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Found 40 results

  1. As some of you may know, I am a beginner on the wheel. I started learning in October of last year when my dad set up his new wheel in my garage since he doesn't have a spot for it yet. (Ohhh the sacrifices I make for him ) In the past year I have gotten to the point where I can pretty much make what I want, though I still can't handle anything over five pounds. I don't feel I'm qualified to teach anybody else, but my dad is really struggling. He wants to retire from his masonry business and use pottery to supplement his pension, so there is a lot of mental pressure on himself to make a success of this as soon as possible. I know from my own experience that this kind of thinking makes the learning go much slower, and I've told him so many times, trying to encourage him to be easier on himself and give it time and patience. Today he came over to throw and I noticed this weird thing. I'm right handed. I throw with the wheel spinning counter-clockwise. When I'm lifting the clay I have my left hand on the inside of the pot and my right hand on the outside at around 3 or 4 o'clock. My dad is also right-handed and uses the same setting on the wheel. But he does everything inside the pot with his RIGHT hand, and the outside with his left. His hands are at 8-9 o'clock on the wheel. He has lots of problems with gouging the pot, thin spots, collapses, etc. etc. etc. and I think that might be why. I told him and he laughed and said that he's always thrown this way ... I never noticed before because he really doesn't like help so I leave him alone when he comes over to throw. He threw one pot "my" way and it actually turned out pretty well but he said it was strange and went back to "his" way with the next pot. My question is, which way is correct? If "my" way is correct, then is it easier to re-learn this way, or should he try throwing on the wheel with the wheel going clockwise instead, as if he's left-handed, and otherwise keep doing everything the same? Any advice or suggestions? (By the way, I think he would benefit from a wheel throwing class but I know he won't do it. He's really discouraged right now.) Is it possible that his struggle with throwing can be as simple as having his hands in the wrong position?
  2. Hi! I just came across this wonderful forum page and hopefully someone here can help me out! I recently bought a used kiln but did not have a proper space for it, so I kept it in safe storage for a while. Ive finally built an outside space for it, but unfortunately it had to be left outside covered with a tarp for a few days until the electrician came. Naturally it decided to rain for the entire week, so I'm afraid the tarp didn't fully hold up to its potential. Being that I got the kiln a while ago, I can't remember if the underside of the lid always looked like this. I was wondering what do you think this dark ring looks like? I think it looks like it could be mold, but am not fully sure. Do you think, because of the condensation from the rain, mold started to grow on the underside of the lid? Is there anyways of removing this potential mold by burning it off or scraping it? Hope someone here can help! -G
  3. Hi, I am looking for some advise if possible. I fired my kiln last night but the kiln didn't reach full temperature. I looked at the cone I have in my cone stand and it is not melted. The cone in the sitter either melted or fell off and the kiln shut off. Can I re-fire? As I have not unloaded it, can I just turn it on? Thanks Mal
  4. Hi everyone, I am a new middle school art teacher and am interested in having my kids work with clay. I throw and handbuild but have never fired a kiln myself before. I've only loaded/unloaded them. The art room that I inherited in August has a Skutt electric kiln and its model is KS 1027. My predecessor left me a note prior to the start of school saying: "The kiln works fine but during construction a few years ago there was some damage on the side that resulted in a lost knob. I just use one of the other knobs to turn the kiln up or down. It is a makeshift way of doing it but it works fine. You just have to keep track of how you turn the knob." I accessed the PDF manual for this specific kiln and only felt even more confused. Below, you'll find a photo of the red box that is on the front of the kiln. http://oi58.tinypic.com/2n6avj5.jpg The kiln says it fires to cone 6 which is perfect and I intended to bisque fire at cone 06. I'm just not sure how to proceed as I have never even attempted to fire a kiln! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! C
  5. Put a few hours into this one, It has not been Bisque fired yet, is there anything I can do to salvage it?
  6. I have been trying to find an answer to this online with no result. If I were to mix two kinds of premixed casting slip with different shrinkage rates, what would happen? Would the shrinkage average out or would a mushroom cloud obliterate my dad's kiln shed? We want to try mixing Laguna Oriental Pearl (shrinkage 14%) with Lagina White Stoneware (shrinkage 10%). I know that stoneware/porcelain blends exist as a clay form, but I'm not sure how it works with slip.
  7. I am 20 and have had my own studio for 1year and 6months. From the beginning I purchased a kick wheel from my potter teacher in high school. Then purchased a 1990's cress turbo fire electric kiln for a extreme price(now I know). Used scholarship money to purchase slab roller and coil extruder(should have saved my money). Then purchased a an electric wheel. Learned many things in every aspect of ceramics. Soon discovered the beauty of gas fired wares. Purchased three more small electric kilns for less than the first one. Converted them to gas, worked poorly. Purchased a 1950's 12 cubic feet gas kiln with a lot of damage( I was so exited I had to have it). First firing 1900 degrees with flames coming out of every crack and hole. Spent a fare amount of money on bricks, motor, and fiber. Replaced front wall, door, and lined with fiber. Next firing 1300 F stall out after 18hours. Second 25hours stall at 1850. Fourth firing stuck in the 1800's unable to exceed 1890, it seems this is a dis-functional kiln, will continue the strive for completed firing. So when unable to produce wares is rough on the mind and body when working day and night(as you may know?). When it is your source of income, yet unable to prevail due to many small set backs you become trapped by your work and wont stop until your work is complete. Does anyone know of ways they would search for assistance financially if in my position? Maybe you have had a similar experience to share? Anything helps. Appreciate all help. Enjoy
  8. I fired some commercial bisque tiles that were painted with a low fire glaze ^05. Now strange things are happening to the tiles. Water keeps appearing on the surface and back of the fired tiles. I have used the same tiles and glaze for years and have never seen anything like this. Please help J
  9. I'd like to paint the bottom of my pieces as I don't care for the bare clay look. however I'm firing to cone 5 so I cant use stilts. I've been using Amaco Velvet underglaze which works somewhat but I still get some kiln wash on the piece. any suggestions???
