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KilnCat

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  1. Very helpful once again, thank you!
  2. @Bill Kielb That top example looks wonderful, what a handsome piece. I'm very new and am not sure I quite follow the process you used. Is the black underglaze just showing through the semi-transparent teal? That might work with the glaze I'm planning to use; mayco emerald, which is described as translucent. Thank you very much. Additional question. Do you paint completely freehand, or do you create some sort of sketch on the item first? I'm tempted to sketch first so I feel more confident with applying the underglaze, but don't want to cause any problems or reactions. Is pencil okay to use?
  3. It can probably be considered handmade (a candle or soap poured into a mould is still considered handmade), but it is not sculpted or one of a kind. I'd probably rather not use moulds, but if I were to, I would state so, along with whether it was pre-made or my own. As for the off-shoot subject of people appreciating hand-made, it seems to me to have been increasing in popularity within the past decade, especially with millennial hipsters.
  4. I did see a topic on this but it was from a few years ago. It seemed like blue painters tape might be preferable? Does anyone have a specific brand of tape that they would recommend, or does it really not matter much? I don't want residue causing problems with applying glaze.
  5. I offered to make my friend a set of tea bowls, but he wants a specific Chinese character to be painted in the bottom of each bowl. I initially assumed that I could layer on my glaze, and then paint the details on top with black a glaze. But wasn't sure if the glazes would just melt together into a blur. Would I be better off utilising underglaze? Sorry if it's a stupid question. I wasn't expecting such a specific request, but figured it would be good practice and decided to try rather than refuse/change. (It is currently bisqueware and will be a cone 5-6 firing).
  6. The advice always seems to be to give up and start over. But it seems to be possible if it's a piece you really want to keep no matter what. I am still very new & decided to experiment with rewetting dry clay, fixing dried cracks, and adding new clay onto to dry clay. As you might expect, it's just a lot of rewetting, smoothing, scoring and adding vinegar water to additional parts. I kept it loosely covered with plastic and would smooth out any cracks that appeared while it dried. (It bisque fired successfully). I assume glaze will help make up for lost strength, and suspect that for decorative pieces it shouldn't matter too much if it's technically imperfect (probably not much good of it's something like an added handle though). As for any remaining cracks etc, there are fillers and recipes for greenware and bisque, which people give mixed reviews for, but I'm probably going to skip fixing things and just try filling with epoxy after I am finished to make it a feature. So in short, I say do what you're doing, but make it all damp and cover it with plastic.
  7. @Roberta12 Thank you for your input. I was fairly sure that everyone would develop their own preferences and way of doing things over time, and I am sure I will too once I get going. I tend to just over-think before I get started. I also make the terrible mistake of making every pot precious, and care too much about getting them just right (especially for items that are more sculpture than houseware). Still, I suspect that feeling will improve over time at least, as I learn techniques and find it easier to make or re-make things and not get sentimental over a piece of clay. Since I don't have a huge amount of space (read as: I will probably annoy my husband by taking up much more space than I already do), painting each one will hopefully work out okay for me; it's good to know that others do use this method. I may move on to dipping and mixing my own eventually though, as it does sound preferable, and potentially fun. It's good to know that a lot of these details don't matter much more than preference. But it's reassuring to hear what people prefer or learned from. I will definitely bear those sites in mind, thank you. Lots of good info there. Thanks again.
  8. @Hulk Thank you for the input. For clay, I've only used one type so far; a buff clay with grog. It worked out pretty much perfectly for sculpting and the bisque. Although I might try without grog next time for a smoother finish. I assume a lot of this craft is down to trial, error and experimentation. I just tend to overthink and find it daunting to get started (though I m usually fine once I get going). I expect I may work on my own glazes eventually, so it's good to think ahead, and it's useful to get glimpses into what other people do. Although currently I'm mostly curious about how people prepare for applying glaze, how they glaze, etc, and if applying with a brush for a whole piece can look okay if you take care to get it right, or if it's going to end up streaky and uneven. I assume you must mostly dip and pour, utilising the ladle. I will be sure to have all those tools handy before I start and keep things clean. Thanks again.
  9. I have finally started using my kiln. My bisque firing (cone 04) was a complete success, which was a relief. I'm feeling a little nervous about glazing. So I wondered what sort of set up people had to help things go smoothly and not be a messy disaster. And also whether you use kiln wash, cookies, etc. when firing. And if you had any absolutely essential tips. I have tried looking online, but thought it would make sense to ask here. I greatly appreciate people giving their time to answer my silly novice questions. So far, I have purchased a few pre-made pots of colours in little pints as I did not feel confident enough to make my own yet, even if this is probably an expensive and limited option (the clay and glazes are suitable for cone 5-6). I wondered if it was a mistake buying small amounts of different glazes, as I suspect this means I will have to brush on the glaze rather than dip or pour, do you think this will be problematic? All my items are hand sculpted and most are probably more complex items to glaze evenly. I didn't think to make many test items and just have one bowl to test my glaze application, but I think I'll manage to learn enough from that (I could make more, but I'm so incredibly slow that I should probably just get on with what I have at the moment). I purchased my glazes on dickblick, do you have any favourite sites? (I'm having trouble finding a suitable autumnal orange for a pumpkin candle holder).
  10. Thanks, figured that was the case, just wanted to make sure. I decided a little height might be useful if I make sculptures.
  11. Oh, I didn't see the 28M, so I assumed it was only offered as S or T. Good to know. I'll put it into consideration. I still may opt for the 23 unless I get a great deal and can be sure I'll have ample space where I'll be putting it.
  12. Still haven't managed to get an electrician over yet, but hopefully in the next few days. I also haven't fully decided on which kiln. Trying to figure out whether the L&L E28S, E23M, or E23T will best suit my needs (I notice the E28T doesn't have such a high cone rating, and to continue upgrading would just be too expensive). I'm leaning towards the E23M. I assume the 3" brick versions are preferable? If the cord isn't long enough, is it best to have the outlet moved, try to buy a longer cord, or should it be wired in entirely? I appreciate you all taking the time to advise me. I'm embarrassingly novice.
  13. I greatly appreciate everyones input. Thank you. I'm probably going to get an electrician in just to make sure all is well before making a purchase. But I may be looking at getting an L&L E28S. Quick addional question; is the touchscreen a worthwhile upgrade, or just one more thing to go wrong?
  14. I am entirely new to all of this, and looking to buy my first kiln. I think I want to jump right in and get a kiln that will last in the long term and suit a range or projects. Skutt & L&L seem to be the main kilns of choice, but I am tempted by Olympic because they offer dual media, so I could try glass fusing if I wanted. Do you think it's worth it to go for the Olympic? I hear mixed reviews about them (from it being their favourite of the three brands and they have had for years, to lacking in manufacturing quality). It's also difficult to know what size and extras to go for. I can have 240v, and will probably not require special venting as it will probably be in a garage. How necessary of an upgrade do you consider solid state relays and multi-zone thermocouples? Are there any upgrades you've found to be essential, or wish you did or did not have? I'm not sure what to look for or avoid. For size, I took a guess at 3' or so cubic capacity(?); I will likely be making anything from dinnerware to sculptures but don't expect to be making large quantities. I will probably be purchasing online, any favourite retailers? And what would you say are the absolute essentials to have before getting started? Sorry if I'm asking too much. I'm a little overwhelmed by all the options, and I don't have any local ceramics friends for insight.
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