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NancyE

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Everything posted by NancyE

  1. Very, very interesting. My 30 gal qvevri is cracking, I think because I took too long to build it and it had uneven drying. The grape harvest was lost due to the extreme weather we had, so, I have time to design and build and experiment for next year. This looks like it has potential to address several issues. I appreciate your thinking of the qvevri. Nancy
  2. Hello Peter, good to hear from you. Amazon has the book for sale for 900.00$!. I have thought about trying to find it through interlibrary loan. I think a break apart fiber walled kiln is something I am capable of doing, and would have a much better chance of controlling the firing and thus having a successful outcome than doing a pit fire. Thanks for pointing me in a much better direction. Nancy
  3. Hello Rae Reich, I used a chicken brooder heat lamp over a tote that worked well for some small letters I was trying to dry. I've considered hanging the brooder lamp inside the pot, but I think I need to make a small dry room with the brooder lamp for inside to even begin drying this pot. I'm very interested in the dehumidifier, how do I contact you? I literally have water flowing through my little studio. Thanks, Nancy
  4. Hello Babs, How did you know I was at it again? I am working on Qvevri for this year's season, currently on a 30 gal pot that I have daily discussions with my husband regarding how we will move it. I'll show him your post. I'm also trying to figure out how to dry it considering our constant flooding in Texas and the water running through the studio as well as how to fire it since it won't fit into any kilns I have access to. I'm thinking I don't have many choices other than a pit firing, pretty risky for something I have invested so much time an effort. It's so humid here that pots that have been drying for months are exploding in the kiln. Any suggestions for building a dry/dehumidifier room and firing this pot would be really appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you and everyone else. Sincerely, Nancy
  5. Hello Peter, Yes I waxed them. Since they had to cool down some before pulling them out of the kiln, when I thought they were not soaking up the wax enough, I reheated inside the pots with my torch (weed burner). The pots soaked up a lot of wax, the process seemed to work well. It helped to remove them from the kiln so I could roll them on their sides, it's difficult to get the melted wax up under the hip of the vessel. Moving the pots into and out of my top loading electric kiln is problematic to say the least. I want to build a larger, front loading gas kiln that would allow me to make larger pots. Building your own kiln is really expensive :). My local vineyard wants me to make several small, down to 1 gallon, pots for their smaller harvests. I'm concerned whether or not the process will work in such a small pot. They built an air conditioned barn for the qvevri fermentation to manage temps without burying the vessels. I appreciate your ideas and input. Nancy
  6. Very interesting Peter, you seem to be accessing information from completely different resources. Maybe I should step out of only looking for clay qvevri information. Also, I suppose it can have a spiral interior without being too rough and embedded with rope bits. Maybe even a bedsheet between the rope and clay. Thanks, Nancy.
  7. Hello Peter, I am in contact with the folks at the Qvevri Project, who are not potters but want to find someone to make the Qvevri, run their studio, design and build a mobile kiln and maybe a huge kiln at their studio outside of Austin, TX. They are interested in promoting Georgian culture and wines, including the use of qvevri. Yes, there is really little instruction on how to make the vessels. I have come to realize that this is partially due to the conflict between the idea of traditional qvevri production and use (I think not really realistic for US winemakers), and a modern hybrid take on the idea (see Andrew Beckham). So my questions still are: how do you have oxygen transfer while sealing the vessel to keep the wine from leaking out or if they are buried, water leaching in, just how exacting does the shape have to be to get the natural mixing inside, how thick do the walls need to be (the question of oxygen transfer again), how large does the vessel need to be to maintain the correct temperatures, what difference does the clay you use make on the wine, what difference is made from firing the pots with gas vs wood or electric, what cone/temp to fire them, do they need to be buried to achieve the desired effect........ To top it off, I don't drink wine and cannot even begin to consider the proposed nuances of each of these variables. I do believe that if I knew these answers, however, I could make very functional and aesthetically satisfying vessels for wine fermentation. I'm loving the challenge and am really enjoying learning to work big. I appreciate everyone's advice and input and am learning with every attempt. Where I live is very isolated, with no other potters in the area, so this forum is the highlight of my day. So thanks for your comments and ideas, it all feeds the brain. Most sincerely, Nancy
  8. Thank you Peter, this is very interesting and I may have to try a version. I wonder how rough the interior remains and how that would affect the wine. It is so hard to work deeper than your arm is long. I will look further into the technique, I appreciate your idea. N
  9.  