  10. I just graduated from high school where my teacher would do everything with the kiln. I just got a kiln and am going to start firing my own things. It is a cress cone sitter. I have a bunch of low fire clays around but i plan on getting some potters choice glazes. will the cone 5-6 glaze would work with the low fire clays? what clays would be good for throwing and firing with the potters choice? can i bisque high fire clays at around 04? Im a bit new to firing my own pieces so sorry about all the questions.
  11. I had back surgery six weeks ago to remove portions of a ruptured disk in my lumber (lower back) region. Surgeon says I have two adjacent disks that are degenerating and may rupture if I don't change my ways! Problem is throwing in a sitting position, bent over the wheel. I need to re-learn how to throw while standing. I have access to classes at my local community center, but they have neither a table-top wheel nor an instructor who feels confident in that position. Any videos or books you recommend that deal with this topic? Or artists that use this throwing position? Any tips on converting/raising my Brent Model B to table height are also appreciated.
  12. Hello all, I can't tell you how much help you've been - I've stalked these forums for quite some time. I'm hoping you can help me out with some advice about transporting a kiln I just purchased. I happened across an L&L JD230 that I couldn't pass up and I need to transport it over 200 miles to get it back home. It comes apart in 3 pieces. I've read and read about moving kilns but I am curious if anyone has tried moving a kiln like this without putting it back together during transport. I will be using a truck to move it and I wondered about pulling each section apart and protecting each one individually. The sections could lay next to each other without anything on top, with a buffer so they wouldn't knock together. I guess I'm concerned about the height of the kiln in the back of the truck if we transported it assembled and the possibility it could fall over. I know the brick is the most fragile part of the kiln and I'll do whatever is needed to protect it. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give! I'm so super excited to play with my new kiln!
  13. Hi has anyone used loafers glory clay and had trouble with it. I recently got 4 boxes of dried out clay from a friend and reclycled it. When I glazed it and fired it to Cone 5 and held for 15 minutes ( this actually gives me cone 6 in my kiln), everything I made came out horrible. The glazes looked very matt and thin as well as the clay was very rough. I am baffled unless it has something to do with the age of the clay (about 10 years old and dried out). The clay is suppose to be a cone 6-10 clay. I used about 4 different glazes all that came out matt colored and awful. Any thoughts?
  14. First off, i would like to say hello to everybody. i'm new to the forum and haven't had the chance to fully explore the site. so consider this my formal greeting (with a dire plea for help). i'm a beginner when it comes to dealing with any kind of clay but i read a lot. i am currently trying to work with natural mined clay (dug out of the ground with my own hands). it's smelly but i can see it's potential. i have been able to refine the clay and remove all the things i don't want in there. my only real problem i'm having now is my level of plasticity. my clay won't pass the finger test (it cracks every time you bend it. unless you add way to much water). i'm hoping ya'll can help me. is there anything i can add to the clay to fix this. i know that i could age the clay but sadly i don't have 6 months+ to allow it to ferment and mature. i've read that i can add calcium lignosulphonate (apparently its a concrete additive that allows for less water and greater absorption. please correct me if i'm wrong) and it will greatly improve the plasticity, but i can't find it in quantities smaller than 1 metric ton. can i use ashes (i think i remember a teacher in school saying you could add willow or cat-o-nine tail fluff but once again i'm unsure and not willing to ruin my clay.)? somebody told me i could add sand but it seems to me that adding that would have the opposite effect. i feel as though i have exhausted google and youtube and i still don't have a solution to my problem and i don't know anybody with the experience to help me. i have 80+lbs of clay just waiting for the right answer so i can finally start creating things (and not having them want to crack apart while molding let alone when drying and firing). i want to make clay pipes and mug/cups (i'm saying this just in case it effects what i should add to the clay. i have no desire to make anybody sick or hurt them because i used the wrong additive). I have been bitten by the clay bug (HARD) but i've reached an impass. Please help me. Any and all information will be greatly appreciated. i eagerly await your responses. i'm ready and waiting to satisfy this pottery itch. I can't seem to think about anything other than clay now-a-days.
  15. I know a little bit about HTML, and this software is not user friendly when it comes to adding HTML to my posts. It used to work just fine before they switched, but now trying to code in links like <a href="www.phillip-schmidt.com">phill's website</a> it just comes out as written, not how it should. This is the same as the "quote" feature. It seems that to make the software more user friendly for everyone, they made it less intuitive and frustrating for me.
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