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feistyfieryceramics

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Everything posted by feistyfieryceramics

  1. It's sooooo hard for me to talk about money, enforce these kinds of things, and put up boundaries. But eventually...and it takes a lot... if I'm pushed to far I suddenly have no tolerance. That's how I am feeling right now on a lot of fronts then I learn to stick up for myself
  2. That sound horrible! In my very little experience, it already seems like it not worth the money. All that back and forth is unpaid labor! Also the cost of shipping materials and time spent going to and from the post office... Bleh!
  3. Also thank you all for your warnings about commissions and intolerance for BS from clients! I've been going on good faith since these people who have asked me to make things for them are neighbors or family of neighbors but now I understand that if I am going to continue making things on request, I need to get at least a damn deposit before I get started! The guy who I made the big bowl for didn't respond to my most recent email and then didn't come on the date I expected him to for his mugs and small bowl, and his plate sample. Another person who asked for 4 of my mugs but a bit smaller, messaged me a week later (after I had already made them all) and said she changed her mind because she decided the rim would be too thick for cappuccino. The mugs she had liked were intentionally "chewy" and of course if I had known she wanted a thinner rim (and therefore not just a "smaller version" of the chewy mugs) I could have done that no problem! So I'm feeling pretty frustrated. But you have inspired me now to seriously deprioritized this big bowl. I made two more big ones on the day I saw the glaze was a disaster, I'll trim them, I'll finish firing my students work, and them I'm out of here for the summer. I've been trying to get to my family for 1.5 years and I'm not going to wait any longer for a person who doesn't respond to emails or show up. I'll do more testing and then finish the bowls when I get back if he finally gets back to me and still wants it. mic drop Back to the detective work... I'm also wondering if it is possible to more thoroughly bisque without going up a cone? If I make something bigger and thicker than I usually do (like this big bowl), how should I change the firing schedule to make sure it's getting as much heat work as my cones? Thanks!
  4. @Callie Beller Diesel unfortunately I buy it from this place https://seemann.nu/ the make the recipe while your waiting and then you mix it at home. I doubt they'd be willing to share the recipe with me. Also starting tomorrow they're on vacation for a whole month!
  5. @Min Thank you! This is great info! I have started by test.
  6. @PeterH Thanks! I found that post too and actually contacted the guy who originally posed it. He sent me the manual he has which is similar but different from the one that Cromartie emailed me previously. I found the secret button and tried pressing it when the screen says "lock"... and in another manual I have for a similar controller, it says to hold the secret button and hit the up and down keys to set a lock code...so I'm nervous about accidentally locking my kiln! So I'll experiment with it more once all my students work is fired and then I hope I can link programs and try this drop and hold! Thanks!
  7. @MinThank you for your input. "This plus finding a cooler firing produced more blisters is a good indicator that the glaze likely isn't overfired. If you had gotten more blisters or they didn't get better then I would say it was over fired." I understand the first sentence here on its own, but I don't understand it in realtionship to the 2nd. In the second sentence are you refering to the re firing to fix the bubbles? I'll bring a lemon to the studio today. I sometimes get blisters with other glazes but rarely and maybe one or two. Not 5-10. The problem is mostly with the green. The light green you see in the photo is the same glaze but just a thinner application. I have a Cromartie kiln with a safefire 3000 series. I bought it used and it didn't come with a manual. I have collected several manuals from related controllers but not the exact one that I have. The illustration on my controller shows "a linked program" but I haven't figured out how to link because my controller doesn't "react" the way the manual says it should when I press the "secret button" under the logo. "Lock" flashes on the screen instead of Ln 00 (for link) so I'm a little scared... I don't want to lock myself out of the controller when I have so much firing to do the next couple weeks. So right now I only have the possibility of ramp 1, set temp 1, ramp 2, set temp 2, a soak, and a slow cool...unless maybe if I manually start another program right after my glaze program...I'll see if I can set a 2nd program for function that way using the 38C below the peak temperature and I soak for approx 20 minutes that you use. I'm not sure when I'll actually be able to test fire this way though due to needing to fire student work. My bisque schedule is 100 C per hour to 930 and then 25 C per hour to 1037 C. Although the temp readings don't correspond to the Orton cone chart, I know this fires to cone 04 because I regularly check it with cones. There is no venting really, in other words no forced air flow and I don't have a hood. I do have a powerful vent fan in the room. And I fire when I am not in the studio. There are like "vent slats" in the top of the kiln. I can take a picture later. I considered buying one of those under mounted fans, but that would require drilling into my kin which scares me a bit.... and the instructions for that say that you are supposed to cover any other vents and I don't know how I could do that with the vent slats... I do still get blisters without stacking during the bisque but as I said never quite like this last disaster :). When I bisqued the large bowl, I had a footed bowl sitting inside, so the surfaces of the two bowls were not right up against each other, but then I also had a plate on top of that... not sure how much that would have blocked heat and air movement. When I go to the studio today, I will restack those pieces to try to get an idea of that, and I'll let you know. So I'm curious and would love to confirm...pin holes are caused by gasses escaping from the clay... like from organic materials that haven't fully burnt off? Or if they clay gets too hot and starts to break down (website lists my clays top temp at 1280 C, so that shouldn't be the problem here)? And bubbles or blisters could be from gasses escaping from the clay? glazes breaking down because they've gotten too hot? Or they can be part of the melting process and can just be healed with the right schedule? Or there can also be more causes for all of these things that are beyond my knowledge level... Thanks again!
