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Found 98 results

  1. Hello everyone, I am writing this post due to hope of meeting with someone who may help me to build a downdraft gas fired kiln. I have the book of Frederick Olsen's Kiln Book and in my opinion it has enough information to design a kiln but it may take a lot of time when I start doing that. I only start making ceramics and will be very appreciated ıf I can find someone to give me a hand.. That's why I just want to ask people on here and maybe somebody would like to share a kiln plan (preferentially 1m3) which had been tested before. Thank you in advance!
  2. Hi everyone, I have recently got an Uhlig U 500T kiln. I have never fired anything before and it gives me a really hard time to understand how to operate this one particularly, because there seems to be no resource or manual on the internet (the only thing that came with it is in German and kind of explaining how to use the controller tho). As far as I understood the slowest possible heating is to 500C in 5 hours. My pieces are quite thin and dry so I am hoping this is fine. Still, I am wondering is it really possible that this is the slowest option? My plan is for bisque firing my pieces then, to set it to 500C in 5h and then leave the vent open for 1-2 hours (while testing the steam). After the 5 hours, set it to 950C as the end temperature and chose a shorter time maybe 3 or 4 hours. Anyone more experienced than me, does this sound alright? Thank you very much!
  3. Hi everyone! I just recently bought a used Cress FX27P electric kiln so I can start firing work at home. So I just recently started my first bisque firing yesterday at 4pm. It was more of a test fire, so I didn't put a lot of work in there, about 15 wheel thrown pieces. There were a couple pieces in there that were not fully bone dry so I set the firing speed at E, the slowest speed. I also put a pyrometric cone (04) in the sitter, 1 peep hole open, and set the thumb wheel to 1, and I set the timer to 16 hours so it can shut off at that time in case anything goes wrong. Throughout the day and night I checked periodically, and the kiln did get red hot, so the elements seemed fine to me, but I didn't take a look at the thumbwheel. So this morning I went to go check on the kiln, and it fired the full 16 hours! and the kiln sitter didn't go off, so the the kiln didn't reach cone 04 temp. Also, the thumbwheel stayed at 1! It didn't move! So I'm thinking the thumbwheel is broken or needs repair, I didn't put the cone in right, or something is wrong with the elements. And even 16 plus hours later the kiln was still showing orange to red heat signatures inside the peep hole. So I talked to my friend who has experience firing kilns, and he said to just fire the thing until the kiln sitter shuts off and set the thumbwheel to 10 max temp as soon as possible so the kiln doesn't have to reheat back to 1000 for the sake of energy efficiency. If anyone has any ideas, input, advice, or suggestions I'd greatly appreciate it! I'm hoping to bisque fire and glaze fire using this kiln in the near future, I already bought a couple pints of cone 6 glazes to test out. Thanks!
  4. Hi, After only ever doing low-firings, I attempted my first high firing yesterday but my kiln simply refused to go higher than 1165 celsius. It was very frustrating as I had spent quite a lot on stoneware clay and glazes. What are the reasons why my kiln wouldn't reach the temperature that I'd set? I noticed that the temperature rise slowed down significantly after it reached 1140 celsius and for the last half hour it didn't move from 1165. Now, I'm guessing, I'm left with bowls that aren't food safe. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
  5. Hello everyone I've searched through the forum but didn't find the answer to my question: If I want to make handbuild plates (so they wouldn't have any foot) and then want to glaze them top and bottom, can I use any kind of stilt to prevent the plate from wrapping? The plates would be made with stoneware fired between cone 8 and 10. I red about plate setters but that means the plate can't be glazed underneath, right? Is there any way to support the plate even though it's glazed? I know for low fire we can use metallic stilts but I wonder if they would wrap at such high temperatures. And what about clay stilts? Thanks!