    I have now been asked to design a mobile gas kiln to be carried about in a 20' container that would fire eight 50+ gallon qvevri or 4 larger ones at least to bisque.  Of course I have never built a kiln before.  I imagine the greatest problem is to keep the kiln from grinding itself to death on the road, and of course keeping it down to a doable weight.  I was thinking about building walls that could be assembled on site, then I saw  John Britt's kiln made from refractory cement and I wondered if it might be the solution.  He gave me some suggestions, but I would really love to hear from you guys

    The person requesting the kiln design is looking for someone who wants to move to his place outside of Austin, TX, to run a studio and a really, really big kiln he plans to build.  See The Qvevri Project.  Is there a more appropriate place to post this information?

    Thanks again,

    You guys make my day.

    1. neilestrick

      neilestrick

      Go ahead and post this in the Equipment section and you'll get lots of great ideas.

  10. Hello my friends I'm back. My last beautiful pot, well the puppy pulled the rag out of the pedal, pounced on the pedal and that pot actually clocked me on the head. At least I have an excuse now for any brain issues. I sold my other three pots and they are fermenting wine as we speak, they held 3.5, 5 and 17 gallons. I have the next year to actually learn and make something to be proud of. Thanks for all your help. I have now been asked to design a mobile gas kiln to be carried about in a 20' container that would fire eight 50+ gallon qvevri or 4 larger ones at least to bisque. Of course I have never built a kiln before. I imagine the greatest problem is to keep the kiln from grinding itself to death on the road, and of course keeping it down to a doable weight. I was thinking about building walls that could be assembled on site, then I saw John Britt's kiln made from refractory cement and I wondered if it might be the solution. He gave me some suggestions, but I would really love to hear from you guys The person requesting the kiln design is looking for someone who wants to move to his place outside of Austin, TX, to run a studio and a really, really big kiln he plans to build. See The Qvevri Project. Is there a more appropriate place to post this information? Thanks again, You guys make my day. N
  11. Hello Source, I lost my first message to you so I'll do it again. Thanks. I had let myself be overwhelmed by my self induced pressure to accomplish this task, compounded by my fervent desire to retire from my day job. I have absolutely enjoyed throwing myself into the project, pushing my skills beyond anything I had imagined doing, and I am pleased with the pots and my learning curve. Thanks for the very timely reality check. I'm trying to send a picture of my last qvevri for this harvest, not yet finished, and one just for fun when I needed to step away from the project. Again thanks. N
  12. I've included pictures of my third pot and unfinished fourth pot. Since I am trying to throw them in sections, the walls are coming out thinner (about 3/4-1/2 ", than when they were mostly coiled. If the seams don't fail, how thick do the walls need to be to be strong enough to stand up to being filled with fluid? Would it be wise to fire the thinner walled pots to cone 6? I am assuming that would make it stronger to internal pressure, and since they are going to be sealed with beeswax if they are just bisque fired, the issues of the wine breathing through the terracotta walls is rendered mute. I don't know if they plan to bury them this go around, which adds support to the walls as well as the need to limewash them from the outside to prevent contamination from moisture from the surrounding soil. I appreciate everyone's help and advice. Sincerely, N
  13. Thank you Mark C, of course you are right. I can only do this order in my electric kiln and very slowly. My kiln has Lo, Med, and High settings and I was planning to fire the pots to cone 06, my usual bisque cone. Do you have suggestions for how long on each setting I should hold before stepping up? As for building another kiln, it's for a future project if the fermentation vessels are a success. The folks with the vineyard are planning to buy more, and I may be able to sell more in town. I thought gas would be easier to control and have a more attainable learning curve than wood. But if I'm going to invest in building a kiln, it would be best if it could be dual purpose. I will need to sell several-many pots to afford to build a kiln. We have been looking for brick and it's way too expensive for now. Does anyone know if the bricks from Alibaba are appropriate for kilns? The price difference is the only thing that makes me suspicious. I appreciate your and everyone's thoughts and advice. This is completely new territory for me and the grapes are ripening as we speak. Thanks, N
