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Dottie

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  1. Hi to all. Just a follow-up, which I hope doesn't come back to bite me! I have been doing many, many tile tests, and I *think* I finally have my problem solved. First, I have all my 12 (one or two extras, just in case) sculptures built (oh, I might not have mentioned before, but I got another!!! order for more dog sculptures while I've been testing). And I kind of wimped out, too, on solving my problem: Under such stressful circumstances, I bought ALL new materials from another supplier. All the test tiles I did, unfortunately, showed no definitive specific problem but did show a few specific underglazes that are going to be tossed (mostly ones in the blue/green and violet range for some reason, it seems). I still have much more testing to do, but I feel with all new materials, I can at least get my custom orders out the door -- and on time! I even learned quicker ways to build due to the large numbers of similar pieces I was building -- and I made a nice drying box to help get the sculptures ready to move through the system a little faster -- but not too fast. Later, I'll try to analyze what went wrong in the first place, but now, so far anyway, it looks as if I'll be able to get my two big orders out! Thanks again to all of you who helped me get through this. I know I was panicking and sounded really bonkers at times (which I probably was under the circumstances). So thank you, thank you! I learned so much from all of you.
  2. Hi, Neil. Thanks so much. It's the same temp as the regular earthenware clay, 06-1 or 2, I think. Amaco responded to my request for assistance, so that's encouraging. I gave them all the information they requested, so I expect I'll hear from them on Monday. Makes me want to quit clay altogether.
  3. Okay, here goes: I lay awake all night last night (well, I might have slept three hours at most), thinking about my mess, and I came to some realizations that I feel embarrassed about. The main one is that I realized that I already had the shivering problem by the time I went to Seattle Pottery in August. In fact, that was the reason I made a special trip there: I was going to completely replace my clear glaze in hopes that that would solve the problem. The problem had begun to occur just a week or two before I went, but all this means that even if I do have "paper clay," it appears that it didn't cause the initial problem -- or even exacerbate the original problem because it's no worse and no better -- just there on pretty much 100% of my pieces. (It is much, much more prevalent on my sculptures, as I think I've mentioned before, than my wall-hanging pieces. First, I have written to Seattle Pottery and have apologized for my inappropriate outburst before I knew the entire story (yes, they spoke poorly to me, too, but that doesn't mean I should behave in such a way (I was insistent that they replace and refund my money for the purchase of what clearly appears to be "paper clay" instead of what I ordered and was given. And when they refused because I didn't have a receipt (which I think I have already said that I found -- and sent photos to them), I just lost it. I didn't think it was fair. Also, darn it, I was stressed over this commission (actually two commissions now), which I really, really need because of, well, Covid, and it's 2020, and I just lost it and said I would "smear their business," etc. I'm so sorry. It was inappropriate, not a reasonable way to solve a problem, and definitely beneath the standards that I want to hold myself to. I'm waiting to hear from them and will advise. In the meantime, I did contact Amaco Company to request some problem-solving advice if that does happen to be, part or completely, the problem. There are just way toooooooo many variables in this problem for me to figure out how to solve. And in my limited time, it makes it all the more frustrating. Okay, 'nuf said, I guess.
  4. Benzine, thanks for your comment. This had to be a specific problem as it occurred very suddenly in my work. See my comment to Neil above regarding the clay switch pulled on me by the seller's error. KristinaNoel, thanks for the suggestion. I've dealt with Clay Art Center in Tacoma in the past and really, really like them. Today, unfortunately, I went the other direction, to a place in Spokane, thinking the drive would be easier. It wasn't. And I ended up buying clay there from Clay Art Center anyway! So in the future, I'll be going to Tacoma. I just hate the crowded drive to get there , but it will be a lot less driving for me than today. Plus, since these people were buying and reselling clay from Clay Art Center, I ended up paying more for it. But I am desperate to get back to my commissioned work as I now have only one month to do 11 (one extra, just in case!) large sculptures. I received the commission nearly a month ago and was nearly finished with building when I thought I should glaze fire a couple just to get some moving through the process. They both had shivers all over them, totally useless. I have 8 other green ones sitting there, waiting for something . . . . . So tomorrow, I am hitting it early and every single day until I have them all done. They have an absolute due date of delivery by Nov 1-3. I think I can do it if I really give it my best!
  5. Okay, I've been gone all day, getting replacement clay so I can get started tomorrow morning. Neil, thanks for the info. Perhaps you didn't see an earlier post: It turned out that my clay supplier had given me "paper clay," instead of the white eartheware I have been using for many years. The "paper clay" boxes were mislabeled, so I thought the slight difference in texture when I was working was due to its being more moist than my previous batch. And, yes, I completely agree with your comment about their not keeping better records. Fortunately, and I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, but I did finally find my receipt from that clay purchase, so I am at the very least insisting that they refund my purchase price. And if they want their paper clay back, they can darned well come and get it. I have no use for it but am not driving hours to return it. Their error has cost me untold numbers of hours of work on products that I can now not use for my commissions.
  6. Hi, Babs. I thought of that possibility and adjusted for it. It made no difference. And I was dipping into glaze and began brushing, too, to cover the glaze question, too. I'll try the bisque sound suggestion to see if I can tell a "flick" sound difference and let you know what I learn.