  6. Hello! New to the ceramic world and I am very interested in delving into Porcelain (cone 6) clay. I'm interested in designing very contemporary and minimal jewelry, however I understand that porcelain shrinks significantly during the firing process. My question is: how would I go about firing Specifically rings? are there certain metal rods that I could use in the kiln, similar to a bead rack that can keep the ring smooth and even during the process and POSSIBLY true to the size once finished? I've seen many of these beautiful rings online and I'm very unsure how to fire them. Also, is it possible to use PMC shrinkage stoppers like they use in metal clay ring design? PLEASE help as I'm very stumped on approaching this.. it would be very much appreciated! lost, Megan
  7. About 10 years ago, I took several ceramic classes and fell in love with the way Strontium Crystal Magic worked with other glazes. I attached a picture of Strontium Crystal Magic Warm with a spray of Water Color Green that I made in a community college class. Fast forward 10 years and I cannot get anything close to those results. The second picture shows the same glazes with a kiln controller set to a standard medium speed firing schedule to cone 5 with a 12 minute hold time. There are tons of nasty little pin-holes, and although I don't mind the color, it is nothing like I was expecting. The recipe that I copied from San Juan College is as follows: Strontium Crystal Magic Custer Feldspar 2400 Whiting 900 Strontium Carb 660 6 Tile Kaolin 780 3124 Frit 240 Lithium Carb 240 Titanium Dioxide 720 Bentonite 120 Total: 6030 Yellow Iron Oxide 121 (2%) Sooo... I noticed online that my SJC recipe has slightly different ratios than the one I found on https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/ceramic-recipes/mid-range/strontium-crystal-magic-warm/. Also, my copy from SJC says "6 tile kaolin" while the one on the website says EPK. Is my recipe written wrong? or is my firing schedule and temperature causing the pin-holing and color difference between the pot 10 years ago and now? I know that glazes are super complicated, but I just don't even know where to start and would really appreciate some help. Thank you for any help! Erin P.S. I am so sorry the images are huge... I wasn't sure how to re-size them
  8. Hello, I'm firing a cone 4 vitrified slip cast body which looks lovely but seems to slump particularly with the larger pieces. I'm going to try firing at a lower temperature but thought I would ask on the forum to see if anyone had any other suggestions. I'm using a fairly large electric kiln which I recently purchased. I also will try taking out the lower plug on the kiln as I heard that helps keep the temperature more even. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! Harriet
  9. Ugh, just UGH! I had a huge load to fire for a very important community project. Using a Cone 4-6 stoneware and Cone 4-6 glaze. Normally I fire to cone 5 and let it soak for 5 minutes. The kiln was almost to temp when I left for work this morning. (yes, I know, never leave a kiln, but I couldn't be late to work and the basement is all concrete and it was supposedly almost done) It should have been cool and ready to unload when I got home. instead, at the top of the stairs, I heard it. "cu-lick" "Rats. I thought to myself, I must have a rat in the basement, I would LOVE to have a rant in my basement because if that's not what it was... CU-LICK." Yes, my 10.5 hour firing went 20 hours. It appeared to be stuck at 2112 degrees. All three segment lights were lit. I don't know if a relay went out, if an element broke or what, but it appears to not have reached cone and just held shy of cone 5 for 9+ hours. What's killing me right now is wondering how bad it is inside. Are the pieces ruined, stuck to the shelf or in a gooey puddle at the bottom (that's probably not likely) This was the ONE time I didn't use witness cones because the thing was jammed so full I didn't have the space. The thing is still WAY too hot to consider even taking a quick peek. For the next several hours, I have nothing to do but obsess because this was a VERY important load (yeah, because that's how it happens) If in fact they aren't ruined and I can get them out by 4:00 AM, there is hope. So let's play a game... So Brain Trust. If in fact this was a 9 hour soak below the cone I was firing to, how bad is it likely to be?
  10. Is it necessary to fire to sculpture to vitrification? If firing to cone4, will the sculpture be too fragile? I don't always glaze my items and detail with acrylic paints and don't want to take short cuts in firing to save money, if the pieces should be vitrified.
