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    Canaan, NY

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  1. Work bench surface:  Hi Neil!  You've written on other posts that your excellent work bench surface is 3/4" MDF with 5-6 coats of Linseed Oil.  I'd like to copy your method, and am currently planning a to build a workbench.  Quick question, does the MDF need to be on top of a sheet of plywood so that it won't sag or warp, or is that not necessary?  My workbench will be 3' x 8' with 4x4" legs and  2x4" braces.   Thank you! ---Nan

    1. NanS


      OK -- Just researched further, and saw that I should put some braces underneath for more support.  I'm going to add this to my plan and scratch my previous message, I think I'm good. ( - :   Thanks nevertheless for the design idea. 

    2. neilestrick


      If you use 3/4" MDF it will be just fine without plywood under it.

    3. NanS


      OK Great thanks for the reply!


  2. Thanks for all the great info about deflocculants & slip, Min, Chilly and Babs. Super helpful.
  3. Chilly -- thanks for your post, this is my plan exactly. I'm going to make a lot of pieces that are not too time intensive to make, focusing on surface decoration/slip/glaze experiments. I'll be mixing a clear glaze of my own, buying a few commercial glazes, and trying out a bunch of new techniques. I appreciate your input as it validates my thinking!
  4. Thanks Babs for the Darvan/sodium silicate suggestion. I didn't know about this. Is there a rule of thumb on how much to use?
  5. Thank you. Excellent advice GEP. I agree, I can do test tiles trying several different clays. And good urging to get into the testing mind set. The reason I'm trying to be so calculated about it is that I am about to get my first kiln, and I am going to be making a first kiln load of my first pots... I am considering the whole kiln load sort of a test, but it would be nice to feel somewhat confident that at least some of it will work out. I'm not planning to just put test tiles in there, I'm planning to make some easy bowls, plates and cups and consider all of them more or less tests. I think I might also mix a white slip from a recipe to compare.
  6. GEP -- Thanks so much for chiming in with this helpful feedback. The cone 6 porcelains at Sheffield both have shrinkage rates of 14.5%, which seems too far off from 11.5% to me, being a risk adverse person! Sheffield also has this clay: W1A Cone 6 White Stoneware. The details are Shrinkage 12.5%, and it says that it can be fired from cone 02 to 6. Their website says, "strong, dense, fine grained white body ideal for throwing. Plastic but not rubbery, it has been formulated from the highest quality and purest white clays. Nearly porcelain-like, translucent in very thin cross sections at Cone 6. " Any thoughts? It also has a wide firing range, but at least cone 6 is at the top of the range, so it would be vitrified.
  7. Thanks for the feedback. Oldlady, I didn't think about the issue of having that clay in the studio, with the large firing range, I can see that it might be problematic. Good advice. Hulk, your comment made me think that I could look for a clay from Sheffield that would be a better match, though it might have grog in it, and then sieve it --I'm going to check. I'm starting to think I might be better off mixing up my own slip!
  8. Dear Wise People, I'm finishing building a new studio and am getting back into ceramics after a long hiatus. In the past I worked at established studios, this is my first time with my own studio and I'm figuring a bunch of new things out. I will be working with red stoneware for the first time, and I want to regularly use a white slip on my work. I'd like to find a grogless clay to make my white slip. (Alternatively I might try to mix a white slip up from raw ingredients, but my first choice would be to find a suitable matching clay. ) I'm going to be firing to Cone 6 in an electric kiln. The clay body I'm going to be using (I'm testing it out, hopefully I'll like it) is 4D3B-Dark Stoneware from Sheffield Pottery. (I live near there so hoping to stick with clay from Sheffield.) 4D3B is a Cone 6 clay, with 11.5% shrinkage. Absorption .40%. The clay body I'm considering trying out for my white slip is 20231, White Stoneware (Cone 6-10 clay), The Sheffield Pottery website says for Cone 10 the shrinkage is 12%, Absorption 1.74%. They don't say what the numbers are for Cone 6. This clay contains grolleg and no grog. Does this White Stoneware/20231 sound like it will be a good fit to make a white slip for 4D3B/Dark Stoneware?? I didn't see another better option at Sheffield, as far as matching shrinkage rates. Thank you in advance. Really appreciate any thoughts on this. Links to the Sheffield Pottery website for these 2 clay bodies: https://www.sheffield-pottery.com/4D3B-MOIST-STONEWARE-CLAY-p/mc4d3b.htm https://www.sheffield-pottery.com/20231-MOIST-CLAY-p/mc20231.htm
  9. Appreciation to those who replied. Thanks Mark C. For the suggestion to go try the Bailey. I’m not sure if their show room is open, but it is a good idea and would definitely give me more info to go on. I’m going to Iook into it. Piedmont Pottery— thanks for the feedback, this is a very reassuring review. I’m pretty good at putting things together and will be ready for an assembly challenge if I buy the Shimpo. oldlady: I remember using a Bailey in a former pottery school that is like the one you describe, that can roll in either direction. It was huge and awesome. Absolutely a great feature in a slab roller. Piedmont Pottery said in her review that the Shimpo can roll in both directions as well, so that’s a check in the plus column for the Shimpo.
  10. I am setting up a studio of my own for the first time (!) and am planning to purchase a slab roller, as I am a handbuilder and work mainly with slabs. I have honed in on this one as it is the least expensive one with the features I'm looking for (built in table, dual adjustable rollers, no shims). https://www.sheffield-pottery.com/Shimpo-Slab-Roller-p/ssr3050.htm I say least expensive, but it is still a lot of money ($800) so I don't want to end up with a piece of equipment I regret. Wondering if anyone reading this has experience with this slab roller and can give it a positive (or negative) review? Also, I am not a production potter, am not selling my work right now, and the slab roller will not get a ton of wear and tear in my studio. I've seen that people on here like the Baileys -- the most similar one that Bailey has to offer is the Bailey SRT-30 Table Top, but I don't want to have to build a separate table for the slab roller. Thanks so much in advance for your insight and help!
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