  8. Hi all! I have some photos now and a bit more info from trial and error and some hypotheses I'd love to get all your thoughts on . I fire with cones about every 4 firings to make sure my program is still on track, so although my termocouple doesn't read correctly, I know that I am firing to 04 for bisque and 7 for glaze. With my medium sized bowls (20 cm x 8 cm), I often have 2-10 small bubbles in the top/inside surface and a couple what I think are pinholes on the underside. My green colored glaze is the most problematic. The pieces I describe below were all in that glaze. I thought maybe I was over firing, so I fired this time to cone 6 (I uses cones to confirm. Also the middle shelf is always a bit hotter, and the bottom a bit cooler). My big bowl (32 cm x 11 cm after glaze firing) was fired on the top shelf and it is by far the worst I've ever seen in terms of bubbles! And this time it looked like mostly popped rather than intact bubbles. The small bowl and the plate had no bubbles on the upper surface, but the bottom of the plate has pin holes I think. So I guess lowering the temperature didn’t help? I wonder to myself if the pieces on the middle shelf weren’t as problematic as the big bowl because the middle shelf would have been a bit hotter than the top shelf? Or could it be because bowl and plate were thin? Could they have been heated more thoroughly in the bisque so that organic material would have been better able to burn out? Or did the big bowl really not get hot enough in the glaze firing because I lowered the temperature AND because it’s thicker? I use a white-light colored stoneware. But I wonder, could my big bowl clay be “dirty” because it is recycled and maybe it h a lot of organic matter in it from that? The recycling slop is quite black when I dig it our of its smelly depths. And I tend to prefer working with recycled clay for medium to large pieces because I like my clay a bit firmer than it tends to be straight out of the bag. So another difference besides location in the kiln and thickness could that I may have used fresh-out-of-the-bag-clay for the plate and small bowl vs recycled clay for the big bowl. What I did to successfully “repair” the glaze on the last set of medium size bowls that had some bubbles was to rub/grin the tops off the bubbles with a piece of broken kiln furniture and then get some fresh glaze in the holes. That seems to work really well for the bubbles on the inside of bowls, but I’m not sure what to do about the “pin holes” which tend to be on the underside. Unfortunately, I have to get this big bowl right for a client. I made two more today. I’d love to know how to improve the situation before I put the time and electricity into firing and finishing them. Thank you so much for your time! Caitlin Due to files size limits, I think I have to make multiple posts to get all the photos in.
  9. @Roberta12 Hahahah. So good to learn from all your wisdom!
  10. Thanks! This is helpful! Even or maybe especially the part about maybe deciding not to do special orders !
  11. @Callie Beller DieselThanks Callie! I can put the commission question in another section myself... but maybe in a few days because I am kind of wiped out right now. I've been doing ceramics for 15 years but have only had my own studio for 6 months... and I have never really been interested in selling things, but a sweet older guy in the neighborhood of my studio insisted on buying some things as a gift and now the people he bought them for want to commission me, but I have no experience with that...and they are not very responsive. They loosely say what they want and then disappear and don't respond to emails...then when I follow up, they apologize for not responding, respond to 2-3 of my questions. And disappear again... I will learn a lot from experiences like this, I guess. Thank you for sharing your advice and your experience. I can learn a lot from that as well. And learning that one can say no and that somethings are not worth the time and stress is a super important lesson! Thanks again!
  12. I'll try to take a photo and get back to you! Thanks!
  13. 'cause I had already put them back in the kiln without photographing them also my phone is bad at taking close ups. If this sencond firing after scraping off the tops of the bubbles didn't rid of them, I'll try to take phtotos and then i will post them. Thanks!