  11. HI all, I've referred to this forum many times in the last few months, so thank you all for sharing your knowledge with the world. I just touched clay for the first time in August. After a short class, I fell in love with slab building and geometric shapes. In my class, we only used cone 10 clay, SOOO, when I left class and started playing with clay at home, I got Cone 10 clay. Now that I have LOTS of pieces to fire, I'm calling around to studios and art centers to find they they all fire greenware to bisqueware at 04. Can my Laguna cone 10 clay greenware be used for potted plants, vases and general art if it's just fired to 04? I would glaze fire to cone 6. Any help is appreciated and sorry for this and many future dumb questions. Thanks
  12. Hi all, I'm firing a batch of round, globe-like christmas ornaments. They are almost a closed form, but with a hole in the finial at the end. I've been eyeballing the firing options on some of the ceramic stores, but they don't give much info. I could fire them standing up, with a rod inserted into the finial, but there are metal rod options and porcelain rod options. Which would be better? Or should I use a small stilt? Each ornament is B-clay or porcelain, weighs at most 5 oz. , about 5 inches in length. Fired to cone 10. Advice please?
  13. I need to find the best All-In-One clay for cone 5, great for both hand building and wheel throwing I know. That's a tall order. But I can dream. I have a pug mill and don't want 2 bodies. Problem: I have too many problems with my gas kiln for cone 06 anymore. I'm DONE. I am moving to cone 5. Criteria / Factors: I'm in Southern California I teach 180 high school students grades 9-12, all levels of art skills, so it has to take punishment Not too sandy on the wheel, not too smooth or squishy for hand building Not too dense so it is so top-heavy when trimming I'm willing to pug the new clay to soften it for throwing, if it is stiff and great for hand building, or visa versa Doesn't stain clothes or the tables, rolling pins, or make a mess everywhere Is not pure white (students can't see where they missed glazing spots when using light color glazes - painting) Good leather hard, doesn't soften up too easily when re-wetting to score things together Doesn't take every indentation to the surface of pieces, temperamentalD Centers on the wheel fairly easily, especially for teen girls with tiny hands Can take a good amount of water from beginners Pulling walls, it is strong, doesn't warp or sag easily Won't dry out too quickly in hands while hand building Doesn't bend or warp easily when removing from the wheel Not so soft that it caves when cutting and sliding off the wheel Doesn't make teens hate the class because it stains clothes or gets everywhere and of course, takes glazes well and can handle a little fluctuation in gas environments Cone 5 clays I've Tried: Laguna - Dover White: Nice clay, but pure white. easy to center, but A little soft when hand building Laguna - Plain (Buff): Nice light tan color, easy center and to rehydrate if repairing, but a bit too squishy and shows every dent Laguna - Moroccan Sand: I love this clay, doesn't leave residue - color, but a bit dense to center. It is really dark grayish brown, if they only could lighten it Laguna - Buff with Sand: Nice tan color, but WAY too sandy for students on the wheel Laguna - Greystone: Too dense and top heavy for small pieces, hard to center, but really takes a beating with water, warps when thin due to density of surrounding clay Laguna - Speckled Buff: A bit dark in color, has iron so it gets read everywhere, could stain (think girls with pure white vans) Laguna - LB-6: hmmm, can't remember, but nixed it very soon after Laguna - Sante Fe: OMG - red EVERYWHERE, like a crime scene Aardvark Clay - SBF - Too dark tan - a bit sticky for students Aardvark Clay -Arctic White: Too white Opinions???? Go!!!
  14. Hi all, I'm looking for advice on how to achieve a darker charcoal/black carbon trap finish. I'm working with Malcolm Davis Shino on bee mix & coleman porcelain. I have been unable to fire the gas reduction downdraft kiln because of work so I haven't been able to play around with it. This image was taken a while back before I really cared how heavy the carbon trap was (record record record). This is what I'm trying to achieve. It's Malcolm Davis Shino on Coleman Porcelain with wax resist fired to cone 10 in gas reduction. Any thoughts?
