, which is rare, I rewire them with modern insulated wire so there's no safety issues.

    Actually that was what he said about the floor repair, but I guess I can actually do it myself. Gonna get some mortar and have some fun. 

    And about the wires, I don't know what he said because I don't understand electrical things lol, but apparently the upper module of the kiln was adjusted to bring more electrical power, or something alike. Glass kilns are designed to bring more heat from the top, apparently they tried to compensate for it. 

    Wires are OK. The previous owner said she changed them before selling it to me. Well, just before she went to a seven years hiatus, and then decided to sell the kiln. 

    I'm gonna post an update later, it is so exciting to learn about kilns. Thank you so much about your reply. 

  5. Update on the topic: the technician came to check both of my kilns, and said the damaged floor kiln would work just fine. Said he had a big STOP sign he would give me to put it under the kiln, pretty cool, isn't it? Also said he would quote a reparation for the floor, but have to hear from him again. The other kiln needed some rewiring, and fGs!, elements are so expensive! If I had to rewire all the 8 elements, gonna surpass the price I paid for my little kiln. 

    He also went almost insane checking the wiring. Apparently that kiln was somehow adapted to work as a glass kiln, so had to check it out throughly. Haven't had the opportunity to fire it, but I'm gonna do it soon. 

  6. 37 minutes ago, Hulk said:

    Aye, there are several threads here where damaged kiln bottoms are discussed, e.g.

    Cracks in kiln floor - Equipment Use and Repair - Ceramic Arts Daily Community

    My kin bottom is in fairly good shape, structurally (there's lots of glaze damage), hence I didn't add the sheet of metal, however, the stand is in bad shape. Here's a pic of the bolted on angle material. The original stand is sound where the bolts are, however, the portion that touches the kiln is almost completely rusted away.

    Likely you'll get more responses over the next few days ...in the meantime, try searching "sheet metal" for parallel threads.

    Note, the typical recommended post for the bottom shelf is half inch (edited, above).



    Thank you very much for the much needed information. That repair of the stand looks great. 

    Just found a tinsmith near to my house, so gotta go when I get back to work in January.  Any recommendation on the material? I know about metal, but what kind of metal? Tried searching on the website, but didn't find it. 

  7. 4 minutes ago, Hulk said:

    Hi Tabathos,

    The second photo is the upside? If so, looks like it has been protected by a kiln shelf - the typical advice being to set the bottom shelf on one inch (2.54 cm) posts.

    Any road, likely the advice you get here will be just that, also support the kiln with a sturdy stand that spans the entire bottom - supplement the typical angle stock stand with a sheet of metal the same shape/outline of the bottom. Use material that is thick/strong enough to distribute the load.

    Is the top photo the underside? If so, the rusty rectangle stain indicates a kiln stand that has lost its galvanize and began to rust; check it over carefully, for the top portion of the typical stand will rust away to the point of failure, given enough time and exposure. I repaired my stand by bolting on quarter inch angle stock below the rust line, for the material in contact with the kiln was mostly rusted through. I'll post a pic of the repair later... 

    Thank you very much for your detailed response. Yes, the rusty one is the bottom of the bottom. I have a stand that is made of pieces of metal, not the ones that have a sheet of metal with a hole in the middle. 

    The upper side is the clean one, and yes, it have been used with a shelf. Then, should I only apply a coat of kiln cement? The woman who sold it told me it worked fine the way it is, but a fellow ceramist told me that it should be repaired and fired the whole bottom in a bigger kiln. I'm not sure of that,

  8. I find that reusing materials that are already in town is better. For example, my friend gave me some Styrofoam pallets, that, while they may not be eco-friendly, were meant to be put in the landfill anyway, so why not put it in good use before that? They work wonders for wrapping the pieces. 

    I also like to reuse bubble wrapping from the pharmacy of my father, and getting whatever boxes from any businness I can. 

    Been struggling to find a balance. Because I would like my package to be aesthetic, with the goal of lasting a good impression. But at the same time, I don't want to make unnecessary garbage. So I sticked with function, and decided to save fancy packaging for one on one deliveries. 

  9. They are tricky to find, but the key is consistency. I managed to find both of my kilns and my wheel on Facebook Marketplace. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get them, as they are bloody expensive bought new. 

    It may sound absurd, but I told the universe what I needed, and on certain times, I felt the urge to check FB, and voila! New equipment. But you may find OK to set up an alarm and be fast, as they are pretty looked for. Good luck! 

  10. Hello, thanks for reading. 

    Got myself an used econo kiln L&L. Wall bricks are in great condition, also the lid. The only 'if' is the bottom, it is damaged as shown in the pictures. 

    What are the steps I should take to repair it? Some spaces between bricks are loose, so I don't know if I should fill them with kiln cement first (well, but after scrapping all the scraps). 