  14. Thank you LT for the excellent resources. Everything you said is spot on for my current situation and knowledge. N
  15. I Is it possible to build a kiln for these large pots that can use both gas and wood? To work larger I need to build a kiln and I think as a beginner I could have much better temp control using gas. I eventually would like to try wood but I know it would require a huge learning curve. I have an endless source of wood from our property and I hate to waste it when we are clearing and buring off piles of wood while reclaiming our fields. My latest pot is 27" tall and 17" diameter at the burge. Nancy
  16. Throwing upside down could be a way to reach into deep pots when you have short arms. For me, it would probably mean clay and equipment would end up flying across the studio. After years of sanding ceilings, it makes my neck hurt just thinking about it. Thanks Hulk. I like the pots but I know I "cheated" by carving out the shapes as much as by throwing them. I'm worried the sections might not hold with drying and firing. I may try some vinegar in my joints if I have problems. I'm not sure how such large and sometimes thick pots will turn out. I do know I need to make more room to work and make my wheel work for me. Nancy
  17. I have a Brent CXC. It is working much better after I adjusted the pedal, but it still slows down when I center 25+ lbs clay. This is all new for me, I watch a different video every morning. I'm getting better and I hope my joints survive drying and firing. For everyone's entertainment, I finally have some pics. I have tried adding coils to a thrown base and adding another thrown piece to a thrown base. When using the wheel I am limited to the size of the bat I have, so throwing the middle sections is a problem I didn't expect. I think I could learn to like working big. Nancy
  18. I looked on the internet and found how to adjust the speed control on my pedal. Makes all the difference in the world and I haven't had any pots fly off since. Much better than stuffing a rag under the pedal! I need to not worry so much and just make the pots from a serene place. Pics on the way. Thanks to everyone. Nancy
  19. Sorry about the format, don't know what happened. Min, thank you for fixing it. The pedal on my wheel is either too slow or all out. I must have dropped a tool on the pedal, it went full speed, pot, bat and a solid 20-25 lbs of clay flew across the room. Until I figure out how to fix the pedal, I have a rag stuffed under it to keep it from taking off (not the first time), and I will only use bats that stick to the wheel via clay and suction. I am in over my head, but I learn something significant everyday. This forum is really important. Thanks, Nancy
  20. (Sorry about the format, don't know what happened.) My first attempt, for about 35 gal, flew off the wheel. My second turned out pretty good, it will hold about 5 gal. I threw it in 3 sections. I have been watching a video by David Johanson on "Throwing Large" that is really helpful and I recommend it to anyone. He reminded me that the most important steps for success are in the beginning, prepping the clay. Just like painting a house, all the serious work goes into the prep. I am adding 20 mesh grog to my clay and I think that will help with throwing and hopefully shrinking problems. I will also throw stiffer and wedged clay as per the video. My next question is, can I use coils from my pugger (2 or 3" die attached)? Rolling them out leaves me with sloppy, loose coils that are an inconsistent size. Will the spiral alignment of the clay particles directly from the pugger cause me problems? Thanks to everyone. Nancy
  21. Yes, and of course I will send pics as soon as I master transferring pics to computer. The last thing she said to me before I left to buy clay was: "I'm so excited, your going to make my dreams come true". Lets see how I do. I know this will need many different trials to find the best way to make the pots. I just hope to not be the ruin of her harvest for this year. N
  22. They are traditionally lined with beeswax. Sealed with a stone on the top . The really large ones are buried in the ground. This technology for wine making is 7-8,000 years old, originating in Georgia. Some can hold up to 8,000+ Liters and can easily accommodate a grown man for cleaning! Check out a potter/winemaker in Oregon named Andrew Beckham.
  23. We have calculated for it to hold 25 gal and fit into my kiln, it will be 27" tall and 22" at the bilge or widest part. 1.25" is really thick and would make it heavy. I don't know if it is necessary for a vessel this small. In the articles they mention some oxygen exchange through the terracotta and I don't know how the thickness of the pot would affect this. Some modern versions appear to be fired at a higher temp and I think that would affect any O2 exchange.
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