  15. Hello All, I have a kiln full of goods and I want to fire it. I am a potter and have been teaching myself how to fire my kiln. So far I have been using the pre-programmed firing schedules. I now want to try a slow cooling schedule. My kiln is a Cone Art and my controller is a Bartlett. I have the firing schedule that I want to apply and I have a simple example of how to program a firing schedule with the Bartlett - but I am confused as to how to use their "9999" cooling rate code. Their example shows using "9999" at the end of a sequence but I want to use it in the middle of a sequence. My Cone 6 Glaze Firing program that I want to use: 100 deg/hr to 200 deg 350 deg/hr to 2000 deg 150 deg/hr to 2185 deg hold 15 mins 500 deg/hr to 1900 deg *** 125 deg/hr to 1400 deg allow kiln to cool naturally to room temp *** It is this stage that I don't know how to actually enter the values into the Bartlett. The notes in the Firing Book and on Ceramics.org say "I program... kiln fro 9999 degF to 1900degF so that I don't get an error message if the kiln can't cool at that rate" Is this a typo? Is the person meaning they program a "RATE of 9999 DEG/HR" (rather than entering 500 deg/hr? If someone could help sort this out for me I would REALLY appreciate it. Take care, Liane
  16. Hello Community! :-) I am pretty new to ceramics and I am learning new things about this fantastic material on a daily basis. For my latest project I am trying to crack/break up old clay bottles with the principle of the heat shock. Does anyone have an idea what would happen, when I rapidly heat up a bottle (like the one in the picture) to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit ? My wish would be to let the bottle explode and to create many fragments. Is the wall of the bottle maybe too thick (approx. 4mm) to really burst into pieces? Will nothing happen or maybe just one big crack? Or does anyone have an idea how to make the shock/explosion bigger ? Thank you so much for your help!
  17. Hello, Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for the best way to remove a sculpture that has become stuck to a clay bodied base. The base was sacrificial and intended to stop any surplus glaze from getting onto the kiln shelf. It worked but I'm now faced with the predicament of removing it from something else without damaging the sculpture. Images attached in case I'm being unclear. Thanks in advance for any advice! Carl
  18. Min asked recently in the QotW pool: Kiln stuffers, what does everybody make to fill those little empty spaces in the kiln? Hmm, Min I should have open spaces in my kiln? Naw, just joshing! For over 35 years of loading my HS classroom kiln I had to use every spot of space in the kiln whether loading bisque or glaze. Most of the time we had a pile of sculptural handbuilt projects, and one would set on the shelf, one would be on a brick right next to the first with the overlaps saving space. Thrown bowls were put in right side up, upside down, with things underneath or inside. Mugs were crammed in wherever, pinch pots the same. Some bisques used no shelving at all, just everything carefully stacked in to the walls on top of each other. . . very carefully. Same for glaze loads, I would sometimes have shelves 12" apart with 1/4 shelves and broken shelves in between creating overlapping layers. Yeah, I really didn't have to fill space, but even I had to fire test tiles, and they went in along with the rest. . . filling spaces. best, Pres
  19. Hello folks! I am a porcelain painter in Brazil! I work with china paint for 25 years... This week I lost seven plates in my kiln. Six at a time (Second firing) and another one in another time (fist firing) ... have lost some, rarely, very uncomon one piece or 2 but at this time I am very anxious because is the There have been losses of dishes a few times but so this is the first time ...I'm scared because it's a big order, the biggest one I've ever taken and this has never happened to me ...What could have been?Exaggerated load of the oven? I've done other burns like this and there's never been a problem ...Concentration of the pieces arranged in the same way in the oven?They were on separate shelves ... two on each shelf. Some broke that one that was in front and the others in the background.I changed the batch and then burned the other dishes without shelves and with less load and yet lost one more.I do not use level ... I burn straight as I have always done my whole life and I never had problems ....Can anyone give me a hint of what might be going on?Today I'm doing another burn and I used it this time ... but I'm scared to death ... The photo of the bad firing is bellow! Thank you if anyone has the knowledge to help me ...