    The bricks are in good condition, is the surface that looks so messy (and the space between them worries me a little). 

    Thanks in advance, my best regards. 



  11. 3 hours ago, saltedfire said:

    I find our local sale increase right after we do our first wood kiln firing.

    I just did my first wood kiln firing and it has increased our local interest a lot.  Were doing a parking lot sale this weekend.

    My daughter with downs syndrome sells 95% of her stuff online.  She post her stuff every other Friday at noon, she's sold out by Sunday at noon, and everything gets shipped Tuesday.  She spends 25 hours a week working on pottery, 8 hours a week on her store listing, 8 hours a week on social media, and around 8 hours packing and shipping every other week.  The first year we paid someone to work with her on the social media and the store listings.  If we would not of paid someone to teach her how to deal with the internet stuff it would not of worked out.


    I would make as much as you have room to store.  If you bisque your pottery I would do it as you go.  That way you are able to change up the color paterns biased off whats selling at the time.


    I spend the beginning of the year in mass production, start firing the LPG kiln around July load after load, and early fall switch to the wood kiln.  Our local sales increase the week after every wood firing.  I sell to a few interior designers and they mostly buy in the fall and spring from what I have found, but with a stock of stuff raedy to fire I can get them what they want with a short lead time.

    Between my 3 kids they run a LPG kiln load every 2 to 3 weeks.

    Hello Saltedfire, thank you very much for your comment. Storage for me is kinda tricky, as my studio space is tight, but as my pieces are little, I'm gonna find place for them. 

    Your experience is really inspiring! I hope I can live from ceramics one day. 


  12. 8 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

    I would say that if this is your first year in business, I wouldn't necessarily judge subsequent years by what happens now, other than to celebrate any wins. 2020 is the year of weird stuff for sure!

    I think this is a good year to build any systems for online selling that you'd like to continue with in less tumultuous times. If your strategy will be to build your audience online, be sure to begin funneling them towards your email list right from the get go: algorithm changes are constant and buying your followers back from social media platforms is a nuisance, expensive, and time consuming at best. Newsletters don't have to be complicated, and more of your audience will see them than a social media post.

    If you're focusing on online for marketing, any investment in understanding photography is probably a good thing. Farming out your product shots is also a good thought if you're not inclined towards doing it yourself. Good photos make a huge difference.

    In my first couple of years, I made half my income from pots in November and December, so I definitely second the "as many as you can" number for how much of what to make. Normally for a Christmas booth you'd want a good selection of sizes and price points.  I think this year, focusing on items that are in a similar size range for shipping purposes is a better plan. Mugs, bowls, ornaments, luminaries, small jars, that kind of thing. In the first few years of your business, you'll spend a lot of time figuring out what people are liking and what they're not. I found it very useful to have the Square item library feature to be able to track and categorize the items that I sold, but I was also selling almost exclusively in person. I don't know what payment gateway you're using online, but somehow tracking exactly what you sell will give you good data for making next year's production lists. It's also really useful to make some observations in the moment about what's working and what isn't. It helps for planning in the next few months. 


    Hello Callie, thank you very much for your kind words. 

    Yes to everything you said. Currently I have my online store and a IG page.  I'm planning to build a solid web presence via SEO and my blog, but it is a long path. It is OK, I was no expecting a blast in sales when I launched my website the last week, but it did pretty well for me being a total amateur. Also the people who bought was very satisfied with the product, so it is an indicator of doing things right. Slowly, but steady and constant.  And got comissions, so I'm happy that people is seeing some value in my work.

    I need to open a FB page to promote via ads. The people with money definitely is in FB.  Instagram is cool, but I find that most of the following are young adults, so I need to retarget my focus group to people with more acquisitive power. Need to learn more of marketing, but I know that mail is a powerful tool. 

    I'm going to participate in a virtual show organized by my arts college. Unfortunately because of COVID, I lack the socializative aspect of sales, but I think it would help me to promote my project. Also I'm gonna participate in a exposition in november, so another promo shot I'm excited to try. 

    I'm building a collection of pieces that I'm able to make by batch. I tried the unique pieces path, and it is exhausting to take pictures of each one, and listing them in the webpage. I'm gonna make micro flower pots, planters, stuff for art like watercolor pots and ceramic jewelry. I think that for a start is fine, as I lack the experience to make functional ware. I'm gonna leave the unique aspect to artistic pieces, that I'm able to sell when art shows come back. 

    I see that pieces like sculptures are hard sellers, but pieces like planters and a specific type of flower pots are really popular. Haven't got a public review of my ceramic jewelry, but the kind ladies who had used them had helped me to refine the product. 