  14. Thanks for the response. I have an old cromartie smartfire 3000 controller that didn't come with a manual. I only have the manual of a *similar* controller. I unfortunately don't think I can program what you're describing...but I have heard rumors of a hidden button that one can use to link programs to allow you to make a more complex program than just two rates of rise, a hold, and a slow cool...maybe it is time to look for that button again. Ha! So are you saying: no hold at peak Instead drop to 100 F below peak Hold there? How long should one hold there? Then after that do a slow cool. How slowly? Thanks for the advice about commissions too. I got a request for a commission for a 8-person salad bowl and a set of plates in a style related to some bowls I make (although not usually so big). They want the same glaze color and detail work as my bowls. For the plates they want to see a design before committing...so you actually also answered another question I had...how will I be compensated for that time I put into trying different designs. It's all very interesting to think about. I have said to my husband, that a client shouldn't have to pay for my mistakes. But then again, I'm a human and not a machine. So some mistakes despite best effort to do a good job are unavoidable. And as my husband points out when he messes up at work and has to do things over again, he still get's paid for it. Ha! I never have anything crack or die in the kiln. But I like having extra just in case, so I guess if it is for my comfort, that is on me! I do have trouble getting plates off the wheel though, but I've ordered some batts. And I have this problem with the green glaze they want. And its problematic MOST of the time I better figure out this drop and hold things! Thanks! Caitlin
  15. Thanks Roberta. Unfortunately, the bubbles I am getting are just in the glaze and not in the clay. I double checked the sellers website and it says the max temp is 1280 C on the clay. So I think that isn't the issue, but thanks for responding!
  16. Hi all! I'd love to get your thoughts on something! I'm getting a lot of un poped bubbles in the glaze on the inside of my bowls. And on the outside, I'm not sure if it's pinholes or popped bubbles, but I'm getting quite a few of those as well. I bisque fire to cone 04 and I glaze fire to cone 7 with the glaze rated for 1260C according to the store where I buy the powdered glaze to mix. I don't know if it's dirty clay and I should bisque higher or if it's over firing... according to the cones, I'm firing to the correct heat work. I'm wondering two things. 1. Does anyone have advice on how I can prevent this from happening? Should I fire to 03 in the bisque? Fire maybe 5 C lower in the glaze firing? I currently have a 20 minute hold at the end of my firing. I was hoping this would make the bubbles burst and heal, but that doesn't seem to be the case... maybe it even made it worse? Not sure. 2. Does anyone have a recommendation for fixing such glaze defects after the fact so the piece isn't ruined? Simply adding more glaze and refiring doesn't make the bubbles go away. I tried like scrapping off the top of the bubbles with a broken piece of kiln furniture, rinsing the piece, and then adding a bit more glaze in those spots and that has worked a couple times. But I'd love to get your advice! Here's another random question which maybe I should post under another topic, but while I have your attention When you're pricing commissions, do you take into account losses. Just as an example, maybe you tend to have problems with a glaze and know that 1 in 10 pieces won't meet your standard (in real life I'm having this problem on many more pieces). Or someone wants 10 plates but you feel like you should make 12 just in case... do you charge for 10 or for 12? Not sure if I am expressing my question well... Thanks! Caitlin
  17. @Bill Kielb @neilestrick The kiln is working great! I've been running it pretty much non-stop since it was fixed to catch up on the firing! I have a questions. Generally the brick is in good shape but... Before we vacuumed the kiln and installed the new elements, I removed bits of loose insulating brick so they wouldn't get sucked into the vacuum. Each piece is pretty small, but in two places the cumulative missing piece is big and so the element channel is sort of missing there. I am afraid that as the heating element ages and get longer, they will pop out and stick to the pottery and then burn out. So I am wondering can I make element pins from my old elements to hold the new elements in the channel (or what used to be the channel)? Thanks! Caitlin
  18. @Babs I can have a delayed start, 2 ramps, then a hold, then a slow cool. Or at least I assumed it had to be used as a slow cool as that is what the sort of illustration shows. I have never tried to turn the slow cool into another heating ramp but now I am curious to try. But then that's it. That's all I can program.
  19. @Bill KielbWow! Yeah. I didn't register that was the metal. It's cool that the glaze stuck. A new fun thing to experiment with! I ran the kiln empty last night and I was perfect! I'll do a bisque firing tonight and monitor the end of it to check the cones. Thank you all fo your help!
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