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Found 108 results

  1. so I recently purchased a small 120V kiln to use outside (I have no space inside unfortunately, but I do store it inside when it's not in use) it's the Paragon XPRESS 1193, chamber 11x9 in, 0.56 cu ft http://www.paragonweb.com/XPRESS-1193.cfm it comes with the Sentry Xpress 4.0 Digital 3-Key Controller. I'm a real beginner at ceramics. I did the first firing yesterday at cone 01 with the lid open a few inches for 1 hour as recommended, peephole open and the shelves inside. today I'm doing my first bisque firing. I've read the instructions many times and all I could find online, but I still don't know a few things... it seems that I should vent the kiln in the first stages of the firing, I proped the lid open a few inches and left the peephole open but I'm not sure how long I'm supposed to leave it open. the pieces are really dry (casts that have been sitting on my shelves for weeks). so I figure I would check with a mirror if any steam would come out from the peephole and close the lid around 200°. I saw no steam forming on the mirror at all so I actually closed the lid 25 mn after starting the slow cone 04 program. the temp was about 160° i think. should I have left the lip open longer ? I'm really unsure of the venting time required. I've read that the slow program is recommended for bisque. what are the risks and advantages of doing medium/regular and fast speed ? also, what should be the soaking time ? I've read in a book that porcelain should soak 1 hour. for this first bisque firing I have both porcelain and low fire casts, so I programmed the soaking time for 30mn. should I increase it to 1 hour ? also, I've read you should always leave the top peephole open, and well, this is a small kiln so there is only 1 peephole. so I'm not plugging it. when should I ever plug it ? the instruction manual is not really clear... in a few days I'm going to do a glaze firing at cone 5 or 6 for the porcelain pieces and a glaze firing at cone 06 for the low firing. do I need to have a venting time at the beginning as well ? if so, how long or at what temp should I close the lid ? I guess I should leave the peephole open during the glaze firing as well. what about the soaking time ? what should it be ? again, what are the advantage and disadvantages of doing slow, medium or fast program during a glaze firing. any recommendation? I'm sorry I'm having so many questions but I find many different instructions online and I'm not sure what apply to a small kiln like mine. any help is welcome !
  2. Hi, Totally new here, and completely over whelmed. I got into throwing pottery back in high school, and have always wanted to do it again. I just bought me a wheel to begin throwing again, but Im at a loss from here. I have no idea what kind of clay to buy. I never knew there were so many options. My husband and I are wanting to build a propane kiln to fire out pieces in, so Im looking for suggestions on what kinds of clays are best to use for this kind of method. Also, anyone with info or experience in building a gas kiln? Any information I can get will help. Thanks so much!
  3. I just bought a cone 8 kiln and I have just started getting into ceramics. If I put in one of my ceramic platters with the glaze and bisque on it, in my cone 8 kiln would I melt the ceramic in the kiln? Also can I still use the cone 8 kiln and just only have the ceramic in the kiln for a lesser time or would the kiln still melt the ceramics away? I've used a kiln that only fires at cone 06 and 04 and that is what I need for my ceramics but I got this cone 8 kiln and was just wondering if I can use this cone 8 kiln and just do it in a lesser amount of time? Someone please help me I'm a beginner in ceramics and I really need some guidance of knowing what to do.
  4. I'm working on a couple of tile-inlay projects, and thus looking to firing some 40+ tiles over the next week (most of which are 4*4). I'd like to streamline and improve the process. There are two areas in particular I'd like to tweak... 1) Maximizing output from each firing. If I lay the tiles flat, I can get nine tiles on the shelf. I've never tried to use stacked shelves, or fire the tiles on their sides (with support) but I'd consider this if the outcomes would be good. I'd worry that shelves might change the temp gradient or the reduction/oxidation conditions within the kiln, and that side-firing might lead to warping or cracking. 2) Efficiently moving the tiles to the post-fire reduction chamber. As of now, I'm scootching each tile to the edge, grabbing it with my tongs, and placing it in the reduction bucket. It's a frustratingly slow process... by the time I get all nine tiles bucketed (three to a chamber) I worry that I've missed out on the best of the reduction effects. Picking the tiles up with my kevlar gloves does not speed things up. I've considered placing the reduction chamber next to the kiln and 'flicking' the tiles into the bucket... but I worry about fracturing. Anyhow, if anyone has grappled with this and has suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
  5. In my co op, we fired one of the students bowls over the weekend and when it was brought out of the kiln it looked like it had this sandy bubble coming out of it with the clay from the outside cracking all around it. My teacher said she had never seen anything like this in the fifteen years shes been teaching art. we know it couldn't have been a wet center or some foreign product like plaster stuck inside the clay, because that would usually crack or shatter. I also included a photo of what it looked like when the student cleaned off the sandy bubbles and cracked clay, It was hollow underneath the outside layer of clay. Also, the brown parts of it felt like a very soft sand. So if you have any idea of what it could have been, we'd really appreciate knowing what happened so we can avoid it happening with more important projects
  6. I wanted to know how fast my kiln is actually heating up and cooling down so I decided to record the temperature changes while kiln was in regular used. Fully loaded and set to run our typical program. I used a simple webcam and pointed it at the hand controller (Bentrup TC88). Webcam took 1 frame per minute and recorded it to my HD (actually a DropBox folder so I can see from home, what was/is happening). Bisque firing was as expected. Nothing interesting there. Glaze firing was a bit different but also nothing unexpected. From the ambient to 600C, at 120 C per hour was not a problem. Going from 600 to 1258, at 150 per h started out fine but slowed down after reaching 1123 C (2053.4 F). It did not climb 25C (77 F) per every 10 min any more. From 1123C on it slowed to 22, then 20, 18, 19, 17, 16C per 10 minute before reaching 1257C (2294.6F), holding this was not a problem. Cool down was more "interesting". Coming down from 1257/1256C, temperature dropped 55C (131F)in first 10 min. 10 more minutes and kiln was at 1160C. Additional 37C degrees was lost in following 10 minutes. Following charts show loss of temperature per 10 minutes and compares bisque and glaze firing. In one hour, kiln was 1032C and had lost 224C. 140C was lost in the following hour. 24h from the start of firing, kiln was at 221C and cooling has slowed to a crawl. This is where I usually pull the plugs to speed up the cool down unless I am in so hurry. Bentrup TC88 can slow down cooling if needed. It allows me to program some really tricky firing schedules, with 10 segments, if needed. It can save ... mmm I thing 16 programs, each with up to 10 segments. This charts shows the drop in temperature in percentages per 10 minutes.
  7. I'm new to ceramics, we're making tile backsplashes. I have a cress electronic kiln and was wondering if I can program it with a long ramp up and place tile to bisque fire in the kiln before the clay is completely dry. Then let the clay dry during the ramp up. Thank you
  8. This is my first gas kiln and I have had a successful test firing and bisque firing. The man who I brought it off gave me his old successful kiln log sheets so I have been working of that. I went to start a glaze firing at 7am in the morning, by 9pm at night I cone 3, 4, 5 had not melted so I called it a night and shut it off. Any suggestions?? (attached is some pics of my kiln for reference) (Internal firing space 650x650x650)
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