    OMG. Just when I was typing this, the Woocommerce app informed me of a new sale. So exciting!

  13. On 9/23/2020 at 9:15 AM, GEP said:

    Yes, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas generally brings a boost in sales. People are buying gifts, but they are also buying for themselves. And yes, now is the time to start building inventory for December. I hold an open studio in early December every year, and it is always my biggest grossing weekend of the year. If I compare it to the other “big shows” on my schedule in a typical year, it grosses about 33% more. (of course, this is not a typical year, and this year’s open studio will be virtual, so my expectations are more fluid.)

    If this is your first year, the number of pieces you should make is “as many as you can.” Having stock leftover is not bad, and it will take you a few years before you get a good handle on how much can expect to sell. 

    Hi Mea, I'm a big lurker of your blog. It is like a bible to me in terms of the monetary aspects of the pottery business, and I'm really grateful for your effort into sharing your valuable knowledge. I'm also a graphic designer like you, but I prefer the studio life, so it is very handy to me. 

    Thank you very much for your reply. I'm gonna make the best I can while having my dayjob. Pottery life is kinda tricky. Today was not my best day throwing, but tomorrow is going to be another day. 



  14. Hi. This is my first December ever in my ceramics business, and even though there won't be any art shows, I'm confident in online sales (a man can hope).

    Any advice on this? I don't know how many of my pieces should I make. I intend to work hard this low months to stock the most popular pieces, and also on my web presence and social media. 

    But since I started this year, I lack the practical experience that art shows give.

    Statiscally speaking, hopefully there would be a boost in sales, but what do you experienced people think? 

    Thanks in advance.

  15. Thank you very much for your insights, Neil. 

    I have my own kiln. I bisque fire at cone 010 and glaze fire at low temperatures, and it seems to work fine. But I want to mix my own glazes and make functional ware, so I bought this book from John Britt called "The complete guide to mid-range glazes: glazing and firing at cones 4-7", and I was thinking of just trying the recipes as they currently are. It seems it won't be as easy as I thought it would be. 

    I guess there are certain ways to reduce the temperature of the glazes of the book using a software, but I guess it doesn't hurt to make some tests with the earthenware I have. We don't have a ceramics supplier that sells stoneware clay, so I think I have to adapt to what I have here. For example, we are unable to make porcelain using the native kaolin, as it has very low quality. I suppose it is something related to the fact that geologically our land is relatively new, compared to the mines from China, or USA. 

  16. Hello. 

    I live in Costa Rica, and in the college where I took some pottery classes, they bisque firing at cone 010.

    Almost every book I read says that bisque firing should be done at cone 04-06. Any reason our clay is bisqued fired at lower temperature? It is a red clay, with a high content of iron. Our teacher says that iron acts as a flux, so I wonder if that is the reason they decide to fire it at cone 010.

    I want to make functional pottery and glaze fire at mid range (cone 4-6), because of all the sanitary needs. Stoneware clay is commonly used for these purposes, but it seems that our native clay is earthenware. They add refractory grog to red clay, so I suppose it is a way to make it more resistant to higher temperatures that are required to glaze fire at mid range, but still bisque fired at cone 010.

    As a topic, there is a trend here to reduce firing temperatures, as it seems to be more practical regarding economic and ecological factors. Functional ware is fired at cone 2, instead of higher temperatures, but I've seen test tiles of cone 6 hanging there. I wonder if this reduction in glaze firing has implications in the quality of functional ware. 

    I'm seriously confused, and I can't ask anyone as we're in quarantine lockdown. Thanks in advance. 


  17. Hello. I did a test tile with some materials I don't know their name. They came as a bonus with my old kiln, so I did a test tile in cone 2. 

    I would be grateful on insights about this. I know one is a feldspar (because the box says so), but it doesn't specify what kind of feldspar it is. I also wrote how the material look in raw state. Thank you very much in advance. 

    Edit: The one that says yellow crystal actually dissappeared. I wonder if it volatized, or fell off the tile.

    test tile.jpg

  18. Just out of curiosity, how do I recognize lead in a particular scenario?

    I bought a lot of old stuff from a potter with my kiln, and while I think it is highly unlikely she used lead, I would like to know what it looks like.  Actually, there are some materials I don't know what they are, so I'm not using them.

    PS: The lady is dead. And her nephew (the guy who sold me the stuff) doesn't know much about it. 

  19. Has anyone ever heard of this brand of old glazes? The box says "Reward Ceramic Color", and the products name is "Kristalific", or something like that (the picture is blurry, so I'm not sure)

    Someone is selling me a lot of sealed boxes of this glaze at a bargain price (inherited by his deceased aunt), but I can't find anything on the web about it. The manufacturer seemed to be based in Maryland. 

    Thanks in advance. 

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