  20. My friend and I recently bought a used kiln and wheel. Our first test with the kiln we messed up and fired our stuff to cone 6 (instead of 06). We hadn't had a lot in the kiln, just a few really small cut-out pieces. It took about 6.5 hours to get close to cone 6, but the large 6 cone didn't fully drop, and the cone 7 didn't really move much, so we weren't totally sure if it was fully done. Moving on to our second fire. We had new things to fire, so we bisque fired our stuff (half full with things stacked) to cone 06 this time. Our cone sitter fell out when we closed it (not sure exactly what happened), so after 6.5 hours, we stopped it. We again weren't 100% sure if things we underfired, overfired, or totally perfect. We tried the "lick" test and it was sticking to our tongue. We decided to glaze it and fire to completion. This time, our kiln was full. We didn't put anything on our bottom level (we were worried out glaze would run and it would ruin the kiln). We put in a cone 7 sitter (to make sure it fired completely to cone 6) and we had our large cones to watch at the top and bottom of our kiln. After almost 11 hours, it still wasn't complete (and it was 1am) so we turned it off and left it. So now I'm left with a million questions. 1) How can I tell if it is completely fired? 2) Can I re-fire the stuff and would I have to fire it from start, another 12+ hours? 3) I've read a million posts talking about different kiln lengths, but I'm wondering how exactly you can tell how long it would take? 4) I think our bottom heat isn't as strong as our tops, so should I be putting thinner stuff at the bottom? Or just get the heaters fixed? 5) If our bisque fire wasn't fully fired, would that make our glaze fire take longer? Thanks so much for any help! Already this website has been a huge help for my friend and I. We basically use this as a pottery bible. UPDATE!! We re-fired our glaze and this time everything went off after 8 hours. The glaze is a little runny, but our main concern is the bottom elements not being the best. We had our thin stuff at the bottom, and it did glaze over, but the cones didn't change at all. The top cones did, though!
  21. So, ive created this account specifically for help! ive been given two very old electric kilns, seems to be from the 70s perhaps? anyways, one is an American Beauty electric kiln model number: AB18 this thing has four switches and a kiln sitter. seems to be in relatively good condition from what my ceramic instructor had said. Problem is ive never fired a kiln and there is almost zero information on the kilns manual or even the company that produced the kiln. I find that almost unbelievable seeing as I live 5 miles from the city the kiln company was located. If anyone has any further information of this specific model of kiln that would help immensely !! Next, I have a Cress electric kiln model number : B-23-HB ive found an online manual for the company kilns but they're all for up-to-date kilns.. This model has a upper and lower nobs for high and low firing. anyone have any ideas because im totally fresh to anything in regards to firing kilns. is it worth keeping or should I try to get a more updated kiln? Help! thank you in advance!
  22. Hi, I have this problem of cracking or clay splitting when throwing in the wheel, pls find the attached picture and also, after firing at cone 08, the clay has a lot of surface cracks and sometimes structural cracks pls find the attached pic, pls advise why this is happening and how to avoid this in future. Thanks.
  23. Just a quick question about re-firing work. I wasn't happy with some details around a logo that I carved in to my pieces so I've fixed them with glaze (and also filled a few pinholes) - my question is whether or not I need to be as meticulous about dust and fingerprints on these like you do with glaze on bisque. I had to hold them firmly and work slowly to fix my glaze errors from the past firing. I'm feeling like that stuff (oil from my hands, dust) will burn off before the glaze melts again since its technically laying over top of a hardened/fired glaze and not absorbing into un-fired glaze... thoughts? Thanks so much, friends!
  24. Hi everyone, I recently fired a gas kiln but there was very poor reduction and my pieces (with a celadon glaze) came out oxidised. Would it work to refire these same pieces in a fully-functioning gas kiln? Is there any reason the might not reduce as they have already been high-fired? Thank you!
  25. Hey guys...help! So I have been doing low fire work (jewelry) for years and have just ventured into mid fire work. My question is likely somewhat dumb but here goes. I purchased my first bit of cone 5-6 stoneware clay and had a question about temps. With my work that I have been doing in low fire, I bisque fire to cone 04 then glaze fire to 06. What temp do I bisque fire the stoneware? Not knowing any better, I bisque fired it to cone 5 and then glaze fired it to cone 5 and none of the glazes turned out to look like they were supposed to. Thanks in advance for the help.
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