  7. Oh, Babs. I finally get what you were saying! Yes, I'll give that a try! Thanks so much.
  8. Babs. Hi, I am in the process of trying to sand off and repaint the pieces with just small areas that have shivering. Don't know if it works, though. I'll let you know what I find out. But I really, really hope someone doesn't end up with such as mess as this is. I just realized, in fact, that I have tons of bisqued but not painted or glazed pieces that I've built up, and I don't know which ones are bad and which ones are okay. This really explains, too, why some pieces have come out just fine and others are unusable. Oh, what a mess!
  9. Thanks GEP and Min. First of all, I'm a bit of a workaholic, so I'm going to see how much I can get done in the next week. I have managed to learn a few shortcuts while I've been building these that were finished so far (each one is very different, though, but still the main principles are in each one). So wish me luck! If it appears that I'm not far enough along in two weeks, I'll contact them and explain my situation. Gallery owners can be a bit difficult sometimes, so I want to do my best to get them done in time. Plus, they're just the middle man; the pieces are for one of their customers who is going to present them as awards and whatever their big function is.
  10. Oh, and Min, yes, the rep at Seattle Pottery said that the earthenware that I have used for the last five years is indeed still the same. But as I've stated above, they won't honor an exchange if I don't have the receipt. Seattle is over two hours away from me, so I can't see driving that far (it takes up almost a whole day with the traffic around there) just to get a couple hundred dollars of clay, which is what my last purchase was. But they're really losing a lot in the long run because I've bought kilns, a slab roller, all my materials from them for the last five years and had intended to do so for the next however many years I continue to do this work.
  11. Babs, I'm not quite sure I understand what you're saying. Are you suggesting that if I thin my underglazes and apply them, and then I presume glaze and fire, that that might solve the problem?
  12. Ok. Things are worse, even. Seattle Pottery Company (and, yes, I'm loudly saying who they are) called me back and said that I need to show a receipt of my last two purchases. I'm so sorry, but other clay supply companies I've worked with over the years have always, always had itemized copies of receipts (such as Georgies in Portland, OR, with whom I worked for well over a decade). Anyway, for that reason, I've not bothered to keep itemized receipts once I checked in my purchases from it. I only have my payment receipts. Well, it turns out that Seattle Pottery doesn't keep itemized receipts, ever! They say that if I don't have my itemized receipts, that they will not refund or even exchange the clay THEY erroneously put into my car. I have spent thousands of dollars with these people over the past five years that I've lived close enough to them to call them my supplier. So I'm out the money for the clay, out for all the sculptures I've already made, and out for all the other things I've made that I now can't sell, even if they haven't begun shivering. However, I do have a little plan: I think I'm going to try one of two things: First, I might try just painting underglazes on one of the sculptures and see if I can just sell it retail to a customer unglazed. I was really tired of everything's being so shiny, anyway, so maybe it could be a different route for me. Second, if that doesn't work, I'm going to do something I know will work: I am also a painter (on canvases), and I have tons of acrylic paints because I under-paint in acrylics and final paint with oils. So I'm going to paint some bisqued ones with acrylic paints and perhaps find a good acrylic spray that will fix the paint so it won't wear off. As my mother used to say, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" And I'm off to Spokane, WA, the other direction from my home to a clay supply company there, and I've already verified that they have exactly what I need! I am a wiser person now. Again, thanks for all your help and support.
  13. Okay. I am furious!!!!! It is the clay! I just contacted Seattle Pottery Company, my supplier, and they gave me the wrong clay the last time I was in there. They gave me paper clay instead of my regular clay. I have been working on an 11-piece commission of large full-body dog sculptures, 8 of which are completely built and ready to fire, one of which is in progress. They are due by November 1 and take days and days and days to get built. I was asked by them why I didn't notice the difference in texture, which thinking back, I did, and I figured it was because my old purchases were so very old that they had hardened a lot. I even remember thinking, wow, I had no idea how hard my old clay was (I buy in very large quantities when I go there because it's a couple of hours away, so I buy about a year's worth at a time.) I noticed that the labels on the outside of the boxes were a different color, but they said "LF06, so I they had just changed labels as they had recently changed ownership. Nowhere did the label say "paper clay." By the way, as with all clay suppliers, I place my order inside, and it is put into my car by one of their people, as at any clay supplier, so I never saw the boxes until I got to my studio. Anyway, I'm now waiting to hear from the manager. The assistant manager said I could drive over there with the wrong clay and exchange it. I said, I don't think so. I'm asking them to replace the clay and deliver it to me. But I presume there's absolutely nothing I can do about all the blankety-blank work I've already done on my sculptures. Now I'm going to have to work myself to the bone to get all these sculptures rebuilt and out the door in time for a November 1 deadline. Oh, and one more thing: At first, they denied that it could be my clay and said that I ought to contact Amaco instead. Sorry this is so long. I just had to vent! And thank you alllllllll for your help in solving this most vexing problem I've ever faced in my rather long career.
  14. Oh, I don't have a photo of the shivering problems on the rooster, but they're on the tail in this instance, mostly at "edges," places that are either outside edges or just where the plane in the shape changes.
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